Amazing Tales

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Where There Is A Light

Sometimes late at night, not too long after my wife has fallen asleep, I get up and go to the patio window. I have been doing this for quite some time now, ever since I first caught sight of what I simply call the light.

When I first saw the light I thought I was imagining it. However, one night I decided to go out and explore this phenomenon to see at first hand what was going on. I slipped on a pair of chinos, a light T-shirt and a pair of loafers and I crept over to the sliding patio door. As I passed through the door, I stopped on the paved pathway that ran across the border of the garden, the length of the full width patio door. I gave a quick look back at my wife to make sure I hadn’t disturbed her and in so doing I was truly shocked by what I saw. There, lying beside my wife, was my very own body!

I stood paralysed by the realisation that I was in two places at one and the same time. How on earth could that happen, how could it be? How could I be both inside the room and yet outside on that path simultaneously?

I momentarily dropped my head and got yet another shock. I was bathed in some sort of soft luminous light. The source of the light seemed to be inside my body. And as I lifted my head, I noticed yet another thing. I had no reflection in the windowpane.

I stood there in my chinos and T-shirt, wracking my brains. Suddenly, for some reason, I remembered something a little out of the ordinary from the about the same time that the light began to appear.

I had told my wife that I wanted to go into town a little while and mooch around doing some window shopping. It was a small town centre, little more than a single street overpopulated with fashionable coffee bars, charity shops and a new bric-a-brac shop.

The bric-a-brac shop was what caught my attention. I just love rummaging around in those type of shops which are usually full to bursting with serendipitous surprises.

This particular shop was called Roadside Johnnies which, even just from the window, showed great potential for me getting lost for an hour as I buried myself deep in all manner of paraphernalia.

I went in and was surprised to find that I was the only customer in the shop. And what’s more, it seemed like I was the only person in the shop! That was fine by me since I assumed that such was the mess of antiquities the owner would know nobody in their right mind would want to steal anything. The owner could rest in peace, safe in the knowledge that upon his or her return not a single item would be missing.

I fumbled through all manner of boxes of old train sets, mini-disc cameras and dozens of LP records from the fifties and sixties. After about fifteen minutes I heard the old-style doorbell chime to signal that somebody was coming in behind me.

“Hello, can I help you?” crackled an old male voice. “Please feel free to browse, I’m sure you will find something to capture and enrapture your attention.”

“Oh, err, well thank you, sir. To be honest, something already has caught my eye.”

“Excellent sir. And what might that be, if I may ask?” the voice said in a well educated and charmingly polite tone.”

“Well, you have an old basket in the window......”

“Yes?”

“Well, what caught my eye was a little pinky as I call it, the pinkish, purple multi-faceted hexagonal crystal rock, or ball of sorts.”

“Ahhhh, yes, I thought that would catch somebodies eye before too long. It is ever so pretty, is it not?”

“Could you tell me how much it is, please?” I replied.

“Well to be honest sir, it is not for sale, I’m sorry.” the voice said apologetically.

“Oh, I see, already spoken for, not a problem, I’ll mooch around a little more, if it’s all the same to you, see if anything else catches my eye,” I said.

“Not at all sir, you see the thing is, nothing in this shop is for sale. It is in fact all free, on the one condition that I like the person and that that person is genuinely interested in acquiring such objects of beauty for his own pleasure, not to sell on and make a profit. Please take my hand.”

And with that, his right arm came up and he proffered his veiny, leathery, wrinkled old hand. Being a stickler for politeness, I took his hand in an instant.

Despite very clear signs that this was a man of some great age, the old man had a grip of steel. He squeezed my much younger hand as if he could squeeze it to pieces if he chose.

The old man held on to my hand tight. I felt a gentle surge of energy pass from him to me. I was entranced. I felt like he was rummaging through my mind as comprehensively as I had rummaged through his shop antiquities.

“I can feel you are indeed a very good man sir. Your father too I detect. He was a brave man, a soldier of great misfortune I would say. And quite the comic when he wanted to be. He was an astute man of great imagination.”

Suddenly he relaxed his grip on my hand and, as he did so, I felt a nervous tremble or tingle pass all the way from my temple down my neck, shoulder, arm and hand, all the way to my fingertips. I found it quite weird how he seemed to know a bit about my father. Was he a mind reader or something, I thought.

“Please, take the crystal, it is yours, you are a worthy soul to possess a thing of such beauty.”

And with that, the old man let go of my hand and deftly reached across to the basket in the window to gently clasp the crystal and hand it to me.

“Can you tell me anything about it? What exactly it is, where it came from, that sort of thing?”

“All I can tell you, sir, is that it is made from something not of this planet. I came by it via somewhat extraneous circumstances, shall we say. Perchance it arrived here care of some rogue meteorite which was visited upon us some millennium ago. Will that be it, sir?”

It was clear the old man wanted to bring the exchange to a finish as he stepped aside to let me pass.

I went straight home and thought no more of this rather strange meeting, putting it down to mere old age eccentricity. As for the crystal, I simply placed it on our bedside table next to my alarm clock. My lovely wife paid little mind to it, except when she wanted to move the dust around on the top.

I stood outside our bedroom window, all aglow with a soft light. I turned my head to the left, to my bedside table. There was the crystal hexagonal ball. I wondered if that had anything to do with my present condition. After a few moments, I snapped back into the present. I turned to look over my shoulder to see the light still illuminating the tree-tops and the night sky. It was time to go and investigate a little. However, at the last second I decided to go back into our bedroom to retrieve the crystal ball. Maybe it would serve as some sort of good luck charm.

As I approached the old copse, which on the other side was nothing more than scrubland, I wondered what I might find. I thought perhaps it might be a gipsy encampment, or maybe some oil drilling outfit looking for liquid gold. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I tentatively brushed aside some bushes and low hanging tree branches and came out onto a well used double track with a grassy hump down the centreline. The light at the end of the track glowed through the rising tall pine trees. I followed the track and in little more than a minute I had reached the end.

For a few brief moments I could hardly believe my eyes. Right there in front of me was an exact replica of our small town centre, complete with coffee bars, charity shops and even the Johnnie Roadhouse bric-a-brach shop. I simply stood stock still trying to mentally process what I was seeing. After some indeterminable time I slowly stepped forward and tentatively made my way towards the centre.

The town centre high street was devoid of any sign of another human being. It was a ghost town, without so much as even a single ghost. I tried a few shop doors to see if they would open. They were all locked.

I then tried the Johnny Roadhouse door and it opened. I stepped lightly inside. Suddenly I heard the door shut behind me. I quickly tried the handle to re-open it, only to discover that it was tightly locked. I tried not to panic and turned back to face the interior of the shop. Scattered around the floor where all the self-same boxes as I had rummaged through in the real Johnny Road Roadhouse two miles away. Just as before there were transits, mini-disc cameras, LP vynil records from the fifties and sixties.

Suddenly I heard the front door open behind me.

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