The light and the Creatures
Lewis Cowra watched in amazement as the monster drew closer and closer to the sleeping woman, its claw like hands reached towards her throat. Suddenly her eyes opened and she looked up, frozen in fear. She let out a blood-curdling scream, then the T.V. screen went black, and the movie cut to an ad break. Lewis sighed with a mixture of disappointment and relief, as a handsome young man danced across the screen, singing about a new brand of toothpaste.
“Come on Lewis, time for bed,” came the call from his mother.
“Aw Mum, can’t I finish watching ‘The Creature,’” Lewis pleaded.
His mother considered for a moment, but Lewis could tell by the set of her jaw that he was going to bed.
“No Lewis it’s time for bed,” came the answer, “anyway I’m not sure that this movie is appropriate for someone of your age,” she added.
“Mum, I’m eleven,” Lewis said defiantly.
“Exactly,” retorted his Mum.
“Yeah Lewis, you’re too young for this movie,” said Megan, Lewis’s fifteen-year-old sister, with a spiteful smile.
“Aw Dad, can I stay up and watch it?” Lewis appealed to his Father, but he was half-asleep in his chair and wouldn’t enter into the discussion, so Lewis was left to battle the combined forces of Mother and Daughter.
An Ad came on for a new movie that Megan wanted to see and Lewis was momentarily forgotten. He sank further down into his chair, hoping that his Mother would forget about him and allow him to finish watching the movie. He did manage to see about the first ten seconds of its return, but Megan soon put an end to hopes of him seeing any more.
“Mum wasn’t Lewis supposed to be going to bed?” She asked with a laugh, more horrible than any creature of the night could have produced.
“Come on Lewis, off to bed,” said his mother in a tone that could not be argued with.
“Holiday’s haven’t started yet, you’ve got another week of school to get through,” his Mother added.
“It’s not fair,” said Lewis in a last ditch effort to stay up, but his mother shook her head.
Lewis got up out of his chair, with allot of anger inside him towards his sister, he made sure that he bumped her chair heartily on his way past. Megan only smiled and raised her eyebrows, gloating over her ultimate victory.
It often felt like this for Lewis, being the youngest he always seemed to miss out on exciting things because of his age. He wondered if this was ever going to change or if it was just an unfortunate side affect of his position in the family. No matter how old he got, he was always going to be the youngest.
As Lewis climbed the steps to his attic bedroom of the old farmhouse, he wondered what privileges befell the youngest child and concluded that now he no longer so cute or little, it was not too many. He wondered if they would ever consider him old enough to join in such things as staying up late to watch a horror movie, and tried to think of ways that he could prove that he was old enough, these thoughts flitted about his mind as he entered his room.
Lewis liked his room, with its little whitewashed fireplace, no longer used, and its small square window, which gave him a good view of the farm and the valley beyond. In the daytime he would often gaze out of that window and muse at what adventures might lie beyond the valley. Perhaps he had read too many books or shared too many exciting talks with his grandfather, but Lewis felt sure that the world had more excitement to offer than could be found in a sleepy little mountain town. Or was it that sleepy little mountain towns were the beginning of all great adventures? Like the imaginary games he and best friend Jack sometimes played, when they weren’t fishing or playing football.
As Lewis got changed for bed he wondered if Jack had been allowed to watch ‘The Creature’, feeling satisfied that he would either be able to find out how it ended or brag about the fact the fact that he had been able to watch part of it. Before getting into bed, Lewis snuck a look out of his window, something he usually did. The view was mostly of darkness, with only the dim lights of a few scattered farmhouses and the light from his grandfather’s cottage workshop. It had for a long time, been a comfort to Lewis to know that his Grandfather was up late working while Lewis slept
Lewis’s Grandfather repaired, restored and built clocks and he was very good at what he did. People came from all over the country to buy his clocks or have their clocks repaired by him. Once he had even repaired a clock for the Prime Minister. Grandfather told Lewis that fixing clocks was the best job imaginable, because there was time to think and work at your own pace.
Lewis loved sitting in the workshop, watching his Grandfather work on his latest project. The place had a lovely small of oil and polished wood and despite being quite small from the outside, on the inside it cavernous and mystical. His Grandfather was a master craftsman and many people joked that he must use some kind of magic to get some of the clocks working and restored to their former glory. His Grandfather would chuckle and blush a little at such suggestions, but he did take great pride in his work. Lewis often felt very inspired by his Grand father and felt contented in the future that he was to one day be his Grandfather apprentice.
Lewis’s ambition to be a clockmaker one day did not sit well with Lewis’s father, who hoped that Lewis would concentrate on running the farm, but he had relented as Lewis’s apprentice would be done at home and still leave the boy time for farm work. However Lewis could not remember wanting to be anything else but a clockmaker from the first time he entered his Grandfather’s workshop.
Clockmaking and repair stretched back for hundreds of years in Lewis’s Mother’s family, but she had no interest in it, and because she was his Grandfather’s only child Lewis had always felt very inspired to carry on the tradition of ‘tinkering with time’, as his Grandfather put it.
Grandfather lived in a room adjoining his workshop and often worked very late on in projects, it was not uncommon for Lewis to go to the toilet in the wee hours of the morning and see the light still glowing in the window of the cottage. Sometimes he would see the old man’s shadow pass back and forth and he moved about.
Moving away from the window, Lewis turned out his light and got into bed. The sounds of the television drifted up the stairs and into his room, it mingled with the sound of his parents talking and Lewis found this a comfort. After a time he heard the movie finish, the T.V. being turned off and Megan being told to go to bed, a little while later Lewis’s eyes blinked shut for the last time and he was asleep.
Hours later Lewis awoke, it was still dark and something inside told him that morning was still hours away. He felt the need to go to the toilet. Half asleep, he wriggled out from underneath his blankets, put his feet down on the cold floor and made his way towards the stairs. As he passed the window, he noticed that the backyard was dimly lit, this was very strange because his Grandfather's cottage was in darkness. The light seemed be coming out of the sky, but there was no moon. Lewis scanned the sky, thinking it might be an aeroplane or a search helicopter, but rather than beginning there, the light seemed to disappear into the darkening sky. In an instant he realised that the light was coming straight out of the ground.
Without another thought of going to the toilet, Lewis dashed down the stairs, unlocked the backdoor and bolted outside. From the back porch Lewis could see the light more clearly. It was about the size of a rubbish bin in circumference and most definitely coming straight of the ground. It seemed to radiate, glowing strongly from beneath the earth and fading out as it went higher into the sky. Lewis wondered where it could have come from and approached cautiously.
As he drew closer, he could see two figures, moving around on the other side. Lewis’s heart was pounding and the blood was whooshing in his ears, it felt like he was in a scene from an old horror movie. As Lewis drew closer still, the figures became clearer and they certainly looked as if they were not of this world. Suddenly they seemed to notice him approaching, they jumped into the light and disappeared. Just as Lewis got close enough to the light to touch it, it too faded from sight and was gone.
Lewis stood for a while, bewildered, sweat trickling down his brow. He wondered if this was all a dream and typically pinched himself to see if he was awake. He was awake and standing in the backyard in the middle of the night, feeling very confused. He jumped around on the spot where he had seen the light, hoping that something would give way, but the earth under his feet was as firm as it was anywhere else in the yard. He spent some time looking up into the sky, to make sure that he could not see the light up there, nothing met his eye except darkness.
A minute or two later Lewis was searching around in his father’s shed looking for tools and an oil lamp, in order to solve the mystery of the light and the creatures he had seen there was just one thing to do and he was going to do it.