by E E Coder
The deepening darkness began to obscure the sight of it, but I know what I saw.
One Summer Evening
I didn’t believe Earl’s story. After all, he was the town drunk; waves of alcoholic fumes wafted off him as he rushed into the barbershop.
I was just putting the finishing touches on young Billy Harkins' hair when the door crashed open; if the crash hadn’t made my hand jump, Earl’s screams surely would have done the trick. Billy blamed me, but it was Earl’s fault, not mine.
“Jerry, Billy, Mayor Harkins!” Earl screamed, “I saw them, they were right there, plain as day!”
“Damn it, Earl!” I said, trying to hold young Billy down before he could get a glimpse of the bare spot just above his left ear. “How many times have I told you not to come in here when you’re drunk? I’m going to skin you alive!”
“I ain’t drunk!” Earl squealed, slamming the door. “I had hardly a drop tonight!”
Frank Harkins, our mayor and Billy’s dad, was trying to pull his wet trousers away from his tender parts. The cup of hot coffee he had been holding, now lay on the floor.
“God Almighty!” he roared, dancing up and down, “Earl, you drunk sonofabitch! I swear, I am going to have the sheriff lock you up and throw away the key!”
“I ain’t drunk, damn it!” Earl roared right back before realizing it was the mayor he was talking to. “Oh, sorry Mayor, I ain’t drunk though! I know what I saw, right down on Maple Street, near the park. There were little people, no bigger than a squirrel, and fairy mites, flashing, flying and darting all around!”
The debate over whether or not Earl was drunk ended as he fainted in front of our eyes
“Well, good Lord.” Mayor Harkins said, “Jerry, you better phone the sheriff. He needs to haul this idiot to jail. Billy, don’t just sit there with your mouth gaped open, we’re going home. I don’t think you need to pay Jerry for that haircut.”
I couldn’t argue that point and ushered Billy from the chair before he could get a better look at his new cowlick. I turned over the Closed sign and watched Mayor Harkins and young Billy march up the street, Billy rubbing his head and the mayor still holding his wet trousers away from his tender parts.
Earl didn’t waken when Sheriff Jenkins collected him, muttering something about fairy mites as the sheriff picked him up. The sheriff muttered something about life being too short and his wife needing to do laundry tonight.
I finished sweeping up and turned off the lights.
My house was down at the corner of Maple and Oak, just across from the park. Generally, I can walk that distance before dark completely sets in.
As I crossed Oak Street, out of the corner of my eye I saw a small flashing light. I stopped and stared a minute, maybe two, probably a lot more. The deepening darkness began to obscure the sight of it, but I know what I saw.
I'm not telling anyone, though.