Nightport

IMAGINE a color. Any color will do. Red, orange, blue, green, yellow, or white. All your colors are points of light, scattered on a blackness that envelopes all. Not blocks of color but random dots. Myriad points of bright-colored lights. Now study your lights. They're not entirely random. Arrange some reds into rows of three or four close together. Put the whites in larger, wider-spaced lines, with lines of blues leading into them. Put your yellows up high, make them larger, casting great pools of light. Now we need blocks of color, gently though, pastel shades, reflections of the yellow pools from the large angular shapes of buildings.

We also have some ``active'' colors. The oranges are all flashing. Some of the individual reds flash, too. Some have movement, all speeds. Most of the flashing oranges move for most of the time.

That's the color done.

Now add some noise, but first, paint an all-enveloping stillness to go with your blackness.

Peaceful.

Quiet.

Now, without breaking the peace, add a whine in the distance, high pitched, its immense power muted by distance. It is generated from the direction of a cluster of lights, a green, two whites, and a flashing red. Near it another cluster is seen, two whites and a flashing orange. Move this one along the band of spaced whites. Occasionally, a white arcs away from the cluster, emits a dulled ``bang,'' and is swamped by the black. The two whites and flashing orange change to two reds and a flashing orange as they pass you.

Shortly afterward increase the noise from the whine. Move its cluster of lights along the path taken by the others, exchanging the green for a red as it moves. Add a new noise, a deeper roar, swamping the whine, accelerating, a pulsing, bellowing scream, faster, vibrations, noise and light, rising, rearing away from the other lights, fading now with distance. Fading also the intensity of the lights. Bring them slowly, precisely, toward one another, allow the silence to swamp the noise. Allow the blackness to swamp the lights one by one, until just one extra white star twinkles in the distance, moving against the backdrop of infinite stars already there.

Another noise. The same whine as before from a pool of yellow light. Then added to it a thrashing, swirling, swishing sound. Imagine huge blades smashing the air to a turbulent, tumbling mess, but see only yellow and hear only a thrashing throb.

Keep the lights working. Keep evolving the noises but now add a smell to the scene.

A smell of air.

Cold, crisp air, with just a hint of salt. Bring it in from your left and send it to be swallowed by the black stillness to your right.

Occasionally, waft across the sweet smell of fuel. Not the choke of gasoline but a sweet, heavy, sticky smell that comes with oil, kerosene, and heavy, sticky fuels. Hold it for a moment, then let it go.

Work the smells, the noises, and the lights but keep an overriding, still blackness.

From this black bring in two more white lights, growing with a smooth hum and that familiar whine. Bring them down to your string of whites, adding a small red before they reach. As they arrive, you'll want two short ``eeks'' very close together. The noise grows due to proximity, as it passes add one last block of color, just behind the red dot. A block of multiple color, a block of colors corrupted from the national flag, moving in synchrony with the noise.

Take it all across to the main pools of light, past the yellow blocks of color proclaiming, ABERDEEN AIRPORT.

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