Part 1 submitted by
“Is the air safe?” I asked.
“Yes, quite safe now we’ve pumped oxygen into the cavity,” Dr Greaves replied.
My face was pressed to the bulkhead’s window. From where I stood I could just about make out the tattered remnants of Professor Shauley’s suit, sitting a few feet inside the hull of the ship.
“How long until the security detail arrive?” the doctor asked, his head peering over my shoulder.
“Days,” I answered. “We’re pushed for time. I want what’s left of that suit.”
“You… you can’t be seriously going through with this?”
The camp was quiet. After the previous day’s events I’d forbidden anyone from sleeping in the secondary site and insisted everyone make the hike up to the old one on the surface. It wasn’t just about safety; the doctor and I had devised a plan to snatch the suit and hopefully whatever few samples remained and I wanted no one around when we did it.
“For the thousandth time,” I told him. “I am deadly serious. Good God I could sprint there and back in less than ten seconds. Just keep the lights on, the door open, and that shotgun pointed firmly at that hole.”
“This isn’t very scientific,” he groaned.
“And dolphins don’t look like mammals but they absolutely still are,” I said. “Sometimes science isn’t very scientific.”
I didn’t wait for him to reply. I opened the door and stepped forward. I wore no suit for this encounter and took a deep breath—stifling the urge to dwell on the exact nature of the air I breathed—before breaking out into a sudden sprint. I felt like a kid running past the closet to get to the bathroom late at night, except now I was running right towards the darkness, not past it.
I cleared the tunnel quickly, reaching the entrance in a few seconds. I wanted this to be over. My heart was in my throat, my scalp felt ice cold, and my stomach was like a lead weight holding me down. I was so scared I could have easily forgotten to breathe as I reached my arm into the shadow and grabbed a hold of the suit’s cuff. I could feel myself losing control but I couldn’t stop, not now. I pulled at the material and cried out in despair when something tore and I was left holding nothing but a small clump of thick vinyl-like fabric.
“Shit!” I cried, snapping my head back towards the petrified doctor. “Keep that fucking door open!”
I reached my hand out into the dakrness, so far that my chest touched the floor and every single cell in my body started screaming at me to me leave. Without the suit my perception was crystal clear and I could hear every creak and groan of that wooden superstructure. But I wouldn’t back out, and when my hand failed to get a proper grasp of Shauley’s old suit I actually took a small running jump and threw myself into the dark. All that remained outside were my ankles, but this time both my hands grabbed the suit and when I leaned up onto my elbows and started to haul it I felt the satisfying weight of heavy equipment drag along the floor.
The brief flush of victory lasted barely a second. I shuffled back slowly until my feet touched the floor and looked up to inspect my haul when I saw a large white oval floating in the dark. It looked almost like a bowling ball, if one of the holes was a little larger and further apart than the rest. When two of those same holes blinked, I finally realised what it was I was looking at.
It was a face as large as my torso, and the body it belonged to was cloaked with shadow. It was so still it was uncanny, exuding no emotion or thought or intent. I didn’t know if it was scared of me, curious, or hateful, and it made the sight all the more terrifying. Sooner or later, something would give, but I wouldn’t leave the suit behind so I maintained eye-contact—even through the tears—and moved as slow as continental drift, back, back, back out of the entrance. About half-way there I snapped into action, whipping the suit over my shoulder before springing like a madman towards the exit. For a moment the doctor looked confused, but then his eyes fixed on something over my shoulder and I knew it had come out into the light. Thankfully the distance wasn’t that far, and I flew past the doctor like a sprinter passing the finishing line. I threw myself onto the ground and screamed,
“Shut the door! Shut the fucking door!”
I relaxed only when the doctor heaved it closed and turned the handle with a satisfying clunk. He had yet to look at me, instead fixated on whatever had been close behind. When I finally got back up from the ground, I jostled him aside and stared through the window. That alien face—no eyes, no nose, nothing but three aching cavities in a pale white disk—was staring at us from the hole in the ship’s hull.
It was dead still for the longest of times, all three of us locked into each other’s gaze. When it did finally move it was to tilt its head perfectly to the side like a turning wheel. There it stayed for a few more seconds, watching us like a curious dog, before sinking back slowly into the monstrous ship.
