Crush in the rain and wind…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s sounds are those of near bees and distant lawnmowers.

I had an email this morning from Veronica Crush, writer from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League, now living in New York with tall tree surgeon and heir to a multimillion dollar fortune, Mont Tick. There was one of Veronica’s especially difficult to open attachments to the email – after a frustrating 20 minutes, and a phone call to a friendly computer nerd, I found that it was another of her mad ‘stories’…

Terry Strepsil stamped his feet, fastened the cuffs of his duckcoat and edged further into the spacious doorway of the Bigtown Fridge Museum in an attempt to get out of the howling wind that was busy zigzagging playfully up and down the boulevard. A bright yellow cardboard carton danced on its corners down the middle of the road oblivious of the traffic. The monochrome street lights were popping on one by one as the wide moist shoppers began shuffling in herds towards the great grey railway station down the hill.
A stab of wind caught a piece of litter, a damp isosceles triangle of pale blue cardboard, and propelled it into Strepsil’s hideaway; it did a cart-wheel, landed on its base with its point upwards, and leaned nonchalantly, and almost coquettishly, against the jamb of the museum door. Terry looked down and saw that it had a few lines of writing on it in dark blue ink; the writing seemed familiar – it looked like the rather stylish hand of his ex-beloved, one Ruby Newby. He leaned over and stretched out his hand, but just as his fingers were about to close on it a frivolous gust snatched it away into the night. He had managed to glimpse the opening words, I’m sorry Terry, but I… in the instant before the card’s departure. He quickly looked out into the street and thought that he caught sight of the thing skipping along the wet running pavement behind a group of shoppers, as if trying to catch them up. ‘Damn!’ he said.
Strepsil pulled his collar up closer around his ears and peered out into the deepening twilight. The chattering gusts and their watery spatters seemed to be mocking him, they were sighing, ‘Ruby Newby, Ruby Newby… Whooo…’ and similar deliberately cutting taunts. Suddenly a new element was added to the mix of sounds; there was a not-unpleasant wooden brassy mechanical sound coming from behind him; it was the Fridge Museum door being unlocked with a particularly loud and expensive key.
Terry turned as the door started to edge inwards, an accompanying vertical slit of pale light appeared and then suddenly widened into a glowing warm rectangle which framed the featureless silhouette of a short squat male figure. The shape spoke in a high and rather peeved voice, ‘Is it you who keeps putting things through this door? I have reported it… Stop it! Just, stop it!…’
Terry stood open-mouthed in astonishment. The figure reached out, grabbed Strepsil’s left wrist in a surprisingly strong grip, thrust something into his hand, wrapped the Strepsil’s fingers around it, and immediately slammed the door shut again. The object was a pale blue cardboard ellipse, it felt slightly damp to the touch; it looked like an old ‘push-out’ lid from a box of tissues. To Terry’s relief he noticed that there was nothing written on it, but on turning it over he saw that someone had drawn on the back, in pencil, a rough-looking isosceles triangle, not dissimilar in proportion to his earlier geometric visitor…
There was a rumble and a bouncing squelch, and a small tidal wave ran up the flagstones, as a double-decker bus pulled up at the kerb – it didn’t pause long, and with a grunt and a loud slamming of doors it was off again. Its yellow interior lights seemed warm and inviting, its passengers were all smiling and grinning out at him – each one of them was holding up to their windows a small flat item light blue in colour.  Strepsil hesitated for a moment and just before the bus passed out of sight he held up and waved his blue ellipse towards them – they responded in kind, still smiling. But even though a fleeting and tenuous bond had been unexpectedly forged with some complete strangers, Terry still felt completely lost…
Ruby Newby was sitting in her warm maisonette, a chubby full glass of red wine on the low table in front of her. She watched the beads of rain gently thudding and running on the outside of her window, and she smiled. She picked up her satchel from the floor and tipped out the blue cardboard shapes into a small pile onto the table and poked through them with a dainty forefinger. She picked out a nice round heart-shaped one, thought briefly of Terry, and then folded it in two…

Veronica Crush 2016.

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...
This entry was posted in brain, colours, drama, Hull.UK., reading, serendipity, smiling, story, style, surrealism, weather, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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