Sunday, 29 December 2013

Days of Cheese.


When I was young back in the winter of 92,

I worked at an employment agency for a lady named Sue,

She said to me “I have a job for you if you please,

It’s working in a factory packing cheese,”

The very next day I was putting labels on a bag,

Eight hours of that really was a drag,

Soon I’ll be vacuum packing they said,

Under the supervision of a man called Ted,

I figured this is not the career I seek,

So I lasted just the week,

But from then on there was a curious ache in my belly,

Was I destined to go back to that place so smelly?

Sue gave me a call, homing in on my greatest fears,

So I went back there and stayed for six long years,

The thing was after a while you got used to the smell,

And it did pay really rather well,

Looking back on it now factories are just not like this anymore,

Conditions and pay these days are really rather poor,

Anchor looked after me and gave quite a bit,

Even if the job itself was really rather shit,

For the most part I worked in preparation,

Scraping calcium off cheese was the operation,

They armed me with a scraper and a knife,

I saw more cheese in one day then you’ve seen in your life,

A ton of cheddar passed my eyes in less than ten minutes flat,

I scraped and scraped them all like a fucking twat,

The harder the calcium was once the maturity was set,

Still I scraped them all shift long in my wellies and hairnet,

You make up your own entertainment in a job that sucks,

Like sabotage, throwing cheese or racing fork-lift trucks,

There always was a laugh to be had every day,

That is what I would like to say,

That the people that worked there were really the salt of the earth,

Lots of fun, good personalities with ridicule and mirth,

Except for one that wouldn’t ever chill,

He was a twat; I think his name was Neil,

He came to me once angry, wearing a great big frown,

So I turned that hosepipe on him and hosed that fucker down,

Looking back you only see the good times and forget about the worse,

Reflecting closer though that place really had a curse,

They moved the goalposts so often it really was a joke,

Like moving to a 24 hour rotating shift or stopping breaks to smoke,

The new management removed all the perks,

The bunch of fucking jerks,

Finally they out sourced to a company more abundant,

They paid us off and made us all redundant,

I took the cash and went off to Barbados which was really kind of cool,

So as I lay there on my back in the swimming pool,

Looking up at the palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze,

I raised my glass of rum and said “thank you Anchor’s cheese!”


 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Sunday. by Darren Worrow


 

 

Gary held his head, spun around and marched off with his arms held in the air only to flap them down to his sides again seconds later. Clearly he was frustrated. His boss looked on, angry with him, “this letter isn’t worth the paper it’s written on; you know how busy we are!”

“You could have asked me instead of just sneaking my name on the rota!” Gary snorted red in face and not looking back over his shoulder. He was walking out of there, he had made his point and it was final. They would have to realise that just because they employed him they did not own him. He felt like a prisoner, they didn’t care about his personal life, they didn’t care that he had young children in his family, all they thought about was the business. Gary had been working there for eons now, at least it sure felt like it. The boss never gave praise, he never thanked Gary for all his hard work, then he goes to the press as this shining example of a great man; it’s just a front. Gary should tell the world what a hypocritical parasite he really is, he should talk to the press about his real persona, a mean old man that cared not about his employees.

Gary leaned up against the wall, he was concerned that his actions could result in a serious reprimand, how many warning had he now got? So many he forgets, the verbal, the written, a second written perhaps, how far can he take this? He looked out across the road, the transport moving to and fro, busy, busy they say, I know its busy, all the more reason to respect his employees, if I did a runner now they would suffer, they would never find someone to replace him before Christmas.

All he wanted was his Sunday back, he had bought tickets to a show; it was going to be a family day out that they were all looking forward to; then the old man stuck the rota up. Gary didn’t check it but rumours among the staff went round that he had pencilled in a Sunday on the rota. Gary then walked up to see his name down to work that day. They never normally work a Sunday, if Gary had known then maybe he would have done it but, well, he bought the tickets now. He marched right up to his line manager, told him he had no intention of turning up on a Sunday. His line manger ignored him, told him he would have to see him; the line manager wanted nothing to do with it.

Gary didn’t want to see the boss for he knew how he would react, angrily. He was grateful when it was his secretary in his office; she was filing but only her nails at the desk. She gave him a fake smile, it could be taken flirtatious but Gary knew she was not interested, she did this to all of them, it was a power thing, as she worked closer to the boss she figured that she was more important than the shop floor workers. Her smile turned sneer when he told her that he could not work it and she sighed and told him that she would pass the message on. Just as he was about to leave, pleased that his grievance with the Sunday had been noted and he need not approach the man himself, she pressed a button on her intercom and announced that Gary was in her office and he was refusing to work the Sunday. Gary froze on the spot, a deathly silence was heard from the other end of the intercom, a frosty reception he would receive when the boss burst the door from its hinges, “Well,” he bellowed entering the office in a brash and outraged tone of his voice, “it’s not negotiable! I expect to see you here Gary.” With that he slammed the door. Gary’s response of “well I can’t,” was barely audible over the slamming of the door.

Gary sighed, he went home upset and he couldn’t face telling his wife and kids. His wife picked up on his downright troubled expression though and asked him what was wrong. He told her, told her that he had no intention of working the Sunday, it was a special day; they had all been looking forward to the show. He had never taken the kids to a pantomime, they would love it. She suggested that he write a letter to his boss, expressing his concern.

Gary thought it sounded like a great idea, so he sat and down and plotted his literary masterpiece, it expressed just how he felt, it was solid, formal and conveyed just what he wanted to say, perhaps without the bad language and all the offensive thoughts he had about the boss. He read it back to himself, grinned and folded it into an envelope.

Next day he posted that letter, now it was sealed, he would not have to work now. But the boss came to him and still demanded he worked. So here he was, staring out to the road. Behind him he could hear those obnoxious boots coming towards him, “Gary,” the voice spoke in his jolly tone, it was all so fake “I don’t ask you to work every Sunday, it is the week before Christmas and you know; we are so busy.”

“What about my kids?” Gary sighed, “I promised them.”

“I promise lots of kids,” His boss said, “they rely on us Gary.”

“If you don’t like it sack me!” protested Gary, he was serious too.

“Where else would you go?” the boss asked, “There is nothing out there.”

Gary looked out, his boss was right, there were just snow-capped mountains. Gary sighed, his boss looked at him, “you are needed here, your life is here Gary, and there is nowhere else for an elf like you to go.”

