Här en födelsedagsnovell som jag skrev idag som present till Johan Anglemark på hans 50-årsdag. Den är lite Uppsalaintern men jag har inget annat ställe att länka den från. Förhoppningsvis kan ni utsocknes också få lite nöje av den.
Johan Anglemark woke up in the Upsalafandom regular pub, carefully lifting his head from a pile of pulp paperback books, the greasy prose for a few desperate moments sticking to his hair. He decided he was neither drunk nor hung over but still felt confused, surrounded as he was by some reasonably familiar faces and some very unfamiliar ones. One of the latter, if indeed it could be called a face at all, clinged to the talking end of a giant larva, clad in traditional London Beefeater uniform.
”Welcome to the 280 000th Ubbsalafandom pub!” it shouted in a decidedly British but still chirpy insect accent.
A small, grey, rabbit-like creature by its side cheered four times in a shrill voice, raising its ears with each exclamation.
”Would this be the first tuesday of the month”, Johan replied, desperately wanting to hear his voice to make sure he wasn't dreaming, but not really finding anything intelligent to say which was quite natural for the monthly Upsalafandom meetings.
”Never heard of those, but it's the first useday of the onth”, the larva replied. ”And what better use of a useday than to once again reenact the birth of the glorious British star empire in this lovely British pub!”
”We do it all the time”, the rabbitoid added cheerfully. ”This is the 280 000th time and we didn't loose an onth on the way.”
Johan was no less confused.
”Did you too hear the chinchilla speak?” he remarked, not considering the absurdity of directing such questions to a giant larva.
”Sir, I'm not a chinchilla!” the furry creature yelled. ”I'm a royal British churchilla and I will be adressed as such, whether you are the guest of honour or not!”
”Sorry about that. I'm a guest of honour?”
”Why certainly!” the larva beamed. ”After all, you started it all! Gwynston, do be more considerate! Mr Anglemark has just been recreated. Some confusion and bad manners are to be expected as well as excused. You sir, I recommend that you drink a few bears and eat plenty of peanuts to stabilize your system.”
The rodent twitched its whiskers, wrinkling its tiny nose, hopped down to the floor and scuttled off towards the pub counter where it started pouring glasses. Johan assumed it was the bartender.
”You can call me Ford”, the larva said once they were alone.
”Ford Prefect, I assume?”
”No, Ford Anglia actually. This is after all Britain!”
The creature slithered down to the floor but once there stood on its hind segments, proudly presenting a spear that probably came with the Beefeater uniform.
”Now let's get something to drink before I dry up and go pupa, mr Anglemark!”
Johan hesitated and considered the more familiar figures remaining around the table. They hadn't moved at all. He now concluded that they were the hollow men, the stuffed men, leaning together, headpieces filled with straw. Masks had been glued to where the faces should have been, featuring ancient pub natives like Ylva, Erik, George and Kristin, all making about the same intelligent faces as in life.
”It's actually 'Upsalafandom'”, Johan said absentmindedly. ”I mean: it's Upsala, not Ubbsala.”
”Well, sir, two 'B' or not two 'B' is hardly the question”, the larva retorted, shaking his spear. ”We have omnipotently reenacted this Angleverse for our own onthly pleasure and thus take the liberty of calling things whatever we please. Consider our cultural initiative 'white larvaes burden' if you like!”
Johan couldn't deny a sort of pubic logic to that and followed his host towards the bar.
”How were you actually able to recreate me? Did I leave much behind?” he asked while the two waited for service.
”Why, we just followed your NTT of course; Neutrino Time Trace that is. I may look like a maggot but you shouldn't assume that I, like my ancestors, actually would touch your remains to get samples just because of my heritage. I find such a conclusion equally repressive and artistic!”
”Then why didn't you also revive my friends while you were at it?”
The larva looked puzzled, flattening the shape of its top end, which in turn tilted the Beefeater hat.
”Mr Anglemark! You, as always, have been complementary revived as being the founder of the Ubbsalafandom pub and hence the British star empire. Must you really ask this in each reincarnation? Scientists have concluded that you once majestically walked the British isles of Anglia, having evolved from Anglophile microbes, through Anglosaurae, to the bipedal walker of Anglemark in your current form. In some millennia you will transform the globe to Anglaterra, embracing it entirely with your tentacles. All of your pre-panglobal instances should be proud of yourselves!”
Before Johan had time to reply, the churcilla came sliding along the counter, asking the pair, not in a very polite voice, what they would like to drink.
”Do you have Belgium beer on tap?” Anglemark inquired.
”Afraid not sir”, the rodent sniffed, scratching the tap copper tubes with its claw. ”These are all pipes of Scotland. Big robotic crowd tonight. I have nothing to offer but grease, oil, gears and tools.”
Ford Anglia, the giant maggot was obviously annoyed to hear this.
”Listen Gwynston, I specifically informed you an eon ago that we would be in formal organic dress this useday!”
The churchilla shrugged its whiskers in reply and scuttled off to a customer at the far end of the counter.
”Lets just go take some air instead!” Johan said as the larva swelled to make a scene.
He didn't wait for it to shrink back though, suddenly feeling suffocated, but went strait to the door. Outside, the city of Upsala, or if it was Ubbsala, looked fairly familiar. The stone globe on the church across the street hung where it should, and when it winked to him he pretended not to notice. The stars were out but they didn't form the common patterns. Instead they spread out in a giant, full-coloured British flag across the night sky.
”Admittedly it's not perfect”, Ford Anglia commented as he slithered up by Johans side, leaning on the man ever so lightly not to fall over. ”The white dwarves were reasonably easy to herd, but the red giants are prone to collapsing and had to be handled gently.”
Feeling dizzy, Johan Anglemark quickly lowered his gaze to street level. Not a car was to be seen, nor any people, although the streets used to be busy this time of night as he recalled.
”Did you revive Linnea as well?” he asked, already fearing the answer.
”Well... we did deduct something about a 'linea' in your NTT, so we painted this white line on the ground from here to your recreated home in Sporevretha. It should be useful once festivities are concluded and feet roundsy, eh?”
The sad markings on the ground did not satisfy Johan as a substitute for company.
”By the bar and the beer, couldn't you have put any other real people in this damn reenactment of yours! What happened to cloning and reproduction in this freaking star empire future?”
The larva Ford Anglia stiffened somewhat upon hearing Johans remark and answered in a dry insectoid voice.
”Sir, we may enjoy reenactment, parties and cosmic creation, but there are moral limits! Your allusion to sex is most inappropriate! After all, we are British!