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Tuesday 27 December 2022

End of The Line!

     Dear Friends & Fellow Prisoner Enthusiasts,

    The days of publishing articles on the subject of the Prisoner, combined with short stories and novels based on the series are now at an end. After twenty-two years of writing on this blog I have reached the point where there is nothing more I wish to say about the series, and having pushed the boundaries with a large number of short stories, together with 4 novels enough is enough. Although I think three novels was pushing it, however I managed to push it that bit more with ‘Village Day.’

    It has been a long, long journey, well twenty-two years is a long time to have been writing about one particular subject, and hardly a day has gone by in all those years when the Prisoner has not occupied my time, and it has been my pleasure, and for the pleasure of YOU the reader. Oh I have not given up on him entirely, I still remain a fan of the series and will watch it now and then, with the occasional episode in between. However I do still have one Prisoner related project I shall be slowly working towards, which is one for the not too distant future.
   As for my blog, inactive it might be, yet will remain a place for information, information, information, as well as entertainment with its numerous pieces of Prisoner fiction, all of which I know readers all over the World have read and enjoyed. But all good things must eventually come to an end, and it has been a great pleasure for me to have made contact with fellow enthusiasts for the Prisoner through my blog.

   A letter of resignation? I suppose you could call it that!  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX but nevertheless be seeing you……be seeing you....


Tuesday 20 December 2022

Seasons Greetings


 And wishing readers of my blog, one and all, a very happy, peaceful, and better 2023


The Prisoner - Village Day Chapter 17


An Arrival 

    Somewhere in a hospital room a man’s eyes suddenly opened, his vision was blurred and it was difficult to focus on any of the ghostly like images about him. And what’s more there was a thumping going on in his head, as if someone was doing double time with a hammer striking an anvil! He tried to stir himself, to sit up, but that only made the pain worse, so he relaxed and laid back and the pain was relieved slightly. Then there came the ghostly figure of someone standing over him, he tried to clear his eyes, to speak but his mouth was so dry, putting a hand to his head he felt the bandage. The nurse stood at the end of the bed completing the patient’s medical chart, then hung the clipboard on the end of the bed, then seeing that the patient had regained consciousness smiled and made to leave to find the doctor.

   The patient coughed and swallowed hard “Please wait, where am I…. who are you…. what….” but it was to much of a struggle for him.

    The nurse stood by the patient’s bed and soothed his brow “Don’t worry, you’re in hospital. Now please lie still and I’ll get the doctor.”

    The patient lay there looking at the ghostly figure standing over him “How did I get here…. I don’t remember….”

    “Then don’t try” the nurse told him “I’ll get the doctor” and went off along the ward and through the pair of frosted glass doors of ‘A’ ward.

     The doctor was walking out of the waiting room, a short stout woman with her black hair swept back in a tight bun, she was in the company of a tall, slim young woman in a light blue coat and matching knee length skirt and high heel shoes, and her blonde hair cascading down over her shoulders. To say that there was something familiar about her would probably seem clownish to the casual observer, but there she was tearful and upset about something.

    “Before you see him” the doctor began “you must understand that he is still in a coma and likely to stay that way for some considerable time. And should he eventually regain consciousness there is the possibility of brain damage.”

    Eleanor opened her handbag reaching inside for a handkerchief, wiping her eyes and blowing her nose “Then there is still a chance doctor?”

    “My dear, there is always a chance” said the doctor “only time will tell, we shall just have to be patient. But he is young and strong, I see no reason why not.”

    It was at this point that the nurse came hurrying along the corridor.

    “What is it nurse, I gave instructions that he was not to be left alone” said the doctor at seeing the nurse.

    “Yes Doctor, but the patient has regained consciousness, it

was only two moments ago” the nurse said with a smile.


    “Very well nurse, if you would be so kind as to return to your patient, we shall be along directly” the doctor informed the nurse.

    “But Doctor, the patient spoke!”

    The doctor turned to Eleanor and smiled “There my dear, it looks as though you are going to be a most fortunate young woman, and so too your fiancé. Come, we shall attend to him right away.”

    The double doors of ‘A’ ward swung open and the nurse hurried to the bedside of her patient who was lying quite still with his eyes closed. The doctor and Eleanor followed closely behind, and they too now stood at the bedside of the patient, who opened his eyes while the nurse attended to his saline drip.

    “Now young man, how are we feeling?” the doctor asked.

    The patient looked up at the shadowy figures around his bed.

    “Can you tell me your name?” asked the doctor.

    The patient said nothing, only lay there trying to focus his vision, then said “I have a headache and I can’t see properly” he said suddenly.

    “Well that is something” said the doctor “can you tell me your name?”

    The patient tried to remember “No.”

    “What about the car accident, do you remember that?” the doctor asked.

    The patient tried, tried to remember something, anything “Wh…what accident?”

    “Don’t worry young man, you are in good hands” began the doctor “you have slight amnesia, as for your eyesight, that will return, your fiancée is here to see you” and whispered in Eleanor’s ear “don’t worry my dear, he will not remember you.”

    Eleanor sat in the chair by the bed and took her beloved by the

hand “Oh my darling, you have come back to me, now you are not to worry about anything. You are in a hospital and they will take very good care of you, and I will be beside you for as long as it takes to see you well again.”

    The patient tried to recall “I don’t remember…..”

    “It’s Eleanor darling, I came as soon as I was told of the accident” she said smiling and clutching his hand in hers.


     “Yes darling, you were on your way to see the Colonel, I’m to phone him as soon as there is any news” Eleanor told him.

    “The Colonel?” the patient said shaking his head “I don’t remember!” and closed his eyes in some distress.

    “Nurse something to sedate the patient please” the doctor ordered, helping Eleanor to her feet and steering her along the ward in her quite obvious distress.