Gary stood up, that was it, how dare he refer to him as an elf, he was better than that, he was more than that. That is all this guy wanted, an elf, a drone, a robotic worker that didn’t know his own mind. He would walk out; there was more to life than this. Flustered and frustrated he snarled at his boss, pointed a waggy finger at him and turned away to walk off, “I Quit!” he shouted, rubbed his pointy ear and made his way into the snow covered forest.

His boss stood there for a while, he was upset but knew it would pass. He had seen elves like him come and go, it was a shame, he was a good worker, made some great toys. Chances are he would be back, grovelling at his big black boots, tugging on his red suit begging for his job back. He smiled a wry smile, scratched his big white beard and went back inside the grotto. Perhaps he could do without him this year, perhaps they had enough elves working the Sunday after all, he certainly showed some front to face up to me, I need people like that in my business, he considered all this and then smiled pressing the intercom as he did so. He called the secretary, “tell Gary to take his kids to the show, Santa said he’s back on the good list.”

 
Please check out my new book, a compilation of great stories from 10 amazing authors. All the proceeds go to The Devizes Opportunity Centre, a registered charity that helps kids with disabilities and learning difficulties get a good start to life.
 
 
Thank you and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

I Am Not Frazzle!

Hey there, normal blogging will resume, I have a few short stories to tell, just got to write the fucking things is all!

I have been so busy with this project: please like it, share it, show it some love and, and, and, oh yeah, buy the book!


Huzzah! It’s here at last, “I Am Not Frazzle – and other stories for grownups!” 10 great stories from 10 great authors, all the proceeds go to the registered children’s charity, The Devizes and District Opportunity Centre. Authors include: Darren Worrow, Maria Miller, James Cruickshank and James Penhaligon, Richelle E. Goodrich, Cecily Magnon, Holly M. Kothe, Nancy Brooks, Paul Howard, Graham Downs and David Darby.






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Sunday, 15 September 2013


The Hounds of Hellington

Darren Worrow

 

1.

Gareth’s hand swiped over the mirror, removing a section of the steam he frowned at the old face staring back at him; shit, I’ve aged 10 years in 10 minutes, he thought to himself. Picking up his razor he swished it down the left side of his chin and felt it contact his skin, “Shit!” he muttered through his foam covered lips. He turned to the toilet roll holder, stealing a small bit of the tissue, rolling it into a ball and attaching it to the blood covered spot on his chin.

He finished the job, slower but still stressing to push on. When it was done he swashed his face with cold water, dried it and then sprayed some deodorant under both arms. I can’t believe this has happened in Hellington, it’s just the kind of shit I moved out of the city to avoid; he pondered in a frustrated manner.

After getting dressed in his uniform he raced down the stairs like a bull at a gate, his wife was in the kitchen wondering what the fuss was about, she asked him; “what’s up dear?”

He picked up the cup of tea, swigged it, burnt his mouth, swore and put it back on the kitchen’s worktop. “No time to explain, I’ve got to get to work, darling…..I’ll call you later.” With that he grabbed at the cold piece of toast on the side, flipped it up into his mouth, snatched some car keys from the table, his phone from the worktop, swung the kitchen door nearly off its hinges and jumped outside to face the cool morning air.

Within minutes he was in Henry Crescent, pulled his car over onto a grass verge and leap out. There were a number of police cars already at the scene, people surrounded the grass area central to the crescent of houses, some were residents, clearly frustrated and confused, the others were Gareth’s colleagues, the small Hellington  police force of six. Gareth knew that soon the city police force would be here, trying to take over; they can have the job, he thought, I came here for a peaceful life.

Constable Jones, a young Welshman and Gareth’s favourite came running over to his car, “what is the situation Jones?” Gareth asked him.

“Chief Inspector, it’s not good. About 6:30AM a man called Leonard Humphries came out of his abode at number 14 to let his cat out. His son, 6 years old, name of Daniel flew out of the house and Leonard called him back. When he didn’t come back he went out to get him. Just at that point a white van came into speeding into the crescent, stopping in-between Leonard and his son, swiped up the kid and abducted him.  The father only got WH20 from his vehicle reg before it sped off. We are checking out all registration details that match Gareth, but no luck so far.”

Gareth rubbed his chin, upsetting the shaving cut’s blood that had until then began to clot, “and where are the parents?” he asked.

“Inside the house with Sheri, they are pretty broken up as you can imagine. Shit like this just doesn’t happen here, the whole neighbourhood are shocked.”

“I need you and Gary, Bob and Sue in the cars, search this entire village and beyond for this white van, I will take over of the enquiries here.”

“Quite a few of the neighbours are already circling the village but my guess is that he is miles away by now,” figured Jones, “I will get our team on it, most likely Ginger will be here soon.”

“Yeah, I’m aware of that, those guys will want to take over Jones, lets prove we can handle this shit shall we, find this kid, now!”

“Yes sir, don’t worry……”

“We need the press distracted for now constable, keep ‘em away until I have spoken with the parents, ok?”

“…If you want me on the search party sir?” Jones questioned.

“Yeah, I do, fuck, we haven’t got enough men,” Gareth looked annoyed, staring around the small housing estate for the right number house, it was obvious, people were hanging around there. He walked over to it; this was the bit he really hated.

It was a modest, well-kept council property, he walked into the house, put his hand on Sheri’s shoulder and she looked around, “oh Gareth,” she wined, “thank god you are here, this is…….”

 “Mr and Mrs Humphries, yes I know, thank you Sheri,” he turned to address the couple that were sitting hunched together on a sofa in the living room. The man was consoling the woman; she had her head in his chest so far you couldn’t make out her blotchy face. “We will find your son Mrs Humphries, I promise you that.” Then he looked back to Sheri, “I need you to get some progress on the registration search, we need to find who that van belongs to. I have sent the others out on patrol. I want you also to try and keep the neighbours calm, tell them that the police will handle this; if they know or saw anything please question them but I don’t want a bunch of vigilantes roaming around.”

“Ok sir, I will do the best I can…..”

“I know I’m asking a lot, it’s just until Ginger gets here with his troop,” he turned away from her and addressed the distressed couple, “I know this is a very upsetting time, I sympathise with you, however if I may ask just a few questions and you can answer them as best you can, is that ok?”

The man nodded, the woman did not look up from her husband’s chest.

“Are there any reasons why anyone you know might wish to kidnap your son? For instance, do you owe anyone money, have a grievance with anyone or know of any other reason why this has happened?”

The man looked up, he was in his late thirties, “I do not know who has taken him nor why, please find my son Inspector.”

