by Edgeworth Johnstone
Interrogator, one of the kids Ol Fishers mum babysits out in her barn knows Underling’s her favourite. Nothing of the inner engravings though, other than the sounds they all make clanging against each other when she’s out ringing that bloody thing before, and for some reason, throughout dinner. The other kids are told about its engravings, the parts each play. They’re given dances, sequences to fill their days with by Ol Fishers mum, that’s her, the one to remember. Ol Fishers mum, the dinner lady come Braithwaite, the girl that started at school the only one. An only girl at school would always end up head chef. So Ol’ Fishers mum became Braithwaite when not in the village. Mother of the author and putter of Underling in front of the tree suspended invigilators Shin Detonator brought an end to the Deans run incharge under the soil. That’s all history now. Braithwaites back in the village full time, and the school’s moved on. Full-time Ol Fishers mum busying herself now putting the two labs work first. Before even, her duty as a mother. Edgeworth’ll look after the kids in the dorm ok. He gets initiated out in the field. Your bullied kid takes him out when the others are asleep, and from there on it’s just the spectacle of steaming trains spinning past and ducking bullet splinters from the new decking.
Your bullied kid: “The decking’s all opened up now Edgeworth. There’s a two hour window ta gather supplies before the next shift’ll have to come along and start nailing it all down again.” Ferrying instructions between the big and small science, for example. Everything the inner engraving’s do’s in service of keeping the two sciences apart. Like the schools and the farms, and those little shin deteonators undermining the soil. Because Interrogator hasn’t been told, he’s been chosen to gather information on how small sciences move between school, the school Underling’s at, and the village. A village further out the school grounds than the one the party boat people spend their weekends in, and so unknown to the school, or anyone associated with it. Likewise, the villagers know nothing of the school. Everyone deemed to have ripe enough libidos have been hooked up in their sleep and drained out through the thread, back in shin detonators pots. Villagers don’t know anything about anything. The holes in their arms are just bites from bugs they must think only come out at night. They got used to the idea of inner engravings living inside Ol’ Fishers mums bell, so the bite mark theory isn’t that surprising. No mention of sex can be allowed in the farm or the village. Or the school, if you’re one of the kids living in the village. The sciences of big and small’ll be brought together at the right time, at Ol Fishers mum’s instruction, over the course of theatre plays she producing, where the village can all get their lives back. Apart from Ol Fishers mum, who goes by the name of Braithwaite in the school kitchen, and the owner of the music repair shop. Apart from those two, and now the kids Ol Fishers mum looks after. All the kids, except Interrogator. Interrogator’s kept in the dark, and’s the only kid sitting to the immediate right of Ol Fishers mum, Ol Fishers mum being right handed. The Interrogator’s trying, but’s of no use to Ol Fishers mum. Interrogator’ll be reduced to prompting the stage at this rate. A play without script, he only has to sit there and sop up blood in his shirt for the three small science performances. And for the big science performance, just sit there, and not get any fluid in his shirt at all. His own sweat’s small science enough not to worry about in the eyes of the village.
Ol Fishers mum: “Don’t get any of your sweat in your shirt.”
Dinners last half an hour unless it’s Interrogators crab. Catching the fleeing inner engravings, which shouldn’t be too difficult’s his only job. Interrogator isn’t allowed to eat at dinner. He’s there to catch. Let the engravings, the ones making it past the bell handle, land somewhere they’ll stick on his face, so at least when he’s prompting from down there, on stage, the actors of the big science play’ll have some small science matter to refer too, in the absence of the bleeding horses head they have in the other three.
Ol Fishers mum: “Prompters are never needed in small science plays ‘cos small science has the pollen.”
Interrogator: “What? There’s nothing saying that in Drama class! You weren’t the same Braithwaite teaching us. She said, as there isn’t any intended bloodshed in the big science show, you don’t need a prompter for big science productions. You lied to us!” Bloodshed releases pollen scent, and the villagers’ll have enough of it to deal with in the other three shows. There’ll be enough floating in the air of the fourth to save one more poor horse from having the kids having a go at it.
But Interrogator isn’t there now. He’s running an errand for Ol Fishers mum, mining information out the local station master. The train station nearest the village. The school has the Dean supervising the undersoil world, as the village has the station master sending out the empty carriages at night. His only shifts are at night, after the last trains have cooled down and are waiting for sunrise.
Interrogator: “I can’t smell anything in the foyers tubes anymore.”
Ol Fishers mum: “No one’s asking you to bloody smell anything! Just look out to the tracks, and count the carriages. Quick! The station master’ll be back from the toilet soon. He’s pulling up his zip. These’ll be spinning down the banks soon enough. If you can’t even count em standing still, my dinner bell’ll be ringing till morning, and getting the markers up, and for all we know, getting them back on their normal sleep schedule.”
The markers have been stalking the barn for weeks. Some make it as far as inside Ol Fishers mum’s bell, but to date, none have managed a grab at a single engraving. The engravings get right up in the top, past where their elephantine fingers can scrape at. It’s enough to look around, and just tell me and rest of the barn “Can you count the carriages from anywhere in the station foyer?”
Ol Fisher’s mum’s getting rather tired of Interrogators uselessness. Interrogator’s brother’s been sniffing around in that crutch for a good twenty minutes, and turned out nothing. Sent in, he’s been, with a lot of belief and in much confidence.
Ol Fishers mum: “The foyer, Interrogator. Pay attention to the foyer!”
Interrogator regroups his thoughts, and focuses as he’s told.
Ol Fishers mum, nice and slowly: “How many carriages can you smell?”
Ol Fishers mum watches Interrogator answer without once taking breath. Not through mouth or nose. In preference over a lot of the other barn kids, Ol Fishers mums pecking birds’ll be sent in that station. The kids have known for a while now: Ol Fihers mum’s too old to hold small and big scinces apart. Too old for looking back at her days as Braithwaite, school chef. She’d been at that school a while by the time the undersoil world needed pulling up into Underlings life. “You can’t smell anything without drawing breath.” She tells him. Announcing that he can’t smell anything in the foyers tubes anymore, this to Ol Fishers mum was the Interrogators last definite sacking offence. He’ll have to be pulled apart.
Ol Fishers mum: “Give him to the horses.” She tells his brother. So it is, Interrogator’s now horse food. His brother’ll take his place in the prompters pit. Interrogator’ll return to the village as small science, but not in the play Ol Fishers mum wants him to. Ol Fishers mum wants Interrogator to puff up in the second small science play, with the flowers and the bees. But Interrogator’s brother won’t prompt the actors properly, and’ll puff him out the leads pocket flower in the first. Interrogator, murdered as he is by his own brother’ll sat pretty at the top of the village hall, floated up in the small science breeze of the open barn door, watching his brother shout lines to the audience in frustration of the small science actors ignoring his prompts.
“Interrogator, tomorrow afternoon, you’re putting on four performances for the village.” Ol Fishers mum announced all this to the rest of the barn months ago. Big and small sciences are to be separated no more.
Interrogator: “Governess Fisher, tell us, ” He thinks they’re all just getting the news. “What makes small science pollen behave for you? You think putting on a play’ll bring everything to order? You think them dumb villagers’ll get whiff of unified science in a town hall?”
Ol Fishers mum pulls the station, the one closest to the village, in front of her crowd and stuffs her Interrogators nose, taking some care to angle both nostrils deep in the foyers crutch, and up to where her eggs shoot out the small science scent.
Ol Fishers mum: “Count the carriages hanging round the foyer!” She gives hard orders, this woman, still gripping the back of his head, bending his neck at its base, she has to ya know, if she’s to face him at its ovaries. He has a face like a torch.
Interrogator: “I smell four Governess.”
Ol Fishers mum: “Four carriages?”
Interrogators hair slips out Ol Fishers mum grip and gives him a ricochet shove between the back of his shoulders. The foyers automatic doors shut behind him, keeping out any interferring small science movements in the breeze outdoors.
Ol Fishers mum: “Interrogator Three trains’ll ride past, and what the onlooker cows’ll make of it, won’t be looking to derail’em, or spike the tyres, but if anything to steady the first few back on course. Then wait ya time Ol Fishers mum said till ya see the pecking Underlings dipping their beaks down between the wheels. None of em like being hidden behind Ol Fishers pecking bird, but to be sent scattering around the field in pieces is worse still. Each dips its head for a bit more grass every time a carriage shuttles past. Blowing the winds up its neck, with gaps in the train. Between the carriages against their necks and the small science breezes coming through the windows go straight into the eyes, as if from straight in front with a hand fan and making’em blink daisy eyelashes at The Dean in the soil. Ol Fishers mum can set her clock by em pecking cows as long as the trains run on time. Like they do under the Dean. One cow for a joke, lines up his family in view from behind the pecking Underlings in Ol Fishers dashboard and waits till the member’s completely, Moose & Chairs begins here, hidden. Pecking in metronome unison with Ol Fishers dashboard Underlings. Drive every passenger home, back to brink, on cliff face they all set off. Between each mahogany lined carriage’s a separate room only ticket inspectors know about. You’re not spinning between cows yet. A huge lot, taking Goat Owners begins here, out Ol’ Fishers mums decking. tops of decking wince, pulling their moonlight filled pupils from atmosphere. Small science records drop in pan evaporation in labs under a slope. Ol’ Fishers stash bellows through inner decking, crusts and central magma, to earth warming winter above. first ticket inspector enters first of secret rooms.
