I’ve published a lot of serious stories lately, so I wish to lighten things up by telling you the one about the man who fell down a hole and broke his neck.
A Story for Miners and Children
Every morning about six, dad would leave the house to go to work down a mine. It was gruelling toil and his lungs were fucked, yet every day he’d be there, hail, rain or shine, spring, summer or winter. But it was during the fall that he fell. He was backing his bicycle out of the the shed and disappeared down a manhole he didn’t know was open.
He was down there for days, nobody could hear his cries for help because he was carried away by sewer subterraliens and taken aboard their vessel and voyaged filthily down and down and down and down to the core of the earth and interrogated and tortured by the subterralien government till he begged for mercy because he was just a rank and file worker not a trades unionist. Finally, when they let him go (but confiscated his bike) it was me who could hear his cries for help.
“Dad?” I yelled.
“Is that you son?” he echoed with much relief.
“Indeed,” I said, “What are you doing down a sewer when you should be down a mine?”
“This is no time for smart-arse comments,” he said, “get me out of here!”
So I dashed to the garage, found the rope, dangled it down and hauled him up with great human strength for such a young boy of six, back to daylight where he wheezed and writhed in agony. “You okay dad?” I asked.
“I think I broke my neck,” he said.
“Was it the aliens who broke your neck?” I asked.
“The aliens?” he said, “What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I was worried they’d abducted you and taken you to the core of the earth and tortured you.”
“Listen son,” he said, “there were no aliens and I didn’t go to the core of the earth. If it hadn’t been for some fucking lunatic leaving open the manhole cover I wouldn’t have been down there at all!”
“Sorry dad but that was me,” I confessed, “I dreamed there were subterraliens in the sewers under the house and they wanted to take away my dad so I went to investigate.”
“You went to fucking what?” said dad, “Subter fucking aliens?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Look son,” he said, “I’ve worked down the pit since I was the age of five and never seen a single alien, subter or otherwise. I assure you there are no subterraliens, no aliens of any description OK?!”
“Thanks dad,” I said, “Then I suppose you better go inside and clean yourself up, you’ll be late.”
“Son,” he said, as we walked back to the house, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A writer,” I said.
“A writer huh?” said dad, “To be honest I think you’re going to be a politician or a bucket.”
“Because I’m going to do something or be very useful?” I said.
“No,” he said, “because you’re full of shit.”
So there you go, I saw my dream was just a dream, there were no aliens and I could never be a writer because I was full of shit. Then again, and this is the weird thing, dad never did find his bike.