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so we drank, joked and laughed, escaping the world outside the comfort blanket of the pub. At 3 pm we were joined by the company of Gary the bar man, a student of life from Birmingham who had just finished his shift. Gary ordered and downed his pint as though he had heard a rumour from the brewery that lager was about to be taken off the market and he wanted to make the most of it while he could.

Despite the fact we were all grown adults our minds never seemed to realise that there was a life outside these English establishments and when I suggested that we all came round to my place that evening with a few cans to save money, the change was welcomed with open arms.

JULY 1ST 1997
Gary was the first to arrive carrying eight cans of Skol while I sat drinking South African Chenin Blanc (wine was my evening alternative to lager) and due to the after effects of the lunch time session we sat merrily chatting about the things men chat about when half cut, women we had screwed. Half an hour later Andy and Nicole appeared with a bottle of vodka and a litre of Coke and the present conversation stopped. The glasses were brought out and we drank into the night.

The only problem with drinking at home with a group of friends is that after a while you want something more, some people go for drugs, we weren’t like that, so when Nicole spotted the the board on my desk, we were all drunk enough to be willing and the room candles were lit.
At first nothing happened as we placed our our fingers on the upturned wine glass and revolved it around the board asking in a drunken slur if ‘anyone was there?’ And then it decided to have a mind of its own as the glass moved from letter to letter spelling out the message; ‘Welcome back.’ Those two words still have a frightening effect on me to this day.

Then it turned to Nicole claiming to be a long dead relative, something Nicole found very emotional, and after tears were born it switched to Gary. According to ‘it’ Gary’s life would be very short, we were all sobering up at a high speed. At this point Andy seemed to have drifted into a trance and then the immortal words drifted from the board that brought memories flooding back from my age of innocence; ‘KILL.’

The board was promtly put away, despite the amount of drink we had consumed we didn’t need this kind of shit and we retired to the kitchen to cook chilli. Andy still didn’t seem his normal self although we put this down to vodkas and Coke. When we returned to the living room a frightening experience encountered us, the board was back on the table complete with glass on top of It. As we glanced at each other our appetite faded and chilli vanished from our minds.
JULY 2ND 1997
I don’t suffer from hangovers normally but today I had one, physically and personally, I’d little recollection of the previous nights antics but what I saw was not pretty. Andy was sprawled across the kitchen floor as if he was waiting for the coffin and hearse to arrive, Nicole and Gary were on the settee hugging each other as though they had just romantically met and spent their first night together. Something was wrong, very wrong.


® Et In Arcadia Ego Productions/JD Enterprises/Jon D Inman 1997

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