Chapter Six: in which, to much surprise, the Davizes Town Council pull off a viable solution, and we complete this general silliness once and for all.
“You might be right, for once, man,” Briggs gulped as he stood outside the Davizes Town Hall with his senior chief councillor, the mighty Yellowhead. “They seem more like the guardians of the galaxy then just the Guardians of Davizes!”
“Nonsense,” Yellowhead spurted, with his hands on his hips, staring at the great building. “It was but a joke, not that I’m terribly good at them I’ll be the first to admit, but the satire is in ironic overstatement; they believe they’re as powerful as the guardians of the galaxy, but far from it. They’re actually just a bunch of no-hoping conceited and arrogant do-gooders!”
“Oh, it’s just the way the town hall is hovering three foot above the ground with a lime green misty light beaming underneath it, is all,” replied Briggs. If he thought the circular design of the Davizes Town Hall resembled the archetypical flying saucer of 1950s B-movies, he did now it was as he said, hovering a foot off the ground with an eerie lime-green light below it.
“Do not allow their silly tricks to fool you, Briggs,” Yellowhead assured, “they are no more alien than I am Karl Marx.”
The fact a tractor beam had engulfed his superior, and was currently dragging him upwards towards the vast opening doors enlightened Briggs’ suspicion, yet it didn’t worry him any more than he thought it might.
“Do not fear, Briggs, neither attempt a rescue. It’s standard council procedure to apply a tractor-beam and hoist in any suspicious looking strangers,” Yellowhead assured further, “just another extravagant show of false power tripping! They use it to pull in anyone they suspect might be a challenge to their leadership. The devise was first pioneered by Noel Edmonds, off the telly.”
“Really?” Briggs reacted unsurprised, “You, like, sure it was him?”
“Looked like him,” Yellowhead asserted, “yes, same name, and same leftie trimmed grey beard. Even likes telly, put cameras all over town, but the irony is, they used his weapons against him when he signed up as the Labour Party candidate for town council elections, ha-ha!” Then he waved his fist at the building he was being forced up to, and shouted at it, “I’m as tory as you, you flipped out loons! I knew the transfer of obligations from county council to town council would go to your heads; you could’ve given your kids a splashpad, like the folk of Milksham, instead you spend it on this tomfoolery! We will take Pews Bond Wood for this; you’ll see if we don’t! Two hundred new homes for tory voters if you don’t put me down right now!”
The tractor beam continued pulling him inwards to the great doors of the town hall, as they opened to accept him. A second tractor beam pulled Briggs in too, it was rather alarming, he very near dropped his spliff. “Like wow, I’m just like, floating man; pass my meds!”
“Three hundred houses!” Yellowhead threatened, “and, and an English Defence League HQ if you don’t put me down immediately, I’m warning you!”
With the roach resting casually on his chin, Briggs asked a scrawny green alien at the door, “have you, like, got a light, man?” but all the creature did was lower his halberd and inaudibly communicate his order for them to follow him.
“Telepathy!” Yellowhead grumbled, “I ask you, what other clichés do the Guardians have at their disposal? Pathetic showy arrogance!” And then he addressed the alien, “we have telepathy at county council level too. You’re not showing us anything new!”
In a vast futuristic hall, sat around a Perspex table on high back chairs, six giant green alien beings with oversized piercing black oval eyes and even more oversized brains, the veins of which were pulsating. Around the edges of them another six nerdy human beings also sat, wearing patterned cardigans and spectacles with thin chains. In unison the aliens spoke in a deep, haunting tone, “we are the Guardians of the Galaxy!”
“Told you so,” Briggs boasted.
“We’re not!” added one of the human councillors, “we are the few conservatives trying to take over the independents, and we’ll never get there if I fail to insist, we must push on with the meeting!”
A rotund fellow bravely stood up, “I’m only here because I have a non-bias Facebook page with over a thousand likes!” Everyone in the hall ignored him.
“Firstly, I’d like to raise my point once more,” the original human councillor continued, “that they are not the Guardians of anything such, they are the so-say Guardians of Davizes, and nothing more!” This amused Yellowhead. It was the first time he had felt any connection to this place.
“We are the Guardians of the Galaxy!” they bellowed again in unison.
“You are guardians of nothing more than a few trees in the town’s market place,” Yellowhead stated, “you pathetic oaths!”
“Okay,” the aliens confessed, “we were guardians of the galaxy, from a planet where trees are sacred. We came here to save the trees, but we liked it so much, we stayed. Something in the water.”
“Like duh, cow dung!” Briggs giggled.
“Now listen,” Yellowhead sternly addressed the board. “Something is terribly amiss here. Your consistency has transformed into a leftie terrorist love-in festival and I don’t give a hoot what stupid game you think you’re playing, but it needs to stop with immediate effect!”
