We Are Among You: Episode 3

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Picture by Insane Brain Products

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It’s Kimi’s turn for make-up. The new document reads “Oswald Finches”. He looks very shabby; his rock star clothes maintain some degree of style in spite of bruises and tears. “Let’s see what we can do with this handsome mess of  a man.”

He cleans up the unshaven face, grows a goatee at the bottom of his chin and a curly mustache above his cheeky grin. He moderately inflates shoulders, biceps, and pectorals of the otherwise cocaine-slim torso of his avatar body. He brightens its complexion and darkens its light brown eyes. The hair shortens in a neat and elegant chestnut wave. The devilish appearance fits his flippant humor. They both look at their mirrors and morph the picture in their passports with their index finger as if it was a portrait.

“Well, I can say you’re on the level, Oswald” comments Juma, visibly satisfied. “Before being interrupted, you were talking about the download from the Source…”

“Yes. There was a golden plate, a historical building and a seagull flying by.”

“Let’s go, then.”

“Wait a minute. Let’s check if there are any clues here.” He starts fumbling about in the loft. He stops at the bookshelf, and the church bells ring from outside the window. He grasps the sign. “Ahhh, there you go. Going To The Big Something Out Of Skye. It’s a short story, says the author. And here, you find: ‘The salt is in the air, the seagulls guard the land…’ They must be coastal birds.”

“We’ve got to go to the seaside.”

“Yes, a seaside town with historical buildings.”

“Mmmm, could it be Skye?”

“Maybe… Oh! I saw humans satisfying their curious minds using tablets at the cafeteria. You’ve got a small one in your pocket I can see the bulge.”

“You eyed my pants very carefully, he?”

“We’re on a mission,” she slaps his bum where phone protrudes, “come on. Check.”

“No, it’s not Skye. The buildings are more like… ehm, it must be a city… one of these… Oh! Look, this one: Edinburgh.”

“Quite close to the sea. Good enough for me. Shall we teleport?”

“Nah, I will take the train. It’s only four hours away. You can teleport there if you wish. I will explore humanity a bit… and feel on my skin what they call ‘waiting’.”

“See you there. Hey,” she grasps his chin and stares at his eyes, ”don’t get sucked by the 3D. Remember: be present, stay centred in the heart.”

“You too.”

“I’ll check the place for us.” Juma’s skin sizzles impressively while her mouth makes funny barking noises. A second later she sparks away.

“Woah, this body feels different without Juma around… Anyways. Oh, what’s that?” He reaches out for the acoustic guitar hanging on the wall. He touches the strings and feels amazed by the harmonic effect: “Oooh. I must show this to Juma.”

Linda Harriesmouth – a.k.a. alien in disguise beyond suspicion – appears suddenly above a tree on the slope of Edinburgh Castle. She levitates for a second, then plummets in a maple canopy and rolls downhill spectacularly. Tourists run to her rescue. A middle-aged Chinese man with his camera croaks above her: “You good? You good? Call ambulance, call ambulance.”

“No, no it’s fine. No call. I’m good.” She lifts her butt up. “Edinburgh, right?”

“Yes, you hit your head miss?”

“Nope, thank you, my friend.” She produces a 20£ note and gives it to the Chinese man. He’s confused by the unnecessary generosity while the woman throws herself down the slope. Once in Grassmarket Square, she notices the seagulls flying idly above her: “This must be the place.” In the polyglot crowd, she glimpses a tall, old man wearing a brown top hat staring at her. He suddenly disappears: “Wait!” That guy must be a clue. She gathers all the stillness she can, then focuses on her third eye, but nothing. Time to eat; she smells food everywhere, her belly starts to sing like a whale. “Now I see why most of them are asleep… Overstimulation of the senses! It’s everywhere, in the sounds, in the colours, these delicious smells!”

“Pardon me, lady?” a middle-aged worker with an orange gilet is puzzled by her monologue.

“No, never mind,” she smiles and hands him a 20£ note.

“What the f…”

“Don’t worry, I have many of those, I find them there,” she points at an ATM, “get yourself some, you can get food with that,” she winks and walks away smiling. The man is speechless.

Juma finally finds a pie shop and have six of them – it’s worth trying them all, she figures.

Kimi’s on the train with his guitar case. Suddenly the guy in front of him starts socializing with the girl sitting beside him. He perceives a peculiar kind of energy: the fresh vibe of a new encounter. Kimi’s fascinated and spontaneously asks the guy interrupting them: “Do you play guitar?”

The guy didn’t expect Oswald to guess it. “Yes, I do,” he answers with his Spanish accent.

“Would you play something for us?”

“Here, on the train…”

“It would be amazing!” chimes in the blue-eyed French girl and the freckles on her face glow candidly.

“Ah-han,” winks Kimi handing him the guitar.

Fernando confidently holds the classical guitar and gradually becomes one with Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven before Kimi’s amazed eyes. “So this is… music.” He gasps.

 

Herons

 

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Click the title of the song to listen to the version of Moonlight Sonata by Ludvig Van Beethoven that has inspired this story.

 

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