The day outside was sounding wrong. Feeling wrong. Even for a Sunday, the silence was disturbingly, mysteriously different. No rumbling wheels, no roaring buses, no tramping feet. Shuffling, hesitant feet, yes. But none with purpose. No birdsong, just unintelligible wailing and sobbing close by.
He wasn’t able to see the light show played out in the skies last night. Bright green flashes; shooting stars; showering comets. A magnificent spectacle, they said. A unique phenomenon, they said. You should have seen it, they said. Rather insensitively.
The feeling of the bogey man under the bed began to creep upon him. A lifetime of being deprived of his eyes did nothing to alleviate this. Was it that famed sixth sense, becoming more heightened?
Was it his imagination? That fluttery feeling in his stomach, a prelude to something he dreaded. But what? Reaching out to touch … what? There was nothing there, nothing to feel and yet… still that persistent nagging.
What was that? A waft of air passed by his face, light as a feather. He was reminded of a fly, caught in a spider’s web. Trapped by uncertainty; perplexed by inactivity. Stilled by fear. He became aware that something was waiting …
Lurching towards him, leathery leaves rustling.
A stem whipped back and forth.
A swish and a slap.
The sting whistle slashed.
“A Triffid is in a damn sight better position to survive than a blind man. Take away our sight and our superiority to them is gone.” – John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
I wrote this piece for The Skywatcher Investigation, our interactive alien game during the Rochester LitFest 2013 Other Worlds, Other Voices Festival. Using Wyndham’s descriptive language to capture the feel but creating a character of my own, it was performed by the multi talented Lance Philips of Physical Folk, playing a blind gardener, who succumbs to attack by a Triffid, played by the wonderful Sophie Williams. I read the piece aloud to the sound of Mozart’s requiem, Ave Verum Corpus, adjusting the text to fit the rhythm of the music.
It was a new experience for me but one I thoroughly enjoyed working on, and hope to do similar again in future.
Photo credit: Nikki Price Photography