Chimeric Hide & Seek, 2: Where is the Monster?

We looked in the lake but could not find the monster.

Because the lake is the monster.

We looked on the island and could not find the monster.

Because the island is the monster.

We looked in the cabin and could not find the monster.

You’re not really listening to me are you?

*

We looked in the cutlery drawer and could not find the monster.

Hello, I’m standing right here telling you where it is.

We looked in the breadbin and could not find the monster.

I suppose you think this is funny.

We looked beneath the stairs…

I’m just going to leave you to it.

*

We looked beneath the bed and could not find the monster.

I can still hear you.

We looked in the attic and in the cellar.

OK, this is weird because I’m at the jetty

and you shouldn’t really still be audible.

We looked in the wood and could not find it.

I’m taking the boat. Bye.

*

We looked under each pebble on the beach

and could not find the monster.

I know, I’m standing at the lakeside watching you do it:

why are you so loud and yet so far away?

We asked each fish in the lake but they had not seen it.

OK, don’t just walk under the water like that.

*

We searched each lake and every tree and could not find the monster.

I know. I’ve been driving for seven hours and it’s like you’re on the radio.

We searched for years and years and could not find the monster.

You keep going. It’s a big archipelago and I’ve got a plane to catch.

*

We searched from shore to shore and could not find the monster.

Not you again. It’s been ten years. Couldn’t you take a break?

Now we are many it is time to enter the seas.

Make sure you look in all the caves and trenches.

We will look in every crevice.

Now you’re listening?

*

Now we have crossed the sea we recognise this harbour.

Welcome back. Have you noticed the pillboxes yet?

We shall return to our home. Perhaps the monster has taken up residence therein.

Perhaps. But first this hail of bullets. Then, I hope you like what I’ve done with the place.

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Chimeric Hide & Seek, 1: Where is the Devil?

The devil is not in the Dettol – who knew?

*

The devil is in the dishwasher. Which is why you shouldn’t throw the devil out with the dishwater, because it took ages to get him in there.

*

Other places the devil is reputed to be in: the beetroot’s bootstrap, the aerosol’s oesophagus, the elephant’s elbow, the functionary’s fundament, the greengrocer’s grammar book, the hostile handkerchief, the idiots’ icon, the jester’s jodhpurs, the koala’s kaolin…

*

…the manta ray’s memorandum, the newt’s neuralgia, the otters’ opera, the panjandrum’s pabulum, Quixotic qualia, the rotter’s rhubarb, the cybernetic synapse, the tyrant’s trotter, the ungulate’s undercarriage, the vulture’s vade-mecum, the wallaby’s washboard…

*

The only other places the Devil has ever been sighted in Chimeric folklore: Ximene’s xenurus’s tail, Young Lochinvar’s yarbles, and King Zog’s zebroid zabaglione zone. He knows what he likes. We can’t all be constantly seeking novelty. You want different, you go to different.

*

We forgot the leopard seal’s loincloth, but then so – embarrassingly frequently at formal engagements – does he. Bear in mind not only is the leopard seal descended from bears, he is neither an otary, a notary, nor a voluptuary.

*

STOP PRESS: the Devil has also been located in the diesel. On mature reflection we definitely should have thought to look there for him. Stands to reason.

Ghost Postie

The ghost postie continues to deliver ghost letters to where their recipients used to live, but who is writing them?

*

It’s the ghost postie, of course – he pretends to be the dead aunts and other ex-relatives of the long-gone householder, and sits up at ghost night (which we call ‘day’) writing about things they used to do when they were alive, or things the dead do as though they were normal.

*

The trouble with a ghost letter is you can read it through the spirit envelope and indeed the ghost paper. When all the letters lie there on the ectoplasmic doormat it’s just like a pile of slightly faint words. You can even see them through the former door.

*

So, once he’s posted the ghost letters through the phantom letterbox he stands there, reading what he has written through the woodlesswork, and wondering if he got the tone right, and if his handwriting would fool the dead nephew or whoever, who isn’t there.

