Crossing the Date Line

*Coming out of what, Clicky? …/lights up rollie and drags…*

UAV front and back cover

*/puffs contentedly…*

At last, Dear Reader, the Underdog Anthology V is published

*Knot a graphic novel, Clicky… /streams smoke… Short stories, many authors…*

… I’d been speculating with Leggy late on Friday as to the date it might appear…

Legy and Roob talk UAV and dates 1

… The first ‘event’ listed in the Wiki link – ‘The Year of SIX Emperors’…

LONE-STAR-1

*Five pointed star! I was thinking of The Okie Devil of Textus… /flicks ash… Cade’s got stories in the book. I didn’t even think of that, Clicky… /pats snout… What did I list next?*

Legy and Roob talk UAV and dates 2

*/drags… 19 Four-Tees… /blows smoke ring… Nineteen stories…*

*Three? …/squints… Sew, inadvertently, Leggy and I counted down six, five, four three… /final drag…*

Legy and Roob talk UAV and dates 3

*2, 1… /stubs butt… Hey, how about that ‘wolf trap‘, Clicky?*

Legy and Roob talk UAV and dates 4

 

Strangely enough, Dear Reader, if you go check out UAV’s listing on Amazon – and I suggest you doo 😉 – it’s published date is 20th April

facepalm

*Oh I dunno, Clicky… /lights up… 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0… /grins…*

Have a Song 😉

Who Noob Tales: Nine Lives… No, Really

I am having a long weekend, Dear Reader. I spent yesterday daytime making final edits to stories in the soon-to-be-published ‘Underdog Anthology V: Six in Five in Four’. Leggy has a preview, in which he includes one of his stories from the book…

Old Peculier on the neighbours cat

*/grins… How peculiar, Clicky… /lights up…*

peculiar (adj.)

mid-15c., “belonging exclusively to one person,” from Latin peculiaris “of one’s own (property),” from peculium “private property,” literally “property in cattle” (in ancient times the most important form of property), from pecu “cattle, flock,” related to pecus “cattle” (see pecuniary). Meaning “unusual” is first attested c. 1600 (earlier “distinguished, special,” 1580s; for sense development, compare idiom). Related: Peculiarly.

wiki peculier

*’Also KT and KH’…/drags… No shit! …/streams smoke… *

Then last night Cade and I resumed his introduction to Doctor Who, and also caught up with Leggy and Poppy… Les amis…

Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 1

Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 2Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 3Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 4

rare doctor who hand flap

*/flicks ash… Knot a favourite episode, Clicky… /drags… although, excellent use of a jammie dodger… /blows smoke rings… I’d forgotten about that…*

Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 5

Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 6Poppy and Roob discuss Cades Who Introductory Course 7

*Like the villain, House, in The Doctor’s Wife, Clicky, Daleks are a bit like a sea anemone… /puffs… “hard on the outside, squishy on the inside”… I hadn’t made that connection before… /taps teeth…*

Anyhoo, in honour of Old Peculier’s neighbour’s cat, Dear Reader, and seeing as a ‘cat‘ won today’s Grand National, I thought I’d take a leaf out of Leggy’s book – pun intended – and post one of my stories from UAV. It’s short and called ‘Nine Lives’. The Knot-Sew confidential making of it can be found here. Enjoy!

*******

NINE LIVES

Karl sat at his kitchen table, smoking and observing the tendrils of early morning mist gently tickle the tops of the garden hedge, before continuing their soft creep to the ground. It was dark outside but the lawn glittered with stars; pregnant dew drops nestling in the grass caught the thin, amber light that spilled from the kitchen window. He stubbed out his cigarette and gulped back the last dregs of cold tea from his mug with a grimace. Not long now, Karl thought, she’ll be home soon. Outside the mist started to swirl and pool.

He stood up and stretched, bones creaking and knees popping as if to salute the end of his vigil. He fleetingly considered that he was getting too old for this malarkey, but she needed a watcher – someone to light the way back. He could bear the discomfort; it was only for the night. Karl rubbed his eyes under his glasses, and dragged his hands down over bristled cheeks to wipe any tiredness away. He contemplated putting the kettle on when he heard the first high pitched bark puncturing the dark. The second got him moving. “Not the foxes again!”

