06 December 2007
The mystery thickens, curdles and then goes off.
“Is there a doctor in the house?” I repeated to the crowd of stunned faces before me. No-one moved a muscle, until one rather plump woman stood up and pointed a shaking finger at the recently deceased fellow, lying in a pool of his own blood on the stage behind me, a solitary playing card sticking out of his forehead.
“He…he’s DEAD!” she screamed, before swooning into a dead faint.
“Oh butter my balls,” I sighed, as the theatre erupted into a cacophony of cries and gasps, with people running to and fro in a delirious panic, falling over one another in a vain attempt to escape the horror that lay before them. I patiently watched this farce unfold before my eyes, until I decided I’d had quite enough, and attempted to take control of the situation.
“FOR THE LOVE OF COCK,” I bellowed. “WILL YOU ALL PLEASE CALM YOURSELVES DOWN, AND CEASE YOUR BLOODY WAILINGS FOR ONE BASTARD MINUTE, YOU LILY-LIVERED BUNCH OF USELESS TWAT-HOLES!”
There was a shocked silence as everyone froze in mid-panic.
“He can’t talk to us like that, can he?” a solitary voice asked.
“I can, and I shall and I can,” I said. “I am glad I finally have your full and absolute attention. Now, I shall ask again – is there a doctor in the house?” I then noticed a gentleman sporting a stethoscope sitting in the front row, seeminly oblivious to the pandemonium that had erupted around him.
“Excuse me, sir – are you a doctor, by any chance?” I asked. Still he did not respond, until he was gently nudged in the ribs by a lady sat next to him, at which point he seemed to finally realise something was afoot, and removed the stethoscope from his ears.
“Sorry about that,” he apologised. “I was listening to my heartbeat. I’m still very much alive, don’t you know. Wonderful news!”
I began to have serious doubts about this fellow’s medical credentials, but he was all we had, and so I grudgingly beckoned him up to the stage to examine the unfortunate victim of Archie’s brutal card-trick. The doctor clambered onto the stage, checked for a heartbeat using his precious stethoscope, felt the gentleman’s pulse and held a small mirror up to the man’s mouth, tutting and sighing as he did so.
“This man is not at all well,” the doctor said finally. “In fact, I would say he is suffering from a most acute case of not living anymore, or what we doctors like to call ‘being dead’. In short, sir – yes, this man is dead.”
“Speak up!” yelled a voice from the back of the auditorium.
“THIS MAN IS DEAD!” the doctor shouted back, before I could silence him.
“He…he’s dead!” repeated the rotund lady from earlier, having just recovered from her last faint, before swooning back down again seconds later. And so, with crushing, awful inevitability, the whole room exploded into terror-stricken chaos once more. I sighed.
“SILENCE, YOU BLOATED TUBES OF EFFLUENCE! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!!!”
The room fell silent again, indeed, so silent was the silence now silently shrouding the theatre, one could have heard a pin drop.
“Sorry,” mumbled one theatre-goer embarrassedly. “I dropped my pin.”
“Thank you. Now, listen carefully, ladies and gentlemen. There really is no need for alarm, we are – “
“No need for alarm?” cried a gentleman in the front row. “No need for alarm? That chap there is dead!”
“Yes. Yes he is. Thus, you have nothing to fear from him. It is not as if he is going to rise from the dead and feast upon you all now, is it?”
“He…He’s NOT dead!” screamed the fainting woman, pointing frantically behind me.
“Oh, what is it now, you stupid fat sow?” I sighed, exasperated with her continued outbursts. “If you are going to heckle me, you could at least have the decency to be consistent, I mean it is not – “
I was cut-off in the midst of my most excellent rant by someone pawing at my arm like an over-affectionate dog. Half-expecting it to be my useless man-servant, Botter, I swung around, fist clenched, ready to sock the little bastard right in his stupid face.
Imagine my surprise when I turned around to be confronted with none other than the recently late gentleman, looking rather the worse for wear, the playing card still held firm in his skull.
“Frightfully sorry,” said the man. “But I simply must dine on your brains now.”
“Shit-cakes,” I exclaimed.
- Lord Likely
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