    “Why sedate him?” Eleanor asked out in the corridor.

    “He needs to sleep, sleep will be very good for him” the doctor told

her “sleep will help him recover. He had a very nasty car accident, his physical injuries are not serious apart from his head, which accounts for his loss of memory.”


    “And that will return?” Eleanor asked, a worried frown upon her face.

    “In time” replied the doctor “he has a bad case of concussion and will suffer from headaches, once his physical injuries have healed and he is able to leave the hospital, I suggest you take him away somewhere, somewhere familiar to him, somewhere quiet and peaceful where he can relax and recuperate. Such surroundings will only aid the recovery of his memory.”

    Eleanor dried her eyes with her handkerchief “I think I know the perfect place doctor, an Italianate village with the most peaceful atmosphere.”

    “Sounds Ideal” said the doctor “now if you will excuse me, I have to be getting on.”

    The sun was high in a cloudless sky, it was the perfect summer’s

day. The green hills which rolled by were scattered hither and thither with sheep, water ran down the mountains into the streams of the valleys and there was not another human being to be seen for mile after mile. The open road stretched on ahead, twisting this way and that, winding its way round hills and down vales and the blue Mini Cooper S sped ever on, with Eleanor at the wheel.

    They had been driving for hours, since early morning in fact, and in the passenger seat was Eleanor’s fiancé enjoying the scenery, enjoying the ride and their destination was that tranquil Italianate village of which he had grown so fond over recent years.

    “We’ll soon be there now darling, not much further” Eleanor said assuring her fiancé, steering the car through a series of sweeping bends. The man looked at Eleanor and smiling said one word “Portmeirion.”

    “You know where we are going? You will soon start to remember. Everyone there is looking forward to welcome your return” Eleanor said with a warm reassuring smile.

The man smiled and said nothing more, there was nothing to say, because he was too busy trying to remember. The Mini Cooper S turned left off the main road, then a right turn down a narrow hedge and tree lined lane. Ahead was the grey stone walled building which was trying to do its best to look like a castle, but somehow failed in the attempt. There was a left hand fork in the road at this point, a blue sign with white lettering indicating Italianate Village, the car took it and followed the winding road, lined on both sides by Rhododendrons and then trees. It felt familiar to him and he was trying to remember, just as he had been trying to remember since leaving the hospital some three weeks earlier. But it was difficult to think, difficult to concentrate, to focus his mind. He had been feeling quite calm, too calm in fact, perhaps a better word for it would be lethargic. There was a lack of energy, a dullness about him, Eleanor had been looking after him since he left the hospital, there was hardly a time when she was not by his side, to almost suffocating proportions. Everything seemed so distant, that was the treatment the doctor had explained, but that would soon change once the treatment stopped. But the treatment had not stopped, it had carried on at the hands of Eleanor and that feeling of things being so distant, and lethargy, had if anything, increased. Strange how he could not remember anything. This woman Eleanor said she was his fiancée, but he could not recall any fiancée as hard as he tried! And yet there was something familiar about her, he couldn’t recall exactly what, but something. They were almost at their destination, following the road through the trees. The passenger suddenly felt rather drowsy, possibly from over tiredness, the long drive, the glare of the warm sun through the trees and windscreen, all playing their part to make him drowsy and finally to slump unconscious in his seat. Eleanor dropped the gas gun onto he floor, wound the window down and removed her gas mask. She looked at her slumbering passenger.

    “Sleep well while you may, but don’t worry, you will soon be amongst old friends!”


Village Day Chapter 16


The Masque Ball 

    Number 6 returned to his cottage, stormed in and slammed the door shut behind him, only to find Peter Pan sat in a chair, waiting for him.

    “What do you want?”

    “To offer you a shoulder to cry on, to help, I saw what happened” the housemaid said rising to her feet.

    “Couldn’t very well avoid it, could you!”

    “I thought as a friend….”

    “Let me assure you of a few things, first I don’t need anyone’s help, nor do I need a shoulder to cry on and we are certainly not friends!” he snapped.

    “I understand that you think me to be one of them, and I don’t blame you.”

    “Like half the Village, you had no idea!”

    “We didn’t, I didn’t have any idea that you were the founder of the Village, how could we?” Peter Pan carried out in her own defence.

    This took the wind out of Number 6’s sails “Me, I’m not the founder of the Village.”

    “Not you?” said Peter Pan.

    “That unfortunate distinction goes to another!” he replied “and I no longer know the man I thought he was.”

    “Oh, but he was. He’s the one you have been asking about” she told him “let me tell you more, He fought them, resisted any form of coercion, and would not conform in anyway to life here. He once said that he was not subject to the rules!”

    “Doesn’t sound much like the founder of your Village, he sounds more like a rebel!”

    “Precisely, rebelling against that which he had created!”

    “That’s deep!”

    “You think he is still alive, this brother of yours?” she asked “that they have him put away some place. Why don’t you ask Number Two?” she suggested.

    “Me, ask her, as if she would tell me anything. She’s the kind to have me put against a wall and shot any time soon!” retorted Number 6, looking sideways at the woman in the green costume “perhaps Number 2 sent you here, is that how the land lies?”

    Peter Pan looked startled by this preposterous suggestion “I came here of my own free will.”

    “That’s something of a novelty here, wouldn’t you say!”

    “Novelty?” Peter Pan queried.

    “That anyone here should have a free will!”

    “If you do not wish my offer of help.”

    “You know where the door is!”


    “I only wanted to help” said Peter Pan making for the door, then pausing turned “I understand your anger.”

    “Do you, do you really. Well I only wished I did, because I don’t know what’s real anymore. I certainly don’t know my brother, whether he’s dead, still alive somewhere, or some other place far away from here.”

