Virgulle’s Vestral 52

Tuesday 6th December 2011

Progress made with letters

GLAD to have been able to send the Walker family news of my whereabouts, I endured the following day’s tests with equanimity.

Norman having left the office soon after dark, I spent a few pleasant hours with one the guards, who was granted permission to join me in the office. We mostly played card games to alleviate the shared tedium.

My slumbers that night, however, were cut short by Norman’s return. He switched on the overhead light and gave a shrill, unfriendly shout.

“Virgulle! Wake up! I must talk to you. I don’t know how you did it, but… Here, look at this!”

I sat up. Four words covered a page of the newspaper he was holding:

WE DEMAND THE TRUTH

Quickly, he showed me more story titles – First Contact! We Are Not Alone! Why The Secrecy? Alien Under The Microscope! – and a photograph of a feather I had given to Emily.

“Listen, listen! ‘…of the Natural History Museum said the feather was ‘a truly wonderful find’ and here: ‘strong evidence of an unknown creature…’ and another: ‘…now being held against her will in the research laboratories at…’ Virgulle, they’ve even printed something of yours with this address on it!”

I started to read the accounts in full. Norman explained anything I did not grasp.

After reading my letters, Jenny had telephoned the centre. Being refused a chance to talk with me, she’d called the newspapers, whose staff had gone to Churchfield Road to photograph Emily’s feather and one of the notes I had sent:

Hi Tom. I think this place is like a school. All day I will do tests. I met A Minister and told him he is wicked. I do not think there is Weetabix here.

One newspaper wondered if my implied criticism was ‘worrying’, ‘bold’ or ‘frighteningly accurate’.

Norman held the view that my writing to the Walker family had been foolish, with which I did not agree, but we had to postpone our bone of contention when interrupted by a stern voice from the office doorway:

“Thank you, Mr Ingham. We will deal with this now.”

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