45: Not Green but Puce: A Story of The Incredible Hulk and the Zombie Borrowers


'You stupid bint!' says Bob, struggling with the doors of the lift. He has them open now, and is holding them apart. There are large sweat patches on his shirt in the shape of continents. Katerina fumbles with the string.

'What?'

'Go and tie it to the edge of the counter. Bring the end over here. Tie it to...' Bob looks around, 'tie it to the edge of that shelf, will you?' he shakes his head. His muscles are trembling. Bob looks like the Incredible Hunk just before he bursts out of his clothes, except not green, but puce.

Katerina knows better than to ask questions. She runs back out into the library and ties the edge of the string to the counter. She nearly slips in the paint and she can hear the sound of something being dragged over the carpet towards the back of the library, but before she can wonder what it is, she hurries to unroll the string behind her. Before she is back near the lift, before she has tied it to the edge of the metal shelving unit, she can hear shuffling.

'The borrowers are coming!' Bob says jubilantly. And he is right.

The borrowers are following the string, holding into it with their hands and shuffling blindly where it leads. Katerina ties the knot quickly.

'Line them up, sugar-breeches,' Bob says, 'think, The Enormous Turnip.'

Katerina pauses. It's getting late, and the sun is going in. The heating in the library isn't working. She's feeling chilly and she wonders about her cardigan, forgets to remember John, and watches the borrowers come edging forwards, wobbling slightly but finally taking their place behind Bob.

'Get a couple on these doors,' Bob grunts, 'and tell the one behind me to hold onto my feet. Lower me down. Human rope. Pigging fantastic!'

2 comments:

Katherine said...

The Enormous Turnip! What a blast from the past...

Anonymous said...

puce is red