I know what you’re thinking. By George, Arbie, where do you come up with such original titles?! They just come to me, you know.
Hilarousnotly I had intended to write yesterday when it was not a Sunday so I’m sure I’d have felt rather bemused. But, Sunday always finds a way. Kinda like nature you know but with more of the elderly driving around. For some reason my phone was desperate to write Linda rather than kinda, and because I believe in divine intervention, it is through me the true god of Sunday has been revealed. Behold, Linda! A pensioner with a headscarf in a Mercedes.
But I’m here to break my silence on where I have been these past two months. I was kidnapped by a lemur.
It began as any lemur encounter begins, with tea and shortbread. It soon turned nasty however when it became clear that one lemur, we’ll call him Gerard (with a long rrrrraaaarrrdddd pronounced in a posh English accent (his real name wasn’t actually Gerard but I have to change it for legal reasons (What? Lemurs have lawyers. (Yeah, surprised me too.))))
Gerard didn’t like the cut of my jib, and so it went that one minute I was enjoying a good brew and the next I was being dragged by ringtails into a hidden area. Now you might imagine the secret garden, and that would have been very welcome, but I’m talking lemur barbarians here. What I would have given for a mystical grove with a swing and a wise unicorn to tell me of future omens. Well, the swing was some type of Transylvanian torture device and the unicorn was drunk and ignoring calls from his sponsor so all he could do was tell me about my past.
“You will be taken against your will…”
“You mean like this?”
“A creature unknown to you will lead you astray…”
“Like right now?”
“You will shuffle uncomfortably under the grip of…”
“Now you’re just describing what’s happening.”
“Yes, I can see into both the past and the present…”
“And the future?”
“It looks very grim for you indeed…”
At this, I saw that Gerard was looking suggestively towards what I can only describe as an iron maiden, but given it’s size it was for badly behaved (and incredibly tiny) feet. They tried though, I have to give them that. By no half measures either, when the foot wouldn’t fit the hand was tested and when the hand wouldn’t fit the damn thing was opened up and just pushed against my face a few times. I gave a couple of convincing ouches and they were satisfied.
The next month was a blur. I know I was fed daily on fruit and vegetables and that I learned to speak rumel, which is a guttural but beautiful language. I had a short romance despite being warned that he was a cad and a bounder. He was, and soon left me for another who had better access to the cantaloupes. It took 48 days to earn my freedom and whether it was lemurshock syndrome or having found myself while there (like all those people who take a gap year and come back as Jesus) I struggled to leave. My granted freedom soon became unwanted but beg as I might Gerard is a tough leader.
As I approached the passageway home my attention was drawn by gentle chanting:
“Rising up, back on the street…
did your time, took your chances…”
I turned to face the pungent odor of rum and well, more rum. The unicorn’s next words were masked by whooping lemurs, their tails swaying with the force of a thousand flung bananas (a phrase best heard in rumel – “yip tor ix anana”
“Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive…”
He swayed slightly. Then it struck me, something about the rhythm he was using, the words bringing back a familiar tune.
“Oh, wait, are you just singing-”
“Its the eye of the lemur
It’s the thrill of the fight-”
“Oh, yeah, okay you are. You’re just changing the words-”
“-up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night-”
“You’re oddly good at this-”
“It’s his karaoke song” a lemur to the left informed me, with urgency so he wouldn’t miss…
“-watching us all with the eyeeeeee
of the lemur!”
The finale sounded amidst cries of triumph and the same lemur to my left murmured, “You know what you need to do.”
“What? What do I need to do?”
The unicorn’s glowing red eyes (come to think of it, maybe he wasn’t a unicorn) fixed upon me.
“Dwell on your past, for it will determine your present.”
“Right, because you can’t tell me my future can you?”
“Your future will be lots of dwelling on your past and your present”
“Well ain’t that some fancy tricks”
Sharp canines, I mean, all it’s teeth looked like canines, grinned back at me. Broken, black and orange. Did I see a glint of gold?
I was home. The lemurs were gone. Gerard was gone. The unicorn that now retelling this I’m not sure ever was a unicorn was gone.
I was still here though.
It’s funny because we’re always told to let go of our past, but maybe the non-unicorn was right. The past should help guide our future, especially our dreams.
If the ghost of Christmas past were to visit me tonight he would take me back to a girl who wanted to be a cat when she grew up, but then a teenager who discovered books weren’t just to learn from or entertain – fiction could heal, and to a young woman who armed with a sock, a spider, death and all his homies decided maybe her parents were right, maybe being a writer was a path to wander down for a bit, because maybe along the way her characters could become a friend to those who need them the same way Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax became to her.
To all those who continue to write despite it all, just because you can, just because you need to, just because there’s a woman with a hammer threatening to break your toes if you don’t – here’s to you! Cheers!
To all those who think they don’t fit in the above category because they don’t write 500 words a day, you’re wrong, you do, you’re just a different kind of writer. I’m that kind of writer. So to you, to us! Cheers!
Merry Christmas Eve everyone, writers, readers, lemurs, and… come to think of it, maybe it was a minotaur.