Saturday, 30 October 2010

There's something out there...

A tale for Hallowe’en:

‘HULLO? Hey! Anyone there? Where am I? Why is it so dark?’

‘I want it to be dark. I prefer it that way.’

‘What? Who are you? Where am I? You want money or something? I’m a rich man. Oh Christ, that’s it, isn’t it? I’ve been kidnapped, haven't I.'

‘In a manner of speaking.’

‘Look, let me go and we’ll say nothing more about it. I’m powerful. I know where the bodies are buried.’

‘As it happens, so do I.’

‘You can’t keep me hidden for long. The police will be here soon enough.’

‘I have no doubt that most of them will arrive here when their time comes. But right now it is just you. You have been a bad man, have you not? You have been ruthless to those less fortunate than yourself. That is why you are here.’

‘What? Is this some kind of political thing? Look, that way of thinking went down with the Berlin Wall. You make your own opportunities out there. Dog eat dog. If you step on a few people, well they should learn to move out of the way.’

‘That is your philosophy?’

‘That’s being realistic.’

‘You do not repent?’


‘With all your heart?’

‘Of what? Of course not.’

‘Then let there be light.’

‘Oh my God!’

‘Not quite.’

‘Oh bloody hell.’


And then there this story that I read or heard many years ago and cannot remember who told or wrote it, but it went something like this:

IT was a dark and stormy night and the traveller was still some distance from the inn. The landscape was wild and harsh, with shadows made to dart by the scudding clouds obscuring the full moon. The traveller was a rational man but he could not stop the unease rising in him, could not avoid starting at the lightning flash or the crack of thunder, could not cease from glancing fearfully behind. After a time he spoke to himself aloud thus:

‘Why this is ridiculous. I am no child. I am a grown man. Furthermore I am a good man, kind to my wife and children, generous to those who have not shared my luck, gentle with my animals and thoughtful and accommodating with my neighbours. Why…’ Here he laughed aloud to himself, ‘why if I were to meet a spirit or demon tonight, it would mean that there is truly no justice in this universe!’

And a voice at his ear said:

‘There isn’t.’

Finally, here’s a short film from Tim Burton:

Safe Hallowe’en and if you must venture out, then watch out for that which should walk alone may not do so tonight.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Watch the Skies!

Chatting to a neighbour the other day I noticed he had what looked like toothpaste smeared on the side of his neck. He noticed me noticing and explained that he had felt a sudden pain on that spot and on putting his hand up had found a brown moth there. What I had mistaken for toothpaste was actually savlon and he had removed a small bit of said moth from his neck. He was a tad disconcerted and my repeated references to vampire moths and that it was all doubtless something to do with global warming may not, with hindsight, have been helpful. He had not kept the rest of the moth and what with me not being an lepidopterist I have no idea what it was but I have to say, a moth seems unlikely. A horse fly maybe? I remember being bitten by them a few times many summers ago while camping on one of the Inner Hebrides and it is surprisingly painful. They are brown but not, to my memory, particularly moth-like, but maybe my neighbour has not been to as many moth farms as I have (three) or keeps his windows open on warm nights which brings them in. I hope it was not a moth because I like them and I would, on the whole, rather not spend the rest of my days in a constant and ultimately futile war with them or, even worse, an abusive relationship with one that sparkles. I probably wouldn't even get a truck out of it. The question is also raised of whether my neighbour, having been bitten, will now himself transform into one. Should I warn his girlfriend? How do you start a conversation like that? ‘So all well? Has T------ taken to circling the lamp while you’re trying to read? ... No, no particular reason. Are you fluttering more than you used to?’ I couldn’t say any of that. I’d be ASBOed.