    Peter Pan really felt something for Number 6, only she dare not show it, for fear of those who would be watching, but dared to say “You can trust me you know.”

    Number 6 looked at her “Can I, can I trust anyone but myself? Perhaps you are part of all this, this utter farce put together by Number Two in order to see me broken. Is that what you want” he bellowed at the ceiling “to break me, is that it, to reduce me to a man of fragments. Well do you see any cracks developing, well do you?”

    In the control room the supervisor and his Observers watched and listened, certainly to them the first cracks had indeed started to appear, and this would reported to Number 2.

    “If you don’t trust me Number Six, who do you trust?” Peter Pan asked standing at the open door.

    “Me, I trust me!” he said without thinking.

    “Yes, that’s what he would have said!” she said with a knowing smile “you know you’re both very much alike you and your brother.”

     “The door’s open.”
    “I know what he would have done.”

    “What would he have done?”

    “If he were here now, he would put on that fancy dress costume of yours and go to the Masque Ball.”

    The door closed behind the housemaid leaving Number 6 pacing the floor pondering what to do next, if there was anything still left for him to do. And then looking at the cream telephone he picked up the receiver.

    “Number please” asked the operator.

    “Number One” Number 6 ordered and waited to be connected.

    “I’m sorry caller, but I have been unable to connect you” said the operator.
   He slammed the receiver down. In the bedroom he opened the wardrobe door and looked at the flamboyant costume hanging there. In truth he had a taste for the outlandish costumes and from time to time had thought himself to be quite the Dandy, white frilly shirts and frock coats, that sort of thing, and Scaramouche being one of his favourite films he divested himself of one costume, his Village attire for that of another. The costume consisted of a white blouse with wide sleeves, a white doublet with inlays of silver, grey and black striped tights in the Italian style, with matching boots, cape and feathered hat. He picked up the white mask with a long pointed nose, which went over his eyes and nose and the top of his cheeks and put it on and his sword completed the ensemble, so that it was Scaramouche who stood reflected in the full length mirror “My, my, who’s going to be the Jack-a-Dandy of the 
Masque Ball then?”


    Number 6 indeed cut a dashing figure as he went out into the Village, but he was not alone with that thought, for the supervisor-Number 25 had that very exact same thought. He was in his quarters changing into his costume, and now stood admiring his reflection. Dressed in a white powdered wig with a large blue bow tie, Navy blue satin waistcoat, with the most delicate gold embroidery, long fitted satin coat and navy blue breeches, also with gold embroidery, white silk stockings and silver buckled shoes and frilly white shirt with lace cuffs completed the 18th century costume. The final touch, a sword which the now Paul Le Marquis de Martan, France’s finest swordsman, whipped it from its scabbard and brandished menacingly at his reflection in the mirror, the sharp tip of the blade unprotected!

    Early evening saw a handsome fellow down on the beach, it was quiet and peaceful, the only footprints in the sand being his own. He stood there looking out to sea, why, he had no idea, but he was lost in his own thoughts.

    “And what are you doing here Scaramouche, you should be on your way to the Masque Ball” said a voice behind him.

    Scaramouche spun round to see a woman standing a few paces away wearing a long black cloak which was drawn about her. Her black hair was up in a rather attractive way and decorated with two large blue plumed feathers, the woman was no lesser person than Number 2!

    “You seem to know who I am, but who are you supposed to be?”

asked Scaramouche.

    “Can’t you guess?” she asked playing the coy innocent that she wasn’t.

    “I like the way you have your hair, it suits you” he said, paying her a compliment.

    “A compliment, from you of all people, who would have thought, so in return may I say what a dashing figure you cut, and so handsome.”

    “Handsome, yes handsome” Scaramouche replied and bowing with a flourish “but how can you tell, I am wearing….. a mask!”

    “Ah, but I know my Scaramouche and what it is he has to hide, for his face is hidden away from others, so hideous that it is!” she said teasing the man before her.

    “Ah, but is this night not the night of the Masque Ball, and you do not wear such a mask!” Scaramouche said pointing with a finger.

    “Perhaps because unlike you, I have nothing to hide” she teased, her flirtatious manner so alien to her, but she played her part well “but tell me, can you not guess who I am?”

    He moved closer to the woman, close enough to smell her perfume “can I not see your costume first?” sure now that the cloak so wrapped about her was to ensure her modesty.


    “Who do you think I am Scaramouche, the right guess may reveal all about me!” she teased.

    He feigned thought, standing on one leg, bring up the other knee and putting his fist under his chin feigning thought, then snapping his fingers said “I have it, you are a dancer!”

    “I, a mere dancer, am I not more than that?” she asked coyly.

    “A woman of the night perhaps!” Scaramouche suggested, then seeing her annoyance changed his mind “a dancer, singer, actress of the stage and lover of men!”

    She smiled warmly seeing Scaramouche’s tease for that and nothing more “For a moment I thought you to have a low opinion of me, but I am all you have said and more, for I am your Columbine” she said opening her cloak wide.

    Scaramouche was taken aback for a moment, for beneath that black cape Number 2-Columbine was seen to be a most shapely and attractive woman. Especially wearing the rather alluring costume she wore. A blue and black tutu dress, encrusted with diamante. Black silk stockings covered her long shapely legs and black high heeled shoes she wore upon her feet completed the ensemble.

   “I shall permit you can escort me to the Masque Ball.”

    Scaramouche took Columbine’s arm and led her across the open sand back towards the Village and the Town Hall in which this

evening he would be allowed to enter.

    “I am surprised.”

    “Surprised, how so?” Number 2 asked.

    “By your choice of costume for this evening.”

    “Why so, am I not a woman of some femininity?”

