Daily archives: October 21, 2002

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One of the monoplanes had buzzed upstream earlier, low and full throttle. They had a long time to ponder the meaning of its transit whilst waiting for the next plane.

The big biplane sailed upriver at a much more leisurely pace. It couldn�t really travel any other way. Again the crew waved to the occupants of the small paddle boat as they passed.

�Do you think the other two are coming?� Marra asked.

�No.� Dack looked downstream. There was just the hint of smoke blowing into the gorge. �It will be dark soon.�

Marra piloted the boat through the rest of the minefield. When they were certain they had cleared it, Morn took a lighter from his pile of gifts and set fire to the map. He flapped it so the ashes were dispersed.

The smoke was thicker now. The sun disappeared behind hills and it was dark enough to move. Morn and Dack had oars at each side of the boat and Marra another at the rear. They let the current drive them, intervening with the oars if necessary.

They emerged from the gorge into a valley lit by fires. Ahead on the eastern bank the forest burned uncontrolled whilst figures rushed around the fires on the western bank. The corrals of logs had been smashed by some impact and fragments of wood were being caught by the current and drawn downstream.

The boat navigated into the stream of flotsam. No-one on shore was paying the river the slightest attention, so they rested at their posts and viewed the devastation as it passed them by.

First Dudley, now here. Manchester has just been hit by an earthquake! According to the news it measured 3.6 on the Richter scale. I felt something this morning. Like someone had run a car into one of the three houses in my mini block, but without the attendant crashing. I didn’t think any more of it until twenty minutes ago when the same thing happened again. I went to the window to check for cashed cars again and felt the wall move as another tremor hit.

Of course, in this age of WMD paranoia I thought it could have been from an explosion. Either way, I’m sure Al Quaeda will be blamed.

Well, I have some temp work starting today (whenthey call and tell me where to go and who to meet). It doesn’t pay much, but Access jobs just aren’t coming through and it’s money . And I need money. Three months after signing on and, through my own honesty and the system’s stupidity, I still haven’t received any housing benefit. Always lie to the Benefits Agency, because the truth is so complex they can’t handle it.