You’re Never Alone with a Badger
“I am your spirit guide,” the badger said to me. “I will be with you as long as you need me.” I did not expect a badger to speak with RP, but then I suppose spirit guides undergo training to ensure they can be properly understood.
“Can everyone hear you?” I asked.
“Only you can hear me, because I am your spirit guide,” the badger sounded slightly exasperated, it was official, I could even exasperate a badger.
“Are you going to show me a path to enlightenment and my true self?” I asked. I vaguely remembered reading something about Native American Spirit Animals, but couldn’t really remember what they did, and with no internet there was no way for me to find out.
“Probably not,” the badger said contemplatively. “But I’ll help you out wherever I can, and tell you when you’re being stupid, and where possible how not to be stupid.”
“Wow, where have you been all my life?”
“Hiding behind rush hour traffic and double espressos. In modern life there is no room for spirit badgers.”
“You know, Badger.” I had never been terribly original with names, it’s probably a good thing I had never had children. “I think the apocalypse may have been the best thing to happen to me.”
“I think it has helped you realise some things, and now you are open to me I can help you realise a lot more things. But right now I think you should wake up.”
“Because you simultaneously drool and snore whilst you’re asleep, and it’s not attractive, trust me, just wake up. Kerry…”
“Kerry?” the voice changed. “Kerry? Wake up Kerry.”
I opened my eyes and it was Sam.
“Oh my god!” I threw my arms around her before remembering that I’d been asleep and my mouth tasted like the badger had actually been asleep in it, so I pulled away. “You’re back.” I said slightly awkwardly.
“Yes, nice badger,” she looked at my spirit guide, who was watching her curiously.
“He’s my spirit guide.” I said rather proudly.
“Nice, wish I had one.” She sat down next to me and offered me a bottle of something. I took a large swig to get rid of my badger breath, only to realise that it was vodka.
“Wow! Where’d you find that?” I coughed.
“Tyrone’s not the only one who can forage,” she smiled at me.
“So, um, did you complete your mission?”
“Oh bloody hell,” the badger interrupted. “Why don’t you say what you really want to? There’s been an apocalypse and you’re playing it cool?”
“Quiet Badger! You’re as bad as Tyrone!” The creature looked at me with its head cocked to one side.
“Kerry?” Sam took the bottle away from me and looked me right in the eye. “Did the badger say something to you then?”
“What? No! Of course not, badgers don’t talk. I was… tell me about your mission, did you find your son?”
“And shag your ex husband?” the badger added in. I shot it a look but didn’t say anything else.
“Yes, we found Peter. He’d been holed up in a boarding school with some other boys. It seemed quite safe, so we decided to set up base there. I came back for you. You and Tyrone.”
“Yeah right,” the badger muttered. “Good old third wheel Tyrone. Don’t forget him.”
“You came back for us?” I looked at her.
“Of course I did. Look, Kerry, I’m sorry about the way I left things with you. It’s not how I would have liked it, I would have stayed and fixed things, but my son was in danger and you were in no position to travel, I mean, you fell out of a tree.”
“She’s right, you did fall out of a tree. You are quite ungainly with bad breath. On second thought you should play it cool for now, at least until you can do something cool and sexy to impress her…” the badger was thinking aloud, but only I could hear it.