I am invited to a party which is being hosted by some old friends. As usual, I
get to the party early and stand awkwardly outside the gates to the house. It is
dark but warm, and unknown creatures speak to one another in the night. I step
hesitantly into the overgrown garden, and notice a light on in the house.
Although the party may not have started, I convince myself that my hosts need
help with the preparations. I am a dab hand at samosas.
Easing my way through
the conifers that bar my progress, I approach the lighted house. Intending to
play a minor joke, I peer in through the window, and I am surprised to see two
Aliens from Outer Space conversing in the drawing-room. They appear to be
engrossed in a clever discussion, and I withdraw quietly, not wanting to disturb
them. After loitering outside the front gate for some time, I make my way back
home, now sure that the party is either not going to happen or that I have
inadvertantly entered another dimension.
About a week later, I come across one of
my old friends in a cafe. He asks me why I wasn't at their party. I make my
excuses and leave. My brother calls me at home, and we discuss our respective
social lives. My brother complains of a boredom with life, while I counterpoint
with a distrust of parties in general and clever Aliens in particular.
Eventually, we agree to finish the conversation, but as I put the phone on the
hook I am seized with terror. Quivering, I run a bath, aware that both my
reactions and my emotions are ill-placed.