We were enjoying a sunny day at an art fair in Delray. A man was selling exquisite animal costumes with lifelike heads and hands and fur and eyes. People were strolling and mingling. Children had snow cones. We laughed a lot and bought hot dogs and funnel cakes with mounds of powdered sugar and drank beer at a picnic table until dusk. We walked as a loose group to the car which was parked in front of an antique shop dispensing old model airplanes and pickup trucks and rocking horses. It seems hazy now.
A person dressed as an elk with a multitude of points on its antlers pushed a baby carriage behind us. It was quiet. She was scared of the elk person. We tightened our ranks and quickened our pace for her. The elk kept up so we sped up. The elk abandoned the baby carriage and it fell to the side, spilling nothing at all. We ran. It gave chase. We went into the antique shop. A dusty record was playing a hissy and POP laden “brother can you spare a dime” somewhere in the shop, whose dimensions seemed larger on the inside than the facade. The elk person sat on the ground with its legs crossed in front of the shop facing the glass door. I wandered alone into the cluttered and endless world of the shop. I found a white-haired and pleasant looking old woman in a Victorian chair next to the machine spewing Bing Crosby’s voice. She suggested that we would be safer if we all went upstairs for a while as if this thing with the elk was something of a regular occurrence. She showed me to an iron, spiral staircase leading to a hole in the ceiling which emitted a warm tungsten glow into the dimly lit shop. She and I made our way to the front of the store to find the rest of my party huddled to either side of the glass door. I introduced them to her and told them of her plan and my endorsement of it.
The room upstairs was as pleasant as the old woman and she made us tea. We watched the elk from the window. It didn’t move. The old woman couldn’t explain it to us. When the moon was high, the elk man stood up and raised its elk eyes to the window. There was an increasingly loud humming sound. An old warplane, like one in the shop below, hovered slowly into view. It flew low over the landscape. When it was in full view, its belly opened like a mouth and it spit out a giant white pill form. One of the girls said, “Well there it is.” We braced ourselves in corners and door frames. Everything outside the window became illuminated at once in a camera flash. There was no blast or fire and nothing moved but a force hit us. It moved through us and around us. It was like diving into gelatin. We were bent and stretched like the string of an archer’s bow. And when it passed us, we snapped back. There wasn’t so much pain as shock. And we waited there. The pleasant old woman made more tea. When we were all through with the initial shock and asking questions of the woman only to receive no answer, one of the girls returned to the window. We followed suit and saw the elk person still standing and looking back up at us, unharmed and unshaken. It lowered its head and turned and walked away. The pleasant old woman said, “Well there it is.”