Elemey wakes up to the sound of drills. Every morning. 6am. The drills. The endless groaning and grinding of the workmen outside her one bedroomed hotel. Industrial strength ear plugs were no match for these noise machines. But it would soon be over. In three weeks the building of the town’s new shed would be complete and she could sleep in peace.
It was not just a shed. Oh no. You couldn’t just go down to Homebase and buy one of these sheds. Oh no. This new public shed had every gardening tool you could imagine, from a rake to a lawn mower and nothing in between. The windows were made out of solid silver, so light had to be supplied via 1300 torches attached to the ceiling, which were all connected to solar panels on the roof of the shed. There were tea making facilities, coffee making facilities and a little cupboard full of every kind of Custard Cream. But the pièce de résistance – which is a French term meaning ‘chair in the centre’ – was a chair in the centre of the shed. The latest in armchair technology, this bad boy had once been connected to a machine that produced a large current of electricity in order to fry non-innocent criminals.
But of course, all this was in the brochure that was sent to you. Or me. It could’ve been either. Probably me seeing as how I know so much about the shed. But Elemey had not received a brochure. She instead received a letter explaining that they were building a shed in her back garden and if she had any complaints she should speak to someone who gave a toss. Elemey tried talking to the local juggler, but to no avail. So for the past four weeks – and the next three – she had to put up with workmen who insisted on starting work at 6am. Such an inconvenient time to start work. Elemey longed for a lie in, and thought she’d got lucky one day when she awoke at 8am to the sound of no drills not drilling. But it turned out she was dreaming at the time and she was soon woken by the drills.
As she walked downstairs to make herself some breakfast, she noticed several envelopes on the floor. She picked them up and noticed all of them had her name on them. She felt important. She felt wanted. She felt a spider crawling up her leg. She swatted the spider and opened the first letter. It was from an angry neighbour asking her for the 27th time to stop drilling at such early hours of the morning. She had written back to him several times to explain the situation, but since she did not know his address – and therefore used a made up one – it was likely he never received any of her letters. She put the letter with the others in a folder by the stairs. Being somewhat of an artist, Elemey hoped she would one day use her collection of letters as a piece of art. She would in fact do this, and become very famous for it and change her name to Tracey Emin, but that’s for another time. The second letter was from the milkman asking her why she’d stopped writing notes for him. He was a very lonely milkman, and relished the small token of acknowledgement left for him by Elemey every morning. But since the drills started, she had not had the energy nor the enthusiasm to write any notes for anyone. Not even a ransom note for the ant she had kidnapped one sunny day.
She threw the rest of the letters in the bin, assuming they would not be interesting. Had she have checked them, she would very quickly have become a millionaire, but sadly it was not to be. She made herself a cup of tea and sat down at the kitchen table, which was for some unknown reason now located in the bathroom. Elemey had woken one morning to find it there and never thought to question it.
“What a life.” she thought to herself thoughtfully. Nobody was reading her mind at this point so she was alone with her thoughts. “I wish you could talk orange,” she said to a banana, “Then we could have a conversation about the problems with youths today.”
If there was one thing Elemey hated more than drills, it was youths. Though she was only 16 herself, she had quickly developed a fond dislike for the younger generation, and often shared her opinions with passers by in the street. But today there were no passers by. Oh no. For today was a Tuesday, and that meant nothing.
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