– SHORT STORY –
Please enjoy this short extract from the story I’m writing.
Ali decided to go for a wander. He wondered if perhaps he could get a decent cup of coffee somewhere on the ship. So far he’d disposed of several cups of burnt tasting water, so his hopes weren’t high.
In the middle of the dark, rusty corridor which lay several million light years from the gleaming, hi-tech spaceships he’d seen on TV, a heavily bearded hermit in white robes stood before him. The three-foot old man wore a two-foot grey beard and raised his gnarled, old staff in the air to attract his attention. Designed with the needs and neurosis of the ship’s captain in mind, it was another of the on board computer’s interactive “personalities”.
“Beware,” said the hermit in a voice that matched his ancient and wizened appearance. “Beware,” he said again.
Ali tutted. “Ok. I’m be-waring. What am I bewaring of?”
“You will find great danger in the corridors and decks beyond.” His voice rose, “great danger!”
He didn’t want to go to the corridors and decks beyond, so really there was no worry. All he wanted was a coffee. He asked him where he could find a vending machine.
The hermit shook his head wearily, “I know not.” He laid his staff on the floor and stood for a few moments, his head bowed. Eventually he looked up. “There is great danger in the corridors and decks beyond.”4
“Yeah, you said. I asked about the coffee.” Then it occurred to him the hermit might be trying to warn him about something, this danger might actually be, well, dangerous. Or something. “So what’s going on then?”
The hermit shook his head, confused. “I know not what you say.”
Ali hammed it up. “Oh great hermit, tell me what is the danger of which you speak.”
The hermit picked up the staff and closed his eyes. Three times he banged the staff on the floor and then opened his eyes. “You will encounter…” he paused for dramatic effect, “light speed!”.
“Yes. The speed of light. If you proceed to the deck beyond you will meet … the future!”
“You will encounter your future self!”
Ali thought about it. His future self. It sounded irritating. “I think I’ll just go back the way I came.”
“Don’t you want to meet your future self? Find out all the he has experienced. Hear the wisdom he may speak.”
He wasn’t sure. “Could you take me to him?”
The hermit straightened. “Shouldn’t fink so, Guv.”
Was he hearing things or did the hermit’s voice just change from ancient and wizened to something that sounded like a London cabbie?
“Well, this time of day trip to Deck 7’s gonna cost you, ooh” he sucked some air in through his teeth, “oh about twenty cans of Doublemix Juicy Worms. At least.”
Ali had had enough of this. He turned back and ignored the two cleaning robots that looked like they were about to have a duel with a pair of mops. He continued on to the mess hall, which was in a mess.
Just a random but of insanity from yours truly today. This was taken from the story I’m working on at the moment, A Quick Trip to the End of Everything…Then Home for Tea (Or a Jam Sandwich). Quite a catchy, punchy little title, isn’t it?
What do you mean no? Bollocks to you.
Copyright Martin Gregory’s brain (I call it Shimlay).