. . . And Still The Moon
Part 14: Suffering

Andrew Cannon

So I wake up.

Its Sunday. I know its Sunday because someone has taken a s--- in my mouth, hit me in the head with a large mallet and forced me to eat raw eggs sprinkled with mustard powder. The large pile of drying food indicates that I did'nt come straight home last night and the overturned coffee table shows that I should'nt walk around in the dark.

I stand up. Easy enough, I could get used to this.

My first clue that all's not well is the large blue bottle sitting in my favourite armchair. Not good.

I shake my head and look again. The bluebottle has been replaced by a large penguin who's smoking a pineapple and wearing a 'Kiss Me Quick' hat. Intuition tells me things are going to get much worse.

I should have stayed drunk.

I leave my flat via the bedroom window to avoid the crowd of Lemmings asking directions to Dover. I hate giving directions.

I walk down the road, carefully avoiding the beans, a crow stands on the street corner playing the blues on a harmonica. I pretend to look the other way, I learnt my lesson last Easter.

I get to the park with no difficulty. A dog stands at the gate pointing to a sign which says:-

All Men Must be On a Lead.
Keep Off the Path.
Beware the Juniper Bush.
I hav'nt got a lead, so I turn around and head back towards town. I don't seem to be able to shake this feeling of being watched. I slowly turn through 360 degrees, waving my hands about and singing 'Twist and Shout' in Arabic. I don't spot anybody, but the feeling persists. I wonder what that Juniper bush is doing waiting at the number 45 bus stop. Everyone knows that service does'nt run on a Sunday.

I pass the Catholic church, a swarm of LOL's (Little Old Ladies) hover about the grave yard tempting fate. The resident glue sniffers look on nervously while vomiting on the multicoloured mural of Jesus and Mary (why does Jesus have blond hair and blue eyes ? He was born in a country famous for it's brown eyed, black haired natives.....Strange. Maybe the church made up the image of Jesus to suit their own needs ? Nah, they would'nt do that, they're men of God, they're supposed to be trustworthy and honest. Maybe Jesus dyed his hair and wore contact lenses ?)

I have a brief argument with the priest about the existence of God and the colour of Jesus' eyes, but he does't take too kindly to my little improvised black mass, so I move on.

I feel a little better know. The revolting taste has gone from my mouth and my headache has subsided slightly. If only I could get rid of these bright white spots that keep flashing before my eyes and the urgent need to get a group of friends and a dog together and call ourselves The Famous Five. We could have lots of spiffing mysteries and adventures, then be treated to slap up meals with lashings of ginger beer !

Damn. I must try to stop doing that. Does anyone else have the urge to live in an Enid Blyton novel whenever they get hungry, or is it just me ?

I walk into a cafe.

Two chocolate milk-shakes and a 'traditional' English breakfast (unidentifiable meat, runy eggs and something that could be mushrooms floating in enough grease to lubricate a small family car) later and I feel fine. I pay the albino rabbit behind the bar (I wink at her too, I've always had a thing about rabbits) and walk out into the street.

Something is wrong.

I don't know what, but something is definitely not right. I dive behind a passing juniper bush and reach for the bottle. My bottle is missing !! I've been walking around for over an hour with no alcohol in easy reach. An overwhelming feeling of paranoia and ecstasy drops me to my knees, I throw back my head and howl at the sun. (Not quite the same as howling at the Moon. In fact I feel a bit silly if truth be known)

I walk off with a huge grin fixed to my face. I'm free of my addiction. I can live a normal life. Maybe I can finally meet a nice girl and settle down to raise children. I'M FREE !!!!!!

Then it happens.

The road begins to twist into erotic shapes and the juniper bush explodes into a cascade of pollinated colour. I dive to the pavement but a iron hard tentacle grips me around the waist and throws me towards the bush. I thought there was something familiar about those mushrooms.

I roll along the road and leap over the bush at the last minute. A huge wad of twigs and leaves hits me in the testicles and I fall to the side of the road, tucking myself into the foetal posistion. I watch as the nearby buildings form themselves into a chorus line and begin high-kicking their way towards me. There's only one thing for it.

I cover my head and dive through the window of the off-licence. Behind me I hear a scream of outrage as the juniper bush realises my intentions. I grab a crate of Chivas Regal and head for the park at a run. I quickly outdistance the chorus line of prefabricated concrete and turn my thoughts to the bottle.

I'm calmer now. I should have known it could never work. The Chivas Regal is going down nicely (its a bit smooth for my taste though, maybe if I mix it with paraffin ?) The sign pointing dog has joined me and is telling me a heart-rending story of love, betrayal and a neutering vet. I wonder if he's evr read any Enid Blyton novels. He accepts a couple of swigs from my bottle then continues his story. I'm only half listening though. I wish it was dark.

I like the dark.

I can be who ever and what ever I want to be in the dark.

And I can see the Moon.

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Submitted By: Anonymous

This joke is rated: PG