Friday, June 8, 2012

The Jubilee Day


It's night. We stand in the black sodden garden, brought there by wailing.

I wear had an overcoat over my pyjamas, muddy rain seeping into my slippers.

Lawrence has come out too.

On the ground is is a wet figure, kneeling, weeping, over his hole.

 "What is the matter with James?" I ask

"It is his hole. It has become wet", says Lawrence, matter-of-factly.

"Why didnt he bring the hole inside?" asks a female voice- Teresina emerged, in a damp nightgown.

We stood pondering Teresina's suggestion and James's mental condition.

After a while we realise there is nothing we can do and return to our beds. I sleep heavily. In the morning we sit at breakfast, looking from the breakfast room to the garden where James's form still huddles by the hole in the garden.

"I dont think he is all right," says Lawrence.

So we file down to the hole. There a wire leading from him back to the house, and we hear the quiet birring sound of a hairdryer. He is drying the hole.

*

It is the day of the Diamond jubilee. We hoist a Union Jack on a tree. The staff found it in a cardboard box a little tattered but a Union flag nonethless. Nick Parker climbs up to perch in the tree beneath it.

We stand in a ring, quite solemn. Make a speech, says Lawrence, nudging me.

"Wonderful Queen," I say.
"Yes, congradulations Elizabeth!" say the others.

The staff bring some wine and we get drunk. Everyone is very happy. Rain speckles our faces.

*

This  is another in the series of related stories, which can be found using the label, " The Beasties".

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