“It’s fungal,” the young woman said, holding a sample of the clay. “Unlike anything I’ve ever seen except in some ancient fossils and even then… nothing quite like this.”
“Food, perhaps?” the doctor asked.
“I wouldn’t eat it,” the biologist squirmed. “It’s going nuts under this petri dish. It may look inert but whatever’s going on under the surface, it’s doing it at an astonishing rate. In the time we’ve had it, the sample has undergone tens of thousands of generations.”
“What about the dust?” I asked. “And the skull sample we retrieved.”
“Similar makeup but different. I’m not sure, some of them are corrupted with the fungus but just like the sample from the vase it’s inert. I’d say it’s contamination but… well, it looks different.”
“What do you mean?” the doctor asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied with a shake of her head. “In some of the samples they share similar features. Dry air helped to preserve some cell samples in the skull but that’s even stranger. The marrow itself is fungal in origin but there are blood vessels that look distinctly mammalian, not to mention the cranial structure is definitely primate.”
“I don’t suppose you can shed any light on this?” Dr Greaves asked, turning to me.
I walked over to the sample and took a small piece of it onto my finger. Both the doctor and biologist hissed endless warnings at me but I waved them off. I crushed the small piece between two fingers and then rolled it back into a single ball. I even took a moment to smell it.
“It’s clay,” I said. “Or rather it’s something that anyone without a microscope would call clay.”
“What does that mean?” the doctor asked.
“The deluge is the oldest myth in the world. Noah and his ark are found in the oldest recorded civilisations, creeping through Sumerian, Mesopotamian, and Babylonian cultures. It’s part of nearly every single creation myth whether it’s Hindu, Greek, or even Welsh,” I said. “And yet what does old even mean? The oldest officially recognised version of Noah dates to around 2000 BC. So what? Current estimates say the human race is a million years old. Humans as we would recognise them, anatomically modern humans, reach back anywhere between 100,000 and 150,000 years. The bulk of my work has focused on uncovering the truth of those lost epochs where conventional science would have you believe we lit fires and chased ox. We certainly did those things, but I have spent my life trying to prove that we were not idle. That many people in those times achieved great heights, some even greater than ours.”
“You believe this ship was built by the very civilisations you claim—” Dr Greaves paused briefly to correct himself. He couldn’t treat my research like some fringe conspiracy theory anymore, not with a floating city frozen in ice a few hundred metres away. “The civilisations you found evidence of?”
I shrugged. “Maybe. I have certainly come across the deluge myth in some of the works I uncovered in the Canadian wilderness. I would have tried publishing but I was long past that sort of thing.”
“What did the myths say?” the biologist asked.
“They wrote of Dyr-un-anash, a man compelled to construct an enormous ship at the behest of his gods. It was to be a test of his character, of his faith. And just like our versions he was to use this ship to repopulate the world after an apocalyptic flood that did, indeed, arrive in some form. But unlike all the other versions of this tale, Dyr-un-anash was not a hero. He was a sculptor of clay, perhaps the greatest in the world or to have ever lived. And the gods resented his arrogance. So one night they approached him, and said his gift for sculpture was so magnificent it exceeded even theirs. And even though the world was due to end with a terrible flood, they wished for him to be the benefactor of the blank slate that would be left over. He was to take a gift of clay, the very clay used to create all living things, and spend his time aboard the ship fashioning any and all manner of life he desired.
“Dyr-un-anash was only too eager to fulfil his destiny and drove his family into ruin building the ship. But when the flood came it carried him and his ark away, but left the world untouched although Dyr-un-anash could not see this. He carried on with his plan not knowing that the clay he had been gifted was cursed and corrupted. How exactly, I don’t know. Still, the gods were laughing at him, and so was the whole world. The moral being that the wise shouldn’t trust gifts from the gods.”
There was a long silence. I continued to fixate on the small lump of clay-that-wasn’t-clay. My heart was pounding. My chest felt tight. A thought had entered my mind while I spoke and I couldn’t shake it. I couldn’t get it loose. I wondered if for a moment this really was…
“What are you doing?” the biologist asked, but I didn’t pay any attention. I brought the tip of my finger close to my mouth and gently breathed, just like I’d imagined God doing when I was in church hearing about Genesis.
