The Visitors Centre

My friend S and two or three male friends of his are in town, and my lover P and I are shepherding them around. S has a hand missing, his arm ends in a smooth wooden dome onto which he can fix all kinds of attachments – a corkscrew, for example. We take them to a visitors centre so that they can find out what’s on locally. I’m hoping they will find something to see or do, as it’s actually a bit tiresome having to show them round all the time. The old woman who works in the visitors centre watches us suspiciously, as if she’s expecting us to steal something, and the atmosphere is unpleasant. S and his friends seem to decide to go to a local sea-life centre, which I’m a bit surprised by – it’s not even in London, and don’t they all live by the sea anyway?

Image in the public domain

We leave the visitors centre and walk through huge, flat, freshly mown fields of golden corn, under a hot cloudless blue summer sky. The horizon is broken only by large cylindrical golden bales in the fields. Some people hurry out of the visitors centre behind us, as if to call us back: a tall thin man and two male companions. The tall man is holding something that looks like a croquet mallet, waving it above his head to attract our attention. We stop and turn to watch as the three figures, still some way off, take up position in a field, and one of them holds the croquet mallet head-upwards into the sky. Either end of the head is glowing with a golden disc or mirror in the sun, and as we watch a ray of sunlight shoots into one end of the mallet head, and from the other streams a beam of light that flies upwards and darts around, forming a geometrical golden star of light in the sky, before beaming away into the distance above, in the direction of the galaxy and solar system from which, as they now audibly proclaim, the three men have come, the same solar system from which Jesus and other divine entities also came…

The point of view shifts, and P and I are now a young newlywed couple, still in their wedding clothes and observed in the third person, with the bride narrating a voice-over. The summer sky is now a spectacular sunset, and an enormous dark cloud is gliding silently overhead, both ominous and beautiful, as the voice-over explains that the cloud seen in the sky that night became a local legend.

Photo by Niccolò Ubalducci, licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

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