Monday, 30 December 2013

Cannonballs Ahoy...!

"A cannonball," she said.  "It could come crashing in through that window and we could all escape.  All except Jack Sparrow, of course.  He's got to wait for his ship."


"Who would fire the cannon?" I asked.


It was an interesting method of escape and one I'd actually not thought of myself.  Cannonballs were difficult to get your hands on in an asylum and I didn't think the Black Pearl would chance by, there being a distinct lack of ocean and all.


"Well, maybe Captain Jack wouldn't have to wait for his ship at all!  It might be out there waiting.  It might fire the cannonball for him to escape and we could get out too!"


I didn't want to mention my previously mentioned lack of ocean.  It often didn't pay to put to many obstacles in the way of her thoughts.  She'd freewheel through fantasies and ideas like a gymnastic jester, all tumbling arms and careening legs.


I also didn't want to mention the lack of Captain Jack Sparrow and his mighty ship.  Surely they'd be cruising the Caribbean awaiting the release of the next sequel's sequel's sequel.  If she thought the good Cap'ain was here then I wasn't going to say anything to the contrary.  I'd leave that to Contrary Maurice (invariably called Mary purely for the flow), who'd swear white was black and night was day even at noon in the middle of a snowstorm in December.


Besides, Alexandra, who didn't really mind being called Alex but pretended she hated it (she'd always tip me a wink when she was raging at the latest victim to fall foul of accidentally abbreviating her name), came up with some mightily inventive escape plans and, one day, one of them might actually work.  It seemed she was the Recreation Room's sole escape committee.  She was Steve McQueen, Donald Pleasance and that guy from Sapphire and Steel all rolled into one, and I bet she knew how to ride a motorbike too.


Alex (forgive me), of the deep red hair and deeper eyes, and of the laugh that was wicked, dirty and sly in equal measure, was my light on the darkest day.  When the screams were close to deafening me and the shadows were threatening to suffocate me, Alex was there to scatter my darkness's minions like leaves on the wind.


I questioned her residency of the asylum.  She didn't strike me as insane or a danger to anyone.  She was, simply, imaginative.  Perhaps she did live in a world a whisper away from this one, populated by imaginary ship's captains and cannonballs that came out of nowhere, but that didn't mean she was diddly-dolally.  It only meant she was eccentric.  Plenty of people were a little left of centre and some ran the country!


I asked her, once, in an attempt to ignore the curves that were difficult to ignore (even in the pseudo-scrubs we were forced to wear), what she would do if she was in charge of the country.


"Nothing," she answered.




"We're in a mess anyway," she said, smiling her smile.  "Each party inherits the mistakes of the one before.  How can you do anything with a pile of doggy-do-do that's been dumped by a hound the size of a country?"


I frowned, unable to answer.


"I'd let the people decide.  Pumps or heels."


"Pumps or heels?"


"Yes, I'd let the people decide which was best when the Enterprise came down to beam us out!"


She said this in a tone that implied the word 'Silly' was silently added to the end.


Alex for PM, I say.  Let her sail around the coast in the Black Pearl firing cannonballs at anyone who wasn't carrying a pooper-scooper.


Works for me.


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