[Still the Dick Whittington thing.]

[June 2011.]

{Somewhere in Edinburgh.}

I’m off home to my abandoned house,a new moon above,footsore and tired;I arrive:it’s   thief-in-the-night time again where I have to sneak in.I’ve been here three days.

I hop the wall,quietly,gingerly,and walk on…

it emerges from the darkness in all its blasted graffiti,broken glass,and battery;

leaves me ambivalent:it’s sinister and scary,but safe and secure;I enter and light a candle   then shift my stuff from the far rooms…

I have to pass a depiction of a huge cock sprayed in red paint at the end of a corridor:   Priapus would be pleased,but it’s a bit much come nine in the morning when you have to  shift everything back!Once I’m done I sit cross-legged,and prepare something to eat,and sit and review the day~I’m jolted from my reveries when I hear a sound:I wet my finger to extinguish the small flame with no smoke from the wick;I hear a sound again, just once,  ominously close…a crunch of glass,footsteps:people.

Oh my word…

I make no sound;the code is clear:you cannot conduct a conversation with a stranger in  the dark,and to shine light in their face would be intimidatory;I pick up my umbrella,long with a wooden handle:I make a noise,but I’m crouched and ready to fight;

I hear them come in:

my heart beats in my ears…nothing happens.

Through a hole in the wall I can see movement in the next room:I steel myself~

I read again’The Button Man’ a few days ago~now I’m living it.

Still nothing happens.

I decide to investigate:with cramp kicking in I creep forward,brolly wielded at just the right length to strike…something moves,

bathed in light~

it’s a hedgehog.

I let the relief wash over me as it curls into a ball,thinks better of it,and comes out again:   it looks cowed and scared;I kill the light,and gently tell it to be off:

it beats a zig-zagging retreat,careful not to cut its feet on the strewn glass,while I slide down the wall…

[Two nights later.]

More things going crunch-in-the-night:it’s my prickly mate on his rounds straying into my room,seemingly oblivious to my presence(back for more,eh?);I was just about to go to bed,but tip-toe over as it curls into a ball,and stays there:I begin to roll it out with my
trusty brolly~which I may actually use to keep dry one day~wondering if I could putt it through the hole in the door,but it runs off never to be seen again!

Well,this is nice:from hopping on one leg with blackbirds to walking with hedgehogs in my pants with my brolly all the while cursing it~dear Edinburgh,give me a home,or I’ll curse you,and combat your champion

in a derelict house…