Prologue – Rasputin And The Mammoth

11 Jul

Yesterday, I read a strange article in the paper. It was a bizarro filler piece made by a burnt-out journalist to bulk out a half-finished page. Obviously, he’d gone onto Google and started typing in strange things (no doubt with a wicked grin on his face) until a suitably interesting picture came up. His editor had probably recoiled in horror at whatever he’d eventually come up with. My guess was that he’d found a picture of the only part of Rasputin which was in a museum.

The editor had probably started frothing at the mouth and saying things like: ‘Rasputin may have been magic and all-powerful, but we can’t show that part of him in here! We wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if the tabloids thought that we were appealing to the prurient interests of our readers like they do. Look, I don’t care if it’s pickled in formaldehyde, we can’t show that in an intelligent broadsheet newspaper! It’s disgusting!’

So, instead of a half-page shot of what was left of Rasputin, the paper contained a picture of the last wooly mammoth ever to be found. They’d carved it out of a sheet of ice in Siberia and laid it to rest in a shipping crate. It just lay there, deflated and freeze-dried – its head looked like a shrivelled grey meteorite and its trunk made me think of Rasputin yet again.

There was a crowd of journalists perching over it. They were documenting every crease on it’s freeze-dried canvas skin and taking close-ups of the few patches of snow-bleached ginger hair which still clung to it’s legs like the white fronds of unknown minerals on the edges of the historic back-garden well in Llanwrtydd Wells, the smallest town in Britain.

I’d never been to Llanwrtydd Wells, but I saw a news segment about it on TV a few months ago. We’d watched it in the corridor of our student house after we’d moved all twelve of our televisions there to escape the all-seeing eyes of the TV licence inspectors and their arcane rules about multi-occupancy housing. Anyway, there it was, on twleve screens – a small conservatory containing nothing but the old well which had given the town it’s name.

The cameraman had peered over the edge into the dark blue abyss as soon as the presenter started talking about how absolutely no-one knew why the sides of it were so damn hairy. Apparently, the best theory was that it had something to do with mineral deposits. Cthulhu didn’t even get a look in.

I sipped my glass of mid-afternoon wine and turned to to next page of the newspaper, burying the freeze-dried mammoth under paper once again. There was the usual bullshit about politics, the same bunch of embittered and miserable career politicians puffing their chests and railing and pontificating to their friends in the tabloid newspapers. Playing to the gallery. Preaching to the choir.

I turned back to the dead mammoth and finished my wine, the mammoth seemed more interesting. I wondered if, like Rasputin, it had any idea that a part of it would be left here – frozen in time and preserved for the whole world to see. Not quite here, not quite gone.

Then I had realised, as I filled the glass again, that I felt exactly like Rasputin and the mammoth.

3 Responses to “Prologue – Rasputin And The Mammoth”

  1. Two sides to a story July 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Anxiously awaiting future instalments!

    • pekoeblaze July 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks 🙂 I’m just about to upload chapter one. I’m still not sure whether it’ll be updated daily or every 2-3 days yet.

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  1. The Mome Raths | Stories in 5 Minutes - August 11, 2013

    […] Prologue – Rasputin And The Mammoth (liminalritesstory.wordpress.com) […]

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