*

He also wonders where all the other ghosts have gone, or if he is the only ghost in the entire next world? He often puts messages in the spiritual echoes of smashed bottles, and throws them into the ethereal sea. No replies arrive.

*

Mostly, he sticks to his rounds. As there are no other ghost posties, his route has gradually expanded to take in the whole city, and he writes tens of thousands of fake letters, bills, dead doctors’ appointments, and late reminders about late library books every ‘night’.

*

If only a living postman would say, ‘How goes it, Ghost Postie?’ he thinks he could just about manage, but they never do.

*

In his opinion, the ghost postie’s greatest invention is a version of living stationery which he calls the ‘past-it note’. Or is it a stupid thing, given his circumstances? He no longer knows. So one night the ghost postie decides to retire, and open up a ghost stationery shop.

*

He ‘rents’ premises in a demolished part of town he remembers from his childhood, forging the necessary insubstantial papers, and lodging them in a see-through filing cabinet he himself supplies to the Town Hall, then settles down to his new post-life.

*

Because no-one ever comes into his ghost stationery shop, he’s able to stock it somewhat impractically according to his whims. For instance, he displays far more ex-pencil sharpeners than he could ever hope to sell. They are all the same two models – after-steel single or double.

*

He also stocks a complete range of ghost paperclips, which start out microscopic and continue to sizes wildly larger than any real paper size. His largest paperclip he just leans against the side of what used to be a skyscraper.

*

He is particularly proud of his hole punchers, which will punch holes in anything and nothing, as long as it’s flat enough. He also sells the ghosts of those portable holes he used to see in cartoons. He often sits behind the counter, punching holes in holes.

*

The trouble with ghost rolls of sellotape is it was see-through when it was alive (to the extent that sellotape was ‘alive’), so it is doubly difficult to locate, unpeel, snip, and attach to parcels. It hurts where his head once was to think about it, let alone wraith-wrap.

*

The best thing has been inventing ghost stamps. Sourcing the ghost of gum, spirit-deckling, thinking up new designs using the skulls of former monarchs for portraits no-one can see. He collects all his own stamps, of course, in his phantom album – a range of which he also sells

Facts about Tears

Over the course of your lifetime, you will weep exactly the same number of tears as the total number of raindrops which fell on your head.

*

People who have been struck by hail are advised to move to a hot place to facilitate the passage of huge ‘ice tears’ through their eye ducts.

*

Government moves to cut handkerchief size after revealing that ‘tears, idle tears’ are fraudulently hogging the absorbent paper. ‘We must offer meaningful material advantages to hard-working sweat,’ said the Minister for Exudations.

*

Every year 96 people drown inside ‘Giant Tears’ – tears they themselves produce which are so huge they are immediately completely immersed within them, and cannot swim to their outer limits swiftly enough.

*

In the 19th century, phobias about drowning in Giant Tears were so widespread that people carried ‘tear pins’ to burst tears before they could envelope their heads. Of course, this resulted in self-inflicted eye injuries as those weeping normally panicked.

*

The Empress of Chimerica used to bathe in a pool filled with the tears of sleeping birds: she would send her moth legions out by night to gather the tears, which contained their concentrated dreams.

*

When filtered through the rock on which her palace was set, the birds’ tears were released as choral song, which was trapped in nets attached to her bathrooms’ high ceilings, stored in golden eggs, and placed in silver nests to be cracked and released at the Empress’s pleasure.

The Muttering, 2

Little Charcoal Echo

Last night’s statistics: 3 walkers driven insane, 2 divorces due to information received, 1 near-suffocation in Bonewell caused by sudden swarm of Ironic Pleachy Loners. Doc Moreau advises: don’t go out for midnight strolls unless roped together – and wear your earplugs!

*

Have you received a muffled or distressing message from a nocturnal flying insect? The Ministry for Decipherment maintains a 24 hour service during The Muttering. Please send a recording or transcription. Our operatives are fully trained and can be reassuring. Why the hell not?

