A science project - so he said - pinch of salt, I thought.
Would you be fooled? Homework assignment - yeah,
he said that too. A likely story. Wait and see,
I thought. Just wait and see! Didn't seem
to make much sense. Tangle of metal pipes,
odd bits and bobs, part of a bunsen burner,
a magnetic coil or two, transducers off the dump,
condenser parts and stuff I couldn't recognise.
Oh yeah, a clockwork gubbins and a hook-shaped tail -
the tail wagged by the gubbins - to what end
I couldn't tell. The whole set out in something like
a love knot and a figure eight. As to the grand plan,
though, he wouldn't say - like he'd been sworn
to secrecy. Wouldn't say, more like! Let's wait and see!
Several days went by and Tim was playing with his toy
beside an open window, the way he'd done each day
since he had brought his notebook home from school.
A lovely day it was an' all, but then dark clouds blew up.
I took him in his cup of tea just as the first cloud streamed
in through the open window, only to be stopped - for so
it seemed - within the large loop of his apparatus. Outside,
the world was changing - being changed - the sky becoming
an assemblage of black tube-shapes and psychedelic
fluffy balls, the former heading for our window at a rate
of knots, the latter bouncing everywhere across the sky
and over the horizon. The tubes, it seemed were being
pulled or sucked towards us by Tim's mechanism -
but not just that: birds, lady birds and beetles, leaves
and tiny things in hundreds at a time had found themselves
caught up in it and drawn in through the open window to be
processed in the coils of Tim's Leviathan. And all of them
departed this reality as puffs of smoke or flame. As I
put down the cup I saw the dark cloud-tubes and patches
of unnatural colour burst into flame and set the sky alight.
Beyond the conflagration all was a flat black. Only as
the early waves of terror left us as we realised we were
still here... only then did any of us realise that nothing
from the outer world had been destroyed, but all had changed,
put on new livery, was smaller, larger, transfigured
each in its own way as if the change had been designed for it.
I am indebted to The Mag for the original image and the inspiration behind this post.