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Eddie and the Five Iron of Wonder

14/12/2011

Eddie and the Five Iron of Wonder                                         Richard Wood

The first time Eddie’s bedroom door opened the third way he was half asleep and thought that he must still be dreaming.  Instead of using a loo he peed onto a large clump of moonlight lit mushrooms that appeared much the same as porcelain through the gloom of the night and half gummed up eyes.  In two shakes he was back in his bedroom and into bed feeling both unperturbed and relieved.

            When Eddie next woke it was morning and he got up to look at the view from the window across the golf course. The holiday stretched before him much as his arms did as he yawned.  Uncle Peter was certainly a surprising chap, thought Eddie.  Until the funeral a month ago he didn’t even know his Mum had had a brother, let alone one whose summer home in Ireland was actually a modest castle, with a modest eighteen-hole golf course, a modest rifle range and a small petting zoo.

Eddie thought he was going down to breakfast. He’d been to the bathroom, washed and changed.  He had his golf bag over his shoulder and expected to be teeing off after a coffee and a round of toast but it was at this moment that his bedroom door opened again in its third way and Eddie found himself staring at the mushrooms from the night before.  Eddie set down his golf bag and turned around to look at the door he had been through, but could only see it out of the corner of his eye. Any attempt to focus on it was impossible for each time it moved further away and to the side, easily achieved since there were no walls to contain or constrain it.  By the time Eddie had turned round three times it had disappeared and he gave up and focussed on the mushrooms.  Each one was the same size, but differed in colour.  They were two feet tall and had a convex cap in which he might have been able to sit comfortably if they hadn’t been so low and Eddie a manly 6’ tall. The landscape he stood in had a few large trees, and the grass was savannah tall.

It was just dawning on Eddie that the mushrooms looked like enormous golf tees when there was the very particular sound of a black cab braking and through the grass, a few metres from him, a taxi door opened and a turbaned giant in a lime green tracksuit got out carrying a net sack of basket balls.  The new arrival, Sunjaf, one of the stars of the Croydon Cruisers, absently turned to pay the now disappearing driver.  Eddie watched Sunjaf’s back as it told the whole story of his puzzlement and disbelief in a series of large shouldered shrugs. He turned back to Eddie registering the details of the Pringle sweater, check trousers and golf shoes.

‘This isn’t Wembley Arena is it,’ he said.

‘It’s not my bathroom landing either,’ said Eddie.

The conversation didn’t get much beyond the ‘where is this and what is happening’ stage before there was a stranger sight parting the tall grass and heading their way.  Creatures of the night such as vampires are not renowned for screaming when seeing spiders; Kamagasaki, a vampire who lived a (well as far as possible) Buddhist hermit lifestyle in a cave on the sheltered slopes of Mount Kitahotaka (elevation 3106 metres) was screaming like a girl. He was covered in cobwebs and running with his eyes shut until he struck the large golf-tee mushroom and fell over.  His breath lost to the ground, the screaming stopped and Kamagasaki’s eyes opened to focus on a pair of tasteful golfing brogues a few inches from his face.  As he stood he looked past Eddie at the tall grass and what appeared to be fairly rough heath land. He turned and looked at the 6’6’’ basketball player wearing a turban. He turned again and saw a red squirrel the size of a Labrador. 

‘Welcome all to the Land of the Long walk’ said the squirrel, ‘Follow me.’

 A befuddled mind will always respond well to clear orders and the three followed the squirrel through the grass until, quite abruptly it became much shorter. 

‘This is the first tee where your task must begin,’ said the squirrel. ‘The Land of the Long Walk has been cursed by Parr. You have been summoned by the Elsie Mills to match Parr and lift the curse that is destroying our habitat.’

As they stood at the rubber mat where another large golf tee was pushed between its fibred weave, the squirrel approached Sunjaf, took a basketball from his net bag and placed it on the tee. 

‘You must tee off and complete the hole in four shots. Apply your special skills and strengths and you will prevail,’ explained the squirrel.

Kamagasaki the vampire had studied engineering with the Portuguese 300 years before. He knew how to construct trebuchets and suggested an ingenious upside down version of one that would replicate a golf swing and strike the basketball the required distance. Sunjaf had his ceremonial knife and his strength to fashion the trebuchet from saplings.  The bark of the willow was particularly effective for binding the frame together.  Eddie put his knowledge of clubs and the rules of golf to good use and suggested that he and the squirrel go on a reconnaissance mission to find the flag and any bunkers that might hamper them. They returned to find a triangular frame, nearly twice Sunjaf’s height with a series of springy saplings securing the swing arm under enormous tension. To finish the massive club, Eddie over-saw the construction of the perfect 5 iron head, for distance and back spin.

The first shot went straight and true. The second Eddie steered into the rough to avoid a bunker. At the third, an evil wind got up. Eddie wet his finger, threw grass into the breeze and adjusted the frame. With a mighty swoosh the ball went onto the green and trickled up, two metres from the hole. Here the trebuchet was too mighty a club, it was also very bad form to use a wood on the green, so Eddie drew his own 5 iron from his bag and whacked the basket ball as hard as he could to complete the last two metres.  There was an ear-splitting howl of Allis-like disappointment as the curse was broken.

The three congratulated themselves and the small crowd of red squirrels that had gathered at the edge of the green presented them with an acorn each as big as any golf trophy.  From behind the crowd there was a familiar squeal of brakes as Sunjaf’s taxi arrived.  It was driven by the squirrel, wearing a flat cap.

‘Home please,’ said Eddie as all three got in.

‘Anywhere you like guvnor,’ said the squirrel, ‘except south of the river.’

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