“This is it Billy. This is what is going to make me and you famous my friend.”
“OK Jimmy. What exactly is it?”
“It’s a Moon Ballon, mate. It’ll take us into space. The bloke who sold it to me said it’s what Chinese astronauts use.”
“And how exactly does it work?”
“It’s dead easy. It’s even got some instructions. Look.”
“But Jimmy, they’re in Chinese.”
“Not a problem mate. The chap who sold it to me had a cousin who worked in a Chinese restaurant. According to him it just says we need a basket and a big gas bottle. The rest is self explanatory.”
“What we waiting for then, Jimmy? Let’s get going.”
Later that week there were reports of an unidentified flying object being seen in the night sky. Government sources said that the object had been destroyed when it had failed to respond to all radio communication.
It’s that bitch from number 43, won’t leave me alone. Every time I leave the house she’s there, by my side, those big doleful eyes staring up at me. Gives me the shivers it does.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s a real looker and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been tempted. But she wants more than I’m prepared to give her. I know what would happen. It would start off as a simple walk together, then one sniff would lead to another and that would be that – my bachelor life would be over. Before long the place would be full of puppies and I’d never get out to the pub or a footy match with the lads. Best I keep out of temptations way.
I’m telling you mate, it was me. See it fits. I told you it would. That’s ‘cos I was the bird dancing with the Prince all last night. I know I shouldn’t have left like I did, running off at the stroke of midnight, but I had to. I’d left the kids with a neighbour and she’d said she could only mind them until her old man got home at 12. I didn’t want to leave them on their own for too long, not with them being so tiny. Well you don’t do you? Bleeding shoe fell off as I was running down the stairs. Then I couldn’t get a taxi and had to walk home in that rain. Soaked I was. Any way it’ll be OK now, what with the Prince having found the true love of his life. What did you say his name was again?
“That’s right son. Most of them have been knocked down but this one has been protected. A reminder of how bad things used to be.”
“Why was it called a photo centre dad?”
“It’s where people used to go in the olden days to have their photographs taken. I remember my father, your granddad, telling me all about it.”
“Did Granddad have his photo taken?”
“Yes he did but don’t tell your mum I told you. She gets upset if we talk about things like that.”
“Have you still go the photo dad? What does it look like?”
“No I don’t. It got lost in the great burnings when the Volgans took over the planet in ’63. They made us destroy all images and image taking devices. That’s why we no longer have any photos or videos.”