Bible John-Wandering Fen Preacher

      Dear readers, a little more 'Fen Gothic' for you to frighten yourselves with. The text first appeared in The Old Town Evening Star last year and was written by John Andrews of Arcadia, please see the link to his blog to the right.
      Our hero is Bible John an unconventional, non-conformist, wandering fenland preacher. The illustration shows Bible John with his deaf terrier and his sack of souls on his back, tramping the banks of the Twenty Foot Drain silhouetted against a biblical sky.
      Now read on.

      'Small Life is Here' it says upon the masthead of the Old Town Evening Star.  And think it possible, whilst you stoke the fire on this cold winter night for beyond the boundary of the Old Town itself upon the empty wetlands of the Fen there is a wandering preacher known only as 'Bible John' who stands seven foot tall in boots too tight which gnaw at his feet and a wide brimmed felt hat that covers his eyes from view.  Local legend has it that he was born one autumn night in a flooded dyke the result of a tryst between a chip shop worker and a sugar beet cutter.  His youth was wild, abandoned and ruled by hedonism.  His moment of evangelism came whilst on the bus to Manea one wet Tuesday afternoon.  He could take no more of village gossip and idle tittle tattle and begged the driver to stop the vehicle.  To a silence he departed theatrically using the newly fitted wheelchair ramp and started his long walk along the Twenty Foot Drain to enlightenment. 
      He spent the early years of his fledgling ministry touring the outlying villages of the Fen, the black dot like places that the mapmaker could not be bothered to record but where the seeds of discontent are sown with the seasons.  In time he had a reputation that travelled before him like an ill wind blowing off the Steppe.  It was said he could halt a wind turbine with a glance, reduce a mobile telephone signal to one bar merely by raising his left hand and sharpen a bow saw with a smile.  Not that Bible John smiled much for not only had his contract with Orange long expired but he was perturbed by the virus that spread along the A10 where warehouse sex shops and unlicensed food wagons threatened to turn the place into a depraved annex of the Deep South.  As for electricity he had no need for it, the places where he spent the night often being homes he borrowed and lit by miracle and failing that the back-up of a gas-lamp.
      To be continued.

      The story concludes next week, don't miss it.