-- Chapter 4
- Sheep of the ages. At one point in the last few hours, John had made himself scarce and spent the evening on his bed. For some period he sat on the edge and stared blankly into the space two inches in front of his face, there was a whole lot of nothing there. Two inches left of that, a battle of wits - true warfare between a speck of dust and a bigger, slightly heavier speck of dust carried on but back to the space two inches right of that the lack of anything was amazing.

The Sun was slowly setting and aimed a particularly angry ray of light at John but the two specks of dust had taken to miniature nuclear weapons, so the ray diminished in power within the radioactive clouds and appeared to John as the Sun saying goodnight. The sun was not very pleased with this and plotted evil thoughts as it started to shine on his favourite country - Japan. Why Japan was the Sun's favourite country is a mystery but the clear lack of sunburn in the country proves it. The cactus on the table didn't care. Cacti rarely do. One once had but that just made a short German man with a temper to grow a small moustache and walk about funny. They, the cacti, didn't after that.

Under John's bed loneliness was as dense as the Sun. It was so empty, even dust felt lonely there. There was, however, something stuck to the underside of John's bed. Suddenly a giant hand, as it appeared to the box, ripped it from it's duck tape holder. The sound of this violent act echoed in the darkness and it lay in silence once again.

The box in John's hand was made of wood and had deep carvings in it. The dust, which was shortly thereafter brushed off, hid the glow of abandonment. The lid had three golden hinges and a hook holding it in place. Before we venture into the content of the box, it should be clarified that John had made the box. It was the one thing of value he had left from years gone by. Everything, save the hinges, had been painstakingly planned, carved out, nailed and glued together by John. Every other creation had been sold, broken or both during the past previous years.

You see, as a child John had picked up the skill of carpentry while spending time with his grandfather, Malachi Grey. The black sheep of the family. To be more exact the hippie, drug using, free spirited, easygoing, mellow, peaceful and groovy sheep of the family. He made small trinkets and things of similar nature and sold them on a nearby beach for ice cream money.

The hook made a "twhomp" sound as it hit the lower edge of the box and John's eyes became weepy as the lid slid itself open. For the moment all thoughts of Wilfred had taken a minute off and had strolled down to the pub for a drink and a brawl.

The first thing that could be seen from inside the box was a handkerchief. This was not connected to the other items in the box in any way except for that John had got weepy-eyed every time he had opened the box so he had stuck a handkerchief in there to save himself some trouble in the future and that he had done. Right under that, there was an old picture of a man with a grey beard, friendly face and bandanna. John used the handkerchief.

Malachi had been the the closest thing to a friend and father figure mister Grey had ever had. He spent every single summer with him and each time had an exiting adventure. They actually saved the city from destruction once by saving a nuclear powered whale. It was, besides being stuck on a beach, a soviet experiment gone wrong. Long story short, everyone lived happily every after, including the whale. Grandpa' had been a hippie trough and trough. Never fought in any wars, travelled by minibus through every state at least three time, mostly under the influence. He had, among other things, started a few communes in California and one in England.

As John was using the handkerchief, he put the picture aside, uncovering an article clipping: "Mysterious earthquake rocks Chesterfield. Three people missing, presumed dead." John held in there and the handkerchief was not used. Under the clipping there was another old photograph. On it, John, as a boy, was on his idol's shoulders at the town fair. They both looked happy as the ferris wheel in the background made his six hundredth rotation on that day. Surprisingly enough a small group of aliens appeared to celebrate this occasion they were squished by a very large man with hot dogs. For all those confused - the small group of aliens was about 2 inches high, when each of the three hundred members were stacked onto of each other.

The last picture in the box was taken by John a year before the newspaper article had published. There was a very good recipe for a chocolate cake on the other side of the clipping but the story on the other side was much more depressing. The cake would have been more enjoyable without the announcement behind it.
Anyway, the last picture was of Malachi reading up on the interesting history of aspirin. This picture was in a frame but as John examined it and noticed that there was some dust inside it, under the glass, he removed the picture from it's frame. He found something that he hadn't before - another picture. This photograph was interesting because of two things. A) On the back of the picture there lay a note in ink: "Find a person named Hamway, John. Ask him to give you Wilfred." and B) The picture was of the same book that Malachi had been reading before but this time a familiar furry figure was enjoying the writings. John had the strange sense of Deja-Vu as he encountered another strange sense of Deja-Vu and it hit him like truck would hit a Ming-Dynasty vase - surprisingly hard. Everything stopped again but this time John was no longer present and steps could be heard heading down.