First ticket inspector: Tickets please!
Contents: We’re kidnapees already. You told us we’d be skidding around in mud by now. What’s this out window? Nothing but gently passing trees. I thought you said they’d be closer up. They are. But she’s sat much too far away. Go and nestle up by window more. rooms in carriage expand out a couple of miles before they’d be squashing up against door wall. Floors nearly tunnelled through, we’ll have escaped before pecking cows are back in sync with Ol Fishers dashboard bird. If there’s only one, we’ll have to climb out one at a time. You saw no rain did you? Wait till we’ve derailed again onto circle tracks, and then when on an in-sync round, maybe another’ll drop through between wooden sleepers and wait for rest. Ol Fishers mum watches the rain storms like an old woman seeing if the villagers have arrived. A villager falling from the sky won’t know why they got caught up in a gap between the sciences, but’ll find themselves in her hay and cow fields nonetheless. A baby telling the spring’ll know when rains coming. It knows when rains’ll end. It makes a sharp turn on the tracks where the points got carried left in the babies last frost. Frozen villagers all stepping up to the house from the barn’s garden. Nothing under the soil here to pull up. The villagers, weren’t in the garden though. Was just their voices. Ol Fishers mum supposes they came from the cows. A villager talking in the field won’t happen till they’ve be rained down first. The good thing about the villagers round here, is she sees them coming, and hasn’t seen any yet. Looking after the bullied boy doubled her staff in one night. Now, it just ain’t Edgeworth pulling up decking at night. From the clouds a villager’ll see a team of carpenters on the decking. Will look much more likelier story than ol Edgeworth on his own. With the barns roof holding strong, the clouds give no view of the bedroom. The kids in the barn have no view of the decking at night. No one person knows the sleeping times on her son and your bullied kid friend, other than Ol Fishers mum. That’s the way things are to be kept all through scene 1 of the last play. Scene 1’s a call for the exit. The audieces shirts’ll be infectious only as long as it’d take scene 2 to be over. Underling, you hear, get them out early.
Ticket inspector: Why d’ya need to hide from a pranking cow? Ol Fisher don’t even mind, even if cows told him, and he were to believe it. There’s no trouble being immigrant on Ol Fishers farm. He’ll put you all to work. Put y’all in his shed. We’ll be out as you pass over Ol Fishers mums decking. Split in two from hanging their waists with its knees muddied. Both sciences cross from one to the other only when the horses and cows are treated like dogs and cats. It played out in rugger soil and’s results seen in how it changed the scores between the kids playing for the cows and the kids playing for the horses. For a true result, Ol Fishers mum gets rid of the ref and linesmen, pulling up Thread from the school like trip wire pulled out of view instantly by tieing em all on passing inner engravings. The ones missing the bells handle.
First ticket inspector: £20 please.
First ticket inspector: No. £20 each for the playing fields Thread. Who you thinks Ol Fishers mums going to make more Thread from? Making those two communities one took miles uprooted from the soil. Keeping em together’s twice as much a year. Each year turning each spool into the managing organism keeping watch over it all. It won’t be much for you lot to be thrown in and darned out to her barn. You can pay the fare in napthol red dye cos I’m a marker. Not one of them invited in Ol Fishers mums dorm.
Ol Fishers mum: “Just keep it down in your gullet boy!”
Your kid: “No way miss. What, cos you kicked out my bullies, you think I’m keeping this down?”
Ol Fishers mum: “Down and out. Take some inner engravings out, there’s too many coming in, and the days of me holding back when I’m ringing you all in for dinner are over. You’re keeping the news down, and the inner engravings soaked.”
Ol Fishers mum may have looked at widening the base of that bell handle of hers, but when have these kids ever pulled their weight. If any could fashion a decent enough handle out the fence wood, ok, one mightn’t have to be picked to swallow her formula. But kids can’t. A grateful kid can at least keep their food down, at least take a bit of humiliation, so in goes her paper. Your kids taking it.
In this first remark the first ticket inspector gives himself away as one of the diagnosed cows the bullied boy from the dorm window invited in. They’ll break the rules, the markers, to get at those inner engravings. The big science methods catch up with the small science, but the small science’s more nimble, clawing up the bells innards. The twins scream all this out at Ol Fishers mum but she’s too distracted playing Braithwaite in the playing fields. Small science gives any big in its path away to the ground. It won’t just be to pull em down, big don’t know any better. They copy reflections the bullied boy sees in the cows. Some stand out to boys. He’s still on an excited edge from seeing his bullies kicked out, so back he goes, Ol Fishers mum about the fake cows sleeping next to him. Ol Fishers mum pushes a sheet of rolled up newspaper down into his stomach. She tells him to keep it to himself. Not even my son’ll keep the big and small apart, given the chance. This is for you and the cows. There’s no better time you’ll have here, than at night now. It’s just you staring over at your cows sleeping right where that new girl was. The cows brought in some of the ticker tape caught in the grass with them. Everything that comes in this house is like a disease. It gets put on you, has to be noticed by Ol Fishers mum, well not now you’ve got her paper. So like Ol Fishers mum decided, in go the inner engravings. Don’t the tubes into your kids stomach like lemmings they are. All corroded when they come out. Ol Fishers mum plans for a virus in her formula. The cows’ve been carrying loads. The barn has em, inner engravings caught generations and generations back, not even wiped out by the sun. It’s a simple barn and life, but a specimen of everything, and control experiments for every portal where small and big science may skip a bridge, and start jumping over to each other of their own accord, is done. To detail. The ringing of the dinner bell isn’t too hard or soft. The pulling up of the decking every night, who’s blamed now Ol Fishers son’s excused. No, he can’t be pulling up decking all night if he’s working all day. Ol Fishers mum put her formula in him too did she? Ol Fishers mum can’t make Thread out of all these extra inner engravings getting under everyones feet. Buckled, or corroded once they’ve been through the guts of her two new underlings, there everywhere. No one has to be killed for Thread, of the ol cow’ll us the inner engravings. Rather, even the cows in the field. It’s even her cows. Her field. What’s she keeping them all for? For your bullied kid to stroke and feed when he’s lonely. That’s all. Bullies gone, but still looking out for people. We get through to her through the neighbours. She don’t listen to anyone else. No one in her barn. None from the village can get anywhere near the station. It’s not the barn moving away from the village. Not even the two of them moving further apart. It’s the village moving. Just the village. She’s no interest moving the barn way from everything else. It’s only necessary to keep the village, not only from the barn, but from everything. A villager in a carriage is, potentially, a villager spinning through her field. Landing in her hedge. With her inner engravings. She wants to keep the villagers out her property, she can’t have carriages skiddin’ across her fields with villagers spilling out. Trains are for townsfolk only. Now two kids have it, so she did. Edgeworth, and your kid. Ol Fishers mum set of for the teachers in the hills. Inner engravings feel a different ring. A different distance between themselves and the ground. Doesn’t help, even with the slower ring, as by the time they’ve re-thought they flight from the outer tip of the bell to the barn, the base of the handels still the same, so with everything else changing but the handle, their jump does too. Jump one hits the prompter. The time it takes to replan’s the same time between Edgeworth and the kid exchanging bell ringing duty. Jump two lands in the crowd. The inner engravings can’t plan. Jump three has to be for big science, as four performances, all laid out to demonstrate Ol Fishers mums unified theory, can’t unify anything unless there’s at least one of each type of science. By the time they’ve planned for one, it’s back to the other. Jump four’s the pollen scent. Even nearer the ground, their flight into the base of its bell handle at same rate as before Ol Fishers mum leaves. Doesn’t leave many inner engravings making it in the barn, now base of the bell handle’s claiming more, there’s two stomach’s corroding them in the kids stomach acid, one doubts about who’s pulling up the decking, the other thinks he’s a criminal for doing it all behind Ol Fishers mums back. Not many’d try proving it in court, they don’t even shimmy there anymore. The more hungry they both get, the more they find Ol Fishers mums been weaving flesh out the Thread. “Please, take us out to the playing fields.” the rest of the kids plea with Ol Fishers mum. Other than her two clear favourites, at least twenty or so others are just left to sleep off dinner, then sent on their way home. Leaving the barns dangerous until they’re past the furthest point the inner engravings make it to. The roads all dust and ice berg bricks till, where the tarmac survives the corrosion of the inner engravings trails. From above it’s gradient leads Underlings to nose dive to the ground, looking like a deep crevice from any higher than the barns roof. Ol Fishers mums covered, as far out as where the Underlings start thinning out. After the last one, any kid’s sent out alone beyond there. Villagers stay at home. Inner engravings getting endangered. They meet at the top of the bell, deciding not to fly out for a few meals, and work out if one of their three problems might be relatively easily fixed. Finally putting the blame for the decking being pulled up firmly on Ol Fishers mums son. He can’t live without sleep, you reckon? Anyone seen your bullied kid sleep since having the same formula pushed down his neck? No, only twice the amount of decking being pulled up. So we lose a few more on the base of the bell. With twice as much decking shards lying around, we’ll make up for it there. We land at various times, and make sure we all sleep at different times of day. See, this is where the markers went wrong. They all sleep together. We have shift rota surveilance of Ol Fishers mums decking, and reckon there’ll now be two night time supply gatherers and one less cow stroker at work. Won’t go down well with the cows. They like a little grooming in the early hours. I see them getting on a lot better with us this week. The cows and the inner engravings’ll make a solid team.
