Written by Terrestris Veritas
The streets were devoid of activity, organic or electrical. Only the police corps were around, making sure that everyone who should be indoors stayed indoors. No citizen would be bold enough to defy them, since the population of this town shunned even common human contact.
The ministers and judges within the town, along with the High Town Council were in a public meeting inside the Central Hall. Citizens littered the pews and stands, while upon a stage the ministers and judges sat in a semi-circle, facing the public. In the centre, the High Town Council sat on a raised dais. A podium stood in the middle of the stage.
High Town county council president Calumet Snad stood from his seat in the centre of the stage and said, “My friends, we are gathered here today to discuss the problem that stands before us.” The crowd gasped. One man raised a hand from the pews. Calumet acknowledged it, “please wait a moment Greg, let me finish.” Greg lowered his hand. “Like I said we have a problem.” The crowd gasped again, followed by a few murmurs. Calumet ignored them.
“Years ago when we were building our great town, the High Town Council sent out a team of researchers to examine the vast ocean. We colonised our country but the sea remained a mystery to us. So, we sought to explore it. The last surviving member of that team, Jimathon Cagney, returned yesterday requiring a new heart and carrying many pictures of his travels. Minister Tropic Healy will give us an update on Jimathon’s condition after Greg’s question.” The old man seemed out of breath after his speech and, sitting down, he gestured to Greg.
Greg stood. “Mr President, may I confirm that we indeed have a boggle? Is this boggle solvable by using graceful speech?”
Calumet stood once more, “Greg, this current issue is much bigger than a boggle. There is no point in sugar-coating it. Do not worry my boy; we are here today to solve it.” Both men sat. Greg was chewing his lip nervously. All the citizens were pale-faced.
Minister Tropic Healy stood at the podium and delivered his report. “Mr Cagney was in a terrible way when he arrived at the hospital, but we restored him to his natural vitality and took sufficient samples to develop and sustain the re-growth process of another heart. The heart’s growth took approximately three hours and another hour for the insertion. He woke from his coma half an hour ago and said only the following, ‘beware of the bunyip.’ He repeated this message constantly until we sedated him. He has been at rest ever since.” The minister concluded his piece in a quivering voice, scurried back to his seat and started gulping down water, terrified of the implications of his report.
The citizens and some of the ministers looked confused. Greg stood again, “What is this bunyip?”
Calumet resumed his position at the podium. “We do not know. We can only guess. Please Greg, be seated and then we may continue.”
– Read the thrilling conclusion to The Bunyip in Saturday’s post!