Occasionally, outsiders or people I knew from a previous existence, would attempt to make contact with me. Some would even go so far as to leave the security of street lamps, pavements – the rudiments of civilisation – to visit me in the dark depths of my rural enclave.
One morning I was awoken by a despairing voice on the telephone, pleading for directions.
“Where am I? This is deliverance country, Banjo Lan . . .”
Much to my amusement my caller was cut short by the infamous Mogwashian dampening field that sucks the signal from every passing mobile phone. I could only conclude that my friend was indeed very lost, but at the same time very close, and even with concise directions, a map, compass, and a book of quotations, it would always be impossible for anyone to locate me, let alone the bottle of greed.
Sebastian sat back in his chair and frowned as he read the open Word document on his computer screen, mentally kicking himself for agreeing to help out with the Mogwash pantomime for the fourth year running. Not only was he expected to be in it, but he was now being asked to help out with writing the script as well. Rupert, the Pantomime director and village overlord, had kindly sent him a rough outline of the plot, it appeared to revolve around a series of clues that would guide the hero to a long lost fortune. Sebastian twitched and reached for his whiskey; what was it with the villagers of Mogwash? First it was Scarlet with her bizarre blog encouraging her readers to follow a series of clues to find a mysterious ‘Bottle of Greed’ – as if – and now Rupert had got in on the act with his clues to find a treasure chest in Never Never Land [loosely based on the Australian outback as an excuse to get someone to dress up as a kangaroo]. Had they all gone completely mad? Were Rupert and Scarlet in league with each other? Was Sebastian really nothing more than a fictional character inhabiting someone else’s narrative? Was the postman going to start giving him thinly disguised directions to the whereabouts of his mail? Had the milkman hidden his semi-skimmed and Greek yoghurt in a location yet to be disclosed? It was all getting out of hand. He wanted to lie down and sleep, he wished to wake up in a world without treasure chests, or bottles of greed; he wished to wake up in a world where everyone said what they meant – in a world without a clue.
Be careful what you wish for, typed Scarlet, sometime later in July 2014.