“I have our team working on it, that I can assure you. If there is anything else you can tell me…..” he leaned over to the sideboard, “I take it this is your son?” he asked picking up a photo frame.

“Yes,” quivered the man, he stood up when his wife sounded calmer, “if you’ll excuse me Inspector, I need to find my son.”

“I urge you to stay here Mr Humphries,” suggested Gareth, “see that your wife gets the support she needs, the police will……”

“The police will what?” snapped the man, “The police here are not equipped for such a matter, I can help……”

“The city forces will be here very soon and everything will be handled, the best bet is for you to stay at home,” Gareth said, fronting the man up, “I except this is hard for you to except, I would do the same if I was in your shoes but you must understand that I am only acting in your best interest.”

Frustrated the man sat back down, “he is a good son, a real good boy, why?” he cried and his wife joined him, they cuddled each other and wept in pain. Gareth did not know what to do next, he wasn’t used to this kind of thing and he had sent Sheri off. This is going to be a long day, he thought to himself. 

 

2.

 

Gareth watched impatiently while the counties Chief Commissioner pulled his lanky body from out of his swanky car. He was easily noticed, the one with the copper coloured top, Gareth would utter. They all took a great deal of humour from his bright red hair and it came to the point where he really didn’t batter an eyelid when called Ginger, so much so he often referred to himself by this nickname.

At this point in time though Gareth was not in the mood for jokes, he had gotten nowhere with the case and feared Ginger’s men would take over. There was no time or reasons for pleasantries, not that Ginger gave them out much anyway; “What’s the latest Gareth?” he stubbornly asked.

“Not much, I have all my men out searching the area but I need more. The villagers have gathered around and are also organising a search party; due to the lack of resources I allowed them to do it under police supervision, but I need more men.”

Ginger addressed the officer next to him, “John, see that there is one officer for every ten men at least, ensure they are briefed.”

“Yes sir!” he shouted and turned on his heel.

“They tell me we have part of a registration of the van, any news?”

“I am working on that, allow me to go and check their progress if you can organise the search teams, don’t scrub me out of this job sir, I know we can do it.”

“Very well,” Ginger said, “get to it, the rest leave up to me.”

Gareth moved away, walking over to the car he spotted the father, Leonard approaching him, “please inspector, can I assist now; a social officer is with my wife; I need to do something?”

“Yes, you can, I am sorry about before; there was little you could do to help. Please go and see that man there, he is the chief commissioner; he will find you a job to do in the search.”

“I would rather work with you, if you don’t mind?”

“Very well, I understand,” Gareth was slightly flattered; it cheered him up a bit, “I am going back to the station to check out some research on the van. I will be back as soon as I can and we can search too.”

The man agreed and Gareth put his hand on his shoulder, “we are doing all we can, hold on in there.”

The village police station was little more than a house situated on side of the green; it was usually adequate for their needs but he knew that very soon a makeshift station would be erected out of canvas on the green space at the centre of the crescent by Ginger’s army. He arrived at his office and jumped out. Sheri was inside, sitting tapping frantically away on a laptop computer. “Ginger is here,” said Gareth, “any progress.”

“Good timing Sarge, its coming through now,” she stopped her typing and stared in wonder at the list scrolling up the screen. “There are ten similar registrations within a thirty mile radius from here; it could have been any one of them.”

“Narrow the search, I have a hunch this guy is more local, say, 10 miles.”

Sheri did so and waited, “Got one; Farnsworth, David: 11 Hunter Avenue. I know David, he is a strange one, wouldn’t have thought he would do this though Sarge.”

Gareth picked up his phone and pressed buttons with haste, it rang: “Johnson, we have a white van matching the reg; David Farnsworth, 11 Hunter Avenue, get over there now!” He slammed the phone down. “Are there any other possible matches, say, within a 20 mile radius; cross reference them with criminal records and email them to my phone.”

“Are you going to the address?” she asked.

“Of course,” he replied and sped back to his car. Without waiting he went to the address, it was a large village but only took a few minutes to get around. When he arrived at Hunter Avenue Johnson was already there with Bob, they were coming back around to the front of the house. “Permission to break in sir, no one is around?” Bob asked.

“We have good reason to Bob, go for it.”

Just then Gareth’s phone rang; he snapped it up, a number unknown. The voice of an old man sounded out; “hello, is this Chief Inspector Gareth Evans?”

“Yes, who is this?” demanded Gareth.

“I have heard about the missing child, I may have something of interest to you. Please come to my house; I am at The Gables, you know where that is?”

“Of course, I will be right there,” replied Gareth and promptly put the phone down. “Right, Johnson, get Ginger on the phone, we need a team down here. Wait for them, and then go in. I want a report of what you find as soon as possible.” With that Gareth took to his feet, it would be far quicker to run over to the Gables from here, by the time he started the car and driven out of the village and down its track, there was a footpath which run all the way to it.

It was an old, run down farm house which looked bleak and inhabited from a distance; this better be worthwhile, he thought as he trudged up the muddy path and banged the door knocker until it shook the whole door.

 

3.

An old man in a green worn out, hand-knitted Jersey opened the door, “do come in please Mr Evans,” he said in a crumbling voice. His grey hair was randomly placed on his head and far from anything you might deem as a regular haircut shape. Even his eyebrows were a mess and his ears were hugely round, his nose even more so, just redder.

Gareth stepped inside, by its d├ęcor and rough, dirty appearance it was obvious that this man was somewhat of an eccentric. “Please take a seat Mr Evans.”

Gareth did not, he was far too anxious, “please Mr, say what you have to say, I am a very busy man.”

“I was walking the dog earlier and I spoke to one of your officers, I am quite concerned as a man came to see me not so long ago, his name was David Farnsworth and he drove up here in a white van matching the description your officer told me. My name is Boyce; I am a local historian and genealogist. He was very concerned, this lad, he had done a bit of research on his family tree, you see? We found out that his family line leads back to the old owners of Hellington Manor, a Henry Farnsworth. Do you know the story of the family Mr Evans?”

“No, I do not but please, is this relevant, we just need to locate him?” asked Gareth, he seemed to be getting tiresome of this man already; he fumbled his words and spoke very slowly.  

