It started slowly. One morning as I left for work there was a battering ram at the front door. A proper battering ram, not that I know much about them. But it had a bloody great big weighty bit at the front end, and handholds for people along the length of it. And some carvings and stuff. Nobody was holding on to it, it was just there about waist-high in the middle of the path about 2 foot away pointing straight at the door.
Obviously, we tried to move it. But nothing we did would shift it, it was just there. I even hooked it up to the tow bar on the car, no dice. The kids thought it was great, some sort of new toy for them. They sat on it, swung on it, stood on it. Tried to push it around, but if even the car couldn't shift it then they weren't going to have much luck. After a week or so I saw the bloke from next door over the fence, he made some comment about had we joined the Sealed Knot, said how our new decor was a bit Roundheads and Cavaliers. Harry, my eldest, said it was earlier than that - he'd probably know, he's a bright lad. Maybe a bit too obsessed with history though, with wars and how they fought them in the dark ages, useless stuff like that. Mary, that's my missus, says we should encourage the kids' interests, but I don't half wish he was interested in something normal like the footy, or girls, not history and the bleeding internet.
The catapult in the back garden was next. By then I was used to the battering ram, and even the postman had stopped making a fuss about it being in his way. But the catapult took up half the lawn, had crushed the swing we still had from when the kids were little, and had its back legs in Mary's flowerbed. She said we had to do something about it. She was right, of course, not that I was going to tell her that. It's not like there was anything I could do anyway. It didn't shift any more than the battering ram had done. You know what the weirdest thing about it was? It had a great flaming stone or something ready to throw, but the flames weren't hot. You could put your hand right in the middle of them and it just felt the same as the air. Looked pretty damn real though.
Mary rang the council after a while. Came home from work one day and there was a couple of men in the garden, poking at the catapult. They even hooked their truck up to the battering ram, but they couldn't shift it either. Not that they expected to. I took them out a cuppa & we had a bit of a chat. They told me it wasn't the first of these they'd seen. Popping up all over town, they said, but the council was trying to keep it quiet and the paper wasn't interested in printing it because they figured no-one would believe it if they didn't have one of their own.
When the tower thing appeared in the middle of the busiest junction in the town centre everyone believed it. It was a bit hard not to when it made the traffic as bad as that. And you could see it from pretty much everywhere. Harry's having a great time, the school even took them all out to look at it. He says it doesn't look "right", someone on the internet says the carvings aren't like anything anyone's seen before. Someone else says you wouldn't have battering rams like that if you had towers like that. Someone else says the catapult is made all wrong. From what Harry says all they seem to do on the internet is argue all the bleeding time. Anyway, the catapult doesn't look wrong to me, looks like it'd work. If it moved. Not that you'd need a great flaming ball like that to damage our house. 90s construction, made of cheap crap, put up in a hurry. Surprised it doesn't blow over in the wind somedays.
It's been a while now and the news says it's happening all over the place. We're kind of used to it now. Just walk round them, ignore them. Life's back to normal, pretty much. Thing that's bugging me is that they're starting to look a bit more there. A bit more solid. Not that they weren't there and solid before. But now they're somehow realer. Mary says I need my head examined, how can they get realer than real? She's got a point, doesn't make much sense to me, either. But I went and checked that catapult again last night when I came home from the pub, it still feels hotter to me. Wouldn't want to hold your hand in those flames for long now.
What's going to happen when that stuff's all the way real?