The journey is nearing its end………..
A teenage girl, wearing rouge, eye liner and a clown’s nose stood on the platform. She was holding a dog lead. With no dog attached. The lead busied itself around the ghoul’s plinth.
She greeted the elderly couple as they left the train. The man was still red faced from his dalliance with a breast and a potential satan whilst the woman bent down and petted the lead saying, “Hello Bobby, you do look well!” They walked toward the station exit with Invisible Bobby dragging its owner along.
The train guard appeared shortly after departing Widdle. He was a tall powerfully built man, his hams in particular were a sight, dressed in an ill-fitting liveried suit. He checked the imaginary ticket of my neighbour and handed it back with a smile.
I decided to hold out an imaginary ticket for inspection.
“Sorry sir, this ticket is no good.”
“Why not?” I asked. I had a real ticket in my pocket and wished I had not been so cocky now. My neighbour rattled his translucent newspaper with purposeful indignation at my fare dodging antics.
“This takes you only as far as Piddle, two stops back. I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay a penalty fare.”
I thought this a bit steep but looking at his stern features and enormous hams I knew there was little point in arguing. But I had an idea………
“Thanks very much sir, here’s your ticket.” The Guard handed me an invisible ticket along with a crisp real ten pound note as change for the two imaginary twenty pound notes I had handed him.
One born every minute I mused.
The Guard moved on and stopped to talk to the knitting woman, still furiously casting off. They spent a few moments in conversation before she held her design up against The Guard’s thick set arms. Perhaps her bogus knitting was for him? The colour certainly suited him. But alas I never found out. It still rankles.
A voice, Ghostly, almost ghastly to the human ear then filled the Carriage. We all turned our heads to see the evil being that uttered these sounds. The voice was accompanied by the sound of heavy chains rattling their miserable tone. A smell of rotting flesh pervaded. The wraith’s voice grew louder as it neared and spelled out its doom laden message, ”Hot drinks…….snacks…….. beverages……….peanuts?”
It was the headless Ghoul from Widdle station, mimicking the act of pushing a heavy trolley. The Ghoul had donned a vivid red waistcoat which bore the title “Andy - Customer Service Assistant.”
My neighbour stopped him, “Tea please Andy, Everything OK?”
“Fine thanks, El Mystico. Running around like a headless chicken this morning.” He went about his business with relish, pouring imaginary liquid into a nonexistent cup, although how he saw, being headless was beyond me.
“Milk and sugar?”
“Be careful it is very hot.”
El Mystico blew into his tea to cool it before taking a sip.
On the Ghoul trundled on, calling out in that beastly voice if anyone else wanted comestibles, the heavy chains scuffing the floor.
My bladder nearly gave out with the excitement, so I traipsed to the toilet in the adjoining carriage. A Charlie Chaplin lookalike doffed his tattered bowler and waddled up to me in that famous comic gait. He offered a cheeky grin before tripping over some invisible object only to be saved by hooking the armrest of a nearby seat with his walking cane. He repeated this several times until it became a tad tiresome.
The toilet was being vacated by a man painted silver, sporting a Tricorn hat and wearing Eighteenth Century costume. I had no idea who he was depicting, but the cubicle reeked of cigarette smoke and he had not flushed his ablutions. I gave him a beady stare as I stepped over the prone Charlie Chaplin and returned to my seat.
The train rumbled through the stations of Tinkledrop, Bladderton and Tapper, where the mother and Invisible, possibly satan, Baby Geoffrey alighted. Andy, the Headless Ghoul Customer Service Assistant adopted a pose on each station platform presumably hoping he could earn a bob or two from passers by.
It was in the Tapper tunnel, now less than five minutes from home that I caught my reflection in the carriage window. My face had rouge and eyeliner roughly applied and cabbage had become stuck between my teeth. Feeling liberated from the strictures of the Oral World, I stood and pretended to climb a rope and then, despite my back injury, aped shuffling along a wall, towards the woman to enquire if she needed help with her luggage again.
“Thank you, most kind,” She said. We smiled at each other revealing the trapped vegetable matter between our teeth. I watched her stow her invisible knitting away.
“That’s coming along nicely.”
“Thank you, most kind.” She failed to tell me for whom the finished garment was intended. It still rankles.
The train pulled into our destination. Mimehead Station.
I walked to the Station car park. I don’t own a car, but in the world of The Mimico all that matters is imagination and a reasonably believable body position.
So, I fired up the Lamborghini and sped off to buy an ice cream from the van, humming Greensleeves as I drove.
There is a reason Mimehead is a silent town. But that tale will be for another day…………………………
I Hope You Enjoyed The Story – here is a musical interlude