The old man passed over the rooftops of night, the glowing shapes of light; county town and countryside. He threaded the stars of orange spangle and blue and white. There was a hum that came to him; not of electricity – because that was like kettledrums or rumbles of sheet metal thunder. This was a quietening hum; sad and sort of familiar. The sound of the sleepers dreaming.
Occasionally, there were words, muffled, misheard, as if uttered from behind a very heavy curtain or from far away, perhaps from across an orchard in a gauze of fog. He gazed at the homes and the corduroy fields and the spread of the bay and these snatches of language reached him thus. The street lights globed, blended the black and threw shadows and shapes across everything but him. The moon nested the pear tree.