His bony finger pointed at the inspector, “It may be crucial Mr Evans, I promise you that,” he grinned as he said it, making Gareth suspicious. “Hellington Manor was sold after the news of this tale got out to the village, it was 1789; the family were rich and owned most of the land around here. When a series of young children went missing a team of farmers and villagers went out to locate them. They found their bodies in the wood, mutated like they had been in a fight with a pack of wolves Mr Evans. After some time the lord of the manor was spotted out late at night, he was roaming the woods. A bunch of wolves were seen not long after that in the same location. Things as they were at the time led the villagers to believe that he was in fact a werewolf. Legend has it that many villagers noted this as fact, hunted him down and he fled the manor and was never seen again. The manor was later sold to the Cook family who still reside there today.”

“Really, werewolves huh?” uttered Gareth, now he really wanted to get out of here, “just tell me Mr Boyce, do you know the location of this Farnsworth bloke, I haven’t the time for ghost stories?”

“I do not know, however I can tell you that David was upset when I told him the tale, he said that it explains everything and he ran out of this house. I must have scared him somewhat but he seemed more than scared, as if he was suffering symptoms of some discomfort, which I likened to the beginning stages of a werewolf metamorphosis. I am doing some more research into the myth at the moment, I ermm…….”

“Honestly, Mr Boyce, are you suggesting that he is a werewolf?” Gareth put his hands over his face and let them go again, he made his way to the door, “if you have anything better than that I would like to hear it but for now I am very busy, like I said.”

“Please try the woods, but, be careful……”

With that Gareth left the house in an utter state of disbelief, he could have him arrested for wasting police time, but considered that he was just a crazy old man, not worth the effort.

 

4.

 

Ten hours had pasted now since the boy had been abducted, Ginger had his team searching the entire area while Gareth had returned to the police station wondering what time he should start giving up hope that the boy might be found alive. There were three possible vans’ that matched the beginning part of the registration plate that were still unaccounted for, Sheri was making inquiries.

Gareth paced the his office, chewing his fingernail, “time is running out Sheri,”

“I know sir, I have located the second van, he is returning from work in Cambridge. The man was working early this morning but not in this area. The company, a Cambridge based logistics firm are sending me a detailed account of his route via his tracker. The third van is still mysterious, owned by a gardening company; Bob is making his way there.”

“Good stuff, I still need more on the whereabouts of this Farnsworth character, have you seen his report? The flat was overflowing with his family research and books on the legend of the werewolves……..”

“You are not suggesting that you believe that mad old man Gareth?” she asked concerned as she swung her swivel chair around to face him.

“Don’t be so stupid Sheri, werewolf shit indeed! However is it not possible that if this guy heard that his ancestors were thought of as being werewolves that he has not become obsessed by the idea and perhaps believes that he is a werewolf too?”

“Highly unlikely, but certainly possible,” she considered, “pretty fucked up thing to think though……”

“It’s a pretty fucked up thing to abduct a child, wouldn’t you say?”

Sheri did not answer it, she sat and thought about it then shrugged her shoulders and returned to her work. Gareth paced the room again, “Damn! I’m calling that ginger bastard!” He did and received only the same answer, no luck yet. Gareth bite his tongue, “I
know this sounds crazy sir but I’ve had a bizarre tip-off from a, well, he’s rather eccentric. I think we need to concentrate more effort on the woods….yeah…..yeah…..I know you have, I need the whole place….what? What do you mean you have no more labour? Find some!”

Gareth hung up, “bollocks!”

“What?” asked Sheri.

“He says they have reason to believe that this guy Farnsworth has him held hostage in one of the houses and suggests that they concentrate the majority of their efforts doing a house to house search.” Gareth flicked the blinds on the curtains, “fuck these winter evenings, it’s getting dark already!”

Just then they heard a thump at the door, “come in!” he yelled.

The father of the missing child, Leonard appeared, framed in doorway, backlit by the dim, yellow street light beyond, “Mr Evans, how are things going?” he asked sternly.

“As well as can be expected, I am so very sorry that we still have no news,” whimpered Gareth, there was something off-putting about Leonard’s stance and posture; he seemed much more powerful than he was before. Probably understandable, thought Gareth, the bloke has had a very hard day, he must be so agitated. “How is your wife taking the news?” he asked and then regretted it, what a fucking stupid thing to ask!

“She is still in shock, her sister is with her and so I am here now to help in any way I can,” again his tone was deeper than before, so much more serious.

“Leonard, I am always, in cases like this, overthrown by the forces that be; the city investigators have taken over the show and have got the idea from somewhere that your boy is being held captive in one of the houses in the village. I assure you that a full search is taking place. However, I have heard from, not the best of sources, but…well, that he may well have been taken him to the woods. I understand that as it is getting dark many of the volunteers from the village are giving up searching the woods. Perhaps if you would like to escort me for a little drive around the woods, see if we can’t come up with something. I mean, it’s a longshot……..”

“….but it is better than standing on our laurels….” added Leonard.

“I just don’t want you to raise your hopes, the source is rather confused, and, well, I have good reason to suspect he is, shall we say, not playing with a full deck of cards.”

“Never-the-less,” Leonard said, gesturing him to the door, “we need to check, please Mr Evans.”

 “Please call me Gareth,” said Gareth as he nodded to Sheri, picked up his phone and opened the police station door.

 

5.

 

The woods were eerily silent and as dusk set upon them, Gareth’s car churned up the mud as its wheels span slightly up the track, he was concerned about Leonard; he had been very quiet the whole journey. He finally spoke, “this looks like a good place to check….urgh!”

“What is wrong Leonard?” asked Garth alarmed.

“Nothing, I am fine, just a stitch, I have had no food today. I don’t think I would have been able to keep it down, what with the worry and all,” he answered, holding his stomach.

“Can’t see much up here,” pointed out Gareth, shining his full beam over the trees.

“We must find him soon,” said Leonard, his tone was getting much more agitated; Gareth was sympathetic to his grave concerns. If he did locate a body he had to consider how to get Leonard out of its way so he wasn’t too shocked.

Leonard looked up at the sky, a thin layer of moon was shining above the horizon, “we have to get to them soon, before midnight………”

“Why midnight?” asked Gareth.

“Because it is a full moon,” answered Leonard in all seriousness.

Gareth slowed the car and took it out of gear, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“It is a full moon tonight, I say. I have heard things about this village, stories…….”

“Who have you been talking to today Leonard?” asked Gareth, now very concerned that Boyce had made contact with him and planted some crazy notion in his mind, which was already weakened from the stress.

Leonard looked around at Gareth, he had a look of fear on his face, “please,” he went on, “I have heard from a man about, well, it’s silly really, but werewolves, do you believe in werewolves Gareth?”