For a short while nothing happened. I think Dr Greaves said something. I didn’t catch it. My finger was starting to tingle and I squinted so hard it hurt my head. Slowly at first, but with gathering certainty, the small piece of clay started to squirm. It was moving. From beside me the young woman started to laugh a gasping exultation of awe. She had moved in to take a closer look, but Dr Greaves stepped back and cried out in terror. I still didn’t speak. I kept the lump on my finger and approached a table where I placed it gently and we all stood, watching it crawl like a caterpillar.
“Get it under a microscope,” I said to the young woman. “Hurry!”
She snatched a pair of tongs and went to gently pluck the small worm—no larger than a grain of rice—from the table. The metal had barely touched it when suddenly something white and veiny shot out of the worm and groped around the tongs. It expanded and branched like the tongue of ribbon worm, forking across the table in pale rivulets so quickly that he biologist was forced to drop the instrument with a cry of terror. She jumped back just as a proboscises left the table and tongued the air, roaming, grasping for something else to take.
“Kill it!” Dr Greaves cried. “It’s growing.”
He was right. In less than thirty seconds its tendrils had reached out across the table and we watched as it grew to cover three quarters of the table. Thankfully, the biologist had her senses about her. She started to splash something on the writhing pile of snow-white flesh, the beaker she held was filled with all sorts of flammable chemicals. I snatched a few with the same universal warning symbol and began hurling them until, at last, I felt some kind of satisfaction that fire would find purchase.
By the time I stopped the worm had started to grip and pull down one of the tent walls. Dr Greaves took the initiative and ran forward, throwing a burning rag right at it from just a metre away. The fire went up with a loud whoosh and the mutated lump of clay began to change and bubble. The chamber we were in was large enough to house a small building, so we waited nearby as the fire raged onward and took not only the creature but the tent as well.
I took the time to steal the important samples away, but the young woman grabbed my arm before I could leave and made sure we checked the seal of each one. We couldn’t risk the rest of that stuff exploding into life. I suppose that was the scientist in her. But standing there as that tent went up in flames, I felt the scientist within me die. The worm screamed in agony in its final moments and we all watched, our faces twisted into disgust and fear, unable to turn away or block out the sound.
It was screaming in my voice.
“You know you shouldn’t do this?” the biologist asked. Since the fire she had risen to replace Dr Whittle and Professor Shauley in their absence, proving herself to be a capable manager of the scores of students and staff and an excellent scientist. I hadn’t expected to need a biologist for what I’d figured to be an archaeological problem, but I was glad her expertise was on hand.
The four men beside me were arming themselves with shotguns, the kind used to blow out door locks during police raids. They were small with good stopping power, and my hope was that in such a large space they’d run little risk of doing too much damage to anything we weren’t aiming at. All of the men worked for the same company that had provided the drill and the team had a long history in corporate sabotage and all sorts of shady things. They were used to knowing very little but I had given them a brief overview of what had happened to the last two men to enter the ark. By the time I’d finished they all looked at me with acidic glares.
“Fucking spook,” one had hissed before spitting on the floor.
But they didn’t have to like it. They just had to aim and shoot if the worst should happen. I thought our best bet was to hope that our numbers would discourage attack and allow us to roam in peace. Neither the biologist nor Dr Greaves shared this view. They thought this was madness, but they were so far from learning just how cruel the world can be when it’s deliberately set against you. I lost everything and for what? Exemplifying the very scientific principles I’d been told were the light against darkness. I found the truth and I fought for it and I wound up dragged through filth and muck and laughed out of every university until I finally slunk off and found other ways to live. Now I was being given a second chance to do it all differently, and nothing from heaven or hell was going to stop me.
“Gentlemen,” I said to those assembled before me. “Let’s go.”
With that I turned and made for the bulkhead. I gave no one, not even myself, any time to think or voice protests. That ship towered ahead like all my nightmares made real and I had to go inside. I had to know more. We had glimpsed something in that tent. We had pulled apart all the tangled knots, all the myths, all the legends, and cut right to the central truth of our long-forgotten origin. The clay. The gods. The ship. At night I was wracked with nightmares and in them the ship spoke to me in my own voice. My pursuit of the truth, it told me, had elevated me beyond science.
