Tuesday, 4 November 2008

MULTIPLY: Pictures to Words: Segments Week 2: The Tower

SEGMENTS-WEEK2HALF[1]The tower had been there as long as anyone could remember. The first settlers in Forgotten creek arrived with a wagon train thinking that the place looked just fine for a farm. There were already a few houses and the water tower. Now if a place had a water tower, then it must be ideal for keeping a few animals and crops. The settlers soon found that it was not so ideal. It very rarely rained and the tower was mostly empty. They wondered how the original inhabitants in those two or three houses managed to survive, but they did. They were seen tending to their cattle and horses with no problem. The new settlers decided to move on. It seemed that the families already there had enough for themselves and nothing to spare. It was also strange that they almost all looked the same. Must be some sort of reoccurring inheritance features. They all had dark brown hair and blue eyes. So life went on in this isolated place until the other towns started breaking their limits and civilisation did arrive in Forgotten creek. This time there was no problem with the water supply as pipes were laid leading from the other big towns; there was plenty of water for everyone. That no water entered the tower did not seem strange to anyone. The tower had always been there and no-one cared; there was water to go around for all. In the meanwhile the town was called Tower Creek as it was no longer a forgotten place.

Joe looked out of his window towards the tower. He lived in the block opposite and it was more than a tower to him. It was a mark on the landscape. His wife Christine was preparing lunch.
“Joe, is the tower still there?” she asked and laughed a bit.
“Are you making fun of me woman, of course it is and it will be staying there for some time.”
Christine knew how much Joe was concerned with the tower. It was an important part of his life, and of Christine’s as well. Indeed for many families living in Tower Creek and the surroundings it had become a symbol of their existence. Suddenly the door opened and their daughter Pamela entered the room.
“Hey mum there is a dance at the school on Saturday evening and David asked me to go with him.”
“Doesn’t come into the question” spoke her father.
“But dad you know David and he is my boyfriend. All the other girls in the class are going as well.”
“David is a fine boy Pamela, but on Saturday we are going on a journey and you should be home on Saturday evening.”
“What sort of journey, dad? That’s new to me – do you mind explaining?”
“There is nothing to explain Pamela – we are going away on Saturday – those are my last words.”
Pamela was a bit mixed up. This was the first her father mentioned about a journey. She decided to change the conversation topic and ask her mother when she was on her own with her. Mothers tend to have more understanding for their daughters than fathers.

“Mum how come I can’t go to the dance on Saturday. All my friends will be going and David and I are so looking forward to it.”
“Pamela this time I must agree with your father. On Saturday we have an important journey to make and we have to prepare for it. It is important that you are at home on Saturday.
“What’s so important mum?”
“Well if you must know we will be visiting your father’s family for a while. They live so far away and we decided it was time for you to get to know them. It will be a long journey and we cannot postpone it.”
“I didn’t know that dad had a family. He never mentioned them before.”
“Oh yes, Pamela, he has a large family and the time has now come for us to pay a visit. The last time they saw you was fifteen years ago when you were a baby.”

That evening Pamela called David on the phone and told him that there was no chance of going to the dance on Saturday as she had to visit her family. David was disappointed but would do anything for Pamela and so he decided he would not go. Going with someone else would not be such fun. He was truly in love with Pamela and Pamela’s feelings were the same for him.

Friday evening arrived and Pamela noticed that her parents had been acting a bit strange all day. He father was frequently looking out of the window and her mother was busy sorting some clothing she had decided to take with her. There was a knock on the door and Pamela opened the door. It was David.

“Hi Pamela, can I come in?”
“Of course David, although my parents seem to be busy getting ready for the journey tomorrow.”
“Who’s there Pamela?” called her father. “Oh, hello David, I though Pamela told you we would be going away for some time and now she has not got the time to talk.”
“Sorry, but I just wanted to say goodbye to her before she goes.”
“OK David then come in for a few minutes.” So David went to Pamela’s room.”
“I will miss you” said David, “but I am sure you will soon be back.”
“I am not so sure David, my parents seem to be preparing for a long journey.”
“Yes it is a long journey” and Pamela’s mother entered the room “and now David it would be better if you left.”
Pamela and David hugged each other and they both felt they would no longer see each other any more.

