A night of nonsensical dreams and a persistent headache left me washed up lke a beached whale upon the chaise longue in my night room. The most I could achieve on my road to morning humanity was to loosely tamp my pipe. My drooling lips could scarcely support the trembling pipe stem which spilled smouldering shag down my shirt. The possible ignition caused me no worry; a-squint through my eyelids I saw that fire would only improve the room in which I had wrought much party.
I bellowed for aid. Mr Tribblings flew into the room (for this was in those pleasant days before his revolt), a lemon tea resting upon a silver tray. It was his own drink and he teased me with it. Despite his preternatural ability to brew tea I had become averse to the beverage, finding it faintly reminiscent of simian urine.
I insisted the goose-ape pull me to my feet and commence grooming. He disliked getting his fur wet but I was in powerful need of water’s erosive touch and had no desire for his fumbling mitts to draw insects from me. At length my bestial manservant supplied me with a towel followed by a vast breakfast spread. When finally my repast ended with a pudding I realised that my only hope for true wakefulness was a stroll in the park. Fully en-spatted and en cravate I departed the house, snug in the embrace of my latest invention – the Ele-Chair.
Part ordinary seat, part elephant it was the ambulatory chaise to end all mobile furniture. The recent fad for steam-powered carriages had quite inspired me but I was more comfortable with vivisection. I had taken a pair of young elephants (Afric for their convenient expanse of ear upholstery). One I’d flattened along the back, the other glued upon it in repose so that I’d legs to motivate the chair, another pair to rest my arms upon and the final pair to drape a roofing over.
The lower walking limbs I’d stripped to the bone and varnished as one would a table, which achieved an aesthetically pleasing grain. Naturally I’d decapitated the beasts for their features are monstrously penile. The trunks I’d re-stitched as simple cranes (for shoppping and such) while their tusks made a rather vicious forward-facing ladder for attaining one’s seat.
By means of gimbals I maintained a gentle ride while the Ele-Chair ploughed through the streets, scattering pedestrians with cries of awe and admiring shrieks. As the chair negotiated a junction (I’d naturally endowed it with the delicate mind of a badger I found in my garden one opiated night, for such matters as navigation are beneath a gentlean’s concern) the other road users gave ground gracefully as we turned into the park.
A wondrous expanse of baise green beneath the smoggy sky. My mount picked up speed as it relished the grass between its skeletal toes. With my peasant-beating spear I directed my chair towards a certain copse in whose leafy shade I was confident of finding gentlemanly diversion.
Within the trees’ penumbral umbrella stood a trio of hamnsom carriages, two of which bounced jovially upon their wheels. A quintet of well-dressed gentlemen and ladies ringed the cars, their gaze intent and breathing heavy. When I drew up my pachyderm armchair I elicited a gasp of surprise and a satisfying swoon.
Wordlessly I offered my hand to a finely clad maiden (the unconscious lady would be too much effort). A smile of secret sorts passed between us and I helped her up the tusks and into my lap. With the depression of a bony lever the chaise’s hood rose over us, the four ears of the elephants fanning around to enclose us in an amorous and faintly hairy screen. My ill health was vanishing in a lady haze…
Something was awry. I first noted it when the earth gave the impression of greater motion than I had anticipated. Indeed, the quiver of thighs I’d attributed to my sensual ministrations was a disturbance in the outer world. The smooth travel of my elephantine stool had belied our true progress, for as I peered between petticoats and leathery folds I saw we were far from the restful grove in which we had begun our courtship.
My chair’s tusks were slick with gore and from one of them dangled an impaled swan, the other boasted a child’s pram. This was potentially awkward. My companion’s alarm was irritatingly evident so I applied a calming chloroform to her and activated the chair guns. It would be dreadful if word were to escape the park that yet another of my creations had run murderously amok.
Accordingly I took aim at a gawping bystander and silenced his potentially slanderous tongue. Our bloody route was easy to retrace for it was strewn with flattened pedestrians. As the Ele-Chair bounded and capered, those few which it merely maimed I drew upon and finished off.
With the noisome folk extinguished (for they did bemoan my actions), my mount calmed and contented itself with uprooting daffodils.
It seemed unlikely that I would return to the passionate grove for it was now a blood spattered boneyard. At least I’d rescued this charming lady who drooled unconscious on my waistcoat. In time the chloroform would wear off, and before then we must find ourselves a fresh copse to revive our romance. “Ho chairephant – to the heath!”