    “Mightily so, the perfect woman of woman kind” he replied and who as Scaramouche, had to admit to himself, completely captivated by this woman.

    The circular chamber had been specially decorated for the occasion of the Masque Ball, with balloons and decorations of all kinds with a large chandelier hanging from the centre of the ceiling. On a raised dais a Baroque quintet all in 18th century costume played, and dancing around the circular chamber, all rather sedately were the citizens all in fancy dress costumes. Dick Turpin pranced about on his hobby horse., Anthony danced with Cleopatra, as Josephine with Napoleon, Pierrot and Pierrete, while Sir Walter Raleigh pushed Queen Elizabeth the first round in her wheelchair. Popsey the clown was there amusing those who had not taken to the dance floor, and calmly mingling with the people like some will o’ the wisp was the white robed monk, cowled head bowed in holy reverence, while Admiral Lord Nelson was talking with a French artillery officer and little Bo-Peep was looking after her sheep! As Scaramouche and Columbine entered the chamber all heads turned and gasped in awe at the couple, even Le Marquis de Martan’s head turned from the Lady in Waiting he had been so eagerly paying his attentions to, a young woman in a


rather fetching white dress with a tight bodice and very low cut! A servant slipped Columbine’s cloak from her shoulders and a second servant carrying a tray of drinks offered her a glass of Champagne. Columbine took two glasses, handing the second to her escort who took it with some suspicion.

    “Don’t worry, its un-doctored!” Columbine assured him.

    Scaramouche looked at her through his mask and smiled sipping his wine as they casually mingled with the people, who turned to congratulate Columbine upon her costume. Scaramouche’s eyes were everywhere, looking out for anyone out of the ordinary, but then here tonight, who was ordinary? A young man immaculately dressed approached Columbine.
    “Ah Paul, you came, how do I look?”

    “Beautiful, dazzling, exciting, indeed I have never seen you looking

better” he told her

    “But I think you have eyes for another” Columbine accused, glancing over to the Lady in waiting.

    “Only eyes for you, will you dance for us tonight?” Paul asked.

    “Oh I don’t know.”

    “But you must, your fans demand it of you” he persisted.

    Scaramouche stepped boldly forward and placed his arm round Columbine’s waist “Who is this fool, does he bother you my love?” hardly believing the words he was uttering!

    “Let me introduce you to Paul, Le Marquis de Martan” Columbine told him.

    Scaramouche gave a flamboyant bow.

    “Paul, you have no wine!” said Columbine “waiter.”

    “I need no wine, for I am already intoxicated by your beauty” de Martan said with a smile.

    “Always the flatterer Paul, but then you know how very fond of flattery I am” Columbine replied with a flourish.

    The Marquis bowed “I was unwholly ignorant of that very fact until this moment” he replied “but I shall remember it always. Now who is this strange fellow who hides behind a mask?” his left hand upon the hilt of his sword.

    Columbine feigned shock and surprise “Paul, do you mean that you do not know who Scaramouche is?”

    “No Madame, who is he?”

    “I shall tell you” said Columbine waving the quintet to stop playing “do you know who this is?” Columbine asked the gathered people theatrically.

    “Scaramouche” the people shouted.

    “Scaramouche yes, but who is Scaramouche?” Columbine asked, now playing the audience.

    Scaramouche stood nervously as all eyes turned upon him, his

hand upon the hilt of his sword, wondering what would happen next.

“And why does he hide his face behind a mask, well I will tell you” said Columbine “Scaramouche is a fool! A genius” in a pose of the thinker, a-ne’er-do-well” gestured Columbine with her fists “a saint” hands together as if in prayer “fickle, alluring, false and true together.”


    Le Marquis De Martan stepped forward “Come fellow, reveal yourself, take off your mask and show your face.”

    Scaramouche leapt dramatically up onto the raised dais and leaned against one of the music stands “Oh you wouldn’t want me to do that, think of the effect it would have, to remove my mask would be like baring my soul, and think what a dark and terrible thing that would be to behold!”

    “Take off your mask I say” the Marquis demanded, boldly stepping forward, hand still on the hilt of his sword.

    Scaramouche still standing upon the dais shook his head in dramatic fashion.

    “You openly defy me, very well” said the Marquis drawing his sword “I shall have to remove it myself!”

    Scaramouche pulled off his feathered hat and drawing his sword prepared to defend himself as he dramatically leaped from the dais onto the floor much to the shock and surprise of the audience.

    For a moment nothing happened, and then came the laughter and pointing from the onlookers.

    Then an Artillery officer strode forward “He is almost certainly a

fool to be taking on France’s finest swordsman!”

    It was then that Scaramouche saw the reason for the laughter, he looked at the thin pointed plastic blade, which he brandished so menacingly. The Marquis stepped forward, the point of his blade now

at the throat of Scaramouche, who was now powerless to defend himself, was this then to be his execution? As de Martan advanced he backed away, and seeing a suit of armour standing by the wall, was quick to topple it over, narrowly missing de Martan, but allowing him to make good his escape, through the throng of people and down the elaborately decorated corridor. Scaramouche turned to see that he was not being pursued!