That evening Pamela went to bed, but she could not sleep. She went to the kitchen for a glass of water and saw her father leaving their apartment. She found it strange that he would leave at midnight, so she decided to follow him. Her mother was sleeping in the bedroom. She put her coat and shoes on and left. She was a few yards behind her father but saw he was making for the tower. He then started climbing the steps up to the tower. This seemed strange to her so she followed. Her father eventually reached a door hidden behind the advertising panel attached to the front of the tower’s surrounding metal frame and she was now really curious.

She decided to see what was so interesting in an old water tower that had not been used for many years and followed her father through the door. Imagine her surprise when she saw what was there. Inside it resembled an aeroplane but everything was tilted. There were rows of seats. If you sat down in one you would be looking towards the top of the tower, but it was no longer a tower. At the front there was a cabin that her father had entered. She decided she had seen enough and was going to leave when her father called her.

“Pamela, I know you have followed me, so now I will do some explaining. Many years ago our people landed on earth from another solar system. We found that we could exist in the atmosphere and decided to colonize the planet. “
“Sorry, dad, but I don’t understand. This sounds like a science fiction film to me. Are you sure you are feeling ok.”
“Pamela, look around you, does this look like a water tower? Of course not, it is our spaceship. Tomorrow Saturday at midnight we will leave earth for our own planet. Our time has run out on earth, and we will return.”

“Dad, supposing this is all true, people are going to miss the water tower on Sunday.”
“Pamela, this is all planned. As we leave earth our successors will arrive in their ship and land exactly where we are.”
“But dad, there are far too many seats in this ship for just us.”
“Pamela, we are not the only ones here” and her mother appeared at the door. “Just look around. How many earthlings have blue eyes and brown hair? This is rare, but you have the signs and also your father and myself. Have you never noticed how we all have blue eyes and brown hair. Something very rare amongst the earthlings. Tomorrow this ship will be full of such beings as we are, returning home after staying fifteen years on this planet.”
“Mum, what about David. Will I see him again?”
“I very much doubt it Pamela” her father answered “David is an earthling and he does not belong to our planet.”
“Then I will stay here on earth. I do not want to come back to a planet I don’t even remember.”
Pamela decided to run away but could not, she felt a strange force pulling her back.
“Dad, are you doing that, I can’t move.”
“It is for your own good Pamela, you would be sad amongst these Earthlings. Tomorrow you will come home to our planet. There are many young men there.”
“Listen to your father Pamela. We are serious, your father has not used the force for many years but that was what you felt when you tried to run away.”
“And now leave me, Pamela. I must check on the engines that everything is in proper working order and make contact with our planet by radio.”

Pamela and her mother returned to their apartment, but Pamela could not sleep. She then rang David on her mobile telephone and told him what was to happen on Saturday. David laughed at first, finding it the joke of the year, but soon realised that Pamela was serious and was not making up a story.

The next day on Saturday, the time had come to go. Pamela and her parents entered the ship parked at the water tower. It was late in the evening. Many others were arriving, all looking similar with their brown hair and blue eyes. They soon took their places in the spaceship. A young man was sitting next to Pamela and introduced himself as one of the colonist’s sons. He was travelling alone as his parents had lost their lives in a traffic accident some time before.

Suddenly the engines roared to life and they took off. Pamela watched the earth disappear from the window and saw a spaceship the same size and form as theirs landing at the water tower, taking their place.

She no longer felt sad, although her father and mother were looking a bit worried. Who is that sitting next to you Pamela on his own? They asked.
“I don’t know dad, but he said that he was on his own as his parents had lost their lives on earth in a car accident.”

Joe and Christine exchanged glances and put their heads together.
“What are we going to do Joe?”
“No idea Christine – but it seems that we have a stowaway on board.”
Joe and Christine had forgotten to tell Pamela that their race was blessed with eternal life. So it seems that Christine had managed to get her David on board with them. He had brown hair, but the coloured contact lens managed to hide the colour of his brown eyes. What Joe and Christine also did not know was that the first mixed relationship had taken place and Pamela would be giving birth to the first result of an earthling-alien child.

Pictures to Words: Segments Week 2: The Tower

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