You can now listen to this story, narrated by the wonderful Tonia Brown by clicking the link below.
The forest had gained a heartbeat. For miles around, a steady thrumming could be heard, echoing between the darkened trees, seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere. Boom. Boom. Boom.
Closer to the source, the sound took on additional characteristics – becoming more complex as a myriad of shifting melodies twisted and writhed over the bass beat. Lights flashed through the columns of pine and a smell of wood smoke permeated the air.
“Why do people always bring their bloody pets to these things!” complained Baloo as the small orange tiger barged into him, spilling his cider down his grey fur.
“It’s Winnie again! Every year we tell him to leave the fucking thing at home, and every year he brings it” replied Rupert, stepping back from the dancing area as the tiger bounced around, oblivious to everyone else.
“It’s normally bad, but look at the state of its eyes! Someone has fed it full of coke!” said Baloo. “Oi! Paddington you twat! Have you given the fucking tiger drugs again?”
A small brown bear on the edge of the dance floor looked nervous and turned his back to them as he took a small plastic packet from his duffle coat and handed it to a young female bear, before shuffling away into the crowd.
“Where is Winnie anyway” said Rupert. “He’s should at least be keeping his pet under control”
“He’s in the woods” replied Baloo.
“What the hell is he doing in …..oh!”
“Yeah, I know. Way to go to live up to the stereotype. He reckons he had a bad burger or something” said Baloo as he sat down and began to crumble a green substance into a small white piece of paper.
“Why did you have to wear those stupid trousers Rupert? It’s embarrassing!”
“Mate, these trousers are wicked! Picked them up at Glastonbury last year. These are my partying threads”
“You only bought them because you were out of your skull on scrumpy! They make you look like a cross between a blind golfer and a pimp from the 1970’s!”
“At least I am not wandering around with my big fat beer belly on show! Do you think it makes you look hard? Or maybe some girl with a flab fetish will find you irresistible?”
“Do you want some of this spliff or not?” snapped Baloo as a small corona of light illuminated his face and he exhaled a cloud of smoke.
A yellow bear in blue and white dungaree’s made his way over to Baloo and Rupert, homing in on the smell of the freshly lit joint like a missile.
“Hey mate – can I have a go on that?” said Teddy Robinson, spilling lager on Rupert’s trousers and grabbing the joint from Baloo’s hands.
“Hey…I never said you could….I just fucking lit that!” said Baloo
“Wicked Party innit!” said Teddy Robinson, ignoring the complaints.
“I don’t know” said Rupert “It’s a bit dodgy to be honest. I think I used to prefer it when it was cups of tea from a thermos and slices of lemon cake”
“Boring tossers!” said Teddy Robinson as he inhaled half of the joint in a single breath and handed it to Baloo, before wandering back to the party.
“Aw man – he got the end all soggy” said Baloo, as he tried to dry the wet paper with his lighter.
“Could be worse. He could have stayed and kept talking to us about keeping house” replied Rupert. “He bores the tits off me at the best of times!”
Baloo looked up suddenly. Beams of light could be seen in the darkened trees, dancing and waving as they moved through the forest. The sounds of people crashing through the undergrowth and dogs barking could now be heard over the music.
“Oh shit! It’s the pigs!”
Rupert looked up to see Paddington rugby tackled by two shapes wearing riot gear, their faces obscured by helmets. As the bear began to struggle, they began to beat him with large wooden truncheons.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here!” said Baloo
Nodding his agreement, Rupert began to run for the tree line. Before they could make it to the relative safety of the dark woods however, a shape stepped out from behind a tree.
“You are all under arrest” said Special Inspector Piglet “under section 52 of the criminal justice bill.” At piglet’s feet lay Winnie. He was handcuffed and bleeding from several wounds that appear to have been caused by his falling down some stairs.
“Officer Pinkie…Officer Perky…take them into custody!”
Two shapes in full riot gear, their identification numbers obscured by pieces of black cloth, stepped up towards the two friends, slowly slapping their truncheons into their hands.
Rupert looked up at Baloo.
“This never would have happened if we had stuck to lemon cake” he said.