Two short unpublished pieces…..
The South Coast
The postcard arrived Tuesday morning; Granddad dead – funeral Wednesday – RSVP – love Grandma. I phoned in sick and drove to Brighton in a shade over 6 hours. Heavy traffic north of Leicester held me up. My moronic cousin and his wide wife put me up for the night in Rottingdean. Their guest room is in the attic and riddled with damp. The skylight doesn’t fit properly, so an overnight shower moistened my shoes.
We arrived at the church just before eleven. The turnout was poor; several relations hadn’t bothered coming as it was so far. Grandma and Uncle Terry arrived about the same time as the coffin. A whining pipe organ half filled the air. Everyone stood up to sing. When the music stopped, they all sat down again and some bloke started talking. I started counting the roof panels.
In the churchyard afterwards, we opened the coffin and slung Granddad into a freshly dug hole, then went in The Rose & Crown across the road. We were still in the lounge when Granddad climbed out of his grave and joined us at around five o’clock. Luckily Uncle Terry had a wooden stake, which he drove through Granddad’s heart. Everyone lent a hand to carry the body back to the cemetery, before finishing our pints and ordering a few more.
I drove back on the Thursday morning, stopping off at Scratchwood Services for a cheeseburger and a wank.
Universe of Life
Popsie Buzzard, Joel Subtotal and Richard “The Binman” Turner were all aliens from the planet Bilos 2. They arrived on earth in late September and set up home in a flat above Silver Sands Café, which everyone called The Bobby on account of the small portions they served.
It was a very different world compared to the one they’d left behind. For a start they had this Presbyterian landlady called Mrs Rainey, who wouldn’t allow alcohol on the premises; not even a wine gum! The flat was freezing, so Mrs Rainey gave them a few extra, rough woollen blankets and a few half empty tins of emulsion to cover the worst bits of damp on the kitchen ceiling.
In time, the Bilosian immigrants settled in to a comfortable weekend that consisted of lying in bed all day, watching UK Gold, smoking roll ups, cooking terrible vegetarian pasta dishes and spending all night in The Anchor. They rarely bathed and were badly dressed; people just took them for students.
Their mission was to last 3 years, with June, July and August spent back on Bilos 2 for essential hygiene and dietary maintenance. The rest of the time they made friends, borrowed money, scrounged food, knocked out spliff and swapped sexual partners. At the end of their time they emerged, none the wiser, very overdrawn, slightly heavier, bothered by a niggling smoker’s cough and with their body clocks shot to bits. Like everyone else, they were intending to move to London to get in to films or the music biz.
The rulers of Bilos 2 felt worried and slightly short changed by the whole experience.