This was something divine.
And it was thinking of this that I passed through the tunnel with no more fear than a man going to the bathroom. I was even smiling for a while, and I gestured to the entrance like I was inviting the men to step onto an elevator. They looked at me like I was strange, especially after they climbed in and found the congealed and blood-spatters where Shauley had died. All that arterial spray had soaked the dusty floor into gooey pulp, and there were a few scattered pieces of rotting bone and flayed skin, but of the rest of the body we found no sign.
Divine or not, I had no intention of losing my life on this little venture. I took control quickly and began to photograph the variety of tracks all around us. Most looked human, but quite a few were round ovals resembling an elephant’s prints. Others were long and slithery, and others were completely unrecognisable.
“What exactly are we looking for?” the man beside me asked.
“A gallery or a workshop,” I said. “This was all made by an artist. He’d have at least one of those.”
I knew he had no idea what I meant but I gestured for us to move on. We walked quickly past the very boxes Shauley and Whittle had, and I saw that atop a few there were empty spaces in the dust from where the men had taken a few tools while walking the same way. The effect was oddly unsettling but I didn’t have much time to think. We were soon at the first doorway where we found signs of a scuffle amongst all the white dust. This was where Whittle had been snatched. Close by I could see where Shauley had walked off towards the second room he’d found, but the doorway was out of sight. The shadows in the ark felt like they ate light, and our beams lit little more than narrow disks that fell weakly upon the floor.
“Up?” one of them asked pointing towards the stairs.
“Up,” I replied.
The steps were ancient but they held. I knew from analyses they were a kind of organic woven fibre harder than steel but organic in origin. How that resulted in a ship this size floating, I don’t know. But we climbed the first flight and found the steps to be as firm as steel. On the first platform we found another doorway and I had us make a short excursion but there was nothing of particular interest. We returned to the stairs and continued climbing, briefly poking our heads through each doorway in the hope of finding something new. We never saw more than empty rooms with cages for a long, long time. But I knew there must be more and with any luck it’d be close to our point of entry.
From behind me I could hear one of the men was counting steps. He was grinding marks into the back of his hand his thumbnail, along with diagonal slashes to indicate left or right turns. He was preparing for a worst-case scenario, a desperate flight in total darkness to safety where he’d have to reverse each step one by one if he had any hope of making it home.
On the eight floor we stopped briefly. There was no railing on any of the platforms and I kept far away out of fear of heights. One of the men stepped right up to the edge and dropped a glowstick into the chasm below where it flew straight down, illuminating the gnarled ancient walls and steps in a neon green glow until at last it struck the floor and stopped shrinking in size. From so far up it was just a speck.
“Jesus Christ!” the man cried, snatching his shotgun up before thinking better of firing. Somehow, the glow stick was moving. It bobbed side to side before disappearing into some unseen nook. “We’re not alone!” he hissed.
“We knew that,” I said. “Come on. A few more floors, at least.”
We moved onwards but from then on two men remained with guns drawn to their shoulders, constantly turning side to side to cover the space behind us. They, at least, managed the climb quite easily but I was starting to lag. Thankfully the twelfth floor we reached showed signs of human life. There was a thistle-broom nearby and a small table with pots and vases. Some of the doors had hieroglyphs around them, and the posts on this door were carved in fine and beautiful patterns. This was not a sterile empty space waiting to be filled with thousands of hand-made animals and I entered the hallway feeling giddy with excitement.
I pushed a few doors open and found old wooden beds next to small tables. There were small figurines carved out of wood on quite a few, along with small metal plates I think were used to hold candles. In total we found twenty rooms with these simple and rustic signs of occupation. There were ancient blankets rolled up onto shelves, plates laid out for food, one room even had a few toys left out on the floor. They were crude but clearly meant to be horses, and I couldn’t help but laugh as I held one up in the light.
“Oh we were busy,” I muttered.
But after that the rooms became strange. Signs of normal human life were replaced with something more manic, more frightening. It was in these rooms that the dust piled up highest, reaching up to our knees. The walls were scratched and gouged, and all-too-familiar faces were carved into the wood.
“Bowling balls?” one of the men snorted, pointing towards one.
