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.