Bodopoly pt 8 (Finale)

Bikle sits on the sofa in a distinctly dejected state. Looking around him at the clean, well decorated, tastefully laid out internet cafe, he is forced to admit to himself that he couldn’t have got the old place looking half as good as this in a month of Sundays. This leads him to accept that throughout all his travails and traumas, he has always had the final reassurance of being at least superior to Buckle, of never quite being the absolutely lowest of the low, but now even that comfort is denied to him with Bickle’s newfound intelligence and savoir faire. A tear falls from his eye, and a soft sob of self pity comes from his throat. Perhaps Percivella could cheer him up? Then in a further instant of self awareness, he sees himself as others must see him, a creature so utterly beyond contempt as to be barely real, with so little self esteem that he has been forced to create his own unique fetish, where he can visualise a whole actual, if dysfunctional, relationship with a takeaway pizza menu or an Aldi discount voucher. Worse, he remembers the times when his papery paramours have actually spurned his advances. His mind reels as it dawns upon him that deep down, he actually finds himself so repugnant that he has subconsciously rejected himself, albeit through the medium of a shoddily printed booklet extolling the virtues of a particular brand of medical wigs. “Ho by God. I’b a bodster. De lowest of de low. Lower dan dat.” He remembers that the only actual living creature to have made any overtures of an intimate nature in many years was Chonsoix de Bon Onsoir, who would cheerfully penetrate a roasting pony. He remembers Bockle’s transcendent mirth at the very idea that his, Bikle’s existence was in any way at all a thing to be endured, let alone valued. “Ho god, I deed a drink!” Remembering Buckle’schange, he goes into his pockets, “Three quid! I cad get two bottles of Special Red for dat!” But there is no money there, frantically he checks all his pockets. No money. Nothing. Dashed, he is for a moment at a complete loss, then has an idea. “De cupboard! Perhaps dere’s sobe of dat white spirit left! Dat always gets de job dode!” Rushing over to the kitchenette, he pulls open the cupboard door, and sure enough there is a whole bottle of Uncle Morris’s Extra Flammable seeming to wink cheekily at him. Mixing a liberal dose with the remains of Buckle’s cola he raises the glass, “Dowd de hatch eh boys!”  and tosses of the oily accelerant. “Hbbbb, dot bad, perhaps a little ibpertidedt, but dothig dat bore of de sabe wod’t cure!” After another couple of neat shots, he begins to wonder if there is anything else in the cupboard which will help get the party started, and begins to rummage about amongst thebin stained oddments. Various sachets of condiments gleaned from the pavements outside late night takeaways are scornfully dismissed, as is a half empty packet of baking soda and some macaroni. Emptying another bean can half full of white spirit he notices a shiny box that he doesn’t remember having seen before, “Ho what’s dis den? Dog worbig tablets? Cad’t hurt cad it? You dod’t see bany biserable doggies do you? Cobe to Bikle you binxes!”Tearing open the box he begins to tip handfuls of the bright pink tablets down his scrawny gullet, washing them down with copious swallows of Extra Flammable. Just as he has finished the lot there is a knock at the newly replaced door.

The scene switches to Morris’s living room, where the man himself is engaged with tinkering with an ancient grandfather clock made of some strange wood, darker than ebony, and chased with designs of blasphemous and unsettling nature. “Morris! What are you doing to the clock? Are you going to make a mess? I’ve got book club tonight remember?” Morris stands back and fashions a roll up. “Book club you say? Well you do don’t you? Look!” And sure enough, there is Yolanda’s book group, Executioner Johnson, Keeper Of The Unreadable Scrolls Of Atlantis Johnson, Mrs Furnisson,  who looks somewhat distracted, Carl the Dentist, who keeps looking around nervously, and Herbert Jackson, who she only let in as a favour to Morris, and keeps wanting them to read Voltaire. She sees that outside the French windows, where a moment ago there shone the bright cheerful sun of a summer’s afternoon, there is now only the dim crepuscular twilight of dusk. “Oh for fuck’s sake Morris, what have you done now?” “A mere slight adjustment to the fabric of time my little Jeep Cherokee Sport, in order to facilitate a certain narrative I have catapulted the entire omniverse forward about six hours.” “Oh for fuck’s sake you massive dickhead, I had a hairdresser’s appointment at half past three.” “Never mind my little parasitic Hagfish, although your hair looks fine to me, Tonsorial Johnson here would be more than happy to give you a swift makeover? Now if you will excuse me I have amusing business to attend to elsewhere.”

