Tag Archives: Seeing pink elephants

“Many Happy Returns, Again.”

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Disclaimer: I’ve always enjoyed the more humorous aspects of The Prisoner. Aside from “The Girl Who Was Death” these are, admittedly, a little hard to find. So I decided to fill in that gap.¬†This story is a blatant bit of foolishness. You’ve been warned. ūüėČ
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Have you ever wondered what would happen if Number 2 woke up one morning and decided to, well, have a little fun at the expense of Number 6? I mean, really …¬†

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“Many Happy Returns, Again.”
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Just three more days. He remembered the last one. He’d just as soon not deal with Mrs. Butterworth again but he had to admit the cake had been good. No sense in trying to change things, at least not this thing. He’d let the day come and go.
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The man watched through binoculars as Number 6 walked towards the woods. Number 6 was heading for his personal gym. He worked out daily¬†at this time weather permitting.¬†Number¬†6¬†seemed very much a creature of habit, and that would make this “job” so much simpler.
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“You’ll need to be careful. He’s very suspicious. Its his nature.” Number 2 was standing at a slight distance from the other man. Near enough to be heard, far enough away that if Number 6 happened to look their way it wouldn’t be obvious that they were together. “Oh, I understand, believe me. I’d never turn my back on him either.” Number 2 began to move away. His last words, “You’ve three more days.”
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Number 6 opened one eye. The muzak had just come on. “Rise and shine, one and all! Its another beautiful day in your Village. Remember, life is for living!” More muzak. He began his day, all things normal, except … The items in the fridge had been rearranged, and whoever had been in the fridge had made no attempt to hide the fact. Nothing seemed to have been tampered with, just moved around. He sniffed at each egg, each everything. Were they going to drug him … Again? This was a sloppy job of it if that’s what they were up to. No, it was MEANT for him to see this. Why?
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The man watched the monitor. He saw Number 6 getting ready to leave, probably to have breakfast at the caf√© as it was obvious his food may have been tampered with. Ah, he’d broken Number 6s rhythmic schedule. Job well done. But he must work fast now. He bolted out of the control room.
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Number 6 stepped through the door. He saw it at once. The pillows had been rearranged and the faux tiger rug had been turned around so that the head was now at the other end. He went back out the door, walking quickly towards the Green Dome.
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“Number 6, I assure you I know nothing of this. And are you SURE?” Number 2 leaned forward with the word “sure” as if to be sure it had its proper impact. “Of course I’m sure! I know how the flat is arranged, I know where things are in the fridge. I’m monitored 24 hours a day along with my living space. If you’re not responsible your surveillance records should show who is. I ought to at least be able to arrange the pillows in the chair to my liking. That’s not to much to ask, is it?!” “I’ll have the tapes checked, Number 6.”
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They wanted him to see these things. He had reacted in order to play along. He’d trip them up, make them show their hand. And of course the videos would show nothing if they ever allowed him to view any. What was this? Asinine tricks like these weren’t like them.
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The back door closed only seconds before the front door opened. The man smiled to himself. Perfect timing.
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Number 6 stood just inside the door. He was looking directly at it. You couldn’t miss it, setting there in the center of the room like that. It was every bit five feet tall and at least eight long. A pink elephant. No, not a real one. Things hadn’t gotten that bad. Yet. This one looked like a big carnival prize, a large balloon. No need telling Number 2. What would he say? “I’m seeing pink elephants?”
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When he got up the next morning the backdoor in the kitchen was standing open. He went through the flat. Nothing was missing but the blowup elephant. Nothing SEEMED to have been tampered with.
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“Number 6 I assure you,” Number 2 said as he put his fork down, “I have no idea. Frankly old boy I’m a tad worried. I’ve checked the recordings and while I know you won’t believe me there is simply nothing there.” “You’re right, I won’t believe you even if you show me.” “Alright Number 6. Bring me the pink elephant and I’ll believe YOU.” “Gone out the backdoor during the night.” Number 6 replied. “My, Number 6, how convenient your delusions are. You think I’m playing games with you. I’m quite certain you’re playing games with me. And while I don’t know yet what you’re game IS¬†I assure you I will. Now, if you don’t mind I’ll finish my lunch. In PEACE!”