“I certainly do not,” protested Gareth, “listen, Leonard; I don’t know who has put this notion in your head but I suggest that you forget it right now. It is not going to do this search any good, ok?”

Suddenly and without warning Gareth heard a thunderclap and a burst of rain fell upon the windscreen, he jumped out of his skin. He pulled the wiper lever up and at first it squeaked but as the rain fell harder it wiped droplets from the windscreen away in silence.

“There are things you don’t understand,” said Leonard, his tone was wry, drawn out and cold. It shook Gareth’s bones.

He looked at the man sitting next to him, “What are you telling me Leonard? If you know something that you are not telling me I suggest you spill the beans right now.”

“I cannot, for they are just rumours, village folklore….”

“I am getting suspicious of your actions Mr Humphries, very suspicious, there are no such things as werewolves, you realise that don’t you?” Gareth asked, he was indeed suspicious, was this man trying to hide something, trying to take him off the scent?

“Stop the car!” yelled Leonard looking down through the window at the grass verges below.

“What?” asked a very concerned Gareth, stopping the motion of the wheels.

Leonard opened the door and threw himself out, “look! Tyre tracks!”

Gareth grabbed his torch and got out hastily. Battling against the heavy rainfall he moved around to the other side of the vehicle joining Leonard. He looked down at where Leonard was pointing, he was right, “Quite fresh too,” commented Gareth in a low whisper, “they are lost here in the long grass though….”

“I suggest we look for footprints,” said Leonard.

“I cannot see any boots walking here,” replied Gareth, “we cannot be sure the vehicle that made these tracks actually stopped here, we must move up the track, get back in the car.”

“Not human prints, we need to look for animal footprints,” claimed Leonard.

“Get back in the car now Mr Humphries!” ordered Gareth, this has gone too far, he thought.

They got back in the car and Gareth moved over to Leonard’s side of the car, right over his body. Suddenly Leonard felt cold steel on his wrists as Gareth grappled with his arms. He slipped the other end of the handcuffs to the steering wheel, “unless you can tell me what you know or what you are really worried about Mr Humphries I can only deduce that your actions are trying to wavier me off the track from finding your son, therefore I am placing under arrest for the suspicion that you are somehow involved in the abduction of your son. Do you understand the reasons why I am doing this, what you have been arrested for Mr Humphries?” Gareth was sure being proactive but considered it the safest option for both himself and his passenger. Leonard was becoming uncontrollable, he resisted pulled and grunted, complaining about his discomfort.

“I am sorry to do this Leonard, but you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something you later rely on in court.… Right, I will continue investigating these tracks on foot, you will stay here. I will return and hopefully we can put this silliness to bed.” Gareth got out of the car and took one last look back at the distressed man tied to his steering wheel, considered it was for the best, flicked his torch on and made his way up the track.

The track was dark but the moonlight coming beaming through the trees was becoming stronger every step he strode up the path. It was barely a path now, overgrown with weeds and high grass. Gareth shone the torch to the ground and could clearly make out a line where the grass was flattened; a vehicle had driven this way not so long ago. With the hope that he may not be too late after all he picked up the pace. The moon now was fully up in the sky, brightening up the gaps even more.

Suddenly Gareth stopped dead in his tracks to the audible screech of a human in extreme pain; it rang out yards in front of him, a horrific scream which startled him beyond compare. He threw his torch’s beam ahead but could not make anything out, other than dense forestation. He changed his jog into a sprint, sweat dripping off him in anticipation and fear chilled him as it hit the cold midnight air.

Seconds passed into minutes as he haphazardly raced up the track, the forest getting denser as he went, tripping over shrubs and tree stumps. Finally when he thought he could take the pace no longer he stopped and shone his torch ahead, there, in a small clearing stood the shadowy figure of a van, it looked deserted, one back door hung open and after he ceased his panting from his breathless lungs he could hear the metallic and rusty creak as it swayed in the gentle wind. A puff of perspiration blew smoke into the night air and as it cleared he set his sights on the van, he had to get there.

Struggling now he completed his journey exhausted. Gareth could clearly see the front cab, there was no one in there, the headlights were off but the inside light was flickering as the driver’s door swayed too. He concluded that the driver had jumped out and ran to the rear of his van, he could see the way the grass around it had been trodden down. He crouched down behind the driver’s door and shuffled his way to the back of the van. Through the gap caused by the door on its hinges he could see blood, it was beginning to drip from the step of the van. He held tight to his breath, fear struck him as to what might be welcoming him from inside the van.  There was still no sound, no rustling of feet or human breath, Gareth estimated that no one alive remained in the van.

Quickening the pace he grabbed at the handle and yanked the door off its hinges, “Freeze!” he shouted just in case but as soon as he did so he could see that it was void of life. There was, however a bloody mess of human body parts, torn limb from limb. He pulled his face back from the horrific scene and looking down he spotted a severed arm clearly with pierced holes like the teeth marks of a wild animal. It looked as if the animal, whatever it was tore the victim limb from limb in a frenzied attack. That poor kid, thought Gareth as he turned his head away in disgust, what has happened to him for fucks sake?

As the thoughts flushed through his mind as to what exactly could have happened, the image behind him that he was hiding his face from formed in his mind and he felt his stomach in his mouth. He regurgitated and fell to his knees, vomit launching itself from his throat and wrenching his guts from the very pit of his stomach.

After the initial shock all was deadly quiet and cold once again save the swinging hinge of the driver’s door. Gareth took a moment to take in the silence and get a grip of his predicament. Abruptly the silence was broken by the incredibly shocking sound of a buzz in his pocket and the ringtone of a 1990s pop classic. It flooded a certain reality check back into Gareth and he fumbled for his phone. Without looking at the number ID he answered it cautiously, “hello?”

“Is that Mr Evans?” the phone caller asked, he recognised the voice but was so out of place himself he failed to identify it.     

“Y…Yes….who is this?” he quivered.

“Mr Evans, its Boyce. I have some new information from my research that may be of help to you…..”

