By late afternoon Mac had reconnoitred the countryside about the town. To his pleasant surprise finding ways over the surrounding hills and valleys was much the same. The altered position of the paths and dry stone walls, a few in a state of disrepair, made some routes different however. The town itself nestled in an identical location but it encroached more on the greenery, taking no account of wildlife or nature it would seem by the haphazard planning and building. There appeared to be no provision for recreation or enjoyment either, and he wondered whether the population factored time into their lives for rest. It certainly appeared not by the way they rushed about the place, be it on foot or in noisy vehicles.

Certain aspects of the walk had favoured the eye and mind alike. Sheep and their newborn lambs frolicked in the field, bleating for milk and reassurance alike. Lapwing diverted any attention from their ground level nests by circling around and calling a shrill tone from a place far removed, and cows grazed their way through green fields. One bull and cow in particular had payed him more attention than desired. Laid down by a stile the pair had refused to move and let him by, and in negotiated a way around, the stocky bull had growled slightly. He could almost be back home.

Almost, but not. Other oddities bothered him immensely, and one in particular. Dispersed all about the valleys and slopes, whichever view was taken from the high roads he had reached by mid afternoon, were occasional fields of an indecently bright yellow crop. These shockingly intruded on the subtle green and amber of nature itself. It hurt the eye to look on them at times, when the sun shone from the opposite direction. To add to the grief a lot if this offence was instead of lush green forest. If any one thing confirmed his wrench from one place to another this luminous array did just that.

He had started to keep a diary on his handheld and take some photos as well. Goodness knows nobody would believe the story on his return if there was no evidence to back it up. Also tomorrow, at the same time of his passing, as that is what he decided to called it, he would attempt a return back home. By reversing the steps through the bridge, trains permitting, a way back might be achieved.

His first audio entry was spoken quietly, as if to whisper a secret. “This is no dream, I feel so awake, so excited, and dreams can’t possibly go on so long. It’s not a coma either. I’m so aware, with pinpoint accuracy, not wandering in and out of sensations, but I’ve never awoke from a coma so don’t know.”

All afternoon that same, dull background humming sound had not ceased, even outside the town limits. In the blue sky however, an explanation for the odd straight white lines of cloud presented itself. It was from aircraft, presumably burning some kind of fuel which polluted the atmosphere with a criss-cross patchwork betraying their flightpath.

Like his own town, the church occupied the highest position. All the roads and development appeared to have radiated out from that point, so presumably both locales had experienced similar growth in early times. But recently this towns history had taken off at a dramatic different tangent, and not one that favoured the habitat.

Amongst the offerings of litter en route he had come across a newspaper left on a gate of all places. It offered a strange and frightening read. He reported as much. “The date, day, month even year have not changed from this morning. The place I am in definitely has though.” A snap of the front page told the same. Having only glanced at a few headlines it had to be enough for the time being, because mid entry, as luck would have it, he had come across some food.

A pheasant, dead on a side road had satisfied his afternoon hunger. Still warm when he came upon it, after skinning and roasting over a small fire the bird’s demise had not been in vain. Why anyone would leave it where it lie though was a mystery. Even more mysterious was the discovery it had not been shot either, so it must have met it’s death facing a vehicle of some kind.

Finding a secluded spot for the feast, was necessary and easy. In defence of being found lighting a fire, not knowing if doing so was an acceptable pastime, he came upon the perfect place within a crag. Running by the outcrop a small stream had nourished him with liquid, drank and kept for later by means of a plastic bottle found floating on the clear, fresh water.

The truth was out really. On reading the newspaper articles and calmly taking in all about it was unfortunately the case that this was another world. He felt extraordinarily alive though, joyous as well, but in awe of the event which had taken place. The theory of other parallel universes was well known and the conclusion that this is what had happened was obvious.

As he spoke there was a tremor in his voice. “I am in a another world, time, universe, call it what you will. Somehow membranes have touched long enough for me to be sent from my time, passed through a portal into this!” The afternoons walkabout was final confirmation. There could be no doubting this explanation on the matter. Whatever discussion or argument, he always came to the same end point.

Along a narrow lane, a very small abandoned brick hut, no door on the jome and housing a dry interior offered a place to bed down for the night if no other possibilities arose. Mac had looked inside and decided that the litter of cans, bottles and paper on the floor could easily be swept aside to give him a surface to sleep. He felt more at ease knowing this would be somewhere to spend the night. A photo of the hut was one of many images captured.

“Not that it looks like rain but I would rather have a shelter than not. If I’d known this was to happen I would’ve brought a haversack and sleeping bag along!” he joked in the log. “The entire passage of seconds, minutes and hours is correct, and all my emotions are normal whatever that means now. No, the only possible, sensible scenario could be one of science and not imagination.”

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