I swallowed the acid in my throat and had us move on. Those pictures reminded me of crude cave paintings and I had a strong instinct as to what had made them.
We kept going deeper into the structure. It was half-a-mile long and I doubted we had any chance of thoroughly exploring any given floor, but I couldn’t quite stop myself from trying just one more door. I should have been more careful, but I kept on going until we were well over half-way in the ship, and the scratchy low-hanging corridor we stood in stretched off in both directions, lost to darkness.
Suddenly, one of the men cried out in terror and brought his weapon to bear. He fired before anyone had a chance to speak and the sound was so loud it practically floored me.
“Good God!” the man next to him roared. “It was a fucking rat! Ceasefire!”
The lone gunman lowered his weapon and started to laugh. His pale face glistened in the light of my torch. His eyes were bloodshot and wide, but you could see the relief clearly on his face.
“It was just a rat,” he repeated. “I’m just… just a bit jumpy is all.”
“What room did it go in?” I asked.
“Two doors on the right,” the leader answered.
I walked towards it, beckoning for them to join.
“What are we looking for?” one hissed. “It was only a rat.”
“There aren’t any rats on this ship,” I said. “Not alive.”
I pushed the door and a sea of dust that flowed out into the hallway like water, wedging the door stuck in a half-open position. I stepped back and waited for the hissing sound to stop and for the dust to settle. Once it was quiet I poked a light through and saw a small mousy face staring at us from the corner, resting on the dust at chest height. It was an albino thing, a lot like a rat but with webbed limbs and barbed tail.
“What the fuck?” one of the men muttered.
The creature lifted its arms and blew out the sails between its hands and legs. We all jumped back but it made no more movements, instead staring at us intently and hissing. I noticed dark eye-like ovals on the skin it had stretched out, and I realised we were looking at a threat display.
“Nothing to be worried about,” I said. “Just some kind of—”
Something fell from the ceiling and ate the rodent. It happened so quickly I had only flashing impressions of claws, teeth, and long spindly limbs extended to their furthest reach. One of the men turned his flashlight upward and we saw what might be described as a praying mantis, if they reached two feet in length and had a centipede’s body. Its clicking mandibles ground the vermin into dust that sprinkled down from above like salt from a shaker.
“It’s eating it,” someone hissed.
“Or at least,” I said. “It thinks it is.”
“What does that mean?”
“Don’t worry,” I answered.
The mantis left us alone and we returned quickly to the stairway. For the next few hours we continued to explore the prow of the ship floor by floor until we reached the top. On each one we encountered stranger and stranger forms of life including a wasp’s nest made by more of those small rat-like things. About a dozen broke from the larger horde and rushed us but stamping on them made quick work of our attackers. Each one exploded in a welt of pale milky fluid, but their skin and organs flattened beneath our feet like wet soil. The effect was quite odd and I even peeled one of the cleaner specimens off the floor and bagged it for later examination.
Further on we stumbled across lone insects buzzing in a small cloud like snowflakes in mid-air. They were like wasps but with fewer legs and two pairs of shimmering dragonfly wings. We shooed them away and found an arachnoid the size of a tv struggling on the floor. It was infested, rotting from the inside out. And we watched as small pustules along the surface of its crustacean shell popped and small larva came crawling out.
That wasn’t all. We found fungal flowers that had torn through multiple rooms, their meaty pale caps glowing white in the dark. Small creatures with four needle-like legs, roaming the ceiling with sharp mouths that pecked randomly at the wood like birds snatching up seed. All in all we saw a fair bit of the ship’s life cycle on the upper floors and got to watch a lot of things eat, either nibbling away at the stalks of mushrooms or snatching small insects from the floor, and in every example we watched as they ground up their prey and left a sprinkling of dust. The only real clue we got as to how things worked was in the rat-hive, where I found a fat swollen queen surrounded by workers who were rolling up the matted dust and depositing it in small holes along the hive-wall. They were eggs made from the same base-clay dust that littered everything on this ship. I watched long enough to see some of the larger ones hatch into mewling cubs no bigger than my thumb.
At a guess I’d say that a fair-sized lump of the ship was infested with these lifeforms. In just a few hours I’d filled every pouch I’d brought and we were all lugging at least one duffel bag filled with pots and jars that clinked with every movement. I decided to call this particular excursion done and we all moved as a group back to the stairway, ready to begin the descent.
