Caleb took a shot of this house while I was driving, and it reminded me of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.”
Yesterday I dragged myself out of bed in the wee early hours of the morning, and drove off toward Town. It was light as though the sun were up, but it was such a hazy, cloudy, dense morning that you could hardly call it bright. The thickness of the weather would soon result in rain, but as of yet there wasn’t even a breeze. Everything just hung closely to the ground and staid put.
I rounded one of our large, sprawling hills, and the view opened up into the valley that contains Town. Most fittingly, there before me was a scene that made me think quite strongly of the Twilight Zone. I don’t have a picture for you, because I was on my way to take my boards examination, and quite honestly the last thing on my mind under those circumstances (weighty exam, early hours, etc) was the thought of taking along my camera in case there was something noteworthy (in the testing center. Where they make you strip off every shred of electronics, including your analog watch, and lock it away, lest somehow technology give you the answers to the universe).
Embedded in that thick haze were several of these mysterious orbs, all blue-green-grey. They weren’t moving there; they were just dispersed over the city, hanging there oppressively, waiting, watching.
After doing a few double takes, I finally realized what I was seeing. The local festival had launched it’s hot-air balloons–yes, even at such an absurdly early hour. The humid haze was muting all of their bright colors to the point they all looked something the color of little army men or split pea soup. When they lit their fires, the bright flash of light seemed no less ominous. They weren’t moving because there was no wind. So 8 or so of these balloons, strung out over the valley and looming over the city, were deprived of every ounce of festivity and instead equipped with a very foreboding the-mothership-is-here sort of feeling.
They were so low, and so still, whatever doom they were bringing seemed to be quite near. They were so much so the color of the weather, it seemed as though they were the ones responsible, settling this obscuring cover over all of the closest thing this area can call civilization. It was horribly eerie, and you couldn’t get away from it. Every time you rounded another corner, they were still there, but now even closer.
Fortunately, the rest of society was oblivious to their danger, and so we escaped without harm. Riots, hysterical screaming, looting and military crack-down were all avoided.
Probably the Town didn’t notice their impending danger because they weren’t looking at the sky, and they probably weren’t looking at the sky because it was absurdly early on a Saturday morning.
Which just goes to show you that one can avoid a lot of horrible fates if one just has the sense and good fortune to stay in bed, particularly on Saturday mornings.