Strange Reflections VI


Not unnaturally Vince was keen to avoid the attentions of Flapper of the Yard, so he slipped back in time to The Summer of Scandal, the last gasp of the Macmillan Era. He surfaced in a rented flat in Bayswater clutching a battered copy of Colin Wilson’s The Outsider.

Meanwhile, gazing into her crystal ball, fluffragette heroine Sofia Marie saw a towering column of blackness far out in space but approaching fast – it was Lord Lytton’s ‘Thing of Darkness’, The Shukkoth, La Shukke Noir, The Mouth of Shadows.

Her jaw almost hit the floor.

Half an hour later she was snogging in a taxi. They went on picnics, he cooked her pizzas, his eyes sparkled. Then she noticed his accent and saw an abominable, squamous mass invading vestigial Christian space.

Just four hours separate the damp of a British winter from a restaurant in a chalet in a sunny south-facing hamlet called Findeln, run by Hans and Gerda, lovely people we met on holiday. There was an obscene cackle from her U-Bend. Was it that old weirdo dialect she found so seductive?

Somewhere north of Luton there was an old dried-up reservoir. Factory chimneys belched sulphurous fumes into the lower atmosphere, newborn babies died of concrete cancer, motorway bridges melted into thin air. My Aunt Ada went on the rampage.

Was there no escape?

Brad’s muse and confidante Karen belonged to an extraterrestrial intelligence agency. She monitored the situation closely. Military and security heads demanded explanations.

“No definite and conclusive evidence is yet available, there were other distractions.” she reported in clipped, esoteric lingo.

Someone said the operation was based in Ohio, someone else suggested Kettering of all places. Controversial findings – mounting pressure; things were hotting up. Vince didn’t see much of his rented flat after that.

Dressed in a Paco Rabanne silver trouser suit Sister Marie brushed her hair and polished her gleaming fingernails.

                “The truth is out there…Oops!” she muttered to herself. Items of spotless, white lingerie littered the Op Art carpet; it had been a night to remember but no sign of the canary.

In Bayswater Vince gazed at a newspaper photo of Christine Keeler and wished they could get hitched in space. But he knew his soul belonged to The White Lady.

Brad found life in Kettering uncongenial. Nonsequiturs were off the agenda, the Contarnex clock was a hostile, alien object and there was no chance of softening the alien impact. The new technology will make all fossil industries obsolete.

Carl prepared a detailed report for Hackabout, Bridewell & Studmuffin, which is how he met Lorna who was temping at the time.

It was a strange yet convincing sequence. Brad was only ten days old when doctors discovered he had three chambers in his heart and face-to-face experience of social cataclysm. I couldn’t help laughing when I saw him miming to an old Peggy Lee record. Spectacular phenomena like this baffle scientists and researchers alike. Old red stars fade over Wandsworth.

Sister Marie banished the squamous monster from her crystal ball as, lurking outside in a typical London fog, Flapper huddled into the cavernous depths of his khaki, army surplus trench-coat. Merrie England was not his scene, oh no, not at all…so his small piggy eyes dwindled to distant specks then blinked out. All fugitive killers would be cornered. All hunky hubbies castrated. All streets swept clean. Life would be so straight-forward, after all he was common-as-muck and filthy-rich.

If only he could get the crystal ball.

He hated fine distinctions, diversionary tactics, business managers, flea-marketeers, do-gooders, interfering busy-bodies and the receptionist back at the ranch who snapped “Eat carpet, bozo” when he mistook her for a Fluffie. He had a hard-nosed, bluff, down-to-earth approach to every case, if only he had a mind of his own. Matrix mechanics could be the key. At school they called him ‘Face-Ache’ Flapper on account of his wild squint, his sagging cheekbones, his triple chin and his soluble flesh. He hated them then and he hated them now.

The eyes have it, so does the hair.

Sister Marie rehearsed a secret sign language and changed tack. Karen carefully forged several letters to me, signed them ‘Nadja’ and left them in an empty room at the Sphinx Hotel, Paris, France. After ten minutes the Q-Tips were running low so she decided to use just a quick flick of mascara and thank your lucky stars your partner understands the situation. Ah, the moment, the memory, the dream-echo of the clouds.

As the flying squad wrapped up, seriously ambitious global gourmets checked into very hotel and bistro in town, only to be faced with ghastly dishes served up by Slab City Trailer Trash. So pack your Hex Files and head for someplace else. Shut your stunning trap from the inside and reply with designerish understatement.

“That’s the ticket”, I decided, entering the former church hall through a fake cocktail lounge quaking with raucous rock music. The waitresses wear tight T-shirts and decorate themselves in student union Gothic. These were the best barbecued ribs I’ve tasted in London.

Face-Ache prepared for a loathsome transformation.

If this was a life-or-death situation: Sofia felt, well, somehow casual.

What you say? What you say?

Appearances can be deceptive.

Get connected.

Echo the clouds.






A C Evans


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