Sunday, 4 December 2016

Chroma.

Chroma.

Brian hoisted the snack  basket higher up onto his hip, balancing it’s contents  carefully and buzzed into the laboratory area with his keycard . He was often the last of the catering services crew to leave. He did not mind, he liked the quiet. Most of the professors and lecturers  in this department had already left for the day, but Doctor Roberts always stayed late on Thursday and today he had specifically asked Brian to bring some tuna baguettes in for his dinner.

 Brian, a dutiful and grateful employee here at the University had, unbidden  put aside an apple and a large green tea  paying for them from the meagre pickings of his own pocket.

He had the deepest respect for Doctor Roberts. He was his hero.

The glow from The doctor’s biological sciences lab was gently bluish. That blue glow was like a beacon to him, a sign of the great  things happening inside.

Brian knocked gently, almost tentatively and a  voice bade him come in. Dr James Roberts smiled in welcome. Dressed in a stiff ,brilliantly white coat
and purple latex gloves, he held in his hand a pair of delicate silver tweezers.

“Marvellous timing Brian, I was just getting peckish and here your are, my favourite patient and colleague .”

Brian coloured. His blush deepening to a florid scarlet when he handed over the tea and the ruby red fruit, the one  he had secretly polished with a fresh crisp  handkerchief to a beautiful shine. He felt silly now in the face of Dr Robert’s appraising gaze.

James in turn  thanked him warmly but his eyes tightened just a little as he received the little extras . He thought perhaps the time might have come to reduce his contact Brian. Even a an optic expert with only a rudimentary knowledge of psychology  could see classic transference in play when it was in front of him.

His work with Brian Noble had been groundbreaking and  so exciting, the lenses he had been able to transplant had been so fine that the healing process had been almost instantaneous and despite the fact that drops had been administered to prevent infection, they had been wholly unnecessary.

This one patient alone had brought his research forward by at least a decade. His contributors on the project were ecstatic with his progress.

The poor man had been deserving, that much  was indisputable; but perhaps in his soft hearted wish to help the young man and his  subsequent very hands on personal supervision of the healing process,  he had encouraged a lonely man to become dependant on him for validation . Dr Roberts had sought only improvement in “Quality of life “ and to his mind, he had succeeded.

Brian had been afflicted with terrible balance problems from childhood.  He had propensity to bump into things and  often people too, due to a much depressed sense of spatial awareness.Adding insult to injury as a small child he had been forced to wear Elasterplast eye patches for hours on end in a futile attempt to rectify a squint. National Health glasses with thick glass lenses, distorted his eyes beneath them; had been the  cause of much bullying and torment.

 Despite being a fragile soul, he had Grown into his impairment and cheerfully laughed off the fact he bumped into people on occasions.

As a youngster, struck down by terrible headaches even with his thick, ugly National health framed glasses reading had been difficult so for him, much academic success had been pretty much unattainable.Compounding  his troubles, several trips and falls in  his early teens  had meant broken bones in every one of his limbs at one point or another and this had further hindered his development at school.

When James Roberts had  been granted tenure here  and given a massive cash injection to further his work, he had, in a bid to pay his good luck forward ,conducted a rudimentary eye test on all the employees of the cleaning and catering crews of which Brian was one.

He had taken an instant liking to  this  unassuming man in his early thirties whose life up until that point had been one of struggle and pain. Coming himself  from solid  working class stock and knowing  it had been just chance that he had been gifted enough in science to enter optometry as a profession, coupled with an easy manner and good looks had he had amassed a fortune garnered by correcting the vision of starlets and personalities on both sides of the Atlantic.

This had brought him into the sphere of his Research benefactors.

Brian Noble’s eyes had been intriguing! The damage to his lenses had been so extreme that  he had happily corrected them for free. Brian had been more than happy to let him use his newly designed synthetic lens and had offered himself up as a Guinea pig for the regular observation that was necessary for human trials.

“ Should I wait for you tonight ? “ Brian asked shifting from foot to foot and eyeing his cart nervously through the square  window in the door. He doubted it would get pinched but it  was against his nature to cause a trip hazard, being so likely to fall victim to anything in the walkways himself, on the other hand he was loathe to  leave Dr Roberts if he needed him for something else.

