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The New Bible Project

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fragment, 17.5.07 [May. 17th, 2007|07:01 am]
The New Bible Project



Coming downstairs to breakfast one morning, Mr Holliday opened the door to collect the newspaper and saw a coil sitting there instead. It was about eighteen inches tall, with a jet-black surface that reflected trees and the rectangle of the door in silver. Something told him not to touch it: instead, smoothing back his thinning brown hair in perplexity, he called his wife downstairs.

Mrs Holliday was taller and far more portly than her husband, with an intelligence in her face that made it look ten years younger than the five decades to have weathered it. Mr Holliday had a face like a small pale nutshell, but soft-eyed and expressive. The romance in their relationship had seeped from their words, leaving them bone-hard; and if there was any left, it lay in the look he sometimes gave her. Standing framed in the morning light with his eyes turned towards her, she saw it in them now, and sniffed, something she always did to hide a deep pleasure.

"What do you make of that?" Mr Holliday said, his eyes turned humourously upwards and gesturing with thick short fingers. "Do you think we're s'posed to open it or something?"


Out in the street, there were coils dotted along the pavement, at a distance of maybe a dozen paces from each other. As he craned his neck to look outwards, Mr Holliday could make out a faint buzzing noise, the sort you hear from the tubes in television screens.

There was nothing else in the street except for an abandoned bicycle alongside two bags of post - it was early, and the weekend besides.

"It's like ... an alien invasion ..." Mr Holliday breathed.

"Don't be ridiculous, Billy. Don't you find it rather strange how the coils are everywhere, but not on the road? Look, they're even in people's gardens. Obviously someone had to be able to transport them about, and that's why they're not in the road. It's probably some bloody prank."

"Ethel, no!"

As Ethel reached down and touched the coil with the intention of picking it up, she found herself in Victoria Station, where several old people in dressing gowns and a disconsolate-looking partygoer were talking to police.