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Friday, 14 May 2021

Who’s That On The Telephono?

    Supervisor “Who was that?”
    “My butler.”
    “The butler, what did he want?”
    “What’s it got to do with you what he wanted?”
    “Nothing, nothing at all sir, I thought he was mute.”
    “Well you were wrong. He gave me a bell to tell me Number 6 is here to see me, so you had better go….out!”

   {So was it the butler on the telephono, or was it an Observer informing No.6 was on his way to see him? After all by the time of the telephone call No.6 was still on his way to the Green Dome.}

Be seeing you 

Life In The Village!


Introducing the new Citizeness 2!

    Personally I should not trust this citizeness as far as I could throw her. She would report you to the Committee For Public Safety as soon as look at you!

Be seeing you

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Life In The Village!


    An invitation to breakfast, or at least No.2 invited himself!
    “You do very well for yourself.”
    “Oh you think so.”
    “You have a nice semi-detached cottage with all mod cons, convenient for the shop, as well as the perks you enjoy.”
    “Perks, how do you work that out?”
    “Well here we sit in your dinette and still you have your breakfast made and brought to you. May I trouble you for a slice of toast?”
    “Haven’t you had breakfast yet?”
    “No” No.2 said helping himself to butter “I haven’t been to the Green Dome as yet, I don’t live there you know, I have a room in the Town Hall, with the bathroom and other facilities along the corridor. I don’t do as well as you; even my butler has his own place living in the annexe at the back of the Green Dome. How do you find it?”
    “What the Green Dome or the annexe?”
    “Your breakfast.”
    “Its nicely done, French.”
    “French, how’s your slice of toast?”
    “Pass the marmalade would you?”

 Be seeing you

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Newly Arrived!

     Newly arrived in the village, a man wakes up in what he considered to be the drawing room of his own home. Somewhat groggily he stood up and crossing the room to the window and drew back the curtains, and looking out his eyes fell upon a scene of an Italianate village. Confusion soon set in, disorientation quickly followed as the young man took his first tentative steps out in the village.

