Imagine, if you will, walking in the park. Stopping and sitting, quietly, on a grass bank. The weather is good, so you take off your shirt and carelessly throw it on the rock behind you. You decide to make yourself more comfortable, so you take off your boots. You realise that you shouldn’t have been wearing your boots in such hot weather, but at least, now, you can relax. You unzip them and put them, side by side, leaving the zips undone. You sit there soaking up the sun.
You are wearing your swimming trunks and so you decide to take off your jeans. You fold them, roughly, and decide to use them as a pillow.
The sun is strong and you still feel hot. Your eyes close and you start to sleep.
Suddenly, the sun disappears, and your eyes register the change in light through your eyelids. It goes from bright pink and orange to dark. Your eyes immediately open, aware that there must be someone, something there.
Silent, hovering, not a cloud but more substantial, more solid. Grey, like a cloud, but not. You rise up on your elbows and start to move, unable to stand up, but realizing the urgency of the situation, you move your feet and elbows to propel you backwards up the grassy slope. You scratch your elbow on the rock where your shirt lies, but you cannot feel anything, the terror in your stomach, your heart racing, the adrenaline flowing, coursing through your veins. Your primal instincts take over and you know you must flee from this unknown danger. You start to turn your whole body. You know you must get up and run. Run as fast as you can.
Time stops. Everything takes minutes to achieve. Like working in glue or thick mud. You cross your legs, placing your right leg over your left, twisting your body, lifting one elbow to place your right arm on the ground over your left side. All this, that should take a second, takes forever.
The door at the bottom of the cloud that isn’t a cloud, opens silently but with a velocity that is quicker than any movement you can make. There is a flash. No, not a flash but an immediate light that is, that seems, stronger than the sun was and your eyes snap shut, involuntarily.
You feel a wave of calm seep over you and into you. Your heart stops beating like a pneumatic drill and slows to a normal rate or, even, below normal. Your eyelids show orange with the veins of red, but bright, brighter than before. You turn your head and peer from half closed eyelids to see the ground disappearing before you. This must be a dream?
And later. I was walking the dog in the park. On the grassy bank there was the shirt, draped over the rock, the jeans folded but not tidy, the boots, good boots, side by side with the zips undone. And nobody around – at all!
I did not have my telephone to take a picture as it was charging. Later (about 3 p.m.) I came back to the park with Rufus and we walked the same route – the normal, usual route, after all, Rufus does like his routines. And the clothes were still there, untouched. Why were they there? Why would someone leave them, especially the boots. There is no swimming pool in the park. There is no reason to leave the clothes there. Was the person taken? Were the clothes just placed there by someone else? Perhaps it was an illegal immigrant (with good shoes though) taken by the police. But the clothes seemed almost arranged, as in a piece of art. Perhaps this was some sort of art.
Of course, yesterday was a holiday, so no one was there to ‘clean it up’. This morning, I expect, they are gone. I won’t be back in the park until Saturday morning as this is our long walk that we do only at weekends.
I wonder why and have no answer. I will never know. It’s just strange. I’m afraid it’s not a good picture, but it was the best I could get, but these are the actual clothes, untouched from about 9.15 a.m. through to about 3.30 p.m. You should also know that the morning was very cloudy and it felt like it was going to rain, although it was reasonably warm – but no one would be sunbathing at that time and there were so few people in the park.