Previously, on SubGrubStreet:
To try to make sense of Jane’s disappearance and his fresh descent into
the Netherworld of Delusion, Nathan examined Shoutyknacker’s journals,
discovering a cryptic message: “Nathan, Beware, Bad Things happen in the
Snow.” It has started to snow.
From my attic room I can look out over the city and the city is covered
in a thick coating. It’s come on quick. It wasn’t even that cold when I
started to read the journal today. Now, there’s a blizzard. And who do
we know who can make it snow, or at least says he can make it snow? When
did bad things happen in the snow? These things are connected. All
roads lead to O’Mailer (*).
Well, if I wait in here for it to stop, either I’ll never know or it
will never stop snowing. If Jane were here she would want me to behave
like a character in a cheap 3-for-2 table product shifter (**), tempt my
fate and put myself recklessly in danger just so everyone else
experiences jeopardy and suspense.
So, here you go, reader. I am in the kitchen, stuffing the Knackers File
into my coat pocket. I am going out in the snow. Woohoo.
To Be Continued . . .
No, it’s not. Not yet. It would be good to have a ‘To Be Continued . .
.’ here, but things are still continuing and I am now out in the snow
that’s whipping around between the parked cars and drifting against
walls and gates. I stand and took up at the white sky and hold out my
hands so I can feel the flakes land on my palms.
‘C’mon, O’Mailer, show yourself, it’s not 2007 anymore (***).
A figure approaches. Now I get my answers. Let the spirity thing banter
anon and we’ll sort this out. But the man in the street coming closer is
too thin for O’Mailer, and too quick and he’s picking up speed despite
the conditions and suddenly I know. I know who it is.
Oh no . . . it’s the Old Man of Hoy (****).
‘I hate you, Flack,’ he bellows, ‘I’s still gonna kill ye.’
I’ve no time for his facile ranting and start to run up the street. The
snow is gusting in my face. I can hardly see where I’m going. There’s a
park up there, with pathways surrounded by dense bushes and trees that
by now must be smothered by snow. If I can just reach them, I can surely
lose this imbecile.
For some reason, despite the fact that I am running very slowly he’s not
really gaining, but I try to pick up speed anyway. I am reaching the
end of the street. I can see the trees ahead, on the other side of the
junction. If I was a proper hero here maybe I could do some sort of
stop-and-slide move and take the Old Man out, send him crashing into the
road but I’m a hack-writer of unsaleable tales, not Percival Thrower
(*****). I’m not even getting out of puff, I’m sort of flying here,
running like the proverbial, I could probably win the Dad’s bit in a
school sports day if I could always run like this and I had some
children, if I could keep it up, if I could only . . .
. . . avoid that car that’s coming at me around the corner very, very fast indeed, that I am skidding towards not away from.
Oh my giddy bollocks.
A glimmering above me. Distant snow-sky. Can’t feel my legs. Him, the Old Man and some moundlike shape in goggles.
‘Got him this time, mistress, we got him.’
Now, this is what I call a . . .
To Be Continued . . .
*Touching the Starfish, pgs 287 - 320.
** See Touching the Starfish, page 282.
*** JAMES O”MAILER: A peeky-poo clue for you. Little does Flack know
that it is that year of our lord. And I am more sinned against than
**** See SubGrubStreet 3: The Duellists.
***** See SubGrubStreet 28: The Surrogate Mother of Nar Nar Goon.
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Next Week: Misery