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The Voice

I have just taken this picture sat in bed, I’m amazed how wooly and snugly everything is. The bed sheets look like little hills and I can half imagine them to be full of some wonderful creature called a Woolypuff that half gambols and half drifts along its fringes nibbling at the soft fields.

And that’s just the problem, my mind never switches off. Yes, it gets full of the serious stuff in life and suffers the usual worries of mundanity, uncertainty and depression but behind it all is another voice, a soft and at sometimes an almost berating voice that describes a world unseen. I suppose as I write this down it sounds like a form of schizophrenic madness but to me its become part of the norm.

It’s taken a more fanciful edge recently, I don’t know if it’s done this because I have let it have free reign during the creation of Bloodlines or because I’m getting older and listening to it more. Take the other day, I needed to write two stories unexpectedly, I had no starting point and little to inspire me until I looked in the fridge and was inspired to write this.

Britain and its allies were in a war that they didn’t know they would win; Europe was ablaze and the severe impacts of war time austerity took hold with an ever increasing grip. Rationing, be it for food or clothes presented a major problem for the British government. Documents recently made available through declassification outlines the extent that the government went to alleviate the problem as best they could.

Project M was one of the most extreme. It involved two things, firstly collaboration with experiments being performed on US warships using electro magnetic radiation to test Einstein’s unified field theory, a theory that does not officially exist although rumours abound that after its creation, Einstein realising it would seriously undermine core values of relativity destroyed the theory before his death and secondly to use the tests to conduct experiments combining known elements to make new materials for the periodic table.

The Philadelphia Experiment took place on the warship USS Eldridge around October 28, 1943. Official sources have always denied that the experiment went ahead but stories to this day talk of the warship becoming invisible for a short period of time and a displacement that enabled the warship to appear 200 miles away in an instant. Crew members it was reported were severely affected by the experiments and many upon the reappearance of the warship found themselves on different decks, suffering memory loss or acting out the same situations they did ten seconds earlier.

One sailor, was a British engineer called Arthur Tend. On active duty that day Arthur had gone one step further; the experiment had not unbalanced his mind rather his mind had remained in the place that it had been exposed to, he was straddling two worlds. He walked around interacting with thin air; he talked at length to unseen creatures, more importantly he gained information, lots and lots of information. The only problem was he talked in code.

This attracted the attention of the team behind Project M who wasn’t quite sure what they were dealing with so he was whisked back to the UK on a specially escorted flight directly to Bletchley Park, home of the governments Code and Cypher School for further studies. The first thing they did was give him a pencil and pad asking him to sketch what he saw. The painting you are looking at is an artist’s impression of his primitive sketches and descriptions.

Arthur described a calm peaceful world in perfect harmony with itself, filled with delightful creatures called Moogs. Looking like cloth cats they controlled their world with soft voices and gentle gestures, almost a polar opposite of the world he lived in. At times he would describe great journeys he had under taken, at other times he would stand still and press buttons on what looked like an imaginary book. The code he spoke was not a code at all; it was the language of the Moogs, one of many different languages the code breakers of Bletchley identified.

Over time Arthur became less willing to converse in our world and was more inclined to be found wandering the grounds, touching unseen things, having deep conversations and generally becoming more detracted from his surroundings.

Then one morning, he was gone. Arthur had disappeared along with one single item. A towel.

Scribbled on his notepad in letters three inches high was simply ‘Don’t Panic! I know the answer; all I need to understand is the question.’

As you can see, it’s all rather strange that a visit to the fridge inspired this particular story. And what particular part of the fridge contents did this? It was cheese, we had none and my mind wondered how it had disappeared without me realising, hence the strange tale of the disappearing battleship which slotted itself back into my subconscious after reading about the Philadelphia Experiment many, many years ago. Only now my inner voice had given it a new lease of life and combined it with other vague memories, I’m either going to go mad or I will make a colourful OAP in years to come.


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