“Oh no Brian, get yourself home!” The man looked  mildly crestfallen and all of James ‘ finer feelings’ poked him hard in the gut  “ thank you for supper, it looks delicious . “ he said  as the man opened the door to leave . On a whim , almost despite himself, he found himself adding,

“Come see me on Monday at 7:30 Brian, I have something to show you that I think you might enjoy.”

“Okay Doctor, I’ll be here.”


At 7:30 on the dot, Brian buzzed into the lab once again. He stood quietly waiting for Doctor Roberts to finish his task at a high bench across the room. Turning  and beckoning him forward, he pulled a small vial from a refrigerated cupboard.

“These are your lenses Brian, the ones I removed earlier this year. I wanted to show how much they have aided my work. You can be very proud when you move on to pastures new that your eyes will be helping  hundreds of people with eyesight problems for decades to come.”

Brian’s interest now piqued, he had missed the gentle inference that he would be no longer required  to come to the lab.  James had deliberately orchestrated  the “check up “to provide a positive experience to end  his association with Brian who was now superfluous  when the next stage of testing would begin.

The plan was to ask for him to be reassigned to another part of the college  where he might make new associations and maybe friendships and be unaware of the new trial candidates his sponsors had lined up for the next stage.

The clear lenses  that had caused him so much pain and stress , were now floating innocuously in a saline solution tinted just slightly bluish with a compound that would prevent proteins from forming on the delicate membranes  and when placed under a microscope would  delineate  the criss-cross of fine scratches that had impaired his vision for so long.

These microscopic Scratches were refracting light and so creating what experts called so descriptively “floaters” the little black blobs that seem to drift across your line of vision at random. Brian had been plagued by so many that it was causing headaches and clumsiness.

The new lenses he had now  were almost imperfection free.

The plan had been to show Brian the refractory power of what was to all intents and purposes; a prism made of flesh  by  shining a laser through his  lens to show the way the light was being misdirected and affecting his vision. But first he had something even more impressive to show the obliging young man.

Roberts pulled the tray of diamond chips out of the felt lined drawer. The red velveteen looking like a set of  cinema drapes and he deftly attached a smooth sliver to the cradle attached to the laser. He set up a white screen opposite in the window alcove.

“Come on over Brian and sit down here, I think you’ll like this very much.”

As the Doctor switched on the laser and as myriad  of rings of colour appeared, the childhood rhyme of “ Red and yellow and pink and Green”  leapt unbidden  into Brian’s mind.

It was an amazing spectacle as each of the primary colours were represented and then blended to create all the others. Brian was enthralled. Slack  jawed he watched James flick a switch and make the laser gently oscillate. The colours began to coalesce  and move faster, creating different hues and tones and then, without  warning,it happened…

A sudden  gust of wind caught the window slamming it inwards and in so doing  knocked the white screen aside. A flash and a sensation of searing heat and the laser  that had  been refracting through diamonds was now also bouncing off a window pane covered in condensation droplets, randomly directing the lines of refraction directly onto the unsuspecting retinas of poor Brian Noble.

 A gasp and an agonised ,but futile attempt to get  hands clamped over both eyes, and poor Brian fainted in shock.


**********




It is some nine weeks before Brian’s badly damaged eyes can be released from the confines of their bandaging. His eyelids have been taped shut and moist circles of gauze dipped in chilled saline solution laced with antibiotic are secured across both eyes. He has been very quiet, only speaking when addressed directly and when, in his sleep he calls out about the rainbows, the colours. The Colours…

James Roberts had  been a daily visitor, paying  for the private treatment and  twenty four hour nursing care from his own pocket . He has put almost all lab work aside.His  is the face that he hopes will be the first that Brian sees after the accident so that he will see, rather than hear  the sorrow that he feels. He wants to be absolved of the regret  and guilt that his selfish act to try to lessen the emotional attachment he felt Brian had assigned himation little or no impact to his, had ended in such a  calamitous accident.

He had admitted to himself that he had been showboating. He had been trying to be clever, dazzling the man with science to make the cutting of ties more bearable to him, hoping to see wonder in the quiet man’s face whilst simultaneously breaking free of the puppy dog admiration. He had thought little of the ramifications of this egotistical showmanship.

Oh he had dazzled Brian alright, with a refracted medical laser, an “accident “ for which Noble had every right to sue him. If questioned he would be out of the Department, lose his tenure, for God’s Sake, He had not even thought to offer him protective goggles!

