It was nearly dawn. Perhaps the dawn of time even. Who knows, but something very strange was about to happen. As usual around this time on this very wintry morning the Lord and Lady of the Dark Night, Sir George and Lady Doris had been out partying .They’d had a late one and perhaps a bit too much to drink and were looking forward to a good days sleep tucked up all cosy in their duvet. In their bedroom a huge log fire was burning in the hearth and a wonderful
orange glow filled the room. Outside, the snow was falling and ice was painting a filigree of frost upon their window panes. Warming themselves by the fire they slipped out of their party clothes and into their winsiette nighties and bed caps and poured themselves a nice cup of hot chocolate from the steaming kettle that sang upon the hob. George took his false teeth out and stuck them in a jar by the bed and Doris dunked a couple of Digestives into her hot choccy and slurped it from the saucer. Then, after they’d knelt down by the bed to say their prayers and to remember their loved ones and to say thankyou
for all the blessings bestowed upon them, they opened up the curtains and with a mighty yawn, blew a draught of sleep way out across the universe. Very, very gradually all the stars began to yawn too and drifted dreamily off to sleep as one by one they pulled their curtains to, ceased their shining and closed their tired eyes.
Meanwhile old mother sunshine, Edie to her friends, but more properly known as the Goddess of light M.A., and just recently Kegworth citizen of the month, woke up. Invigorated by a wonderful long nights sleep she roused herself from her slumber and made a cuppa tea before she began her first task of her day; donning her old pinney and dipping her favourite brush into the paints upon her palette she began painting in the colours of the seas and skies ,the rivers and the forests, the meadows and the trees. Dawn was breaking and as the first rays of light lit up the land, all the birds and beasts of planet earth blinked sleep from their tired eyes and set about getting up. The cows mooed inside the stall and the sheep baaed and nudged hungry faces into the straw inside the manger. The badger , snug inside his cosy sett ,coaxed flames back into his dozing fire and put the kettle on. Hare crept warily from his lair and sniffed the air for sign of man or dog. Rabbit, who’d got up earlier than most had already had his breakfast and wandered lazily down towards the river. There beneath the waving fronds of the mighty weeping willow he dipped his nose into the water and took a long refreshing drink. All along the river bank in their narrow boats and barges, mankind, snug inside their beds and warmed by their little log burners slept on and dozed and dreamed and yawned away the hours late into the morning.
Meanwhile, God had got up early too and was nipping down the tow path to his local Co-op to get his paper and have his first fag of the day. He looked a fine sight in his swell new jogging bottoms tied rather deftly at the waist and a very yellow pully with reindeer on, that Edie had knitted him. In his rebel motorcycle jacket and with his long grey hair tucked beneath his bandana and his long grey flowing beard fanning out before him he cut a dashing figure. However as he ambled amiably along, his gaze was suddenly drawn across the river to a huge, shiney obelisk sticking up out of the meadow and humming very unpleasantly. He’d seen Space Odyssey 2001 only last week at Doris and George’s video club and was well aware of the relevance and intention of such a malevolent thing. If you remember, when the first obelisk appeared all the apes suddenly turned all nasty and started to arm themselves with sticks and cudgels and began to beat the you know what out of each other. Then during the next 4,000 years or so things had got so bad that the stick had turned into a nuclear weapon with the capacity to blow up the whole of planet earth. Then another one had turned up on Jupiter or somewhere and mankind looked set to colonize the universe. No God wasn’t having that. He’d have to do something before the humans got up and saw it or no telling what might happen. He’d always had a vision of humans and animals getting on together instead of the awful way it was now. Animals in prison, tortured and living solely to be killed and butchered to feed the greed of the human race. Can’t be right; Hadn’t they heard of soya beans and tofu? Maybe this was his opportunity. If these obelisks literally did have this transformative power then by Jove he’d intervene and make sure things took a new turn. Yeah man Give peas a chance!
