Archive | September, 2015

REVELATION

30 Sep

RUINS photo: ruins roman_ruins_palmyra_syria_photo_gov.jpg

The skies were blue and the road dusty and a dry heat washed over the world as the ebony black man walked down the centre of an ancient road, past the crumbling remnants of long forgotten buildings, towards the centre of town. His face gleamed with the effort of all that walking, but he slowly made his way past the curious eyes that seemed to shine from the shambles and detritus of the ruins, frowns and scowls aimed at him because of his very blackness. He was difference, and here where God ruled difference had always been hated.

In this part of the world there never had been seen such black skin. It was, to the eyes of the hidden watchers, everything that skin shouldn’t be. Skin, they thought, should be like theirs, white and shining with cleanliness and holy: yes, holy, for wasn’t the lamb of God himself a pristine white man? So the pictures said, and pictures are never wrong, not if the ancients painted them.

Eventually one of the watchers detached himself and strolled with a quiet malevolence towards the visitor. This, he thought, must never be! There can be no room in their town for one with skin like this!

He arrived before the black-skinned man and stood before him, blocking his progress

“Yo jus’ turn yoself round and git outta here,” he drawled. “There ain’t no room in this ‘ere town for a man like you, if man you be! Outta the jungles o’ Afric I’ll be bound, down fro’ the Afric trees and’ ‘ere to spread your wickedness an’ sickness amongst us clean good folks!”

The black man eyed him curiously, an innocent enough look, one that had about it a certain charming naivety.
“I’ve come to help,” he said, quietly. “I’ve come to put things straight.”

“Yo daft black bugger!” exclaimed the other. “Standin’ there like an ape fro’ the forests o’ Afric an’ tellin’ us real folks stuff like that!”

Then he turned towards the crumbling buildings where shafts of sunlight from the dry blue skies cut through the ribs of old roofs that had lost their tiles and slates, and over piles of dusty debris to spread like cruel butter on a dishevelled world. “We’ll ‘ave t’ get ‘im, folks,” he drawled. “We’ll ‘ave t’ put things right! Get you them there stones like they do in Muslim lands and let’s sort that black bastard out once an’ f’r all!”

Half a dozen scruffy figures detached themselves from their background and made their way towards the confrontation.

“Let ‘im ‘ave it, let ‘im ‘ave it for good,” growled the white man, and he picked up a stone, heavy as a clenched fist, and drove it at the ebony stranger.

With a whoop and a shout of anger mingled with what a stranger might have taken for insanity the others joined in. They picked up stones, jagged fragments of the broken buildings and shattered streets, and hurled them at the stranger.

There was a cry of pain, but he did nothing but stand there, bemused, wondering what he might have done to precipitate such anger. There was a ferocious light in the eyes of the aggressors, one that might have been confused with insanity in any other land, though here it was nothing but the cold light of righteous anger.

Mere moments later the black stranger lay on the dusty broken road surrounded by a motley collection of old stones, a pool of blood spreading from him and drying like blood does when the sun is hot in a morning sky and there hasn’t been a drop of rain for days beyond count.

“I’m off t’ give thanks t’ the Lord,” muttered the original aggressor, and the others grinned at each other and nodded their heads, following him.

The little group of dusty men made their way to the only building that was still intact in the old town, and sat in a seat at the back whilst the pastor droned his message out.

“And the Lord said all must end,” he intoned. “He said that there would be a second coming when all things were arriving at an end, and that Christ would stand before the righteous and the wrong and judge them, and the world would be healed and our enemies smitten down like all enemies should!”

The dusty aggressor on the back pew grinned at his comrades, and sniggered.

The pastor continued. “And he’d better come soon enough,” he muttered, tearing his eyes from his hastily scribbled notes for a moment. “For it is said that war is coming this way! The foreign foe even as I speak is preparing to send powerful weapons this way, for he needs our lands, his own being flooded by the rising seas! And though the roads and fields are not his he will take them, of course he will, take them from us and enslave us! But it is said in the old books that the Saviour will come again…”

The aggressor grinned, and nudged his companions.

