A Game of Stones

By | 25/02/2020

Travelling by train to the past

I head off down the street towards Coventry station, ideas sprouting, flowering in my head. I hit on one idea so GREAT that only capitals can be used to describe it. Once I’m on a train, l’ll sit facing the back and I’ll be going backwards, resetting the direction of time and visiting the past!

No-one is manning the ticket barrier, so there’s no reason why I can’t just stroll through onto the platform. How long will the train be? I decide to intercept it by heading up the railway line to the left, due north.

I walk backwards up the railtrack and yet another GREAT realisation springs to my mind: I myself am not moving – it is the earth which turns under my stationary feet at thousands of miles per hour, which means I’ll reach journey’s end in no time.

The stars

I glance up and notice the stars brightly studding the heavens. They’re like an artist’s palette – red, blue, white, yellow, twinkling away like fairy lights.

Inspiration upon inspiration flash through my mind like sparks from a firework!

The stars aren’t suns at all – they’re just chips of coloured glass, crystals, suspended in the atmosphere.

Birds nest in them. Planes fly past them.

They aren’t light years away at all, it’s a scam. The astronomers are liars.

Summoning a train

A huge noise happens. I turn and look at point blank range into the front of a speeding southbound Inter City express. It is gone as swiftly as it came. The silence is deafening. With the departure of the train and its passengers, my chance to travel back in time is gone.

But I called that train, no one else! I created its passengers, their lives, jobs and families! I, Marc Prospero, have created life!

The Creator

And the full, astonishing truth dawns on me. I am not a creator: I am The Creator! I, Marc Prospero, have created this firmament, these stars, this earth upon which I stand! No longer am I a mere man – I am God!

I gaze open mouthed at my creation, the earth and the stars. It only remains, now, to explore my world and discover what I have made. I do need a vehicle of some sort. A train would be a logical choice. When it arrives I will ride it… and I will explore the stars!

How am I to catch it? I look at the rails, two black lines under the starlight. I’ll stand between them; the vehicle will come and I will ride the airwaves in front of it.

Populate the universe

My vehicle and I will boldly go where no man or woman has ever gone. And women will be there for me and together we will populate the universe. From my throne above I will remove arms from the evil, pour peace on the world, shower deserts with rain, provide wealth to the poor, happiness to the bereft and joy to the grieving.

I stand between the two rails and lift up my hands.

Nothing happens. I realise a simple truth: my vehicle is waiting for me barely yards away at the station. I laugh. How silly of me not to have realised before – what more logical place is there to board any vehicle than its normal embarkation-point! I walk back down the line and get to the station on the northbound side. But there is no vehicle here!

A game of stones

“Oy, you! Get off the track!”

I look up: a man in uniform! I bend, pick up a stone and hurl it fiercely at a point twenty feet to the left of the man’s head. It hits a noticeboard with a resounding clash.

My opponent curses, jumps down onto the southbound track and throws a stone at me. It misses my head by inches. I bend down and scurry along the side of the platform, pick up another stone and hurl it towards him, again aiming to miss.

The man sends a fusillade of stones towards me. I respond with a fusillade of my own. It’s a good game, but I tire of it. I climb onto the platform and hold my hands up in surrender. He shouts incomprehensibly at me as I head for the ticket barrier.

I go through the barrier – straight into the hands of two policemen.

Back in hospital

They easily catch me and fold my arms like human origami, holding me in such a way that struggle is impossible. They neatly slot me into the back of their car and we drive off into the night.

Suddenly realising how very tired I am, I slump like a sack of potatoes. It seems ages until we arrive outside a building I know: Walsgrave Hospital’s Mental Health department. Bone weary, I am taken up to ward G3, where an injection puts me to sleep… but does it?

See u again soon, Marc