Your kid: The markers are in the dorm, Miss. They got in. I can’t have you letting more bullies in, sleeping next to me.
Ol Fishers mum’s kind, so she kicks out the cows your kid points out to her. The one leaving for the train’s the only one sent to be a ticket inspector. There needs to be some left sleeping in the bushes if the carriages are to miss them out. Too many imposters from the markers will start their aboriginal training to kick in, and gravitate the flying carriages too close in to the proper bushes, and away from the safe brambles. The markers have this small science understanding from the teachers up in the hills. The markers, even knowing the small sciences dating back to visiting aboriginees, still don’t know as far back as your bullied kid. Ol Fishers mums learning from the kid, but the real cows do too. Like no kid ever asks why there’s new decking every morning. Now the cows know more than the markers on manipulating the small science, they know more how to find the markers, and stop chewing up the brambles the villagers sent them to. The villagers are the only ones missing out on all this teaching, moving Ol Fishers mums house further away from the neighbours. She’s growing an alienated community in and around her dorm, and the only way of the villagers telling, is if the notice their kids getting back from down later and later each day. They won’t notice before their kids notice they’re getting home more and more tired, so as long as not enough of them are getting bullied, it’ll only be the bullied kids that end up learning the pre-aboriginal small science Ol Fishers burial stash need to fit through the gaps in the decking, back up your bullied kids window, and joining forces with the inner engravings to fight back against the poor markers. Your bullied kids and your inner engravings’ll all have the small science knowledge. The carriages flying past’ll pick them all out. All the ones that don’t know. All the victims of the train crash were killed cos they didn’t know the small science. They didn’t see the moonlight in bulging eye’s, the spinning of inner engravings flying past the base of the bell handle. They missed all these things. Rust, can you hear me? You’re all put in charge of training up the inner engravings to flee the markers fingers. You hear me? Ol Fishers mum sounds more like Braithwaite when she gives orders out like she’s back at the school. She never had anything to do with the levitating teachers, so wasn’t any help to the inner engravings, when it came to dodging the base of the dinner bell handle. It’s becoming a more serious problem as time goes on, as the inner engravings remains are crusting outward towards the tip of the bell so much, there ain’t enough space to launch out at the proper angle. More are surviving the collision, but more are colliding, and of those colliding, more are getting stuck. Second generation fliers are eroding the crust back, the ones’ve been through Edgeworths or your bullied kids gut, the ones who for whatever reason find themselves back in the bell. It’s curing itself and growing inside the bell more small science information each time. Dissolved in the gut with the corroded inner engravings is the newspaper. One in Edgeworth and one in your bullied kid. Small science information can, not only work as airborn particles, but share itself less than one morsel at a time. They’re injested passively. The inner engravings inside Ol Fihsers mums bell learn the formula from her notes evaporation. Ol Fishers mum would be put under big science. Small science’s indepedant, it’ll adapt, you’ll see, with more evolution generations behind it to draw on.
Inner decking: Napthol red dye, or maybe I keep looking to moon. Looking to the moon sees nothing napthol. All white. Any markers have a problem with white?
First ticket inspector: You ain’t made enough of this play yet. You got one head, the Underlings mask any blood spilling off stage from the villagers. Moon whites just like any other colour. Not napthol. If you wanna cheat for the inner engravings sake, moon white’ll show up on the paper by the time the parcel’s reached the markers. Cockled paper doesn’t just re-shape, it re-colours. A moon white paper’ll be off white by cockling alone. Moon white’s off-white by dawn even without moisture. If you know what’s good for all of us, you’ ll pay your fare. Moon white isn’t napthol red. Napthol red’s not even blood red, not that the markers up in Ol Fishers mum’s dinner bell know. Too much time hid in the bushes, you forget your aboriginal stuff. You forget blood reds like rubine, not napthol. Pretty pink when it’s spread out over transparent plastic, but dried and crusty’s darker. It’ll look sienna brown alongside napthol. You wanna try paying for a ticket with moon white, you might as well try paying with rubine red, or prick out some blood and try and pass it off as your kids exam paper. Keep your townees in their carriage. Keep your villagers in the village. Every pollutant in the property’s only safe if Ol Fishers mum keeps their laws, the laws of big science. People bashing into each other like particles splitting the raindrops in the storm’ll rain heavy on Ol Fishers mum.
Passenger: You can’t pass anything off as your kids if there still at Ol Fishers mums having their dinner, sick of having to watch these plays to the end, she is. I brought those birds in from school for a reason, you know. It’s too long. The spores are all stale by the time the audience finally get out of here. It’s all running too slow! Fresh spores, fresh small science. It’s got to be alive when the audience leave or nothing’ll spread. It’s your duty Underling, or there’s no point you pulling up anything. The Threads there to be pulled, and you’re sleeping with the audience. Two hours they stay and play. Don’t tell me the engravings aren’t telling the ol girl to keep them there. Weathers money in the village. It’s money in the hills. The markers think they’ve come all this way to catch out the inner engravings. They’re better off smuggling themselves in under the decking and getting the weather chat off the kids in the living room before tea, and taking it back up the hills before Ol Fishers mum lets them out running to their nosey families. They’d make it back to the bushes for bed time before Ol Fishers mum makes it back down to the decking, seeing the kids on their way like she does. She a considerate ol girl Ol Fishers mum. Looks after those kids, she does. Not the cows so much, now their night stroker and feeders been put on decking duty. The cows call for an undersoil community, for the barn.
Ol Fishers mum: “How do you cows know of such a thing?”
Cows: “Small science travels in the air.”
Cows’ll run from a tidal wave, so guess some news from the playing field could’ve hit them. As long as it’s just the cows, it’s all as harmless as telling them they ain’t getting any undersoil nighttime help. No markers are pulling up too many wheels by the trains boot straps. Minding not to ruin her sons burials. Sometimes it’s useful bits for around house, but, this time of year, and with the babies mood not being in season change right now, it’ll be supplies, food rather. Real supplies. Carriage supplies. We’ll have knocked most of panelling at least, back together by time any of trains pull’emselves out Ol Fishers mums brambles. The markers are sleeping in the bushes when, moooo, the first carriage of spring flies past. Mooooo, and another. Who d’ya think planted em cows back there all those years ago? Someone you didn’t think’ll care much for Ol Fishers herd. Mooooo, the third carriage of spring finds the markers asleep in the bushes. Ol Fisher, you sent just the right number of carriages off the tracks. The cows are out eating up all the summer berries. Spring’s come back, when it was only here two seasons ago. The babies been fed wrong, and now autumn won’t happen till the cows are back on the tracks, and kidnapees make up with ticket inspectors. Braithwaite and her exam buddies? pecking bird has an interest in what game follows the kids acting out the two sciences. Ol Fishers mum pulled up the trip wire taking out any officials from biasing what the unified theory naturally lands, but you can’t take out the kids without anyone noticing, till the games over and they’re drinking on the party boat. The balls left on pitch by Ol Fishers mum. Not Braithwaite. In these parts its Ol Fishers mum. Her and Braithwaite won’t be reunited till after the fourth play when any unifiers left can do so without changing anything. The village’ll still be kept separate though. The kids’ll bring their families into the barn, the cows and horses’ll be eachother. Carriages won’t split from their trains no more. Ol Fishers son and your bullied kid’ll just have one on night shift and be able to sleep all day. A kid has to find a tool to use at night. Next doors bunker digger? It was me. It’s me seeing all this, seeing you’re better off sticking something in its path. Three carriages don’t hit any markers if you’re leaving the station at the time of day they’d just be waking up. If it means em seeing our carpentry, there’s not much they can do about it, all tangled up in thorns. Sloshing around pats. Without those bushes, ok, they’d be a good hundred yards further in black, but only if they happen to miss every tree trunk between here and where they’d otherwise roll till. Why give any trunk chance to save em? I stuck that bush at front. Planted it when I was two years old. Here I am, eight, first of five, and Ol’ Fishers mum can’t stop telling on how it’s her idea. Inner engravings already know all about it. She’d always ring till each had made it to the inside top, out the clutches of any marker’d been awake enough to get past the carriages, Ol Fishers mum, and time their jump inside the bell well enough. But when she’s counting, she dings the dinner bell slower and more regular. Whatsmore, she counts out loud when she counts. It’ll be three carriages Edgeworth. Three to keep em sleeping, and the mooing down low enough. Two carriages deep in the forest black. Cows ambling up the decking for weeks, depending on how far their carriage made it without hitting a tree face on. Inner engravings knew, so they’re equal with the markers. Got a bargaining chip at least.
