Thursday, August 30, 2007


The four horsemen of the apocalypse rode out into the sunshine of another summer’s day. Three of them were girls. They would start their tour of destruction in the back garden.

But first there were daisy chains to be made and butterflies to be chased. The boy dangled his toes in the water of the stream which bubbled along at the bottom of the hill. There would be hell to pay when mother found out but demonic angels were accustomed to adversity and later was a long time in the future.

The youngest girl interrupted her butterfly chase to scrunch her eyes shut as a bee flew by too close for comfort. “A pestilence on all bees!” she announced to the indifferent blue sky. She wasn’t sure what a pestilence was but it sounded like a good way of avoiding bee stings.

The eldest girl tried hard to avoid the rumblings of her stomach as she concentrated on making a flower necklace for pestilence, who was fond of such fripperies. She wished that she had eaten some breakfast though it didn’t seem like an appropriate way to bring about famine and anyway she was on a diet. Daddy didn’t like fat girls.

War was having similar thoughts as she attacked the crisps, which she had smuggled out of the kitchen along with a bottle of pop. What daddy didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, she thought as she battled to unscrew the top from the lemonade bottle.

The morning stretched out in front of them, an endless panorama of possibilities. It would be a shame to bring the world to an end before they had explored some of them. The four gathered under a great oak tree to discuss the situation in the cool of its tranquil shade. A unanimous decision was reached to delay the apocalypse until after lunch, which was a lifetime away.

War mustered her forces, cunningly disguised as trees, she shouted commands to the sentinel bodies of the attentive forest and pestilence ran away from a huge spider wishing heartily that all insects would get sick so that they would have to stay in bed. Famine pondered the problem of what if anything she should eat for lunch as she tied off the daisy chain and set about making a matching bracelet. The boy, otherwise known as death wandered away on his own, he had some time to kill…..