Meanwhile back in the Year 1.
There is a disturbance in the River of Time, quite close to where it meets the Sea of Life, where lies the Spear of Destiny, on the Banks of the Ohio (The Ohio).
With a shimmer and a glimmer and near naked swimmer appears the decidedly roguish figure of Mad Tom of Bedlam, wild silver hair and deep blue eyes trying to regain his focus. There is nothing as charming as a handsome cross eyed man.
Tom has been called to check for a ruckus in the Chronology of Uranus; someone is fiddling with a wormhole.
Tom is angry – well he’s Mad so that makes him angry too.
Where is Magdalene? She should have been here…arrived with him…made it on time…put in an appearance by now.
A zap and a smell like a wet dogs fart.
“Where have you been?” asked Tom.
Magdalene pulled herself together, which was normal after travelling through time, and looked Tom in his still slightly askew eyes.
“Ï arrived last week, then last year, then next year,” she explained. “I’m still struggling with the controls on this new machine.”
Tom looked her up and down, then side to side, then round and round like a record baby.
“Fix your bloody eyes will you!” said Magdalene. “I feel like I’m being gawked at by Ben Turpin!”
“You mean Dick?”
“No it’s your eyes!”
The silver barnetted anti-hero pushed hard on his eyes until Magdalene thought they might pop out of his ears, like that time on Pluto; or was it Goofy? At last he released his troubled orbs and they stared alluringly at his fellow time traveller.
“Much better! Now why are you carrying your shoes?” asked Tom.
Indeed, here stood mad Magdalene in beautiful white diaphanous linen, golden hair layered like a Greek Goddess, yet holding her shoes, one in each hand, looking like a sea lion about to clap.
“It’s the gravel…” she muttered.
“But you need the Travel Gravel to keep you grounded in your artificial steep sided unreality when swimming up the seas of time!”
“But it ruins my nice shoes!”
“So I hold it between my toes!”
“Sacre Bleu! You might crush it with those massive toes of yours and turn it into the sands of time! Then where would you be?”
Tom gave his sternest look. Or was it his most stern look?
“You are Mad!”
“And the chronologically challenged Pot calls the Kettle shadowy!”
Such is the banter between the potential heroes of this tale. They travelled time doing good deeds, righting wrongs and sometimes knocking on heaven’s door and running away. Yet they had already lived forever but didn’t know what day it was, two bizarre spectres controlled by who knows what, Mad as a box of frogs or a coach full of Essex girls from Chelmsford.
Which reminds me.
There is a coach load of Essex girls picked up near a club in Chelmsford, by which I mean a night club; not a golf club though some of them were members; and not a wooden club for clubbing baby seals (just how does one seal a baby?).
No this was a proper night club with a discotheque, bald headed bouncers, girls with no knickers, young lads vomiting in the toilets, sticky prophylactics competing with sticky beer covered floors and drunken middle aged swingers surreptitiously adjusting toupees.
Anyway the coach is on Uranus, courtesy of the Witch Iz, who has been experimenting with super trooper spells to control wormholes. The coach load was the biggest pickup so far, though she had previously managed to send a dozen screaming banshees to Liverpool one Saturday night – fortunately nobody noticed.
It is quite clear that our time travelling dynamic duo will need to give the Witch a good slapping and regain control of randomness – only the Masters of Reality are allowed to control the Timelines – though I wish they would also control the railway lines; and the tramlines in Istanbul. Don’t be fooled by Randomness – it is down to Mad Tom of Bedlam. He is even in control of the Sock Market, allowing the Rich to get Richter and the High to get Hire.
So here is the task – to track down the Witch Iz and make sure she isn’t. But where does she live? Some say on a boat but that would be Witch Craft, which is a Krafty Cheesy joke. Some say she lives in a Castle in the Sky, in Witch case she’d certainly have a broom with a view.
Meanwhile there was a coach full of confused young ladies wondering why they weren’t outside The Hacienda, preparing for a night of Goldfish bowls full of Vodka, Slippery Nipples, Straws, strands of hair and bogeys from the girl with hay fever. Mad Tom slipped his hand into his creamy white linen trousers, made a few adjustments, and in a total reversal of Aladdin’s genie; they were gone – coach, confused driver, girls and handbags full of condoms for the lucky ones and tampons for the might-get-lucky ones.
“Impressive,” said Magdalene. “I take it it is all in the wrist action?”
“Yes,” beamed Tom.
“I always knew you were a wrist merchant,” she smiled, being just momentarily the Dark Terror.