The pastor coughed, and stared directly at him. “And when he comes the pains of our world will be healed, wars will cease and we will be given a golden time,” he whispered, “but you, my friend at the back, sitting there in so much righteous dignity, you know that he will never come, not now, not since you stoned him on the road from the old world, not since you let the Christ bleed into the old road and die like a strangled rabbit into the broken concrete….”

The aggressor was going to stand up, to protest that all he’d done was what any man might when he saw a black bastard daring to walk the sacred streets of their town, but all of a sudden there was a roar in the world outside, one that stole his voice from him, and beautiful as a new statue wrought from gold and ivory a column of dust and fire and the flesh of thousands rose into the late morning air, and a wind blew from nowhere as the gigantic cloud spread out, above their church and the road and the blood-dried remnants of a black man, and out of it a few spots of toxic moisture fell down to splash like rain does onto a world that might have been a desert, but wasn’t quite.

THE MURDER

29 Sep

penknife photo: penknife (in ketchup) IMG_0052.jpg

When Thomas took a penknife and buried it in the chest of Deirdre, his sleeping wife so hard and so deep that it just had to kill her he knew he’d go to jail for life for it. Of course he would, he thought with a self-destructive extra push and twist of his little blade, and he wouldn’t mind one bit.

A lifetime of incarceration would be better than one more day with this harridan, this judgemental, thoughtless, mindless harridan.

He’d loved her once, of course. He strained his muscles as he leaned on the handle of the knife and pushed with all his weight as he remembered.

They’d been young once. She with her mini skirts and that addictive giggle, he with his boyish humour and little practical jokes. She with her long and fragrant hair, he with his experimental aftershave that choked the living daylights out of him, but he wanted to smell nice.

And they’d played young games together, she pretending she didn’t want what he wanted and he pretending he didn’t know what she wanted until he delivered it – and then she gasped and begged for more, much, much more – a great deal more than he could possibly give once he’d exploded in a huge outpouring of uncontrollable passion in a gigantic teenage orgasm.

They’d wed too soon, of course. She was in the family way, announced it to him so casually that she might have been talking about the eggs she’d had at breakfast.

“I wonder if it’ll be a girl,” she had said with an impish grin.

“You what?” he asked, “you wonder if what will be a girl?”

“The baby in my tummy!” she had replied, mentioning it for the very first time and smiling as if she was commenting on the weather. And then: “We’ll have to get married soon,” she had declared in much the same tone of voice as she might have used when deciding on the hemline of a new skirt. She’d made a lot of her own clothing back then and deciding on hemlines was important to her, almost as important as pondering on the gender of an unborn child.

“You’re pregnant?” he had burst out, and she had giggled and rubbed her tummy in a way that could only possible be provocative and mummed and repeated the question “I wonder if it’ll be a girl?”

“But how?” he had stammered.

“If you don’t know now you should never have done it to me?” she had laughed, “and it was fun, you know it was fun and having a daughter will be fun too!”

Then she’d dragged him up to her room (her parents being out) and said she’d show him how they’d done it, and this time it would be safe, you can’t get pregnant twice at the same time.

His heart had sunk. He hadn’t been ready for this. But facts had to be faced and they wed in a shotgun sort of way, the lump that was her stomach showing so that everyone knew why they’d rushed, and at the party afterwards (you couldn’t call it a reception, not really, not with only half a dozen guests and no music) she prattled on about the dresses she would make for the child when she was born and the styles she would weave into her hair and all the lovely girly things they’d do together.

“She’ll take after me,” she had said, “lovely long tresses and curls and legs the lads’ll die for!”

And the baby had been born. A boy. A son. A particularly ugly son. With one too many fingers on his left hand and a predisposition for howling.

It had been then that her mouth had started to turn down. Changing nappies. Breast feeding – the little tyke make her nipples bleed. All the chores that come as a shock to a first time mum whose only experience was with a Barbie when she’d been ten and in charge of everything.