“Not the worst thing I’ve done,” one of the men sighed as we checked our surroundings checked for signs of being followed. “They look scary but they’re just hiding away in the dark.”
“Like a wax museum where everything moves,” another said.
“Exactly,” I replied, surprised at just how accurate that statement was. “They were harmless.”
One of the men who’d been bitten quite badly by one of the rats grimaced as he checked the wound. It was already starting to fester and smell.
“Harmless my ass,” he grumbled. “I hope whatever they’re hiding finds and eats the fucking lot.”
I stopped dead in my tracks.
“What did you just say?”
“All these fucking vermin,” he growled, poking the leaking wound on his leg. “Something has to eat ‘em. They’re all sneaking around, silent as hell. Did you notice that? It’s the dark,” he said. “They don’t worry about sight they worry about sound.”
“That’s why they’re all up here,” another chimed in. “I thought you’d have figured that out by now doc.”
“Shit!” I cried. “We’ve been looking in the wrong place! We should have stayed on the lower floors. What we’re looking for will be down there.”
“Do you hear yourself?” one of the men asked. “I thought you wanted to be safe? Didn’t you see that glowstick moving?”
“Exactly,” I answered. “Let’s go.”
We descended the stairs and quickly returned to the entrance, rushing past one black doorway after another. The misty air of each hall was thick with floating moats of dust and it reminded me of looking into the cabin of a sunken ship which, I suppose, we were. After a while I stopped looking, not liking the look of the shifting watery darkness. But the feeling of danger only sharpened by need to go on. We’d come so far, I desperately had to know more.
Well, we found it. The bottom floor had strange tracks not unlike the oval ones we’d found by Shauley, recently made and slinking off into the dark further along the ship. Without wasting time I had us follow them until the shaft opened up into a larger chamber. It was an aching groaning space towards the rear of the ship with the ceiling out of sight. If it wasn’t for the cloying stillness you could have thought you were outside. But there were clear tracks through the dust, so many they looked like paths in the snow. This was a busy space, quite possibly even some kind of meeting space.
I turned around to see one of the men gazing at the opening in the rear wall where we’d just emerged. Something was glowing green far off in the distance, hovering where we’d been walking just minutes before.
We had made a critical mistake. All of us faced the one direction, and before either of us could say too much one of the men near our rear was plucked screaming into the air. He had been lifted head first by a grotesque hand as large as my torso, the knuckles grotesque and the fingernails cracked and bloody. With a single squeeze it crunched and the man’s head was pulped into nothing, his limp body falling to the floor with a wet thud.
We started shooting, all of us, but the effect was pitiful. White clumps of soil flew off the monster’s chest and face, and the shot sent wild shudders through its frame, but it weathered the strikes like a well-trained boxer. Once it was done shrugging them off it was left with a hundred small pock marks that bled thick milk down its skin, but that strange gaping face with three empty holes showed no signs of anger or pain. It simply reached and grabbed another man and I soon realised our hopes of stopping it were close to nil. We should have retreated, run even. But a look behind us showed another strange thing emerging from the darkness, its head a gloriously abstract carving reminiscent of raindrop hitting a puddle.
Meanwhile the ball-headed shape began to twist and pull at his captive with the detached curiosity of a child. It pinched his wrist like it was manipulating an action figure before pulling too hard and tearing the arm off whole, along with a thin strip of muscle that was left dangling from the torso.
“We were so close!” I screamed, barely aware of what I was saying. I couldn’t countenance failing at this stage and without really thinking anything through, I decided my best chance was to strike out alone. I ran past the dying man and the golem who held him, narrowly avoiding a sweeping arm that reached to grab me. I could hear some of the other men screaming for me but they had no chance to follow. I switched off my light and trusted myself to fate. From behind came the steady discharge of two shotguns that, after a few seconds, was reduced to a single desperate man shooting and yelling defiance into the dark. Part 3
Guido Fawkes has been posting extracts from a book by former whore Natalie Rowe, from the famous picture
of our responsible and respectable Chancellor back in 1994. Instead of linking to the multiple blog entries on the subject, I will compile them here for your enjoyment. Osborne of course denies all of these allegations.