“Yeah, man,” Briggs added, “I reckon we’re in the wrong dimension!”
A county gent in a flat-cap stood up, “I have an objection, this is not on the agenda!”
Grouplike, the aliens gave great thought, and finally said unto Yellowhead, “your complaint will be put forth for discussion shortly. As I can confirm you are from an alternative dimension, just like independents and lefties, your priority to speak is lower than that of our right-wing residents. If you wish to make a point, you must follow the correct procedure. Fill out a complaint form, send it to your local councillor, who will forget about it for a month, then you must resend until they raise it at the monthly meeting, and the council will decide to take a vote on whether to hear it, then if they do, they take the vote and hear it, then it goes out for discussion. The results are published in the minutes and read at the next monthly meeting. Suggestions on how to solve it are discussed, voted on and discussed again. Then, after coffee, the council raises the point it’s been a while since the original complaint, and wonder if it’s all blown over, which hopefully it would have.”
“We, like, just wanted to know,” Briggs started, “if we’ve entered another dimension, or not, if you knew?”
“We have answered that,” they replied in unison. “and it is confirmed. I shall put the resolution to the issue on the agenda. If you would like to fill out a complaint form, send it to your local councillor, resend until they raise it at the monthly meeting, and the council will decide to take a vote on whether to hear it, then if they do, they take the vote and hear it, then it goes out for discussion. The results are published in the minutes and read at the next monthly meeting. Suggestions on how to solve it are discussed, voted on and discussed. Then, the council raises the point it’s been a while since the original complaint, and wonder if it’s all blown over, which hopefully it would have.”
“For the love of Adolf Hitler!” sighed Yellowhead.
The aliens addressed the flat-cap country gent, “you may say your piece, Alf.”
“Oh, yes your highness,” Alf mumbled under his overgrown moustache. “I propose the building of a six-by-four shed in my back garden.”
“No chance!” interrupted Yellowhead, “as chief county councillor I take presidency over all here, and I say no, that land is, erm, protected, because of a rare breed of newts found there.”
“Yet in your own dimension, councillor Yellowhead,” the aliens retorted, “your council have passed the building contract for over five hundred houses on the very field behind Alf’s premises, precisely where the newts were discovered.”
“Poppycock!” Yellowhead blurted, “it’s the newts we want to protect, it has nothing to do with any such backhander from the building company I’ll receive. How dare you even suggest it! Now, our situation is far more urgent and I demand it takes priority!”
“We have other urgent matters on the agenda,” the aliens claimed. “Gavin wants an extension to his garage, and Mabel is hoping to campaign to clean the areas of interest road signs. Please, we must adhere to the schedule, I have outlined what you must do, do not anger the chair.”
“How can you, like, anger a chair?” Briggs giggled, “call it a pouffe?!”
The rotund man stood up and pleaded before the Guardians, “please, I beg of you, spare my fellow conservative any pain, he know not what he say, he know not what he do. He hasn’t even got a Facebook page.”
“If my point is not heard soon,” Yellowhead demanded, “my head will explode with the influx of leftism bureaucracies, there is only so much utter piffle my mind can take. I say burn Alf’s shed to the ground, Gavin clearly wants an extension to his manhood, and I would smash Mabel in the chops with a filthy area of interest road sign!”
“Then,” the Guardians spoke, “let us pass this notion, so we can move forward.”
“Whatever! Just get on with it.”
“Permission for Alf’s shed is passed. You may build your shed Alf,” the Guardians said.
Alf was grateful and stood down.
“Now, Mr Yellowhead,” they addressed our hero. “I shall call you, as your councillor title means nothing here. Your monkey is correct when it surmised you slipped into another dimension when you fell through a porthole. The idea of inter-dimension tourism is too much for your council to accept, so they disguised them as potholes many years ago. The multiverse is real, hence the obscene number of potholes. We can, and regularly do pass through the portholes, but we cannot send you back through them. Not without the cognisant of the full council, a subject which could take decades following aforementioned procedures.”
“That I don’t doubt!” Yellowhead stated. “Miltshire Council could have closed twelve care homes by now!”
“It’s the interfering conservatives in our council,” the Guardians claimed, “they’ll claim to be doing something about an issue, but if there’s nothing in it for them….”
“Oh, but there is,” Yellowhead affirmed, “to get me off their backs! How they, and you for that matter, let things get so utterly low and leftie is beyond me. Do you realise there is graffiti on the walls of the Corn Exchange?”
“It is not known as that here,” one conservative councillor added.
“No,” informed Briggs, “they call it the Porn Exchange here. Blooming marvellous, spent hours in there the other day.”
“The graffiti is by a top artist known as Banky. His pieces are highly sort after in the art world. He is the only bank the council trust,” the Guardians explained.
