Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, Death walks into mine…………

The singing butler.jpg


Sardine has appeared!!!


If it weren’t for Deaths note, I would have been at an absolute loss.  Filled with neat cramped writing, the small scroll announced that since I was of a long life, and that Sardine was of the same persuasion, and we had literally been together every step of the way, it would have been cruel of Death to have left her behind.  Sardine dying at the exact moment I had, the reaper bringing her across for the sake of both of us.

Sardine remains in looks to be that of a two year old white socked black cat.  She also has a white belly, and a patch of white on her chin.  Her seventeen hundred years of life have not changed her one skerrick, just as  I myself remain in looks as though I have not passed twenty two years of age.

Timelessness is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy.  Although in retrospect, I did wish, and deliver, far worse on my worst enemy, and ultimately my nemesis.  Sadly without the effect I had hoped for .

As I sit here, wallowing in my own misery, cursing time from Then, and now cursing time here in The Now.  My only happiness is to be found in my longest friend, now sitting on my knee, quietly and contentedly purring with her eyes closed upon my knee.

The knock at my door is far too persistent to ignore.  How I long for the return of my past staff to handle such trivialities as opening the door.

While the knocking continues, I rise from my place of solitude, and plod down stairs, taking my time whilst I am at it.

Yelling at the door prior to opening it has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the knocker.

Opening the door I yell “Alright!!!!”, just in time to be slapped harder than I had ever been slapped in Then.

Looking at the ceiling it dawns on me that I am now flat on my back, and my scalp is beginning to hurt.  Death is lifting me back to my feet by my hair.  An occurrence I would not recommend to anyone.

Regaining my balance, and the ringing in my ears subsiding, I am struck again by Death.  Harder this time; as though routine she is lifting me by my hair once more, and I brace for the blow to come, which it does, in spades.

The ceiling looks no different to the last time I inspected it.  This time though, there is an intense weight upon my chest.  Switching my gaze from ceiling downward, I discover a slipper with a novelty plush rabbit head covering the toe.  Deaths toe.

In the entire history of time, at a guess at least, there would not be more than a handful of people that would have heard Deaths “Apocalypse Voice”.

Sound with words strewn amongst it tears the skin from my face, it scorches my eyebrows and the hair from my head. It reduces the marble I lay upon to dust.

Pain like nothing I have ever experienced encompasses me. My ears are bleeding steady gouts of bright red blood, and she is lifting me to my feet by my screaming face, poking me in the chest, reminding me in her normal non-apocolypse voice once more to “do what you’re bloody told. You have been given life anew and you squander it?! Sort yourself out my girl, I don’t want to come back here again!  By the way, can you remember that magnificent haggis recipe you pinched off Robbie Burns? I’d love to give it a run again.  Bye love.”  Peck on  the cheek.  “Maude, start the bloody car, my cup of tea isn’t getting any warmer you know!”  and then she was gone.

My hair grew back in an instant, and my marble floor healed.

She was right of course, Death.

“I didn’t bring you or your wee beastie here to wallow.  You are born proper this time.  Make your point in the life I have given to you; it is mine to claim.  Live or you shall die!”

Those were the words that left the mouth of Death, destroying my floor as they did so.

From the doorway, down the minimalistic front passage, and up my stairs to my second floor I meander.  After a rummage through a cupboard, I find the worn canvas satchel I carried about my person for the better part of a century; seizing my heavy woollen cloak from a wardrobe four rooms away as an afterthought.  I then whistle, and Sardine bounds up to me in that funny catty manner; a manner unique to cats born of my part of Scotland.  Said puss is picked up and placed into my satchel; an apple accompanies her, and the book Grandma Hazel gifted me so long ago is added.  I locate both of my sticks, depositing the smaller of the two into a pocket in my cloak purpose built for the task, the larger goes over my shoulder.  Lastly, the pouch Grandpa gave me, which originally contained a small fortune in coin and stone; now holding some items of similar value, yet not in the form of what would be deemed as “conventional monies”, is secreted beneath Sardine in the satchel.

With a final glance around the upstairs area, I stride down stairs, through the hall leading to the front door.  Keys large and heavy fill my hand, and I am through onto the street; locking the door behind me, shoving said key into the bag with the book and cat.

TBC, click the bottom picture above. You will find one of the greatest scenes ever to grace that big and very silver screen.






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