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Tales From The Campfire (02)

"Day Or Night?"
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Author's Notes

"Welcome back to the campfire. I have another story for you."

Thank god you’re here, I wasn’t sure you’d come. Sit down and look natural. I have something very important to tell you. Someone needs to know, you’re my son, the only one I can trust. Where do I start? Okay, it was the last week in March. You remember, it was unusually warm for that time of year. I woke up early as I always do. Five past seven and the sun was just starting to rise. I left mum in bed and went downstairs. That’s when I first noticed something was wrong, very wrong. I opened the blinds in the kitchen and it was still dark outside.

The clock on the wall said four. I realised that I must have woken too early and imagined the sunrise. I went back upstairs and the sun was still rising, it was daylight in the bedroom. I couldn’t work out what was going on. I went back downstairs and it was still dark outside. I know, it sounds crazy. Imagine how I felt. How could there be a different time upstairs to downstairs? The kitchen clock said five past four. Then I heard your mum shout down that she was awake and what a lovely morning it was.

I felt like I was really going mad. I started back up the stairs to tell your mum about the strange goings-on when suddenly it was light, yes, daylight. I ran into the kitchen and it was light outside and the kitchen clock now agreed with the bedroom clock, ten past seven. I truly felt like I was going nuts. As soon as your mum came down she could see that I was in a state of shock. I told her what had happened and she said I must have been dreaming. Well, it was the only logical solution. And then things really started to go strange, very strange indeed.

Mum went to open the kitchen window when she screamed. There was a tree in the middle of our lawn. Not a little twig, a massive oak tree that wasn’t there the day before. I didn’t notice it of course as when I came down as it was dark outside. I went in the lounge to have a look out the front. I saw a woman wearing only a nightdress running down the middle of the road shouting that the world had gone mad. Believe it or not that made me feel slightly better, at least it wasn’t just us seeing things. Mary put the radio on in the kitchen to see if anyone else was having such occurrences.

It didn’t work at first. It sounded all jumbled up as if every station was playing at the same time. There were voices and music and all sorts. I know what you’re thinking; it was all just a dream. That is after all the only logical explanation. I tell you son; logic had nothing to do with what was going on. The whole world was upside down. I was struggling to take any of it in. Even the fridge was acting weird. I went to get some milk to make a cup of tea and everything in the fridge had gone off. The smell was terrible. Blue and green mould covered the inside walls.

Even if it had broken overnight or we had a power cut, the milk and other contents would still have been fresh. The smell was so bad I had to slam the door shut. When mum had a look everything was okay again. I know, I know, things like this just can’t happen. But they did. Eventually, the radio started working. People all over the country were having the same problems. Not just this country, every country. Whole buildings had apparently disappeared. This went on for days. That first night, the moon disappeared for several hours before coming back. In fact, the whole sky looked different.

Tens of thousands of people were out in the streets thinking the end of the world had come. Who could blame them? At the time the word normal no longer had any meaning. Nothing was normal, nothing. It’s amazing how quickly the world turned to anarchy. Within a week, people were out rioting and looting shops. We had enough food for a week or so, but that was all. We daren’t leave the house to find more. The whole system had collapsed, society was lost. No police, no army, it was every man for himself.

I’m not ashamed to say that we both thought about ending it all. There was no longer any gas or electricity supply. Even the water had all but stopped. As soon as the water pressure started to fall we filled buckets, bottles, and pretty much everything that could hold water. That wouldn’t last forever though. Things would only get worse.  That’s when they came, the others. I don’t know what else to call them. They were not human. They had a shape like us, even walked like us, but they were not us. There were little flashes of light in the sky and they would appear.

I could see them coming down our road, little shiny human-like creatures. There was a strange humming-like sound and sweet smell in the air. Every time they passed a house they shone a bright purple light through their windows.  As they got nearer, the humming got louder. I asked your mum to get away from the window but it was too late. One stood outside pointing his light straight at her. Next thing I know it was morning. I looked at the clock, it was five past seven and the sun was just rising. As soon as I saw the clock I realised that the electricity was back on.

I went downstairs and everything was normal. The huge tree was gone, everything in the house was working as it should. Your mum found me crying in the kitchen. I tried to tell her but she had no memory of any of the past week’s events. I put the radio on, nothing. No talk of anything out of the ordinary. It was as if it never happened. For everyone else, it was just another day. That’s when I realised I must have had a vision of things to come. I alone have been chosen to warn the world but nobody believes me. You have to believe me, you have to help.

You were right mum, he remembers everything. Fetch the light...”

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