A square of bright silvery moonlight hit the floor of the small chalet kitchen and illuminated the previously dark room. I lay and watched it for a while as it crept slowly across the floor. Eventually the pressure in my bladder became more than I could handle so I slowly and carefully slid off the bed, dodging low under the mosquito netting to try to prevent the swarms of blood thirsty creatures from carrying my sleeping wife away. The low dodge under the mosquito netting left me sitting on the mercifully cool floor tiles still staring at the square of moonlight that now threatened to engulf my feet in cold fire. It was very beautiful just sitting there, feeling the cool of the floor and watching the moonlight.

It had to be the early hours of the morning as a huge full moon was visible through the west facing window. The insistent pressure of my bladder and the growing clamour of mosquitoes for my blood forced me to my feet.

I ambled through to the bathroom, to be greeted once more by the silvery light. I sat down on the toilet and watched the silver squares progress across the floor. I was partially asleep so the slow, hypnotic movement of the moonlight soothed me and my eyes began to shut. A sharp stinging sensation from a mosquito bite roused me from a gentle doze and I slapped half-heartedly at the sting area not hitting anything except myself. I opened my eyes slowly, the silvery square had moved a bit so I must have been asleep a few minutes at least but as I watched the square started to distort, growing away from me as if the moon was setting directly down and not at the angle I knew it should be setting.

The perspective started to look strange too. I blinked my eyes, the square was now a long narrow patch almost road like in its shape and perspective. Somehow the chalet room had disappeared and a stand of deformed trees seemed to encroach on the silver road. The moonlight had detached itself from the window and now seemed to have a life of its own. It was slowly starting to creep up to my toes.

The complete ridiculousness of this situation left me staring and beginning to think I was still dreaming. I watched in fascination as the silver reached my feet and then, instead of flowing over them, crept under them. It looked almost as if my knees where casting the silvery light. I closed my eyes, slowly scratched my head, rubbed my eyes and then looked again. No change. I was just about to make a rapid retreat to bed when a hand grabbed my shoulder. It was a bit dirty, a bit rough, but had a very authoritative grip. "Come!" said a scratchy, slightly irritable voice. "You gonna sit there the whole day on your arse?"

I hesitated. "Come. Move it. If you wait much longer the silver ones are gonna catch you."

In the distance I could see a figure moving on the silver road. Slinky, sexy, seductive movement. I found myself captivated, scarce breathing.

It was the rushing sound of a powerful storm wind through big leafed trees that stirred me. I knew, that I was in the middle of the Karoo, that there should not be big leafed trees and most certainly no storm wind that felt as if there was ice in it. This was mid-summer in the Karoo and, at sunset it had been 40 degrees, it could not be icy now.

The story of Odin's wild hunt rose up in my mind and the words of a Steel Eye Span song echoed in my head "the queen of fairies caught me, when I from my horse did fall". I stumbled to my feet and the final words "she pays a tithe to Hell, and I fear it will be me." propelled me off the moonlit road and into the gnarled trees running frantically after the little figure who dodged ahead of me. The correctness of my decision was confirmed by a ferocious scream of anger and frustration from the road. I didn't look back.

Aside from not wanting to run into a tree which would really hurt and slow things down a bit and I really did not want to see what ever it was that was making those awful sounds on the road.

The little figure disappeared into a dark hole at the bole of a tree and propelled by the fury behind me, I dive rolled into the same dark hole. As I hit the floor and rolled there was a loud hollow thump and the noise outside faded to faint murmurs and my breathing, harsh gasping breaths drowned the noise out completely. As I started to rise to my feet, I was hit by a massive blow to the head. I collapsed again, curled up and waited for the next blow, wondering for the first time if I hadn't been more safe with whatever was on the road. A gentle light flickered into being, yellow and comforting compared to the silver of the moonlight. I stayed curled up, hands over my head, waiting.

"Argh, Fool. Get up. You are in no danger here. I didn't risk my skin to save you from the Silver Ones just to beat you to death in my home. Not that you don't deserve it mind. Whatever were you thinking about, just sitting there in the middle of the road? Looking for all the world as if you were in the privy? Hmmm? What were you doing?"

I considered the question for a few moments.

He sighed again. "Cummon, you can talk can't you?"

I nodded.

"Well?" Impatient now.

"I was."

"Was what?"

"On the privy."


"You don't think I wander around the world with a tee shirt and without my pants on do you?"

"Where are you pants? As you so politely put it?"

"In the bottom of the bed where my wife is sleeping. Her's will be around there somewhere too."


I tried an experiment: "Toto? I have a feeling we are not in Kansas any more."


I took a breath to ask a question but his harsh voice stopped me.

"Silence. Don't say another word till I tell you to talk. And don't move either."

I snapped my mouth shut, lay still and waited. I could hear and feel him moving around the room, gentle murmurs, scratchings, flares of light, wafts of strange scents, it became more an more like being in the midst of some sort of arcane wiccan ritual. The light slowly changed from yellow, to a faint blue, dimmer, but somehow more comforting. There was a faint "Click." and a deep sonorous voice filled the room. "Bevern. You have been silent for a long time. I feared for your safety there next to the silver road. You didn't call to pass the time did you?"


