All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – The Swans by Hugh Cron

 Leila  knows that you can’t go far wrong with a story from Hugh Cron. I reckon she spends much time rooting through his drawers – the ones in his cabinet down in the bowels of LS Towers – Okay I’ll go now and leave you with the lovely Leila – this is what she said:

Where exactly does reality begin and end? It cannot be defined by the human senses: for ultraviolet light  has never been seen by human eyes; and dogs often cock their heads at what we cannot hear; and a billion germs knock about your fingerprints unfelt; and there are things that bring death before the smell arrives. Usually, reality is an agreed upon concept whose provenance is only slightly less fickle than that of style. Yet every so often a person may catch a glimpse of a large circumstance or an arrangement of smaller circumstances which suggest that our perception of reality may be much greater than we know, if not for life’s inhibitions.

The Swans by Hugh Cron is a personal rather than observational piece by the author in regard to the strange nature of reality.

Q: I got the impression that it didn’t matter if the Swans were preternatural or not; that the emotion they caused was good enough, regardless of the cause. Is that an accurate observation?

Q: That old skeptic Arthur C. Clarke once allowed the possibility of ghosts in a strict scientific sense–as an “image” burned into time, yet insensate like a photograph. Did you get the sense that what you saw was somehow self aware?

Leila Allison


The Swans

Thanks so much Leila for choosing this one for a re-run.

I’m honoured and delighted to have a deeper think about it.


I think you are spot on. I believe that the swans were real but it was the circumstance that was weird, the figure weirder and the sound the weirdest out the lot. I have a great respect for any animals and their ability to fuck off if there is something bad around so I kind of hold onto that when I think back.

I can say that there was a heavy feeling that night – Nothing evil, nothing euphoric, just heavy. I really do wish I had an idea of what I saw but I can’t come up with anything, neither logical or other-worldly.


The photograph idea is an interesting one. I read somewhere that dog’s memories were like photos. When they recognised the specifics they behaved differently but they had to be in that ‘photo’ for it to affect them into a change in behaviour. So the surroundings were something that was constant but filed away until the dog experienced it again.

Maybe places do hold something and sometimes they can keep someone there.

Apart from the reality of the swans, the figure didn’t show any awareness. It’s hard to explain but it was as if it was going through the motions. It was specific and there didn’t seem to be any variation. I really do wish I had shouted but I didn’t and I don’t know why. Maybe it was fear, maybe I felt I was being intrusive or maybe it just didn’t occur to me to do so.

Thanks again Leila, both me and Gwen do talk about that night but our thoughts are only memories, we never have any conclusions.

I am not a sceptic and I am not a staunch believer. I reckon that we are a bit arrogant when we believe we can confirm or deny anything. My dad on the other-hand is very skeptical but he got his!

I was working with him and just got into work at around three a.m. I’ve got to admit he did look a bit shit but at that time in the morning who doesn’t? He told me that he wanted to tell me something that happened when he was in bed. I stated that I’d rather die in ignorance. He went onto tell me that he was lying in bed just waiting for his alarm to go off when he felt something heavy crawl onto the bottom of the bed and over him. I began to laugh, not at the situation he described but simply at his inability to accept anything. He held out his arm and every hair on his arm was standing on end. He said that happened every time he thought of it. And I swear this is true, if you mention that night to him, even after twenty five years, the hairs on his arm still stand up.

Cheers Leila, it’s been a blast!!


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