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Sunday 23 February 2020

Tales From The Village

    “Might drop his guard with children…..he might give something away.”
    “Well it was worth a try Number 2.”
    “He told them a……… he told them a blessed fairytale. That one wouldn’t drop his guard with his own grandmother!”
    “Goodnight children………”
    No.6 looks into a hidden camera.
    Suddenly the door to the cottage opens and much to the amazement of No.2 the Supervisor stands in the open doorway.
    “Congratulations. What do you desire?”
    “Number 1.”
    “I’ll take you.”
    And as they leave, No.6 takes a moment to place a toy clown in front of the camera lens. It is at that moment the red, curved, over-sized intercom begins to bleep. No.2 waits for a moment, looks at No.10 who leaning against the Penny Farthing who simply shrugged her shoulders.
    “Number 2 here” he said having picked up the intercom “Yes sir I realize that, but I was always of the opinion……………..oh you heard my opinion……………I see sir.”
    There is a puzzled expression on No.2’s face as he replaces the intercom on the desk.
    “What is it Number 2?”
    “I have been summoned!” he said
    “Summoned, summoned to where father?”
    “To the summit daughter, the village is all yours……. for the time being.”

   A pair of steel doors opened leading into a cloakroom where coat hangers swung on frames. At the far end was a life-sized dummy of No.6 dressed in his own clothes.
   “We thought you would be happier as yourself” said the supervisor.
   It took a few minutes to strip the dummy of the clothes and for No.6 to change into his own clothes to the song “All you need is love.”
    Then emerging from the cloakroom No.6, the supervisor and the butler walk along a stone walled passageway, there are a number of alcoves cut into the rock face, and in each alcove are juke boxes, and at the far end of the passageway an old wooden door. The butler has a key and steps forward to unlock the door which opens with a familiar electronic hum. The other side of the door is steel lined with a neon sign with the words Well
and forming up behind the trio are a number of men in wetsuits!
   The open door leads into a cavern, inside are people in white cowls and black and white masks, many of them as delegates of an assembly seated on benches, each responsible for different aspects of society. There are a large number of armed security guards in white helmets and blue overalls, technicians, and a High Court Judge in scarlet gown and white powdered wig. There are electrical switch gear cabinets, a large wall screen, an elaborate 'Throne', a steel tube with a large red 1 upon it. And steel see saw apparatus previously seen in the control room, but now instead of two men sitting at either end of the sea-saw looking into a close circuit TV monitor, they are armed with a Maxim machine gun.
   The supervisor dons a back and white theatrical mask and white robe.
    “Well come” says the Judge, who is the former No.2.
    There is a round of applause. Curiously there is a young man wearing a top hat, secured to a piston device which goes up and down in a steam filled pit!
    “This session” begins the Judge “is called in a matter of democratic crisis, and we are here gathered to resolve the question of revolt!”
   Number 6 is presented by the supervisor, but as he has survived the ultimate test, he must no longer be referred to as No.6 or any number of any kind. He has gloriously vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. This assembly rises to you.. sir.”
    An enthusiastic round of applause from the delegates of the Assembly.
   Sir's indulgence is craved and the Judge suggests perhaps he would care to observe the preliminaries from the chair of honour.
    Revolt can take many forms and here we have two specific instances, No.48, a hippie representing uncoordinated youth.
    “Thanks for the trip dad!”
    No.48 was with them, but then he went and gone! Now he must be grateful for the opportunity of stating his case before the Assembly! But No.48 appears to be off his head, what a crazy scene
   “Collar bone’s connected to neck bone and the neck is connected to the head bone hear that word of the Lord. Dem bones, dem bones are gonna walk around now hear the word of the Lord.”
   The delegates of the Assembly are in confusion, the Judge bangs his gavel in an attempt to bring the proceedings to order, to bring No.48 to order. Eventually the Judge orders for No.48 to be released, and two security guards step forward to release 48 from the piston. Taking to his feet 48 rings the little bell which hangs from a chain about his neck.
    “Mmm hear the word of the Lord.”
    And then chaos reigns as No.48 dashes about the cavern, climbs rocks, dodges the security guards and causes disruption and mayhem
While all the time singing the song Dry Bones. But then he trips over himself and is instantly surrounded by armed security guards.
    “Young man……….don’t knock yourself out!”
    This intervention by No.6 comes as both a surprise to No.48 as well as the Judge!
   “Young man.”
   “You got the message?”
   “I just got it.”
   “You’ve never been with it, I mean with us.”
   “I’m gone, gone away.”
   “But you were here then you went and gone.”
   And so it goes on, the interrogation as the Judge wants No.48 to give, give that’s all you want give and take, takes all they want, take, take, take, take! TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, TAKE……….
    “Dem Bones” booms around the cavern and everyone, except No.6 and the butler stand clapping to the beat and getting hip, hip hooray!
    The charge against the prisoner No.48 is of the serious breach of social etiquette. Total defiance of the elementary laws which sustains the community, questioning the decisions of those we voted to govern us. He has unhealthy aspects of speech and dress not in accordance with general practice. And the refusal to observe…wear…or respond to his number!
