These plastic betrayals, oh how they discomfit me. Harken, child, harken. Elspeth is keening next to the ha-ha, undone, again, by foxgloves, again. Of Hubert, the verbal mash is clogged, as if by butter unclarified. The child preens near the fort.
They are taking a heronry census. Noddy’s cap snagged on a twig. Elspeth miscounted the bobbins. Of Hubert, oh Hubert!, where is he in that mosh pit? A flock of seagulls might pass unnoticed before the gong is sounded for supper.
The clairvoyant, Hetty, wears night-vision goggles. The child’s toffee apple lies untouched on the windowsill. Elspeth has come unstrung. Of Hubert, dear Hubert, word comes of bathtub gin. They count the herons again, using tally sticks.
What will become of this parcel of land? Soil ne’er smelled so soily. They gathered around the box to watch Blunkett weeping, again. The grain of his voice is tape-damaged. Elspeth drops her empty teacup on the rug. The child genuflects. Of Hubert, silly old Hubert, no angels wassail.
These vinegar dusks tug me to The Clappers. Hetty is up in the tower. The distant Carpathians shimmer. A dog returns to its vomit. Elspeth, and poor Hubert, and the child, pore over photographs. Blunkett in extremis. Hubert’s weasel moustache.
The doctor is coming, on his bicycle. Stunned nightingales plummet from the rooftops. Now the child wails for a choc ice. These iron nostrums, oh how they break us. The box in the corner has collapsed like a pudding. Harken. Harken, to the lovely gunshots.
Breakfast, the next day, veered from egg to herring. The copper came with his truncheon. Hetty’s garb was polka-dotted. They awaited the final heronry count. Pips were spat into the empty grate. Blunkett seemed a distant memory. Wolves circled the grange.
There will be no further episodes of this shabby soap opera. There was a damning review in The Slop Bucket. “Incoherent gibberish from first to last.” And – pffft! – it is swept away and gone.
These vinegar dusks.