A Stroll In The Park.

A Stroll In The Park.

TweetingSeat172

It has recently become worldwide common knowledge that I am sharing a bench in London’s Hyde Park with Jenny Burley. If this sudden fall from my once pivotable place amongst the writing profession has surprised you, then now would be a good time to tell of my disgrace. This secret has been gnawing away at me, for far too long. Be seated, and have whatever you need to protect you from the disgusting disclosure close at hand! I guarantee what I am about to confess will scandalise those of you who had dreams of emulating me.

***

I had, as most of you are aware, a suite of rooms in the Ritz Hotel overlooking Green Park and the very world at my fingertips. Fame was my right as a bestseller author of so many books that my memory fails to recall the astronomical number.

Everything was within my grasp. There was the obligatory Rolls Royce, just a simple internal phone call away. I had endorsements of my prowess from Presidents to Premier Inns. There were free meals at The Happy Chef, and a permanent table readied for my patronage at any Toby restaurant countrywide, morning, evening or night. My wardrobe was full. The rooms housing my clothing twice having to be enlarged. My many offshore banking accounts overflowed with cash so much so that I made contributions to the Queen. That was not the Queen at the local club you understand. I had pride. I also had the ultimate trappings of grandeur; coordinated hide covers for my iPad and laptop, corresponding to whatever I wore, including my leopard skin housecoat. If you think that was the epitome of class, then think again…..The solid gold pencil, worn outside of my breast pocket, announced to the world that I had success by the bucket load, and my agent knew it all.

It was he who called me with the news of my empires imminent collapse.

“Hi Danny, how’s it all going?” Thinking that he was after another World Cup ticket plus flight or perhaps the use of my four masted schooner, I merely grunted my reply. He made no comment, nor disguised his a pique.

“You’ve got a one star review on that latest novel of yours; The Desolate Garden. New Generation Publishing are far from pleased.”

“A single star? WHY?” I screamed down the phone at him.

“You used an adverb. And badly!” he forcefully announced.

It was futile to ask how the expert teams of editors had missed this career ending mistake, because he had rung off by the time I had thought of it. Apparently one of those unpaid priggish, bastions of the written word, calling himself a reviewer, who really was frustrated by not being able to stick his own finger up his own bum, had spotted my use of an “archly” where “teasingly” would have been more appropriate. He became famous and had an extra, movable digit surgically attached to his bottom.

It was on twitter where the attack on my credentials started. Overnight my in excess of seven million followers dwindled to one. He, the surviver, was in hospital when he too joined the exodus, before being sedated and only agreeing to the life saving operation after being allowed to press “unfollow” on the staff nurse’s Blackberry.”

With the arrival of the red envelope from The Honourable Society Of Scribes on the concierge desk at the prestigious hotel, an eviction notice was pushed under my door.

It was the cruellest of times and then things got worse. Face Book banned me! On hearing this, ever one of my banks suspend the accounts. My Coutts card was cancelled and none of my oversized bespoke clothes, nor shoes, were accepted on eBay for sale.  I was too big they informed me, but I was tiny in the reading publics estimation. New Generation demanded their advance back and there was no way I could repay them, so they seized my assets. It was extraordinarily painful, something I would advise you from never trying at home.

Penniless and powerless I was evicted via the kitchens of the Ritz, making my way across Green Park towards the place of my destiny; Hyde “Jenny Burnley” Park.

“Zenzoris?” she said sweetly, in an enquiring manner.

As I was dressed in the only clothes that remained mine own, a tattered cowboy outfit which I was wearing when that devastating phone call came, (I cannot tell you why, but there was a lady present who now has disowned me) I assumed this was a form of esoteric communication reserved principally for vagrants. She, incidentally, was dressed in a ballerina’s costume underneath a torn and shabby red overcoat that ended at her ankles. The size eleven, steel capped boots she wore looked somewhat incongruous, if practical, beneath. I eyed them enviously. My carpet slippers, at this time, having no soles.

We chatted amicably for sometime, and although she had a pronounced, strange accent I could comprehend most of her speech. The word, Zenzoris, was not a welcome as such, more an explanation and search for others from that unknown planet, far from our galaxy. Yes, she was, and is an alien, albeit a friendly one. That was her downfall, her friendliness.

Now don’t get too far ahead of me here, jumping to unfounded conclusions. Her weakness, if indeed that was such, had been shown-up on that parallel solar system to our own. She was a spy, but lacked that intrinsic characteristic necessary in espionage; the detachment from others. She had sympathy for the oppressed.

Our conversation lasted hours as the night set in, with me paying careful attention her story until, at last, hunger overtook us both.

This is where serendipity played its fateful hand, coming to our aide. In our quest for sustenance she began to sing in such a melodious tone that blackbirds and thrush sang along with her, forcing me to add my voice. We found musicality together as we approached the packed Orangery Restaurant. The diners, in unison, all turned their attention away from mere food, listening avidly to our heavenly song….Fly To Me Zenzoris, Where I Will Be Victorious.

Dazzling dishes of fare were fostered upon us and that night, the first we shared on bench number 5, was spent in dreams of happiness and contentment. But that’s not all, there’s more!

We landed a permanent spot as in-house entertainment at that fine restaurant, gainfully spending our nights hypnotising the clientele with an array of adaptations, and originals penned during the light of day.

There is a sting in the tail to this recount of mine, one in which you can please Jenny, but return my life to the misery I experienced back when that phone call came. There is a space mission being planned as I type to guess where? Yes, the very planet that once was home to my new musically gifted friend. She needs money to reserve a seat. The official history of Zenzoris, written by Jenny as an autobiography, is on sale worldwide. Buy it to make her happy again, her time here on earth has made her as cynical as she needs be to resume her undercover work back home!

Danny Kemp

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About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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