    Number 6 stood at the end of a green carpeted corridor, a corridor with intermittent plaster busts set on plinths on either side, Darwin, Stevenson and Voltaire. At one point there was an ornate wall mirror, just passed the first door on the left. Number 6 removed his white mask and tried the first door, it was locked, as was the second, third and fourth doors, but a pair of French doors, with their blacked out panes of glass, opened automatically for him. He was taken aback for a moment, but it was with a bold heart that he finally passed through the pair of doors which closed automatically behind him, as lighting was at the same time automatically activated. He found himself standing in a room filled with grey filing cabinets and two long wooden tables with chairs and reading lamps. His eyes became fixed on another pair of French doors at the far end of the room, they 



opened for him, he paused before stepping into the darkness beyond. The pair of doors closed behind him. Fearlessly he strode out into the darkness finally emerging into a dim light. There the figure still lay upon the operating table, the medical equipment and instruments, the wall screen, great electrical power cabinets and switch gear helping to generate the power. As he approached the figure lying covered by a white sheet upon the operating table, on the wall screen a tall man dressed in a grey charcoal suit advanced along a dimly lit corridor. He pulled a pair of doors open and stormed into the office beyond, where a balding, bespectacled man sat behind his desk doing the Telegraph crossword, but who looked up at the intruder now in his office. The man paced up and down ranting and shouting in a fit of anger. From the inside pocket of his jacket he produced a white envelope marked ‘private and personal’ ‘by hand’ and slammed it down on the desk, followed by his fist, this upsetting a cup set upon it’s saucer breaking a tea plate in the process. Number 6 stared open mouthed at the screen as the scene was repeated over and over on the screen.

   “I’ve found him, he’s here!” he said and was about to pull back the white sheet to reveal the patient upon the operating table, when a voice said behind him “I wouldn’t do that if I were you Scaramuche!”

    He turned to see Le Marquis de Martan standing just on the edge of the light “Never give up do you, the game’s about to be over. I’ve found him, I told Number Two that I would, pity she is not here to witness the occasion of her downfall!”

    But Number 2 was there, stepping out of the darkness she stood at the shoulder of the supervisor “I once warned you that you may have to face a disappointment, that time it would seem is not that far off.”

    Number 6 dropped the corner of the sheet “I thought I had already faced that disappointment with that founder’s bust you produced, what on earth did you hope to achieve by a stunt like that?”

    “Oh it was no stunt I assure you” Number 2 replied with an air of confidence “but you have to admit that it did shake you up, hit you for six you might say!”

    “And he really is the founder of your Village, Number One?” said Number 6, still not being able to believe it.

    “And yours now, you are just as much a citizen here as anyone” Number 2 assured him “and yes he is still here, we are keeping him alive, as you can see for yourself. He was in an accident, but can yet be of service to us.”

    “The sheet, it indicates that someone has died” said Number 6.

    “By no means, we have to protect his anonymity” retorted Number 2.

    “Even here?”

    “Especially here.”

    “And me?”

    “Have just become expendable!” Number 2 informed him, and added “you, Number 6, are far more trouble than you are worth!”


    “Then I have nothing to lose!” and made to pull the sheet from the

patient lying on the table.

    The supervisor drew his sword pointing it menacingly at Number 6, then he lunged forward swishing his blade in the air and slashed open the right sleeve of Scaramouche’s doublet, this time drawing blood.

    “So this is how it is to end, with you as my assassin!” said Number 6, dodging behind the operating table..

    “You wouldn’t give up would you, you’re just like that predecessor of yours, he was the same always poking his nose in where it wasn’t wanted” the supervisor accused, swishing his blade after the evading Scaramouche “settle down they told you, like they told him, but your family are all alike, do the exact opposite of what you are told, don’t try to settle down, not conform but still expect the Village to take care of you, well that’s all to your cost now!”

    Number 6 looked at Number 2, his hand grasping a corner of the sheet covering the patient, then whipped away the white sheet covering the patient upon the operating table revealing the unconscious, yet fully dressed body. There was a penny on one eye, and a farthing on the other as on the eyes of the dead. But then the body stirred and sat upright, the coins falling from his now open eyes. Shocked by this horror Number 6 stumbled back, he was staring into a face he new very well indeed…his own! Two other figures emerged from the darkness; one stepping forward brought a white truncheon down onto his head rendering 6 unconscious!


Village Day Chapter 15


Village Day

    In the Green Dome Number 2 paced the floor of her office in her black boots, matching her blue military uniform, allowed as she was not to adopt the more usual style of Village uniform. Hands clasped behind in the small of her back, growing ever more impatient at the lateness of the supervisor. Steel doors suddenly opened and the supervisor-Number 25 hurried through and down the ramp, the steel doors closing behind him with a resounding clang.

    “Ah supervisor I’ve been waiting for you.”

    “I got away as soon as I could Number 2, there was a bit of a flap on at the hospital, Number Six……..”

    “Why is it when there is any trouble, or disturbance in the Village, Number 6 is always at the heart of it?”

    “Something should be done about him!” the supervisor recommended.

“Don’t worry, something will be done” Number 2 told him “did he find what he was looking for?”

“Of course not.”

    “Perhaps, but Number Six is persistent, he was asking about a previous Number 6’s description” said the Supervisor.

    “That damned quest of his!, why can’t he give it up?”
    “He’s a loose cannon, he’s already discovered the black room once, if he should discover……”

    “……. It could be the ruination of us all” she told him “you wouldn’t be trying to tell me what to do, would you?”

    “No Number Two, you have the final word, but I am here to advise.”

    “I have to work within certain parameters, not to interfere too much with Number Six and his quest. Apparently he was brought here for his own protection against himself” Number 2 explained “and I am to allow him a certain amount of latitude in allowing him to carry on with the search for his predecessor.”

    The supervisor looked at Number 2 and knew he shouldn’t, but did so anyway “do you think that’s wise?”

    “No, but it is what our masters want, and I am not one to go against them. But don’t worry” said Number 2 taking her seat behind her desk “our friend Number Six has a very nasty and painful shock coming to him.”

    “Harrowing and traumatic?” suggested the supervisor “one that might prove to be fatal?”

    “Well perhaps that is too much to wish for. But at the very least the shock should be enough to see him see the truth behind this Village

and to toe the line in future. It seems that he was not simply brought to the Village for his own good, but also for the good of others.”



