The Vanishing’s (Part four)

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Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

Experienced in detecting escalating situations, the physiatrists strode, pens and eyebrows raised, into the fray.

‘Consider why we decorate each other. What does it achieve?’ they said, peering over their glass rims.

It’s rare to find psychiatrists offering bus stop, xmas tree and hungover citizen group sessions. Victoria coach station however, had 85 years’ experience in witnessing improbable interactions. The moment she took to translate human therefore, allowed little time for note taking.

‘The TBSU (Tree and Bus Stop Union), are tired of words. Now, all we wish to consider is what colour tinsel will match your spectacles. Hold them.’

Seven 6ft firs marched (in tree like fashion) towards the (frantically note thumbing) physiatrists.

‘What benefit will you gain?’ said one, whose experience with warring couples had left her blasé in the face of vaulting Xmas trees, tyrannical bus stops and other expressions of emotion. (It is reported that after her time in the grotto however, the psychiatrist, began a career as a librarian: She felt books were less likely to issue tinsel featured threats).

Arnold had never owned a Christmas tree, a rare pine needle allergy meant any contact with the festive fir resulted in his body becoming swollen. It was unfortunate then that he’d been coated in wanderer vomit, (a substance which could have been marketed as an adhesive, had it not smelt so strongly of regurgitated carrots). He didn’t remember detective work being so sticky for Sherlock Holmes.

‘I thought I’d made it clear. No professionals are to be harmed.’ The statement emerged from the pines before the vice president did. He brushed clinging needles from his pin stripes whilst he scrutinised the extremely un-sensible scene.

‘Sir,’ Arnold said, running from the clutches of one fir cluster and landing headfirst in another, ‘the Christmas trees, the bus stops they’re alive.’

‘Idiot,’ said the vice president as he watched his specialist’s attempts to use a mouth plastered with gum, ‘Of course they’re alive.’ He side stepped several vomiting wanderers and grasping psychiatrists, tiptoeing across fallen pine needles as if they were glass.

‘You broke the arrangement Victoria.’

‘You knew,’ Arnold attempted. Seeing as his sentence actually sounded like more like ‘yooo kkkwww,’ one could (almost) excuse the vice president for ignoring him.

‘It was made broken. We know you had no intention of issuing sick leave.’ read Victoria coach station.

‘We’re all making sacrifices.’

Distracted by the vice president’s entrance, the grotto dwellers remained unaware of Arnold’s swelling form. It was surprising therefore when his bloated body rose off the ground. The burly branches that were encroaching on the vice president’s personal space froze.

‘No one permitted you to float,’ attempted Victoria Bus Station, the yellow pixels getting as far as ‘permitted’ before experiencing technical difficulties.

As his feet left the ground, Alfred kicked one out in the direction of the Vice President, forgetting the puke flavoured adhesive he was coated in. It was as much a shock to Alfred therefore, as it was to the citizens of Picadoor, that the vice president accompanied him in to the sky.

As much as the vice president disliked pine needles, puke and his specialist, a combination of the three was preferable to heights, (hence why Picadoor’s fire-fighters were required to peel his limbs from Alfred several days later).

‘Stop floating. Return to the ground. I demand it. ’

‘Nnnnggnnndooosrrrr,’ said Alfred, after trying and failing to apply his swimming skills to steering their flight.

Having recognised an opportunity to broadcast her adopted cause, Eleanor put her £9000 a year degree to use. The result was a TBSU injustice poster secured with tinsel to the vice presidents brogues. In addition to obtaining honorary membership to the TBSU (and a 2:1 for her ‘innovative application’), Eleanor and her poster ensured that the world learnt that: ‘BUS STOPS AND CHRISTMAS TREES HAVE SOULS TOO’.

Arnold and Eleanor’s spontaneous exhibit garnered significant attention. After a week of cat and prune related news, the broadsheets were happy to educate people on the cause of the bus stops crisis. (Curiously, the vice president’s role was absent). Few grasped how or why the politician had floated through the air attached to- what they’d been assured was a specialist – not an inflated potato. Thanks to the ever helpful media however, fewer were able to forget the protests that followed. A wealth of TBSU justice groups blossomed and the era began in which it was as normal to find a bus stop gone from its post twice a week, as it was to find brown xmas trees returning for festive service. Although the vice president never recovered use of his vocal chords, through a combination of hand signals he dismissed Arnold from his position. By popular demand however, the Sherlock Holmes enthusiast landed a newly formed role of ‘Bus stop, Christmas trees and other formerly inanimate object rights protection’ role, (once medics discovered how to deflate him).

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