It took me a while to reverse back from the cul-de-sac, I managed it though, a little stop-start-shuffle, a bit like a quickstep, but I managed it. By the time I got back to where I turned into the cul-de-sac lane it was getting dark; maybe that was why I didn’t recognise the road that I’d reversed back onto. Must be the dusk making everything look different. Dusk did that didn’t it? Changed things, made some things look bigger and others look smaller, shifted by the grey light – not quite light but not yet dark. ‘The most dangerous time of day to drive, neither night nor day.’ My dad used to say.
The most dangerous time of day, or was it night? Nether-night I call it.
Taking the Puckmobile out of reverse, and pushing the long gear stick up into first, I moved forward. No, I didn’t recognise this road at all. The nether-night had succumbed to quite-dark now, moonless. Long purple shadows jumped out on each side of me as I drove along, large coloured moths, attracted by my headlamps, flew at me as I pushed forward, tigers and greys and whites. Most veered off before they hit the shine of the headlamps but I knew that when I eventually stopped I’d find a few gooey lumps stuck to the glass.
Bats skittered above me, puddles splashed diamonds as my tyres passed through them. No, this wasn’t the same road at all. This was a road to somewhere else altogether.
That was the thing with this journey. Wherever I thought I was going, I wasn’t. Whenever I tried to get somewhere, I arrived at a different destination. It was almost as if the Puckmobile was in change, not me at all. Hey, who was I kidding - in charge – me? No, I might be driving, but someone or something else was driving our destination.
“Just go with the flow.” Luna purred from the dashboard where she’d curled up earlier. “We’re going where we are going, just enjoy - who knows we might be going somewhere good.”
Somewhere else, somewhere good; I concentrated on the road ahead trying to avoid the moths, following the bats, just going where we were going, the purple shadows jumping out in front of us, running alongside for a second, then falling away behind. It was like being trapped in a Harman-Ising cartoon, all I needed was for Bosco and his friends to jump out of the bushes.
Enjoy. Enjoy? I needed to know where I was going, needed to feel in control. I wasn’t some smug white kitten with nothing to lose, some flighty feline wanting to know the ins and outs of big wide world. I was, I was… actually, just what was I?
Flighty? The ins and outs of the world?
And then up ahead I saw a glow.