Normally Gareth would have hung up on this time waster but under the circumstances he was just happy to hear the sound of another human being. The voice continued, “I’m sorry to call you so late like this Mr Evans; it’s just that, well, I have been to the manor and been allowed access to its extensive library. I found hidden, a diary from one of the butlers of
the manor, Jenkins, was his name; he worked at the time of the incident I mentioned. In it states this: Though I fear for my life I feel I must make it evident to anyone that finds this manuscript the truth behind the horrific goings on here of recent. The village have begun a witch-hunt for Lord Farnsworth; however I have seen the distress on his face, knowing what he knows as he shared his darkest thoughts before departing on that fateful day. For he, the accused is not possessed with evil at all, rather he is covering for a man in his employment that he fears so much that he knows he must confess to a crime and then flee to save himself and his family from their evil doing. I make my statement here with intentions to take myself far away from here also, in some hope of survival and if you read of this I suggest you do the same.  For the gardener is the true man-wolf and I have seen him in his altered state so I know it to be true, god help us…….”

“Right, ok,” said Gareth, now not knowing what to think, “Listen, Boyce; I am a bit wrapped up here at present but……”

 “I am sorry to press on with it; I know you are sceptical about all this Mr Evan’s I just thought you should know that I have found the name of the gardener in question….his name is Alfred, Alfred Humphries……”

“You mean…………..” Gareth couldn’t believe what he was hearing and he took a sudden flashback at the severed arm he examined for those brief seconds. He hung up the phone before he could hear the truth and leaned back to the van door and opened it. Just as he thought now, the arm was far too large to be that of a small boy, it clearly belonged to a man. He slowly put a finger to it, pressed at its raw flesh and wiped a finger mark of the blood away from it, clearly black hairs, that of a fully grown man. He jumped up inside the van and took one step closer to the body, crouch over to where the bulk of the body was, a head that was turned away from him was his target, he turned it by pulling the blood-drenched hair, the face of David Farnsworth confronted him and he threw his body back in horror.

He jumped clear of the van and back into the still night air, he peered over at the moon in its fullness and suddenly the silence was again broken, this time by the distant howl of a wolf. Then he heard another, not so far off and remembered the father still handcuffed in his car.

He ran as fast as he could back to the car but when he got back the man had gone, “Leonard, where the fuck are you?” he yelled and he heard a howl as a reply. He examined the cuffs, they were still attached to the steering wheel intact and he noticed that they had shreds of grey fur between the gaps in the chain. Gareth looked back up at the full moon, it was shining brightly.
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Not that scary huh? Oh well, try this for size...........................

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Jack, to the Future.



1.

Jack Farley sat on a rock with his small son overlooking the stone circle in the fields below them. “Why do we talk differently from all the others father?” his son asked him.

“Because I taught you to speak as I did so that you can listen to the story I am about to tell you and you will pass it onto to your own children. They then will pass it on to their children and so on, until the tale that I tell you reaches the right generation to carry out what needs to be done, so I can get back to my own time,” Jack said.

“Can you tell me the story?” asked his son, dressed in animal skins.

“Yes, it is time, listen very carefully as you need to pass this story on, I will tell it as it happened, or as it will happen, hopefully.”

 

 

2.

 

“My name is Jack Farley, I am a past area sales manager for Tykon, a heavy plant machine producer, done it for a few years now and I love the job, takes me all over the time but sometimes, going back too far can be a pain in the arse, assignments back before our communications network was established can be lonely and without contact back to HQ it can be nerving.

I have no family, it would be impossible to get married and have kids with all this travelling that the job involves. It suits me down to the ground, I’ve always wanted to be a high flyer in business and that means I never would have time for kids.

So, one day I get this very important assignment which means I will be going back a long way. So I was up early to beat the traffic, I get dressed; take off in my pod, stopping at Tarbucks for a quick coffee and to call the office to tell them I was on my way.

Running late I got caught in the bottle neck at tunnel 6, rush hour again. The radio tells me there has been an accident between junctions 2030 and 2020 and the traffic is nose to tail for over 7 years. Why people all have to leave for their journey at the same sort of time is beyond me really, it’s not like we are travelling distance rather we are travelling through time so it really doesn’t matter what time you leave, you get to your destination at the same time anyway. I guess it’s just human nature; we can’t change the habits of a lifetime. When, years ago, people travelled distance they all wanted to get there early, I can understand that but the habit of getting up, having breakfast and then getting into their vehicles has never faded. I could have waited until after the rush hour but I needed to push on, an important business deal was about to be signed; a job that would structure the company for life, I couldn’t wait around as I was in anticipation of the result.

Since Dr Emmett Brown’s company, DEB’s commercial release of the flux capacitor the market has been flooded with prospective time travelling tourists and the time tunnels that used to be empty save for scientists and businessmen like myself have now been filled with millions of delivery vans, youngsters out on a beano to more liberal time zones like the 1960s and 1990s or old age pensioners holidaying in past paradises.  Needless to say the congestion is becoming a problem and as other tunnels are constructed it only leads to more people being able to afford cheap time travel packages.

So I sigh as the traffic comes to a grinding halt just past the 2030 turn off and take a sip of my coffee, this is going to be one hell of a long journey. People always flock here to see the last flickers of the ozone layer disappearing and the solar rays bursting through. It’s quite sick really watching all those innocent people fry but it is a historic event and gives people faith in the new artificial atmosphere.

A pod with floral purple cushions and a box of disposable handkerchiefs on the passenger shelf pulls off into the hard shoulder. The grey tops inside pile out and sit on the bank sharing out cucumber sandwiches and French Fancies. A delivery driver beeps his horn in frustration; he cannot get past; why, if he is on performance related pay like most of them are he doesn’t simply pull off the tunnel an hour or so sooner in order to get there earlier hasn’t registered in his feeble excuse for a brain. He beeps again, waving a mid-finger at the aging folks on the hard shoulder.

The traffic moves forward a couple of months and then grinds to a stop again, I hit the steering wheel, why did I not just wait until this traffic had cleared I think to myself. That is when I spot a lone young man with crusty dreadlocks and a big backpack standing on the 2027 slip road holding his thumb out for a lift. Usually I avoid hitchhikers like the plague, bunch of freeloading skivers with nothing better to be doing than hassling people for lifts to festivals, this guy is probably looking for a lift back to 1969, they all want to witness Woodstock; get a haircut and get a fucking job I say to myself as he stands there hopeful for a lift.

Then I think about the long journey ahead, it wouldn’t be so bad if I pick him up so that I can have some company even if it’s just for a few decades, I might be able to convert him to become a businessman like myself. So I stop and pick him up. “Hi,” he says through his dirty bearded mouth, “thanks mate!” I’m not his “mate” but I smile anyway and allow him to throw his muddy backpack on my clean backseat and jump into the passenger seat.