    He saw the bell tower, the cobbled square and stood gazing up at the Green Dome. The general store was closed, and yet the café was just opening.
    “Can I get you breakfast young man?”
    “Say this is a crazy scene, like where am I?”
    “In the village” the waitress replied opening a canopy over a table.
    “Like what village?”
    “Do you want coffee?”
    “No I don’t want breakfast, I don’t want coffee, just tell me how I get out of here.”
    “You having trouble with him?” the gardener asked.
    “No, he’s no trouble.”
    “Is there a telephone I can use?”
    “No, but there’s a phone box around the corner.”
    “Thank you.”
    The fair youth walked around the corner from the café and found the telephone booth. A sign read “Lift and press,” so he picked up the grey ‘L’ shaped telephone and pressed the small square chrome button.
    “Number please” the operator asked.
    “I want to make a telephone call to…..”
    “What is your number sir?”
    The man looked at the telephone “I haven’t got a number.”
    “No number no call” the operator said and hung up.
    There was a white Mini-Moke parked across the way, the young man walked towards it, a driver wearing a striped jersey sat behind the wheel.
    “Are you a taxi?
    “The vehicle is a taxi, I’m the driver” the young woman said.
    “Can you take me to the nearest town?”
    “We’re only the local service sir.”
    “Well perhaps you can take me to the nearest bus stop.”
    “There isn’t one” the taxi driver told him.
    “Well go on then, take me as far as you can.”
    The driver started the taxis engine, engaged first gear, released the hand brake and the vehicle moved forward. The taxi was driven this way and that, down the hill passed the Town Hall, round the bend at the bottom of the hill near the Old People’s home. Then turned round drove back up the hill passed the Town Hall, passed the cafe, round the corner, passed the cobbled square, through the first arch, through a second, taking the road out of the village. It was a hairpin bend after which was the castle, or a building which looked like a castle, yet a signpost read ‘Hospital.’ The road led back towards the village, winding its way through trees, over a bridge and through a large yellow and white arch. Down the hill again towards the Old People’s Home, back up the hill then slowing and taking a left fork, round by the pink pavilion and the statue of Hercules, up the cobbled street, then right through an arch driving into the cobbled square where the vehicle came to a stop.
    “Here we are” the driver said.
    “Back where we started!”
    “I did tell you we’re only the local service.”
    The young man alighted the Mini-Moke.
    “The fare is two units” the driver told him.
    “Units, units aren’t for me!”
    “Oh well you can pay me later” the driver told him.
    And the Mini-Moke drove off down the road, the driver looking for her next fare.
    Seeing the general store was open he was about to go in, when he was stopped by two burly set men in red jumpers.
    “Number 2 wants a word with you” one of them told him.
    “You are to come with us” the other said.
    The young man found himself being manhandled across the square, across the road, up the steps, through the front door of the Green Dome and into the foyer. Then through a pair of French doors, through a pair of large steel doors, into a large domed chamber and bundled into a black leather chair.
     There was a grey curved desk, behind which a man sat in a black global chair.
    “Are you responsible for this?” the young man shouted “you can’t do this to me man, I’ve got rights!”
    “You can go” the man sitting in the black global chair said.
    “That’s right dad, I knew you’d see sense.”
    “Not you!” than man said.
    The two guardians turned and left the chamber through the opening steel doors.
    “Thanks for the trip dad.”
    “Don’t mention it” No.2 said.
    “This is a crazy scene dad.”
    “There will come a time when you will realize that I am not your father.”
    “Why am I here?”
    “You were brought here because I wished to speak to you.”
    “And you are?”
    “Number 2, chief administrator, and chairman of the village.”
    “The village?”
    “If there is one thing you need its discipline and guidance.”
    “That’s two things daddy-oh!”
    “And I am to see that you, Number 48, will receive induction to both of those requirements.”
    “You dad….what did you call me?”
    “Number 48.”
    “Wow numbers are for squares dad!”
    “Not only will you wear your number, but when called to do so you will respond to it. And talking about wearing, we’ll get you some new clothes while we’re about it.”
    “New clothes, what’s wrong with the ones I’m wearing?”
    “A black military tunic, this isn’t Carnaby Street or the Kings road you know, such dress is inappropriate for the village.”
    “If you say so daddy-oh.”
    No.2 picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone “You can come in now” putting the phone back on his deck he turned his attention once more to the prisoner No.48 “we can continue our little talk later on. For now……”
    The pair of steel doors opened and a tall lean man in a dark blue piped blazer, accompanied by the two guardians, entered the chamber.
   “… will be left to your own devices, to become accustomed to your new surroundings. Number 22 and these two gentlemen will escort you back to your cottage, where you will change into your new village attire.
    “What about my old clothes?”
    “We’ll burn those” No.2 told him.