If Brian did not see again, the whole project could be refunded and his career would be in tatters. Today though, the hour had finally  come. Would Brian’s retinas have recovered or had there  been irreparable damage?

The bandages were un- furled. The moist circles removed, the tape gently peeled away. There was no fear that the tape might bring some lashes with it as he had lost those within days of the accident. The edges of the lids where lashes should have sprouted  were still pinkish and raw rather like those of  a sufferer of severe conjunctivitis.

“Okay Brian in your own time, just very  slowly open your eyes. Don’t rush it, they might still be a bit gummy from the tape.”

Brian did not move for a few seconds and then gradually minuscule millimetre by millimetre began to try to open his eyes. He blinked into the darkness, all blinds and extraneous lights had been extinguished. After a few seconds he spoke,

“It's Grey “ he said great tears of grief pooling in his eyes. “The whole world is grey.”

“Well it is quite dark in here Brian, give  your eyes time to adjust” Roberts said tension making his voice sound slightly broken.

For several minutes they waited. After a while  Roberts asked Brian to look at a red light on a board set up across the room and then swapped it for a green light and eventually a brilliant blue light, but all Brian registered was a whitish grey in every instance.

Willing himself to remain calm, but sweat trickling down his neck and acid broiling in his stomach,Roberts brought a potted plant  from another patient’s locker. Brian stared intently at the huge daisies in a vase that was placed on his table.The image was clear and crisp, but there was not a single trace of yellow or orange in his view.

There were just varying shades of pale Grey. He blinked a few times, partly to dislodge the tears that threatened again to fall apace. His chin dropped to his chest .He knew his pyjamas were blue but these too looked like an insipid slate colour. Now splashed with large wet grey spots.

Over the next forty eight hours, the  reality of his situation began to become apparent. He had perfect vision ,his depth perception was restored, his focus clear and crisp, but  all colour had seemingly been removed from his visual field. The doctors and nurses stood mute integrity face of his confusion and despair. Roberts had never heard of such a thing. He ached to go confer with esteemed colleagues about this, to research it ever occurring elsewhere, but he knew he would have to manage Brian’s reaction before any research could happen..

“Brian, I know this is distressing.” He began,

“Distressing? Distressing? Are you taking the piss? This is downright bloody terrifying, “Brian said,  Tear began to flow in rivulets down his sallow cheek. “ Even when my eyesight  was  so bad that  I stumbled about like a toddler, I could tell the difference between a bunch of red grapes and a bunch of green ones,” he said picking up and  launching the bowl of offending fruit across the room so  hard that it shattered and the soft fruit exploded in a gelatinous Grey shower on the wall opposite.

The normally subservient part of himself  was suddenly  mortified at this act of wanton destruction, but deeper in a secret part of his mind, he was secretly pleased to see the look of horror on the good doctor’s ashen face. Roberts was after all the architect of his current misery. He looked around, but then again everyone’s face was ashen at the moment. Ash grey like the dregs in an ashtray. Was this his lot now, to look on everyone as ashy dregs?

The thought incensed him once again.

He had been prodded and poked repeatedly and now he was just utterly appalled.His life was irrevocably changed but he did not for one more moment want to look on these grey pitying people for one more moment.

“If you cannot help me, just let me go home.” He shouted.

Home he went.



**********

Granted medical retirement by the University in a bid to avoid any legal action, Brian sat at home watching  what was to all intents and purposes, black and white television on the latest liquid crystal screen. He spent hours Watching birds out  of his window with plumage of charcoal and slate. He yearned for the ruby red of a Robin’s breast, the green and  purple sheen of a blackbird caught in the sun he yearned for any colour at all.

It is of course, the smallest things that make the most impact in times of strain.  It was a tube of mustard that really pushed Brian over the edge into depression. As he squeezed a thin line of grey sludge onto a beef sandwich, the bovine filling looking utterly inedible alone, but adorned with the mustard, it pushed Brian over the edge into hysterical tears once again.

Then just as Brian began to adjust to his new colourless existence, that he met Dawn.

