Saturday, 25 August 2012

67 Well met, Stranger

I know you! You're the guy
I bumped into last year.
"Do I know you?"
I asked,
Thinking we had met.
Only we hadn't
We have now.
You're the guy I bumped into last year.
Do I know you?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

66 - Last Wishes

“It’s quite clever how they can keep yon coffin level when they go up steps like that, isn’t it Muriel?”
“I’m sure they’re doing Alex proud, Gwen, quite proud.”
“Oh we’ll miss him at the Kirk, him and his sense of humour .”
“We will too. Of course he missed Mary so; I dare say it was a broken heart that carried him off.”
“It was that or The Grenadier’s steak pies. I dare say you’re right, though, and what with all that nastiness after she died.”
“Why whatever do you mean?”
“Oh well when Mary died, Drummonds laid her out in the chapel of rest. Only, they made a gay auld mess of her. Alex said she looked like the laughing policemen in the arcade at Leith.”
“Never! Why when he gets laid in his grave, he’ll be fair spunnin’ round that Drummonds did him too!”
“Oh Drummonds was his choice, hen. He paid up front against one of their policies: “Ensure you get the funeral you want!” D’ye remember the flyers they left in St Giles?
“But I don’t understand why he’d go to them when they did his poor Mary so bad.”
“Oh that was Alex’s humour getting the best of his Christian upbringing. He got them tae agree to have pall-bearers carry his coffin from his flat in Hannover Street to the Kirk on High Street. Gave them the map o’ the route, saying he wanted to be taken the way he always walked to Matins.”
“But his arthritis …”
“Aye, hen: wi’ a career in rugby behind him, Alex’s knees were long gone and nae up to walking further than the corner of Princes Street. But Drummond – that’s the red-faced lummock at the rear – disnae have a full set o’ marbles and didna twig when he saw the map.”
“He must’ve had a bit of a shock this morning, then.”
“Oh aye: Playfair Steps is hard on the legs at the best o’ times, but in high summer and carrying the mortal remains of a prop forward … they must feel every one of those steps. What is it: a hundred?”
“Oh the scoundrel! Guid on ’im.”

Monday, 6 August 2012

65 - Beauty

Horn blaring, the silver TT sped past the truck and on under the road bridge.
“Up yours!”
“Is that the tree up there, Billy?”
“Strange shape, isn’t it.”
“It looks like there were three boles but they took one out to dig the cutting for the by-pass.”
“Sort of gives a hollowed-out look on that side, as if some giant took a bite out of it.”
Billy looked askance at his mate.
“What? Can’t I get a little poetic? ‘I think that I shall never see’, and all that?”
Billy breathed deeply.
“Put the cones out, Ed. I’ll get the chainsaw ready.”

Sunday, 5 August 2012

64 - Power

“I said I bet that you look good on the dance floor…”
Jayz clipped his harness on and started craning the basket out over the lip of the tower.
“I don't know if you're looking for romance or …”
He began the slow descent from the service deck to the top glazing, keeping an interested eye on a passing police helicopter.
“Don't know what you're looking for …”
A surprised look came at him from the other side of the glass as an IT guy was distracted from adjusting a projector.
“Well I bet that you look good on the dance floor …”
Jayz clipped his squeegee to his glove and started to clean off the guano that was a particular feature of the topmost floors of the building.
“Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984 …”
The screen in the executive meeting room went blank and the room fell dark.
“from 1984…”
The basket lurched as the emergency brake fail-safe clicked in. Jayz stopped his iPod, and reached for his radio.
“Chris; Jayz. What’s goin’ on, man? Are you pissing me about?”
“Jayz, we’ve got some sort of power-out. Hang on.”
“good choice of words”, thought Jayz, and he watched the IT guy inside the room. The guy reached for the desk socket, trying to get power back to his projector.
Far below the basket, the sound of car horns swelled. Then came the police sirens. The power drought had started, and Jayz’s abseiling ropes now seemed pitifully short.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

63 - Lonely

“Oh no, dear: it’s number four you want. Only she won’t be in, not on a Thursday, because her Vera comes to take her to lunch and bingo at the Cornmarket. Maybe number five’ll take it for you? But don’t ask her to sign for it, will you, because the poor dear can’t see very well at the best of times and this strong sunlight’ll bring out the worst in her glaucoma. Oh no dear, not with my lumbago, and anyway I don’t want to be interfering with someone else’s business. And it is such a lot of responsibility taking things in for someone: what if I broke it? Well really! A bit of respect, young man, wouldn’t go astray. I mean, people these days …”