Friday, 3 July 2015

The Gauntlet of Solitude

Exclusively presenting a sneak preview of the first of the Retired Colonel novels, a series of professional adventures of a man from the telly when you were little and everything was nicer and less confusing.

'Dash it all, Sanders,' said Retired Colonel bristling his moustache. 'Take a blinking look out the flipping window, man, and tell me when was the last time you saw a brontosaurus at Piccadilly Circus.'

Corporal Sanders looked out of the window as bidden. 'Gosh, sir! I thought we were done with the clean up ops.'

Retired Colonel's brow furrowed darkly. Pensively. Like he was thinking dark thoughts. Serious thoughts. Thoughts about what was at stake. 'Dash it all, man! I am you're commanding officer!'

It seemed like only yesterday that a mysterious traveller in time and space had made all of the dinosaurs go back in time to when dinosaurs were alive, and the Lieutenant had been in on it too. Dash it all! He had been working for them. That traitor. But it was not all over. They had thought it was all over but it wasn't. Retired Colonel's mysterious advisor had scratched his big nose and said he needed to take a beautiful blue jewel back to a planet in space where there were giant spiders on the planet. Their were humans too but the giant spider's were in control, and he really had to take it back.

That was when Johnson went missing.

Yes, missing!

Who could of guessed that he had been eaten by a triceratops!

'Dash it all!' bristled Retired Colonel.

'On my way, sir!' said Sanders, and he said sir really loud.

'Good man,' beamed Retired Colonel, snapping his heels together and bristling his moustache. 'Jolly good show.'

Sanders ran out of the room then.

Meanwhile the dinosaur's were going down Oxford Street. Oxford Street was deserted because the soldiers had acted quickly thanks to the timely decisions of Retired Colonel and they had put up a big sign, one at either end of the street. They put one up by the Virgin Megastore which that week had records by Steeleye Span and the Drifters in the window. The other sign was right up the other end where theres all those shops selling womens knickers and that. The sign said:

There was a triceratops, tyrannosaurus - the mightiest of the dinosaurs - and a pterodactyl was flying overhead snapping its beak with a mighty kklak! They had been left behind. Everyone thought it was over but it wasn't. There was still dinosaurs!

'Dash it all! Retired Colonel winced with inner pain, recalling the great and noble sacrifices he had made for his country. He was a man of honour. Courage. The Queen gave him some medals once. These dinosaurs reminded him of Jonty. Jonty was Retired Colonel's son, but they had never got on. Sometimes Jonty wanted to play with toys and he seemed a bit old for that, and Retired Colonel had been pissed off. He felt bad about it now.

'If only I could talk to my son and explain,' he cried out like a mighty hero for whom the battle may be fought both on the battlefield and within the mind. 'If only!'

But he could not talk to his son. Jonty had fallen into the sea one day when he was playing and they had never seen him again.

'Why!' Retired Colonel cried manly tears. Warrior tears. Tears like an Indian Brave looking at an eagle at sunset and thinking about his people. 'If only I could talk to you. I am so sorry, my dear, dear child!'

But there was no-one there. There was only the dinosaurs. The mighty reptiles of the Jurassic age!

'Mummy, I want to see the dinosaurs!' a little boy cried with excitement. He had a red hat on his head. His mum was keen to just buy the Steeleye Span album, the one with that song All Around My Hat on it, and then she could get the 176 bus back to Penge and make tea for all of them. Her husband worked in a factory making stuff and he would be hungry for his sausage, egg, and chips.

'Oh no,' she said looking at the sign, a bit annoyed at this inconvenience. 'It looks like I will have to wait another day before I buy my album, Tommy.'

Tommy said nothing. He was not there. Tommy had gone. Tommy was the name of her little boy with the hat on. He ran past the sign all excited to see dinosaurs.

The mighty tyrannosaurus roared, hot flecks of spittle dripping from its mighty jaws as it leaned down to gobble Tommy.

'Oh no!' Tommy shouted.

Suddenly there was a crack of gunfire. A single shot. the tyrannosaurus fell back.

'Not on my watch!' barked Retired Colonel, sunlight shining off his moustache. 'I have lost one boy,' - his voice went quiet and he sort of looked down a bit because he was thinking about when Jonty fell into the sea - 'I shall not lose another!'

'You have beaten the dinosaurs, Retired Colonel!' Sanders shouted, saluting and saying sir! 'You have fought them and won!'

Retired Colonel smiled to himself. He had been fighting the dinosaurs, but in a way he had also been fighting the pain inside himself.

It was a good day.

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