Dawn had moved into the flat downstairs. As Brian peered through the window at her as the removal van arrived he saw a strange sight. She appeared to dress exclusively in the clothing of dead old age pensioners.all her clothes seemed to be the kind of thing  donated by relatives  to the Oxfam shop. Even to Brian whose limited colour palate now ensured a more muted impression, it seemed that she dressed in clothes that clashed horridly together  and judging by the reaction of passers by, they clashed harder than a pair of cymbals at a Salvation Army March. Brian chuckled as he saw the look of utter bewilderment on his next door neighbour Mrs Tweddle. The first time a laugh had passed his lips in two months.

She was also exceptionally social it seemed. She had appeared at his door with a plate of chocolate biscuits resting on a huge mug of tea only twenty minutes after her last box was deposited. She had even brought sugar cubes in her pocket in case he took his tea sweet.


Without any preamble at all she delivers the mug into his hand and strolls into his front room and  demands to hear his story. If he is going to be her closest neighbour she wants to know  what he is about. He gives her a brief  synopsis. She munches meditatively on a hobnob. She hears about his accident and takes it upon herself to bring the “poor man  out of himself”.

She is kind. She is, in Brian's estimations at least,  just a little bit crazy, but she is friendly and Brian has had very few friends and over a course of weeks( and various baskets of cakes, biscuits and other culinary delights.) she becomes the high point of his day.

She  drops by before or after shifts  at the health centre where she teaches yoga and meditation and they chat for a while and discover some shared loves. The outdoors and the literary works of  the Bronte sisters are just two. She maintains two thirds of all conversations because Brian she finds, is a man of few words. She decides one day that they should pool their allotted yard space out the back to grow vegetables.

"They'll be organic and free once we have bought all the stuff for the beds" she says.

Despite being on a low income she manages to appropriate a good deal of the raw materials needed to construct rudimentary planters by salvaging and begging and it is whilst she is transferring some tomato seedlings she has germinated on her windowsill into one of the beds, kneeling  in a gypsy skirt with more flounces on it that a whole troop of flamenco dancers, that Brian is suddenly aware of a movement.
Almost imperceptibly at first, there appears  around her head there a miasma of mist.  Brian blinked several times to be sure, but it remained.At first a pale white and then as he continues to stare it glows a vibrant  and glorious shade of Green. His brain shrieks at him ! He can see the colour  Green!

He can smell the earthiness of the potting soil she is using to bed in her plants,  he knows in his mind it is a rich dark brown, it still remains a shade of  Grey as she dabbles about in it with a trowel. As he watches all of her exposed skin becomes enveloped in a bubble of green mist.

 Her clothes remain drab, but she herself  becomes emerald hewed and he is so taken aback that he forgets to be shy and tells her of this startling development.

“It is beautiful, like  a delicate veil around you, fine like a mesh so you can see you clearly beneath and constantly moving, kind of like a pulse”

After  a few moments of stunned silence she stands and allows him to look upon her and then finally clasps him by the hands.

“That’s your third eye opening Brian, we all have it, but not all of us have the capacity to utilise it. Wonderful! I am so pleased!”  (She is secretly very  pleased as  she has always thought she was a mother earth figure and now her rather strange friend has confirmed it, her aura was green! Whee!)

She decides to see if his  mental antennae will extend beyond this small yard and takes him to the local  park to see if anyone else flashes into his mind's eye  and to her delight and his utter shock, people actually really do.

Not as  brilliantly as her, it has to be said  as even away from her gardening duties she shimmers a kind of muted forest green as she clomps down the gravel path in her grey Clogs, She assures him they are violet, but he has no clue of course!

Children on the swings flash varying shades of yellow, this seems to be the colour of excitement and contentment it seems.  Exasperation as evident on many a mother’s face  appears to be Navy blue with tiredness a more muted bluish lilac. It seemed that every human emotion has a colour all of it's own and the local park is the place to see the rainbow in all it’s splendour.


They get an ice cream to celebrate, and sit on a bench near the bandstand and listen to a stirring rendition of  The Theme from the Dam Busters. The cone she delicately licks is  a brilliant shade of turquoise she informs him, it is called Blue Raspberry, but Brian strongly doubts that the vile tasting confection (she lets him have a lick) has ever been near a  real raspberry.

He much prefers his vanilla. As he sits , he realises his life has always been dependable and a little bit bland a bit like a vanilla cone and he had been happy to plod along within it’s confines until the accident and now life had taken so many twists and turns that he wondered whether perhaps he might be a little more willing to accept change. Maybe next time if they came to the park he might have Raspberry ripple!

