by Andy Luke
Maundy didn't get out much these days. The film demands, HBO, AMC, made him sorry he'd been so well connected in life. If he'd taken temp work seventy years ago, when his flesh was just purple, the army would have shot him on sight.
“You’re wasting away”, said Jabez, who suffered his own mid-un-death crisis in 1959 when his belly of stag and seal collapsed between his legs.
Nobody recognised Maundy from the old days, but in the faces of the after-death he knew them.Wilsonbecame the hero, banging on aboutIran! Jabez taught him in those early years, and Orace, and they kept active. There were no more limousines, no horses would have them. They made their way toWitleyPark, night walks over horrid trails. It was abandoned, but for the books. Away from the city, Maundy could try to remember the love of solitude and literature, but the words didn’t satisfy. The transistor was confusion and the foundCognacshattered.
Jabez and Orace were going to kill him again. Their days consisted of being mocked by ducks, head-butting rain, and for Orace, a PhD scrutinising concrete. Maundy spent his days salivating over the hundreds of birds on the telegraph poles, until one day he returned toLondon.
The screaming at Shepperton Studios attracted him to the performance of The Creeping Flesh, and he was swept into the industry’s race. From there toLondon, and they took him to The Strand, were in 1910 he’d pulled the lights out to avoid paying the performers. In 1973, Maundy was tugged into From Beyond The Grave filming at Highgate. He’d got a reputation on set and had to be assigned a minder in case he was dismembered. Several years later, they tried to return him, while shootingWarren’s Evil Heritage.
Somehow, he made his way back to the city. Industry work was sparser in the eighties. For a while he hauntedWestminster. The twinkle in Thatcher’s eye as she bombed theFalklandsreminded him of how he caught Lloyd George do the same in an unguarded moment. Maundy lived in one of the pits she’d closed.
One night by the House of Lords, he ran into Orace trying to gain entrance. They did not recognise each other of course, but gurgled like an addict to the crowd he led them to; whole families stumbling through injury, bloodied and screaming for food. There was revelry in their hearts, and soon, bangs and sticks of fire from their hands. Orace and Maundy had a night off.
Andy Luke lives a simple life in East Belfast, unfettered by grand schemes, behind a hedge.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'Swamp Man Vignette'
''Til Death Do Us Part'