Friday, April 30, 2010

Blakey at the Gates of Dawn

Royston Blake is dead, we all know that. He was murdered by the accountants, condemned to death because his true stories were deemed unprofitable. They took him out at dawn - gagged, cuffed and hooded - and hanged him high over Hurk Wood... where all other writers could behold him and quake. 'Heed this warning!' the accountants shouted. 'Any of you bastards gets any bright ideas about unusual settings and fancy narrative devices, this is what you get. FUCK your originality - we want sales. We want cold, hard numbers!'

For two days and nights, no one dared approach the hanged fictional character. His hulking silhouette filled the townsfolk with dread, oversized feet and hands hanging down like meat pendulums, massive head bent terminally sideways at the noose. Only crows would come, pecking at his eyeballs and pockets, which were lined with crumbs and bits of stray tobacco.

Then one morning the townsfolk, emboldened after an all-night scrumpy session, went up to the gibbet at dawn to cut the victim down. They were going to give him the burial he deserved, commit him to the earth with a few ritual elements he might have appreciated. Two of them set about digging a grave - six foot deep, eight long and five wide. The rope was cut and the corpse fell hard, sinking a couple of inches into the boggy turf, and they gathered round. Nathan the barman uttered an incantation that no one understood beyond the words "Balboa" and "Ford Capri". Then the offerings were brought forth.

Alvin carried a double doner kebab with extra chili sauce and chips instead of salad. He placed it in Blake's right hand and stepped back, head bowed.

Fat Sandra from the arcade stepped forward and placed in his left hand a plastic bag filled with tokens, along with a note saying his life ban was henceforth lifted.

Doug the shopkeeper approached with a plastic bag from which he produced a can of lager and ten Embassy Regal. He lit one of the cigarettes and wedged it in the corner of Blakey's mouth, pointing chinwards so as not to set fire to his moustache. Then he cracked the can open, held it up to the rising sun and poured the amber nectar between those blue, lifeless lips.

The silence that followed was total. Even the birds withheld their song. Mother Nature herself paid her respects by lulling the breeze. Then it happened:

Blakey's hand moved.

He sat up, coughing and spraying lager and bits of Regal everywhere. The townsfolk stepped back as he got on his feet and lurched back and forth, punching his own head and trying to get his neck unbent. With his head finally upright he took a huge bite of the kebab, threw the rest in the air and roared.

Several miles away, in the big city, accountants looked up from their screens, wondering what that distant noise was.


If you are a townsfolk and you support Blakey, or are just afraid of him, please join this Facebook group. Or buy one of his "memoirs" and show the accountants they are wrong. And have a good weekend

3 comments:

Hilary said...

Brought tears to my eyes. We need to know more.
Good luck! Hilary

Savita Kalhan said...

Love it, Charlie!

Charlie Williams said...

Cheers! But... there's more?