Captain Midnight here reporting from the lunacy that is Folly Cottage.
It all began so well back in March, isolating ourselves from the dreaded Covid-19 in our little house in the Cotswolds. I quite liked the routine of our daily walk in the fields, plus regular meals and knowing Himself wasn’t going off somewhere interesting and leaving me behind.
At first, he got up early and did lots of staring at the screen pretending to write, while I lay on the sofa offering moral support. My own literary enveavours had to take a backseat for a while and my usual outpouring of deathless prose dried to a trickle, while he hacked away at one ill-fated project after another. I tried to explain to him that, as my distant relative Virginia Woolf used to say, ‘a dog must have money and a room of his own if he is to write fiction’, but he would have none of it and carried on hogging the keyboard.
After a while, the strain of working out what to ask the neighburs to get at the shops, began to take its toll. Sadly, after 150 days in lockdown, I have to report that Himself has gone barking mad.
He told me the other day that he had become a God.
When I asked him on what grounds he had come to that conclusion, he pointed out that Folly Cottage had become a sort of roadside shrine at which unknown passers-by left offerings.
‘Flowers, vegetables, pots of jam. What’s it all for?’ he asked.
‘Does it matter? Can’t you just enjoy them?’ I responded.
‘But my worshippers might want something in return,’ he replied, ‘like a miracle or some other display of divine power.’
‘They’ll be out of luck then, won’t they?’ I pointed out.
‘What should I do?’ he asked plaintively.
‘Sniff the flowers, scoff the food, and stop complaining,’ I advised.
‘Is that what you would do?’ he asked.
‘I’d probably pee on the flowers and leave the jam and vegetables alone,’ I said. ‘But, unless I’m a latterday manifestation of Anubis, cynocephalic Egyptian deity of the Underworld, which I doubt, I’m just a dog, so what do I know?’
‘Cynocephalic?’ he queried.
‘Dog-headed,’ I replied. ‘Call yourself a writer? Pshaw!’
Foaming at the mouth and muttering dementedly, Himself scrabbled through the dictionary in a vain effort to re-establish linguistic equality.
He might never be ready to leave the asylum, I thought.
But I’ve had just about enough.