Voices from beyond.
All this and more …
At The Top of The Tall Tree
The policeman said they found Dad standing right at the top of the tall tree in the field behind the supermarket. Right at the top. He was standing on a thin branch with his hands behind his back. It was night time and windy and the person that saw him said they called the police because it looked like he was about to jump. It took two fire engines to get him down. He had no clothes on when they put him in the ambulance. Mum didn’t understand. Neither did the policeman.
‘We have no idea how he got there, madam. The tree is far too tall to climb. It is as if he just appeared there.’
The policeman said that he would have to stay in hospital for a little while. They needed to conduct their investigation and Dad would have to be thoroughly evaluated before he was able to come home. The policeman saw that I looked upset.
‘Don’t worry, your Dad will soon be home. It was lucky for him that we found him when we did.’
A few days later we were able to visit Dad. He looked really normal. I saw there were straps on his wrists that were attached to the bed. Mum said it was for his own safety. Dad smiled when he saw me.
‘Hey, kid, thanks for coming.’
I didn’t know what to say. I just smiled. Mum sat on the chair by the bed. She held Dad’s hand.
‘Can you remember what happened?’
‘Of course I can, I can remember everything that happened.’
I sat down on the end of the bed. Dad smiled at me. I felt a bit better. He looked just like how Dad had always been. I tried not to look at the straps. Mum squeezed Dad’s hand. Dad kept talking.
‘I knew we needed some milk so I popped into the supermarket. I was walking past the magazines when I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see a baby in a pushchair. The baby’s mother was reading a newspaper. The baby said it was my turn to meet Them. It said that they were getting angry and I had to calm Them down.’
Dad spoke very slowly.
‘They aren’t the kind to wait for anything.’
I thought the whole thing sounded really weird. Dad just grinned.
‘The baby said it would be really bad for the world if I didn’t make them happy.’
Mum didn’t say anything. She didn’t look at me. Dad finished his story.
‘I asked the baby what to do and it told me not to worry. The baby said I would know when the time came.’
Dad stopped talking. He looked at me and Mum. He wasn’t grinning anymore. He looked worried. Very worried.
‘Has anyone asked the baby if I managed to make Them happy?’