And the harridan had been born.

Slowly at first, true enough, but nothing returned to the heady days of love and lust that had been the birth of the relationship, and as the years slipped away and she had gained experience and confidence and a grasp of hurtful language and the tyke had grown from a howler to a mindless criminal by the time he was ten, Thomas’s life had assumed the worst qualities of a living, waking nightmare.

And the daughter never did come along.

You had to make love to have children, and he lost the appetite for that kind of thing. It was better to vanish into the bathroom once a week or so and relieve his physical tension on his own without risk of criticism or sarcastic references to what she had once thought marvellous and now thought small. Much better, and with no consequences.

“You used to be keen on it,” she had grated on one occasion as he was drying his hands and humming to himself. “You used to have me two, three time a day! What’s gone wrong?”

“You have,” he had replied, and gone to the pub for a drink with the lads. Lads? They were all heading to middle-age and all escaping from vitriolic wives, or so they said in confidence when said wives were out of earshot.

And it had come, finally, to this.

He gave the knife one last twist, one final thrust, and stood up.

There ought to be blood everywhere, and that’s what he saw. Lovely red blood, the signature of death, the very inscription of murder on a lovely sun-kissed day.

“I’ll hand myself in,” he mused. “that way there’s be less fuss.”

“You never do anything properly!” snapped Deirdre, standing in the doorway. “The least you could have done is wait for me to get into bed before you wrecked that expensive pillow with your penknife!”

He looked down at the bloody mess and sighed.

“I’m no killer,” he mumbled, “just a shit of a man who can’t stand any more.”
And he buried the blade of that knife of his, that penknife with it’s silly three-inch blade, as deep into his own flesh as he could, aiming for the heart but missing, feeling the steel bend to one side as it slid off a rib and ended nowhere.

“You’re cracked!” she said, and stood over him as he sunk to the floor, weeping.

“This is going to hurt you more than you hurt me,” she said, oozing spite and vitriol before battering him over his aching head with an iron saucepan until she knew full well that he was as extinct as any dodo anywhere and would never take his little knife to her best memory-foam pillow again.

© Peter Rogerson 29.09.15

FATHER DEAR FATHER

28 Sep

I wrote this piece a couple of years or so ago and although it’s not like me to repost old stuff I thought I would this time because it’s somehow very personal to me.
MY PARENTS CIRCA 1940 photo image0-8_zps1e50fdb7.jpgMy Parents, circa 1940

