Master James O’Dowd had received a memo from the Ministry of the Unique to attend a meeting at 9.07am the following morning at their office in 37.5A Sourgrapes Lane.
It was signed by Alfred Hawers, Esquire, Minister of the Unique.
He had followed all instructions and found himself following a small man in a top hat down the hallway of the Ministry.
As he hurried after the small man he noticed that on each of the doors they passed was a sign. UNIQUE 101, UNIQUE 101.25, UNIQUE 101.5 and UNIQUE 101.75.
He wondered what might lay behind the doors but didn’t have time to think too much as the small man took some keeping up with.
Eventually they came to a stop outside a door that announced: UNIQUE DETERMINATION ROOM.
The small man knocked three times before the door was opened by a wizened old woman with a sign on her coat indicating she was UNIQUE MARY.
She beckoned James inside and pointed to a seat. Once he was seated UNIQUE MARY took up a clip-board and spent a minute or two studying whatever it was that was written on it.
“Why exactly are you here?” asked UNIQUE MARY.
“I was sent a letter and then a memo to attend here today,” replied James beginning to wonder what he had let himself in for.
“I can’t see what makes you unique, there’s nothing here to suggest you might fit in,” said UNIQUE MARY, “Can you juggle? No? Do card tricks? No? Magic? No?”
“I think there’s been a mistake,” suggested James, “I’m just James O’Dowd, I don’t do anything special I can’t even get picked in the school football team, even as the kit boy. I’m awfully unco and really don’t have a sporting bone in my body.”
UNIQUE MARY looked him up and down and then scowled at him, “We at the MINISTRY OF THE UNIQUE don’t make mistakes. There has to be a reason, now you sit tight while I ask around and see what I can find, you never know we both might be surprised.”
With that she wandered off leaving James to sit and take in the room he was in.
On the wall were a series of frescos James found fascinating. Each was a part of a whole visual story. It reminded him of the images on a Grecian Urn like the one he had studied at school, Ode on a Grecian Urn by Keats.
The images he was looking at were quite vivid and when he looked back on the first image he was sure the figures within it had moved and were now in a different position as if the story was progressing before his eyes. The same phenomena was occurring in the subsequent images. Watching the images certainly kept him occupied as waited and he was surprised when UNIQUE MARY returned and noticed his fascination with the images on the wall.
“Unique aren’t they?” said UNIQUE MARY, “the artist has a very unique style.”
“Indeed,” said James not taking his eyes off the moving images, “how does he do it?”
“Not sure,” said UNIQUE MARY, “ it’s a unique gift he has like so much you’ll see around here. Now James to you, it seems you are unique in ways you didn’t realise. In fact you have many facets to your uniqueness.
*Part Two can be found here: https://summerstommy.com/2019/01/08/the-ministry-of-the-unique-part-2/