I paid little attention to the thing in the garden, I assumed it was just an animal. What disturbed me more, much more, was the fact that everything had stopped; it seemed as though time itself had stopped. I went to the door and when I reached for the handle, it flew through the air and landed somewhere in the distance. I was amazed when a hole in the door replaced the handle.
Bemused, I wandered into the driveway, not bothering with the garden. I wandered out off the street and into the high street. Men were out for a late-night stroll; except they weren’t strolling. They weren’t even moving. I looked into a pub. Nothing. I looked into a restaurant. Still nothing. A hotel. Still nothing. A group of people gathering to watch a Guy Fawkes fireworks display. You guessed it. Nothing. A family preparing for Halloween. No explanation needed. All the people had frozen mid-walking, talking, eating, drinking, cheering, playing and any other verb you can come up with. It was like everyone was fixed in place as though they were part of a giant picture. Everyone except me.
I thought back to right before everything stopped and tried to remember if anything was out of place. Moon – normal. Fireworks – not normal but not exactly abnormal either. Cat – interesting. I thought hard and remembered the thing in the garden. I assumed it was just a fox or something but maybe, just maybe, it was something… else.
I ran back home, faster than ever before, as though I was running for my life. From a lion. The size of a house. And its tongue had a mouth. And the tongue’s mouth shot out acid. And if you were shot by the acid, your skin would burn off (of course) and the acid would control your mind. You would become a mind-controlled skeleton working for a house-sized lion with an acid shooting tongue with a mouth.
I realised that I had just been standing there grinning while concocting my story. “Focus.” I thought. As I continued walking, I lost focus again and realised that although the mysterious garden creature was a good lead, it was also my only lead. If the mysterious garden creature was a dead-end I would be stuck in frozen time for eternity. Or at least until I die. Could I even age in a world of frozen time? “Come on!” I urged myself silently, “Focus! Don’t think negatively. This will work. This will work. This will work. This will work.”
I kept repeating “This will work.” to myself while I walked through the still town of still people to my still house and then into the still garden. Actually – no. The garden wasn’t still. The Mysterious Garden Creature (which I think I might just call MGC for short due to the matter of saving time). However, can you save time when time has stopped? There was no time to ponder this because I came across a shocking discovery. The MGC in my garden was definitely mobile. It dashed from one side of the garden to the other like it was running laps and then it suddenly stopped still. It noticed me. It started to edge towards me. All this time (except time had stopped) the thing was hidden in the grass. If only Dad had remembered to mow the grass!
It was getting closer and closer. So I moved further and further away. I didn’t notice that I was inside the house or that I was edging towards the sofa. So when I bumped into the sofa and it rocketed through the sky, breaking a hole in the ceiling then landing somewhere far away (remember the doorknob at the beginning? The one that flew off the door?), I just stood there, unsure of what to do next. By this time, the MGC (Mysterious Garden Creature remember? (keep up!) was inside the house so there was no grass to cover it up anymore. I saw it for the first time. It was some sort of lizard. Its scales were a brilliant blue and its eyes were ruby red. It shimmered in the moonlight, magnifying its beauty and lustre. Once I took in its image, I saw an intense fury in its eyes. Although it was a quarter of the size of my leg, its eyes still filled me with terror.
The next events were so crazy that you will not believe them. But come to think of it, everything I’ve been talking about is crazy and unbelievable. But the next events are even more crazy and unbelievable. Yes the impossible has happened. The MGC grew dramatically large, dramatically quickly and before I had time to register what was happening, the MGC was the size of a house! A large two-storey house belonging to wealthy people. And it’s not just the size of the lizard that changed but it’s appearance too. It was coated in metal and glowing sapphire blue! And as if that wasn’t enough, it hovered off the ground. The MGCs claws were level with my head! At that point I was thinking, “Stop this madness!”
The Mysterious Garden Creature let out a mighty roar that shook the stationary town. The Mysterious Garden Creature glowed even brighter and lit up the street. Then – it all stopped. the MGC vanished. Time resumed. Everyone acted as though nothing peculiar had happened because to them, nothing happened. But to me, something extraordinary had happened. Something that changed my life forever.
Time will tell…