Now we clutch our chins tightly while our knees explode with foreboding. It is that time of year when the mind begins to walk its darker back corridors, exploring those rooms of the unconscious where we keep the doors closed tight, in case anything should begin to creep out, explore and infest those usually more brighter rooms much nearer to where we normally reside.
It is on days like this that we - as the night draws its blankets over the skies - lift up our eyes to glance into the shadowy corner where all we can see is that darker shadow that is Grand Old Uncle Stagnant. All we can hear, above the flames licking the coals in the fireplace here in the snug of The Pervert’s Appendage, is the sound of Stagnant’s muttering breathing as he furiously whittles* away in that far corner.
Of course, back in his day – a day long faded into night-time now of course – Grand Old Uncle Stagnant was widely regarded as a fine figure of a man. The kind of man who makes every ewe in the meadow turn her head, and with a shiver in her shanks, bleat in wonderment and desire as he wends his way down the lane between the fields.
Alas though, time, tide, too much beer and an overindulgence in eager and willing sub-postmistresses has left its mark (in the case of one particular sub-postmistress in the 1950s several teeth marks and a rope burn that has yet to fade) upon this once proud and always upstanding man, leaving him this poor faded and pale shadow of his former self.
*at least we hope it is whittling that he is so keenly engaged upon, and that the occasional detritus he sends our way is - in fact – a wood shaving and not some other more intimate bodily former-fluid now atrophied into solidity with age and unuse.
**at least we hope it is whittling etc.