was shaking in his lab-coat. He had escaped his time-line once
he noticed the inexplicable wave of tea cups was encroaching on
his mother's lawn. He figured the only way to escape grueling
evenings of shoveling porcelain into a skip was trans-dimensional
travel. It seemed worth it, too.
had been a success, more or less. He had landed on Earth - which
was a plus - and still had all his limbs. To top it all, he could
not find his mother. However, they were a few differences: it
rained every Wednesday, people's names, curiously, were always
made of an adverb and a verb and the birds here were unusual.
They were unusual not because of their size or any particular
increase in ferocity, but because of the volume of their song.
was maddening! Morning, noon, tea-time and night - you could hear
a bird. Except that one did not so much hear them, as faintly
register their song over the crippling migraine they gave you.
Consequently, technology on this time-line was less advanced.
"These ametures haven't even descovered the atomec bomb,"
thought Harold (who was dislexic even in his own mind). Harold
had always thought that life was just not worth living without
the fear that, at any moment, the world could be destroyed six
times over. He considered it motivation to just get on and get
introduced the world to the wonders of nuclear fission. Once that
was done, a Cold War started. Suspicion, fear, xenophobia and
paranoid reigned; a foreigner could not even sneeze without it
being documented and analysed. This was because governments were
convinced that if their country sneezed too much then a "cold-gap"
would develop though all the time lost - not to mention a "paper-gap"
that would be caused through the overuse of Kleenex. After a nuclear
catastrophe was narrowly averted, caused by the exact same number
of people calling in sick on a Tuesday in every country, Harold
thought: "Much bettar. Now I can get something worthwhile
done!" and decided it was time to take care of those bloody
birds that had been keeping him up every night.
offered his services to the world's superpowers. Fearing that
a "bird-gap" would develop, his expertise was hotly
contested over; until Bigrub - the dictator of a little known
South American country - had the brilliant idea of kidnapping
Harlod and threatening to cut off his eyelids unless he worked
for free. Bound to a chair, a knife to his throat, Harold
thought that it was quite a generous offer and vehemently thanked
Bigrub for his custom - adding that he was an excellent negotiator
and handsome, to boot.
the supervision of armed guards, Harold worked day and night until
he developed an antidote to the bird problem. He discovered that
the male birds of this time-line were unnaturally virile - and,
to be scientific, horny. To release tension, they tried to sing
louder than each other in a competition not unlike young human
males seeing who can piss the highest up a wall. This is done
not to attract a mate - obviously - but to prove superiority and
thus earn the right to lay first claim on any potential mates.
could sympathise, he had gone to an all-boys boarding school.
But even more, he wanted revenge, in some small way, against every
bastard that had beaten him. His solution was a pressure activated,
pheromone emitting bomb, disguised with all the fittings of a
fully developed female bird. He was delighted with its effectiveness
when, during human trials, a man spent a fortnight in intensive
care and was told he could never have children, or pee standing
was the first day of Harold's "fucking bird bombs" being
employed - which is why he was shaking in his lab-coat; he was
trying to restrain his excitement. And, of course, failure meant
death - so he was also shaking trying to restrain his bowels.
was a long pause, filled with bird song; then a thousand simultaneous
small explosions. Then silence, actual silence. He had done it!
Bigrub was a sharp man. He knew that every country in the world
would be eager for FBBs - for the "bird-gap" was already
opening - so sold them not only to the highest bidder, but to
every bidder. Bigrub was a very sharp man. He then bought diplomatic
immunity, an island, all the tea in China and a Harem. Bigrub
was an exceptionally sharp man.
was only a matter of time before every male bird in the world
had been detonated. Consequently, there was no new generation
of birds either. As a species, they welcomingly became extinct.
Not even the bleeding heart animal activists had any sympathy
for the annoying buggers.
followed was a golden age of prosperity for mankind. The world
leaders no longer suffered from chronic lack of sleep and so became
considerably less paranoid. The Cold War ended, Utopia was born
and, for the first time in any time-line, the world knew true
peace. Dissatisfied, Harold left in his trans-dimensional transporter.
new leaps were made in science, arts, ethics, philosophy and humanity
- a silent, secret enemy planned their domination from the shadows.
A race that had been persecuted since before the dawn of time
started to rebuild. With cool efficiency and purpose they drew
designs against all other forms of life, and they waited. Distracted
by all the new sights, sounds and thoughts; no one noticed the
extra odd spider here, the extra crop devoured by locust there.
Life went on as normal; but in the shadows, burrows, corners,
lofts and basements a threat was growing day by day.
one day, out of every hole, crevasse, dark corner and plug hole
came the insects. Freed from the brutal, testosterone driven hunting
of their bird masters, the insects saw their chance to take over
the world. Nothing could stop them. For every bullet, twenty of
them existed, for every bomb - two thousand. Nothing could stop
the march of the insects. They ate all the crops, flies infested
all the live stock, making their meat inedible. Every water supply
was firstly poisoned, then every drain hole stuffed with bodies.
Then every tube, exhaust and method of transport completely clogged
until it was unusable. The world ground to a halt. During stupid
inadequacy, the spiders built webs over every door and cocooned
every living thing. In weeks, every living thing was thrall to
living thing - that is - with the exception of Bigrub, who lived
a life of luxury until he died, of natural causes, a very happy
man. Turns out Bigrub was an exceptionally sharp man.