    “He was put here out of the way of them” suggested the supervisor.

    “For protection” said Number 2 “protection against himself, but then I have to ask myself, who then is to protect him from us?”

    “What do you have in mind?” asked the supervisor.

    “Well that all depends upon Number Six, wouldn’t you say. And should he find his way back into that black room, well he can stay there, after all the woods are littered with the doctor’s failed experiments, one more will not make any difference either way!”

    “He’s expendable then?” the supervisor asked.

    “Number Six could have been of great value to this Village, but his behaviour has proved him to be more trouble than he is worth, which makes him worthless to us” Number 2 explained.

    “And the doctor?”

    “She will be pleased for another subject to experiment upon.”

    “The doctor seems a little too unstable if you ask me.”

    “I didn’t ask” snapped Number 2 in response, then thinking again “but I am aware. You have your costume?”

    “Yes Number 2”

    “Then I shall be seeing you later on.”

    “Yes Number Two” he said walking towards the ramp.

    “Just a minute, those jamming reports” Number 2 asked “do we get many of these?”

    The supervisor stopped and turned “not as many as we used to, but if one is known to be a Jammer, then we simply ignore them.”

    “So you have never acted upon any of these jamming reports?”

    “One or two, the more probable ones” he replied and then after thinking for a moment or two said “then there was the case of the glider!”

    “Glider, tell me about that” said Number 2 with keen interest.

    “Well it was before your time, Numbers 24, 14, 105 were discovered to be building a glider in the attic of 24 Private.

    “Whatever will they try next!” Number 2 said smiling to herself “but please, go on.”

    “Of course they had no chance of launching it, it would have been stupid even to try.”

    “Why did my predecessor even allow them to construct this glider in the first place, I would have put a stop to it the moment it was discovered by the observers!” was this Number 2’s response.

    “Well your predecessor was a very clever and astute man. Always in control, calm and calculating, and seeing that there was never any chance of them launching, let alone escaping in the glider he thought to allow them to continue. Besides it gave them something to do, and kept them out of trouble.”

    “But it was an escape attempt!”

    “Oh it was never that, they were jamming, that’s what jammers do”

the supervisor explained.

    “Yes, but they actually built the glider”


    “What happened to it?”

    “We had it dismantled” the supervisor replied “will that be all?”

    Number 2 nodded “Until later.”

    “Yes Number Two” said the supervisor turning and walking up the ramp, the steel doors opening, he turned “a very clever man, your predecessor.”

    “So it would appear” said Number 2 “but he is yesterday’s man.”

    The doors closed behind the departing supervisor.

    The hour was drawing ever closer to noon, which in turn brought the ceremony for Village Day ever closer. Outside the citizens were everywhere enjoying themselves, the village fete already open. Citizens eating candy floss, toffee apples, and Number 23 one of a few happy citizens winning prizes at the ‘Duck on a Stick’ stall, yellow plastic ducks floating in shallow water around in a circle, each with a hook in their heads, the idea being to snag a duck with the hook in the end of a pole, and the number on the bottom of the duck corresponded with the prize won. And in testing his strength number 73 rang the bell and won himself a Teddy Bear! The Brass Band was playing, Top Hat officials made their way to the Gloriette in time for the ceremony. Numbers 42 and 73, with Teddy Bear in arms, arrived at the Green Dome, they to provide security for Number 2, and waited on the balcony. At the bottom of the steps of the Green Dome, a taxi stood waiting. The driver busy giving the paint work a final rub over in places, just to make sure it was clean and shiny for its most important passenger to come.

    The Village was filled with excitement and gaiety; everyone was in fancy dress costume, even the Admiral-Number 66, as Admiral Lord Nelson, who sat with Number 6 down on the lawn of the old people’s home over a game of chess that neither were playing.

    “Not joining in with the Village Day festivities then lad?”

    “Gentlemen” the waiter said clearing the tea things away “you did hear the announcement?”

    Number 6 paid four work units with his credit card “No, I was at the hospital this morning.”

    The waiter clipped the card and handed it back to his owner, who slipped it into the breast pocket of his piped blazer.

    “Really lad, nothing too serious I hope” said the Admiral.

    “Just a quick check up, a general examination that’s all, to see if there was anything malignant” Number 6 replied.

    “I trust nothing was found?” the Admiral asked.

    “Unfortunately the examination was incomplete, there was a bit of a flap on, and I didn’t like to outstay my welcome.”

    “You’re a fool lad” that’s my opinion, “there’s no point in fighting battles you can’t win.”

    “Tell me Admiral, are there any battles you did not fight, just because you thought you might not win?” Number 6 asked.

     “Listen lad, there’s a lot you don’t know. You have to learn to play the game, just as I have done, now it’s your move” said the Admiral.


    Number 6 looked down at the chessboard and played pawn to king four “what’s it all about?”

    “What?” the Admiral asked moving his king’s pawn forward three squares.

    “This Village Day, a lot of stuff and nonsense about nothing, wouldn’t you say?”
    “Don’t know about that lad, but they do say that the founding of the Village was sometime in 1928. But what is it to you lad, let them play their game. If you don’t learn to bend a little, you’ll break!” the Admiral advised.

    “It’s their game” Number 6 replied “and I am only just beginning to

learn the rules.”

    The Admiral drew closer to Number 6 across the table and warning him said “Aye lad, and theirs for the winning!”

    Seeing the Admiral was a long time resident of the Village, it seemed to Number 6 that he was the man to ask “How is it that you have managed to survive for so long?”

    “One may not be able to win the game lad, but a minor victory here and there is sometimes as good as a battle won!” the Admiral replied with a knowing wink.