So, by Jove, that’s what he did. Diving headlong into the river Soar he struck out for the far bank doing his finest doggy paddle. Scrambling out and stinging his bottom on some stingers he found a patch of dock leaves and stuck them down his britches. He’d read somewhere that was the thing to do for a stinging bottom. Scratting and grimacing, he climbed up the obelisk and hung his bandana and coat on the top of it. Then, borrowing Edie’s paint brush he painted God’s Vegun caffy ‘All Welcum’ in big bold letters down the side and hung a washing line from the obelisk to the willow to act as a conductor to some higher plane as well as to dry out his britches and joggers. There being no fig leaves around he borrowed a pair of curtains from a nearby caravan
to cover up his modesty. He then called up his friends, Mr and Ms. Faery Cake and told them to bring round their lovely old red campervan and some tressle tables and meet him at the boatyard in half an hour. Oh and bring their pinnies and a couple of those blue plastic hair net things you had to wear nowadays. Meantime he nipped back down the Coop and bought up all their soya and tofu and beans and veggie burgers and vegan stuff and bread and buns and cobby things and made sure he got his divvy. The staff there were used to him nipping down for a tin of baccy now and again and knowing his dress sense to be a little unusual batted not an eyelid as druid-like and becurtained he gathered up his purchases from the till. Then he nipped back to his boat to get his barbecue.
As soon as Mr and Ms. Faery cake arrived they set about putting the tressles out and got the barbecue going so that after a quarter of an hour or so a divine aroma was wafting its way around this rather lovely little corner of the river Soar .God then blasted seven mighty trumps on the horn of the old red camper and within seconds every human and animal in the vicinity had woken up and were drawn magically towards God’s Vegun caffy and the obelisk .As they neared ,neither human nor bird nor beast seemed to be at all afraid of each other as God had somehow turned it into a sort of alternative Tower of Babel and it was broadcasting a common language and sense of oneness to all the species. Their fears and long-time feudal divisions literally dropped away and a sense of togetherness and community began to prevail.
Meanwhile Rabbit who you may remember had already breakfasted and had been drinking at the Soar also heard these mighty blasts from the camper’s horn .He crept stealthily along the bank and warily emerged from beneath the mighty willow to see what was going on. What he saw blew him away. There, right in front of him, was a thing that had not been there yesterday. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things .But no ,sure enough right there and glowing with a celestial glow stood a giant humming obelisk with God’s Vegun caffy, All Welcum written on the side in not very good handwriting it has to be said. Surprisingly It was dressed in a coat and bandana and a pair of britches and joggers were hanging on the attached washing line. Ooh and there was a bright red camper van with the side down and a big sign saying all-day brekkies. All Vegan. Puddings and pies and cakes and buns and jams and well almost everything else you could possibly think of; but all vegan. Everyone welcome Beasts and birds and humans too. Oh and lo and behold at the counter and on the tressle tables a host of all manner of bird and beast and men and women and children were assembled or queuing to be served by a charming little faery man and his charming little faery wife. What was perhaps even more amazing was the fact that Rabbit, suddenly and as of that very moment was able to read the stuff on the side of the van and the menu itself. It soon became apparent too that every one there could understand one another. To Rabbit’s right a cow was mooing away deep in conversation with a human and it was instantly apparent that a deep understanding of each others language was enabling them to communicate. Behind him a sheep was baaing away like nobody’s business and the little squirrel to whom he was talking was all earoles. A donkey was braying at the counter to the little faery people and ordering an all- day vegan brekky with apparent ease and a very large old badger munching away on a vegan faeryburger was giving rides on his back to the human children and taking selfies at the same time. Rabbit, wondering if someone had perhaps added a little something to his own breakfast wandered over to join the throng. And by now what a throng it was. There were now all manner of alternative stalls and tents and marquees and an H.G.V. sporting a host of singers, poets, fiddlers, guitarists, accordion, concertina , pipe, banjo and tambourine players and God ,of course, still dressed in his celestial curtains leading the Conga around the site. Oxfam and the Red Cross each had a stall and a giant bric a brac and jumble sale was taking place right next to this
Actually heaven it most certainly was; no doubt about it ;But in fact all hell was about to break loose. Lucifer, the lord of misrule and everything horrid and very naughty, had just switched his P.C. on and was confronted by the sight of his very own beautiful, shiney new obelisk sporting a bandana ,coat, God’s britches and socks and lassoed by an ariel broadcasting messages of peace and joy to the world of men and beasties. And it had been vandalised and graffitied with a very badly spelt sign announcing God’s Vegun Caffy all day Vegun Brekfusts down one side in red paint that had run and smeared. Also thousands of people and birds and beasties were now all gathered together in the fields by the river Soar and were noshing away and having a fine old time. His very own tower of Babel being used to spread peace and love around the world? Mankind united in love and joy with each other and the lamb lying down with the lion? He was apoplectic. Leaving Putin and Trump to carry on with the judging of the Miss Rule contest he snapped open his cell-phone and ordered the immediate preparation of Trump’s private jet. He’d soon show them a thing or three!
