Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Today's snippet from Cosmogonic Marbles
From Chapter 10
The Postman reached Oakridge Drive by a series of miracles and pure luck more than skilful driving. The Tiger had fully awoken, torn apart its box as if it were tissue paper and was now in the process of peeling open the back of the van like a sardine can.
“I’ve never lost a parcel in my career,” screamed the Postman, “and I’m not going to lose you!”
The Tiger let out a tremendous roar which startled several people standing at the bus stop at the end of Oakridge Drive. The post van screeched to a halt outside number 27; the sudden stop propelled the Tiger forward and its huge paw made a sweep past the Postman’s face, close enough so he could feel the breeze of the strike on his skin.
“Down kitty, down.” This didn’t seem to mollify the beast much but the Postman felt it was worth a try, “Good kitty, you want some milk, ball of string, fresh blood?!”
He leapt from the van and tumbled on the ground in a completely unnecessary TV-Cop fashion, kicked the door of the van shut, which muffled the sound of his parcel’s snarling, and stood up to fix his uniform. The left arm of his immaculately pressed blue jacket had four slashes from the lapel across the arm to the back. He winced, lifted up his jacket with his right arm and fully expected to see a river of blood and mangled flesh, but the good old sturdy jacket of the 50’s (which he preferred) had held up.
The van rocked from side to side on its tortured suspension for a few moments then suddenly settled as the beast inside seemed to calm down a little. The Postman let out a great sigh, “Promotion, away from 27 and the Postman’s Code, that’s why I’m doing this, just knock on the door, listen to his lies, say ‘I’ve got a packet for you Bastard!’, no without the ‘bastard’, tranquilise the packet. …,” he checked in his pocket for the tranquiliser pistol he had been given at the depot, it was there, “…and then give the lying bastard his tiger.”
He straightened his tie, pushed back his hair, briefly considered shooting himself in the head with the pistol, but what good would it do? For once he didn’t mind the squeak of 27’s gate, he opened the bolt and swung the gate in a great fast arc. It was silent apart from a dull thud when it rebounded from the inside wall. Of course, he thought, the oil from this morning, if only he’d been thinking straight then, but he was here now, so ‘then’ didn’t matter and if it did it only mattered then and not now and this was now, until later when it will be then. I have to start concentrating, he thought, now.
“If I empty half the tranquiliser dart on the path now, it might wake up in the hall and kill him,” he muttered to himself and he kicked and trampled his way up the garden path making as much noise as possible.
He rang the non-functioning doorbell (even though he knew it was a non-functioning doorbell), rapped on the door and gave the letterbox a few slams too. Nothing. He leaned down and opened the letterbox, not to look in, that would be against the Postman’s Code. Instead, he lowered his lips to it and called out, “Mister Philips, it’s me, your Postman, I have a large package for you, far too large for the slot, you’ll have to come and take possession of it personally.” He let the post-box lid fall with a loud clap.
Still nothing. The wildlife of the front garden was making so much noise now that he wouldn’t be able to hear movement inside, perhaps Philips couldn’t hear him. He gave the door another, harder, louder rap with his fist, so hard it almost constituted an assault on the poor defenceless door.
The door immediately capitulated and backed away, to be ajar. Maybe he wasn’t in, thought the Postman, perhaps I could just leave the package here for him. The Code states clearly a package is delivered if it’s left inside the front door, providing the door has been left open. He poked at the door softly; it swung open without a fuss to reveal the horror of a hallway filled with the useless junk of a man who had failed in every trade and business conceivable.
The Postman almost swallowed his own Adams apple. There was a small mountain of unopened mail piled against the outside of the stairwell. The complete bastard! He thought, the complete unmitigated bastard, he didn’t even read them! He had to stand in silence for a moment and let the urge to kill shake its way from his head down to his toes and out into the ground.
“Right,” stated the Postman, “You’re getting this fucking Tiger, in person, whether you want it or not and I don’t care if you’re at the Queen’s garden party.”