    No.48 wasn’t at all happy, he attempted to walk away from the village along the beach, but confronted by the white amorphous Guardian he was herded back to the village like some lost sheep. However youth will have its fling, but try as he might but despite a night’s drinking in the Cat & Mouse nightclub he remained as sober as a judge! He danced about, pranced about, stood singing songs from the top of the bandstand, but he did attend the regular brass band concerts, even if that meant he would ask for requests to be played…pop songs mostly!
   One day wearing his red and white zip up anorak No.48 wandered down the hill towards the Old People’s Home. He wandered across the lawn, and was spotted by No.216, a white haired gentleman sitting at a table, he had a chess set in front of him.
    “Do you play chess young man?” the old gentleman asked.
    “No dad.”
    “Well sit down and I’ll teach you.”
    No.48 sat down.
    “These are pawns, upon their first move a pawn can move forward one square or two squares, after that its one square. To take an opponent’s piece it moves diagonally. Don’t you think it’s time for you to settle down and co-operate?”
    “Deaf are you?”
    “What and end up an old man living in this place, no thanks daddy-oh!”
    “Take Number 6.”
    “What about him?”
    “He has rebelled, refused to wear, observe, or respond to his number. He’s attempted to escape, poked his nose in where it has no business, involved himself in the affairs of the village, and been generally the village’s biggest troublemaker!”
    “Bully for him” No.48 said.
    “He’s a round peg in a square hole that refuses to be made to fit.”
    “You don’t say.”
    Then there’s Number 13 an unlucky number, nothing ever went right for him. He was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was once mistaken for someone else, got taken away for treatment that time.”
    “What kind of treatment?”
    “I don’t know, never asked. It doesn’t do to ask questions. He tried several attempts to escape, but they always went wrong, just like it did that time when he set out to sea in a dugout canoe. Weeks he took digging out that canoe, there had been a storm you see, and out of the trunk he dug out this canoe, and fashioned a pair of paddles.
    “Where did he get the tools?”
    “He made them, flint axe and chisel, spent weeks in the woods, only to try and escape, but to die out at sea. He didn’t get so far before the Guardian got to him, the tide must have carried the body away.”
    “There was a funeral.”
    “No lad, no funeral, you need a body for that. Then there was Number 7 as lucky a number as 13 is unlucky.”
    “Unless you happen to break a mirror!”
    The grey haired shot the youth a derisory glance.
    “So what happened to Number 7?”
    “Well one day Number 7 let it be known, to one or two, that he had a plan, a foolproof escape plan. Of course they say everyone tries to escape when their spirit’s broken, but Number 7 didn’t do anything. He went to the café every day for lunch, he played chess with me in the afternoons, and in between he went to the brass band concerts. He would sit on a bench in the cobbled square reading The Tally Ho, promenaded around the Piazza for exercise. He once entered a painting competition, he painted a lovely seascape, and he loved to dress up for Carnival. And then one day he was gone!”
    “So I tell you, so it happened. No hyde nor hair of him could they find. The Observers scanned the village, the woods and a search party was sent to search as far as the outer zone, as well as to the southern perimeter. A physical search of the village, and the woods was made, but no trace of Number 7 was ever found.”
    “So he did have a plan, and he used it to escape.”
    “Well if he didn’t he’s been hiding away somewhere hereabout these past three months. And I’ll tell you what...”
    “Go on, what?”
    “They removed every trace of the number 7 from the village!”
    “Get away!”
    “It’s true I tell you, you’ll not find the number 7 anywhere in the village. But now Number 48, what kind of prisoner are you going to turn out to be?”

Be seeing you

Thursday, 6 May 2021

The Tally Ho


The Blue Zone In The Post!

by our own reporter

    A new Blue Zone in the post, what’s that all about? Who bothers to write to anyone in the village? Well some citizens must write to others, otherwise why does the village have a postman, along with the new Blue Zone in the post? And at the kiosk they sell copies of The Tally Ho, sweets, along with postcards of the village. Who in the village would buy postcards of the village? Perhaps they are for citizens who wish to send postcards to friends telling them what a wonderful time they are having in this holiday resort.
    I have noticed that it’s not the traditional seaside comical postcards which are on sale, only the scenic views of the village that are made available. Really where’s the fun in that? The postman calls and delivers you a picturesque postcard of the village, your own cottage might even appear in that view. So what about this village postman? I’ve seen him on his rounds pushing a Penny Farthing bicycle, he should be made to ride it like all good Victorian postmen used to do. But here’s a question for citizens, how does this village postman actually deliver the post, because as far as I can see there are no letter boxes in any of the cottage doors, not even the front door of the Green Dome is fitted with a letter box! Yes the postman did make a special delivery to 6 Private, his invitation to carnival, but then the door was open. So perhaps the postman has to knock and wait for someone to open the door before he can deliver the post! Anyway prior to this new Blue Zone in the post with its blue and white post-box, I have never actually seen a post-box anywhere in the village! So how could citizens post their cards and letters to one another? Perhaps the postman had to call at each cottage to collect letters for posting, or citizens themselves had to physically take letters and cards to the post office.
    So perhaps this new Blue Zone in the post is designed to make the village postal service more efficient, I dare to think that is hardly possible. I cannot see how the village post office is run off its feet collecting and delivering post. And that’s another question, where in the village is the Post office? I’ve never seen it, it’s not marked on the map of the village, and no-one I spoke to could give me directions.
    Anyway its nice to know that the postal service has been improved with this new and fast Blue Zone, and now we can send each other postcards wishing each other that they were here. Except we already are in the village!


Be seeing you


Sunday, 2 May 2021

Who’s that On The Telephono?


    “Yes what is it?”

    “It’s Number 112 sir.”
    “What’s he done?”
    “No sir, I’m Number 112, the shopkeeper.”
    “Oh it’s you again; well what do you want this time?”
    “It’s about Number 6 sir.”
    “Well what about him?”
    “You did say report any unusual activity to you...sir.”
    “Yes that’s right. Well what’s he been up to this time?”
    “Well you remember my reporting to you that Number 6 had bought a Cuckoo clock, that he didn’t want the one I picked....”
    “Yes you thought he was looking for a specific one.”

