Shhhh, gather round, let me tell you a story...
The throwaway pieces of left over pizza were doing the rounds down by the river where the hobos went to drink their wine and bags of whisky that never had an expiry date and could be relied upon to help them sleep through the night except on the coldest nights when they’d have to huddle around the fires until morning’s light came.
Tonight was such a night and so began the story telling...
“Listen to me,” said Pyjama Ha and began his story:
“Softly, as in a crate of beans heaved by an ant, the express train to Siberia began to leave the station with no one the wiser because of its rubber wheels, which pleased the residents of Paris no end.
On board were the seven deadly sins and the suicide directive wrapped up with the bow ties in the luggage compartment that can be relied upon to cause trouble later.
A remarkably old conductor who’d once been a pirate on the high seas with a claw hand but now retired to the railways was punching tickets and seeing to the reservations for dinner that would begin at six o, clock sharp for the first class and sandwiches for everyone else.
Long was the train of many carriages and grand was the engine that pulled them that had seen its days fly by in clouds of steam and smoke, and green were the fields it passed through as it chugged up to speed for the long journey.
With a strict dress code in the restaurant car, lettuce for daisies was sipping a mint julep and getting away with it. The largest system and bigger than any spiritual idea was sitting across from her and downing a cold beer and suited up to the sevens and eights in small talk for the evening and was not going to take no for an answer later, not that he would ask anyway, that was all taken care of with the bones of an old skeleton he’d found in her cupboard after they first met and now was held over her until he found another conquest that pleased him.
Sitting across from them as an indifferent table of unconcern was a marble statue made of bronze cracking at the seams and sinking under the layers of buffeting coming from the rich wife, one drinking whisky and one on the sherry.
A begging letter was in the next carriage and married to a marginal utility and drinking iced gin from a tube and staring out of the window trying to decipher what he was seeing, but it was too remote and so turned inwards to memories of other times when he’d stare at ants going about their business and wondering what controlled them.
When a miracle coffee came by, humming in tune to the latest ditty from the radio he looked up, but quickly looked back down again when his wife noticed him staring and beginning to turn into a lapsed catholic before all the woes sin could produce.
“Have another gin dear, it’s better for you,” said his wife who then looked back to her foldaway bible that came all the way from Alabama, USA.
As the train came out of a tunnel in a cloud of steam, superman landed on the roof and took a break, and then after a few moments flew off again and no one at all saw him. So the question that might be asked is: if no one saw him, was he really there? Those lacking the imaginative ability to understand this concept are excused from answering it except those who can speak in English and have been touched by morphic resonance.
Down in the valley of the depths, the fear gods of the shadow reach were playing cards and waiting for the train to come through. When the whistle was heard they put the cards away for another time and stood up to search for their tickets and move the luggage closer to the track.
One big hulk of a man wearing a suit gathered up all of the guns from the others and put them in a trunk and locked it and put the key in his pocket. When the train thundered through the station in clouds of steam without stopping because a spy in their midst had wired through a message to say they were bandits and intent on no good, they were left standing, mouths open and too late to get their guns to fire at the train that disappeared in the distance to leave them all not very happy.
When night time came, everyone was asleep, drugged by the ex pirate and now conductor who was riffling through their stuff for gold and money and jewels and a quick grope and fondle as he went; he was not called Billy the goat for nothing.
When he came to the luggage compartment he opened the trunk of bow ties and put his hand in arm deep to feel for anything hidden and found the creeping excruciation that had seen better days and was now stowing away for a new life somewhere else.
Sharp teeth closed over his hand and bit down hard to make a deep indentation that drew blood and a squeal from the ex-pirate. He pulled his hand out quick, but too late, the bow ties and the seven deadly sins began to heave and overflow onto the floor with little snapping sounds that were most frightening and sent the ex-pirate running from the luggage compartment in terror.
When everyone woke up in the morning they were all wearing bow ties and feeling strange desires that drove them out to the dining car where they ordered strong coffee and stared around at the other passengers who were all wearing bow ties on top of whatever they went to sleep in the night before.
The conductor of the train who should have been there to sort things out was cowering under the bed inside his locked cabin and was not going to come out until the train reached Siberia in three days. But he needn’t have worried, he was quite forgotten about in the new day where everyone was intent on fulfilling the sudden and not so strange desires that had crept over them during the night.
When the train finally pulled into the station in Siberia two doors opened on the track side to discharge the cowering ex pirate who ran off back to the sea taking with him as much of his booty as he could carry; and the excruciation blended in very well into the Siberian wastes and was never seen again, this side of anything worth telling anyway.
The headlines in the newspapers ran for weeks: hunt widens for missing conductor of three day orgy death train.
A lesser news story said: mysterious unexplained deaths reported of Siberians wearing only a bow tie have been found in groups dotted about the city.
The copycat buffoon and the linguistic idiot both relieved of their senses were hunting in Siberia for long-eared angels.
