UNDER A BLACK BERET

sunflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The town square, a pernickety, delicate blend of Renaissance and Art Deco construction yet at its centre an ill at ease belfry atop a Romanesque steeple within which a bell chamber housed nought but hibernating bats, muddled moths and the occasional drifter with no fear of great heights. No bells for deaf ears. Down below, the diligent inhuman propagandists had been hard at work, persuasion and motivation their singular goal. Save for incidental windows and shop fascia signs there were darkest manipulative posters appended all about. Eye-catching ugly posters, both textual and graphic all containing a single message, that message serving to ramp up the rhetoric and rally floating sleeper’s opinion in support of the avowed conviction that the alleged demise of Nod was all down to the ill doings of an impure breed of Sweet Dreamers. Ever since Prezidanto La Sandmano and his disciples seized power, Zealotry Nightmares had been in the ascendency.

In a far corner of the imposing square, sat outside an unconscious street café, once the chosen permissive haunt of impassioned lovers, heroic deadbeats and gifted, godly harlots, notwithstanding the late hour, a nippy Eve, hiding under a black beret and behind illusionary shades, sips upon double Expresso, feasts on nicotine and visualizes an Eden already forever lost. Tarmac, ash heaps and fearsome blockheads in pretentious uniforms who habitually saluted eccentric salutes at one another had seen to that. One such fellow sat with likeminded chums at a table nearby proffered such a signature hand gesture in Eve’s direction. For the sake of her own preservation she swallowed hard, aped his lamentable sign language and forced a fraudulent smile. As she waits for the witching hour her concern over the plight of hedgehogs and sparrows in a world without shrubbery plays on her mind. Then she remembers the rushed note she discovered after they had taken her darling away, his last words asking of her if he might one day be the busy bumble bee and she the unguarded wild flower in the meadow of shameless passion. A romantic touch not lost on her. “Oh, that he were with me now.”

Come the midnight call to slumber, come the bonfire, come a harmony of innocent winged sweet dreams as see-through bubbles floating on thin air. This hour had always belonged to them. Duplicitous flames illuminate the square. Untrained dancing, prancing shadows of malice come to life. Disciples on stilts armed with butterfly nets appear from nothingness, their mission to eradicate sweetest dreams before they nest in the imaginations of sleepers, by means of fiery evaporation. Eve had heard on the grape vine that this abomination would come to pass. Gazing forth at the mayhem, in palpable hatred she gently easies the pin from the grenade. Her aim is good. Her heartache that the infant nightmare she bestows upon the corrupt might be stillborn, without foundation.

 

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35 thoughts on “UNDER A BLACK BERET

  1. Yummy, yummy, YUMMY/. ‘after they had taken her darling away, his last words asking of her if he might one day be the busy bumble bee and she the unguarded wild flower in the meadow of shameless passion. A romantic touch not lost on her.’ Love it Mike. You have such a gift for words xxxxx

    1. My thanks, Ms S. I might walk with a limp, my eyesight failing me, struggle when cutting toenails and say ‘pardon’ when answering questions yet the old romantic lives on…I hope so at any rate!

  2. another finely wrought piece of scathing satire – the plight of the “dreamers” sensitively drawn – my favorite image is “…fearsome blockheads in pretentious uniforms who habitually saluted eccentric salutes at one another…”

  3. Each time I read about Eve, I think to myself, Mike’s outdone himself again. This is delightfully mad, in such a good way. Your storytelling is exceptional and your ability to paint powerful visuals is sterling. What a fantastic twist at the end, ‘Gazing forth at the mayhem, in palpable hatred she gently easies the pin from the grenade.’ I’ve really been enjoying the saga of Eve. Thank you for such a good read. ~ Mia

  4. Gah, wait, no! The grenade! The nightmares, the Eve, the lost Eden…dagnabit, what happens NEXT?! I feel like I need to fly across the Atlantic and shake your shoulders until you write what happens next. 🙂 (I like this, is my point.)

    1. My thanks, Ms Lee. The ‘what happens next’ has been written. This was a tailered excerpt. The whole tale is so bloody long I’m at a loss as to how to select little ‘bits’ to post. I’m not at all professional in the way I work, sadly.

      1. Oh pish, you’re far more professional than I, typing while Biff, who of course woke up on the weekend at an absurd hour, tries to make me type his favorite letters “P” and “Q.”

      2. I do think your third party interuptions must send you insane. It is a good thing you love them, the little blighters. I have no genuine excuses. It has been said of me that I couldn’t organise a drunken night out in a brewery.

      3. They do, now more than ever–the little blighters are on Spring Break from school for the next TWO WEEKS. God help me.
        I imagine a pub crawl with you, Shirl, and George would be nothing short of dangerously hilarious. 🙂

      4. TWO WEEKS! Sedate them. I haven’t done a pub crawl since the old King died, yet there was a time when Shirl and I would frequent ale houses. As to G he refrains from alcoholic beverages. Having said that the odd occasions we all get together in our favourite street cafes we laugh…oh yes, we laugh.

      5. A joyous sound, I bet, your family’s laughter. Good for G! I believe it was Bo who explained that one of the reasons Roger Daltrey is still able to sing well is because he abstained from all the usual musician’s vices, thereby keeping his vocal cords healthy. G’s got a lovely distant voice–it deserves protection. 🙂

        Gah, one day in and I’ve already had Biff trying to shove one of Blondie’s many boyfriends off the porch and into the mud because Biff HAS to be first IN ALL THINGS. Meanwhile, Bash is obsessed with unearthing any hidden Lego in the house, so every room’s a wreck. And I didn’t even know we had this much Lego…bah!

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