Marker: “My hands won’t get up there. But should they anyway? What’d be left of us if there’d been four carriages.”
Inner engraving: “It’s not us making any decisions. We just recorded the three counts when she rang slowly for dinner. If it were four, you’d be sliced up by the wheels. You know that. But it’s no thanks to us.”
Markers: “We know, but you could’ve taken the credit. We’ll see you later.”
Nothing dropped between the wooden sleepers. So there you have it. How the markers and the inner engravings ended up on good terms. Credit to the markers, seeing opportunities like the cows did making it into the dorm. Was a shot to nothing for the inner engraving, and you might say, there wasn’t much the markers could have done, even if the inner engravings had tried to wriggle out under false pretences, but it’s heartwarming, not only that the markers gave the inner engravings the chance, but that the inner engravings didn’t take it.
Ol’ Fishers mum: ‘Don’t my brambles look lovely dear?’
Me: ‘Sure mum. Well done.’
My shards of train ridden decking, Ol’ Fisher runs along when he can’t find anywhere else to store his winters gatherings. Once, they all did so at same time. There was Ol’ Fisher, clawing away at varnish, having just started, when along came lunchtime express. trains scavenge around at night, sniffing and sniffing till breakfast. ‘Where’s hoard?’ I hear em ask each other. ‘Where’s Ol’ Fisher put his hoard?’ Could have been there earlier, when I saw Ol’ Fisher lifting up third plank from house, between front door and window to living room. That’s where Ol’ Fisher dumped his walnuts, not that train could smell em. They could if they were there, but being busy carting town between Muswell Hill and Highgate, I had time to watch Ol’ Fisher from Ol’ Fisher’s mum’s bedroom window. So that’s where hotpot sauce is. Not that Ol’ Fisher could make it tasty enough to call a sauce, but I know how. I can make a hot pot sauce from walnuts and golden frosty aftershave. Me and other kids, Ol’ Fisher’s mum, and if he joins us, Ol’ Fisher himself’ll be supping on my walnut sauce this and every dinner time, following late-morning’s/ early afternoons I can get to Ol’ Fisher’s hoard before sundown. Ol’ Fisher’s mum, you see, starts making hotpot day before, so train has night to beat me to it.
Until Ol’Fisher’s mum steps off last fence wooden step, thumping her spoon bell, calling time on our Swamp Adventure. Of course, no train really steams in on Swamp Adventure. It’s too cold. Train drivers prefer it in warm. Far too cold for Ol’ Fisher to rally off his rails, and for what? sake of hiding his dinner? Even if it meant never even seeing Ol’ bitch decking again, Ol’ Fishers mum wouldn’t be thumping on Ol’ fence wood, thumping her bell’s all she’s interested in. One bell toll for peckers. But do cows family hear it. Never. Ol Fishers dashboard’as more stood on it than dumb Underlings pays twenty pound to black sheeps of and cow herd’ll stay away from the horse at night. One bell tolls and no blip in peckers rhythm. Two bell tolls and then third has a rhythm of its own. If Ol Fishers mum tolls bell long enough, even these rogue trains can tell she’s locked further into nature than Dean, who’s supposed to be expert. She honed her skills with Damselfish Ol Fisher’s mum left out in playground. One flaps one way, another other. kids all get bored of em in a while, just like Ol fishers mum won’t bother checking under bell every time engravings kids step out of line either. And what about her? For what? For sake of warming serving spoons? No, serving spoons warm up, and soon, enough once dipped in hotpot. She’s good to the dinner. The markers are sleeping out in the bushes. The small science smells kicked out their sleeping noses by the aboriginal teachings. It’s only worth being so hungry when your hunting. A sleeper isn’t hunting. It’s no use being hungry when you’re asleep. Inner engravings work, sleeping or not sleeping. Markers aren’t. Examiners might. Napthol red doesn’t. You want your dye to show up answers, it’s in exam hours or wrong answers. She does it honestly enough, to let us know dinner’s ready. Dinners served up Dean of undersoil. No spring food’s to be found hiding in engravings hotpot. It might be too cold in the grass for you lot, but it’ll never be too wet. Ask the villagers the last time it rained round here. Ask the baby when rains due. It don’t rain here, but the passing trains are wet often enough. The kind of wet you know’ll dry off in two stations. Ol Fishers mum don’t just have the two staff, she’s got that baby as well. The villagers are at bay cos of Ol Fishers mums paranoia of what might turn up in the rain. Two young stomachs and an old head, you’d think could keep a secret. Why don’t she stuff another copy in her hotpot?
Markers: “It’s Ol Fishers mums hotpot!”
Other markers: “You’re waiting out here in bushes, and wait even smelling inner engravings hotpot?”
Marker: “No one told me there was two hotpots on the go. Not two kids out at night now.”
Other markers: “Put their sticks down! Pick yours up, but drive them under the decking properly this time, draw something useful. You’re competing against both those kids. One got bullied. There’s a direct path out Ol Fishers mums barn, and out into the playing fields. Ol Fishers mum allowed, no one else, going between the school playing fields and the barn. Then she goes and stuffs it all down those two boys necks. It won’t last. Braithwaite one day, Ol Fisher’s mum the next. Why’s only she allowed to be the two of them? Cos she’s twins as well? Inner engravings hotpot ain’t gonna smell the same as Ol Fishers mums. Put your end in the dirt, and draw out a picture for each. Can’t be too hard to split these two. If it’s napthol red in the air when inner engravings are letting the steam pass under their cheating fingernails, it’ll show up in the dirt when you move the stick. If it’s Ol Fishers mum, no napthol’ll be caught in her steam. Only if the cheating kids help with the cooking, but if we get the smell drawn out before they arrive home, we’ll know no cheating kids between us and the steam. Napthol reds the picture stroke’ll tell us if inner engravings cooking or Ol Fishers mum.”
Other markers: “What if they’re cooking simultaneously?”
They’ve got nothing. Only information. Ol’ Fisher once tried, back when he was food. Got nothing, without seeing small science. Got nothing’ll stop Ol Fishers burial stash. ‘Hiding to be found.’ Ol’ Fishers mum says, ‘He’s a scurrying Ol’ goat.’ Buried walnuts deep in our hotpot, and who’s to say if it were even winter. Ol’ Fisher’s mum didn’t taste any different, Ol’ Fisher not being much of a chef. But winter, or no winter, it’s a frosty morning, I remember. Ol’ Fishers mum had on her gloves as she smashed her bell, that girls gone. Rattle-tat-tat it goes. I guess is metal one. wooden one sounds like a big dull bonk. Ol’ Fishers mum held him in her arms when he’s a baby, but only ever remembers him stinking of spring. Ol’ Fisher was born in spring. Must have been a frosty spring, Ol’ Fishers mum says. A night of frosty spring. And so there it was, how Ol’ Fishers mum was said to have a baby who’d let weather out in an exam paper. You wanna know the weather, sit the exam. It’s the only part you don’t need the napthol red dye to cheat in. Everyone deserves the weather. Ol Fishers mum keeps churning out the kids at six year intervals to make sure she alway got one at school to tell her what to wear when she steps out on the decking. The inner engravings have to know as well, unless more rust’s made room for. One kid’ll bring the news to the village for sure, but not before dinner. Ol Fishers mum likes getting the news ahead of time. The only reason she bothers feeding the neighbours kids. Getting the news before the rest of the village involves, not only having your kid straight from school first, but keeping the others from their families a couple of hours too. Even the markers in the bushes got the weather before the rest of the village most days, even in their sleep it finds its way in their heads. Some of the aboriginal teaching on sleep absorption comes into play. They get taught more than they think up in the hills. He’d bring on seasons. It’s a frosty spring, every morning, when hotpot arrived. She came out with her metal spoon, scratched off a protective coat along patterned engravings of bells outer design. poisoning bell, it was. Sunk its claws deep in underside of spoon, it did, as I remember. Guests’d compliment Ol’ Fisher’s mum on how hotpot tastes of copper. Enough to make inner patternation of Ol’ Fisher’s mum bell jealous enough to bore through inner copper crust, endure central magma, feel cooling relief of outer inner crust, assuming perspective of inner patternation, and then gliding through upper soil. Stopping, you’d have thought, to enjoy Shin Detonator, since relieved of Dean’s tyrannical rule, but no. Straight past. Straight past Shin Detonator territory, and yes, at last, at base of outer bells engraving. Do they need claw their way up engraving, for a face-to-face? No, those confrontations are for likes of homosapians, neandertharls. Inner bell engraving need only pierce underside of outer engravings toes. Loiter around, encourage oxygen flow from their movements, small science, to base parts of outer engravings skeleton. Encourage em enough, inner engraving’ll flee back down tunnels, who knows? Maybe this time, stop a while, enjoy company of Shin Detonator. If not offended from being skipped first time round. Yes, flee, inner bell engravings can, flee back to inner bell, let outer engraving rust from their bases. You sit pretty in Ol Fishers mums dorm till your bullied kid catches the moon in his new friends eyes. So copper taste made it into our hotpot, no thanks to complacency of outer patternation of Ol’ Fisher’s mums dinner bell. Is it fair though? I heard from Ol’ Fisher, that outer bell engraving isn’t aware of inner patternation’s existence. Who’d be? Who’d bother carving patternation into inside of Ol’ Fisher’s mum’s dinner bell?
