Where The Light Goes
The Saga Of My Brother, Who Is Not A Fabrication: Part 1.
When you turn off the light switch, the light disappears. Any child might
reasonably ask where it goes, but reasonable answers have not been forthcoming.
will spout some cock-and-bull story about the conservation
and change of forms
, but that's only because they haven't been
able to track it down. After some experimenting, however, we have discovered
that it zips out the door, round the world and comes to rest in our upstairs
. It's a bloody nuisance
When we first moved
in (the house's previous owner had neglected to mention this feature) we
tried everything. We fiddled with lenses and prisms and all manner of foolproof
plans, but it just made its way back. Our house became famous locally and
it was impossible to sell. It tormented us for years.
One day my uncle
announced that he had a theory. He spent all night in the bathroom playing
with blacklights and polaroids and dead batteries. We were all woken in
the middle of the night when the glare from the bathroom disappeared. Unfortunately,
the light soon built up again and from then on my uncle glowed with a brilliant
halo. He was left a bitter, disillusioned (optically disillusioned,
we joked, but not while he was around) and angry man. He wore sunglasses.
It was then that
my brother decided to take action. He retreated for several days to his
bedroom. When he finally emerged it was with a smug grin on his face. He
appropriated my mother's purse and left for Mr. Woody's DIY shop. He returned
brandishing (an impressive feat, since it was six by three feet across)
a new mirror. My mother snatched her purse back and cuffed him around the
ear. "We tried that already, daft boy," she said. "It melted, remember?".
She left huffily to finish drawing her schematics. Not schematics of anything
in particular. Just general schematics, but that's another story.
My brother, however,
still smirked. He smirked in that way he soon learned to lose, as it endeared
him to nobody. However, it told me that he knew more than the rest of us.
He carried the mirror in the front door and bumped it up the stairs. Dragging
it to the bathroom door, he took out a small hand mirror and held the two
Night fell, then
and there and everywhere. My brother continued to smirk in the darkness.
He handed the small mirror to me and took hold of its cousin. Risking multiple
strangulated hernias apiece, we hefted the mirrors down the stairs. They
suddenly seemed intensely heavy. We bore the mirrors out onto the road
and quickly put them down, as they were already growing uncomfortably hot.
Waiting in the dark we watched as the two mirrors grew red-hot and soon
melted, just as my mother had predicted. However, the light had indeed
been moved. It swarmed over the remains of the mirrors, no longer to trouble
It was reported in
scientific journals that upon that day, there had been an "inexplicable
phenomenon", resulting in the necessity of recalibrating every astronomical
telescope and chart in existence. It was almost as if, they reported, the
Earth had been minutely adjusted in its rotation.
We called in several
respectable physicists to look at the melted mirrors but unfortunately
they were stolen before they could get there, as at that time respectable
physicists were a valuable commodity.
Part 2: The Device Of Many Uses