Time and Relative Dimensions in Space..
TARDIS
The fictitious time and space machine that has graced the television airwaves since 1963 when the good Doctor took his first monochrome meddling walk through the Universe. The one thing in the Universe that I really, really wish was physically real.
And it’s not that I want to go and check on this or that significant day in history because I might find myself meddling with what ought to be left as it was despite all that happened as a consequence. Like I might learn obstetrics and give Mrs Hitler an abortion early in 1889 before her son Adolf was born.
It would be a temptation to interfere with any number of significant historical events and try to change the course of history for the better, and that might be bad because the unseen better might turn out to be worse than the seen actuality.
No. That’s not why I want to travel through space and time with the ease of the good Doctor.
What I really would like to do (and it’ll never be possible for perfectly obvious reasons that I’ll tack on at the end) is go back a bit and see how accurate or selective or downright wrong some of my personal memories are.
I’ve mentioned my father in blogs before, though not necessarily on this site.
You see, despite the fact that he was alive for the first four years of my life I can’t remember a blind thing about him, not can I remember ever remembering him, if that makes sense.
What I can remember is me, aged four and already a schoolboy, running down the stairs one morning (short trousers, jumper, tousled hair, untidy socks) to be greeted by “You’re not going to school today, Peter, your father died during the night…”
And nothing.
The man, he who donated his most excellent sperm to my mother, vanished from existence in my mind as though he’d never been.
There were references to him spasmodically during the ensuing years.
He smoked and it was the cigarettes that killed him… you must never smoke, Peter…”
He had an abscess on the lung, Peter…”
And that was all. A man who clearly produced really quality semen was no more, never would be any more, and suddenly, as if my mind had passed through an impermeable wall, there was no trace of him anywhere.
It wasn’t until I was in my sixties that I actually got hold of a few photographs with him in them. I might have seen them before, I don’t know, can’t remember. But those black-and-white images showed a few fragments from the life of a man I have no recollection of whatsoever.
You’d have thought, wouldn’t you, that there would be something there. Some shadow of the real man, an echo, maybe, faint and distant, of something he said, a suggestion in my mind of the father I had.
But there’s nothing, and the photographs, the faded monochrome images, are of a stranger. A man I never met.
That’s why I need that Tardis. Like the wonderful Doctor Who I need to ride the oceans of space and time and see who my father really was. What he did. How he met my mother (he was, according to Internet records, and they are the best I have, born in 1899 and I was born in 1943 so he was a bit tardy when it came to breeding, especially in a time when women outnumbered men quite considerably because of the bloody mess that was World War 1).
And was it childish grief that wiped him from my memory or did he spend so much time in bed or in hospital that I never really knew him?
So many questions, so few answers. I need facts! I need to sort out personal truth, personal guesses, personal facts.
Only then will I begin to wonder whether I should get a degree in obstetrics and deal with Mrs Hitler and her obscene pregnancy…
And the perfectly obvious reasons, the ones why my time travel is never going to happen? If it ever becomes a reality we’d find ourselves bumping into shadows from our futures, maybe far distant futures, and we haven’t, have we? So they’ve never come to see us, with their superior knowledge and well-thumbed history books and medical instruments. So the technology (thank heavens, I suppose) is plainly never going to be possible…
© Peter Rogerson 06.05.13

CONVICTIONS IN THE DARK

27 Sep

conviction photo: Escaped Conviction (Alex Pardee) EscapedConviction.jpgMost of the trouble in the world is caused by misplaced conviction. That’s my opinion, but I am prepared to admit that there’s a chance that I’m wrong.

We all have inside us the capacity to be totally convinced of this or that even though any real evidence might indicate that we can’t be right. So Muslims are convinced that their version of God is real and Christians that theirs is and Jews that theirs is. And all the rest who have an ethereal deity as the pinnacle of their conviction can swear fealty to them. Yet not one of them can point at more than a primitive, bronze-age document that has been copied and translated and Chinese-whispered to the nth degree over the centuries for their evidence.

By the same token vegetarians are convinced that killing and eating other species is wrong even though that other species may do the same, but to others. They have worked out a morality that seems sound to them and they lambast everyone who can’t see it. They are convinced that eating flesh is wrong. Like the Christian or the Muslim is convinced.

Ditto vegans. They, too, have a morality that suggests that their chosen diet is the only one that can be justified in terms of the planet, of the ecology, of their philosophy and more lambasting goes on. Their conviction can be quite ferocious and they form clubs with mutual admiration as their mantra.

Then there’s the atheist. I’m one of those in that I can’t see any rational argument for the existence of gods of any description and from time to time I have posted teasing little pieces on the subject. I am convinced of the rightness of my argument, but not without reserving the right for others to have different points of view. After all, the man who says he knows and understands everything is a fool because he only knows and understands only a tiny fraction of everything. Everything is too big and none of us have seen the shadow of it, let alone its substance.

And the warrior who believes in strength in arms and force versus weakness being important, red-necks who worship machine guns for the safety they think they offer even though they might occasionally conclude that the more guns there are around the more people will be accidentally shot, including the possibility of themselves being in that unfortunate number. But their conviction carries them on into a battle of one kind or another.

In my own book the worst creature is the died-in-the-wool gun-toting vegan Christian because his convictions are contrary to mine in so many ways. I hope I never meet one!

