Friday, 1 July 2011

Ch 34: Viva La Vida

Gene could hear bells, peeling, ringing out. They were getting louder and louder. Choirs were singing, heavenly joyful voices. The crowds were cheering. Then chanting. “Gene, Gene, Gene”.

There was a jolt, and Gene woke with a start.

“What the……” He stared in front of him. There were no holy sounds, voices, or people. In fact he was sitting on a bloody empty train. He realised he must have fallen asleep and missed his stop. Oh Christ. This was no good. He needed to get off, and make his way to the Abbey, to find Alex. She would be waiting for him. He would soon be there, with her.

He jumped off the deserted train and wandered along the platform. It was open so he knew he was no longer on the Tube. Jesus, he must be further out than he thought and he was horrified when he found a sign that read “Boreham Wood”.

God. He was miles out. He looked at is watch.It was fast approaching eleven. It would soon be noon. Would she wait for him? Time was running out. He felt himself getting flustered and jittery.

“Calm down you tosser” he chided himself. He had come this far. He would make it, he would get to Alex in time.

What to do? Should he hop on a train back? Or maybe if he found a cab. Yes the streets would be deserted with most inside watching the Royal Wedding. A cabbie could whiz him there in no time and also would stop him falling asleep again. He was so tired and weary. In fact he could hardly put one foot in front of the other.

However when he left the station he was disappointed to find no taxis in line. Damn. He was impatient and couldn’t afford to hang about , wasting any more time. He started walking, a fast pace, unsure of the direction, merely like a man possessed. There was no way on earth now he would admit defeat. He was literally hours away from the love of his life, Alex Drake. Come hell or high water he would reach her. He had to, whatever it took.

The town centre and high street was deserted. He deliberated what to do next. Suddenly a car pulled up beside him,

“Get in”

Gene turned to see Father Daniel and Sister Mary Magdalene.

“No fucking way”. he replied rather harshly.

“Gene!. Please. It’s for your own good”. Sister Maggie pleaded.

“My own good? What do you two know about my own good? You don’t give a damn about me. I don’t know in hell’s name what is going on but I am not hanging around to find out. And why have you tear-arsed all the way down here eh? You have followed me. Can’t you just fucking leave me alone?” Gene was getting annoyed.

“Gene. You don’t understand” Father Daniel started to say but Gene interrupted, not wishing to listen.

“I understand perfectly thank you very much. I don’t know what it is about you two, and that other one, Maggie, but I can’t take much more. I have had enough. I am here to find Alex. She is waiting for me. It’s where I belong and that’s it end of. Now mush”.

He carried on, striding out in his well worn boots but the car crawled alongside the kerb.

“Please Gene. It’s all a mistake. A con. There is no Alex. Not here, in London. You have been lead on a wild goose chase” Sister Mary shouted across.

Gene put his fingers in his ears pretending not to listen and started randomly singing.

“Not listening…”

“Gene!. You must believe us. You shouldn’t be here in London. We have come here for a reason. We have come to take you home”.

“Bollocks.”

“Why do you have to be so bloody stubborn Hunt! For once in your life can’t you listen to us. We are trying to help you. Surely you don’t believe Keats?”

Gene stopped in his tracks and stared down at the Priest with narrowed eyes.

“Keats? What the fuck do you know about him?” He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

“He’s done it again to you Gene, lead you up the garden path. Made you false promises. There is no end result.”

Gene looked back at Daniel. Thoughts raced through his mind. Was this just another ploy? Were they right? Was Keats pissing him about? Had he been a complete bastard bollocks Idiot to believe him, after all what he had done in the past?

Suddenly a tune on the radio blasted out from a shop and his heart sank. The last time he had heard that he was with Alex, dancing, smooching, about to…what? Reveal her true feelings….so true, funny how it seems….oh Christ. He could do without Batman and Robin here on his case. He needed to lose them. Pronto.