“Chris met George Osborne while at Oxford; they were both members of the infamous Bullingdon Club. By the time I started seeing William, the three of them were close friends and often turned up at my place together. I called them my ‘Three Musketeers’. Individually, William was ‘Willie Wonka’, George was ‘Georgie Porgie’
and Chris was ‘Christopher Robin’. George first arrived at my place with Chris, along with his friend Philip Delves Broughton, a writer for the New York Times. George was an attractive 22-year-old and it was immediately clear that girls considered him to be highly eligible – they were always vying for his attention. I thought he was quite good-looking but much preferred William. At this time George didn’t show any signs of the defiant character he went on to display as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Chris and William teased him about his background, that he was the “son of a curtain salesman”
(his father is the co-founder of Osborne & Little, the fabric and wallpaper designers) and because he didn’t go to Eton. George took it without complaint; he had this ‘look’ he would give me that said ‘How pathetic are they?’”
“On one particularly drunken evening at my flat in Prince of Wales Terrace, I made a bet with George, Chris and William that they would strip off naked, run out the door, down the street to a building that was fifty metres away and back again.
The first one back would get a ‘prize’. Eventually, after a bit of cajoling, the three of them agreed, stripped off and waited by the front door. “Ready?” I said, my hand on the door handle. “Set… Go!” I threw open the door and off they ran down the front steps, bottoms wobbling as they pounded down the street.
And, of course, I locked the door and went back inside. I watched as they came running back, cheering them on. They all arrived more or less at the same time and couldn’t believe what I’d done to them. “Please let me back in!” the future Chancellor of the Exchequer pleaded. They all begged, hands over their willies, and I just watched, laughing.
I laughed so much that I collapsed and thought I might even wee myself. Luckily for them, my building was in a quiet cul-de-sac. I gave them a good few minutes, which must have seemed like hours, god knows what any passer-by would have made of three naked men standing in the street. Finally, when I’d decided they’d had enough, I let them back in. They loved it and were all laughing afterwards – they’d enjoyed the joke.”
“The three musketeers were proper little ravers and loved to go clubbing. When George got tipsy, he lost his reserve and wanted to dance
(I have a photo of him dancing at a party at my flat). He was a terrible dancer
but wasn’t alone. I used to cringe when we went clubbing with the three musketeers and their friends. I couldn’t bring myself to share the dancefloor with them – just imagine tipsy public schoolboys at a disco doing robot impressions. The higher they got, the better they thought they were. George loved We Could Be Heroes by David Bowie and the three musketeers would sing it together top of their voices on the dance floor. George also adored Gold by Spandau Ballet.
George didn’t have much of dress sense, neither did he make an effort to dress up – he just wore jeans and T-shirt.”
“Although George never once said anything like: “I really hate what they’re saying,” at the time (I suppose he thought he’d be better off saving his energy – there was no chance of him making them stop), he was the most upset of the three and this made me feel close to him. Perhaps George was more upset because some of his acquaintances were racist towards Jews
(George, who is Jewish, was christened Gideon and changed his name when he was a teenager to ‘fit in’). They’d say, “Shut up you f**king Jew,” to describe anyone they thought was being stingy. When we were alone George told me he couldn’t understand why I was with William; he said we just weren’t compatible.”
“I went and sat with George on the sofa. George couldn’t hold his own in conversation with his peers
, which is why we ended up talking a lot together – we would share the fact that we didn’t have a clue
, nor were we interested in what the others were going on about – arts, politics
and the social shenanigans of the landed gentry. We were passing comment on somebody at the party when I leant over to whisper something to him and playfully licked his ear. William appeared. He’d seen what was going on and was pissed off. “What are you guys talking about?” he asked angrily. “Calm down William,” George said. “You’re letting your paranoia get the better of you.” The argument escalated quickly. When George tried to stand up William pushed him back down into the sofa.
George then made a grab for William and they started tussling with one another. As I leapt out of the way the sofa tipped over and they rolled out onto the floor, still fighting – although it was the hugging-and-rolling type rather than the punching-and-kicking kind of fight. I thought it was hilarious. “Come on, stop it, this is ridiculous!” By the time they’d calmed down and made up, nobody had thrown a punch.
