It feels so strange.
Up there we can see the plane getting closer and closer.
You know we don't have any chance of escaping this crash.
It's so close. One of the aircraft wings has fallen off. The plane is falling. It's now skidding along this road. The other intact wing tearing the houses apart. The nose of the plane is getting closer and closer
Screaming. I can hear screaming.
The light around us is getting brighter and brighter and now...
Can you feel it?
The heat. Can you hear the huge sounds of crashing and screaming. The heat.
It's so powerful.
But can you hear the voices? Russian voices. French voices. French children.
Oh, the pain. I feel the pain. I feel the anguish. I feel the anger. The confusion.
Hold my shoulder. Don't let go.
I don't where we are. I don't know who we are.
It's twisting. Everything's twisting.
We're somewhere? Are on the road? Are we in a car? Are we in an ambulance?
And then nothing.
Everything is a jumble around us. Everything's twisted around us. Metal. Wood. Plastic. And smoke.
Is this what it's like after 5pm?
I bet it must feel wonderful walking in the open air instead of being locked up in that cell. Yeah I know it was actually only overnight for you. (For me it was a week.)
But... You must be starving. Come on - we'll go and get some food. Now it's 1973. Some of the things I picked up for hardly anything when it was 1955 are now highly collectable in 1973. So I've got some money. The strange thing is whilst I'm holding US dollars, because it's 1973 the American dollar has been devalued 10%. So it might be a good idea to try and find some American kind of place to eat. (Instead of trying to exchange this money for some other country's currency.)
1973 is quite a strange time. President Nixon just been sworn in as president after his second election victory. Of course you and I both know he's not president for another four years. In fact the Watergate scandal starts the middle of this year.
Hang on a minute. Can you hear something?
Yeah it's some sort of sounds coming from above.
Over there. Look at it. It's some sort of- it looks like a- you know, like a Concorde plane or something.
Hang on a minute. Someone next you is trying to attract our attention.
I'll talk with him.
Oh, he's now decided to walk off.
Did you hear what he said then?
You weren't listening were you?
Yeah I know It's a bit distracting seeing a plane falling pretty well direct at us.
Alright we'll run now quickly.
You noticed how that guy wasn't terribly bothered about the plane?
Look over your shoulder. The plane's really close. We've got no chance of running away in time.
But he said it seems everything will be fine. I don't know what he meant by that.
Apparently it crashes every week at this time.
Hi, I'm back. I didn't forget you. I take it the police have been okay with you even though you've been locked here in solitary.
Well, I heard them mocking you for not being real but I've got some good news.
Hang on - here - I'll just dig it out of my jacket. Check they're not spying on us through that door's hatchway. The police didn't search me too well before coming in here. Let's face it they think someone who's not real can't escape.
We'll go with that one. It's given me an idea.
First of all - have this to eat. It's a Marathon bar. Yes I know you can read the label - sorry about that. It's an American candy bar. It's just been released in 1973. I don't think it melted very much in my jacket. Yeah, it's like the British CurlyWurly bars.
Okay, the guy from 1973 - he's called Alan Watts. He knew exactly when he'd die that year. I had so many philosophical discussions with him about the ancient and modern ways plus of course the concepts of life and death. i know this place is constantly messing with time.
Alright, alright, I know this isn't getting us anywhere.
Okay first of all - did you like that Marathon bar by the way? - sorry - back on track.
We'll go to the prison cell door, ask for exit and then I'll mess with the guard's head a bit. You pretend to be looking around and not particularly interested in what I'm saying to him.
Okay you can now go. You served your three years but because you're not real you can't be kept in here anyway. Just be polite to the guard as we walk out. Don't look at him.
Just walk casually to the prison entrance.
And we're outside.
The guard's head is now in a bit of a mess. Effectively he assumed I was from 1967 (I gave him a bit of a rundown about the Beatles music group and the Sgt Peppers album). He thought you were also from that time and then I talked to him about Christopher Mayhew, the Labour MP, who took some psychedelic drugs whilst being filmed for the Panorama BBC TV programme in 1955. I showed him my Marathon candy bar - yes I got one for me as well - and pointed out how he must be seeing things because it was launched in 1973 especially as Sgt Pepper had given it to me.
It also means you've been in prison for six years - and he didn't feed you during that time. But I told him I'd let him off because he was obviously feeling the effects of those hallucinogenic drugs. And since you were you were a part of his make believe world anyway and he should let you go. I told him now he could just simply write you've served your sentence. I didn't let him think about how was you came to be here in 1955.