“Filth! Get rid of it, paint over it immediately!” Yellowhead demanded.
“We would rather proceed with the process of getting you back to your own dimension,” the aliens sighed, “you don’t fit in here.” It was a hard pill to swallow, to accept you fit in less on your home planet than a bunch of aliens, but Yellowhead was that thick-skinned, and never really watched sci-fi anyway.
“Good,” he stated, “and what do you imbeciles propose to do that, being you said you cannot send us back?”
“Not through dimensions, no,” the aliens replied, “but we can send you back in time, back to the point just before you fell into the porthole. We can send a carrier pigeon to give you a message, a message you yourself will write in your own handwriting, fully convincing your previous self not to enter the pothole. You will have no memory of this ever happening, see?”
Yellowhead thought about it and was shocked not to see any issue with it. In fact, it sounded better than he wished for, not knowing anything about this sick world full of lefties. Even in his own dimension he had some keyboard warrior disciples of Corbyn, and but it was nothing compared to this. “Yes, that sounds, adequate. Briggs will fill in the finer details.”
“I’m, like staying here, man.”
“You most certainly are not, Briggs, will escort me back to our own dimension and through a series of painful electroshock treatments and Morrisey songs on repeat, you will reform back to a conservative attitude and pledge your allegiance to Sir Boris Johnson, and beg that he forgives you for your sins. And you can remove those nipple rings too!”
The rotund fellow waddled forward with a pen and paper. “Write your message to yourself on here. It will be in strict confidence what you chose to write, but you should refrain from explaining why. To provide information about the potholes to your former self could prove disastrous to the space time continuum and implode all known dimensions, including your own. Furthermore, and even more importantly, if you post any news of it on my Facebook page, I’ll ban you outright.”
“Petty Facebook group admins,” Yellowhead laughed in his face. “Give them an inch of responsibility and they think they’re Mark Zuckerberg. Just give me the paper, fatso.” Yellowhead thought for less than two seconds, then scribbled out a message to his former self. He rolled it into a scroll, tittered, and handed it back to the fellow. “Done! Now, how do you alien cretins propose to send us back in time?”
“Via a DeLorean which when it, like, hits 88mph,” Briggs anticipated, “we catch fire and travel through time, I’m hoping.”
“Are you kidding?” the Guardians frowned. “Hitting anything near 58mph on Miltshire roads is taking your life in your own hands! The likelihood of you falling into another porthole and into another dimension is virtually a given thing. We will do it by chanting a scared Guardian verse from ancient times, around the sacred pyramid of Albion Place.”
“Great,” Briggs said, “I’ll be able to smoke my last joint on the way. Care to partake, Yellow, it’ll make you mellow, or at least slightly mellower?”
“Have you completely lost your mind, Briggs?”
Briggs laughed, “I’m not the one with an alien tentacle stuck on my bonce!” Which was true, at least.
“Firstly,” one Guardian continued, reaching out a long tentacle and affixing it onto Yellowhead’s yellow forehead, “you must be implanted with the notion find love for your fellow man, and take heed of all god’s creatures, for they may hold a message for you. This will ensure you notice the pigeon is carrying a message. As a complete ignoramus towards all forms of life, there is a danger you will shoe it away.”
They marched down to Albion Place quite silently. Even Yellowhead was concerned about mind meddling aliens controlling him. He was usually the one controlling everyone else. Suddenly, after only a small chant, Briggs called out, “oh wow, far out! Just like, like, like dreaming, man!”
“Don’t be a dreamer, Briggs,” Yellowhead snarled but was unsure why he said it, “we don’t have a bottomless pit of funding.”
Briggs pulled the van over. The potholes here resembled an asteroid impact zone. “This will save us some pennies,” Yellowhead observed, “something to do other than blasted Zoom meetings. Cut out the middleman, Highways Agency are a hinderance on our budget,” he stated as he gulped Briggs’ Bollinger. “If a job’s worth doing…. Now, get out and spray a yellow circle around that one!”
Briggs got out to paint the circle, despite not be trained. Yellowhead followed suit, to fart. Briggs opened the van’s rear doors and climbed inside to fetch the spray paint canisters. Councillor Nora Fayes popped up from behind some road signs. Briggs jumped out of his skin. “Say anything to Yellowhead and I’ll do you!” she claimed, yielding a hunter’s dagger and pointing at him in a threatening manner. “You, kid,” she added, “are worth so much more than Yellowhead’s plaything. You will go up to the pothole, and you will fall into it, making it look like an accident. Do I make myself perfectly clear?”
“Um, yes, I suppose,” Briggs confirmed, and he stepped out of the van. He looked rather flushed, but Yellowhead failed to notice it. Nora peaked through the gap of the van’s backdoors and startled.