They’d had difficulty in explaining this to the border guards but were eventually let through with a thirty day visa as harmless eccentrics with too much money and told not to touch anything that moved and to declare everything when they came back through on the way out.
This of course was a disguise; really they were government agents from the west on a mission from the cut-back department who’d recalled them from retirement to hunt down all signs of intelligent life remaining and to tag for elimination by any means.
A report had come in of a sighting of one individual living in a snow house and surviving on fish caught from a hole in the ice, and if the report was true then approach with caution and deem said individual as dangerous and a threat to the system, and if he becomes belligerent then send in the imperial bailiffs, or if there’s no one looking then knock him on the head and throw him down his fishing hole.
Three degrees of whatever you say pulled his Parker hood up and saluted as the pair snow-shoed past on their mission.
“How many of you can say that they’ve kissed the feet of the lord of the universe?” asked Welsh Wales skipping up and down in the cold.
A little bit that bit his own shoe put his hand up and said: “Me.”
“Well there’s lovely me Boyo,” said Welsh Wales coming over to shake his hand.
“And now I can say I’ve shook the hand of one who has kissed the feet of the lord of the universe.”
As the two shook hands and eyed each other up from head to toe, the peculiarity of a dispatch rider roared past them beeping his horn and waving and then was gone.
“Who was that?” asked a little bit that bit his own shoe.
“I have no idea,” said Welsh Wales stepping back onto his podium beside the road of knowledge to finish his lecture on the gurus of the world in the nine pranas of the seven halls.
The gong for the end of the lecture sounded and so the students packed up and trooped off down the long road of their karma, the continuing moments of their lives pulling them this way and that in their endless search for peace.
The perfect expression of a blue eyed dog was fishing through a hole in the ice and hadn’t a care in the world and was so unremarkable in every way nothing else can be said about him.
The two bleary eyed bushels of discontent were aching in their snow shoe, a long way from home on their mission to find and tag any remaining intelligence left in the world.
“We have small pieces of nothing, marinated in a sauce that will please you,” said the wind blowing from the north.
“Don’t mind them,” said the snow, “their thoughts were big and huge for all to see but now are withering away.”
“What are these small measures of something that have ended up here?” asked the nine pranas of the seven halls.
“Trust me in forty minutes to give you the answer,” said the Guinness book of records on a glorious explaining spree never heard of before.
“I’m all cried out about it,” said the National Geographic, sold out and taken over by the big gang who could buy anything they wanted with all their money.
“You don’t have to breath if you don’t want to you know,” said the stuff and nonsense of what would be most believed.
“Control is what they got; break the control and you got the swing,” said the chronicles of a dangit dawg on the pop.
“And a guru a day keeps the Mayas away,” said the illusion, barking.
“But sometimes it just sounds good and maybe that’s enough,” said the wind and went off to blow somewhere else for a moment.
“I can’t say in words so much,” said the empty tin can.
“How does a donut keep its shape in the face of such teeth rattling desire?” asked one of the deadly sins.
“I see your eyes are closed and so maybe you’ve gone to sleep,” said one of the deadly duo also falling over and going to sleep on their now failed mission in the freezing wastes of Siberia.
“My day is filled with me and there’s no room for anyone else,” said the by the by beans freezing solid in the pack on one of the cooling bodies.
“The king is dead, so long live the king,” came the cry from the other pack on the other body, also freezing.
And then the wind came back and covered them over with snow and it was as if they had never existed.
“Move along now,” said the conductor not overly excited about being press-ganged back into the story.
“But there is so much more to say,” said Freddy Bloomsbury from out of the blue.
“Am I a moment too late?” asked Pyjama Ha stepping out of this story and rubbing his hands by the fire.
“Not at all,” said the, by your leave that was wearing a bow tie and also exiting the here for there with so few words remaining.
“They are killing us in our homes faster than we can breed,” chanted the migrant horde on their way to invade the homeland of the policy makers.
The seven deadly sins wrapped up in the suicide directive spread out through all the land to infect everyone and received a post card that said; “For those who care not for their masters we have the whip and the ball and chain; and for the rest we have the carrot and stick. The tingling you feel in your extremities is from the lack of water that we now control so pay up or die,” said the fat cats in their halls of plenty.
“And now that you’re all sick and need our drugs we’re putting the price up,” said the drug moguls from their ivory towers.
PS, signed, The Masters.
“The world is changing fast,” said the winds of change.
“I’m so glad,” said the sacrificial donkey.
“Hello,” said the talking wind for breakfast, hoping to strike up a conversation.
The perfect expression of a blue eyed dog said nothing and carried on fishing through the little hole in the ice. And so the story ends as it began, with nothing to say and plenty of time to say it in the long Siberian night; while in the up above of down below many came to join the freedom fighters who were gnashing their way up through the rock to freedom.
Image from Pixabay