An Early Childhood Chapter 15 Part 3


Continued from Chapter 15 Part 2.

            I found myself on a depressingly grey plain, my throat very dry, standing beside a figure and before an animal – both of whom I only sensed slightly before I found my bearings.

            The moor was bleak and dark, with lightning flashes on the horizon.

            An Asian man – with a sheet of paper hanging from his forehead, over his eyes – was moaning.

            There was also a fox sitting before me, his black tipped tail wrapping around his hind legs.
Photography by Steve Wing.

            “Who are you?” I asked the Asian man. There was no response from him, but the fox promptly answered me.

            “He’s a Chinaman zombie Chinaman zombie. He arrived the same time as you, Paddy,” said the fox.
            “You can talk?” I asked.
            “I can. I’m your guide. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Black Typo. I’m here to fulfil your wishes while you’re here.”
            “Fulfil my fantasies?” I asked.
            Black Typo raised an eyebrow.
            “Fulfil your every desire,” the fox said.
            “I didn’t realise foxes were so lascivious and free-spirited!” I replied.
            “I’m what the Japanese would call a liberal ninko.”
            The zombie groaned.
            “Is he going to be alright?” I asked.
            “He just didn’t like my joke. We’re very international here. And cheesy,” Black Typo said. “But he probably stumbled into the Celtic realm here from somewhere east of the Urals. To employ a metaphor from a few years into your future, he’ll realise that he’s got the wrong number, that he’s watching a fantasy land riverdance, and he’ll hang up in his own time.”
Photography by Steve Wing.
            “A fantasy land riverdance?” I repeatered for good measure.
            “That’s right,” said Black Typo, taking a packet of cigarettes and a set of matches from out of his fur and sparking one up. “Fancy a BLEEEEP?”
            “Are you not allowed to say that or something?” I asked.
            “Not really, no. You’re allowed to say cock if it relates to a male version of a hen or that kind of thing. BLEEEEEP doesn’t cut it, even though I meant it in reference to the British slang for cigarettes. Coz they don’t want to offend anyone round here. Even when you’re talking about the cigarettes. If a cock equated to a BLEEEEEP, they probably wouldn’t accept it either. Even if you’re talking about chickens. You know?”
            I nodded, still a little confused.
            “Cocks and BLEEEEPs aren’t one and the same, you BLEEEEEP BLEEEEP. Still, I feel something of an Aristotelian syllogism coming on,” the fox said, stretching and yawning. “Do you know that way?”
            I shrugged.
            “Quite the diva, aren’t we?” the fox asked.
            “What? No.”
            “Do you want your own trailer?”
            “I… I don’t know what you’re…”
            “I can give you your own trailer if you want. But I have to warn you, it may contain images of flash pornography.”
Photography by Steve Wing.
            “Look, where are we going, exactly?”
            “First things first,” said the fox. “Show me your totem.”
            I pulled out my gold comb, and the fox glanced at it.
            “A banshee’s grooming instrument…” the fox declared “with a single strand of hair caught in it.”
            I glanced and sure enough, there was a single hair in the teeth of the comb.
            “So where are we going?” I asked.
            “We’re going to your trailer!” snapped the fox. “Make sure you keep your goggles on.”
            We padded along the moor towards a tree.
            The body of an old man was hanging from the tree, naked, with his back to the pair of us.

Continued in Chapter 15 Part 4.