Wildfire Watch


Morris and Yolanda are sat in their living room. Les Dawson Johnson is sat on cushion, shuffling uncomfortably, occasionally Yolanda looks slightly disgustedly askance at him but the back at the television. Morris is fiddling with a small plastic bag of nuts bolts and washers when she taps his arm “Morris, ooh look at that, ‘Wildlife Garden’ a new magazine for people who want to know more about the wildlife around them, that sounds good doesn’t it, and if you buy the first one it come at an introductory price of just £1.99” “Sorry my little wildlife magazine, what were you saying? I was just adjusting this bag of items to the correct geometric order.” “The wildlife magazine on the telly Morris, there was an advert for it, it looked really good” “I do not think that can be correct my whistling sandpiper, the television clearly shows an afternoon detective show, the name of which eludes me” “Mwaeerk!” Johnson interjects “Ah yes, the inspector Johnson mysteries, thanks Johnson” “No Morris, in the adverts just a minute ago” “What adverts I don’t see any adverts?” and he winks at Johnson “Maybe you mean…” “Not that shit again Morris, look its cold in here which makes a fucking change.” “It is because it is nofirelighteranuary my fish cutlet, I am surprised you haven’t heard of it, apparently its all the rage. Likes a cold house Johnson persuaded me of its virtues, hence we have no fire atm.” “Well I’m freezing and I want that wildlife magazine, please pop down to the shop to fetch it for me and pick up some sodding firelighters whilst your at it!” “Very well my little tripe pancake, I have seen this run of ‘Inspector Johnson’ before anyway. Let me just get my wellies on.”

As Morris vacates the seat, LD Johnson leaps into it, leaving the cushion on the floor in a bad state of repair. As he opens the front door she shouts after him “Wildlife magazine! Firelighters! Got it?” “Yes my sweet, most definitely.” Morris walks out of his front garden and turns towards the newsagent, already a thousand pressing tasks weigh upon his various astral selves and the matter in hand becomes slightly obfuscated. “Chickens to school, books to market…” he mutters to himself before setting of in the wrong direction. At length he finds himself walking past the the local nature reserve. Something chimes in his mind about what he is supposed to be up to, something to do with ‘wildlife’ and ‘firelighters’. “Ho ho now we’re onto it Johnson!” to a helpfully appearing Johnson, lets get the firelighters, and with a spring in his step he makes a topsy turvey way through the village towards the newsagent.

Yolanda, initially pleased to get a bit of peace and quiet, is curled up on the settee with the current book club novel, when she is struck by a sudden thought. “Wildlife. Firelighters. Oh god.” Memories of Morris’s charred cooterie and the image of Terry Nutkins’ hideous death dance through her mind. She shakes her head and tries to ignore her fears, but soon enough the novel lies ignored beside her as she monitors the BBC wildlife website on her phone, ears straining for the sound of fire brigade sirens. So it is with more relief than is usual that she hears the front door open and slam shut and sees him reenter the living room. Trying to keep her voice level, she sniffs surreptitiously, seeking the reek of burnt flesh. “Oh, I’m glad you’re back dear. Did you have a nice trip to the shops? You didn’t er, burn anyone or anything to death did you?” “Ho ho certainly not ‘Landa, ho ho what do you take me for? Some kind of lunatic incendiarist?  No Johnson and I had a most agreeable stroll down to the stream, where we watched the tiny sticklebacks disport themselves in the crystal waters, then we dropped by the low meadow and had a stroll down to the old Horse Chestnut and admired the early periwinkles. Most pleasant I assure you. Perhaps we should take a picnic down there when the weather is a bit warmer my little dehumidifier?” He cracks open a can of Hofmeister, then raises a hand, “Ho ho, nearly forgot dear, here you go, your wildlife magazine and firelighters. There’s also a box of maltesers in there I think, although they might of melted a bit when I burned the entire cast and crew of “Springwatch to death down by the little copse on Oldshaw Lane, you know the one, where the rooks nest every year.”

Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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