*

Messages may be shared with the Ministry for Verification if they appear to threaten national security or are very embarrassing, but every effort is taken to ensure your anonymity is preserved. Except when it’s a criminal matter or it’s really obvious who it is.

*

I hear that you were witnessed doing that in the back garden of your former home with a papier-mâché model of an appliance we shall not mention, but if you can deliver the or a moon to ‘Thee Mothes’ (it seems you know their details) we shall hear no more about it.

*

It turns out our understanding of time is all wrong and Reality is actually happening backwards – backwards, I tell you! That’s why this is all so damn familiar…

*

Well if that is true I will never do what you asked me to down by the creek though I may do it up behind the old gas station without you. It hardly matters no more as long as something dies.

*

Whatever I thought, it was muttered back at me, word perfect, by a Little Charcoal Echo. When I looked more closely, I realised it had my face upon its back. It was my Dopplemoth, but it flew away before I could catch and eat it, as tradition demands.

Mutterfly Watch

Dozy Manicule Hawkmoth

‘Dear Doc Moreau, I am sending the mutterfly I trapped in our drains, please help me to identify. I’m sorry I hit it with a hammer so many times but it’s pretty spooky and it shouldn’t have kept singing.

*

‘Dear Mutant Kid, Looks like an Orange Griping Wimblett to me. You don’t see many of them outside of Sarset, and most of those are actually Little Peach Grinders. Yrs, Doc Moreau’

*

‘Dear Doc Moreau, please send help. The specimen I have photographed has had us cornered in the barn for 3 days. Cronkey our dog went for it and it made an awful mess of Cronkey. I wouldn’t mind, but it keeps trying to suck his remains up through its straw thing.’

*

‘It could be a mutated Gazebo Plonker. Once they get addicted to Radonium, which their mile-long prehensile tongues can suck up from distant 1970s bathtubs, they begin sprouting plastic shower curtains.

I’m sending in a clean-up squad. Take to the shelters.’

*

‘PS Unless it’s a Lucozade Cosh. That would explain the oozing. Yrs, Doc Moreau.’

*

‘Dear Doc Moreau, Paw says we should start sacrificin the young uns ifn we want to survive in part this Cryptolepidopteran Calamity which has befallen Goose Foot Peninsula: do you advise sustren or brethren?’

*

‘Dear Mutant Kid, I remember when the July skies used to be thick with Velveteen Kodiack Springers (not to be confused with the spaniels).

Different times. More Biblical plague-like than these humdrum hours and wishy-washy weeks we have now. Go with brethren.’

Chimera Consultancy’s Recommendations to Prime Minister Theresa May

This week Chimera Consultancy (advisors to big brands Apple, Peach, Melon, Mammon, Moloch and McDonalds) offered Prime Minister Theresa May some simple advice that, if adopted, would solve many of the UK’s big problems, including crime, education and health.

Here are the recommendations in full:

Recommendation one: the NHS

We recommend you replace the NHS with Chimera Wealthcare. We are at the cutting edge of unethical profiteering.

Recommendation two: education

We recommend you replace all schools with Chimera EduOutlets, run by Mechamanagers and staffed by robots.

Recommendation three: law and order

We recommend you outsource all policing to Chimera Insecurity Services. Crime figures will plummet when there are no police officers left to record (let alone investigate) criminal activities. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has already expressed an interest in this recommendation.

Recommendation four: the army

We recommend you disband the army and replace it with Chimera MaxiKill, your comprehensive war solution.

Recommendation five: religion

We recommend you abolish all religions and make attendance at the Church of Chimera compulsory for all. Worship of MEGACROCODOG should be everyone’s civic duty. Chimera puts the fun in fundamentalism!

Recommendation six: government

We recommend you abolish the government and appoint Nigel Farage as CEO of United Kingdom Enterprises Ltd.

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Any similarities between these recommendations and those made by Chimera Consultancy to David Cameron in 2014 are purely coincidental.