She saw a gull, of all things. It had descended upon Yellowhead and was frantically fluttering around his head. He considered shoeing it off with his arm, when a random and unsolicited thought occurred to him: find love for your fellow man, and take heed of all god’s creatures, for they may hold a message for you.
Yellowhead questioned his own thoughts as he grabbed hold of the gull, mumbled something about leftie snowflakes invading his psyche via telepathy being the final straw, and yelped, “Nora! Where are you when we need you the most?!”
“Gull!” shouted Nora, bursting from the van and taking Yellowhead unsuspectingly. She ran directly at the bird with angry expression of hate and murder.
“Find love for your fellow man,” Yellowhead called, “and take heed of all god’s creatures.” And he pulled off a message attached to the gull’s leg, just in time before Nora pounced on it and bludgeoned it with the dagger. Blood filled her face as she buried it into to the dead bird, feeding off of its meat.
“It’s quite a deep one,” Briggs observed the pothole. “Maybe pop a cone in it?”
“Yes, yes, whatever!” belched Yellowhead, the kerfuffle and also, the fresh air taking effect on his drunkenness. “You are sick, woman!” he said as he ignored her from here on whence, and read the message.
Briggs dropped the cone in the centre of the pothole. It floated for a matter of seconds and then sank out of sight into the muddy puddle. “Oh, it is deep,” he noted.
“Get that cone out of there!” Yellowhead demanded as he retched up pheasant chunks. “We’ve not the cash lying around to lose a cone.”
Briggs hesitated, then attempted to straddle the puddle, but it was too large. His right foot went partly in, and so he naturally extended his left foot outwards into the centre. Next thing Yellowhead noted was Briggs completely disappearing under the water. “For the love of Thatcher!” he moaned. For on the note, it expressly told him, whatever he did he should not enter the pothole, in his own writing. On a footnote it said Briggs was a traitor, a leftie dissident, and should he fall in, not to concern himself too much about it. A further footnote, which was not in his handwriting apologised, for not having a carrier pigeon to hand, therefore they would have to make do with a gull.
Yellowhead pulled his phone from his pocket. “Yes, it’s me,” he reported, “yes, I will fill out the minutes to the last meeting as soon as I get back. Sorry? Yes, on a mission, yes. Look, this is an emergency, I need a new junior councillor sent out, one with some water wings.”
There was a cold silence as Yellowhead listened aghast to his superior. He tutted at Briggs’ stupidity, but supposed he asked for it, his naivety cost him his life out here. It was untamed territory, life was hard. He wasn’t completely inhumane, and he mourned the boy’s death for the best part of ten seconds. “What do you mean, the one I’ve got? He’s an idiot, sir, with all due respect.” He hung up, put the phone back in his pocket.
Briggs appeared from the opposite side of the van, strangely he wore different clothing, tighter and silver coloured.
“Ah, Briggs, good to see you, young fellow!” Yellowhead asserted. “Thought you was a goner for a second. But all’s well that ends well. It feels like some enormous mission has come to a final happy ending, despite all we’ve done is drunk some Bollinger, painted a yellow circle around a pothole and sung some flag-waving anthems. But,” he let out a huge belly-laugh, “what else is there to do in the day in the life of a Miltshire Councillor?!”
And, for this tale it was indeed the end. Yellowhead thought they’d collect their things and venture back to county hall, maybe strap the insane Nora to the roof rack. However, Briggs seemed distraught, he lobbed a flamethrower at Yellowhead, told him to point it at Nora and fire. Then he rushed into the van, took it into a spin, smashing Nora to the ground. He leapt from the van, dowsed it with petrol, lit it and jumped clean out of the blast zone.
Screaming, the silhouette of Nora in the centre of the blast, amidst a bellowing of black smoke could be seen. “Oh, jolly good show, Briggs, you’ve burned Nora alive. Imagine the paperwork now.”
“Blast her!” demanded Briggs as he ran for his life.
Yellowhead knotted his brow, “I think she’s toast, really……” then he stopped in his tracks, as the figure moved sharply towards him from the burning scene. It retained the shape of Councillor Nora Fayes, but was sparkling, like silver under flame. Red lasers appeared from her eyes and scanned the area, like a robot.
“Dear me,” Yellowhead exclaimed, “she was such a do-gooder, I feared she might turn into a leftie. But an ultramodern cyborg sent to kill me from some apocalyptic future, is nearly as bad.” He open-fired the flamethrower, but it barely left a scratch on her metallic body.
“Briggs, have we any nuclear arms at County Hall?” he asked, “could do with a couple.”
“I’m Briggs,” the man said, reaching out his hand as the robot approached them at speed, “but not the Briggs you know! Come with me, if you want to live!”
That’s all folks, I do hope you enjoyed our fictional fable; worked out alright in the end, kind of!
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