“All the boys had the hots for coke fiend Peggy
, she was so much fun and up for anything, even if she spent most of her time on another planet. They all knew how much she loved coke and so one night William, who was an out-and-out drug and drink fiend, cut a wide line that was a foot long. “Snort that and I’ll give you £ 100!” William said. “I’ll do it!” Cheers went up from the crowd. I was the only one to sound a note of caution. “For god’s sake Peggy, don’t do it, you’ll do yourself an injury.” She ignored me, bent down and started snorting as the men chanted “Pegg-y! Pegg-y! Pegg-y!” as if it were a drinking game. She finished the line but her triumph left her near-comatose, speechless and cross-eyed for the rest of the night.
“I let them in and told them to wait., forgetting about the domination gear. When I got back William was pretending to whip George, while Chris was sword fighting with the cane. “What’s all this Nat?” Chris asked. I smiled. Confession time. “I’m a dominatrix.” They were impressed. “Tell us what you get up to!” So I told them some stories about clients. They bombarded me with questions. “So how much do you charge?” George asked me.
“It depends on a few things, on their pain threshold, how much work is involved, and so on but there’s a basic rate to start.” They loved to hear what was going on and I enjoyed telling them. They certainly hadn’t met anyone like me before. The trio started to hang around in the flat while I was working and would sometimes even meet clients after they’d been through a session. They’d chat together with them about domination over a drink. George really enjoyed this; it was as if he was sharing in their experience with me.
"My pregnancy also changed the dynamics between me and my three musketeers. George became quite caring towards me. It was a particularly cold winter and sometimes George sat with me, cosy on the sofa in Redcliffe Square and rubbed my pregnant tummy – even when other people were there. George was self-conscious of his figure – he would wear loose clothes to try and hide his belly, which was a bit flabby and spongy.
Every now and then I’d comment: “Why are you wearing this? To hide your jelly-belly?” and would reach over and rub it playfully. I really appreciated George’s friendship because the pregnancy wasn’t smooth. At five months, I started to dilate and have contractions – and there was some bleeding. I rushed to the hospital and doctors put a stitch at the neck of my womb to stop labour. It was a risky move but if the baby had arrived then he wouldn’t have lived. The procedure worked and so I still held out hopes of giving birth to a healthy child. Then George got engaged to Frances, his future wife. I found out when I was at Chris’s place in Pembridge Villas, Notting Hill. William was on a bender at the time and Chris and George were there with a woman whom I didn’t know. I had no idea she was George’s fiancée. We did not get on at all. Thanks to George she knew what I did and asked about my escort services. She was hostile, full of disdain for me and jealous of how friendly George and I were. Afterwards George asked: “What do you think of her?” “What do you mean?” My face told the story. He didn’t ask anything more. George was obviously making plans for his future, to become respectable. He’d certainly been privy to some wild times in his youth; not least of which would have been the infamous Bullingdon Club parties."
The feature event of every single Olympic Games is finally here – the Men’s 100 metres sprint. Usain Bolt has the chance to become the first person to win the blue riband event for the third consecutive Olympics, but he will face stiff competition in the form of the controversial American Justin Gaitlin. That’s why the 100-metres races are often the best place to bet on a short-priced favourite at the Summer Olympics. But there are lots of other popular athletics races at the Summer Olympics to bet on including the 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres, 1,500 metres, 5,000 metres, 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres, and the marathon. Before October’s finals, three men had finally ducked under the 10 second barrier at the US Outdoor Trials in an evening dubbed – the ‘Night of Speed’. Jim Hines was one of those three men, and – aided by Mexico City’s high altitude – zipped through the field to claim the first Olympic 100m Gold with a time beginning in a 9. Olympic Men's 100-Meter Dash Odds and Expert Betting Picks by Victor Ryan - 8/11/2016 The men's 100-meter dash is likely the most important event of the entire Rio Olympics when you consider its ... Men's 200 metres. A sprint running event, the 200 metres starts on the curve and finishes on the straight of a traditional 400m track. This means it requires more endurance and slightly different techniques than the flat sprint of the shorter 100m.. The modern event evolved out of the stadion (the first recorded contest at the ancient Olympic Games), which was slightly shorter (180m) and run ...
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