our Area 51

Chapter IV – 51 expectations

Exactly 51 hours ago JE found himself lying on the floor, he had no clue where the hell he was. He felt a dull pain on the back of his head while trying to come to his senses. “I’ll take care of that in a minute”, he reasoned. Apart from the headache, darkness, and a slight feeling of anxiety, he had no doubt that all things were under his control. He wasn’t afraid, far from it, he felt unusually curious. A familiar scent lingered in the air. It smelled of freshly used guitar strings.

The smell was accompanied by drums beating somewhere far in the background, and someone shouting. A familiar situation for JE, and he easily concluded he must be in a practice room. He groped along the wall, felt destroyed wallpaper hanging down, cold stone, until he finally was able to grasp a doorknob. He felt slightly cheerful, at least until he pushed it down. Moving and dragging the knob up and down didn’t help, either. The door wouldn’t budge. JE was not at his wits end, so he decided to search for a window to scream for help. Perhaps someone might be out there. In the same moment he thought of looking for window, a new solution dawned on him, that might get him even closer to escaping. He dug into his jacket pocket, and was quite surprised to feel something he had not expected to be there.

Exactly 51 hours ago, when JE found himself lying on the floor, SEB had a really strange experience. In his version of the story he would call it “a cherry tree situation” – but that’s an entirely different matter. It was a sleepless night, and even after a glass of Bowmore Sea Dragon he simply couldn’t find any sleep. He stared deep into the darkness of his room and out of the window into the garden. There, he looked upon the big cherry tree standing right before the window. It seemed to SEB as if it were drawing up all the moonlight with its branches and limbs, grasping every ray. He closed his eyes for just a second, squinted and after opening them again, SEB saw a big crow sitting directly on the window sill. Its eyes were gloomy, and it was unusually large for such an animal. SEB thought his mind was laying tricks on him, projecting an illusion of a monstrous crow due to lack of sleep. He put his pillow over his head, hoping this would make the crow go away, and tried to fall asleep again. He waited several minutes, although he really couldn’t say how long. When he felt safe again, he risked taking a look at the window again. No crow to be seen. He got up from bed and scuffled to the window. What was wrong? Why was a big black bird with shimmering eyes like orbs of gold a reason to be afraid? And, was it even real? Hah. Once again, he looked at the window sill and was glad to see no crow was waiting there. “Perhaps my mind is lost in space”, he said to himself, nodding his head and half-opening the window. SEB turned around and while taking the steps back to bed he heard a sound he did not expect to hear.

CRIP, SLI and SAQ met early in the evening to discuss some new song ideas, while sharing a laugh and having a good time with other musicians from the cellar complex where their practice room was located. As a matter of course, they had no clue that a full 51 hours later they all would be reeling in shock of surprising events that were to take place. It was a typical evening, and it could have been any other evening, really. CRIP was busy talking about the new book he had just read from cover to cover without putting it down. SLI didn’t catch any details, but from time to time he reacted to some buzz-words like “music”, “sound”, “guitar” or “artist” by nodding his head or blinking with his eyes. When SAQ summed up the facts as alternative truths for himself, such as “Freddie Mercury named himself after the car Mercury Cougar and was born in Russia”, SLI always looked kind of shocked, glanced sideways and rolled his eyes. SAQ took to it like a duck taking to water by listing famous bands and their country of origin. It was CRIP who saved the situation before SLI’s face would meltdown in a cacophonay of grimaces: “Who wants to help me with our equipment? We should pack things together for our big move to our new practice room.” SLI was happy with that and asked the question no one risked to ask in this moment: “But where….?” The silence after the question was pierced by someone opening the door and blundering into the room, someone CRIP, SAQ and SLI had surely not expected to see.