The scene shifts once again to a narrow country lane, where hedges long untrimmed, seem to hem one in, and the branches of the trees which grow along the way, interlace and twine amongst each other overhead, shutting out the last fading glow of the setting sun. In the deep shadows is an expensive Mercedes saloon, from the open window of which comes a familiar voice, tinged with an unusual nervous quality. “Wretched vehicle! Out of fuel! Blplplp! No wallet in pyjamas! Blbplplblp, Shanks’s pony! Long way from home!” Slamming the car door behind him, the Turkey begins, with many a look over his shoulder, to plod along the darkened lane. “Blbplplblp! Not fan of this place! Reminiscent of childhood trauma! Poor Pepe! Poor Clancy!” As he walks, his feelings of unease grow more acute, until they almost constitute a solid foreboding of some ill event which is to befall him. Drawing his thin pyjama jacket closer around him in a vain attempt to ward off the gathering chill, he trudges along his fearful way, jumping at every rustle in the hedgerow. From some distance comes a strange high pitched noise, “toooot toooot!” Clancy stops and listens, there it is again, and appreciably closer this time. Despite his best efforts to stay cheerful,  a chill sweat is forming on the back of his neck. “Blplplp! Doubtless an owl!” But in his heart he knows that it is not the cry of any owl that was ever hatched upon this earth, and when the sound comes a third time, louder still, from back down the lane where he left Dr Furnisson’s car, he begins to trot, then jog in the hopes of avoiding that which is inexorably approaching. “Blbplplblp! Huff! Puff! Not liking this much!” Over his own panting, he can now make out a louder, harsher puffing noise, which is growing louder with every moment, and a rattling, clanking, metallic racket, which increases until he can no longer hear his wheezes and snorts, as he runs in terror from this approaching cacophony, not daring to look back, lest he stumble. An eerie light begins to suffuse the hedgerows, throwing a distorted shadow of the Turkey in front of him as if to mock him with it’s ungainly, floundering motions, then, from just behindhim, comes a shrill, ear-splitting “TOOOOT TOOOOT!” Clancy shrieks and throws himself to the ground in terror, and the puffing, clanking THING stops at his very heels”Blplplp! Oh please! Mercy!” He screams, but his blood turns to ice as a voice he recognises only too well replies in a tone dripping with gleeful malice, “Blbplplblp! Not likely! No mercy for you from Mr Sparky! Turn round! Face fate!” Scrabbling in the dust, the prostrate fowl turns, and reels back in horror. There in front of him is the twisted wreckage of Mr Sparky’s Super Overland Train Express, steam billowing from its twisted funnel, and glowing with a horrible eerie luminosity. Peering vengefully from the cab is Mr Sparky himself, he too seems to give off the same unearthly green glow. Shambling forward, his blood smeared, shattered head dangling limply from a broken neck, is Porter Thompson, beckoning with his one unmutilated wing. “Come on now! Blplplp! All aboard! Travel for all eternity in hideous torment!” Clancy abases himself further, pleading, “Blplplplbbb! Rather not! Beg mercy! ForMother’s sake!” Mr Sparky sneers, “Not my mother! You told me that! Too late now for appeals! All aboard the dead man’s train!” “Dead?” whimpers Clancy, “But how?” “Blbplplblp! Plenty of time for explanations later. All the time in the world in fact! Blplplp, but perhaps it will help make things clear if you were to meet your conductor for this journey? Blbplplblp!” From the train carriage steps a tall, graceful figure in a black conductor’s uniform, looking down at Clancy’s dust covered, sweaty pyjama clad form, he slowly grins a wide, sharp toothed grin. “Meow meow, Ticketsss pleasssse!” “Blplplp Blplplp! No ticket! Can’t ride train! Another day perhaps! Toodle oo!” He tries to run but realises that his feet are not touching the ground. He looks round and stares straight into the empty dead eyes of Porter Thompson, whose unbroken wing has him in a grip of steel. “Oh I’m sssure that that won’t be a problem sssir.”smiles the suave figure in black, “In fact I believe that I have your ticket for this journey right here, now let me jussst sssee.” So saying, he draws from his tunic a long, slender dagger, which gleams menacingly in the hateful green light and advances upon his foe. With the strength of desperation, Clancy manages to tear free from Porter Thompson, leaving his torn pyjama jacket in his grasp. Stricken with utter fear he flings himself in supplication at Mr Sparky. “Please Mr Sparky! Please!” he sobs as he takes hold of the other’s wings pleadingly, “I beg you! Blplplp! Don’t want to die! Want to live! Atone for sins! Don’t let the cat man murder me! Oh mercy! Is this the end for little Clancy?” He draws his wings back and wrings them together prayer fashion. As he does so, he sees, that they too have become faintly luminous. “Blplplp! What’s this?” For a moment he is afraid that it is some eldritch contamination, a sign that he is already becoming one with the netherworld of the Damned, then another, somehow more awful fear begins to dawn upon him. Snatching up a piece of his torn jacket, he throws himself upon his glowing double and vigorously rubs at his face. The strange luminescence transfers itself to the rag, leaving Mr Sparky’s grinning face looking perfectly normal. “Blplplp! Took you long enough! Blbplplblplblp! Ashamed to be psychic twin of such juggins!” Clancy’s heart sinks as he hears the familiar laugh from further down the train, and sure enough, there, inevitably, is Morris, wiping a tear from his eye with the sleeve of his denim jacket as he climbs out of the carriage. “Ho ho, oh dear, I think this is one of my favourites so far. Oh dearie me. You fell for that one hook line and monkey didn’t you you turkey bastard? Ho ho, “please please don’t kill me Mr Sparky!” My stars it was a marvellous performance, almost put me off my Hofmeister, Perhaps you should get a cloak and  move in with SB, I hear he’s short a comedy sidekick these days.” “Blbplplblp! Not funny! You bastard Morris! Get you for this!” “Blplplp not likely! Not with that mouse in your ear! And no trousers!” *Whisk!* “Blplplp! Really! But why?”

