All Along the Watchtower


He came scurrying in late, squeaking loudly and quivering with excitement. The cabin was lit by the fire alone, the flickering light sending shadows dancing across the walls. His squeaks drowned out the crackling of the fire and the steady patter of rain on the roof. He was soaked and we placed him by the wood stove but he wriggled around frantically as he relayed what had caused so much excitement.

He had stayed atop Mt. Constitution after we had descended into Moran State Park. He had wanted to do some stargazing alone so we had given him strict instructions to not stray far from the tower. We agreed that we’d pick him up after we had some drinks beside the tranquil lake.

At 11:30pm we drove back to the tower and Ollivander was nowhere in sight. We called and called but there was no response. He often strays, this we know, but very rarely does he ever go out of earshot and he always responds and comes immediately when his name is called. We became worried and searched everywhere, finding nothing. We began to worry and went back to the lake where we reasoned he may have come looking for us; he wasn’t there. We returned to the tower but once more found nothing before finally returning to the cabin. We lit a fire to illuminate the small space and searched everywhere, which is when he finally returned.

He had been stargazing; he borrowed my star chart, studied it and stared into the clear night sky. He said that he became distracted by a light, something moving in the water around Clark Island. It looked to be submerged, a single point of light circling the entirety of the island incredibly quick. He watched, mouth agape and whiskers shaking, as the light burst from the water heading straight towards him.

At this point, Ollivander had paper and crayon and he scribbled frantically against the cabin floor, sketching the outline of a golden orb of light. He gestured frantically at the drawing and explained that it ran straight into him. He had just started his gazing and had assumed he had a few hours of solitary study before we were coming to pick him up but the next thing he remembers he was right outside the cabin where we were searching for him. He came back inside, remembering nothing of the last three hours. His excitement quickly turned into exhaustion as he began to calm down from the initial burst of adrenaline and now that he was dry and warm, we tucked him into bed. That is when we realized that his tag was missing, it did not appear torn or ripped away, like it may have been if moving through brambles or caught on a branch, it was a clean cut from scissors or shears.

That night, Ollivander slept soundly. The next morning, he still had no recollection of the missing hours and even though no one in town had seen this orb of light, he remains adamant to this day, certain of what he saw.

These are not Ollivander’s exact words, many are incorporated but often there are gaps that need be filled, researched or added in his often excited or confused state (human is his third language).

Written by Mason Abdalla