    “Yes sir, well you know Number 32.”

    “Well I’m not surprised sir, she doesn’t get about much. Anyway I had to make a special delivery to Number 32, 6 buns, butter, a cauliflower, and half a dozen eggs.”
    “Is this going to take all day?”
    “No sir, anyway on my way back I walked passed Number 6’s cottage, and I noticed he was feeding the pigeons. Well one pigeon in particular, he fed it a ham sandwich. He had it in the box I sold to him with the Cuckoo clock in it!”
    “Are you trying to be funny?”
    “No sir.”
    “Well get off the line, I’m watching Number 6 on the screen now, he’s crossing the road......he’s walking up the steps to the Green Dome....he’s carrying a Cuckoo clock, what’s he doing with that Cuckoo clock?”
    “I really couldn’t say sir.”
    “Oh I’m not talking to you...get off the line!”
    “He must be in one of his moods again!”

Be seeing you

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Further Tales From The Village

    A black global chair rose up through the hole in the floor, and now No.2 sat behind the grey curved desk. A tall woman with fair hair, dressed in a dark blue sweater and slacks stood looking through a file of reports.
   “What’s on for today Number 12?” No.2 asked.
    No.12 was a middle aged man with greying hair. He was of medium height, wearing steel rimmed spectacles, and a plain blue blazer
    “There’s always Number 6” Number 12 told her.
    “Number 6, what’s he been up to?”
    “Nothing, that’s just the point.”
    “How long has Number 6 been with us now?”
    “Thirty years ma’am.”
    “Thirty years” No.2 muttered to herself as she searched in her desk for a file.
     “Sixty-eight years ma’am.”
    No.2 emerged from behind her desk with a black file in hand “Thank you Number 12.”
    “I thought it would save you time looking his age up ma’am.”
    “Where does he reside now?”
    “He left the Round House three years ago ma’am, he’s resident in the Old People’s Home now” No.12 confirmed.
    “And no doubt that has given him cause for complaint” No.2 said thumbing through the 6 file.
    “He doesn’t like having been out with the old people, he forgets he’s one of them now. He complains we’ve taken away his independence.”
    “I read here he used to complain about our having taken away his identity.”
    “I am not a number.”
    “What’s that Number 12?”
    “I am not a number, I am a free man, It’s what he used to go about shouting, usually when he was running about the beach.”
    “Not shouting it now is he!”
    “No Number 2, he was one of a kind, not a prisoner like him before or since. He has mellowed in his old age.”
    “And the reason behind his resignation, I see it’s not noted in his file.”
    “That’s because we stopped asking. The nearest we ever got to an answer was he resigned for peace of mind, that too many people knew too much.”
    “And did he know too much?”
    “We think he did, but he was loyal you see even having left British Intelligence, he remained as loyal as ever.”
    “So they stopped questioning him about the reason behind his resignation.”
    “Yes, that was after he stopped trying to escape.”
    “He stopped trying to escape?”
    “Yes, we assume he finally realized there was no escape, no way out.”
    “So life in the Old People’s Home doesn’t suit him, perhaps we should take him out of it and put him back in his old home?”
    “Oh we can’t do that Number 2.”
    “And why not pray?”
    “There is someone else living in it. And even if we could, Number 6 isn’t the easiest man to look after, especially now he’s confined to a wheelchair.”
    “Tell me about the new occupant of the Round House.”
    Suddenly the pair of steel doors opened and a housemaid in black dress, frilly apron, and white sailors cap, wheeled a small trolley down the ramp and across the floor. Number 2 leaned forward and pressed a button on the control panel of her desk and a round disc in the floor slid away and a small round topped table rose up through the hole.
    “Time for your elevenses” the housemaid said setting out the tea things.
    “I’m sure you would like some tea and a biscuit” No.2 offered.
    “I have only brought one cup ma’am” the housemaid said.
    “Then fetch another one!” No.2 said.
    Somewhat indignantly the housemaid went to fetch a second cup.
    “You were going to tell me about the new occupant of the Round House.”
    “You mean ‘9 Private,’ he’s something of a non-entity. He told us all we wanted to know in three days. Generally everyone talks on the third day, since they we’ve left him alone.”
    “Describe him to me” 2 asked.
    “It’s in his file” 12 replied.
    “Yes, but it would save a little time if you just told me.”
    “Well he’s……..”
    The pair of steel doors opened and the maid, carrying a cup and saucer walked down the ramp to the desk upon which she plonked down the cup and saucer upsetting an empty tea plate. No.10 turned, and went back from whence she had come, the steel doors closing behind her.
    “Please, carry on 12 while I pour out your tea.”
    “Well he’s 40 years of age, of medium height, black hair, he sports a moustache and has a mole on the side of his neck. He worked for the Civil Service starting out as a tea boy, and slowly worked his way up the ladder, until finally reaching the position of Administrative Officer.”
    “Your tea Number 12” No.2 said offering the cup and saucer.
    No.12 took the cup and saucer and was about to help himself to a biscuit.
    “Not that one, not the one with the cream inside!” No.2 said helping herself to it.
    No.12 took one of the two digestive biscuits instead. 
    “Why Number 9?” 2 asked taking up her black global chair again.
    “I have no idea ma’am. I think it was that the number was available at the time.”
    “It hasn’t anything to do with the fact that 9 can become 6?”
    “I’m sorry I’m not quite with you Number 2.”
    “No I can see that. I want to see him.”
    “Number 9 of course, have him brought to me.”
    “Yes Number 2” 12 said placing his cup and saucer and half eaten digestive biscuit on the desk.
    “No, finish your tea first 12, there’s no rush.”

