The Accident: Part Three. The Wizard of Oz.

by | Jul 11, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

How come you’re more like the Wizard of Oz? Where are your levers and pulleys?

Through the open door, entered a small old man. I say old, as his overall appearance was such. He had a shock of white hair pushed back over his head and walked with a slight stoop. However, his skin was flawless like that of a child, with not a blemish or a wrinkle on his face or the backs of his hands. His eyes were bright and alert, the black pupils merging with the irises, reflecting the strip light. His thin lips parted as he breathed, displaying perfect white teeth, another aspect which was alien to his perceived appearance. He resembled one of those avatars that one creates on social media, but in 3D .

The man wore a crisp, white, collarless shirt, fastened at the top with a gold stud and baggy, faded 501s gathered like a paper bag at his waist by a thick, tan leather belt. On his feet were well-used but clean Nike trainers in white with orange trim. All in all, he looked a dapper fellow.

He took the few steps to the chair and plonked into it unceremoniously, whereupon he was almost catapulted across the tiny room by its first bounce.

“Damn chair!” He cursed, as POANG slowly came to a standstill, like a pendulum on a run-down clock. “Hello young man,” he continued, “how do you feel? That was quite a collision you had back there.” He rested his baby-like hands on the arms of the chair. The toes of his trainers barely touched the floor, such was his diminutive size.

I gazed at the man for several seconds, questions buzzing through my head. Collecting them together like bullets in a magazine, I let him have them.

“Where am I? Am I dead? Who are you? Are you…?” I stopped at the last question as the shot jammed in the barrel. He began to rock gently, proactively this time and shot me a pearly smile.

“I’ll deal with the last one first. Yes I am He, or She, or It. I’m not fussy about pronouns, unlike you lot who seem to have become obsessed with them” The toothy grin returned and he paused, not intending to answer the other questions. Then, it suddenly struck me. This tiny Peter Stringfellow impersonator was addressing me in a soft Geordie accent; somewhere between Benwell and Elswick. This prompted me to quiz him further.

“Wait, so you’re Him? The Big Fella? God, as it were? How come you’re more like the Wizard of Oz? Where are your levers and pulleys?” I shot him a beam of my own, triumphantly.

“Ha! Touché young fella. I like your style. Nobody’s ever compared me to the Wizard of Oz!” He laughed and leaned back, almost turning himself into a human projectile again. “Fucking chairs. I’ll be having words about these,” he bellowed, still laughing.

“I didn’t know you swore. In fact, you’re really nothing like I imagined,” I replied, trying to stifle a laugh at his unintentional trampoline act.

“What? The old guy with the white hair and beard, sitting on a cloud? Or do you mean the fat baldie fella in the lotus position?” He continued between guffaws, “You’re precious, you lot. My favourite is the Elephant gadgie with all of the arms. Seriously, where do you think these things up?”

“Don’t blame me. I don’t believe in God, I mean you. Or at least I didn’t,” I stuttered at my contradiction. He put me at ease with a soft hand on my knee and squeezed. The feeling that rushed through my body was almost orgasmic, (I know. It’s the only way I can describe it).

“Listen son, I am whatever you see. Today I just happen to be a Geordie Peter Pan, or Wizard, or Sringfellow, or whatever you want to call me. However, don’t blame me, blame your consciousness,” he continued, smiling, this time to himself, closing his eyes.

“Once, I attended a bloke who’d attempted to hang himself on the back of his bedroom door. Needless to say, he’d botched it and was hanging by a thread, well, it was a leather belt actually.” He gave a little chuckle and continued, “suspended from a coat hook on the door. The problem was, he’d spent ten years thinking he was a Tibetan Mastiff!” He looked at me, waving a chubby finger, his face turning serious. “Yes, I turned up as a black and white border collie, thanks to him. My first and last canine impersonation. Communication was impossible. I don’t do animals, it’s not my department. Besides, all he wanted to do was sniff my arse!” His straight face cracked into a broad grin and he laughed again, slapping his knees with his hands.

“What happened to him?” I managed to ask through a cloud of confusion. This was becoming more surreal by the minute.

“Ah, well. He died a few hours later in hospital. I don’t really have control over the physical stuff, you know, flesh and blood?” His face reverted to its morose form. “Which brings me onto why we are here.”

“Why are we here?” I asked, sitting up in my chair.

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