Last price: Chapter Thirteen

16 min readOct 23, 2021

Alex meets Ganga and the Moon God; Ganesh summons his inner Roger Waters

Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary on Unsplash

Empowerment was the word that Alex reached for. It was a good word. In the world of social care, it was a sacred word. And perfect for this occasion. Empowerment meant allowing people to do things for themselves while allowing others to sit back and watch them fuck-up while drinking that well-earned cup of tea. As Ganesh’s father, Alex surmised that it wouldn’t be right to take over. For the sake of his self-esteem, Ganesh needed to own this project. Ownership, that was another good word. The plan to emancipate the elephants — its conception and implementation — would be Ganesh’s. Anything else was disempowerment and a lack of ownership. And this was offensive to the creed of all care workers.

Risk-taking — another sacred word. Assess the risk, record it and ensure that everyone signs up to it. All this is essential if the care worker wishes to avoid standing in front of a disciplinary panel when all that empowering blows up in his face, as it surely would at some stage in his career. Be generous and share the blame. But Alex scrubbed the idea out. No risk assessment would be done in this case. It was way too risky. Alex had no idea what kind of plan Ganesh was concocting. And doing an assessment of all the involved risks may force him to revise the decision allowing Ganesh to just get on with it. Then Alex would have to come up with another plan himself. No, he’d just stick to empowerment, throw in some ownership, and leave it there. After all there was no celestial inspector breathing down his neck, demanding to see all his documentation.

From what he could gather Brahma was still exhausted from all that creating to take any further active role in the doings of deities. He was still recovering from the surprise that he’d pulled the whole thing off, however nuanced that may be. He was a sleeping partner. And a resolutely self-satisfied one, despite the wrenching of his head of pride. And Vishnu? There was always Lakshmi to divert his attention. She was well known for slipping her dress down, just a little, in order to gain it. And Alex suspected he’d be cool with it all, providing Ganesh did nothing to affect the balance of the cosmic order. Was that possible?


Recently retired and completed MA in creative writing. Trying for the writer’s life with no more excuses about the day job. Named top writer in music.