‘Can we have some summer please?’ we all ask baby. ‘And what do you think that’ll do to outer patternations rust?’ baby replies. Selfish us. Only thinking of wearing a few fewer layers, when outer engraving’s struggling to keep rust at bay. ‘At least give outer engraving a few more months to stem rust growth.’ pleaded baby. Not that it needed to, we can’t make baby get up some summer. ‘Ok’ we agreed. Selfishly again though, as we said it plenty loud enough for sound to travel out to bell, who was at time, being battered on decking again by Ol’ Fisher’s mum, it being nearly dinner time again. ‘I don’t want to upset kids.’ thought outer engraving, so got to it, with anti-rust work. Flocks of anti-rust were sent down to nether regions of outer engraving, and beat off, they did, much of advancing rust. And would you have it? They did it with same metallic spoon Ol’ Fisher’s mum was using to alert us all to dinner. rust tried a counter attack, and not having any strategy of their own, took a leaf out inner engravings book, and started digging through, first, outer crust, then magma, past Shin Detonator’s warrens, being careful not to ruin any of em, then outer crust, from their perspective, and out to advancing spoon cladden anti-rust warriors. Didn’t do em any good, as only ended up where they started, only more tired from having done all that digging. What to make of soldiers without a mind of their own. All kids, including me, watch the engravings unfold from Ol’ Fisher’s mums bedroom window. Resting on our elbows, we are. Some heads sticking out window so far, we land on the exam cheats decking. One of us, landing on an end of one of the planks Ol’ Fisher pulled up night before, when he hid his latest stash of red ink walnuts, sent it flying up like a rake a small person steps on, who’s so small it isn’t stopped by end of his nose. We all saw its rust, so retreated up with the examiners. It could lead to a much tastier hotpot, if they used food colouring, instead of the dye. The invigilators broke into song. Every word of it from papers they had to submit early. If they put rubine red in, for the cheats, it doesn’t show up well enough when it arrives at the markers. Ol Fisher put napthol in to blend it down. But it’s no use, unless you tell the engravers first. Ol Fisher didn’t listen to this when his mum told him, so the entire cohort lost their marks, and the invigilators had to retire in disgrace. Most of my engraving lines hid inside the bell. If a marker wants his hands on a line, he’ll have to break Ol Fishers mums arm to get his hands on her bell. A month long stake out. Three markers in Ol Fishers mum bushes sat there all night, not knowing dinner rings in the afternoon. Where the markers live, dinners in the middle of the night.
Your bullied kid: “At this play Ol Fisher” he only knows of one, the one the village’ll be at. The last of the four plays. “What rhythm’ll we listen out for the night before.”
Ol Fishers mum: “I’ll ring it slower before the villagers show. It’s not just the one show I have to put on. There’s ones before you’ll be on stage for. Ones without horses heads. Ones with no bleeding, prompter or audience.”
Your bullied kid: “I know miss. It’s three rehearsals then a play.”
Ol Fishers mum: “I’m not talking about rehearsals. There’s no rehearsals! It’s four plays, one’s already happened. The horses head let out the first batch of small science out into the audience. I’ve got three more. You can’t rehearse these things. Or you can, but you needn’t. The only part making any difference is the bleeding horses head, and that’s unrehearsable.” Shut off, they were, from the rest of the village. There’s is a different culture. It’s mostly from aboriginal trends, and the Australian ex-teachers, that had the biggest influence. It wouldn’t have made any difference, but they shut themselves off up in the hills. After two weeks stake out, they only caught her in the afternoon when one of them woke up early. Sleep out of sequence of one another! It has to be done in shifts. You’re all caught up in this togetherness high. You ain’t together when you’re all asleep. Someone has to stay on base.
Marker: “The dinner bells never woke us up! Not in two weeks of stake out! How can that Ol bag ring her bell like that, and not wake us up?”
Ol Fishers Mum: “Dinner! Dinner! My bell’s calling you all in for dinner!”
Markers: “It’s not dinner. It’s afternoon. I’m going back to bed. She won’t give us the newspaper to eat. It’s food or nothing if you ain’t on her staff list. Our aboriginal sides won’t remember in the morning. But staying on base’ll stick.”
Marker: “No, you gotta stay up. Aboriginal teachings aren’t any good outside the hill village. In Ol Fisher territory, the bells for afternoon dinner. Falling asleep, is a teaching back to small science. The village only know the teachings confined to Ol Fishers house, and out in her fields. You’re at square one with the teaching starting in the hills. The markers are only taught what the teachers in the hills know. The markers only know them as the best, as there’s no one in the hills knowing any better. Your bullied kid seems to know from before the hill teachers know. That must have got into the cows if we assume it’s your bullied kid climbing out his dorm at night. If it ain’t, it’s still gonna be a kid from the same dorm. The cows, you reckon, can keep it from Ol Fishers mum? You don’t think she’d tell her son? When’s that night thief sleeping. You reckon every inner engraving clambering up into that dorm stays on Ol Fishers mums gounds. Be nice and simple if they did. The village won’t stay ignorant long.” But they will, ya know. They’ll stay in the dark, and Ol Fishers mum keeps that house of hers, it’s more of a barn, at greater and increasing distance from the rest of the village knowing those tired ol inner engravings spend small science energy flying through, even the ones beating the base of the bell handle, land exhausted on the ground, and’ll be dead long before they can caterpillar as far out her state, way short of any of her neighbours. But what about the neighbours walking closer to hers? What about their pets, or the wild animals? The cows are sent to market. What about them? Ol Fishers mum knows her villagers well enough. But that’s her gap, it is, between big and small science. Inner engravings hold the small science, all those neighbours, animals and farmers are all big science. Ol Fishers mum keeps it all in her barn cos the bridge between small and big science ain’t moving. No neighbour’d think being flung through the air’d kill your energy like being pulled all day to the core of the earth’s not accounting for everything. Small science’d be thought to do it all for you, like gravity can’t pick and choose when it does all the work, can it? It’s to them, she wrote it all down for them, everything in the neighbouring villagers houses of big science. And here it’s left for the Shin Detonator to finally bother walking up to the music shop, get that ol exam paper, and see. Ol Fishers mum, Braithwaite at school she is, Ol Fishers mum keeps the big and small science separate in the villagers exam. What a run around it was keeping the exam papers split on this. But if Ol Fisher had her way really, really got what she wants, you’d move all your kids into her place, all your cows out the the slaughter houses and butchers, have it all under her watch at home. The big and small science are split for as long as Ol Fisher’s having to put up with the markers in the hills, the villagers and then you got that family at school living under the mountain and the Dean. One family there. Not going through all that again, but they got pulled together up out the soil. Ol Fishers mum atleast got them two together, but it’s a long way from having the two sciences brought together under one household. You might have known it, had you not been sleeping all night. Who’s measuring how much energy you’re making back in your sleep? You wake up with more. How much more? How closely has any villager recorded their energy against what they assume gravities doing for them?
For the first time the exam markers let their upbringing slip, and pulled on their trousers. Now we get that ol girl. We go up to her and pull that bell out her hand. The markers got far enough to be up the bells inside and up in the face of the exam cheats. Each engravings shifted up to the top. The markers finger ends are too big to grab them up there, so they have to work out a couple of things. One, are they up there of their own accord, or is Ol Fishers mum bell rattling shaking them up the top involutarily. Two, if their up there because they want to be, how are we gonna shave the ends of our fingers down enough to know when we grab them, if it’s their cheating dye we find, or our own red blood?