As he opened the back door, the wet slap of morning air to hit Karl’s face was accompanied by a rude crash and skitter of a dustbin lid falling, somewhere in the mist. She’s coming from the right, he thought, opening the door wider to peer out into the murk. More barks, louder this time, and a fiery hiss, were followed by the sound of clambered wood, as the garden fence shook violently. Karl held the door further ajar, and a white streak shot out of the mist and between his legs, into the kitchen.

Karl closed the door on the mist and the foxes who, by the sound of it, were now rummaging through next door’s bin for tasty scraps. He turned to the slight figure, lying on the kitchen floor. “For goodness sake, Lara, do you have to tease the foxes? It upsets the neighbours.”

“It upsets the bins,” Lara replied, lightly panting as she rolled over and attempted to sit up. “No, they were waiting for me. Foxes are not called cunning for nothing, Karl.”

“Yes, but they usually leave you alone when you’re hedge riding.”

Lara sighed. “It would seem witches aren’t held in much esteem these days. Not by people or wildlife.”

Karl surveyed the flush in his wife’s cheeks and her glittering eyes, and thought she still looked pretty formidable considering her advanced years. He also noticed the shudder in her arm propping her up. “You should get off the floor. What would you like, sofa or chair?” he asked, scooping her up, with barely a tremble from his own geriatric limbs.

“Sofa,” Lara replied with a wan smile. “Thank you, dear. And a cuppa and a ciggie wouldn’t go amiss either.”

“Funnily enough, I was just about to put the kettle on,” Karl replied, before lowering his wife, so she could reach out and pluck the cigarette packet and lighter from the kitchen table. A fat bead of blood splashed onto the surface below, quickly followed by another. “You’re injured?”

“Damn foxes.” Lara winced and drew her arm back toward her chest. “One of them managed to get a mouthful of armpit. I don’t think it’s too deep. Just stings a bit.”

“But you’re bleeding,” Karl said gruffly. Too gruffly, he feared, from the look his wife shot him. “Okay, let’s get you comfortable and then I can clean that up,” he continued in a more conciliatory tone, before carrying her through to the front room.

Karl noticed that Lara was already on her second cigarette when he returned five minutes later, to set out a bowl of hot water, soap, flannel and towel on the carpet before her. “Kettle’s on for tea,” he said kneeling down. He adjusted his glasses and gingerly started to lift Lara’s elbow. “Can’t let it get infected, how would we explain that to Dr Patel?”

“I can always change back so you can take me to a vet,” Lara replied sharply, pulling away from his grasp.

She must be in great pain, Karl thought. “Come now, dear, we don’t have pet insurance. We don’t own a pet.” Lara’s eyes briefly flashed at his riposte, but her body relaxed and she allowed him to lift her arm. “So apart from getting into a fight with some foxes…”

“Ambushed by some foxes,” Lara quickly corrected him.

“Sorry, ambushed by some foxes on the way home, how was the rest of your night?”

Lara took a deep drag from her cigarette. “Well it started off okay,” she said, billowing a great cloud of smoke. “I went to see Annie and girls down at Saint Michael’s.”

“And how are Annie and the girls?” Karl asked as he cleaned her wound of blood.

“Dead.”

“Naturally.” Any bleeding seemed to have stopped, but the swelling around the punctures had already started to bruise, turning an angry black mauve that only truly flourished on elderly skin. Karl stopped himself flinching at the sight. “You’d think they’d get themselves a spirit cat.”

“They’ve got a spirit cat,” Lara gently rebuked him with a chuckle.

“A ghost cat, then.” Karl smiled at her mirth. “You know what I mean.”

“Oh a ghost cat would be just as stuck as they are. Graveyards are lonely places, Karl. The residents like the company and the gossip. Especially the newly interred. Once the funeral is over, they rarely get more than a yearly visit from any family. If that.” Lara finished her cigarette and stubbed it out in the ashtray perched on the arm of the sofa. “How’s it looking?”

“Ugly but clean. It’ll need some arnica,” Karl replied, rising carefully to his feet. “That’s in the kitchen. Besides, the kettle must have boiled by now. No, no. You stay there. I’ll go.”

Lara laughed and shooed him away with her good arm before reaching for the cigarettes and lighter.