Morris light a roll up, and takes on something of the air of a detective at the end of a TV show explaining whodunit. “Well my underlying motive was of course my deep dislike of you, you turkey bastard, and concomitant upon that, the huge enjoyment that I derive from seeing you fall apart piteously whenever you land neck deep in the old Brown Windsor as it were, but the main motivation was the two thirty gallon drums of luminous paint that Dennis foisted upon me last Walpurgisnacht. Every time I went into the shed to repair a lawnmower there they were, cluttering up the old place, so I says to meself, “Morris me old cock, there’s a fine escapade here if only you had the wit to see it, then Dave Furnisson here moved in over the strasse, and the rest pretty much wrote itself.” Necromantic Johnson ambles out from the guards van with a Freshways carrier full of cans, and hands them out to Morris Mr Sparky, who takes a long swig and leers at Clancy. “Blplplp! Bumped into Morris outside Furnissons, explained situation, made me off couldn’t refuse! And here we are! Blbplplblp! Most enjoyable evening!” Clancy stamps his foot. “Own psychic twin! Blplplp! Treachery!” He gestures over his shoulder, “Suppose this just Disguised As Cat Man Johnson! Whole charade transparent! Merely going along with it!” Morris shakes his head, Oh no, that’s Dave Furnisson all right, the real deal. As is, I might as well mention, the dagger of Balthazar which he is about to plunge into your feathery spine unless I am very much mistaken, which of course I am not, as I never am…” The rest of this sentence is lost upon Clancy however, as with a leap, he has taken to his heels and departed with a series of pitiful shrieks. Dr Furnisson accepts a can of Hofmeister from Necromantic Johnson, and lights a cheroot. “Meow! Just like old times eh Mr Cutler?” “Indeed Dave, now I’d best be getting along, those dog tablets should just about be kicking in and doing interesting things to whatever is left of poor SB’s gray cells, can we drop you back at your motor?” “That’d be handy aye, best get back and see Ssssandra and the kiddies.” “Hop in then, full steam ahead Mr Sparky!” “Blplplp! Aye aye Skipper! Blbplplblp!”

Back at chez Bikle things don’t look good. The unctuous intoxicant is beginning to work its way into the brain. The door knock creates a kind of double motion. He’s excited at the thought of someone arriving, almost like it is a party, but then simultaneously wracked with a guilt for being caught with his tool in the cookie jar so to speak. Hastily shoving the empty dog worming tablet box and white spirit back in the cupboard he slightly staggers his way over to the door before nervously opening it. He is greeted by a Johnson who suggests he should open the door a bit more with a forceful “Mwaaerk!” Partially addled, Bikle opens the door and in strides the Johnson. This Johnson is wearing a slightly bizarre orange lycra one piece dungaree style outfit and carries a string bag with some bottles in it. Half remembering what he is supposed to be doing Bikle glances between the Johnson and the café before speaking in a kind of mix of Simon and himself “Ho welcobe to Bikle’s frinderdet café, what cad I get you? interdet perhaps?” and then he starts giggling. “Mwaaerk!” says Johnson pointing to one of the computellies “Ho of course sir, adythig for a chub!” The Johnson appears to a certain wry smile to his beak, he eyes Bikle for a second before giving him a flipper to the behind then marches over to the computer and logs on. Bikle feels a little curious at this assault upon his person but in another sense half doesn’t really register it, frankly he’s more sozzled by the second and has no idea what if anything he should be doing or saying to his customer in terms of cost or regulation and tries to sidle surreptitiously back towards the cupboard to retrieve himself another drink.