He started to run. Daniel in turn put his foot on the accelerator. Gene ran faster, turning corners, trying to lose them but they were fast and he started to get out of breath. Then as he turned he saw a pedestrianised area. Brillliant. He legged it through, glancing behind, relieved to see the car stopped at the bollards, but then as he heard footsteps behind him he turned again and saw Daniel and Maggie running after him. What a bleeding sight. It would be funny in other circumstances, Gene Hunt being persued by a Priest, and a Nun. One wearing red shoes.

He felt he was gasping for breath but still, determined to carry on, he continued running, thankful the streets were deserted. Yet he spoke to soon, for as he turned another corner he ran into a crowd that had gathered. It wasn’t an exceptionally large crowd but even so it was in his way.

Gene got jostled as he tried to make his way through. Perhaps he could lose himself in them all, and shake of Danny and Maggie still hot on his tail.

“Oi mate, don’t shove” A bald headed bloke in a vest and with abundant tatooes pushed him back.

“Don’t mate me, Popeye” Gene shoved the burly guy out of the way.

Yet as the crowd partied Gene felt dismay, for before him was a bloody great brick wall,, bigger than the Berlin one. Jesus. He turned to see the angry crowd behind him, jeering, cheering, shouting abuse. My God, there were some freaky looking people, some in what appeared to be fancy dress,closely followed by Danny and Maggie who were literally a stone’s throw away. At least they would fit in with the Rocky Horror Show that was going on.

“Gene! Stop! For God’s sake leave it. Don’t go over that bloody wall”.

Those were the last words he heard Father Daniel say as he quickly, and deftly scaled the brickwork, as he had done once before. A feeling of déjà vu came over him, as it had done from Day One, only this time it didn’t lead into the Blue Peter Garden.

***************

Day Two: And Gene Hunt was in the Diary Room.

“Gene. This is Big Brother. Welcome. What can we do for you today?”

“You can start by getting me out of this fucking Godforsaken place. What a hell hole”.

“Gene, please do not swear”.

“I will do what the bloody hell I like. Do you know who I am?”

“Yes. You are Gene Hunt. What can we do to make your stay more pleasurable. You have some time to go Gene. Do you not like your other housemates?”

Gene sat on the strange chair, angel’s wings sprouting up behind him, like St Peter.

He stared at something in front of him, what he didn’t really know. Was he going do-lally? Talking to a whole in the wall? He really was loosing it. Out there in that stupid glass house, it was like a bleeding goldfish bowl, full of even more freaks, from all walks of life. And they all had stupid names. Mind you there was that tasty brunette with the fit body. She reminded him ever so slightly of Bolly, only a little, just the dark hair, and red lipstick, but apparently she wasn’t a housemate. He had been plied with champagne last night and two blondes with large tits had draped themselves around him, but after a night of no sleep in a dormitory which could be described as a lunatic asylum he had just about had enough. This really was hell on earth, people waling, moaning, farting and snoring, not to mention god knows what those two blokes in the corner were doing.

“I want out. Now. Just get me out”.

“Gene. Big Brother doesn’t think that is a good thing. You have only been in here one day. You will have to wait till the first eviction and then see. Maybe after that if you are not evicted we can assess your situation then.”

“Bloody assess it now, else I will walk”. Gene really was at his wits end, and if he was going to have a nervous breakdown it was certainly not going to be on National television in front of millions of viewers.

“Big Brother can only make the offer for you to wait until after eviction night. You may now leave the diary room Gene”.

“Fucking place!” Gene slammed the door behind him.

*****

Day Eight: Gene Hunt was back in the diary room.

“Right Morons. Get me out of this fucking place”.

“Gene! This is Davina talking. Please do not swear”.

“Davina? David, I don’t pissing care. There’s more gender-benders in here than Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I want out. Now!”.

“Are you sure Gene. You are very popular with the viewers. They love you”.