Markers: “You don’t think the engravings don’t already know that? You don’t think they hatched this little escape plan all along with Ol Fishers mum?” They think back to your kids pleas at Ol Fishers mum to kick those bullies out the dorm. There’s only one tree round this barn, Ol Fishers mum can’t let villagers see from a distance anything suspicious’ll keep them away from the towns play. Maybe a joint third performance’ll bring the cricket town, the village and school kids and masters together. One each’ll make the joint play the fourth. Underlings have all gotten used to the idea of the village lab having a second beneath in, like the ones under the schools shoreline. Now they might find out for sure, now she’s trusting two of her orphans with the big and small science news. Your bullied kid’s meant to get on with Edgeworth, but they don’t. The myth of em never sleeping came true when the bullies your kid had Ol Fishers mum kick out got replaced but this time, not fancying more shoved down his neck, your kid didn’t say anything. Wasn’t even his to day, as this time it’s Edgeworth. Edgeworth and your kid are sleeping at night.
Edgeworth: “I’m putting on rehearsal now for the second play. Cowhorses’ll do instead of real ones. But your bullied kid, you’ll have to put back the decking from last night. Chairs’ll be brought in from the village. Mum has this idea the village is drifting away, like at sea, bit gone from breathing in the spores of the last show. The village’ve been told eight o’clock and’ll be coming in on the first spinning carriages. It’ll be helpful if we can line up mums horses to get wiped out. Just say you’ll go back to cow stroking and feeding if she wants to save her horses again next time. The play goes ahead. The village arrive. The horse soaks them through and they sleep in the dorms in the beds, on the floors and under the beds. Ol Fishers mum walks in ringing the dinner bell. You soaking villagers are here are you? So you put on the play without me. Ol Fishers mum’s out with the bell now, the inner engravings can’t miss the crusted base of the bell handle in the dark. Not without the markers advice from inside the bell, before they take off. What’d they wanna help them escape for. The fingers grate closer each time. It’s only worth the markers telling the inner engravings anything if the inner engravings’ll take them with them. Now you got something happening close to what Ol Fishers mum put in those digested notes. Markers being big, belong to big science. Engravings to small. Between the two groups, they’d suss it out before Ol Fishers mum big unifying play performances. Four performances, one horse dead at each. That’s three more horses Ol Fishers mum needs to keep out the path of the skidding carriages, and any others in their path. No bullied kid looking after the cows at night, now he’s sleeping through supplies gathering duty, no wonder Ol Fishers mums thinking she saved the wrong kid, your bullied kid. Little runt was some use propping up the cows at night. No, the horses run wild without him.
Ol Fishers mum: “Ding-ding-Dinner, dinner! Dimmer time! Come and have your dinner now, it’s dinner time! I’m ringing the dinner bell now to call you all in for dinner!”
Your bullied kid: “It’s four in the morning you stupid ol bag.”
Ol Fishers mum: “Ring! Ring! It’s dinner time! Dinner time! Be hungry now, it’s time for our dinners!”
You’d think there wasn’t much lost between them to, if you think, the kid hadn’t learned the first thing about small science back then. How come Ol Fishers so kind to your kid? It can’t be your kid waited till the cows were all laid out, even when it was just the first cow, no way did he wait till then to get the pre-aboriginal info on small science. Those bully kids didn’t have as closer eye on yours as they must’ve thought. It could be, your kid was out in the fields at night before. Your kids out stroking and feeding the cows long before the bullies took any notice of him. You say all this like the markers weren’t all awake by then. If their sleeping all day, don’t tell me they’re not up all night. Nothing else’s going on in that field at night. A boy, no matter how small, ain’t going unnoticed climbing out Ol Fishers mums dawn, unless they’re dodging carriages every night. The decking keeps getting pulled up by something. The whole time we’re blaming Ol Fisher, but Ol Fisher doesn’t grass your kid up, maybe he ain’t out there either. Maybe is simply that the carriages are flying every night, and the small science noise’s kept out the villages sleeping ears, so Ol Fisher gets the blame. Consider Ol Fisher being awake all day, and awake gathering supplies at night. If Ol Fishers not sleeping, even the cows and Ol Fishers mum have to sleep, Ol Fisher himself must have the pre-aboriginal small science teachings to draw on. One at a time, it seems everyone in Ol Fishers mum knows more about the small science than the markers from the hills, where the only known teachers are. The villagers don’t even know enough to ask who the teachers are. They’d sleep all day too if they could.
Who’s to say the mother know anything about it. Ol Fisher’s taking all the money from it. The mother ain’t gonna check the inside of her dinner bell every time she rings it. Once the engravings feel the warmth of indoors, they know it’s ok to shimmy back down into position before Ol Fishers’ mum any the wiser. The only way to find out if these engraving boys are honest or not’s, to question them from down here. As far as we’re concerned, silence is giult.
Markers: “Do you get that boys? Silence is guilt!”
Inner engravings listened enough. It’s teamed up with trains, deciding they have a common enemy in kids, and in outer engraving. outer engraving’ll mock trains on deck, but not that they intended to mock em, little do trains know, but only meaning to face up to some of passengers. passengers screaming only in direction of outer engraving, but what’s to make outer engraving think it’s not all aimed at Ol’Fisher’s mum. Or handle indeed, or what’s that thing that clangs in bell. You don’t hear inner engraving moan about clanging of bell itself. Nothing against bell clanger, no hate at old woman. It’s just an excuse, don’t let em make peaceful entry! outer engraving shouts back, ringing in inner engravings. inner engraving’s team’s doubled, it has rust, and rust’s growing. Not a problem for inner engraving’s, rust’s attached itself to skeleton of outer engraving, so can it be trusted? inner engraving’s split. Inner engraving didn’t leave home, so guess anything outdoors’ll attack. They’ve left home now, dropped out on end of bell clanger. ‘Get inside now! It’s dinner!’ What’ll fallen inner engraving make of orders now? They can hear em for once. There’s something they can hear that has a language, and nothing to keep em stranded on sand, only a few steps to fence wood steps, leading up to house. They can sit there for a while, and remember their brothers still at home. Could almost look up right now and see em. They’ve never left home, don’t trust the views from the top of Ol Fishers mums bell. It’s gone, most of which is born after they got infected. All most of rust knows, is life inside outer engraving. engravings have enough trouble keeping their kids from playing near to where Ol Fishers mum can see em. dropped inner engraving only sees now, and what’s more, they know inner engraving ain’t gonna still hide in bell, won’t be aware of this at all. Their poor brothers, now in kitchen with Ol’Fisher’s mum. A quick stroll up steps, and back inside innards of dinner bell’ll put it right. Or would put this right, had they not all overbaked in sun. A few dropping from ringing following day’ll blow under porch in time. It’s windier tomorrow. Today’s are first, but trap won’t spring twice. A windy cooler day’ll give a few crumbs of inner engraving a chance to at least sit out in cool of night, before entering house. Being witness to train robbing Ol’Fisher’s sons walnuts won’t hurt either. These inner engravings are about to get quite an education, a real Swamp Adventure if they make it out house afterwards, and into clothing of kids. Some inner engraving yet to be smacked out of position’ll be those with no experience of being away. It’ll be better for em to bake in sun. Dislodging em enough, and knowing weather day after, make sure they get knocked out on a day they don’t stand a chance in, might need some befriending of baby. inner engraving saw baby bring out last two seasons, so let’s say we just want one day of summer for tomorrow. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, considering how long this babies being breastfed every day. A well travelled inner engraving can dislodge at any moment. If some happen to survive, they’ll play along. If they don’t, we’ve got enough anyway. The markers heads are bouncing off their chests like helium balloons and you’re telling me it’s only the old that never learn. What are they? Late twenties? It caught up with the Dean at school, it’ll catch up with them too. Too many classes missed. Not even without any disguise, Ol Fishers mum and Braithwaite stay separate in every markers theory on what’s wrong with the barn, and what the school should be doing. Might be easier to dislodge lot all on same day. Make men of ones’ll make a dash for it. Who knows? Some’ll make it under decking. project starts, rust rusts onto itself, dropping crumbs of its own inside outer engravings veins. Rust in blood better be kept away from hotpot. Rust in blood moves back in to inner engravings quarters, and makes short work of first lines of defence. Let’s assume rust’ll stay loyal to inner engraving, despite making home in outer engravings bottom. After all, they’re there for a reason, put there to punish outer engraving. If anything, this section of inner engraving would have rust living inside its own bell, but slowly making their way up outer engraving’s bodies, are more trustworthy and loyal than local inner engraving living on their own doorstep. Not doorstep of Ol’Fisher’s mum. She won’t have fence wood calling itself a step. A step was what they had in New York, when she was a kid. Muswell Hill has fence wood. ‘Go out play on fence wood’ she tells us, rotten Ol’ bag. Inner engravings all push up the top of the bells inner bowl, eroding a small escape dot in its peak. The small science pressure builds with every scream of the markers. One shoots out, only to slam flat into the base of the bells handle, as Ol Fishers mum happened to be holding it straight down by her leg at the time. Another shoots out as she’s waving the bell overhead, shifting the base far and fast enough to move out the way of the second inner engravings path. This inner engraving lands on the decking. The bells innards has plenty of inner engravings to spare. Enough for, over the years, a colonising population of first generation inner engravings to land on deck, and even some survivors of the base of the bell handle to crawl along the grass, and clamber their way up to their new neighbourhood. Inner engravings reproduce at a faster rate than Ol Fishers burials, so soon leave few plots for Ol Fisher to prepare his hoard for next summer. Yes, we put on the play without you mother. Get these soaking villagers a dish rag, and your horses. They all got killed last night. You need to send your bullied kid out to be with the cows now. He’s no use to me, pulling up decking all night. We sleep all day. The trains pull it up just as ordered as I do. Mother, you need to give me the nights off. The stomach bacteria of Ol Fisher has a stark choice. Cannabalism or adaptation. Adaptation involves cannabalism in its initial stages, so cannabalism it is. The stomach decides to wait and see if anything adapts, as even adapting on purpose doesn’t tell it what it needs to cannabalise. Could have done with some pecking birds at school Underling. One peck gets a shallow root, but that water tipper’ll last all day. A Thread a day’d take out an undersoil community in one school term. A village’ll be down in a week. The shops’d be a mud bath.