    No.9 was relaxing to music and enjoying a cup of tea when the door to ‘9 Private’ opened and the figure of No.12 was framed in the doorway.
    “Well come in if you’re coming in, don’t stand on ceremony” 9 said.
    No.12 crossed the threshold “Number 2 wants to see you.”
    “Number 2 eh, well thank him for me, and say I’ve nothing else to tell him.”
   “It’s not a him, its a her!”
    “Oh, not another Number 2 has fallen by the wayside, how many is that now?”
    “Put your jacket on, and come with me 9, or it will be all the worse for you” 12 said menacingly.
    “You may not have noticed, but I have, things cannot get much worse for me than being in this place!”
   No.12 picked up the blazer and held it out to No.9, who stood up and put it on “I rather like Mahler’s fourth no chance of listening to the end I suppose?”
    “No chance at all” 12 said escorting No.9 out of his cottage. 

   In the Green Dome No.2 switched off the wall screen and waited patiently for her visitor to be brought to her.
   The pair of blast-proof steel doors slid open, and No.9, escorted by No.12, walked smartly down the ramp.
“It’s alright 12, you can go.”
    “Yes sir” 12 replied turning smartly on his heels and marching up the ramp and out of the office.
    No.9 turned to watch the steel doors close.
    “What do you want?”
    “I just wanted to see you.”
    “You’ve seen me” 9 said about to turn and leave.
    “I can’t help you, you know.”
    “I didn’t think you would, not even if you could.”
    “Fancy getting yourself into this predicament!”
    “I didn’t exactly get myself into this predicament as you so put it; I was hardly in a position to do anything about it!”
    “And you told them everything?” No.2 asked.
    “They, as you probably know, they have many ways and means, they are very persuasive. Of course I talked; I’m not Bond, Drake, Harry palmer, or that Philip Calvert chap, they wouldn’t have talked no matter what they did to them, but I did, I couldn’t help myself. You know they are listening.”
    “Are they?”
    “And they are probably watching….the Observers, perhaps even Number 1.”
    “I cannot help you” No.2 told him.
    “I know you’ll not be here long enough for that.”
    “You’re only interim, people like you come and go.”

    Three days later at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the silver grey alouette helicopter landing on the lawn by the sea wall. No.9 sat at a table on the lawn of the Old People’s Home watching as a Mini-Moke arrived and the person of the former No.2 alighted carrying a suitcase. The pilot took the suitcase and placed it in the cabin, as the former No.2 climbed up onto the grey float; she paused and took a last look about her.
    An old man wheeled himself over to where No.9 was sitting.
    “You seem pre-occupied.”
    “No, not really, just watching an old friend leave.”
    “You know her?”
    “Number 2, we’ve met, she’s my wife!”

Be seeing you