I went into the RTE canteen the other day. All the celebs were there: Katherine Lynch, Tubbs, Daithi O’Shea, Derek Mooney and the gang from The Republic of Telly (the ones who eat up all the Rubberbandits time making their own jokes, which, y’know, is fine).
Anyway, there they all were, sat at their tables like you’d expect but the odd thing was that none of them moved. Not a muscle. They were completely still. Catatonic I suppose you’d call it. Their mouths were open and so were their eyes. Wide open. Their faces frozen in expressions of astonishment. Perpetual astonishment. Perpetual horrified astonishment. It was creepy. Creepy in a different way than you’d expect out in Montrose.
There was total silence as I walked around the celebs in their seats. I was the only thing making any noise, or so I thought until strange sounds became faintly audible. It was like the crying of little children but very quite and distant. It took me a while to realise where the noises were coming from. They were coming from the open gobs of the celebs.
No lips were moving. The sounds of the despairing youngsters seemed to be issuing from somewhere deep inside the celebs, as if they were the echoing cries of infants trapped down wells. Cautiously, I put an ear to Katherine Lynch’s mouth. I listened and heard a little voice issuing from below. ‘Please kill me’ it was saying, over and over. I had no time to be scared by this as I heard someone coming and so hid behind a counter.
Men donned in what looked like anti-radiation suits entered the canteen and made their way toward Tubbs. ‘Oh no, not Tubbs, leave him alone’ I almost said aloud as they picked him up out of his seat and flung him into a sound booth that had a microphone in it. One of the men clouted Tubbs hard across the head. Very hard. Harder than even Tubbs might deserve. This clout seemed to awaken Tubbs. Actually, ‘awaken’ might be the wrong word. ‘Activate’ might be more precise. Anyway, Tubbs sprang to life and started yakking into the mic like he does every morning on the radio. You know the type of thing, entertaining insights, witty observations, all that fucking shit.
The men watched Tubbs for a short time before one nodded to the others and they departed. I crept after them, to see where they were headed. I followed them across the car park and down a hatch. The hatch led to a tunnel that went underneath RTE’s massive transmitter. What I saw down there was so utterly awful I will never forget it.
There was a huge industrial control room with dials, steel pipes and plumes of smoke. In the centre of this room stood a massive glass tank and in that tank there was a monster. It was like a cross between a hideously deformed baby and a squid and it was about eighty feet or so in size. It was revolving in the tank, quickly and frantically whizzing around, and emitting blood curdling high pitched screams. It was hard to tell if it was screaming in anger or agony. Its revolutions were generating some kind of energy that manifested itself as beams of electrical light. The beams shot out from the creature’s enclosure and were channelled up into the transmitter. I could have sworn I heard someone mention antimatter and someone else salute and cry out the words ‘All Hail the Void!’.
‘So, this is where telly comes from’, I thought to myself before deciding to retrace my steps and get out of there in case I was detected. I put my pen and little book back into my satchel and snuck off up the tunnel and out the hatch. ‘I won’t be getting any autographs today’ I sadly muttered to myself as I made my escape.