I went back up to York this weekend for my uncle’s fiftieth birthday. A surprise party had been planned for him with all the caution and guile of a nuclear fallout strategy, and it managed to remain completely unsuspected right until the party-poppin’, curtain-swishing “SURPRISE!” reveal! Following this, barbarian levels of booze, barbeque ribs and Batman cake were consumed for my part, and it was great catching up with family and friends that I’d not seen in a good while due to my being holed up here, writing away.
On my way back to rainy old Leicester, wedged into a salt ‘n’ vinegar flavoured corner of the train, I had a bash at some stream-of-consciousness writing and came up with a strange sort of mini-plot that I’m currently tidying up into something a bit more presentable. While doing this, I also had an idea for expanding the short piece I did for the ‘Ten sentence’ competition’ a couple of weeks back, in which a coastguard and a lighthouse keeper find that the sea has disappeared overnight. I wrote a rough scene of them finding a small canister out in the newly-formed desert that has been left as a ‘thank you gift’ by the aliens that drained our environment of all excess moisture, and contains the only water left in the world.
A slightly disconcerting thing happened while I was in the middle of this brain-spillage. Typing away, eyes closed, I heard the announcement speaker on the train crackle on, and out of it came the words:
Then it fell back into silence.
I suspected briefly that it might have been a message sent directly from my concerned subconscious. Opening my eyes, however, revealed the other passengers engaged in chuckles and giving each other very English ‘I say, that was odd‘ looks.
Sunday Night. 2:30 AM – I am incredibly drunk and relaxed. I am also eating a ham, cheese and ketchup sandwich, as a drunk, relaxed chap is wont to do at such times.
An email appears in my inbox. It is from my ex, and it is the first time I’ve heard anything from her since our break-up last year.
This raises an eyebrow. The other follows suit, to form a symmetry of surprise, as I read the subject title. I proceed to open the email itself, and find myself met with words that would chill the warmth out of anyone’s soul. That no-one would ever expect to hear from a former loved one.
“Here’s your Golden Opportunity to experience the finest online casino in the world today, GoldenCasino!”
Recovering from the horror, I gather myself, snatch up a sandwich, and do a bit of quick internet detective work to discover that this is a virus/spyware thing which sends itself out from people’s contact lists.
To be honest, for a few minutes I wasn’t sure whether or not to just maintain the stoic levels of silence and go on my way. But that’s not me, and I mashed an email together explaining what had happened, how to sort it, and sent it off to her, feeling doubtful towards the GoldenCasino’s cheerful claims that I had, in fact, ‘struck gold!‘.