Bastet modeled by Sabi my own amazing tabby 🙂
After her mother had left for work, Kallis sat cross-legged on the sitting room floor and thought hard. She remembered being on top of the Glastonbury Tor with Dave and…yes, she had drunk from that weird bottle and then what? She seemed to remember a cathedral green she didn’t recognise, looking down onto it from a great height. Whoosh – it all came back to her in a big rush. All the feelings, the running, the strange creatures in the town and finally that tremendous feeling of being at one and connected with the world. Kallis sat and took all this in slowly. It was AMAZING. ‘But how did I end up here?’ Kallis asked herself. She could accept that the drink had given her a pretty weird trip, a different take on reality. BUT to wake up miles from where she had been sleeping was just, well, impossible. Had somebody brought her here to her Mother’s? Had Dave? It had to have been Dave, surely. But Dave didn’t know where her Mother lived, although she did recall telling him she had been brought up here. Kallis wished the story she had made up for her mother’s benefit WAS true. She wondered if Dave wondered where she was. ‘But he doesn’t have a phone; I can’t ring him,’ she thought.
Suddenly something large and heavy fell out of the sky onto her lap. Kallis screamed and then realised it was her mother’s tabby cat, Bastet.
‘Bas!’ You nearly gave me a heart attack, you wicked old cat.’
Bastet didn’t care. She was pleased to see Kallis and had a purr like a cement mixer, as she trod her paws up and down on Kallis’s legs, shedding fur all over her jeans.
‘Oh, Bas, you great lump! Come on, get off me.’
Kallis gently removed the cat. ‘I need to talk to someone,’ Kallis thought. ‘I wonder if I can get hold of Mel.’
Melanie Clarkson was Kallis’s oldest friend. They had been at school together, and, although they had gone separate ways when Kallis left to work in London, they had stayed in touch and usually spoke and e mailed most weeks. Mel was a librarian and worked in the library down in the town.
Kallis’s used her mother’s phone in the hall.
‘Good morning, Newport County Library. How can I help you?’
‘Oh, good morning’, answered Kallis. ‘Could I speak to Melanie Clarkson, please?’
‘Just a moment.’ Kallis was put on hold.
‘Hello? This is Melanie.’
‘Mel! It’s Kallis.’
‘Kal!! You all right? Why are you ringing me at work?’
‘Listen, I’m at Mum’s for a few days. Can we get together? I could do with a chat.’
‘Sure can. Why don’t you call round mine tonight? I can do us some pasta and we can go out for a drink or something,’ said Mel.
‘Thanks, Mel. That’d be great.’ Kallis was relieved to have got hold of her friend. ‘About seven-ish?’
‘Brilliant. See you then. Bye’
What to do now? Kallis decided to head off down into the town and have a look around the shops, compare it to how it had looked in that other reality. Kallis pinched a sweatshirt out of Charlotte’s wardrobe and headed off at a brisk pace into the town. She drew some money from a cash point (luckily she still had her wallet in the back pocket of her jeans – Kallis was never a handbag type of girl). Kallis stopped next at the bus station and checked bus times to get back to Glastonbury; ‘I must go soon and find Dave,’ she thought. There were buses every day that crossed the Severn Bridge into Bristol, and a bus could then be caught from there straight through to Glastonbury.
Kallis strolled along through the town centre enjoying the sunshine. All was normal and as she remembered it from before. Past ‘The Body Shop’ Kallis noticed a shop she had not seen before called ‘Esoteric Books & Stuff’. The window display featured many books on UFO’s, Witchcraft, Paganism and alternative medicine, and there were lots of crystals on display too, catching the sunlight. There were tables and chairs inside and a sign that said you were free to read the books and enjoy a coffee at the same time. Kallis went in. There didn’t appear to be anybody about. Kallis started to browse the shelves.
‘Well, good morning to you, my first customer of the day! Can I help at all?’
‘Oh!’ Kallis jumped a little. ‘Um, well, I was just having a look around, if that’s alright’.
‘Sure thing. Can I get you a coffee?’
‘Ooh, yes please. Black, no sugar’.
Kallis watched in amazement as the man disappeared out the back to make the coffee. He was exceptionally tall, had long matted dreadlocks dyed a sort of reddish orange, and was a vision in a rainbow striped jumper and very tight, black, leather trousers. He was extremely camp in his bearing. A few minutes later he returned bearing coffee and some cake.
