Sometimes, days are just plain sailing. Up early(ish), breakfasted, dressed, and out and on with the rest of the day, and in what seems like a flash the day is coming to an end once again.
Most days, it could be said, are generally like that.
Some days, however, are so far removed from the truth, they are, well, unbelievable.
The other morning fits into this category, I would say.
Imagine me, about to set off for my day at large, and within a matter of minutes finding myself hanging on to a door frame just outside of my bathroom, with a complete stranger by the name of Walpole E. Epstein having just opened a black hole.
Imagine the horror of watching one’s toothbrush sucked unceremoniously into a blackened ravine.
Think of the horror as the brand new toilet brush (complete with marble-effect holder) swirled around the room, orbiting the chasm before plunging into the absorbing darkness.
Recoil in terror, as a pair of worn underwear fly passed, just out of reach, only to be snagged on a complete stranger’s shoulder for a second or two, before freeing themselves and lunging into the jaws of a great Universal hole.
Think carefully about the effects such events have on one’s hair; one’s decorum.
“Walpole, what did you do that for?” I shouted, not as politely.
“I dint!” Walpole E. Epstein was telling the truth, in the midst of what could be described as maniacal laughter. I could sense that through his rich American accent, and hardly infectious sniggers, he was being honest. In fact, I couldn’t doubt him now.
The forces coming from the hole were immense. I was gripping on to my door frame for all my life. I no longer cared about my hair, and that is saying something.
In a cruel twist of fate, a tub of Twilight Stealth hair gel ricocheted off my forehead and was lost forever.
“This… this wasn’t meant to happen…” Walpole shouted. The door he was hanging onto was becoming loose at the hinges. “The computer was meant to open the gateway from my side, not this one…”
I don’t know what Walpole said next, as the ornamental shield that I’d had on the wall on the landing clanked its way past us, as it bounced off the walls, floor and ceiling, and followed my other belongings into the gaping hole.
The air being dragged into the black hole was reminiscent of being outside on a very windy day. Never has anything like that been experienced on the landing before; even when all of the windows were open.
Suddenly, the wind stopped.
Walpole and I fell to the floor like discarded rag dolls. I got to my feet, when suddenly I felt a rush of wind again… this time coming from out of the hole, rather than rushing toward it.
Walpole shouted “Get into that room!” and he somehow managed to shove me into the walk-in cabinet beside the bathroom, slamming the door behind me. Outside, it sounded like a storm was taking place. I heard thunder, saw lightning through the edges of the door, and the wind did not let up in the slightest. I could hear Walpole shouting. And then I heard a roar.
Walpole’s computer was still squawking loudly, and then it started to beep. Beep-beep-beeep… beep-beep-beeep… beep-beep-beeep… and then it stopped.
I could hear nothing outside.
No wind, thunder, or anything.
I shouted out to Walpole, but heard nothing back. There was no response.
Cautiously, I opened the cabinet door, and walked out onto the landing. It was a mess. Seaweed, branches, combs, underwear, tubs of inferior hair gel, quality TV sets, remote controls, gloves… everything was scattered everywhere. The floor was sodden, as though a month’s worth of rain had fallen on the landing; and the bathroom… Well, the bathroom… needs a ‘little’ bit of work. Luckily the black hole was no longer there but neither were the brand new scales that I had bought the other week. Towels were everywhere; dripping.
Suddenly another gust of wind blew a piece of card into my hand, distracting me from the bathroom carnage.
I looked down, and saw Walpole’s business card.
I then realised that Walpole was gone.
I picked up the card, and read beneath the initials ‘The American Institute for Metaphysical Studies’, and remembered Ayfumuss. I guessed that Walpole was some kind of research scientist, and had somehow got caught up within one of his experiments.
I started to wonder if Walpole had managed to get himself out of the realm he’d found himself in, or had got himself into further trouble. He’d left me with a bit of a clean-up job, though!
I had one more look around the landing, and saw a slip of paper sticking out from gap between the bathroom door and the frame – luckily it hadn’t come off its hinges! One less task!
The slip of paper was a computer print-out; it reminded me of the old dot matrix till receipts that we used to get from shops of yesteryear. My initial thoughts were that was what the funny beeping was before the silence, the slip being printed from somewhere. Printed on the slip was a message:
“May never see you again. Thanks for your help. Sorry about the mess. Walpole E. Epstein”
So, wherever Walpole has gone to, hopefully he’s getting closer to home – if he’s not there already.
I had to leave the clean up work until later; I was running late and had to go. I’d calmed my hair down, and luckily my clothes weren’t that badly splattered, so I thought I’d get away with it, and finally set off for my day.
At the end of the drive, I usually turn left, but thought, as it had been such an odd morning, I would turn right for a change.
I followed the road until it came to a fork in the road. One narrow path went off to the left, another to the right. On the grass verge was a sign. A really old wooden sign, which, in all honesty, shouldn’t have been there. The pointer to the left was completely broken off, and the one to the right was pointing to a place I couldn’t make out from the car.
I parked up, and walked over to the sign. It read:
“Meringue, 1 Mile”.
As I have never lived near a place called Meringue, nor have I ever heard of such a place, I realised in that instant something had changed. Reality had been altered.
I realised that Walpole E. Epstein had changed the world…