Arriving at East Midlands a couple of hours later, Lucifer must have thought he’d arrived home back in hell for as his jet flew over the M.1 he could see a tailback about ten miles long and pollution like a cloud engulfing the road way. The main junction to the A453 was gridlocked and the A6 through Kegworth tailing back to Loughborough. All around him at intervals of about 5 mins other much larger passenger planes were either landing or taking off and he knew it could not be that long now before the whole shebang either clogged up completely or literally disappeared in a cloud of smoke. And talking of smoke at Red Hill on the A453 , 8 giant chimneys were puthering dense clouds of it into the atmosphere and a mountain of coal slurry was daily slithering into the monster’s belly .Oh yes and at night 8 huge red eyes could be seen strafing the land like Sauron’s on Mount Doom .Oh Yes this was it he pondered .Hell is happening here alright. That there God and his tower of Babel would be no match for his demonic powers. He’d soon show them a thing or two. Elated he made a phone call through to the local band of hell’s angels and arranged for them to meet him at East Midlands and then escort him to the Kegworth boat yard. He then picked up his Trident , sat back in his seat, put on his safety belt and made ready for landing.
Landing at runway no. 666 , his private jet taxiing through to Arrivals, he expected a quick excursion through Luggage and Passport control and an equally quick exit through the airport to meet his Hell’s Angels Kegworth escort. Dressed in a sharp-looking Crombie and Homburg he descended the steps from his private jet and headed for the Arrival Suite. His horns hidden under his hat ,his talons discreetly covered beneath yellow calf gloves and his tail tucked down the back of his trouser leg he looked to all intents and purposes like a V.I.P.politician or business leader and as such he anticipated special treatment through customs. But Alas he was to be bitterly disappointed. Having deposited his suit case complete with his trident on the Arrivals carousel he made his way over to passport control where he suddenly found himself at the wrong end of a 500 yard throng of humanity, many of whom had flown in for the Donnington Death Metal Festival and the rest were families with tired kids returning from a host of Mediterranean holiday resorts .A sign above passport control said to expect delays of up to 5 hours.
Apoplectic with rage he began to barge his way through the queue and as he barged, so his true nature began to show itself. With each confrontation his eyes turned a wilder shade of red, his horns began to grow and poke through his Homburg and his tail began to quiver. As such the whole queue became aware of his anti-social behaviour, of his intention to try and jump the queue and more alarmingly of the increasingly demonic nature of his appearance. A huge outcry reverberated through the throng of festival goers and holiday makers and a massive body of resistance began to form. By the time he’d gate-crashed his way down the first aisle he was confronted by a very formidable deputation of the female wing of The Kegworth Rambling society returning from a tour of The outer hebrides. Armed with an array of walking sticks and brollies they blocked his way, tripped him over and began a ferocious attack upon his person. Much much more of his demonic appearance now began to reveal itself as he struggled against this barrage of blows from above but he was no match for the Kegworth lady ramblers. Glimpsing what seemed to be talons and then a hoof or two up went the cry Security Police Help Help.. Within seconds a huge group of police and security forces armed with small arms and Kalashnikovs had him bound and handcuffed and marched him away to the interrogation cells. A huge shout of approval rose from the crowd who booed and harangued him as he was escorted away.
