Our Terms

The book’s away now, into the mega-pockets. Probably down there between spare batteries and assorted toothpicks. Now truly is a time for answers, and I plan to collect.

Although, I have always been a believer in the power of three. Call it a Genie Complex, but it keeps interrogations concise and clear.

“I’m here for my session.”

Would you rather I didn’t say ‘I know’?


Very well. Your friend Womble seems rather preoccupied. 

“No doubt. Although if all goes well here, I may not need your book.”

Then why send him after it?

“Well, I…hey, I thought you knew everything?

I like to ask questions too, sometimes.

“Right, okay. Anyway, is this my session or yours? I already have three questions for you.”

I kn- look, can you please just take my foresight as written?

Written? That little chestnut has been written, published, peer-reviewed and short listed for the Booker prize.* “Fine. Let’s start with a test one.”

Book ten, The Wake. Specifically, Matthew’s part.

“Okay,” through gritted teeth. “Second, when I left…”


Ah. I thought so. Not that it exactly changes anything. It’s just nice to find closure.

“Thank you. Finally, and let me finish this one. My past, that you had so neatly shelved away, involves a time when I was to gu- to protect the Silent Plains experiment, code named FE.”

That is not a question. 

“I know.” Almost said ‘nyeh-nyeh’. Almost. “But this is: how did FE work?”

Well, it begins with a subject, and

“No,  I don’t need the synopsis, thanks. I was there. Subject in, FE in action, end result. The middle bit. How. Does FE. Work?”

Hesitation. I’d been hoping for this. Two seconds, still possible. Five seconds, new territory. Twelve seconds, going for a record.

At thirty seconds, I lean forwards. “Well?”


I don’t

The trick’s coming to a close. Bring down the curtain and lights. Let the dreidel topple.

I don’t know.

Two simultaneous things. I think Dignity suppressing an air-punch-jump cracked a rib. And the whole house shook. Bet I know why.

I don’t know.

Like a child’s first words, joining the masses by speaking the native tongue. I’d put a hand on his shoulder but his towels have seen better days…and classes of microscopic life forms.

“Welcome back.”

Another house shake, more noticeable this time. A Bill Nighy statue just fell. I didn’t think this one would involve a mad dash for the exit. Maybe it really is a way of life.

Let’s see if I can hack Towel’s omnipresent communications. Tricky, without a sonic, but…reach the right mental capacity…match the brainwaves…

Womble, if you can, ooh, this is fun. Hello, hello! Would the owner of the blue box please – no, sorry, focusing. Womble, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, be ready to run. Things really are about to come crashing down. 


Wow, that’s hard to resist. Better get Towels out of here. Just because I’ve wrecked his life doesn’t mean it has to end. Come on, Towels.

…yes, you can bring your milk.


* Not to be confused with the Booker DeWitt prize. Awarded to those with outstanding personality disorders and shoddy parenting skills.


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