Looking back on it, I do seem to remember a strange whistling sound in the background. I thought it was just a spurious noise, so I ignored it. As the whistling got louder, I could hear the sound of a plane’s engines roaring overhead. It was odd. I hadn’t heard them until just then, when they had been just as loud for at least a minute before. I realized that I had been hearing the sound, but I was simply not interested in it. As the whistling was at its highest peak, the thought crossed through my mind that it might be a bomb. I knew this was just the product of paranoia, but I started to become worried.
I looked at the digital clock on my desk and realized it was 4:19 AM. ‘I should get to bed,’ I remember thinking. The whistling didn’t seem to be coming closer anymore, but it was just as loud as before. The sound of the plane’s engines wasn’t drifting off, either. I assumed it was being caused by a private pilot circling the area. I turned to the window on my left, which was completely blocked by a blanket I had hung there. I looked in the direction it sounded like the whistling was coming from. I remember I regretted hanging the blanket, as I couldn’t see outside to find out what the whistling was.
It had gotten a lot louder by now. It was loud enough to drown out all the other normal background noises. I could still hear the planes, now plural, but not very well. I couldn’t tell if they were further away, or if the whistling was just throwing me off. I decided I had better start getting ready for bed, and glanced at the clock to see what time it was.
To my utter astonishment, it was still 4:19. I stared in confusion, expecting the digits to change at any second. I stared for what felt like several full minutes, and didn’t see the clock change. Entranced by the clock, I had completely forgotten about the whistling. It seemed louder than ever. I had no idea what was making the noise, but decided I would give it a few minutes to go away before I confronted anyone. I don’t think I could hear the planes anymore, but I’m pretty certain that by this point they had been completely drowned out by the whistle.
I stared at the clock, unsure of what to do about the situation. Digital clocks generally don’t stop. I stared at the clock, waiting for it to change, to go off, but it did nothing. I started losing myself in thought while staring at it, and my eyes made the numbers mix together. I turned my head toward the window. It was definitely passing right by here, whatever it was.
I decided to go outside, to check it out. I started to get up, but suddenly lost the motivation. I decided I would just pull apart the blinds, and take a quick peek, for curiosity’s sake. Just as I was about to reach my arm out, I saw the clock change in my peripheral vision. It was now 4:20. ‘That’s very odd,’ I thought to myself. I briefly wondered if maybe time itself had slowed. Just as I was reaching out for the blinds, the whistle disappeared completely. I paused mid-reach, completely awestruck by what was happening.
I saw through the thick blanket a concentrated light. It looked like a flashlight, except it was far too bright. I watched the light, mesmerized. It began to slowly transform into a bigger light. I assumed that someone had probably already called the police and figured whatever strange show was going on, they would shut it down. I had been watching the light slowly grow for a few minutes, and every time I looked back, it was double the size it was before.
I went between staring dumbfounded at the clock, and looking mesmerized at the light growing outside my window. I noticed I could hear nothing now. And figured that the loud whistling had probably driven all the crickets and other noise-creating animals away. This was a good sound, and I still silently campaign for an insect-deterring whistle every night.
I look back up at the window, or maybe I was already looking at it. I see the light is at least ten times brighter than before. It is actually painful to look at, even through the blanket. It seems to encompass the entire room. I look over at my roommate’s room, to see if he noticed any of this too, but he appears to have slept through it.
—content from Stoner Culture
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