I just obtained my parents' copy of 'War of the Worlds' on vinyl for my birthday... and I love it! It also gave me the best idea for a story.
The stylus landed softly on the vinyl as the turntable spun silently, the shine of the metal reflected off my overhead living room light and the start of ‘War of the Worlds’ vibrated out of my stereo speakers.
I lowered the tinted lid over the spinning vinyl gentle, soft, sweet... let go of it and stepped backwards, felt for my armchair and sank back into it, listening to the old-fashioned sounds of the 1970’s fill my senses.
This was how it this album was supposed to heard!
I had always loved this vinyl – right from the time my Dad had recorded it onto a couple of TDK cassette tapes and took them to the coast to play when it was late at night and there was nothing to do but down a few beers and stare at the stars overheard... and wonder if H.G. Wells was right.
Closing my eyes, I heard the narrative fill my world, my head and the outside world vanish into the ether. Now was the time this vinyl was happening... now was the time... yes... it... was...
I woke to silence.
I woke to darkness in my living room.
Did I fall asleep?
Did the power fail?
Had there been a short in my house?
I started to rise from my seat and froze when I spotted two bright red eyes staring at me from across the room, “Who’s there?” my voice sounded loud in the dead silence of the darkness surrounding me.
In a high pitched whine, from across the room, a voice replied, “Who’s there?” and the red eyes blinked momentarily and shifted as though it was hearing itself for the very first time. It was then I understood that it could see me, but it knew I couldn’t see it and it had gotten into my house somehow.
Leaning forward, I strained my eyes to see how big this thing was but couldn’t see anything, “What are you?”
It didn’t answer me, instead the intense red eyes move closer to me, looking me over closely – as though to inspect every part of me – and a clicking, wiring sound came from it, “What are you?”
“I am a Human Being.”
It stopped the inspection for a moment.
“I am a Homosapien – also known as a Human Being.” I said quiet, sitting still, “What’s with the lights?”
“Silence, Human.” It’s voice snapped.
“You’re in my house, so I ask the questions.” I retorted, “So what’s with the lights?”
“You called us.”
“No. I played ‘War of the Worlds’ on vinyl.”
“You called us.” The voice hissed in its high pitch.
I didn’t understand how I called them, so I sat there in silence trying to figure out how in the Hell I called them, “Can I make a phone call?”
I felt for my mobile and called Dad, who picked up immediately, “Dad, you know your vinyl of ‘War of the Worlds’, is it a signalling device?”
“Did you play it?” he asked.
“Well, yeah, what else would I do with it? I’m sitting in the dark over here with some weird alien thing inspecting me with red eyes.”
“Oh man... that vinyl was an original pressing from the UK.” He sighed over the phone, “I got it from Woking.”
“So, this is a vinyl with extra shit on it that none of the others have?” I asked.
“Well, you know I worked in that studio when they recorded that in the 70’s, right?”
“Yeah. Oh shit.”
“Well, extra sounds went into it – stuff we can’t hear but they can.” He said, “The reason why I never played it here at home, but I did when we went camping was because they’d show up at the camp site. You just don’t remember it.”
“But they remember you.” He said, “You were their favourite.”
“I’m the youngest in the family.”
“That’s the reason why they liked you so much.”
“How do I ... get them to leave?”
“That’s the thing, son... you’re not at home anymore.”
I looked over at the red set of eyes, “Where am I?” The eyes blinked slow and moved backwards away from me. Then, I asked into the phone, “Dad, where am I?”
“Well, we’re in your living room... and you’re not here. So, you’re on the ship.”
“How do I get home?”
I heard Mum crying in the background as he sniffed, “This time you may not be able to.”
“They destroyed the vinyl.”