She turns and stares back at me.
‘What?’ she asks in that confrontational way that only women with amazingly dark eyes do well.
‘Please excuse me. It’s just that you have amazingly dark eyes and they’re quite hypnotic.’
‘Would you believe me if I said I’m not human?’
‘I wouldn’t disbelieve you; I’d keep an open mind. It’s a trait I inherited from my mother.’
And then she smiles a kind of smile I’ve never seen before, and everything inside my skin turns to crushed ice. The world goes amazingly dark.
I wake up lying next to a mountain road and see a llama looking down at me with its head turned quizzically to one side. I can’t resist the absurd question:
‘Where am I?’
‘Peru,’ answers the llama in perfect RP.
‘You speak English?’
‘Fluently, and not inelegantly, as you might have noticed.’
‘That’s really strange. Where did you learn?’
‘A woman with amazingly dark eyes taught me.’
‘What a coincidence. Now it’s really, really strange.’
‘Want to see something stranger?’
‘I don’t know. Will it hurt?’
‘Probably not. Follow me.’
And so I follow the llama into a cave encrusted with something black which I assume to be bat droppings, although I've no idea why.
‘Sit on that stone,’ says the llama.
I do. I wait. Suddenly I hear a hollow swishing sound and am immediately nervous because swishing sounds don’t usually sound hollow. And then the ground in front of me opens up and the rock tips me into it. The world goes amazingly dark again.
I open my eyes (which are blue-grey, incidentally) and feel the air rushing past my ears. I realise that I’m sliding down some kind of smooth incline, but I can’t see a thing. Darkness reigns for a few panic-stricken seconds until I see a light growing ahead of me. It turns into the pale face of a woman with amazingly dark eyes, and it grows bigger and bigger. She opens her mouth and I’m faced with the horrifying realisation that I’m about to slide straight into it. Unsurprisingly, though with some degree of amazement, the world goes dark again.
I blink twice. I’m standing in a supermarket looking into the amazingly dark eyes of a woman whose head is turned quizzically to one side. She reminds me of a llama I once met.
‘Now do you believe I’m not human?’ she asks without moving either her lips or her head. It occurs to me that I’ve never seen her blink.
‘Good. Go away.’
I walk back to the car park eating the little bar of chocolate I just bought, which, by an amazing coincidence, is Peruvian.
I swear the first and last sentences are absolutely true.