Ol Fisher: My stomach’s honed for innner engravings now, so I needn’t scurry round the garden no more.” He calls the woods his garden. The Afro Twins screamed at her they did. Voices fall under small science, but mouths under big. Will that count as a bridge between the two? No, but’s enough to make them her. Three of her, for Ol Fishers mum, counting the twins as one, and three staff, not counting the news she stuffed down them as small science beings in their own right. Too much for Ol Fishers mum to sort out their sleeping times though. She trusts your bullied kid to keep one of the six awake at all times. Makes the markers look even worse. Four of them, there are, all out there snoozing together like puppies. Would’ve worked out quicker for them to have been sleeping in the brambles after all.
Ol Fisher: “ It’s enough for me to sit pretty eating mums dinner, son long as she still rings that bell of hers, and keeps shooting out inner engravings for me to stash away in my tuck shop. You wanna know how inner engravings get so good at shimmying up the inside of my bell, look at how many years they’ve been doing it from the rust. I kept those boys hidden and in training, and you wonder how, in the playing fields, I as Braithwaite knew better than to leave the exam prep to the teachers. I mixed in with them, like I’m teaching the kids of the villagers. I’ll be my own undoing one day. Too good ta survive me own barn.”
All well and good, for as long as the markers are still finding their way inside the bell to give the inner engravings what for. But a period of clumsy over-sleeping, could see Ol Fishers supplies dwindle sharply, should his burials suffer from the strength of aboriginal teaching the markers may be getting up in the hills, that time of year.
It wasn’t long after I turned two, Ol’ Fisher asked if I’d flavour mum’s lunches a bit. He got creeps, it tasted so bland. It’s not good for your head, all this health food. ‘Put some goat meat in.’ he asked. So I did, but what seeps out of goats, under watch of Horse Prefect’s not what comes out elsewhere. ‘You got me tapping like those kids at school.’ I didn’t know what school was. First time they sent me, I thought it was just for day. They thought it was funny, how I seemed alright about it at first. ‘Come on, you got to go to school today.’ ‘No mum, I went yesterday.’ ‘No, you’ve got to go everyday.’ So it was day two, I remember, when my brother sent me out for goats. ‘I can’t go to school, I’ve got goats to slay.’ My brother took over, and sent mum up to bed. ‘Just go out and kill what you can between here and school.’ A two year old isn’t going to come across anything on way to school, but what d’ya know, I’m halfway along our playing fields, under bridge, where public are allowed, and this young girls knelt by water. An inner engravings, she is. Young girl, you’re prettier than the fields. Young inner engraving, you weren’t under Horse Prefect, so I wasn’t to know this goat had goat tap.
Young girl: “Have you come to shovell me up for Ol Fisher’s breakfast.”
Me: “Yes, but I’m not going to. You’re so beautiful.”
Young girl: “I’m only the same as the other inner engravings shooting out the tip of Ol Fishers mum bell.”
Me: “Are you one of the ones that got hit by the base of the bell handle?”
Young girl: “A little bit. I was grazed. She was ringing, but it was one of those counting rings. She goes too slow when she’s counting.”
Me: “She shouldn’t have been counting, if it’s after the markers were invading the bells innards. Why’s she counting, if it’s not to gage how many carriages we need to fly past?”
Young girl: “She got the habit of it. You see those batsmen, replaying their final shots? Ol Fishers mum, never sure three was necessary. Could have saved some mooing, had two been enough to rouse the markers.”
Diseased goat, I fed my brother, mum, and come to think of it, that girls arms reach too far down below water. But Underling put something in. Goat Tap with walnuts, in golden aftershave, with mums hotpot, my brother got better in no time. She’s prising open route to Deans cells. girls fingers held there by Damselfish, they needed her knelt down anyway to reach that low. Silence is guilt in these parts Damselfish. Got nothing to do with her legs being tired, though they were. Don’t your parents look out for you? She’s been looking out over waters surface, and sees crickets boats, reef animals paddling round in a circle. girls keeping track of any jumping out of line when one their friends gives out and sinks to lakes meat reef. It’s your skip forward horse that caused your partner to lose its footing, so you go to back. Ol Fishers mum liked taste, and didn’t notice tap, as she dances everywhere anyway. inner and outer engravings lost out most. She was clanging plenty harder with Goat Tap in her blood. Up climbs Dean.
“You heard my rhythm for that bell of yours did ya? Turn it off. Turn back cows, and either pull em out mud or ship em out to slaughter.” No inner engravings budge much, regardless of what cows ask ‘em to do. man running through forest set a bad example for inner engravings kids. They’ve always been told to stay put, and not budge around much, or Ol Fishers mum’d see scratches she’s been leaving weren’t all of her own making. At least, she didn’t have full control over em. So seeing him run amok, hopping over logs, does nothing for parents. kids see him, he’s a chastity man. They took his belt of years ago, but he’s no memory of it. They had to pin him down with a tranquiliser, and when he got up, went straight back into rage he’s running around in before. anesthetists didn’t hang around for him to wake up, and being a recluse, nothing happening to him would make any difference to vote anyway. Markers didn’t get the vote being from up the hill. Chastity men don’t look down after a while. They don’t even engage with their muscles, nerve and skin after a point. They can shift their entire consciousness outside, into their view. They can tie everything up in what they’re looking at. After a while, they don’t have a choice. If they don’t have memory, and their eyes are shut after tranquiliser hits, they don’t know their belts been taken off. They just know sky, Underlings, trees and clouds. Wolves and streams, they’re no better role for kids without belt on. parents are paranoid anyway. Ol Fishers mum doesn’t even look at scratches anymore. She’s too used to her son obeying everything to fret about what engravings and their families are doing. kids of engravings though, don’t face same from kids of Ol Fishers mum. Those kids know engravings kids and their families. So as long as kids of engravings don’t sabotage any families, going back on their parents, and ask kids of Ol Fishers mums son to grass em up to Ol Fishers mum, then Ol Fishers mum ain’t gonna find out about any unauthorised movements of engravings hiding on inside her dinner bell.
Ol Fishers mum: “Slaughters done in town hall. You think I’d waste cash at market? There’s stage! Set up, waiting, for a bloody village? You come this month, see small science put to use.”
Dean: “There’s nothing about any monthly town show. You made all this on its way into Thread? That’s Braithwaite. In with everyone, even back to when our music stores in safe hands. Safe hands of exam cheats!”
Ol Fishers mum: “You overrate that woman. See her in the town hall, this month. She her with the village, and yes, the whole village’ll be there. She’s filling in exams for cheating engraving masters, who don’t even know the leave the engravings to pattern themselves. Who don’t know that? You’ve got a town hall full of cheating exam engravers, carving what into the paper? Answers? Might as well be. Pour the right colour ink over the page when the invigilators not looking, and re-dye it black before they stroll the corridors collecting them all in. You want a good job in the village, you need to listen here. Red, the invigilators can’t see red. Pour your red ink over the engraved exam paper when invigilators gone for her tea, overwrite it in black once it’s dry enough. Wipe off the red and stick it in your sock. Exam paper doesn’t cockle till it’s in the brown paper pack on its way to the markers, and by the time it gets there, everything’s cockled anyway. Postmen in the village cockle everything. Braithwaite won’t. Come and see your dancing horses, dancing with heads on sticks in their hands. Come and see why abattoir don’t take livestock from villagers anymore.” Another of your neighbours kids starts sharing out Ol Fishers mums dinner with the cows. The rest of the village sends them out after the markers, thinking they’re sleeping in the bramble bushes, but Ol Fishers mum just said ‘bushes’. If she means bramble bushes, she says ‘bramble bushes’. Ya can hear em in the regular ones if you bother to listen. The locals just see bramble as meaning bushes, so send the cows out to chew at the brambles. If anything, only softening the markers noises. Only help them hiding further. The cows are chewing but ain’t gonna swallow brambles, so your kid starts calling em over to the dormitory window with savings from Ol Fishers mums dinner. He flutters it out the window like ticker tape onto the grass, so the kids behind him start bullying him. The bullies don’t think, them being newer to the dorm’ll count against them, but they’re wrong. Your kids grasses them up to Ol Fishers mum.
