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Saturday 13 May 2017

A Village Day

    It was a day much as any other day, sunny but with the warning of intermittent showers later in the day. Ice cream was on sale, the flavour of the day strawberry. I sat where I usually sat in the late afternoon, on a bench in the Piazza. Other citizens were promenading around the pool and fountain. A couple of taxis were driving round, and an old gentleman was riding a tricycle, while another wheeled a Penny Farthing about. The ex-Admiral and his flag officer were sailing plastic boats in the water of the Free Sea. Then there came the loud engine noise of the helicopter as it circled overhead. Who was it bringing to The Village now?
    Village activities are widely encouraged, human chess matches, Kosho, fencing, shooting, Arts and Crafts exhibitions, painting competitions, Village festivals, Appreciation Day it being a Wednesday so that’s not today. Educational lessons, local elections, and carnival, all to keep the citizens busy both in mind and body to stop them thinking of and putting into practice plans for escape!
    I got up to make my way back to the Old People’s Home when a young man approached me and asked if he could walk with me.
    “That could be your way out of here.”
    I looked at the man and smiled.
    “You don’t believe me?”
    “Don’t toy with an old man, there’s nothing to be gained by that.”
    “Don’t you want your freedom?”
    “Freedom, what’s the good of that?”
    “You don’t want to leave?”
    “Where should I go?”
    “You’ve settled for life The Village.”
    “Village is enough for me.”
    “It’s more than enough for me!”
    “I want to get out!”
    “To escape you mean?”
    “What else is there?”
    “But you are...........”
    “Number Two.”
    “Yes, you can leave any time you like.”
    “Who told you that?”
    “That’s what they told me.”
    “You mean you.........”
    “I was once in your canvas shoes. But they held me back for a second term in office.”
    “You’re still here, after all these years!”
    “Years, decades.....before the war, since the war.....I’ve forgotten which war!”
    “A long time.”
    “You can fly a helicopter?”
    “Its seems that everyone can fly a helicopter, even our friend the diminutive
Butler. He made me feel quite inadequate!”
    “You would take an old man with you?”
    “I’m feeling generous.”
    “I’m too old.”
    “For what?”
    “You won’t come with me?”
    “You don’t need me. Besides Village life suits me, I’m resigned to it.”
    At the Old people’s Home I watched the man they call Number 2 walk away across the lawn, and down the slope towards a green triangular lawn where the helicopter stood. I never knew why he wanted me along. A few moments later the helicopter lifted off and took to the air. I watched it fly out across the estuary towards the far hills. I watched it begin to turn back. Suddenly a door of the cabin opened, and a man fell from the helicopter into the water below. The helicopter flew back and landed on the triangular lawn, while Number 2 floundered in the water. Then there came a surge in the water, water spouted into the air as the white membranic mass of the Guardian burst through the surface of the water, and skimmed across the waves towards the figure in the water. There was nothing I could do, there was nothing anyone could do, it was just another Village Day.

Be seeing you


  1. Number Two tried to swim back to shore but Rovet captured and nearly drowning him. He was brought back to shore by three Rovers. Number Two was interrogated by the Village Council and the Supervisor for hours. He was stripped of his duties to run the Village. He was placed under arrest and constant surveillance at a cottage.

    1. Hello Pat,
      Nice extended ending, I like it. And I knew you would like the short story.
      Star Wars had Rouge 1, The Prisoner has Rover 2!

      Best regards