No one noticed the signs, but then, who was looking?
Only Miss Pugh, and who listened to her?
Over at the Goonhilly Telecommunications Centre on the Lizard Peninsula, one of the huge satellite dishes they'd named Merlin registered a tremor so faint it could have been a breath.
But ten miles away, in the village of Tremarion, not even a sea breeze cooled the land during those grey and sultry weeks.
For Piers, all the strange things began when Mum came in from work that day. "Cassandra Pugh's met a flying man," she announced.
"You mean. with flapping wings?" asked Piers. "Like an angel?"
"Not exactly," Mum grinned. "This guy she met in the woods wore his wings on his feet!
Piers laughed. "Then he'd have to fly upside down."
"Could be," said Mum vaguely, spreading out her newspaper.
Piers always felt a bit confused when they talked about Miss Pugh. Nutty Pugh, some of his friends called her, always seeing spaceships or talking to ghosts. At school they drew cartoons of her driving a flying saucer, or chatting up monsters and little green men.
But Mum liked her. She made a special point of buying things from Cassandra's muddly shop. She'd even put one of Miss Pugh's pink cards on the clinic notice board:
She ought to write stories," said Piers, who preferred playing football. "So what did he want? "
Mum looked puzzled. "What did who want? "
Piers sighed. "Miss Pugh's flying man!"
"0h, him, said Mum. "Let me see. Yes. He said he had a message for the people of Tremarion."
"Sure, sure," Dad shook his head. "It's those magazines she reads have you ever seen them?" He topped up his tea. "So what was it this time? Martians taking over the Youth Club? No they've done that already!"
"The flying man said to tell us the ancient ones are stirring." Mum laughed. "Maybe my physiotherapy's done some of our pensioners more good than I'd realized! Oh, and 1 nearly forgot," she added, fanning her face with a leaflet that had dropped out of the paper. "He said they may bring us good fortune if we're kind and wise."
"Wise?" Dad shook his head. "That counts me out."
Piers hated the bitterness in Dad's voice.
"You're wise, Dad," he said.
"Sure, sure." Dad drank his tea and went outside.