And yet, in every respect I’m prepared to admit that if I could see more than my little portion of everything I might be wrong in every instance. Everything, though, is far too much for my ageing mind to absorb and he who believes he’s got it taped is, as I suggested, a fool. Convictions formed in darkness are as empty as the vacuum of space, which isn’t empty at all.

© Peter Rogerson 27.09.15

A STORMY LOVE AFFAIR

16 Sep

robin hood photo: Robin Hood article-0-048CF943000005DC-561_468x.jpg
The drizzle became a downpour and somewhere a candle flickered out.

Robin Hood shivered as he tried to shelter under an autumn oak that merely contrived to make him wetter as it funnelled water onto his head and with uncanny accuracy down his neck. He knew about both drizzle and downpour but the candle was lost to him. As it was to Marion, who was out in the Greenwood looking for him.

Night had long since fallen and although he wasn’t lost – Robin Hood never got actually lost as such – he was as close to being lost as man can get. After all, in the pitchest black of an evil night even an outlaw can find himself lost. And his ever-loving maiden. She was in the dark too, especially now that a drop or two of the downpour had washed the flame from her candle.

“Robin!” she called, her treble voice whipped by the weather until it merged indecipherably with the drumbeat of rain and the whistle of the wind.

“Marion!” he shouted, but it wasn’t in reply to her, just that he sensed that somewhere in the Greenwood his woman might be seeking for him.

He sensed her answer, but didn’t hear it.

Then he saw her. Clad in diaphanous white and with sparkles in her hair, she was walking towards him. A stirring in his loins told him just how much he wanted her, now in the downpour, with the wind becoming a gale and the stars hidden by black clouds. But visions can be mischievous elves and when he blinked she vanished, together with her diaphanous gown and his grinding excitement.

“Marion!” he called again, loud, maybe louder than the gale, and knowing he needed help he pulled an arrow from his quiver, eyed its length thoughtfully though even that was hard to see in the dark night and then, guessing the direction, fired it high into the air, needing it to fall peacefully near his loved one.

It may have been a miracle, a gift from the gods (though he had long since dismissed the Jewish god from his mind) or just a fluke, one of the tricks of fortune, but she heard it land. Near her, close enough to outwit the storm with its thump as it bit into the soft earth.

Then another miracle – just yards away she actually saw it, a line of lighter shadow in the black.

Many another woman would have grabbed it, pulled it to her, but besides beauty she had wisdom and she knelt close and stared thoughtfully at it. This arrow would tell her the story. It would tell her where her man was. Where the outlaw more famous than all others, the man with blood on his hands, a priest’s blood, a bishop’s and who knew how many king’s men’s blood. With practised eyes she measured angles and calculated distance and then ran off into the black night, knowing where Robin should be.

“Robin!” she shouted when she came close to where she had worked out that he should be, and the reply, not distant, not camouflaged by wind and rain but sturdy and manly, came back to her:

“Marion, my lovely!”

“Are you lost?” she teased when she saw the light of his eyes, the tiniest glimmer and so close. Even eyes, moist with life and love, need some light to reflect and here there was almost none. Night was well under way and the very last trace of a distant sun had left this corner of creation.

“I remember your smile,” he told her, not whispering but almost shouting even though she had drawn close to her. The downpour and the gale still raged around them, and they dominated everything.

So she took him by the hand and tugged at him.

“Come this way, big man,” she bellowed, “and I will guide you.”

He smiled, and let her. She knew the way and he was clearly lost and admitted the failing to himself.

Then they were within sight of the woodcutter’s deserted cottage where she had sheltered whilst the rains fell, though the night denied them more than a flickering glance where a candle burned behind an unglazed tiny shuttered window.

When they were within and she had lit a second candle from the flickering one she’d placed in the window she faced him and her eyes sparkled.

“Take your pants off,” he ordered, “for they are dripping and need to be dried!”

“Then turn away,” he suggested, grinning the wicked grin that had eaten into her heart when she had first met him.

“Never!” she laughed, “for all you have, even your comical old man, you gave to me! Remember? And I find no sin in gazing upon that which is mine!”

