THE LION, THE TWITCH AND THE MONDEO


THE LION, THE TWITCH AND THE MONDEO by Saul Riggot.

 

Saul Riggot was born in 1957 to a family of circus acrobats, at 15 he ran away to join a firm of accountants. He is the author of a seminal [ & now tragically out of print] text on double entry book keeping. He enjoys morse code, campanology and bee keeping.

 

Enjoy his story.

 

 

 

 

“Sodding Lions of sodding Longleat.” Ron muttered under his

 

breath as he stared out of the windscreen, eye-ball to eye-ball with

 

a very, very large lion.

 

“Do something Ron!”

 

“ What do you suggest I do Barbara?”

 

“Shoo it away or something…”

 

“Go on Daddy, that man on telly did it by just flapping his shirt at

 

it and shouting.” advised Abigail.

 

“You’ll do no such thing that shirt’s almost new, I only ironed it

 

this morning.” said Barbara.

 

Ron just sat there, his pride and joy was being slowly destroyed. He

 

knew what was coming, any kind of stress and the twitch would

 

begin. It started with the zigzag vein on his left temple beginning to

 

visibly throb. He gripped the leather trimmed steering wheel with its

 

red contrast stitching, matching the leather trimmed gear knob.

 

“Look daddy he ‘s playing with the windscreen wipers.”

 

“Be quiet Abigail and look after your little brother,” said her mum.

 

Christopher was in a little ball, sobbing into his Action Man’s face,

 

while Abigail pulled the string that operated his eagle-eyes feature.

 

 

I paid extra for those wipers with a special rust protection alloy and

 

precision heated washer jets remembered Ron, whose twitch was

 

now in full swing. His head turning to one side and his eyebrows

shooting up and down.

 

“Daddy’s doing that thing again mummy.”

 

“Be quiet Abigail, and look after Chris.”

 

The string that operated the Action Man’s eyes had now snapped

 

and gave the toy a furtive look as they were stuck looking

 

permanently to the left. Abigail stuffed the broken string down the

 

side of the upholstery and tentatively held her brother’s hand.

 

 

“ Where are those park rangers Ron can you see them? And pull

 

yourself together you’re upsetting the kids – we’re safe in here.”

 

Yes, thought Ron but out there the lions had scratched the Midnight

 

Blue paintjob to buggery – and the door mirrors. They were

 

eclectically operated and heated with a black housing and body

 

coloured scull cap, and now lay either side of the Mondeo in several

 

bits. Ron opened the glove box and took out the manual as it

 

released that new-car smell again. Ahh he thought as his eyes

 

alighted on what he was looking for. IPS Features and Tips, the so

 

called Intelligent Protection System, try as he might, he could see

 

nothing to protect it from lion attack – he’d have a word with the

 

Ford Motor Company about that – it could be another one of their

 

special add-on features, at an extra cost of course.

 

 

A second lion joined the party and went onto the roof.

 

“Not another bloody lion, ”said Ron.

 

‘It’s not a lion daddy it’s a lioness; it’s probably its mate. They

mate for life you know, just like you and mum,” said Abigail.

 

The lioness stared though the sunroof, fogging the glass with her

 

breath. Barbara was silent, suddenly depressed at the thought of

 

mating for life with Ron. She looked over at her twitching husband

 

and was almost tempted to step out of the car and be eaten alive

 

by the lions. She imagined the headlines in the Lincolnshire Echo.

 

LOCOL ROTARIAN EATEN ALIVE BY LIONS – Leaves a twitching

 

husband and two children. As the glass in the sunroof cleared, she

 

stared into the eyes of the lioness looking down and thought she

 

saw the look of a kindred spirit in the big cat’s face, then the glass

 

fogged again.

 

“Do you think I should sound the horn again Barbara?”

 

“No, they said not to keep pressing it, just sound it once for five

 

seconds. We’ve done that, we don’t want to annoy them, or they

 

might leave us here longer – that skinny guy looked a real job’s

 

worth.”

 

The slow moving crocodile of cars snaked around them,

 

momentarily slowing as if they were an attraction. Kids were

 

plastered against the windows of the passing cars, laughing and

 

pointing as Ron’s stricken Mondeo sat wounded at the side of the

 

road and staring as Barbara’s mate for life twitched behind the

 

wheel, and a little girl in pigtails stuck her tongue out at them.

 

Ron looked in the rear-view mirror to see if the rangers were

 

approaching – all he saw was the sticker in his window, PLEASE

DRIVE CAREFULLY – PRINCESS ON BOARD.

 

 

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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