So here we are at the top of his staircase, black narrow walls all odd-angled lit by black candles dripping in silver upside-down-side taps and here he is, taller than I’d expected and I’d heard he was tall, dressed all in black and smelling of tree-roots, skinny, hair of course, he says, that slow Midlands growl: “’Ere. We’ve gone beyond drugs,” and gives me ******* to read.

“Alan, this is great an all but, you were gunner show me your basement.”

“We’re in the basement: we came dan whoile you were readin. Don’tchoo remember? Moi cave,” but I hear it written backwards I hear evac and naturally my mind supplies the uation:

“We’ve gotter get out, somethin’s…”

“Oi’m not sure you’ve fully understood, Jason. You ’ad one wish: you wished you c’d see what Oi’ve got ’ere. You never said you wannid out again.”

“No I’m, I’ll…”

“Let’s deal with that later, shall we? First off, ’ere’s me basement, ’ere it is.”

“Oh. Yeah, that’s great,” yeah there’s a whole other universe reaching into ours, frigging our rigging, it resembles an imp in a bottle pulling itself out of that bottle from the outside out whilst simultaneously doing no such thing and of course it’s all happening many times at once, fractal hologram jism stuff, “I’ve seen it all before mate.”

Alan’s cheeks flush red. “You…” Relaxes: “Whatta bout this,” oh and look here’s God.

“Hello!” says God, Tony Blair voice. “Alan! What can I…”

“For moi next spell Oi need, says this nymph dan by the Abramelin brook, a kiddie to be born in Lisbon at midnoit on moi birthday, today (thanks fer the card), with a beard just loike moine; they’ll shave it off once and it’ll not grow back. Do that fer us, will yer.”

Ohkay. Bye, Alan!”

“See yer.” Back to me: “Whatta bout that then?”

“What did ’e get yer?”

“You wot?”

“Fer yer birthday: what did God get yer?”

“Nah, just a card, that was…”

“Not a present or nuffin?”

“Ah it was a good card, it ad a joke in. Not a very funny one but it’s the thought that…”

“Some thought! Pater omnipotens could have got you anything, chocolates or Babbalabbalabbalon or World War Minus One but did ’e? Did ’e fu…”

“Roit Oi’ve ’ad enough of this, get out,” BOOT!


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