Minutes later he found himself in a padded cell somewhere in the security section of the airport .Battered and bruised by the onslaught from the ladies rambling society he laid his head down on the table in front of him and tried to calm down so as to reduce the more satanic aspects of his appearance. Unfortunately for him the metamorphosis would not kick in as quickly as he wanted and although a degree of his extreme body hair had reduced a bit, he was still left with talons tail and horns .At this point a delegation from security and customs came in and with looks of extreme distaste began their interrogation.
Lucifer by now was beginning to realize that a more conciliatory approach was required both in terms of reducing the more visible satanic aspects of his nature and also of obtaining a swift release from his captors. Running a whole range of options through his demonic mind it suddenly occurred to him that the Donnington Death metal festival was taking place this weekend .With this in mind he cajoled them into believing that he was the lead singer with Black Sabbath and that his appearance was due to a combination of plastic surgery, lyposuction, botox and years of hair transplants and that if they’d like to check, a delegation of hell’s angels were waiting for him outside the airport. He further indicated that if they checked his mobile they would also find that he had flown in on Trump’s private luxury jet and that if they cared to ring him they would find that the most powerful man on the planet may not be too pleased that his friend and ally had been incarcerated and his property impounded in this way.
Soon two security guards led him out of the cell and took off his handcuffs. Handing him his passport they led him to the customs bay where he retrieved his suitcase and a badly battered Trident. Anger again beginning to throb through his bruised and battered body he was escorted to the departure section of the airport and very unceremoniously dumped on the forecourt . Here he was met by his Hell’s Angels escort who unfortunately had no spare bikes for him to
ride and he was forced to mount an ageing 1957 Honda 50. In a cloud of smoke from the leaking exhaust he disappeared from the airport ranting and raging at the airport security as the massed ranks of the Kegworth Ramblers turned the corner and pelted him and his angels once again with the remains of their egg and cress sandwiches and rained down blows upon them with their canes and brollies .Lucifer was not a happy Bunny…but worse was yet to come.
Outside the airport the road to Kegworth was gridlocked and Lucifer and his motley entourage potentially hoisted on their own petard. Lucifer astride his ailing Honda 50, helmet perched precariously on the tips of his horns and bits of salad and boiled egg slithering slowly down his goggles and helmet did not quite cut the mustard as they say. Similarly pelted and adorned with the remains of the Kegworth Lady ramblers lunch his entourage also looked a sorry bunch. Unable to form an escort for their ailing leader they were forced to ride single file through the traffic thereby enraging the queue with Lucifer’s smoking exhaust and attracting serious ridicule from bystanders and car drivers alike who gazed on in disbelief at their dishevelled appearance. By the time they arrived at the festival gates their trauma was complete and any attempt to overwhelm the assembled ranks of party-goers with a show of demonic force had fizzled out.
They were now confronted by Edie the sun God ,magnificently attired in a blindingly yellow onesie that she’d knitted and by Doris and George the Gods of night, both resplendent in deep purple cloaks adorned with solar powered twinkling diamante stars. The effect on the hells angels was similar to the effect daylight has on vampires. Cowering beneath Edith’s celestial glare they handed over the required entry fee and stood neatly in line. Edie reminded them that their bikes must be left outside and since leathers were not allowed at this vegan gathering they were obliged to strip off and each put on one of Edie’s recently knitted yellow pullovers and floral wellies. Lucifer now similarly attired had to wear a floppy hat to cover his horns and they tied a bow to his tail and hung a balloon on it so as not to frighten the children.Meanwhile Edie did a magnificent job of transforming the 666 behind his ear into a rather fetching rendition of the 3 wise monkeys [hear no evil see no evil and speak no evil] and George and Doris brought them out a dish of unusual looking mushrooms and a strangely scented pot of tea which they greedily guzzled down. So, by the time they’d bought their raffle tickets and signed several petitions regarding the ecological state of the planet they were well mellow and wandering happily around the festival mingling with the throng blissfully unaware of why they’d actually come in the first place. Several of them ,still sporting their yellow onesies and floral wellies, were now romping with the Kegworth morris team and having a whale of a time shaking their sticks and bells and waving their hankies. Others were cuddling kittens and puppies and helping the elderly to seats in the café and queuing up to get their teas and coffees. They seemed to have developed a passion for tofu humous and salad and munched happily away as they tapped their feet to the melodies and rhythms of the guitars and fiddles.There were even a couple of them making daisy chains with the kiddies in the crèche.