She does not seem to care that he is dull company, her aura is flashing a bright sunny yellow, the colour of  the petals of a Sunflower itself.

Brian smiles for the first time in  an age. As it seems  he can now see better than anyone else! After all these years of His calamitous accident has given him a gift beyond imagining. His inner  sight was special  and the colours he was now  missing in daily life were now not so sorely missed when presented with living breathing energies of a million different variations.

The glory of creation was no longer lost on him. He licked his vanilla cone and imagined it's creamy pale yellowness to be like a gentle contentment, which in fact was what he was. Contented and the colour of custard when he looked down at his own hand.

He visits the park often. He likes to just stroll about. It is more pleasant than the high street but always held the best mix of individuals.He is careful not to linger too often in places where young children might  like to play. He knows it will seem odd, a grown man fixated on laughing, playing children.

On one particular day, he was strolling  around the smaller playground where the seesaws and roundabouts for the smaller children were. This  playground is a places of myriad hues of yellow, but on this particular day, he suddenly sees something that made his blood curdle. It was almost comical if it had not have been so awful.

There is a man sat in a dirty raincoat  staring at a particularly pretty little girl with minions hair bands securing her pigtails as she spins around and around on the roundabout.

The broiling, blackness spliced through with khaki and mustard splashes surrounded the man from head to foot.  Brian stood rooted to the spot as the column of foulness rotated around him like a twister cyclone  as the man gradually sidled along the bench a few inches at a time getting closer and closer to the small child. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a battered paper bag.

Brian was suddenly incensed.

That this man could be so blatantly using every cliché in the book to entice a child enraged him. His own  personal cloud  rapidly turned a deep shade of blue black, solid and true hued right up to the second he walked behind his now personal nemesis and dumped the entire quantity of his iced tea.   (complete with the two thirds of a cup of ice chips that were invariably  used to pad out the beverages at the teashop so that More could be charged for less.)

The man jumped up and screamed in Brian’s face calling him a  “fucking Mong” which brought all the Mother’s and au pairs within earshot to attention like a whole troop of meerkats and the blonde haired, tanned  mother of the little minion loving tot gently drew her child away and as quickly as it had come, Brian’s rage subsided.

Now he was just frightened. The sight of the darkness within the man had been awful to behold. The cloud of foulness had been violent and had obliterated any humanity in the man. This total obliteration of what was outwardly normal had been shocking.

Brian ran back to his flat, locking the front door and pulling the chain across , then he pressed the lock buttons on all his  windows and pulled the curtains against the world.He sat  peering out of the window  periodically and studiously ignoring the increasingly violent knocks by his neighbour Dawn.

"I know you are in there Brian, just tell me what's wrong." she shouted through the letterbox. Eventually after three days she stopped knocking.

Brian wasn't actually sure why he had sequestered himself, it was not that he was scared of reprisals, the man had been far too busy running away from the scene as mothers clucked about pulling their children away from the swearing man in the awful old raincoat. Secretly feeling a little bit guilty that they had not noticed him before sitting so close to the tots. Fortuitous then that the younger man had accidentally dropped his drink.

Little they new. John Clarke  was an odious man who had over a period of years gone from downloading child porn to the point in recent weeks of planning an abduction. He had researched what was most popular with young girls and  had chosen the “Frozen” themed jelly sweets deliberately to lure “a particular kind”of child.

 Brian made  an anonymous phone call to the local police station to report a suspicious character lurking at the kiddies play area. The idiot man was so committed to his cause that he had only gone home to change and police caught him red handed, on investigating his flat they had found all manner of incriminating files on his computer and an Elsa costume.

What did a man with no children need a child’s dressing up costume they had asked? No credible answer was given.

Brian’s real fear was that what he had seen collected around that man like a swarm of locusts might try to attach itself to him, that somehow the darkness and broiling slime of that man's evil might fly right at him and be ingested like a vile soup and sour him forever.

He had been so filled by hope by the discovery of the Auras, he had thought it worth the sacrifice of his colour sight to experience the true nature of humanity, but here he was back at square one. Desolate and frightened, he sat quietly and brooded.

Finally on the fourth day when the cupboards contained only a jar Branston Sandwich pickle and an ancient packet of super noodles, Brian was forced to leave the house. Having tried the pickle before even contemplating  the noodles, Brian knew things had got pretty desperate and he tried to slink  to the supermarket as soon as it opened.