“Where are you heading to mate?” I ask him in his own broken language, regretting my decision and hoping it wasn’t too late, hopefully he wanted dropping off at the illegal warehouse parties of the 1990s.

“1914,” he tells me, what on earth does he want to do back then I think but I nod and he sits back, “busy on the tunnel today isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it always is,” I reply.

“All these time tourists, sad really,” he says. Now I am sorry, he may not be the stereotype holiday maker but he is, more or less a tourist himself, he doesn’t time travel for business, he’s just bumming about getting his kicks. “So, when are you off to?” he asks, typically making small talk and without any real interest.

“2600 BC,” I tell him.

“Wow!” he screams, “what are you doing that far back?”

“Well, I work for a machine company, selling heavy building equipment. I want to get the pagans to buy a heavy-duty crane in order to lift the stones in the construction of Stonehenge,” I tell him, taking another sip of my coffee.

He grins, “That is like, crazy man!”

I smile back, “well, they need it and the purchase of the crane will secure the company name for hundreds of years to come. Sure it will not bring much money into the firm but it’s a crucial marketing strategy against our nearest competitors.”

He nods, “crazy, man.”

Not really interested why he wants to stop at 1914 I thought it best to ask him why anyway, “why 1914, not many festivals happen back then?”

“Oh no, I’m not off to a festival,” he grins, “I’m a freedom fighter on a peace making mission.”

“Oh right, how does that work then?”

“Yeah man, when I get there I got to get straight to Sarajevo and find a man called Gavrilo Princip, he was a Bosnian Serb and a member of a secret military society known as the Black Hand. He assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand which led to the Great War of 1914 and in turn led to the uprising of the Nazi Party in Germany which started the Second World War.”

“Oh right,” I said, surprised by his answer, “why?”

“I’m going to kill him before he carries out the attack thus putting an end to both world wars. Billions of people will be saved,” he proudly announced.

I was shocked, it was just this sort of messing around with the time continuum that led to so much confusion and alteration in our own time, costing taxpayers billions in funding the agency that had to put it right again. This sort of thing was, and for good reason, highly illegal and so I pointed this out him. He seemed sad, “I have to do something, I cannot let all those people die,” he wailed.

“That is not the point I told him, upsetting the timeline in such a degree would have serious repercussions. Who knows what might happen, I mean the failure to advance in technology in the way that the world wars allowed humankind could mean that time travel never gets invented and the tunnels will close around us, trapping us in our destination time,” I told him, adding “you fucking idiot,” for good measure.

“Oh right and introducing the pagans to crane technology is not corrupting the timeline then?” he asked.

“No, not in same way, it has already happened,” I told him sternly, “I cannot let you do this.” I was right I had to stop him, our way of life depended on it.

“You know the album Peace in our Time, the 1987 hit album from John Lennon? Well that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t kill Mark David Chapman, Lennon’s assassin in 1980 would it? That album changed the way people thought about war and peace, never did any harm to kill him did it?” he questioned.

“That is not in the same ball park,” I informed him, “you can’t compare it. You can’t change history like this, it’s the golden rule of time travel not to tamper with the past, look at the Marty McFly, with his brother fading from the photo, remember that? Yoko Ono might think you’re a hero but the time cops will have you strung up for this one. I cannot let you do this.”

Just then, as I was thinking about how I could stop him, we were passing the junction for 1920 he went to open the door, the time winds howled outside as I was just picking up speed after the traffic jam. I tried to press the central locking system control but it was too late, “I have to do this,” he claimed and leapt from my moving vehicle. In my mirror I saw him roll over to the embankment and lie lifeless on the floor. Hopefully he was dead, I thought, unless if he was to get another lift he would probably not mention his mission and it was only a six year trip to his exit.  

“Fucking space cadet!” I yelled, “That hippy-time-meddling mother fucker!” I yelled even louder. After some time though the whole event was forgotten about, he was obviously dead and I could get on with my assignment without concern.

3.

 

Hundreds of pagan workers walking to and fro across the downs, slowly pushing great rocks on pulley-systems made from small wheels, puffing and panting as they went were the scenes my eyes were blessed with as soon as I exited the tunnel. “Great!” I told myself, my rival company had clearly not got here yet, they were sure to be interested in the plans I carried in a long tube under my arms. I locked the pod, securing the invisibility shield and went on my way to find the top dog in charge of this construction.

I had changed my clothes to blend in with the locals back at the BC service station; it was the last taste of a McDougall’s burger and fries I would be getting for some time, I just didn’t know for how long. Before the moon was out I had made contact with the head foreman of the site, a druid called Hawkwind, he seemed very interested so he took me to his home where his wife feed me venison and gave me some mead to drink. In the morning we began working on construction of the crane according to the blueprints and he agreed to pay me a vast amount of gold for my idea. I tried to clench the deal with a gentleman’s handshake but he favoured sacrificing a lamb, claiming I was a gift from the sun itself. I was chuffed, whatever he felt like thinking was fine with me, the gold would be worth a small fortune in my time and I would have secured the company name in prehistory. My job here was done; I thanked the tribe and walked back to the time tunnel, I was so pleased to finally be away from these stinking, uneducated Neanderthals.

Reaching the hillside where I left my pod I put my hand under my robe where I secured my invisibility shield control key and found it was gone. “Shit, where is it?” I asked myself and scanned the ground around me. I took a walk back across my tracks and could see it nowhere. Frustrated and annoyed I climbed the hill again, there was an operating panel on the underside of the pod I could use to manually switch the security system offline.

Careful not to bump into the pod I put my hands out in front on me. Some passers-by looked at me oddly, walking like a zombie around the hill, not that they knew what a zombie was. I covered the whole hill and could not find the pod or the tunnel entrance which by now should have homed in on my location automatically by mind control. The tunnel operating system was a telepathic computer that could sense your request to open a tunnel and automatically did so. I tried to focus my mind, it normally did not take any real concentration but I found however much I tried it simply just didn’t work.

The tunnel not working I could have put down to a glitch in the system and figured it would be operational again in seconds. However with this and the missing pod I knew something was not right. I sat on the hillside and considered how this could have happened. That is when I remembered, him, “that fucking hippy!”

4.

 

To say I was in desperation was an understatement son; I spent the next few weeks wandering around in hope of finding someone else from my time that was stranded too. I found no one. I was chased away from every tribe. We live in changing times son, the agricultural revolution is underway, they were busy turning from hunter-gatherers into farming communities and these villages simply didn’t want anyone like me that was incapable of looking after my own. Heck, I couldn’t even make fire, I tried really I did but a boy from 2098 had no chance, we just didn’t need to know how to do it. I lived off the berries and fruit I found; I couldn’t hunt or fish even if I could make fire to cook it with.