    All interest in the chess match was now lost, not that it was there ever to begin with, not today, far too many distractions, like the issue of The Tally Ho lying upon the table. Number 6 cast an eye over the front page ‘Founders Day Statue To Be Unveiled By No. 2’ and there was a photograph of Number 2, all severe looking, with cold unfeeling eyes, a firm jaw and unsmiling lips.

    “That’s dangerous you know” said the Admiral.

    Number 6 looked up from the newspaper “What is?”

    “Thinking, they say it corrupts the mind” the Admiral told him.

    “A complaint which few around here suffer from.”

    “But one which can lead to trouble lad” the Admiral warned.

    “Tell me Admiral, was it celebrated last year?”

    “Why do you ask that lad, is it important?”

    “I don’t know, what day is it Admiral?”

    “Village Day.”

    “No, I didn’t mean that, I meant the date.”

    The Admiral looked blankly at the young man sitting opposite him,

and Number 6 beckoned to the waiter.

    “What date is it today?” he asked the waiter.

    “Village Day sir” replied the waiter.

    “You’re as bad as he is, no, the date, what is the date?”

    “Why the nineteenth sir” said the waiter indicating the date upon The Tally Ho.

    “And today is founders day” said Number 6.

    “Yes sir, didn’t you know?” the waiter asked.

    “And the Village celebrates its founding every year?” Number 6



    “Why yes sir, it’s a tradition of the Village every year, but this year is extra special” the waiter confirmed.

    “Why is that?” Number 6 demanded to know.

    “Because of the founder’s statue sir” was the reply.

    “And who is the founder?” Number 6 asked.

    “Enjoy your Village Day sir” said the waiter and hurried away.

    The Admiral could see that the game was well and truly over and began putting the chess pieces back into the wooden box “They say lad that the statue could turn out to be a likeness of the founder of the Village, and that could only be…….”

    “Number One” said Number 6, finishing the sentence for the Admiral “who so ever Number One should prove to be!”

    There then came the following announcement over the public address system.

    “Citizens wishing taking part in the grand parade should gather in the square, I repeat all those citizens wishing to take part in the grand parade should gather in the square. The parade begins in five minutes, the minutes are five.”

    “I should be going really lad, don’t want to miss the big parade and all that” said the Admiral “are you coming lad?”

    “Why not, I’ve no other place to be at this time!”

    When Number 6 and the Admiral stood up from their table, they realised that they were in fact alone, everyone else making their way up the hill into the centre of the Village.

    Meanwhile, Number 2 and her entourage of Numbers 42 and 73, minus the Teddy Bear, trooped one after the other down the steps of

the Green Dome as the citizens paraded on their way around and

around the piazza, it was quite a colourful affair to see so many citizens all in a variety of fancy dress costumes, from the mysterious east to pantomime characters, from National dress to historic characters, all around the piazza they paraded.

    Number 2 and her entourage climbed aboard the waiting taxi which drove off slowly along the road and through the cheering, waving citizens, and even Number 2 began to succumb to the carnival atmosphere, giving the citizens as she passed by a gentle wave of the arm. And behind them all, bringing up the rear so to speak, was the butler, still in his usual pair of black tails, brown cape, black gloves and bowler hat and holding aloft his black and white striped umbrella!

    There was shouting, cheering and gaiety all around the village, as Admiral Lord Nelson saluted an old enemy, Napoleon!

    “You stick out like a sore thumb lad” the Admiral told Number 6.

    “Good, it reminds me that I am still myself!”

    “You do have a fancy dress lad?” the Admiral asked.

    “You mean apart from the school boy one I’m wearing at the moment, oh yes Admiral, and rest assured I shall put it to an extremely good use later this evening!” Number 6 assured his old friend “for tonight I am going to be Scaramouche!” he said with a flamboyant bow.


    The Top Hat officials had taken their positions upon the balcony of the Gloriette, who stood awaiting Number 2, who now arrived at the back of the Gloriette dressed immaculately in her blue military style uniform and black boots, alighting from the taxi, climbed the three steps onto the balcony of the Gloriette and from the turquoise railings saluted the citizens as they came to the end of their parade. And now lining up beneath the balcony, awaited a speech from Number 2 who cut a most impressive figure and was handed a megaphone by one of the Top Hat officials, and waited, giving the still cheering citizens time to settle.

    “Who do you think she was?” the Admiral asked Number 6.

    “Who?” asked Number 6, who walked around amongst the citizens, but not actually taking part in the parade.

    “Number Two lad, who do you think she was, in her former life before the Village?” asked the Admiral.

    “In that uniform, probably a chief of security for some south America Republican President” was Number 6’s conclusion.

    As the citizens settled themselves, amongst them Sir Walter Raleigh was there and Good Queen Bess, as was the Cardinal, a couple of frogmen, a cowboy, red Indian, Harlequin, a well dressed gentleman in dog tooth coat and plus fours, pushing his penny farthing and a tall white robed monk, his face unseen hidden away deep inside the cowl of his robe.

    Number 2 looked down upon the citizens of this community from the balcony of the Gloriette. She felt a sudden sense of pride, this was her Village, all former allegiances suddenly forgotten, and these people her citizens, who now all stood waiting for their leader to address them.

   “Fellow citizens, friends. We are all gathered here upon this most auspicious and very special day, to both celebrate and honour our fine community.”

    At this the citizens gave a rousing applause, and Number 2 waited for them to quieten once more before continuing.

    “Not only are we here to celebrate our way of life here in the Village, but to pay tribute to someone who made all this possible, the founder of this Village. A man of vision, with idealistic principles, a man who has been an example to us all, a man of both steel and determination and without whom, none of us would be standing here today.”