I think I'm having hallucinogenic trips just from thinking about all of this.
Now I'm starting to think about Lucy in the sky with diamonds and that necklace we found.
I'm sorry you were in this prison cell for so long. Let me sit next to you. Don't worry the police have let me visit for a few minutes.
Wow, these prison beds are so hard. It's amazing you were able to sleep.
Alright, alright, don't look at me that way. You won't be here much longer. Those three years will go by very quickly. I'll explain. Honest.
Look I didn't know they were going to put you in jail.
I've just spent so long explaining to them we weren't trying to rob the bank. We just got the times wrong.
It's a strange bloody place. Glance over at the small hatch in the prison door. We're often being watched. No one looking at us? Good.
I'll tell you. On Mondays and Tuesdays it's 1963 here. On Wednesdays and Fridays it's 1973 except for one Friday every month where it's 1983. Now Thursdays - and of course we got here on a Thursday - it gets complicated. From 8.30 to 11.50 something it's 1967. From 11.59 to 14.00 it's 2018 and from 14.00 to 17.00 it's 1955. Got knows what it's like after then. All they know it's somewhere where radios weren't invented and other things... I kept getting a headache listening to them.
We got here just before 14.00 and so it then changed to 1971.
And because you're not real you're seen as a security problem. They might even try to 'cure' you whatever that means.
I spent ages trying to convince them I'm not mad or some kind of drugged out hippy from 1967 who's been mixing with an underground New Romantic movement from 1983.
Don't ever try to do mixes of Beatles and Duran Duran music here. It's illegal.
Yeah, I know you're being freaked out being imprisoned here for three years. Well you did have to touch the wrong photo didn't you?
We'll work something out. I'm due to see a guy from 1973 who might help us.
What a strange view we've got here. Okay it's made even weirder by staring out side through metal bars and having metal cages around you.
All right there's the drinks bar over there but it still feels...
Hmm? Yes? I agree. Lets go out and look for where we are and when we are.
Hang on. The barmaid wants to tell me something.
Okay she tells me we've got to be back in a few minutes. Her shift ends in about ten minutes. Yes, I know she was flirting with me but I don't-
Yeah, I think she was sincere. No I'm not going to leave you so I can date this barmaid.
Honestly. Don't be freaked out. I know because you're not real you're afraid of not existing outside of this pub.
Take a deep breath and chill. Things are going to be okay.
I've lost two friends already and I'm not about to lose any more - okay?
Right - you go and open the pub's front door. Let's calmly walk out.
Erm, I really don't know where we are. Sorry I didn't mean to express things that way. Let's just look around.
All right we're on some kind of long narrow street. Looking at the historical buildings along here it's a city or town which has been around for a long time.
Yeah, you're right - it does look as though there's a little shop along the road down there. Let's have-
Blimey you could've let me walk with you to this shop.
No, no - you know what you're doing - you lead the way.
Ah great this place does sell newspapers and...
What you talking about? Okay I'll have a look at these weird looking papers you say.
Okay, these are very weird. These aren't made of paper. Bizarrely they look like they're made of stone.
And there's no date on them either.
Hang on - the store owner is calling me over. Wait a sec.
Sorry about that. The store owner doesn't think we're old enough to be in here and we have to go to the head office to get some ID the some reason.
Yeah I know. Let's go back to the pub. Maybe we can get some other way out of here somewhere.
I didn't think there was going to be any problem at all. I mean, for goodness sake, it's not like we're actually kids.
Ooo, watch out for that car on the road. Wow, it drove past us very quickly. Weird looking car that was as well.
Anyway here we are back at the-
Did you see the sign over this pub before we left? Has it always been marked as Oldtrapper Bank?
Maybe that's the name of the pub.
Wow, it's a heavy door to open.
Erm, why do I feel we're not actually go into the right door?
Let's turn and go out and we'll have a look again.
Why is that security guard stopping us leave this place? Why does he think we're bank robbers?
Okay, let's go then. Are you all right? We can stay a bit longer if you still feel unsteady.
So we'll go over to the wall pictures over there. You see they're the same as the one's in Arch's pub.
I'll keep you steady while you touch that photo again. Because I'm holding you up we'll both get transported back to Arch's place.
When I look back at that bar I thin-
You didn't touch the photo of Peter Cook and Spike Milligan did you?
You didn't. Now we're somewhere else. Not in Arch's pub. Boy, he's gonna be seriously PO'd.