This is a strange site to behold. Johnson keeps looking up from his computer to glance at Bikle who moves sheepishly between glances. Each time Johnson glances up, Bikle stops, looks back and smiles drunkenly in an attempt to intimate ‘nothing doing here’. But the gross repetition of this phenomena each few seconds looks like the pair are making strange eyes at each other. Eventually he reaches the cupboard and slightly opens it with care. This isn’t going too badly until he misjudges reaching for the bottle and knocks a number of other items over in large crashing sound. The dog worming box, the macaroni, an old hoover part, a large cardboard box and a dusty plastic jug all come tumbling down with the desired beverage. “Bollocks ad fuck!” he shouts, quite forgetting the customer. He is rummaging around on the floor trying to pick the various items up and variously shove them back in when he can feel a shadow over him. “Mwaaerk.” The sound is slightly breathy as the Johnson leans right over his bent form to helpfully pick up the plastic bottle. Johnson lingers in this position maybe a little longer than Bikle is comfortable with, he can feel the orange lycra pressed slighty against his back and rear. Then the Johnson is vertical again and Bikle too rights himself. “Mwaaerk?” says Johnson looking enquiringly at the liquid. “Berr its dothig, just sobe bediced, yes dats right, I’ve got worbs ad dis is de bediced.” “Mwaaerrk!” says Johnson and taps his beak knowingly. Bikle smiles in a paranoid looking manner and watches as Johnson gets an empty coffee and seems to gesture to Bikle that he should pour him a shot. Bikle drunkenly feigns that he wasn’t drinking it recreationally “Oh do do, dat’s dot what I beant, bediced you dow, for de worbs!” but Johnson will not be stayed and grabs the clear bottle and its iniquitous contents off him, expertly opening it and pouring a generous measure “Mwaaerk?” he offers the bottle back to Bikle, who seeing the game is up, pours himself another drink in the bean can. The two strange drinking partners down the shots of white spirit before Johnson, holding the bottle once more flippers to the chillax area of the café suggesting they sit down for the next one. “Ho god, go od ded, it’s dice to have sobe compady you dow really.” “Mwaaerk!” intones Johnson knowingly and the two sit on the sofa together and have another drink. Bikle’s head is nearly swimming by now, he fancies the dog worming tablets are beginning to kick in a bit, all those happy dogs he thinks, dogs are so happy, soon I’ll be a happy dog he thinks only to find he is saying “Fri’ll be a happy dog sood…” in a half dazed manner. At this comment Johnson looks on at him and seems to have that wry beaky smile again, the white spirit bottle emerges once more and a certain darkness takes over proceedings.

Dawn breaks once more over the crap flat. Buckle with something of a spring in his step, makes his way back towards his residence –clearly having been out all night. It’s about 7:30 in the morning, as he climbs the stairs he passes a Johnson hurrying his way out in a curious one piece orange lycra. He thinks nothing of it and reaches the landing where the door is. The door, his new door that he put on is actually open, slightly at least. This is the first thing to catch his attention. “Bikle!” he calls as he puts his head in “Bikle, de doors oped, frar you balright?” Buckle takes one step into the flat, slips and falls straight on his backside “Bohhhhh! What de fuck?!” after picking himself up he tries to understand what’s happened, it doesn’t take him long. “Oil? Od de floor, but where has dat cobe frob?” He picks himself up carefully to avoid slipping again and looks into the café area. And what a sight it is.

Some of the chairs are knocked over and one of the computellies is lying on the floor with a cracked screen. The cupboard in the corner is wide open with various things from it lying on the floor nearby (macaroni, plastic jug, dog worming tablets box etc). He begins to be incensed at his brothers lack of respect for his work, this sense ire reaches new heights as glances to ‘chillax’ area. The bijou sofa and surround seems to be covered in what he presumes is oil whilst an empty plastic bottle and two paper coffee cups lie nearby. Looking down he can see a sleek trail runs from this oily seating area across the floor to where he stands and past him into the bedroom, to which the door is closed. Anger runs through him, his lovely internet café: ruined! “Bikle!” he shouts angily “By god you bastard, what de fuck have you dode?” There is only silence so he makes his way over to the bedroom taking care not to slip. “Bikle you frudbelievable shit head, what have you beed doing?” he shouts as he enters the room. There is still no stirring from his brother, who frankly makes a disturbing site. Naked and half uncovered by the sheets, blatantly smothered (as is the bed) in the same greasy liquid, he lies sleeping soundly. Lying with him, indeed grasped by him is what seems to be a large piece of cardboard. Buckle in horror has a double take at this phenomenon. Also covered in oil it seems to be what was a cardboard box, now squashed flat. On this flattened card in large badly scrawled letters the word ‘leaflet’ can be just about made out. What is worst there seems to be a kind of hole in the cardboard just below the halfway line which Buckle fancies, owing to the darkness of the area is especially covered in lubricant. The whole scene fills him with a thorough disgust but not seeing any merit in chastising his sibling now and aware that the café needs to be up and running soon he closes the door and goes to clean up.

And what happened next gentle reader, will be for another day.

Frole!

 

 

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Published in: on July 28, 2017 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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