    The citizens cheered and waved showing their appreciation of their leader, lapping up every word Number 2 uttered. Number 2 waved to the crowed before turning to leave the Gloriette, followed by the Top Hat officials and the butler as she made her way to the lawn and the unveiling area of the statue or bust, there to stand waiting as the citizens gathered around, all jostling for the best position in which to view the unveiling ceremony. Number’s 42 and 73 both dressed in black and sporting dark glasses, were there on hand to see that no one got too close for Number 2’s comfort, especially Number 6, who was being closely observed.


    “Good people of our community” began Number 2.

    Hooray, hooray, hooray, the crowd cheered.

    “To commemorate this anniversary of the founding of our Village, I am both proud and privileged to unveil this special commemorative bust of the most singular man who made possible our idyllic way of life with its community you see before you today. If it had not been for him we would not be standing here together today, he would be proud to see so many of you gathered to pay him homage. I ask you all now to raise your voice in appreciation of a truly great man, and remarkable individual.”

    There came a sudden drum roll through the public address system and it was the butler’s honour to pull on the scarlet cord and unveil the bust mounted upon its ornate stone plinth. The crowed were stunned into silence as they marvelled in awe at the bust of the founder of their Village. The head and shoulders of a man perfectly immortalised forever in stone. A handsome man with thick wavy hair, his face unsmiling and curiously there was just the hint of a frown, and the eyes staring somehow accusatory, the sculpture having captured the man’s persona to a tee! To say it came as a shock would be putting it mildly, Number 6 was dumbfounded as he stared at the face unveiled, a face that he knew only too well, but not wanting to believe it could be possible!

    “You know lad” said the Admiral “there’s a look of you about that bust.”

    Number 6 said nothing, he was stunned in disbelief. But once the shock began to subside a little, he found his old self and stormed forward, ready to confront anyone who stood in his way and that included 42 and 73 as they stepped forward to block Number 6’s path to Number 2 and the bust of the Village’s founder. However Number 2 motioned her two lap dogs back into place, allowing Number 6 to storm forward unhindered.

    This, this farce cannot be right!” shrieked Number 6, pointing to the founders bust “he is an individual, independent and would never, never have anything to do with a place like this, unless he was a prisoner. He would never conform to any of the Village’s beliefs, unless it was through absolute coercion! He” barked Number 6 pointing at the bust again “would not think himself a member of this community, let alone be the founder, you’ve got the wrong man!”

    Number 2 stepped forward to face the aggressor “I can see how upset and agitated you are, but how would you know what he is?”

    Number 6 stared back at Number 2 in sheer anger and outrage and from his pocket produced that photograph he has been so keen to show about the village and now holding in front of Number 2’s face

yelled for all to hear “because he’s my brother, as well you know!”


    Then there came more murmurings from the gathered citizens, as they remained as onlookers, seeing the likeness between Number 6 and the commemorative bust.

    “So what have you done with him, is he still here, somewhere in the Village?” Number 6 asked, ready to vent his anger upon the first person who now got in his way.

    Number 2 took another two steps forward and stared into the face of Number 6 “Questions are a burden to others…….”

    “And answers a prison for oneself!” he added.

    “You may not like the answers” Number 2 warned him.

    “Perhaps not, but I think I’ll go on asking the questions anyway” he said in response “at least that way I shall remain a burden to you! He’s still here isn’t he, what have you done with him, this founder of your village who you are so proud of to pay tribute to him this day?”

    Finally Number 2 relented “Yes he is still here in the Village and always will be….with us. A long time ago something inside of him died, and after death there is birth….. he gave birth to the Village, and

everyone of us within its community. Even as a child there was something in his brain which was a puzzlement, perhaps the Village was there even then!”

    Number 2 face to face with Number 6 “Strange how often we don’t know those closest to us, we think we do, but we don’t. Sometimes we hardly know ourselves!” there was a deep malevolence in her voice and a cruel smile lingered upon her lips.

    There was no need for violence, even numbers 42 and 73 could see  Number 6 was a broken man, as he fell to his knees in tears upon the ground. He looked up at the bust of his brother and one word passed his lips……. “Why?”

    Number 2 content with the day’s events so far, lifted the megaphone to the good people of this community “Let the festivities continue. Feel free and enjoy yourselves its Village Day.”

    Suddenly and instantly the seemingly paralysed crowd became animated once more, cheering and waving in Village Day celebration as many went off to enjoy the many attractions. As for Number 6, he was still kneeling on the ground, reading the inscription beneath the bust;

For Him His Days Are Not Numbered

   Number 6 slowly picked himself up off his knees, appearing a broken and disappointed man, and now he stood alone before the founder’s bust. Number 2, the ceremonial pageant over, had now returned to her administrative details in the Green Dome, just as had most of the other citizens gone, and those few who were left, felt little or nothing for Number 6. But if Number 2 thought Number 6 to be the broken man she thought him to be, then she was to have yet another thought about that. For the tears that Number 6 had wept had gone, and the once anger inside was being replaced with burning revenge, but to enjoy this Number 6 would have to bide his time until the Masque Ball tonight.


    In the control room the supervisor instructed the observers to keep a special observant eye open for Number 6, just in case, because Number 2 feared he might do something stupid after his terrible ordeal, because of the shock and trauma.  Yet suicide was not 6’s way, he was more likely to cause trouble, and that is what the observers were watching for.

    Number 6 walked slowly through the Village, he was the subject of much muttering and murmurs.

    “That’s the way to do it” shrieked Mr Punch, dressed in piped blazer and straw boater, as he beat a rather portly policeman with a goatee beard with his own truncheon, much to the enjoyment of the citizens.

    “Ah, Number 6” said the Victorian showman “you wanted…….”

    But he simply ignored the showman and walked straight passed him, having seen more than enough for one day! His mind was in a state of stupefaction, insensitive and lethargic as he walked on, ignoring anything and everyone about him. He merely returned to his cottage.