I want you, to take me, back into the past.
Northern England, 1975.
A lone figure stands in a gloomy afternoon Autumnal landscape. The atmosphere is heavy with damp and the sun shines with a hazy, unnatural light. The wind is howling through the trees, but the sound is artificial, machine made. Flickering scraps of song can also be heard, wraiths of melody slowed down and leaking from long abandoned cassette players.
The figure is motionless and has in his hand an invitation card.
The pathway is thick with mud and swollen with puddles. Tyre tracks twist and churn over each other. Signposts have been weather-beaten and worn smooth, they are unmarked and quite unhelpful. To your left a row of pylons tower across the landscape, carrying the wrong kind of electricity. To your right a muted field of discontented crops home to a family of scarecrows,
their tatty clothes flapping with life. Behind them the haunted remains of Magpie Mine.
As you approach the figure, it becomes clear that they are fashionably dressed in evening attire, and seem unaffected by the atmospheric inclemency. You are only moments away when a telephone begins to ring. There isn’t much time left. The figure hands you an invitation card.
The Hallway is dreamy and welcoming, and filled with a large assortment of partygoers.
The tables are piled high with extravagant food and an unusual fragrance drifts through the air, rich with fruit and woody notes. Suggestive of something you just can’t quite put your finger on.
As you mingle with your fellow guests, you begin to recognise some of the faces.
There’s Davis Thatch holding court with Reg Crump, a newsreader from the local television station. A gentleman from the department store is performing a variety of card-tricks with deft slight-of-hand techniques. As you get closer you notice that the cards he uses are of a most unusual design. The more you watch, the slower he seems to be moving, but still your eyes cannot catch him out. Orchestra leader Sylvia Mogg is chatting away to three gentlemen in identical blue suits. But didn’t she die in a Wassailing mishap several years ago? And always in the background you notice a tall, sinister man wearing a most unusual mask.
You are introduced to identical twins in matching ball-gowns. One is known as ‘The Artist’ and the other, ‘The Writer’. Both move in a most unsettling manner.
After a good half-hour of mingling, you watch as the host taps upon three glasses and quietens the room. Gesturing toward an odd symbol upon the floor, he announces: ‘It’s time for Shoes off and Chairs away...’