He was thwarted in this by the glowering figure  of Dawn who was seeming camping out in the vestibule and  was almost as incensed  by the fact he had failed in his duty to water the plants, as she was that he had denied her access to the flat when she only wanted to check on him.

Snatching the basket filled with as much food  as he could find that could be cooked without more than a hob or a microwave, she  unceremoniously dumped it  into  the display case for the Food bank and she proceeded  to  haul him off to the local vegetarian café for a  mezzé and a stern talking to.

Her aura was bordering on Blue and it flashed as often as her angry eyes had, but once  he had sat it started lightening to the palest of greens and the sight of it soothed him enough to be able to explain why he had become a hermit.

She considered for a moment.

"Look Brian ,it might just be that particular  guy? Well maybe he was just extra vile and your sensitivity picked it up, you should not let it get to you so much, what we need is more evidence so we can compare results," she declared.

"You do realise that I am a human and  not a science experiment don't you?" He muttered as he grudgingly allowed himself to be dragged to the local crown court and  be sat in the Public Gallery for the entire day’s cases to see what colour the "Criminals and reprobates" might appear in his mind's eye.

Most of the Crimes were run of the mill, but  even those who had committed pretty serious crimes never really came close to the blackness that had followed the man in the park.

Dawn was finally convinced.

"Well Brian, it seems to me you might be the first  human Evil  Detector on the planet old chum" she smiled but then sobered, shaking her head sadly "what a burden to have to carry? Then again, I guess it depends just what it is you intend to do with that knowledge? What will you do if  you come across someone else as besmirched as the man in the Park?" she mused as if to herself.

Brian was at a loss. He could form no cognitive thought of his own as he contemplated the fact that his special gift might just be a radar for evil. This was just too much for him to handle on his own and much as he appreciated his friend Dawn’s blithe acceptance of his gift, he felt that even she, as vivacious and brave as she was; could not really advise him how to go forward so he turned to the cleverest person he knew.

He telephoned Doctor Roberts as soon as he got home. He was undecided as to how to explain exactly why he wanted to see the man so urgently after he had left in  such a state of high dudgeon. In the end He had decided to just ask for an examination and hopefully just blurt it out, but he had barely given more than his name  than Doctor Roberts had exuberantly invited him to come on in and see him.

Brian was trepidatious as he arrived at the Laboratory area,he had asked to be escorted, it seemed more formal that way. His palms were a bit clammy and he felt faintly like he might be sick, he stillhad not settled on what he was going to say.

 Dr Roberts replaced the phone  receiver as Brian entered, he looked concerned, but quickly arranged his features and dashed forward to shake his hand vigourously.

“Brian, you do not know how glad I am to see you! How are you feeling? You look well and hearty. No headaches or double vision at all?

“I am  perfectly well physically doctor, in fact I think that is improving , it is my mind I am worried about!”

“Your mind Brian? You do know that isn’t my field of expertise Brian? If you need counselling we can try to get that for you, but I am not sure I can help .”

“Yes yes, I know all of that!  It’s just that things are so changed…. I’m changed! I have … Well I have superpowers”

The Doctor blinked several times rapidly and his thoughts flashed to the day all those months ago  when he had thought the man had become a little unhinged.

He had however been informed to be conciliatory to the man by his  benefactors, the cost of the research, the materials, everything he had done to get the project this far relied on their patronage and  so he nodded slowly and sat Brian down and asked him to explain exactly  what had he meant.

It took very little time  at all.

“Brian, if what you tell me is true, this is a miracle,  a gift! Not a curse. Go away live your life.”

“No, it’s awful, it’s a curse!” Brian shouted. “And I want you to cure me. Put my old lenses back, give me my natural sightless life.”

“Brian!  I can’t, your lenses are degraded now. I could not reverse the procedures now even if I wanted to, the laser damage has altered the way your eyes work forever.”

And Brian knew the doctor spoke the truth, his aura told him so.

Something inside him snapped and he collapsed in on himself… His mind went totally blank and he collapsed to the ground.

Technicians had advised he lie down for  a while when he came to again. Brian had been prostrate for an hour and Roberts had presumed he was asleep. He had been called away to speak to his benefactors and he had found it impossible not to tell them Brian’s amazing story.