   Sir doesn’t exactly approve of the proceedings, but he notes them and has no comment to make at this stage. As for No.48 he is restrained and held in a place of security until sir's Inauguration.
   “At the other end of the scale” the Judge begins “we are honoured to have with us a revolutionary of different calibre. He has revolted, resisted, fought, held-fast, maintained, destroyed resistance, overcome coercion, the right to be person, someone, individual, we applaud his private war and concede despite materialistic efforts he has survived intact and secure. All that remains is, recognition of a man, a man of steel, a man magnificently equipped to lead us, that is, lead us or go!”
   On the wall screen it is seen that No.6’s car has been delivered to his home in
London, and his house prepared for him.
   There is a prize for No.6, the key to his house, traveller’s cheques, a million, and a passport valid for anywhere, and a purse of petty cash.
    The President tells sir that has been an example to them all, he has convinced them of their mistakes. He is pure, he knows the way, show us. His revolt has been good and honest, you are the only individual they need him. All about him is his, but he can go if he wishes but is offered the stand in order to address the assembly, sir is the greatest. He has to make a statement, a true statement which could only be his, but for them. Remember them, do not forget them, keep them in mind. Sir they are all yours!
   Sir takes the stand and prepares to address the members of the assembly.
   “I feel that despite…..’
   “I I I I” the delegates shout sir down.
   Sir bangs his gavel and brings the delegates to order.
   “I feel that despite the …..”
   “I I I I”
   Again the gavel brings the delegates to order and sir tries again to make himself heard.
   “I feel that despite the devaluation of the pound, nevertheless….”
   “I I I I I I I I”
   “I feel that……”
    Unfortunately much of what sir is trying to say in such a desperate manner in trying to make himself heard, is lost in the persistent chanting of the delegates, but doesn’t “aye” signify agreement?
   “I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I  I I I I I I I I I I I hip hip hooray!”
   Now we take it that sir is ready to meet No.1? The steel tube with the red 1 turns out to be a rocket, inside sealed in an Orbit Tube is No.48 mumbling the words of ‘Dem Bones’ to himself. While in the control room of the rocket No.6 finally gets to come face to face with No.1. A figure in a white cowl and black and white theatrical mask sits at a control panel. He turns and holds out a crystal ball in his gloved hands, a crystal ball in which sir sees his future, but he rejects that future by allowing the crystal ball to slip from his grasp, smashing into a thousand shards of crystal. He tears away the black and white mask No.1 wears only to reveal the mask of an ape underneath. Torn away this finally reveals the face of No.1. It is into his own face that sir stares. This then has been the final manipulation of No.6, in an attempt to break him by demonstrating that he has not only been responsible for his own predicament, but also he has been behind the village all the time.  But life in the hospital has not been kind to Curtis, as the sudden maniacal laughter fills the control room of the rocket. Curtis chased by No.6 around the control room until he climbs up a ladder into an upper level, there is more maniacal laughter as No.6 closes the hatch and seals it and Curtis’ fate.
   Taking a fire extinguisher No.6 sees the diminutive butler standing at the foot of s spiral staircase, he gives No.6 the nod, and then a number of robed figures are attacked and overpowered with the help of the butler. No.48 is released from the Orbit Tube, and he and No.6 dress themselves in white robes. Four armed security guards are attacked and overpowered. Back in the control room No.6 sets the countdown controls for the launching of the rocket.
    The Judge attempts to contact control, but there is no response. He gives the order.
    “Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate!”
    No,2’s voice booms out over the village through the public address system and chaos ensues.
   Then armed with Thompson machine guns and with the help of the
Butler and No.48, No.6 leads the attack and a vicious fire fight takes place in bloody revolution! The cavern is abandoned as everyone there flees in terror. Outside in the village citizens run this way and that, as a number of helicopters take off from all parts of the village. Back in the cavern the butler takes the wheel of a lorry as No.6 and 48 leap aboard into the cage on the trailer. The three comrades escape the village, the low loader lorry crashes through a pair of iron gates at the end of a tunnel just as the rocket blasts off out of its silo.
   Travelling along the A20 to London, the top hatted hippie is dropped off somewhere along the way, leaving his two companions to travel the remainder of the way to London without him. The lorry comes to a
stop on the Thames embankment the Butler and No.6 abandon the vehicle, then questioned by a motorcycle policeman No.6 gives an explanation of recent events before they continue their way on foot. They catch a bus on Westminster Bridge as No.48 attempts to thumb a lift in either direction of the duel carriageway.
    Finally No.6 and the butler arrive home at No.1 Buckingham Place, his Lotus Seven parked at the kerb. A hearse drives slowly passed as No.6 climbs into his Lotus, starting the engine as the butler mounts the steps of the house he stands there for a moment watching his new master drive away, the front door opens automatically with a very familiar electric hum. The Butler enters the house.
   As for No.6, driving amongst the
London traffic the Lotus seven passes the Houses of parliament turning right, then right again and down the ramp into an underground car park. Eventually he returns to an office he knows very well indeed, looking for answers!

Be seeing you

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