Towering Angophoras and Corymbia’s were frozen in a looping, twisting dance, waiting for the wind to animate them once more. “The Whistling Puppeteer is the ultimate choreographer” the Surreal Art Psychonaut mused as he strayed from the main track. The overgrown path was clogged with fallen branches, bulky enough to crush a bunyip. An epicormic limb fell to it’s death, missing the Psychonaut’s misshapen cranium by the width of a geranium.
Fifteen minutes into that mystical explorer’s marathon, Margot Shugg, the local grammarian, greeted him via Facebook messenger. Hearing from Margot at 3am was more surprising than getting reception in the forest. Well there was a photo of Margot attached to the profile anyway. Strangely, none of their previous conversations were visible. The Psychonaut scrolled through his messenger contacts and sure enough there was another Margot Shugg, the real one.
“Are you there?” Margot’s impersonator asked for the fourth time. The Psychonaut had seen more patient Golden Retrievers during dinner. Anyone who has ever seen a Golden Retriever eat, has surely wondered how they don’t give themselves whiplash, as they attack their meal like it’s three days late and about to fly away.
“Are you there” the faceless criminal purporting to be Margot asked the Psychonaut once more. He decided to have some fun.
“Margot, you’re still the queen of the night owls I see and dynamite on the dancefloor I bet. All the youngsters must be in awe of you. How’s life been treating you?”
“I really can’t complain too much, bills are getting paid, eating every day, got friend, living comfortable”
“Margot, your grammar is as impressive as a manned mission to Neptune. Shakespeare would be in awe”
“Yes. I’m so happy and full of joy today. Guess why.”
“Has that X rated romance novel you’ve been working on rocketed up the New York Times best seller list?”
“Have you heard about the united nation award IFC?”
“No, I can’t say I have. What’s Tom up to these days, have you seen him lately?”
“That’s probably a good thing. I heard he joined the airforce and was lucky not to get court martialled, after almost crashing into the control tower. He calls himself Maverick now, what a wanker!”
“I am bet you love too hear about IFC. It is International Finance Cooperation. The IFC are helping people with some grant money to help deaf, retired, disabled, widowed, military, employees, unemployees to maintain the standard of living”
“Interesting. Do go on.” the psychonaut typed as he Skyped Storm Fox, one of his associates, for a coded chat. It’s unlikely that anyone listening in could’ve discerned that they were discussing anything besides which restaurant to go to the following evening.
The scammer continued “The money is being given to people from them to pay rents, bills, homes, pay school fee for children and lots more. I got $50,000 cash from them.”
“You too can get money. Because I saw your name on the winner list. Federal government IFC Program. They are helping all people for self service provider and you don’t have to pay it back. Do you know how to apply for it?”
“Sounds legit. Please tell me how I can my hands on all that cold, hard cash”
“I will give you their Facebook page where I apply so you can apply there as well. Are you there?”
The Psychonaut decided it was time to crank up the craziness “The arrival of the glowing pterodactyl pig is imminent. It makes the swiftest Peregrin falcon look as pedestrian as an inebriated slug. The glowing pterodactyl pig, look how it plays with such zeal, with the risen gargoyles, oh how they shattered their graves. After thee, they will fly, buoyed by a tiny tornado”
“Should I send you the agent link now?”
“Send it to the glowing pterodactyl pig, to appease his sadistic spirit”
“You dey mad”
“Yes, I’m very angry. Spell Czech, that meddling editor, he keeps changing pterodactyl into redirect. Spell Czech, he’s the one they should sacrifice to the glowing pterodactyl pig. That Jurassic abomination should leave you alone, at least until I get my cash”
“Should I send you the agent links now?”
“Agent Lnyx, haven’t seen him for years. Last I heard he was trapped in a parallel universe, on an asteroid where clouds sky write lyrics, for a contortionist hippo’s symphonies. It’s the only place where I’ve seen a hippo conduct an orchestra with its ankles behind its ears, twice. The drummer is swifter than the beating of a dragon fly’s wings. The saxophonist has wings. The violinists stab carnivorous butterflies, with their bows, between strokes. If you return Agent Lynx to this world, I’ll be eternally grateful”
“Just click on link, http://www.internationalfinancecooperation.org and you too can get lots of cash. This Agent Lynx, you buy him back”
“I’m confused, Margot, you’re knocking on my door. I can see you out the window. Now you’re doing handstand pushups, while waiting for me to let you in. How do you type while doing handstands pushups?”
“Voice recognition softwarw”
“Surely, only the Shimmering Egg Man has the power to make typos with voice recognition software. Are you the Shimmering Egg Man?”
“Yes, I the Shimmering Egg Man, he send you to where there lots of cash. Just click on link.
Are you sure you’re the shimmering egg man?
“Joking, ha ha, I Margot silly”
“You’re Margot Sealy? You said before that you’re Margot Shugg. I just Googled Margot Sealy and she’s a mattress”
“Grrrr, you dey mad, for half an hour we talk, you talk shit bull whole time, I go now”
High above a Manilla warehouse, wingsuit warriors descended from a nearby crane. They glided between office blocks as casually as eagles. One looked remarkably like a bipedal pig and the others were so hideously deformed by injuries and body modifications that they were reminiscent of Gargoyles. Not even the tiny tornado, that caught them by suprise, dented their confidence. The Margot impersonator couldn’t have looked more suprised if it had been a tiny alien spacecraft that crashed through his office window.
“We didn’t mean to land here, we got stuck in a tornado. I’m the Glowing Pterodactyl Pig and they are the risen gargoyles.”
“Margot’s friend said you would come.” the scammer blubbered. He was a quivering mess, lying helpless in the foetal position beneath his desk. The Glowing Pterodactyl Pig and the Risen Gargoyles grotesque smirks grew as they helped themselves to the contents of the scammer’s bar fridge and considered their options.
Back in Australia, their boss reached his plot of land in the middle of the forest. He bounded up the steps of the Temple of the Risen Gargoyles. A statue of the Pterodactyl Pig, towered over the waxworks cyclops kneeling at the altar. Five hundred more of those three dimensional metaphors filled the pews. The Psychonaut expected to have millions of one eyes supporters, within a decade. He rehearsed the introduction to his first sermon, with the intensity most people reserve for warfare.
Internet scamming was that tricksters favourite fundraising method. There were several degrees of separation between him and his scammers, so surely it was a freakish coincidence that one of them had contacted him. He wasn’t taking any chances though. The bit about the Glowing Pterodactyl Pig and the risen gargoyles being buoyed by a tiny tornado was wild speculation for a lark. He’d fully expected his hideously deformed henchmen to use the door.