275. Down to Essex





A little too much anger, too often or at the wrong time, can destroy more than you would ever imagine

Marilynne Robinson



Mike Burper rubbed his eyes. Had a cat laughed? He never fell asleep on watches. The wall clock said 3.30 a.m. Stretching, he stood, and walked to the open café door facing the lake and field. A low rumble came from across the water, where the cricket pavilion glowed under a blood moon.

Crossing the bridge, he saw yellow shapes moving. It almost looked as if two excavating machines were steadily ploughing up the park’s massive vegetable allotments. It really looked like jagged buckets were swinging teeth-first into the rows of planted trenches, heaving away a yard of soil each time.

He broke into a run. “What the fuck are you playing at?” he shouted repeatedly at the digger operators. Hoping other residents would hear, Mike didn’t see the outstretched leg, saw only the ground speeding toward him. Breathless, he watched a dark boot kick his face.



God caught the movement on her screens before Mike awoke. She identified the machines – JCB’s JS360 range – as they went about destroying Dave’s Field.

Human history was littered with such moments.

Sending in Maggie would not change the bigger picture. But might be interesting. To assess lessons learned. To ascertain soul readiness.




Akash woke Maggie. She pulled on her whites, grabbed her sports bag. Jesus waited for her outside Heaven’s door.

Inside, they watched the destruction, before God asked if Maggie was ready. She was thrilled her mission had begun. “Am I going alone?” she asked, as a temporary portal down to Southchurch Park was prepared. “You will know what to do,” said Jesus, tucking something hard into her pocket.

She felt herself spin, vision warping. Stomach turning somersaults. Light broke into spectrums of colour, folded back in on itself. Then she was face down in moist soil, head and solar plexus swamped with nausea. Her hand reached instinctively, withdrawing the metal flask and unscrewing the top. She had no idea the tipple was Laphroaig. But enjoyed the sweet warmth, sweeping away physical discomfort.

In the darkness, Maggie listened. She raised herself, and began a stumbling run away from the tennis courts, around the western end of the lake. Movements on Dave’s Field clarified. She broke into a sprint.



Alex had been gliding at will over green landscape. When the discordant noise hijacked the dream, old training kicked in. Pulling away from Claire’s hip, he sat up and pulled on his boots. “Stay here until I come back,” he whispered. In seconds he was outside, quietly zipping his fleece.

Claire had re-pitched the tent east of the café, south of the lake, as the park moved towards a fuller agricultural mode. Using trees as cover, Alex gained the edge of the field and lay flat. A dozen darkly clad figures were loosely grouped around two swivelling and gouging JCBs.

“Who are these shits?” said a soft voice alongside. “They’re not police,” Alex told Satan. “You can spot regimentation when a bunch of coppers work together. These are freer spirits, probably mercenaries, and will think nothing of killing any of us.”

They watched Burper lay 80 yards away, holding his face, while a figure dressed in black pinned him down with one foot. “They remind me of Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq,” whispered Alex. “Nasty bastards, working multiple psy-ops for the CIA. Those guys go by a new name now, Greystone.”

Satan watched JCB treads and teeth continue to mash up the vegetable beds, thinking of Dave Dawson. A figure rushed silently from nearby trees, blond hair flying as he threw himself at another dark invader. The figure stepped aside and smashed Howard’s shoulder with a cosh. The assailant scanned around; pulled the balaclava tighter. The Welsh lad lay screaming, collarbone shattered.

“Can we do anything practical,” asked Satan. Instinct told him everything here was ending.

“Get everybody, the whole park, to the café. Nothing else has happened to Mike or Howard, so assume these fuckers are here to destroy the field.” Alex sounded confident. “We could do with photos of the diggers, using phones, from a distance. And call an ambulance and the police.”



Through the tiny cameras installed long ago on streetlights around the park, George viewed the destruction. Dan’s recent blog had stirred and riled him, particularly the notion that these communities could undermine political and monetary systems, and that Britain’s elite were up to their necks in ritual child abuse.

Without the clans’ control of mainstream media, and the elimination of various individuals, like the Dando woman, that connection would have been made time and time again. The children that went missing and were never found. It was time to review the freedom of speech the Internet offered.



Jesus had coached Maggie. “Until now, you have typically planned your actions based on past experiences,” he had said, when steering her from the stinking minotaur to a nearby shower. “As your soul awakens, you will increasingly act only when a thought or intention arises naturally. Listening to your body and responding to instincts, spontaneously.”

The process was incremental. For encouragement, he described the nature of complete freedom. “You will begin to stand in a dimensional crossover, both in and outside the physical plane. At times, the frequency will place you beyond the eye’s normal visual range.”

Unaware this was already the case, Maggie increased her speed, deciding in a nano-second to unleash a venomous kick at the chest of the nearest man in black. The consequence turned the heads of several of his colleagues. Three of them ran across, but his heart had already stopped. Each fell to the ground, their windpipes now smashed by invisible fingers.

God looked at Jesus. They shook their heads. “What did you hope for Mum?”

“Maybe a few broken legs, and a non-murderous cessation to this carnage.”



Satan’s phone lit up outside Sheena’s tent. He had asked her help in assembling everybody at the café. “Get her back. NOW!” said the message. Who was God referring to? “And tell Gandhi to be at Kent Elms Corner at 5.30.”

Ruth and Steph appeared through the darkness, bleary-eyed, followed by others. Suddenly a metallic grinding assaulted the night air. “Get to the café, everybody,” shouted Sal. He raced back to the field, through the bordering trees, out into the open. Alex was holding Howard’s shoulder. Burper was sitting up, head in his bloodied hands. Dark bodies strewn around the field resembled corpses.

The noise erupted again, from the remnants of the allotments. He turned to see a mangled JS360 swing through the air of its own volition, faster and faster, pivoting furiously around the end arm and bucket that somehow stood vertically. As if unseen hands rotated a lasso for an almighty throw.

The machine knifed through the air into its smashed partner for a second time. Metal embraced, grinded and rejected. Satan watched, fascinated.

Then he understood.

“Maggie: that’s enough,” he yelled through the darkness. “God wants you to stop.” She took four seconds to materialise, while he looked around in silent goodbye. “We’re taking a short motorbike ride.”


5 thoughts on “275. Down to Essex

  1. I liked the cricket line too, actually.
    And this one: Suddenly a metallic grinding assaulted the night air.
    Wow, that Maggie. She always goes too far in one direction, doesn’t she? (Not that I minded, in this case; yes, I am barren of empathy sometimes. If there is reincarnation, I think I’m coming back)
    I love this brand name:Laphroaig.
    I feel the energy of the story quickening; the conclusion is coming fast. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too long? Not even. The rhythm has worked for me, at least, and I look forward to what’s next. And, yes, Maggie did not disappoint. Or surprise, ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

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