‘You MUST try some carrot cake, my dear, it’s delish! My partner baked it fresh this morning.’
Kallis nodded her thanks.
‘Um, I was wondering,’ Kallis tentatively began, ‘I had a strange, well, vision, I suppose you could call it, and I wondered if there were any books written by people who had experienced something similar’.
‘Oohh! Sounds intriguing. What did you see if you don’t mind me asking?’
‘Well, um, people who looked like dinosaurs…?’Kallis grimaced as she said it, realising just how strange it sounded.
The shop owner stood for a moment, scratching at his little goatee beard.
‘Well,’ he said at last, ‘there’s good old David Icke. He‘s convinced certain people in high places are not what they seem and, are in fact, flesh eating reptiles. Here’ – he pulled a book of the shelf and put it down on the table in front of Kallis, ‘have a look and see what you think.’
‘Thanks’. Kallis ran her hand over the cover of the book, which featured a rather handsome and blond Mr. Icke.
‘Do you mind if I…?’ the shop owner indicated the other chair at the table.
‘No, please’. Kallis thought it would be good to talk to someone who appeared to be open minded to the unexplained.
‘I’m Terence, by the way.’ He held out a large hand.
Kallis took it in her own small one.
Terence made large cow eyes at Kallis. ‘Soooo, Kallis, tell Terence all about it. I ‘m all ears’.
‘Well,’ Kallis took a big breath, ‘I drank something that belonged to a friend. I shouldn’t have, I know. It was a moment’s impulse. The next I knew I was really tall and looking down on everything from a great height.’
‘Oh, my dear! How VERY Alice in Wonderland!’
‘Yes, well, it was strange and I was frightened but excited at the same time. Then I panicked and somehow ran in big strides and ended up here. And the town was weird and different and the people weren’t people but these – well, dinosaur things. Then I had this feeling of peace and oneness with everything – it was fantastic – and the next thing I know I wake up in my old bedroom at my Mother’s house, here in town!’
‘Miles from where you were?’ asked Terence.
‘Yes, I WAS in Glastonbury on top of the Tor there.’
‘Oooh, STRAIGHT out of Castenada!’ Terence sat back in his chair and looked at Kallis.
‘Castenada?’ Kallis was puzzled.
‘Carlos Castenada. He spent time in Mexico learning to be a shaman with this old Indian he called Don Juan. In one book he writes about ‘dreaming’ and waking up miles from where he went to sleep. And I am certain there is something about running and being really tall, looking down from a great height, but it was years ago I read his books.’
‘Do you have any of his books here?’ Kallis was excited now.
‘Yes, I may well have. I’ll have a little look in a minute.’
Terence finished his coffee and headed off out the back of the shop. How exciting! An interesting customer this fine morning, after all the time wasters that came in and laughed and smirked at his books and crystals when they thought he wasn’t looking. This shop had been a dream of Terence’s for a long time and he had been delighted when, with the financial help of his long time lover, they had managed to secure a lease on this shop. Terence had spent a happy few months putting together an interesting shop full of ‘alternative’ lifestyle books, and sourcing various crystals and knick knacks. He enjoyed chatting to the ‘proper’ customers, as he thought of them, who usually had some time to chat and smoke and drink coffee with him. A small vegetarian society had even formed in the town and now used Terence’s shop for their meetings.
Kallis finished her carrot cake. He was right; it was very nice. Terence reappeared after a few minutes with a couple of very old, tatty looking paperbacks.
‘These are all I have at the moment, and I am not sure that they are the ones you might be interested in, but you’re welcome to have a look. As for the David Icke, I’ll have to charge you for it but you can have these old paperbacks for free. They are too tatty to put on display anyway’.
Kallis thanked him and paid for the other book. Terence rang this up on an enormous, old style till.
‘Now, do pop in again for a chat, won’t you? I am VERY intrigued by your story. I hope the books prove useful. Let me know? Oh, and if you can get some more of that drink we could always go into business together, market it as a new form of transport, VERY eco friendly and cheap!!’ Terence saw her to the door of his shop with a chuckle.
‘I will, I promise. Thanks for listening.’ Kallis smiled and headed off, the books tucked under her arm. She decided to head back to her mother’s to do some reading and maybe go onto the internet as well. Life was getting VERY interesting, Kallis decided. Nothing like this had happened to her when working in London!