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The man had just exited the room. He was very pleased with himself. This was actually very entertaining.
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Number 6 simply walked past the stack of books and packages piled near the front door. He saw them. Let whoever it was sneak them out the backdoor tonight and store them with the pink elephant. He opened the fridge. Ah, worse than rearranged this time. This time it was empty. They would probably expect him to go to the caf√©. He turned to go to the grocers. Of course he realized they’d be expecting this as well. It wasn’t that important. If he played along perhaps they would tip their hand. He glanced at the books. At least two dozen copies of “Crime and Punishment.” Some sort of hint? One of the packages was open at one end. Another copy of the same book.
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The man smiled at Number 2, “I told you he’d think we’d expect him to have his meal at the caf√© and go to the grocers instead.” Number 2 smiled broadly. “Capitol, just capitol.”
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There was a note on his pillow. It simply read, “Danger, man!” Mind games. Two could play at this.
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“You heard me. I’d like to look at another flat. Perhaps a change of scenery would clear my mind of these delusions,” his tone was laced with sarcasm. “Number 6, I’m not even sure there is another flat available. And if there is I don’t know that you could have it. We have rules, Number 6.” Number 2 shook his head. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to see Number 18? He’s very good you know. And you’ve put yourself through great stress during your time with us. Maybe to much stress. Come, I’ll call Number 18 and make arrangements for you.” “I do NOT need a psychiatrist!” Were they really going through all this foolishness in order to make him think himself on the verge of a breakdown? This Number 2 wasn’t that stupid.
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The phone rang early the next morning. “What do you want?” “Good morning to you too, Number 6,” Number 2 said sarcastically. “Care to look at what might possibly be your new home?” “When, where?” “I’ll be ’round to pick you up in 15 minutes. Be seeing you.”
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He was playing along. They pulled up in front of a door he’d seen before but as to the building or what was behind the door he had no idea. Number 2 lead the way. Inside Number 6 could not believe what he was seeing. The place was a total wasteland. The carpet was ripped, the walls were covered in grime, much of the furniture was broken. “Well, what do you think? Beautiful, isn’t it?” “Whats this idiocy all about, Number 2? Its an obvious ruse, but its not nearly of the quality I’ve come to expect from you. I must say I’m disappointed.” “Disappointed? In this? Do you realize the trouble I’ve gone to in order to make this available for you? And all because you’re delusional. I thought this might ease the stress and help normalize your mental condition. But you’ll see Number 18 now whether you like it or not, and that for your own good! Come, I’ll return you to your flat so that you can collect a few personal items. I’ve a feeling your stay in hospital may be an extended one.”
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They stopped in front of Number 6s door. “Good day to you, sir!” He snapped at Number 2 as he climbed out of the car. “Not so fast, Number 6. I’m going in with you. You WILL collect your things, we WILL go to hospital, or I WILL CALL SECURITY!”
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He walked through the door, Number 2 close behind. At first glance everything looked in order. This time. Then, as he neared the center of the room, it happened. There were fully two dozen of them. They jumped from behind curtains, furniture, doors. Some came from he wasn’t sure where. The din was deafening. Horns and whistles and those clacking noise makers he remembered from his childhood. And all shouted the same thing as Mrs. Butterworth, wearing a badge that had the number 5 on it, stepped forward with a cake covered in candles. “SURPRISE!”
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“Its not all clandestine operations, Number 6.” Number 2 laughed. “Why all the silliness? Books with packages piled high, doors open, the fridge rearranged, and the blasted pink elephant. Why?” Number 6 asked, honest curiosity registering on his face. “Simple, my dear boy. So long as you were looking at all that, so long as you thought us up to something, you’d be occupied. You’d not be trying to escape and you’d never suspect this. It didn’t really matter what we did, just so long as we did something. And the more disjointed, well, all the better! Ah, and the pink elephant? MY idea.” He chuckled.
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At the end of the party Number 2 lingered. After the other “guests” filed out he walked towards the door. He turned just before exiting. “Happy birthday, Number 6. And, oh, just a thought. I’m not sure, I didn’t ask her, but the piece of cake Number 5 gave you? It may have been drugged.” And he stepped outside laughing hysterically.
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English: Traditional Devil's Food Birthday Cake
Be seeing you.

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