Karl could hear swearing from outside the back door; Jim must be up and found the aftermath of the fox fracas. Karl popped the kettle on and grabbed the arnica and some aspirin from the medicine cupboard, chuckling at the string of expletives emanating from over the garden fence. He glanced out the window to see that sunrise was already burning off the mist that had been so thick an hour or so ago. It looked like it could be a lovely day.

The sound of the front doorbell caught him off guard. Who would be calling at this hour? Karl wondered and went to open the front door. Through the frosted glass he could make out the shape of a woman in a bright pink dressing gown. What could she want? Karl thought as he unlocked and opened the door. “Morning Celia. Is everything alright?”

“Oh Karl,” his next door neighbour cried, her face puffy and contorted with distress. “Karl, I’m so sorry if I’ve woke you,” Celia started to apologise. “There was some trouble with foxes in our garden last night. I don’t know if you heard any of it.”

“No,” Karl lied. “But I heard Jim swearing earlier. Did they make much of a mess?”

Celia looked distraught at the suggestion. “Well yes, but…” she trailed off with a sob. “Karl, it’s Lara. I’m so sorry. They killed your cat.” Celia had not come empty handed; she held out a bundle, wrapped neatly in a towel, out in front of her.

Karl felt an icy chill bloom from the crown of his head and cascade down his body. “Thank you,” he said numbly, taking the bundle from Celia’s shaking hands.

“I’m so, so sorry,” Celia continued but Karl had already shut the front door. He felt the lightness of the bundle in his arms. It felt so slight.

“Lara?” Karl called as he carried it through to his wife, but the front room was empty. He laid the bundle on the sofa and sat down next to it. A spiral of smoke floated up from the ashtray perched on the arm. Karl turned and picked up the last of the burning cigarette and with trembling fingers, finished his smoke.

*******

I’m off now to introduce Cade to Thoughtful Man’s favourite companion, Dear Reader…

Clara

*/winks…*

Have a Song ❤

Who Noob Tales: The Tramp & The Little Blue Box

tramp

*Ugh, ghastly biscuits, Clicky… /sticks out tongue in disgust… It was bad enough smelling them being made, walking past the the Peeky Freaky factory, twice a day… /flicks lighter… Snot my taste… /lights up…*

This week, Dear Reader, I have been introducing Cade to Doctor Who. He’s a Who Noob…

*Knot anymore he ain’t, Clicky… /snickers…*

… And last night I also introduced him to the the Noble Donna…

*Martha was the night before, Clicky… /drags… And Rose and Captain Jack at the weekend… /streams smoke…*

Cade and Roob Partners in Crime Chat 1Cade and Roob Partners in Crime Chat 2Cade and Roob Partners in Crime Chat 3Cade and Roob Partners in Crime Chat 4

*No River Song is tonight, Clicky… /puffs contentedly…*

“If you ever see a little blue box, flying up in the sky, you shout for me Gramps.”

Thoughtful Man and I had a blue box experience today, Dear Reader…

Mayfair Warning

*/puffs angrily… Is there nuffin the bint won’t do to get out of Brexit, Clicky? /flicks ash… Don’t answer…*

Because I work on the 13th floor of the Tower, and because I have to take at least 20 minutes for lunch for my ‘health and safety’ – my time is flexible; I can bank the rest –  I take one cigarette to work with me each day. Carried in a salvaged, old-style box. Today’s was a Mayfair box…

“You’ll never guess what happened at lunch today,” I told Thoughtful Man, shrugging off my coat, after he’d brought me home from work. He’s thoughtful like that. “I gave my cigarette to a tramp.”

Thoughtful Man squinted hard, the way he does when I mention I’ve given something away. Or interacted with tramps. I have form…

another tramp story

*That’s another story, Clicky… /final drag… Now don’t interrupt… /stubs butt… I’m tryin’ to fiction-all-lies an actual factual happening… /blows smoke rings…*

“Why?” he asked bluntly.

“Because she asked me for it,” I said innocently, slipping out of my work shoes and rolling down my tights. The first thing I do when I get home is strip off my work clothes. The change from formal to informal is one of the little pleasures I take from my day.

Thoughtful Man’s squint soften slightly. “She?”

