Albert's End - Halloween special
All Albert had ever wanted - after working almost all of his life in a dead end job - was to spend
his old age sitting in a swinging chair on a piece of land. A piece of land with no strings attached,
that he owned outright with no loans and no mortgages. He had paid cash for everything he had
ever bought in his life and he'd never taken on any debt.|
At fifty-five, his dreams come true and he was offered an early retirement/redundancy package
from the Plastics petrol-chemical Company. He was happy as a pig in shit. As soon as the cheque
had cleared from the plastics company he was out looking for his dream home. He could now fulfill
his life-long dream of living in the countryside and going self-sufficient.
When the sale was agreed he became the proud owner of the newly named Albert's End, ten acres of mixed woodland and Rolling Meadows, containing a large lake heavily stocked with fresh trout.
A freshwater stream, flowing from the Ash mountain range famous for its purified water, fed the lake. Albert decided to move in immediately and lived in a single berth caravan as temporary living quarters until the council at Goldshawbooth sanctioned planning permission.
After six months of anxious waiting, planning permission was granted and the builders got to work on Albert's dream house. The build went on all summer and finished just as the leaves turned a golden brown and started to fall in great big bunches cluttering up the roads and paths. Albert's house stood on the side of the lake encircled by a rough track, that shot off at a tangent west to the main highway some two miles away.The track was dug out and filled in with gravel to make a suitable road, for the lone vehicles that passed along it but they were few and far between. Albert had given up driving as soon as he had arrived at Albert's End. He'd never enjoyed driving and thought the stress was an unnecessary evil. He got about by bicycle or train, much better for the environment. But he didn't care much for the outside world or it's environment, now he had his own little valley.
He grew lots of veg in summer, had fruit in the autumn and eggs from his chickens all year round. Living self-sufficiently most of the time of the land, he shopped only for emergency provisions usually in winter and when his scrounging relations had dropped by for a visit.
On the first anniversary of moving in, Albert received a visit from a person he thought he'd seen the back of some twenty years ago, that being his ex-wife Doris Duff. She turned up claiming that he still owed her alimony for his two rogue son's Albert junior and Rupert. Both hadn't worked since leaving school and family rumors portrayed a pretty bad picture of what had been going on in Duff family, as they were now called. Albert listened to her sympathetically but did not owe her any money and was not in a position to pay anything. Doris stormed from the house cursing him, saying he'll never see another sunrise. Albert felt a bit shocked he'd always been decent with her and the kids.
Doris sped from Albert's little dream home, only to stop just yards down the exit road from the lake, she got out her vehicle and produced from the boot of her a small black bag. She placed the bag on the floor and rolled the contents onto the gravel. The fleshy rancid smelling remains petrified the air, she quickly withdrew a hanky and placed it over her mouth. She then opened a second bag from which she dropped into the rancid mess, a compass and watch. Where the watch and compass fell she smashed them with her boot wiping the rotting flesh from her boot with a hanky, then dropping the hanky to the floor. She then produced a slip a paper from her pocket and read the Latin sounding words out loudly. After this she scurried back into her car quickly accelerating down the track.
It was Halloween night, and with a witch fleeing his home, Albert decided a drop of strong spirit was in order to finish of the evening. He opened a bottle of his famous 'Curse of damson' wine and poured himself a large glass. The heavenly tasting ruby red liquid anesthetized his senses and he walked to his swing seat to lounge and watch the fading light.
The bright full moon shone, still full and still sitting in the center of the sky. It was such a still night, no wind and no sound. Albert felt a shiver go down his spine - you know the old wise saying - "It's like when someone or something has walked over your grave".
Halloween used to be so much fun, when Albert was young. Kids were running wild in the streets playing trick or treat. Pumpkin lamps glowed in dark windows, flickering shadows silhouetted across deserted rooms. People merry with drink and everyone in fancy dress at or going to a Halloween party. All these memories seem a million years ago. Albert dragged the bottle of wine over to his empty glass, recharged the glass and drank deeply. He quickly dismissed all thoughts the past. He repositioned himself in the swinging seat and finished the bottle, falling asleep. It seemed like hours had passed and Albert woke up, his eyes blurred, he looked up at the bright full moon, still sitting in the center of the sky and staggered to bed.
Sleeping heavily for what must have been hours he awoke, feeling the urgency to go for a piss. Passing by the landing window, Albert notice the moon, His reaction was one of pure shock, the bright full moon shone, still full and still sitting in the center of the sky. This can't be he thought. I've been asleep for hours. He had a strange feeling of déjà vu, and he remembered when he had it - it was mushy season 1984. During his youth he had experience many kind of drugs and in the eighties it was magic mushrooms. His old buddy Arthur had introduced him to a crowd of mushy heads and he had first hand experience of the powerful effects magic mushrooms had on the sight and mind.
It was like that now, that feeling of timelessness, but he wasn't on mushies. The terror unfolding, he fell to the floor holding his head, as his brain seemed to melt trying to cope with apparent perplexity of the whole situation. The piss ran hot down Albert's inner thigh, he walked crab-like to the toilet and turned the cold-water tap on, splashing water over his face. He cooled down and thought deeply about how he'd got in such a state, was he totally rat arsed and experiencing some sort of weird hallucinations brought on by the dodgy damson wine. Maybe he had got the Halloween adventure he'd always dreamt of either way he didn't like this feeling anymore and he wanted it stop, right now!
He decided a walk around the lake and down the road might tire him out, whereupon he could return and go to sleep. It was chilly out and the bright full moon shone, still full and still sitting in the center of the sky. Albert walked around the lake and before long had reach the two old oak trees that should have marked the exit road to the highway, that's strange he mumbled to himself "the roads gone, it's suppose to be right here between these two tree's". But the road wasn't there and Albert headed back to his dream house, not noticing the fleshy mess and broken metal parts lying in the gap between the trees on the road.
His short stumpy silhouette could just be seen heading round the lake as the bright full moon shone, still full and sitting in the center of the sky.
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