Man On The Spot
“Now, I was about to say that from Ned Forecastle and me, Sue Pream, that’s all from ‘The World This Evening’. However, we can return briefly to the extraordinary happenings on the Indian Ocean island of Dhjamdhjar, about which news was reaching us when we came on air. We’ve now heard that our reporter Timothy Module is in situ there and on the line. Tim?”
Sue: Yes, we can hear you, Tim. What’s going on there?
Tim: It’s astonishing, Sue. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Sue: Like what, Tim?
Tim: I’ve been here for three hours now and there’s no let-up. I didn’t see any sign of it at the coast, but soon found myself literally fighting my way through to the interior.
Sue: Interior? We were given to understand that the island is only about a mile square.
Tim: A mile can be hell in this, Sue, I can tell you. I’ve got the microphone in one hand and a stick in the other. It’s . . . oh . . . ah . . . get away from me.
Sue: Can you describe it, Tim?
Tim: Yes, Sue. It’s indescribable.
Sue: Is it possible to be more specific, Tim?
Tim: I’ll try, Sue. These are the most amazing scenes I’ve ever witnessed. The air is full of it. It’s . . . ouch, it’s raining ch . . . ooh, one of them just hit me on the head.
Sue: One of what, Tim?
Tim: It’s astounding. They seem to be everywhere.
Sue: Who or what are, Tim?
Tim: Oh, there was another. There seems to be no end to it.
Sue: Yes, Tim, I know this must be difficult for you. What exactly are these things?
Tim: . . . seem to be in various forms. The village headman says it all came suddenly, out of the mountains.
Sue: Sounds terrifying, Tim. Carry on if you can.
Ned: (sotto voce). Close your mouth, Sue. You’re drooling.
Tim: It’s a veritable sea. We’re surrounded on all sides.
Sue: We understand, Tim. If you’re surrounded, it would be on all sides. Can you clarify what it is?
Tim: Oh, God, I’m practically up to the thighs in them. It appears to be limitless.
Sue: We’re engaged with your problem, Tim. I’m just wondering, is this an ‘it’ or a ‘them’ we’re talking about?
Tim: It’s all of that and then some, Sue.
Sue: You seem to be in the same position as Hamlet, Tim. A sea of troubles. Would that be a fair assessment?
Tim: My goodness, I don’t believe it. Sometimes nine feet tall, other times liquid. I can say honestly that I’ve been in trouble spots all over the world, but haven’t experienced anything like this. It’s . . . it’s . . . harrowing, Sue. I’ve never been so . . . so . . .
Tim: That’s exactly right, Sue. This whole thing is a . . . ugh, bazaar.
Sue: Did you say ‘bizarre’, Tim?
Tim: Yes, Sue, bazaar.
Sue: You’re breaking up a little, Tim. I take it we’re we talking ‘weird’ rather than ‘market’?
Tim: More, much more. Oh, for God’s sake, keep your distance, you wretched th… Ah, take that. Sorry, Sue, but this is just too awful.
Sue: Tim, we heard earlier that there were dreadful scenes of carnage. Is that right? Is it really, really horrible?
Ned: (sotto voce). Will you stop panting, Sue. We’re on air.
Tim: I have to go now. I’m heading for the high ground. They say there’s an outside chance of safety there. I’ll contact you again as soon as I can. Out.
Sue: Well, we have to thank Timothy Module for his lucid account of the developments on Dhjamdhjar. We hope to return to this in our late bulletin. Coming up next, the weather report.
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