They had put him on hold. Ten minutes later a man from the government came on the line and started issuing instructions…

When he awoke Brian found himself again in  a hospital, but this time  in leather restraints and the haggard and pale Doctor Roberts leaning over him with  optometrist equipment whirring and clicking as measurements were dutifully recorded on tablets by men in suits who did not look in the least like doctors at all.

When Roberts had finished his calibrations, he looked sadly down at Brian.

“I am so sorry, I only ever wanted to help you. If only you had been brave and just left me out of things. These  people would never have known about you  and you  would never have had to  go through this.”

He was a prisoner.

He was a lab rat.

He was a weapon.

He was to be “utilised” as a government scanner. A finder of the worst of humanity. He was just a tool, a means to an end.

Once it was established that he could not ascertain the evil intent of men via video link, a fact determined by a parade of  child killers, serial rapists and even a cannibal  from their jail cells  in psychiatric units and high security prisons across the world. Over thirty six hours, Brian was forced to watch as they described their crimes in vivid detail.

It was only when  John Clarke was dragged into the room handcuffed and in remand clothes and the familiar broiling mess accompanied him that Brian was able to take a rest.Exhausted and sickened by the stories of these odious men, Brian just sat silently as plans and machinations were made around him. Even Roberts seemed unable to stomach the constant probing and had been missing for hours.
The plan was ultimately hatched to take Brian out to the Middle East, to use him in military operations to seek out jihadists to preempt any missions before the happened.

The government men had auras of the dullest brown, they were lifeless and flat. As they planned How to extract him,  the use of Top Secret planes and helicopters with special forces, someone else was making plans of their own.

The next day when the government men came to take Brian away, they found an empty bed.

You see, the Government men had forgotten something very important,  yoga instructors are exceptionally supple.

They did not realise that Brian was a decent, kind man  who needed to be at home watering the plants and Dawn was not about to let him shirk his responsibilities!

Having waylaid the doctor in the canteen on the pretence of asking directions, she had made her plan abundantly clear.

That day when the meal trolley was wheeled around, it was a lot heavier than normal and when night time came and only one suited government man was left on watch, Dawn crawled out of her hiding spot in Brian’s  bedside locker and injected the Government man with a sedative prepared by the good doctor himself (His aura was green too and it was as if this colour was the emblem of the people who held Brian high in their estimations)

Then Brian and Dawn had put on the porters uniforms that were stashed in the cupboard and calm as two cucumbers on a chilly day in Iceland, walked out of the secure unit and when they were far enough away they ran hand in hand to Dawn’s waiting hybrid car and  then they drove away.

They never returned home.

Dr Roberts also never returned to work the next day, it seemed his enthusiasm for lens replacement therapies had waned, seemingly overnight. Colleagues were shocked. His Showbiz clientele were at a loss.

Someone who looks remarkably like him makes spectacles in a little hut in Zimbabwe for the orphans at a British Red Cross Hospital. He lives a quiet, contented life and is blissfully happy.


On the island of Rum in the the inner Hebrides, a couple live in a large house on a hillside, she wears horrific clothes combinations and teaches Pilates and yoga to stressed city- types on retreat and he tends  their organic garden( that was the deal after all)  He cooks and looks after  the reception desk.

The guests wonder why the sweet slightly awkward guy stares at them quite so much and with such a happy smile  as they enjoy themselves. He tells them to have a “sunshine yellow day” when they leave to explore the island.

The government folk whilst concerned about security breaches, were  not downcast for very long about the loss of Roberts. They took the research notes and found another well respected doctor to try to replicate his work… They offered a group of homeless and drug addicts free eye tests to find someone with the same eyesight problem, it had worked this way once through pure chance, why not engineer it again but with intention , they asked themselves?

The stumbling block comes when they look for the diamond prisms, precision cut to replicate the exact refractors necessary to provide the laser it’s correct path, the angle of the window had been easy to measure, but no one had thought to keep records of the diamonds, safe as they were in the university labs.

Dawn (Now called Marigold in honour of her husband’s favourite colour) sports a beautiful pair of earrings, they tell the guests they are paste, but they know the truth.

No one had thought to take away the pass that Brian had been issued when he became a test case, so when a young woman with some polish and a duster came in to “Run a cloth over everything” and beeped herself in  no one batted an eyelid.

People see what they want to see, it seems.




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