Your kids: “D’ya remember the name of that new girl, that sleeps where the old girl did when she left?”
Ol Fishers mum: “I know her name. Why?’
Your kid: ‘“The kids are bullying me when I throw food out to the cows.’
That was those kids gone. Ol Fishers mum doesn’t like the look of her food, now it all looks like ticker tape, but won’t stand for bullying in her dorm. Your kids got an empty bed beside him, and Ol Fishers mum won’t notice if he invites one of the cows in to keep anymore of the bullies friends out his life.
Your kid: ‘Why d’ya eyes bulge and shine so much at night?’
Cow: ‘cos i’m lying on my side, and the moon. I can stare in your eyes like a baby. Babies reflections go whiter in bed.’
Your kid: ‘I think it’s the neighbours, not letting you eat where you want. Inside a Thread in these parts, there’s no corridors to wander down. Just ticker tape in the grass. No menus or Afro twins making a fight. I’d only fight, if I were one of you. Only hold Ol Fishers mums stash under the decking till the masters were awake and out the way. They couldn’t see it, the exam cheats. Nothing under the decking makes it from Rubine to Napthol red. The two kids are out before dawn stashing it away. The trees above, they fall from, bud them out like canons. It’s no drooping for weeks. It’s straight out and down before their predeators get them. The kids burials explode once the deckings up in the sun. Then you’ll see the reds darken and the fruit wither before anyone eats it. Ol Fishers mum put the labs under the burials, you know what, cos the fruit above’ll wither and fall on the labs roofs. Carriages can fly every night with staff using it to protect her precious labs. But even one crash a generation’ll take out the lab ceiling, with the carriages getting under the decking on their own. There’s labs under labs in the shores of the school playing field. I don’t know, maybe there’s labs under the lab under the decking in Ol Fishers mums barn. The top ones for small science. You’d think, if there were another, it’d be for big science, but Ol Fishers mum’s part of the big as it is. She’s always seen the particles pushing every angle.
So your kid calls in all the other cows, and they all line up, lying in bed. Their eyes all look the same. Chewed up brambles collect on the floor, not a marker chewed up with them, still sharp enough to carve more inner engravings into the dorm. Meeting like two species of human, one with jewellery and one from the freezing mountains. They too initially just stare at reflections, they look like little rats, in each others bulging eyes and stab out at co-existence. Over the next two years, they’re assumed to interbreed, of course they did, so inner engravings flying into windows from Ol Fishers mums bell at dinner time’s not the same as the inner engravings that feel safe enough to crawl back over the decking, skip over Ol Fishers burials, and back inside the bell. There they all still reckon gravity’ll come back and help them out. More’s gone on since then. It ain’t so hard anymore, climbing up that dark interior, away from markers stumpy fingers. Markers don’t stand a chance anymore. You don’t move big science physical evolution much in your sleep. Your big science’s like a big dril. Only bed down your mental evolution into your muscle memory, and learn, what Ol Fisher wrote in her exam paper, how to grab each engraving from working out which of the pack hasn’t been out yet, and returned, from Ol Fishers mums dorm, and grown these claws of theirs. So there she is, with it all tied up. Inner engravings shattered from the start. Landed finished. Ringing that bell only brings more soldiers inside. More for Ol Fishers mum against the village. The village’ll soon be over, and spun into Thread. She never told you why she left. Just upped and off. The barn’s left cold after dinner. No one around. No space for anymore formula notes. It’s a horse trodden graveyard. Cows and horses mate when the bullied kids sleeping under the parts of decking the passing carriages haven’t pulled up. Ol Fishers mum figures both species are big enough to belong to big science, which they do but how much of a cow’s really cow? Horses parasites crossbreed with cows into village specific horsecows. Horsecows outside the village don’t cross any bridges between the sciences, but villages ones have the suspicions the villagers have. Ol Fisher made em keep looking at that lone tree of hers, and now it’s got into the pets. The cats and dogs suspicious cross breeds don’t get far, cats and dogs being so small and almost the same size. Ol Fishers mum didn’t give Edgeworth any time off, she weren’t sending your bullied kid out in the field either. Ol Fishers mum knows her son lined up them horses like tenpins. Ticket inspectors all work for her. The Threads go back from before her first exam paper, who at that school’ll lace the soil with Thread she knows Underling’ll pull up from the ground in front of the birds seeing everything in mirror. Birds see Underling pulling up thread in the field, They see themselves nosediving through barn roofs and scuppering plays Ol Fishers mum put on just to see the opening scene, and bring its crescendo forward so the audience leave the room with small science in their clothes fresher than it’d be waiting for the encore to finish. A horse put with a cow has abnormalities beyond and cat and dog problems. Village ones especially. Ol Fishers mums been pretty good at keeping the village out the same pool as her barn, but there won’t be much time to join the two sciences at the school play, she’ll have to make it a school one to get everyone else to attend. No, there’s no time to bring both together, if she’s using crossbred horses in the play. The small science’ll be in the leaking blood. Over the prompter and soaking up the audiences shirts. They’ll be sniffing Ol Fishers mums formula through their noses. Even Ol Fishers mum wouldn’t stuff her newspaper formula down the noses of her son or your bullied kid. A sinus bit to run down’ll leave a trail like the inner engravings trying to make their way up the brick iceberg road, starting nose-diving, this time real nose-diving Underling down at the audiences noses before the small science’s threaded its way round the warrens in the audiences faces and safely down corroded into electrical outages in their stomach acid. The acid won’t touch the small science of any face with a diving Underling sticking out of it. Ol Fishers mum cuts out any arteries in the faces of queuing attendees at each of the three remaining plays. Can’t afford any squirters if the Underling break through the roofs. Ticket inspectors push the tipped carriages doors up to the birds, give them something without a gradient to aim at. Several nosedive safely at the chairs and are taken in as pets by passengers. They come with you know, ticket inspectors. The first ticket inspector kicks open the kids bedroom door, throws in one of the passengers carrying a nose diving bird. “There any kids?” “No, their out, you don’t have to ask, the birds were hurtling down at them minutes ago. Ol Fishers mum don’t leave any in at home time.” Her bells sat there on the pillow the kids all share. You know, if take that bell, you take out the whole barn. Everything here happens through the ringing of Ol Fishers mums bell. Only she’s ever rung it. The ticket inspectors steam up red. “The Threads made it over, into the barn.” Nothing makes it from the playing fields without being watched over by the mountain. The division line between the school and the barns crossed, once your high enough to see over the slip road Underlings never made it past. He thought he did, when he took the Afro Twins out the grips of the neighbours cats, but those neighbours weren’t villagers. Past the provincials, up in the hills. There has to be a route to the music repair shop from somewhere other than the cricket party boat people. A separate set of people never crossing with the schools locals. Braithwaite wouldn’t keep anyone from talking, living so near the undersoil and dinner ladies. The hills are enough of a buffer to keep generations out. Only one point of connection between the two, a music repair shop the barn can stay in touch with, and never venture any further. Braithwaite becomes Ol Fishers mum midway home after passing the markers community, so its Ol Fishers mum by the time she’s told the aboriginal teachers what the markers’ll be learning that day. Something of a control freak, Ol Fishers mum. Covering over ten miles a day between school kitchens, ten miles, to the music repair shop, ten miles up the hills to the markers community, ten miles to the barn, ten miles and ever increasing from the drifting village she’s protecting the barn from. Ol Fishers mum walks a hundred miles a day. The ticket inspectors missed the bell, so Ol Fishers mum’ll keep them all synchronised ringing it in order. The inner engravings learn to push the rust out as Ol Fishers mum does the same to the villagers. Hotel Braithwaite keeps that zombied girl, the one you never told us about, the one villager Ol Fishers mum brought out to school. Put a hat on her if the ticket inspectors show up. She ducks her head on her own now, but Ol Fishers mum took inner engravings when she booked the poor girl in, stuck em on the ceiling and left her there at reception.
Ol Fishers mum: “Get that theatre show rolled out!”