He started struggling out of his clothes and mocked her with an exaggerated wink.

“And you’re wet too,” he pointed out. “Come, my lovely, remove your raiment too! It would be the very worst sadness to me if you caught a sickness from the wet, and died on me!”

“Oh, you naughty tease!” she giggled, but started undressing, pulling her thick warming cloak from her and slowly taunting him as she exposed naked legs, white and as perfect as any leg can be.

Then, and neither knew who was first, they were naked in a wonderful wrestling hug, then kissing, then dragging each other to the bedding corner of the one-room cottage and leaping onto it.

“Hey! Watch where you’re landing! I wondered when she’d get back to me, Robin,” growled Friar Tuck, “she would go out into that damned storm and look for you! I told her you’d be all right, but hey, a woman’s mind is a stranger to the likes of me!”

“I trust you’ve remembered your oath, of chastity and celibacy,” growled Robin.

“Of course,” the friar replied, almost obliquely, “Now let me close my eyes or I might witness what no man of God should see and be barred from Eternity, and get on with what your need to do, or dawn will beat you to it!”

© Peter Rogerson 16.09.15

A MURDOCH MOAN

15 Sep

 

Sun headline photo 11224319_738459432964920_5074944825521881933_n_zpstjnduecq.jpg  Over the years there has been a great deal written and said about the freedom of the press and taken as a concept I’m fully in support of it. The press MUST be free from Government constraints and report what’s going on in the world. It’s a vital constituent part of democracy. Knowledge.

But with this freedom comes responsibilities. Important responsibilities that are equally important when it comes to democracy. And chief amongst these is never to knowingly tell lies. Never to misrepresent the realities of the world so that when we come to make joint decisions in an election we make the right ones.

Enter Murdoch and the Sun. Again.

It’s in the interests of Rupert Murdoch to deny power to the left in politics because his own already deep pockets are made ever deeper by support from the right. His power is undiminished by Tory policies and he makes sure that the people of the UK are as misinformed as necessary for his own ends via his main organ, the Sun newspaper.

He bought the paper, when it was hardly successful and built it up by offering huge Bingo prizes and a page of almost naked young women (page Three) until it became the most popular newspaper in the UK. It was inevitable that a great number of people were going to be attracted to it, and as politically it initially supported the Labour party it seemed to be aiming at the right audience.

Enter Margaret Thatcher and an about-turn. Murdoch saw profit in her policies and the Sun used its jingoistic style in support of the Falklands war amongst other important policy decisions. It became an organ skilled at telling lies by telling half-truths. It has successfully manipulated the gullible until they believe every word it says and are ignorant of those it doesn’t say, so when it states on its headline that the new Labour party leader wants to get rid of the armed forces it is believed.

Every pacifist would like to see an end to war and armed disputes, not just Jeremy Corbyn, and a rational end-in-sight to obtaining a peaceful world would be the eventual disposal of arms and weaponry and those charged with wielding them. But not tomorrow, not until it’s safe.

The Sun doesn’t say that. Rupert Murdoch doesn’t want it to. Neither do the Masters of War. Neither do the arms manufacturers. Yet the money saved from a universal end to armed conflict would feed all the starving millions many times over. Could be invested into research into the very diseases that may kill us.

The Sun doesn’t want that.

© Peter Rogerson 15.09.15

OWONGO AND THE EVERLASTING LIGHT

14 Sep

OWONGO AND THE EVERLASTING LIGHT

cave worms photo: hidden cave PHTO0006.jpg

Owongo was in his middle years and approaching his thirtieth birthday when he made a discovery that would change his life and add a new flavour to his life with Mirumda.

Let me remind you, first. He was an ancestor of mine many times removed, and so was she. In fact, so many times removed that he was clearly an ancestor of yours as well. He lived at a time before humanity ventured across the world from central Africa and spread out everywhere. Or he would have eventually ventured from central Africa if that’s what he called it – but he didn’t. He called it home, and that was that.