I had forgotten how much time had elapsed, it seemed like months and I was full of beard and too skinny and undernourished to continue walking. I found some cliffs and decided to end it there and then. I had come to terms with the fact that history had been altered, although I was unsure if stopping the assassination of Franz Ferdinand had been the root cause of it I figured it most probably was, hell a future without “Take me Out,” “Walk Away,” and “This Fire” was bad enough but the results of that hippies actions was far worse than the sudden disappearance of a rock band, it had slowed the development of technology to the point where time travel in my era was impossible. So I took a deep breath and threw myself onto the cliffs below, perhaps if they wiped out Oasis too it wouldn’t have been so bad.

I awoke in a mud hut surrounded by smelly hairy men looking at me. They smiled when they saw me and got me to drink some muddy water, it was rank. Slowly I was nursed better by a toothless lady; she was covered with hair and stank of foul crap. She was disgusting but was far from old; she could only have been 20 years old at a push. When I looked past her hair and toothless smile I had to admit that she was quite pretty. This is when I developed my plan.

It was all so easy, all I had to do, and no matter how much I cringed at the thought, is mate with this girl. Then I could produce offspring with which to tell this story to. The story would be passed through the generations until it got to the year 1914, then the man of my future family line would be able to kill the hippy that killed the assassin that should have killed Franz Ferdinand before he got a chance to kill the assassin, allowing the assassin to kill Franz Ferdinand and therefore begin the wars which would lead to the technology being devolved to invent time travel and thus reopen the time tunnel where someone could come and rescue me, simple really.

So I smiled my best fake smile at the girl, confused she looked onto me and giggled, it was the beginning of a relationship of which I thought I would hate at first. The family took me under their wings; they supported me until I was well enough to start work in the fields. So I learned to make fire, I learned how to sow the crops and herd the livestock. I was even able to come up with the simplest of ideas to help them with their farming. I had become a valid member of the team, my muscles grew more than ever before, my hands became rough, and my teeth began to rot like theirs. I took much pleasure from understanding the world as they saw it, a life without Christianity or any other formal religion; they believed in the things they could see and touch like the fertility of the land, the powers of the moon and the sun. They feared that their new life of farming would go against their beliefs. That is when I began to understand the reasons for building the Stonehenge; it was symbolic that on the great winter solstice the sun and the moon would meet in the square formed by the stone circle. The moon and the sun, their gods, would be united and still bear as much importance in their new lives as farmers as it ever did when they were hunter gatherers.  

Life here was so simple; I actually began to enjoy it. The girl, Aife, her name meaning beauty had become my beauty; I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight but I managed to overcome my 21st century perceptions of what a young lady should look like and look past her prehistoric features. We spent many hours staring up at the stars, I tried to tell her that they were other suns but she did not believe me. We spent hours just sitting by the river, swimming and fishing, knowing that in my time they would all be polluted. We spoke but our conversations took a long time, she often did not understand me.

Even though we did not work well together, well we were from completely different time zones, completely different cultures, we made love. She liked the way I was with her; understanding of her needs sexually was something the other male villagers just didn’t care to do. Before long, despite my horror of what I had done by the fact this could never work between us and I did it out of need to return to my own time rather than through love, she fell pregnant.

My life here changed when you were born son and I treated you both like my family, trying to hold back my desires to return to the 21st century I got on with raising my pagan family. I watched you grow in hope that one day you would be old enough and wise enough to take heed of this story, to understand what you must do. You must carry this tale with you, you must tell it to your offspring and I hope that the family chain will not be broken.

So now we are here, at the hill where my pagan life started. If you succeed in conveying the story and so do your spouses through the passage of time the timeline will be fixed and the tunnel will open up before us, then I must go.”

 

 

5.

 

Jack and his son watched the hill, silent in contemplation. It was clear that his son wanted to say something important to him and several times he said, “Father…..”

“Yes?” asked Jack.

“…..I….ermmm….I promise to pass this story to my own children,” he said with a tear in his eye as they both watched the wind whip up into a twirl and form a tunnel.

Suddenly from out of the tunnel came a pod, it skidded on the grass and the figure of a man stepped out and looked at the smelly, bearded, pagan dressed Jack sitting on the hill, “J…J...Jack?” he asked.

“Roy?” asked Jack in disbelief, it was his old associate from the office, the sales manager for the 1800-1900’s.

“Damn!” exclaimed Roy as he approached Jack, “you smell worse than you look, what the fuck happened to you; the boss sent you away just yesterday, he wants to know if you secured the deal?”

“Yes, I did Roy; it’s great to see you again.”

“What? Have you been on the piss or something?”

“Something,” he replied, “now let’s go, my pod is out of order, you’ll have to give me lift.”

“Yeah, no problems, hop right in.”

Jack looked over his shoulder, his son stood there amazed. Jack walked up to him, “Son, you are a man now; you must look after your mother and explain to her why I had to go.” He kissed him on his greasy hair and got into the pod.

“Who was that?” asked Roy as he pulled into the tunnel.

“Oh, no one important,” said Jack.

“I’ve been out at Giza, the great Pyramid project is moving so much faster with our JCB. This time next year the company will be in a position to give us all a fat bonus.” Roy sped on through the tunnel, out of the BC and into the AD years. When all of a sudden they hit heavy traffic and the lane came to a stop.

Jack thought about his home, his air-con flat under the artificial atmosphere, he thought of his job, the same thing day in day out, the office and all the over-egotistical staff. He thought of everything he left behind so many years ago. Then he grabbed Roy by the scruff of the neck, “Roy!” he shouted, “take me back, take me back now!”

“What? I thought you said you closed the deal?”

“No, I have a few odds and ends to sort out, tell the boss that I’ll be a few more days.”

The pod re-landed back on the hill where the pagan boy and his mother, Aife stood watching in wonderment. Jack got out of the pod and run over to them, “I am back!” he shouted and hugged them, “forget the story son, forget it all and never tell it to another soul as long as you live!”

Roy went off confused as the tunnel evaporated after him.

Jack walked over the hill and watched the people gathering at the Stonehenge, solstice was soon and the cold dark nights were drawing in. Jack huddled close to his family to keep them warm.


 
WHITE SPACE VAN MAN
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