Magnolia Madness by Anon

This manuscript, battered and carrying tell tale splashes of paint was pushed through my door late last night.

Could it be from a writer in an alternative universe, a slip stream inhabitant or a terrifying warning from the near future, you decide.





Ken’s tongue traced his upper lip as he put the finishing touches


to the French windows. Ken was a bit of a perfectionist, or a pain in


the arse if his ex was to be believed. He stood, hands on hips and


surveyed his handy-work and a contented smile slid across his face.


Time for a cup of tea, he thought, so he strolled into the kitchen


and switched on the radio, which was permanently anchored to


radio 4, mainly so he’d never miss The Arches.


“We interrupt this programme with a newsflash. The


government has tabled a green paper that any householder of any


type of dwelling that paints their walls magnolia will be fined


£75,000 or a prison sentence up to a maximum of 15 years


depending on the number of offending walls.


A spokesman for the government said this afternoon:


   “We see this as yet another example of broken Britain and beige


and tope are also in our sights.”


Police had mounted early morning raids on hardware stores


across England and Wales. Police were forced to use batons as an


assistant manager at Sainsbury’s Homebase in Orpington started




“Come on and get if you think you are hard enough”


It finally took a hail of rubber bullets to bring the situation under


control said a police spokesman. So far15 million gallons of


magnolia have been destroyed. We now return to our normal


daytime programmes…


Ken could not believe his ears, Magnolia is a lovely colour. The


whole of the downstairs was Magnolia. Ken slowly did the maths, 10


walls – they’d throw the book at him. Panicking, he ran into the


shed and studied the top shelf where he kept any unused tins of


paint. He read their labels Magnolia, Magnolia, Beige, Tope, Tope,


White, Magnolia White, Magnolia, Magnolia.


He was not part of Broken Britain; he was a computer


programmer, he could talk for hours about code and often did. He


worked on a Business Park for goodness sake – He shopped at


Sainsbury’s – he had a Bag-For-Life, how unbroken is that?


Then the thunderbolt struck, as he later described it in his police


statement. He was not going to cow-tow to some government


knee-jerk reaction. He undid the top button of his shirt, which for


Ken was like Clark Kent ripping off his shirt in a local phonebox. He


strode out of the shed like a man possessed. He took the pencil


from behind his ear found the sharpener in the kitchen draw and


sharpened it to a lethal point. He took the hall stairs two at a


time, stepping past the bathroom, with the pleasing aroma of


Parazone tickling his nose. Muttering, “Broken Britain, Broken


Britain, I listen to The Archers for heavens sake – the whatsit has


turned” he concluded. What was it that turned? He could not


remember Anyway whatever it was, he was it!

Ken opened the door to his study, which was actually the upstairs


spare bedroom. The Tope coloured walls were lined with box files.


He closed the floral curtains, the last remaining trace of his ex


which he was reluctant to part with, took one of the files down,


opened it and chose a blue exercise book and wrote on the front in


large capital letters, THE MAGNOLIA LIBERTION FRONT, quietly


whistling under his breath the country classic ‘A boy named Sue’.


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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