God knows where we are now. Looks like we're in a prison.
Strangely, there's a barmaid over there.
Hang on while I'll go and talk to her.
Can you stand without me holding you? Good.
Well, the good news is we're not in a prison. We're actually in a pub in the vault of what used to be a bank. The pub owners have kept the vault bars and cages for atmosphere.
Oh how the English language is so hard sometimes. Bars to drink in or bars to imprison you in.
The barmaid did tell me where we are but I couldn't understand much what she said. It was her dialect plus she was often speaking a different language as though I should understand her. It could be Gaelic she was speaking so I think we're somewhere in Scotland or Ireland. Maybe.
But I don't know what year we're in.
Nice place wherever we are. Very quiet though. It's a bit weird with all the cage bars around. But as I've said it used to be a bank. I think that's what she said. Otherwise it's a bit disturbing. I suppose some people might like that but...
We'll not talk about that. I've still got the nightmares.
Oh, you were looking at the photos on that wall back there. Were you trying to work out which one you actually touched?
What do you remember?
What do you mean you don't know? You weren't looking?
And some reason there isn't the photo of Peter Cook and Spike Milligan on this wall either. We need that to get back to Arch's pub.
Okay, let's look outside and see where we are. We'll look for newspapers to find out when and where we are.
As long as this place doesn't turn back into a bank.
I shouldn't have mentioned that should I?
Now we're gonna enjoy ourselves. Let's just walk over to the bar and sit on those tall but comfy chairs.
Now if you don't mind I've got a couple of cocktails to ask the bartender to make. I'm sure you'll like them, which ever one you go for.
Yeah that's okay it doesn't matter if you normally don't drink. Remember you're not real, so this alcohol isn't go to affect you.
I don't think. Well, I could be wrong.
Sorry I didn't mean to laugh like that.
Anyway, here he is. This barman's called Tony. Now hang on while I talk to him about the cocktails I'd like him to make for us.
Sorry about that. It's been so long since I was last here. He's got to meet and chat with so many new film stars. Can you imagine chatting with Cary Grant and even Audrey Hepburn?
This is an amazing, really unusual bar. You see although it's based in London, it's also based in Los Angeles and New York, I think it is. I think it's based in a couple of other places as well but I don't know exactly.
No you didn't understand me. I don't mean different branches of this bar. I mean this actual bar is in different places in the 1950s.
Oh! Here we go - the cocktails have come. Now that one is a Mai Tai and that one's an Old Fashioned. I actually was thinking about a Whiskey Sour but Tony said it would take a long time to sort out the egg white for that cocktail or something. These were some of THE cocktails to go for in the 1950s.
You choose which one you want to go for. I'll warn you the Mai Tai is very strong.
Yeah course I told you the alcohol won't have an effect upon you, yeah, so go for it.
Let me help you slowly get your feet. I'm really sorry. I didn't know the alcoholic drinks in this place would affect you like that.
No you didn't cause a scene. People in this bar aren't surprised apparently. You're not the first unreal person to come to this bar it seems. I don't know who that would've been. Tony didn't know the name of the person who was also affected like you.
Don't be angry. Tony didn't warn me because he didn't know you weren't real.
Look, I'll help you back to Arch's pub and maybe his food will help you sober up.
Okay we're going to take a route now that will, certainly, test your way of looking at things.
Do you trust me?
Yeah I know you're feeling nervous but it won't hurt...
Now I'm just going to quickly glance at Arch.
Yeah he knows what I'm going to do. As I've said before he's one of very few people who's very open to us.
Look up here at the photo above us. Now you see that gap in the photo between the people there? It looks as though someone's been airbrushed out.
We're going to touch that gap at the same time. Yes it has to be at the same time and don't ask me why.
You'll see in a minute.
Okay? Don't fret - just reach slowly to touch that photo.
That's it. Now we touch that gap at the same time. You ready? And... go!
Are you alright?
You can stand up up and have a look around you. Yes we're no longer in the pub and, yes, everything looks black-and-white. You'll get used to that...
Now to let you know. That gap in the photo was where Rob Anders was when the photo was being taken.
Deep breath. Calm down. I know it's very strange. With all those framed photographs of celebrities on that wall and every one of those photos has a strange looking gap by or amongst those famous people.
And before you ask no we can't see Rob Anders. Because he is one of the people who disappeared - years ago. And no one found out why.
But the weird thing is none of those celebrities ever mentioned Rob Anders in their interviews. It's like he didn't exist in their minds.
