Melt us down? I didn’t really know what that meant, but I knew I didn’t want to be a picture frame, or a candlestick. I felt panicky and helpless.
We were thrown in the back of a van for a journey that seemed to take thousands of bars. Then someone with a limping gait and rather a pungent smell, probably Gerald I thought, trudged down a squelchy path with us, pulled open a bolt with some difficulty, slung us onto a hard surface. I heard crackling and felt heat. He went out again. The atmosphere seemed dusty and smelt of wood-shavings, smoke and turpentine.
I was terrified, I can tell you. Was I no longer going to be Pearly? Was I going to be merged together with the others and become something else? Was I going to die? I held onto who I was, and said to myself, ‘Pearly, if this is the end, you have had a good life.’ I thought of all the things I had done in my life. The most important thing was Lucy. I felt a rush of the purest love for her. ‘You helped Lucy. You knew friendship, with kind Obi and dear Flutty. You heard wonderful stories. You even played the faun, with most of an orchestra. You helped everyone to escape from the Old Man’s Cave.’ But nothing I said to myself helped, as I didn’t feel ready to die. I felt like I had so much more life in me to live, and to give, and knew there was so much music out there that I had not played yet.
Smelly Gerald came back. He tipped us all out on the work-bench. He started up a machine which made a whoosing sound. We could feel a sudden heat coming from it. We waited in fear. The light turned orangey. It was moving too much, it didn’t seem normal. Flickering reds and golds. Oh! I suddenly remembered Silvia’s candle-lit concert. It must be flames. I was so afraid. Suddenly Yammy’s head-joint was lifted away from my side. ‘Jeez! Solid silver!’ exclaimed smelly Gerald with a laugh. ‘God sakes, those idiots! Haven’t got a clue!’
He grabbed the torch thing which had a hot column of fire pouring out of its end. He was just about to start melting down Yammy’s head. Poor Yammy sucked a desperate gasp of mouldy air in to scream a high-pitched scream. He knew he was done for.