There was a terrific explosion, and as the echoes died away we were able to make ourselves heard again.
"What on earth was that?" gasped my brother, still shaken by that terrifying sound.
I was about to reply when a brilliant flash illumined the back yard, and instinctively I turned to see what had caused it. There, standing not ten yards away, and bathed in a ghostly glow, was a figure stranger than I could ever have imagined.
My five-year-old sister, who had been standing mutely in a corner suddenly found her voice and ran screaming into the house, shouting at the top of her voice, "Mars Man!" Evidently my brother had been telling her about space-men.
Heroically, Tommy leapt at the invader, biting, scratching and kicking. As he seemed to disappear into a sea of flame, I stood terrified till the "Mars Man" cried out, "For Heaven's sake, Tom, get your teeth out of my car! Can't you recognise your own brother?"
Tommy fell back, his jaw dropping. All I could get from him was, "Coo, Jimmy!"
Jimmy is the oldest of the family, and a scientifically minded youth. He had been experimenting in his laboratory (a shed in the yard), when his apparatus had exploded. This accounted for the noise, and for the strange appearance of his clothes and hair, but there was still that strange glow that I could not explain.
By this time it had grown quite dark, and to our horror, Jim was now shining like a strange and elaborate neon light. He stood there for a few minutes, looking like a great, clumsy glow-worm, then shuffled off, muttering strange, unscientific words.
It took about a month for the light to disappear. It saved our electricity bills as the whole family could read, while Jim sat dejectedly in the middle of the room. What hurt most was that he could not go to the pictures, as he illuminated the whole theatre, and was not at all popular with the manager.
"Where is he now?" you ask. "Surely he does not try experiments now."
"Yes, he's still spending most of his time in the old shed - Oh! What's that noise? Oh, no - not again! I.'