The Party Over there

It was the singing and dancing that attracted me at first. I’d only seen humans having fun on a couple of occasions before but I instantly recognised it for what it was. The assembled group were wearing clothes that were, I assumed, smarter than their usual fare. Their hairs were brushed to either be pointing in the same direction, or deliberately in different directions, and severed in such a way that they all stopped at appropriately the same length.

I am an eager observer of human behaviour.

They had set up a number of contraptions to emit rhythmic noise which combined with the sounds of their enthusiastic verbal communication in a pleasing manner. I sniffed the air and could detect the aromas of cooked food. I wondered how that tasted.

It was then that one of them spotted me – I had become complacent, spending all of these years on my own in the woods.
‘Look. Over’er… Issa big monkey!’ he said, pointing.
‘Nah mate – tha’s a human, that is. Look he got no hair on his forehead!’
The chatter stopped but the music continued – on its own it was hollow and upsetting. I wondered what to do. They all stared at me. I drank in their gaze, enjoying the rare attention. I ran.

I knew none of them would be sober nor fast enough to catch me. I was in no danger. But as as bounded a route through gaps in trees that I knew better than anything else in my world, I felt a sadness welling in my belly.

This was as close as I’d get to being one of them.
Maybe it was close enough.

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David Baillie is a freelance writer and artist. Born almost thirty years ago in Scotland, he now lives and works in the East End of London.

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