Chimera (n) A grotesque product of the imagination.
Paul doesn’t do imagining. It’s not his thing. He uses tried and tested thoughts that won’t muck about in his head. Thoughts that just get on with the job in hand. Thoughts that haven’t got ideas above their station. So he was more than a little annoyed to discover imaginings crawling unwanted around his skull like ants at a cranial picnic. Bloody things.
He squeezed his eyes tight shut as if that would somehow keep the pictures out, but it was no use. They seemed to enjoy the darkness – it made them brighter, somehow more energetic.
He stuck his fingers in his ears and la la laa’d to fill his head with sound but they just bounced off the echoes and riffed a harmony. One of the little buggers went double time and beat out a scattety rhythm. The little shit.
Paul picked up the paper. Shouldn’t think the Daily Mail had much patience for imagination. It had bugger all patience for anything else, and this sort of namby pamby making-things-up-for-no-good-reason was bound to be the very sort of thing The Mail opposed vigourously. Opposed or not, at every comma, every full-stop, every pause for a fiddly word – they crept in and interrupted him.
Hmmph. It was a lot harder than it ought to have been to stop his own brain from imagining.
His own brain ! Bloody traitor. He started picturing a trial where his brain was on trial for treasonous misconduct against itself, but as the image of his own brain in the dock popped into his mind he gasped in the realisation that he was imagining being tried for the crime of imagining and it all got too much for him.
Paul took his biro out of his jacket pocket, splayed his fingers out flat on the table in front of him and started stabbing the space between his fingers at high speed. He had to focus – eliminate all extraneous thoughts from his head or the conical metal at the biro’s end would come crashing down on hot, soft flesh, piercing the skin and driving the little round ball deep into the bone …
He could still hear the tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap of the pen on the table but it was far off while he saw the red and black blood and biro ink spurting from where the pen had not yet speared his finger.
Botheration. There was no way round it. He was going to have to let it imagine stuff.
Let’s be honest. He wasn’t going to let it do anything. It was just bloody well going to do it whether he let it or not.
He breathed out in resignation and settled back to see the show.
Silence. Plain reality before his eyes. Not a fucking peep.
The little bastards – they’d gone. It was as if they didn’t want to play in this big space all on their own. Paul’s brow furrowed. Crap. He missed them now they were gone.