One of the biggest problems to aggravate Owongo was the dark of night. If you think about it for a moment, smother the moon and stars with a dense coverlet of cloud and make sure there’s no thunder or lightning anywhere near and you’ve got as close to absolute darkness as you’ll ever want to get. So the best thing to do, in fact the only truly practical thing to do, was go to sleep and stay asleep until the rosy sun climbed from wherever it went at night.

There was one failure with this logic, though, and that revolved round the bladder. Owongo had a bladder and during the night it sometimes filled to bursting point, which meant he either had to empty it via the gift of his own personal inbuilt and occasionally excited weeing equipment, or leak. And leaking meant an uncomfortable night, a berating from his woman Mirumda and several weeks of an unpleasantly aromatic bed.

So his usual course of action was to stand in the cave entrance (which he couldn’t see during particularly dark nights) and piss into the big wide world outside, trying to miss the dead ashes of the fire that had usually gone out long before dawn.

And he did this quite often because, before retiring for the night and in the absence of anything remotely entertaining in his world (remember – there was no telly back then, nor would there be for possibly 100,000 years) he partook of a few stone jars of deliciousness, a fermented liquid that tasted revolting but which made his head spin until Mirumda actually took on a ravishingly pleasing appearance.

Then one day, whilst out hunting for squirrels (they were plentiful and he didn’t like risking his skin in pursuit of the tigers that roamed his neighbourhood almost as plentifully) there came an unexpected storm. The rain beat down, the thunder crashed and the lightning threatened to blind him. So he did what any sensible prehistoric man would do, and sought refuge in a cave. Not his cave, not even an inhabited cave, but a deep cave that was the result of the erosive properties of a long naturally-diverted underground stream.

It was an unusual cave. To start with he pondered ,ong and hard and wondered what might be unusual about it and then dawn arose inside his head and he realised what it was. No matter how far into the cave he wandered it was still light enough to see by. He went round a sharp corner, and it was still light. In fact, it was so light he would have been able to write a sonnet had he the knowledge, the skill, a pen and some paper with which to do it. But he had none of those. He did, however, pick up a charred stick and scrawled OWONGO WOS ERE in his own variant of cuneiform lettering on smooth section of glowing wall.

Then, “Why is so blasted light?” he asked himself. “Why Owongo see in deep cave?”

Nobody answered, not even himself, but it did cross his mind that the illumination that bathed him seemed to come from the cave walls themselves. This, he decided, most certainly required closer investigation.

And so he established a closer investigation and detected that the walls were covered with a deep moss-like fungus that seemed to emit a light all of its own – and even closer examination revealed that the moss-like fungus appeared to be the home for thousands of tiny worm-like creatures the like of which he’d never seen before, and each one of them was responsible for a tiny amount of light.

“This marvellous!” gasped Owongo to himself, and slowly an extension to the glow-worm illumination of the cave formed in his mind.

Forgetting his hunt for squirrels and excited by what was rattling around in his own head, Owongo gathered as much of the moss with its creature inhabitants and placed it gently into the stone (and sadly leaky) vessel in which he’d brought water for his own refreshment when he got thirsty. Most of the water had leaked out, which had made him curse quietly to himself.

Then he found his way, once the storm wad over, back to his own home and the mostly ugly Mirumda who was waiting for him, her face bathed in one of her more fetching smiles.

“Owongo got light!” he announced, “Owongo no longer piss the bed!”

Then he spread as much of the moss-like fungus as he could on the walls of their own cave, right at the back where it was darkest and where their bedding was waiting for them. Instantly the place was filled with a dim but obvious dark blue glowing light.

Somehow both moss-like fungus and its army of inhabitants thrived and spread widely in the cave and the light it emitted became proportionately brighter as time passed.

“Now we play games at night!” grinned Mirumda, and she reached out and tugged Owongo’s genitals playfully. He grinned back.

“Many, many games,” he whispered. “Ready now?”

© Peter Rogerson 14.09.15