“I have never been more certain in my life. I wasn’t supposed to be here in the first place. Please. I am on a mission. A serious mission, of love. And this has delayed me. I may have lost it all…” He thought he would go for the sympathy thing, knowing that deep down it could be true. The Royal Wedding long over, and Alex…waiting, waiting, and he had stood her up. He might never see her again. Or the outside world for that matter.

“Gene. Are you absolutely certain? There is no going back if you leave this house. You cannot return.”

“Yes. Davina. Please. I have never been more certain in my life”.

He looked up and in front of him, there on the screen was the girl with the dark hair, Davina. He thought of Bolly and his heart lurched.

“Yes. I want to go”.

There was a moments silence.

“Ok Gene. Big Brother will allow you to leave. Please take your things now and leave by the door on the right. Thank you. Stay safe”.

Gene was gone like dust. He Didn’t need asking twice.

Suddenly he was out. Like being let out prison. The air was fresh. He was no longer cooped up in the goldfish bowl with the teletubby garden going lala. He had come out through a door, in a wall, like the Secret Garden or Alice in Wonderland, yet there was no white rabbit in front of him telling him the time and that he was late. Just Father Daniel, and Sister Mary. For a moment he felt relied wash over him, glad to see them.

It was then he realised he was back in London. In the city centre. The light was fading. Broken flags and streamers littered the streets. The Wedding of the year was obviously over.

“Danny will just go and collect the car. Why don’t we go and get a drink whilst we are waiting for him, Gene?” Sister Mary said, touching his arm tenderly as they walked Father Daniel walk towards the tube station.

“I could sure do with one.”

They walked along side by side in silence. The streets were so familiar to Gene, in fact way too familiar. He looked up at the sky. Jesus, the light had faded fast, too bloody fast.

“How long will he be? Daniel?”

“He has to go back to Boreham Wood remember. Where we left the car. It could be a while. Where shall we go then Gene? You know all the places round here. We could get a bite to eat too? I am sure you could do with drink or two”.

“Scotch more like.”,

“What about that place over there?”

Gene felt suddenly sick. Christ. It was Luigis. No way. No fucking way.

Beads of sweat came onto his brow. His heart beat faster. It was getting dark. The lights of the pubs and bars beckoned though. He looked up at the night sky. And saw it was full of stars.

“Or in here?” Sister Mary stopped on the corner of the pavement and pointed towards a building.

Gene felt a little dizzy. What was happening. Why was he here? Of all the places, in all the world. He was HERE. Not in Mary’s Arms. Not in Alex’s arms. Bloody hell he would rather be in their arms. Not…not ….this.

“You know, Mags. I don’t think I want scotch after all. I am thirsty though, and hungry, but I don’t fancy a pub atmosphere” He suggested, stalling the moment. Christ. Was this it? Just like that?

“OK , Gene. Whatever you want. Hey, let’s go in here then” Sister Mary took his hand

“It’s a nice new place look. It’s opened up as a Starbucks”. They went in together through the doors.

Inside it was surprisingly calm. People were sitting around on comfy sofas, reading newspapers, drinking tea, and coffee. Nobody glanced up.

They stood at the counter waiting to be served. Gene realised Sister Mary was still holding his hand, rather tightly. Her hands were cold, so very cold. She needed something to warm her up, as did he, he thought, shivering.

He looked up at the board on the wall, so many choices, so many fancy names.

It was then he heard the music.

And the voices.

And he saw the stars.

His eyesight became blurred.

Vomit rose in his throat.

He couldn’t breathe.

All the faces were unclear.

He could hardly make out Maggie, just felt the coldness of her fingers, digging tightly now into his own.

His legs felt jelly-like.

And then he heard a familiar voice.

“What’ll it be Gene?” A Nice dark cappucino, or Latte?”

He could just about make out the face him, dark, like the coffee beans, yet oh so familiar.

His legs buckled and he collapsed to the floor.

His last thoughts being it had happened.

Finally.

His time had come. St Peter was calling.

It was time to say goodbye.

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