Renewable Energy

A silouette of a tall, thin man carrying a large bag appeared at the pub's doorway.

The figure entered. Here was a man whose features were so gaunt, his skin so leathery, there was no way to estimate his age. He was dressed in an immaculately sharp and fitted black suit which made him look even thinner. He dropped the thick leather brown bag on the floor under a coatstand, next to a table where a young couple were embracing each other. He spots Castor sitting at a table across the room and smiles a wide grin revealing a shiny gold tooth; amongst otherwise a perfect rack of pearly white teeth.

He weaves his way through the other customers, who are in varying states of conversation and sobriety.

'Rodan, it's been a long time.'

'Far too long, old friend.'

The lights blink off and on a few times. The barman tries flicking the switch a couple of times in vain.

'I have been following your work, though.' continued Rodan, 'I take it Yersinia Pestis was one of yours?'

'Well spotted. I loved the way 'bubonic' rolled off the tongue. It was very popular.  It passed onto about a thousand different planets.  You could even say it went viral.'

'I always said you had a "black" sense of humour.' They both laughed, with Rodan's being hearty and Castor more of a hissing, weasing sort of noise.

'Very good,' says Castor. The lights flicker again. 'What is up with these lights?'

Rodan smiles again, 'You'll like this. Do you see that bag over there?'


'It's full of these,' He tosses a glowing lumious green bar to Castor.

'Pretty,' Castor says as he rubs it next to his skin on his face, 'It's tickling, it's making my insides bubble. What is it?'

'They call them boron control rods.'

'What are they for?'

'Well. Do you know that nuclear power plant down the road?'

'Yes.' The room goes dark and the ground shook for a moment. Everything stood up including drinks, bottles, lamps were thrown violently onto their sides.

'They are supposed to stop it doing that. Going boom that is.'

Castor claps with childish glee, 'Excellent.'

The young couple, who had moved on from embracing to full on smooching, hadn't noticed that the bag Rodan had left by them had itself taken on a luminous green glow.  Engrossed in their current activities they hadn't noticed anything that had been going on around them.  It wasn't until they effortlessly had both pulled large clumps of hair from each other's scalps, revealing large bloodied bald spots, that broke them from their own little reverie.  At this point the girl lets out a shrill scream at the clump of hair in her hand and then at the clump of her hair in his. She grabs her head in shame and runs from the pub, boyfriend in close pursuit.

'Whoops,' says Rodan matter-of-factly.

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© Copyright 2010 Paul Phillips

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