“Yes. I saw her in the lobby of Tower as I was going out to smoke. Didn’t think anything of it ‘cos we get all sorts coming in everyday,” I said, pulled my dress up over my head. “Anyway, I went and sat in my usual place on the window ledge, round the side of the building. It’s less windy.”

Thoughtful Man was silent but I just knew what he was thinking…

spaced skip to the end

*I’ll get there, if you stop interrupting me! …/huffs…*

I pulled on some jogging bottoms and Thoughtful Man’s old, raggedy sweatshirt. “And I’d nearly finished smoking my cigarette, when the lady tramp ambles round the corner. She was holding up a bottle of perfume.”

“Perfume?” Thoughtful Man interrupted me. “Like she was going to mace you?”

“Yeah. Do you know her?”

Thoughtful Man sighed; he encounters all sorts every day too driving his taxi round the mean streets of our town. “She’s completely fucking mad. I saw her today as well, when I was standing on the rank.”

I plonked myself in my Library chair and lit up a cigarette. “She didn’t spray me or anything. She asked me for a cigarette. I only had the one and I’d nearly finished smoking it. I said ‘Sorry’ and showed her the empty Mayfair box.”

“What did she say?”

I grabbed our small dog, who’d been buzzing round my feet, trying to lick my ankles. “She asked me for the one I was smoking. So I gave it to her.” I ruffed Poppy’s floppy ears and she gave me a smelly, wet, licky kiss in return. “And then she asked me for the empty packet.”

Thoughtful Man stiffened. “Did you give it to her?”

“Well yeah. I’ve got other empty boxes saved.” Oh how I hate the god-awful plain packaging government has foisted on us.

Poppy jumped off my lap and trotted over to Thoughtful Man, who picked her up for a tummy tickle. “I must have seen her after you did because, when she walked past me, she threw an empty Mayfair box at my feet.”

“Really?” I asked with a squint. I didn’t know whether to be amazed at her aim or annoyed that she’d dumped my little, blue box. “Did you pick it up?”

“No.” Thoughtful Man looked aghast. “She’d screwed it up.”

“Damn!”

rabbiting on

*Shit! …/clocks time… I’ve got a double-bill planned for Cade tonight. We’d better finish up, Clicky… /pats snout… Still, no work tomorrow, eh? Come on flexible time!*

Got to go, Dear Reader… Have a Song…

HBD Dr One! From The Okie Devil & RBD2

Two things, Dear Reader…

*No, Clicky… /flicks lighter… two items to cover off in this post… /lights up…*

First up, the soon to be published Underdog Anthology V has finally got a title…

*Knot quite… /puffs… Similar, Clicky…*

Six in Five in Four

Leggy tells me there will be 20 stories in all, not including the Foreword and Afterword, which I guess makes…

1260827856769

*/drags… twenty-two… /squints… and knot Tutu, Clicky… /taps ash…*

I have two stories included: ‘Nine Lives‘ and a new ‘Harry‘ story called, ‘Jackanory Jackalope’…

jacka_gif_by_nymla-d8r8ffl

*/coughs … It’s a spring-time book, Clicky… /clears throat… There has to be a rabbit…*

… In witch, the Legend of the Jackalope is recounted by a…

My good friend, Cade, who has three fantabulous stories in UAV, imparted the legend to me. I hope I’ve been able to do it justice ❤

4ff1399596a83ae049d3575ee7ee5aba

*Okay… /drags… thanks for keeping me on track, Clicky… /blows smoke ring…*

The second thing, Dear Reader, is to say a big, fat ‘Happy Birthday’ to The Underdog

Dr One

… And to give him his pressie, made by Cade, from both of us. Leggy may recognise the lyrics 😉

*My besties are SO fucking clever and talented, Clicky… /stubs butt… I AM the luckiest woman in the whirled…*

*Yes, you too, Clicky… /pats snout…*

Five Alive? Defo!

