I’ve had a second go at this week’s #writephoto prompt here
The whole village turned out. Pollop on the Nadge had never seen the like. It was quite the thing even if more than a little disconcerting. The last to bed on the Friday, Dennis Pubes who always watered his mechanical gerbil last thing at night swore that there was nothing on the village green and despite his predilection for a bed time creme de menthe and maple syrup hot toddy, he assured one and all that he was clear headed. However when the preternaturally early riser, Petunia Epiglottis set out to walk her dog, Master Bates, named after her favourite cartoon character and not its love of pinstriped trouser legs, the village green was no longer empty.
Millicent Loin proffered the opinion that it was an act of ‘lefty vandalism’; Major-General Sandstorm Reticent thought it was a cunning device to secretly house asylum seekers under their noses; and Armand De Necque-Brace tried to convince one and all that it was a doorway to an underground bunker where illegal though strangely titillating experiments were being carried out on Mexicans.
It was the paperboy and part time cabbage painter, Dobble Double who voiced what became to be the accepted wisdom. ‘A time machine.’ His theory was based on an old photograph of the village taken after the celebrations for the victory in the Battle of Jenkin’s Ear It was agreed that a guard would be maintained day and night to ensure that whoever first used the time machine was properly welcomed in a traditional English village way: sticky cake, scalding tea that covered the drinker’s teeth in tannin and a free go on Mrs Rhomboid’s zesty tombola.
After three weeks with no sign of activity the local entrepreneur and kisser of frogs, Bosom Underwired approached the chair of the parochial parish council with a proposition: if no one was coming to Pollop, then Pollop needed to draw them in. ‘If we advertise we’ll get visitors, people who’ll use the shops, bring in money, fame, kudos…’
Several members were unsure. Visitors weren’t universally welcomed but few people could resist Bosom’s blandishments. It was easy to become enveloped in her enthusiasms which had been known to strain relationships and cause temporary deafness.
So it was that crowds began to flock to Pollop and camp around the now accepted time machine. That is until…
‘Hermione Athena, where have you put you doll’s house furniture?’ Number 24 Olympus Drive in the foothills of the gods’ domain and home to Atlas and Pallas Athena and their children Horace and Hermione was in a ferment. Pallas was cleaning in expectation of a visit from her uncle Zeus. While not fussy as a rule, if Uncle Zeus saw a mess he had a tendency to reduce it to smouldering rubble and she had just had her Valhalla decorated.
‘Mum… it’s all put away.’
‘So what’s that on Horace’s planet?’
Hermione and her mother peered at the hive of active around Pollop on the Nadge.
‘That’s the bandstand you second cousin Achilles gave you isn’t it?’
‘I didn’t put it there, Mum. Horace has been messing…’
‘Oh for pity’s sake,’ Athena smiled at the gawping multitudes who had frozen in a series of terrified poses as the God’s carefully manicured through huge hand reached down and plucked the bandstand from the centre of the village green. ‘Sorry, this shouldn’t have been put there. I’m sure the grass will grow back.’
She put the model bandstand in the toy box, making a mental note to ask Horace why his people seemed a little disappointed to see her. Normally the appearance of a god-person triggered an outburst of awe.
Meanwhile in Pollop, the denizens and visitors were struck dumb. Everyone that is except Bosom who happened to be recording the event and had captured the god’s intervention. One thought cascaded through her head as she played back the recording. Money.