A word salad which wouldn't have been released if it hadn't been by a big name musician

Room was roughly three point two five metres by two point eight five metres in size. The window, known as Window, was about half way along the long side, away from Door which led onto Landing etc. 

Room was white, or whitish-yellow in colour, depending on the light and the time of day. Outside Window Blue could see several trees - he was quite prepared to admit that there was more than one tree, just as the birds were plural in number also, small white plump birds with brownish-black streaks on their wings and heads and long tails. Beyond the tree-mass there was nothing. Only more trees. This was House's back and Forest - which was apparently the tree-mass's name - occupied the space up to and including it.

At other times there were pinkish-bellied birds, some of which looked more orange, and they all had black caps and backs. Two times in total a grey-backed yellow-stomached bird with a dark band around its head climbed down one of the trees. There was also a small brown mouselike one which climbed to the top of a branch and jumped off. 

Bed was on one side of Room. Bed was around a metre in width and two metres long. 

Once many years ago Blue Markinson had been Punished by being Locked in the Box. This was at School and the Box was a common punishment for children who had been uppity. The Box was discontinued over time, not because it was cruel but because for a certain proportion of children, including Blue, it was really not a punishment. Blue would lie in the Box for hours, even for days, and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Doctor would open the Box in the early hours of the morning and Blue would look up and say,

"You stopped!"

To say this was never a good idea as Doctor normally forbad speaking. The children were given a time when they were allowed to speak; elsewhen they were ordered to be silent. This was very strange to Blue when he arrived at School: no matter how dysfunctional his family had been, they talked when they felt like it. The concept of actual hours of speech being regulated was of an order of weirdness hard to understand. As he grew older (into his teens) he became aware of the existence of Silent Orders, and their rituals of silence, prayer, hard work, devotion and the occasional bonking of peasant girls. But from what he was given to understand, Lincoln School (which was nowhere near Lincoln; it was based in a Victorian mansion called Lincoln House) was not a silent order of monks and indeed despite the piety (that was to say, adherence to the rules of a religion rather than to its moral code) of some of the staff, no god he recognised held sway there, unless it was one of the Dark Gods who shuffle and snigger in the outer darknesses at the Rim. Over time he did indeed become a fan of HP Lovecraft and perhaps not surprisingly; HP's pantheon of randomly soul-eating beings seemed a closer fit to the world as he understood it, a world of punishment, bread and water, and silence.

But along with the silence, and the being sent to bed with bread and water to eat, there was also the Box. In the Box Blue could dream of open spaces, without feeling threatened by them. The Box was partially underground, half-buried at the edge of a rose garden that might have been modelled on that which faces the newer (i.e. 18th century) part of Hampton Court. Regarding which he had long admired the cheek of William and Mary for taking hold of the mediaeval brick pile that the despotic Henry VIII had stolen from Cardinal Wolsey and adding a bit of European sophistication to Hampton Court; out of place it might be but it was also an improvement. He could imagine William, whose ability to hold together England and his other kingdom of Orange in a time of bloodshed, civil war, skulduggery and revolt could scarcely be denied, facing down the disapproving, fist-clenching ghost of Henry  and saying,

"You and whose army?" Not Henry's certainly, for even a ghost army of pikestaff-wielders wouldn't have stood much (a ghost?) of a chance.

If late 18th century Britain was an alien world by comparison with the early 21st, it was far less so than the superstitious, barbaric 16th century. Even if science, engineering, mathematics and medicine were rudimentary compared to the present day, they were at least seen as important - what was referred to as the Enlightenment. 

And being in Room, now, that he felt at least slightly safe, was very much like being in the Box.

The End

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