Yeah I can see from your face you don't remember him either and you're not even real as well!
Anyway do you fancy drink? I mean in this bar we're in now they do some really great cocktails.
Remember that photo we touched that had Peter Cook and Spike Milligan in it? They're over there on the far side at that table. There's actually a story to this. You see those two guys wearing suits sat on the table right next to them? They're sales reps. One of them is my Dad. And in a few moments he's going to tell a joke to his colleague. Peter and Spike will overhear them and start laughing. That then leads the four of them to talking and having a good time.
And that's why I can use that photo to get into it.
Anyway lets get our cocktails. Don't worry I'm in the suit now and yes I do have some money on me in this suit. So don't worry if you don't have any change on you. You can bloody pay for the meal Arch did for us when we get back. He's waiting for us so we can't really stay here too long.
So we just casually cross the road and stroll in this pub. Okay about that? Oh, by the way, this pub's landlord is...
No I won't say anything - you'll twig it when we get in.
Don't worry- well, don't worry too much. I means it's been at least a couple of weeks since one of his last customers was taken to hospital.
I can't remember whether that one was due to food poisoning or being beaten up. It could be both I suppose.
Anyway, we're nearly here. I've updated my will and so everything's good.
Let's go in.
By the way, before I open the door, the landlord's name is Archimedes Gazebolskiergul
Just call him Arch.
Anyway let's go in. There he is behind the bar on the right. He's smiling - that's a good sign.
I'll go over there and talk to him. You just have a look around. Have a look at the framed pictures on the on the wall behind you. You might notice some unusual omissions.
OK, sorry that chat with Arch took so long. He is in a pretty good mood and he'll do us some food.
I should say he's one of the very few people around here who can actually see someone who's not real. So you'll be okay. He won't take exception to you - or to me as well that is. He even lets the Reflections newspaper be sold in here.
Let's sit at the table over there the one just below that picture of those actors Peter Cook and Spike Milligan. You're asking why are we sitting there?
You notice how there's no photos of Rob Anders?
Yeah, he was on so many TV shows. He was very popular but many people didn't want to see him.
To their minds he wasn't real.
But don't worry
I see you as real as anyone else around here.
There may come a time when you cease to be here. I know you don't want me to say that but I need you to be here to try and find those missing people...
if we can.
Together we can figure out things and uncover what happened to them.
Now we just casually stroll down this road. Don't stare the car racing past us. Yes, it's screeching to a stop by the house we came out of.
Don't panic. Keep calm.
I'm guessing they don't know who we are yet. Otherwise they'd have stopped by us.
Now we're strolling round the corner.
Stop here. They can't see us.
Excuse me for pausing. I'm not being melodramatic.
Didn't you think it was easy to get around that house?
Yes, I know I was saying I expected to get in easily and the family that were supposed to be there had to go to a funeral blah blah blah
What do you mean "What funeral?" I one I told you about. It's-
Oh, I haven't told you about the funeral have I?
I didn't tell you about it because we couldn't go. All the tickets had been sold.
(Got out of that one. You weren't supposed to read that.)
Anyway, I think we were being secretly filmed in that house. Well, when I say filmed I think they might be trying to film us.
Oh come on. You know you're not real here so they can't film us. Doesn't stop them trying.
Well, they think we're around but...
Hmm? Oh who's 'they' you ask. To be honest I'm not quite sure. They must be quite powerful to suppress papers from investigating but beyond that.
Come and walk again down this road.
I think there are two groups going on. There's one group that's making people 'disappear' as Reflections write and another group trying to find out about us.
Yeah, I know it could be one group doing both. Yeah, I will admit I'm scared. I don't know who these guys are and I'm damned if anymore of my friends and family are being taken.
Yeah, there I've said it. I'm prejudiced because one of my sisters disappeared as well.
I didn't think much of it at the time. I knew she was seeing this guy and they seemed like a good couple. They moved into this house together and the other people living there seemed to be okay. I just thought they'd then moved somewhere else.
But after a bit our Mum got freaked out. I didn't know my sister was often writing letters to her so when they stopped my Mum was worried.
So we're looking for her as well.
See that pub over there? You been in it? No?
Jeez, you're missing out. Come on - lets have a drink and some food if you want as well.
It's alright, we won't have to pay. Well, I don't think we'll have to pay. The landlord's a bit of a mardy so and so. I know he's sometimes violent but as long as you smile at him you should be okay.
I can't guarantee he won't hit us but I tell you the food he does makes up for it.