There it was, glowing resplendent in the dawning light like a… like a… a thing that was glowing… er… resplendently. Up until that moment, I had regarded talk of such things as the ravings of the deluded, the chemically-addled and the hopeless dreamers. Never had I thought that I would see such a thing. Never had I thought such a thing could be real. Even then, I felt as though I ought to be dreaming, but this, I knew, was no dream.
Almost despite myself, I moved closer. Just then an opening... a hatch... a doorway of some kind opened in the side of the vehicle.
A creature emerged slowly blinking as the bright lights from the inside of the craft turned it into no more than a vaguely human-like silhouette.
“Oh,” it said, caught unaware by my sudden appearance outside its craft. “Morning.”
“M… morn… morning,” I replied, nervously checking that – should it prove necessary – I had an avenue of escape.
‘Local… are you?” the creature said, cautiously approaching me.
I realised that the strange alien creature was as nervous as I was, probably not expecting to encounter a fellow sentient creature in such a bare deserted place. I nodded, finally.
“Only, you see, we’re not from these parts,” he nodded back towards the strange alien craft behind him. “Obviously.”
Of course, I was young then – yet to see my first Inter-Village Orgy match, let alone partake in one myself. Of course, Grand Old Uncle Stagnant had taken me to one side and explained to me the ways of the world, and all about tourists and how important it was, always, to make sure they left the village with far less money than when they arrived. But, this, this was the first time I had ever met one, and the first time I had ever seen a touring caravan.
Actually, apart from the… er… ‘thing’ where Old Feebletrousers lived, which more resembled a very large tinned rubbish dump – it was the first caravan I’d seen that was actually capable of movement without becoming a major health and safety hazard.
Thinking quickly, with Grand Old Uncle Stagnant’s wise words still resonating in my head, I said. “Oh, you do know there is a charge, a small charge, for parking your caravan here overnight?”
It was the first time I made money from tourists, but deep down in my heart, I knew it would not be the last.