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Too thrilled by the notion to recall exactly

When it began Winston Joyce jumped into bed

Lay on his back, focussed on the ceiling, relaxed

Cleared his mind, closed his eyes and waited


It wasn’t long before distant thunder gave him

Reason to pause. He’d only recently discovered

That what he was doing had a name and was

Known in the adult world as astral projection, the

Art of leaving the body to roam the aether as a

Spiritual entity. With a storm rapidly approaching

He wondered about the wisdom of rising from his

Body with the air so heavily charged and so much

Wild electricity about


Too late was the cry, for here he was looking

Down at himself from the ceiling. As ever, he

Never knew precisely when his other self

Would suddenly spring free, it just happened

Quite without warning. One minute there was

One Winston Joyce laid in bed seemingly

Asleep and the next and in a flash there were

Two Winston Joyces, a spiritual copy free as

A bird and hovering over the bed


A loud clap of thunder made both boys jump

And as it rolled off into the distance it was clear

That neither party had suffered any harm. This

Is not to say it was totally safe to explore during

A thunder storm but thus far, and to all intents

And purposes and all things considered, it looked

To be well worth the risk


Drawn by the lightning, Winston moved towards

The window catching sight of the moon playing

Hide and seek through billowing clouds - the storm

Looked to be short-lived and a final flash of sheet

Lightning gave notice of a calmer night to come


Hovering by the window, Winston did as he’d

Done so often before, he chanced a hand through

The glass and retrieving it fully intact passed bodily

Through the glass and onto the roof. Having left his

Worldly body behind Winston could no longer touch

Things with effect, his fingers went straight through

He couldn’t pick anything up, change anything or

For that matter write anything he might wish to

Leave behind. This said, he could however fly like

A bird and at a speed which saw him reach the end

Of the street faster than the best athlete of the day


Exciting as this was, he always kept in mind the

Words of wise old lady who learning of his escapades

Warned of the dangers of breaking the golden thread

Said to hold body and soul together. To date, he was

Not aware of a thread but didn’t completely discount

The possibility of an invisible thread over which great

Care must be taken too avoid severing the vital link

Between life and death. Thus Winston always moved

Away from his body at a rate he judged to be safe, a

Few feet at a time until he was well clear


If there is a heaven then surely this must be the route

But that notion is for another time. Right now there is

So much to be explored and so much life ahead in need

Of a chap’s attention. At the end of the street he turned

Right heading towards ‘town,’ a title from the distant past

For this is now a great city once Christened Cottonopolis

And where in earlier times raw cotton from America came

To be spun and turned into cloth in the once bustling

Mighty mills of Lancashire


Everything below was as it should be until Winston

Reached Exchange Station whereupon he found a

City he hardly recognised, there where no cars only

Carriages, no buses only trams and in the sallow glow

Of sprightly mantles trolley wires criss-crossed beneath

Him. He was outside Manchester Cathedral in olden

Times, times long before he was born and buildings

Long gone in the Blitz were back in place. ‘Town’

Was a beehive of busyness, people pushing passed

People, handcarts rattling over cobbles, dogs barking

Trams sparking and the river Irk nearby ran full and



Winston had crossed yet another threshold. He had

Left his body behind and somewhere along the way

Slipped back in in time. Is this what spirits do he

Wondered, perhaps the soul is a timeless entity able

To travel backwards and forwards in time, free to

Wonder at will. This time thing began to play on his

Mind, was he dead? Had he explored too far, too

Fast and ignoring the warning of the wise old lady

Lost contact with his body and now about to stay

In the spirit world forever?


Losing his nerve a little and thinking what if home

Wasn’t there anymore, what would he do, where

Would he go? This last thought hung heavy on his

Heart prompting Winston to wheel round and race

For home in the hope that home would be where he

Left it. Counting the buildings, counting the streets

He turned right over Waterloo Road and as he left

The city on the last leg of his journey things suddenly

Became normal again. The baker was already baking

The morning’s bread and a familiar bike leant against

The newsagents wall and by the time Winston sped

Across the dewy rooftops of his own street he was

Almost certain he’d soon be back in his body, safe

And fast asleep in his own bed


Over breakfast he pondered the previous night’s strange

Adventure, where had he been and why? The time-shift

Notion left him completely flummoxed but appealing

To the internet later, he read much about the human

Body being composed of some 97% stardust and perhaps

Therein lay a clue; might it be possible he speculated that

Like ET something within him wanted to go - Home!


Putting this exciting thought on hold, he resolved to

Explore further that very night

© Joseph G Dawson

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