"No, I didn't think so. Truth to tell, I was expecting you to call. Whatever you did or became involved in, caused ripples that have disturbed the uneasy peace we have been living in. The silver ones are roused and furious. They want something back that they say we stole. I assume the "thief" is you and that large bundle in the middle of your holy circle is what you stole?"

"Yes, my Lord Ingling."

"What is it?"

"A human, male, my lord."

"You found him on the silver road?"

"Yes, my lord."

"What was he doing there?"

"He says he was on the privy. And he comes from Kansas, where ever that maybe."


"He called me Toto" said as an afterthought.

I moved to correct him and was rewarded with a swift kick and there was a chuckle from Lord Ingling.

"Gently, gently he is your guest after all. I suppose you have instructed him not to move or say anything till you have some back up? Good."

"Guest from Kansas?"

I didn't move to correct Lord Ingling, the last kick was sufficient to keep me still and silent.

"You present us with a nasty dilemma. I suspect that you are or have something that the silver ones need. They were coming to fetch you and Bevern got there first. You represent a problem of balance. The Silver Ones would not have upset the balance so dramatically and used so many resources to acquire you if you were not of incredible importance and could be used to sway the balance hugely in their favour."

"Equally I suspect from what Bevern has told me, that you have no idea as to why you were summoned. I suspect you have Wild magic and wild magic is dangerous magic. And uncontrolled wild magic is far, far worse. We need to get you back to your privy. And quickly."

"Before Mrs Ben gets back. With the magic circle and what have you, Mrs Ben is going to be difficult enough as it is without him lying in the middle of the floor when she wants to clean up." Bevern sighed dramatically.

Then Something stirred in my head, in my body, in my soul. A kind of awakening, a yawning, stretching, flexing, laughing feeling. Joy at life, joy at living and loving. The world around me was full of magic. I could feel the forest above us, I could feel the animals and birds moving. In a cliched way, I was one with the world. I was the world and part of it and so when the trouble started I felt, rather than heard it first. It was something pushing against the door. It vibrated,low,low down on the scale, almost at heartbeat frequency. It was cold, icy, dangerous, angry and evil. Bevern heard it at last and turned to face the door, waiting. I could feel his pulse, it was warm, protective, gentle but firm and I knew I had made the right choice in trusting him. I was on the side of the good guys. I also knew that he could not stand up to the force outside, there was just too much power. Ingling was fading as the Silver Ones power encircled the tree we were under cutting us off from his influence.

The temperature started to drop, rapidly. Ice seem to attack all of my body. I was cold and I didn't like it. I didn't like the fact that Bevern who had rescued me was being attacked. I didn't like the fact that I didn't have pants on. I didn't like the fact that I wasn't in bed with my wife. At the same time, Lord Ingles words about wild magic echoed in my mind "You have wild magic, but wild magic is dangerous". I was ready to strike out in anger, but the old Samurai rule of only striking out in cold precision and control held my mind in check. I stretched my mind and found that in this world, I did not need my body to move. I rose like an ephemeral, spirit from my body shaking free of the flesh bonds, feeling power surge in my spirit and I found that walls had no way of stopping me. I extended part of my spirit outside and looked at the Silver Ones encircling the tree.

They had amassed a huge number of them to overcome Bevern and Lord Ingles. It felt like almost all of the Silver Ones were present. An evil miasma clung about them. They were slowly destroying the tree and that really aggrieved me.

I oozed out through the tree which seemed to flex and accommodate my passage. Finally I stood upright outside and in strange way inside the tree.

"Stop." I said and the silver ones saw me, were still for a heart beat and then erupted like mosquitoes heading straight for me. I swatted left and right and they squelched against my hands, fell broken to the ground.

More whirled around me and the power rose in me, it billowed outwards in blues and purples and reds and it howled like a storm wind and like a wind it blew the silver ones away from the me and the tree, turning them into incandescent flares of light. Soon I was almost alone in the forest, I swatted once more at the survivors and those left alive fled, leaving their dead behind them. I retracted back into my body which was once more warm and comfortable. I lifted my head, looked at Bevern and then at the mirror from which Lord Ingles looked.

"Ok, problem sorted. Now figure out a way of sending me back home." I closed my eyes and slept. My wife's s voice woke me.

"Are you going to sit there all night and swat mosquitoes? Or are you coming back to bed?" I looked around and found that the moonlight was again correctly angled, the toilet seat had marked my buttocks and I was slightly chilled. I flushed the toilet and ambled back to my warm wife and bed. A brisk twenty minutes later, I rolled over, saw that the moon had set and the dawn was just starting, I gave my wife one more kiss on the cheek, patted her gently on the bottom,

"Time to get up and go birding."

Over a shared cup of coffee in the bird hide I told her of my dream. She lifted her binoculars to her eyes and smiled,"You should have more dreams like that. They have interesting effects on you. Oh, isn't that the little bittern we saw here last time?"

And Bevern and the Silver Ones were forgotten as we watched the birds go about their daily rituals.