No monsters so far…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s joke is the one about the catastrophic asteroid impact on the Earth. How we chuckled, just as it was becoming visible in the…

I was only recently thinking that I hadn’t heard anything from Veronica Crush, writer and poet from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League, on a world tour with her millionaire ‘friend’, tall tree surgeon, Monty Tick. The last information from them was that they were staying in a rented cottage in Drumnadrochit near Loch Ness in Scotland. Monty was apparently very keen to see the monster in the loch.
Anyway, yesterday I received a letter from Veronica. She is not happy. They have been there for a good three weeks and Monty is still totally obsessed with seeing the beastie. He refuses to move on to somewhere a bit more interesting. He says that he’ll only leave when has taken some good shots of the thing. She adds that she has now moved out of the cottage and into a nice hotel, which she says is much warmer and more pleasant. She does keep in touch with Monty by phone, but says that all he can talk about is ‘Nessie’…
Veronica included one of her mad stories for us too.

‘Damn these buildings with windows that don’t open!’
Richmal Tyke turned and walked out of his hotel room, slammed the door behind him, and proceeded down the elegant carpeted corridor, then through a service door to some bare concrete steps, and up onto the roof. Once outside he looked up and saw a few stars and planets just visible through the clear, but London tinted, sky.
There was a chill wind blowing across from Father Thames, whose ripples were delicately picked out by the light from a silver fat-faced full moon. Tyke moved across the dirty flat roof, avoiding cables and aerials, stepped up onto the parapet wall and pulled his satchel strap over his head and shoulder so that it couldn’t slip off and be lost. He raised his hand and waved in a parody of the Führer, stepped off, and headed up and over the crouching black shape that used to be the Tate Britain Gallery before all of the art was taken.
Nancy Fingle walked slowly, but purposefully across Lambeth Bridge towards the group of bored soldiers at the checkpoint at the western end. She glanced north at the warm looking lights reflected in the black cold water. She pulled up the collar of her fine wool coat up around her ears, shivered, and looked at her watch. ‘Damn!’ a little white cloud of breath escaped from her lips into the dark air. Big Ben clanged out twelve as the wind swirled and carried some pieces of coloured plastic and paper debris around her expensively shod feet. She stopped and looked down – tonight everything had significance; she quickly produced a small black metal torch from her coat pocket and shone it down at the pavement. ‘Damn it! What are the chances of…?’ There, twitching and lifting in the wind, rubbing shoulders with a McDonald’s wrapper, was a newspaper photograph of the Führer, smiling with his hand raised in that familiar wave.
There was a sudden almost silent rush of air overhead. The little soft sound made her start, and for some reason she recalled the time, many years before, when she was employed shooting pigeons and rats in factories at night.
Nancy held her breath, closed her eyes, and stopped time for a few seconds in order to bend down and pick up the now unmoving piece of paper. ‘Damn it! Got you now, you bastard…’
Tyke moved swiftly along the river and headed north towards the Houses of Parliament. As he sped low over Lambeth Bridge he felt as if his heart palpitated for a second, or perhaps a syncope in his awareness had somehow occurred. ‘Damn, that was most odd…’
Slowing and looking down he observed a smartly dressed young woman on the otherwise empty pavement of the bridge. She was seemingly frozen like a statue, but was crouching down as if about to retrieve something that she had dropped. ‘Damn, I mustn’t be distracted, I have something to do…’ He reached behind him and placed his hand on the egg-shaped bulge under the fabric of his shoulder bag. He was reassured – all was well…
The light was glowing in the top of the clock tower; parliament was still sitting…
Nancy picked up the dirty picture, folded it in a very special way and held it tightly between thumb and forefinger of her left hand inside her pocket. She continued walking across the bridge towards Millbank and nearer to her goal; the soldiers would be no problem…
The Commons was crowded, hot, and noisy. The debate, although the result a foregone conclusion, would run into the early hours of the morning. The Führer rose, as if about to stand, but instead floated a few feet in the air, his body still in a half-sitting position; he smiled that familiar smile. The packed opposition benches erupted in jeers, cat-calls, and animal noises. The Führer raised his hand in a kind of a wave, revolved slowly in a complete circle, and still smiling opened his mouth to speak… ‘Damn!’ he said, as he caught sight of two newly arrived figures standing looking down at him from the public gallery…

Veronica Crush. 2012.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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