BOOK TWO, THE DOINGS OF A MADMAN
Thin, ragged children skip and tumble, chanting:
“Ring a ring a mortgages
A pocketful a credit cards
We all fall down.”
Others, having shared a nest of small, fire-blackened mice, make the movements of an old, country dance, from long ago, before Armageddon, before Ruin:
“Mandelson’s blue, dilly-dilly
Gordon’s a freak, dilly-dilly
Peter’s a queen.
If we grow up, dilly-dilly
If we grow up
We shall be poor, dilly-dilly
We shall be poor.”
After a day scavenging and hunting small rodents, the small tribe returns to the camp, calling greetings:
“Yo, friend; curs-ed be the snot-eater.”
“Yo, too, may his one good eye be pluck-ed out…”
(both) And stomp-ed underfoot
.Others, catching-up, complete the ancient curse:
“And may legions piss in his dead, empty socket.”
It is a similar pile of bricks and breeze blocks to the one in Book One, a weak fire, made from twigs and compressed shit splutters, the tribe, pitifully thin, cold and dirty, gathers around the Elder.
“Today has been a good day, none have been carried away by Others, to be topp-ed and eaten; none have wandered in the Poisoned Fields and died, thrashing, vomiting their lungs down their fronts – from toxins, children, deadly filth, bequeathed us by criminal industrialists who lived among the Ancients and enslaved them – and we, helpless, watching, unable to end their agony in the traditional manner. Today, only one infant, and it an skinny runt, was devoured by rats, it’s mother even now, an panting beast with two backs, behind yon rusty old wheeled carriage, making an new life. Treasure was found, two tins of small, oily creatures, some say they are fish although none alive now have seen fish, and five tins of beef which is corn-ed; enough, with careful sharing, to Feast the whole tribe
Come now, let us settle, but watchfully, send men and women with sharpened sticks to guard against Others, throw fresh shitcake on the fire, chew on these roots, and huddle ye close, whilst I tell more of the Saga of Gordon the Ruiner as it was told by my fathers and theirs. Tinsman, fetch the Sacred Opening Tool and make ready the Feast. Turn to your neighbour, make the sign of Ruin and say the prayer of stanislav, the Polish plumber: In my country would hang this bastard up by neck off lamppost for few hours and then chop off fucking head, stick-up on spike and piss down throat and feed body to bogblokes, bastard is good for fuck all and waste of fucking space is; is worse than fucking Jock, innit, this bastard, Hoon ? As much use as chocolate fucking blowtorch, eh? Send horrible fucking bastard straight down in Hell and hot poker shove-up in poxed-up murderer’s arse is, for ever and ever, Amen. Let him tell Mr Devil he simply doesn’t accept this or that, fucking lying fucking bastard shithead sonofafuckingbitch. And God bless from stanislav, friendly Polish plumber, do good job and cheap for cash. Take off shoes and everything.”
(All) “In my country would hang this bastard up by neck off lamppost for few hours and then chop off fucking head, stick-up on spike and piss down throat and feed body to bogblokes, bastard is good for fuck all and waste of fucking space is; is worse than fucking Jock, innit, this bastard, Hoon, is fucking rubbish, could kill ten times and still not enough would be ? As much use as chocolate fucking blowtorch, eh? Send horrible fucking bastard straight down in Hell and hot poker shove-up in poxed-up murderer’s arse is, for ever and ever, Amen. Let him tell Mr Devil he simply doesn’t accept this or that, fucking lying fucking bastard shithead sonoffuckingbitch. And God bless from stanislav, friendly Polish plumber, do good job and cheap for cash. Take off shoes and everything.”
Historian’s note. The Sign of Ruin varies from tribe to tribe. In some it is a silent mouthing of : Oh, for fucks sake! several times; in others it is a cartoonesque miming of manic, high-speed nail-biting or of exaggerated nose-picking, studious mucus examination and determined oral consumption and in yet others the Tribespeople drop their shaking head into both hands, like one bereaved and devastated and chant: All is gone, All is gone, admit it, take Flight. In the long dark decades after Ruin, when the tribes could just about remember Plenty, people would huddle together, leafing through a fragile holy scripture, called an Argos catalogue, looking at the images of Holy Stuff and chanting, Oh, the fucking horrible one-eyed Scotch git, over and over and over.
“Once, Before Ruin, were many; as far as eye could see were Ancients, beyond counting on all our fingers. And they dwelt together in shining temples called City and Town and they travelled, on these same pathways, not darting and hiding in The Great Ruin, as do we, from pile to pile but in moving carriages, powered by Magic. And Gordon the Ruiner said they must work and toil that they might have carriages, man and woman and child, but then said unto them that it was wrong to use them, naughty and inconsiderate, and did penalise them mightily for even the Magic which was needed to make the carriages go, and for taking the carriage into City and Town they were penalised further and beggared and for driving the carriage quickly they were punished even though the Carriage was made to go quicker and quicker and Gordon said Buy Carriages for the Eck-onomyStupid but use them not for they will cause the Sun to melt and all will die. And lo, when people stopped renewing their carriages for they had become an pain in the arse Gordon lamented and took the people’s treasure and gave it up unto the CarriageMakers, whose carriages no bastard, what with one thing and an other, wanted the fuck to have do with, in order that ever more carriages be made and lined-up, for no-one to want. And Gordon smiled and called this an Stimulus to the Eck-onomyStupid. And the Ancients looked at Gordon the Ruiner and thought This is an Fuckwit, innit. He taketh unto himself our Treasure, for which we have toil-ed long and hard and pisseth it up the fucking wall, like an pestilential cunt and an fucking lunatic. And the people of all the tribes did cry out, You have no legitimacy here, Gordon; Tony and Imelda, The Horrible Fucking Thieving Cow did have some right to govern the Tribes but you have not any, give unto us an election, you fucking one-eye-ed Scotch bastard. But Gordon did say No, you don’t want an election, instead, you want me to preach at you, of Vaaal-ewes and Visions, trust me, I know what you want, far better than you know what you want. My father was an clergyman (which as we know, children, is an Ancients’ word for an child molester, an filthy fucking bastard) and though dead he talks to me yet. And he sayeth unto me, Gordon, my son, thou art the cleverest one-eye-ed Scotch bastard in all Time and you must rule and rule and rule; why, therefore, have an election when only I am suitable to rule and do unto you all the Right Thing, even though it is wrong. And with such statements did Gordon the Ruiner make clear unto the Tribes that it was his intent not to make good his early promise of an election but to shit, instead, long and hard, in their faces. And so he did.”
Historians note: Scotch or Jock or drunken, idle, wife-beating, child-molesting, cross-dressing,inbred, beetle-browed, ginger imbecile are believed to be terms for the inmates of a secure Reservation in the North, wholly supported by the wealth of the Ancients, until Gordon the Ruinous burnt it all. Gordon himself was a Reservationee but by sleight of hand and bombast for a long time persuaded people that he was a proper human being and not, as he obviously was, a mutant, snot-eating bastard.
To be continued.
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file