Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Night Flight

“What’s that noise? I hear a noise! It seems to be coming from over by the cooker? Right, if it’s those mice again, I'm going to get those ungrateful swine.” I get up and switch the light on. The naked sixty watt light bulb illuminates the fuzz of hundreds of hairs floating, a whole universe of glittering particles thrown up into the air by my bumping and creaking across the floor boards to investigate the rattle, now coming from the direction of the window. Then I suddenly realise what have I done; The light is now on, the window is open and the whole flying insect fraternity will now be alerted for take off, on route to my room in one encroaching mass. Hurriedly I rush to the window to cut off the only entrance. Just in time to see a growing bulge of stippled dots busying themselves away out there at house number six, readying for the charge. I take a lunge for the window with both hands to stop the surge, sending a cloud of white dust up into the atmosphere as I go. The frame sticks and so I force it harder, squeaking down the rail, scraping fragments of dry paint and dust onto the work surface to settle on various jars and plates strewn around. As I push down to the last inches my right eye takes a look out through the window and spots a white flicker of movement in the darkness. Before I have time to think about it, it is upon me and rushes into the room like Concord, arriving in one straight line at its destination, nearly hitting me in the face in mid flight. I am awed by its speed and size, shaking my head. My memory rewinding and playing back in slow motion; the wings are seen miming flight through the black silent night as it passes through into my space and out of sight. “You drift like a ghost through the smallest of gaps, wings flapping. I look at the clock, I look at the time. I was just about to go off to bed! The night will give me no peace, if I do not rid myself of this beast.” I mutter these words and many others, as I stand crouching and gazing questioningly at the room’s new occupant, my hands still clasping the window.

Its furry underside shone in the lamp light, the grotesque swell of the body, obscured by the incessant machine gunning of wings blurring. Seen from a distance it takes on the form of a crazed power ball jerking about at speed in the air, amongst the hair. As a comet following its trajectory across the star strewn galaxy, so this freakish thing has been delivered to my room, travelling along nature’s path to the hypnotic globe fixed to my ceiling. I decide to take action to defend my territory and begin at once to dance about my light bulb shaking my large unwieldy baton of a TV magazine. This is a tough one I say, missing with every swipe. You the master foilsman, a fast and nimble fighter, your figure casting a giant shadow at war with the soldiers patterned on the wallpaper, dipping and swinging while orbiting around the globe, charged by your attraction to the fantastically bright sun. "Fly in the golden wind little Icarus bird, you won’t escape me."

I find that this is the biggest one that I have ever seen. “Never seen you before? Not as big as you? You’re looking out of the window? You can go if you want to, go on. Maybe you would like some help with the frayed end of this weeks magazine would you. I’ll get you and I’ll make just one more smear on the window if I want to. Now just stay still there, come on!” The fur covering your body makes me wince and freeze still. Your soft feathery wings flutter with mad excitement and bounce like a space man against the phosphorescent glow. I could slowly move, as if making the slightest noise with my size elevens could alert its attention away from the bulb and send it battling in my direction with a few near misses. Then lift the window to give the animal an opening and while keeping an eye on it passing through the gap, reach around to place the world into darkness with a quick flick of the switch.

While stumbling, I feel a soft movement of wings somewhere and I blindly usher, what I think it is, out of the window slot. Ughh – the blasted things in my ear…ugh – ah – makes me shiver and flap my arms wildly, knocking into desks, finally coming to rest, by luck, on a chair in the corner, rubbing the dirt of the tiny mite off my upper arms furiously, shivering as if cold. I am now imagining wiping the grease, gathered from every dingy black hole in the planet, off every surface of my body.

The midget albino bird creature is now still in my room refusing my earnest gestures to rehabilitate it into the outside world. I find it attracted stubbornly, frustratingly, obsessively to the sixty watt bulb. Strangely intelligent the insect hangs around waiting for me to renew the source of its pleasure and will lie dormant. After a while I get fed up with knocking about and not being able to find things and the moment I reach one of my palms in the direction of the switch and press down - out of the silence goes the buzzard and around and around the bloody bulb it goes, “bugger”!
After a while of flinging my arms in soft human slowness at the laughing bestial imp I recognise the need for a rest in the proceedings. Let the moth play for a bit. "Only for a short while mind! I need to give some of my time to the washing of the dishes. But later, there will be none of these cat and mouse games, you understand, you horrible little sprite. You see this here towel, its straining at the bit, I’m telling you, straining at the bit. Twitch a muscle, move a wing!"

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