Pictures by Tony Attwood; historical reporting by Sir Hardly Anyone, of whom it has been said.
That they were there when we set out, of that there could be no dispute. Cars. A row of them. All neatly parked in the allegedly mystical Splash Lane, so-called because, well, just so-called. That’s all you need to know.
But they were there, and we knew they were there because most of us had driven or been driven in one of them, used as they are for blocking up roads and similar activities.
Indeed some of us had quite a discussion about this at the off. “How did you get here?” asks one. “By car,” replies the other. “Watch out,” says the first. “They get together and plot. I sense a rebellion being hatched.”
“Tish and tush,” replies the other, “What nonsense is this?” But from such exchanges much is learned. The cars are abandoned, left to their fate (or was that fete?) and off we marched headlong up the hill with a deep foreboding that in due course there would be a downcoming. Or would that be downsizing? Who can say?
Yet fear we had none. The grass was grassy, the cars had waved their farewells and on we marched, to boldly split infinitives that no one had splat before.
And yet the forebodings remained, for there was no doubt that after a while, where there had once been 20 or more of us marching merrily en route, or in the case of passing trees, on roots, now we asked whereforth had they vanished, if anywhere?
Was it all perchance just a dream? A sad reflection on reality gone missing? A deep-rooted disaffection with the disassociation from those who had got detached while looking for descriptions starting with d? But some remained and we marched forward, oblivious to the ancient tales of Splash Lane, where walkers vanish into nothingness, and where nothingness turns into a negative infinity of the square root of minus a busstop. [Actually, I think I may have got that bit wrong but you know what I mean].
And by now, it must be admitted, questions were starting, if not to be asked, then at least to be formulated within the heart and soul of our increasingly small band. Whereforth had the rest of the gang gone? We spoke to the sky, to the wind, to the river and to the trees demanding to know… Had they found a convenient cafe? Or stopped for…, well, one couldn’t possibly say.
To whence forthwith proceeded the river, and if not, why? It was indeed a mystery of the premier order. For here was a tree, and there was a river, and elsewhere grass. But walkers? Could it be that as oft is rumoured in the vicinity of Splash Lane that therein resides the Kingdom of the “Others”???
Well, it certainly looked like it, for finally, we found the entrance to their devilish kingdom.
Others passed on by, marching quickly onward, calling the plaintive call, “Here car, here car, where are you car, come back to daddy,” or indeed “mummy” as the case may be. But no car would dare stir itself in the vicinity of Splash Towers.
Indeed only one of our merry gang would dare approach taking of the photographic evidence as he went until… he was gone. Your intrepid correspondent approached slowly, stick in hand, and retrieved the camera from wherein it had fallen, but of the body there was no sign.
Thus we had no choice but venture fifth, hoping against hope that we could find our way out of this benighted Kingdom of the Lost Wind to a safer land of calm and light, and through many miles of walking and meandering we did indeed finally make it make to Splash Lane, south west of the even more infamous Water Lane, of which it has been said.
Relief there was to recognise the way back, but happiness it was not to be, as it became quickly clear that the Spashites who inhabit the area had indeed been lying in wait and had eaten our cars. Not one was left!
Indeed worse, Splash Lane itself gone, removed from its origins, I say, for therein was nothing. Not a single one.
Gnashing of the teeth was there much, and detailed discussion followed but no solution could be seen. Splash Lane had once again claimed its victims and we were lost.
Three of us went to the pub after that, but it was shut, which was also a bit disappointing. But better luck next time.