Lucifer too seemed similarly affected and in fact his horns and tail were slowly disappearing as he mingled amiably amongst the crowd. Edith and George and Doris had accompanied him initially, just in case, but even they were beginning to wonder if the obelisk, the mushrooms, the music and the wonderfully friendly atmosphere were in fact beginning to have a benign effect on him too. He seemed to have forgotten his earlier humiliation and had apologized profusely for his earlier behaviour at the airport. In fact two or three of the Kegworth Rambling society now linked arms with him and steered him towards the inner sanctum where God was running a yoga and meditation session.
However Satan was far too dyed in the wool for such a transformation to occur. The sight of God peacefully meditating amongst a crowd of hippies literally blew his mind and broke the spell as memories of his fall from grace and his battle with the light came back to haunt and humiliate him. As anger, hatred, jealousy, spite, fear and all sorts of other naughty things began to well up inside him, the wellies, the onesie, the floppy hat and that rather nice balloon all fell away thereby revealing the horned serpent from the lowest depths of hell raving and frying with anger. God , however, was blissfully unaware of such goings on as were all the other revellers as the obelisk continued to transmit its message of peace and love. The screaming, the ranting and raving, the threats, the hatred, the shame, the guilt and the curses all fell on deaf ears. The devil no longer had any power. He was defeated. Exhausted by his exertions and humiliated by their lack of effect he was led helplessly away by a squad of the Kegworth lady ramblers to their caravan and given a very large pot of the magical brew they’d all had on entering the festival. They left him guzzling a plate of jam sandwiches and a very nice sherry trifle and they signed him up for a series of counselling sessions and a massage. They left him there to consider the error of his ways and waved their walking sticks and a couple of egg sandwiches at him as a reminder of what would happen if he tried to wander off.
Meanwhile God emerged from the meditation session and ambled over to the river where a 100 foot platform had been erected for is sky dive. Donning his aero cape and a nifty pair of speedos he slowly climbed the ladder emerged victoriously at the top at the top. Gazing out at the assembled throng he raised his arms and spoke to the multitude saying; Between all living beings there will now be peace and friendship for evermore. Hatred and violence will cease henceforth or even fifth……… and with that he threw down a fire brand into the methane soaked waters of the river Soar and launched himself triumphantly into the flaming inferno beneath. Adopting a three and a half notch triple somersault he shot through the air but unfortunately his triple sideways spin to end the dive lacked some precision and losing control he bellyflopped spectacularly into the flaming brine and sent a large wave hurtling from the banks of the river Soar and onto the assembled throng. It was like a mass baptism that sent the crowd into ecstasies of awe and wonder. A good job too as they were all pretty much distracted as he emerged from the river covered in mud, having doggy paddled to the side unfortunately catching his bottom yet again on those naughty stingers. Wiping off the mud and wrapping his cloak around him he stuffed the dock leaves onto the relevant parts and staggered goodnaturedly towards the crowd.Instantly a huge cheer arose from the assembled throng and to the tune of ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow,’ they raised him aloof upon their shoulders and carried him back to his narrow boat where he slipped out of his wet things, donned his yellow onesie ,stoked up the log fire and drank a deep brew of the Kegworth Lady Ramblers herbal tea. Not a bad days work he thought as Doris and George drew the blinds across the sun, wound the moon into orbit and opened up the curtains on the stars.