*Ah cool image, Clicky… /pat snout… Actually my hair hasn’t looked like that once this week… /lights up…*

Dear Reader, I have been on holiday these last couple of days, and have finally managed to write my short story about a hedge riding hag

feather powered happiness

*I am pretty happy with the result, Clicky…/puffs…*

…and have submitted it to Leggy for inclusion in the upcoming ‘Underdog Anthology V‘. The story is called ‘Nine Lives’…

*I’ve still got time to mutilate a poem for the Afterword before I go back to work, Clicky… /drags… If I can find the right one… /billows smoke…*

I was also able to spend some time yesterday in the Blue universe. Frank Davis had been snooping around New York, after reading about the proposed bill to stop people from smoking whilst walking the streets of that fair city

*They’re fucking unbelievable! …/flicks ash… First you can’t smoke inside, and now the utopian dreamers are trying to dictate where and how you can smoke outside… /deep drag… Nasty Not-sees indeed… /sighs…*

He was looking at street signs there and came across one that had him perplexed…

‘Just a few yards away was another really weird sign. I think it was some sort of aphorism. But I couldn’t make out what it said, because it seemed to be written in bleeding, dripping letters that said something like Afraid And Dead. I guess that if you were crossing 2nd Avenue and you stopped to try to figure out what the scary sign meant, you’d find out when you got hit by a truck.’

It puzzled me, too; however, the photo Frank included was somewhat fuzzy, so I sent Clicky off for a closer inspection…

sign for blue frank

*Much better but it still looks like worshipers or sumfin’ to me, Clicky… /drags deeply… In sinister black… /snorts smoke…*

… and find an answer.

school for deaf street sign new york

*Those are hands!*

hans gruber

*/reads slowly… School For Deaf …/squints… Dept of Transport… /final drag… Oh! The yellow buses! It’s a bus stop sign, Clicky! … /streams smoke…*

applause sign

*Alright, don’t take the piss… /stubs butt… Well done you, though, on working it out… There’s a good assistant… /pats snout…*

It was a sign for deaf school children, Dear Reader…

…As my good friend, Cade, might say…

‘MYSTERY SOLVED! NEXT!’

music sign

*Okay then…/lights up… And as you’re such a clever Clicky, you can choose…*

Dear Reader… Have a Song 😀

 

Breakfast Embed Part 3 – SkRAM Booled

HOWDY!!!

giphy3

*Wha? Whaddaya mean I fucked that up? Who the fuck are you, and what in the fuck do you know about what is or is not, fucked up? /me snorts*

Err…I mean, Greetings Dear Reader. I am still Mr. Slimey and I’m still filling in for RooBeeDoo and her Dolphin assistant Clicky, both of whom may in fact be vacationing somewhere in España. I’ve currently no proof to substantiate this claim, but maybe they’ll provide photographic and/or some other evidence upon their safe return.

 

giphy4

*Ya know, at a cursory glance, she appears to be both bipedal and reasonably agile/mobile. Why exactly she’s crawling around on all fours is…mysterious…*

It appears that there is indeed a need for this 3rd part, but let’s let the lady take over at this point, and she can steer us in the direction of wherever it is we need be.

*******

 

*I dunno, Clicky… /flicks lighter… I had started writing a post on the John Lamb Lash video talks… /shakes lighter… New format… /flicks lighter… He’s got a Limey companion now, called Ginny… /shakes lighter again… I’m enjoying the Anglo-Yank combo… /flicks lighter… Reminds of a sumfin’… /gives up and rummages through handbag…*

Not sure what Part 3, Cade thinks we need, Dear Reader…

* /rolls eyes… Oh okay, Clicky… /finds working light… *

This here is a post I started writing this afternoon, before Cade sent back the top and tailing for the Inchoate Egg story posts published earlier: Part 1 and Part 2. It’s called…

The Hierophant In The Womb

hierophant (n.)

“expounder of sacred mysteries,” 1670s, from Late Latin hierophantes, from Greek hierophantes“one who teaches the rites of sacrifice and worship,” literally “one who shows sacred things,” from hieros “sacred,” from PIE root *eis-, forming words denoting passion (see ire) + phainein“to reveal, bring to light” (from PIE root *bha- (1) “to shine”). In modern use, “expounder of esoteric doctrines,” from 1822.

This morning my good friend Shiny posted me a story link on MEROVEE, over in the Red universe, Dear Reader…

*A born to be wild thing, caught smoking… /lights up… And scientists are baffled, Clicky? …/scans text… Ah, Nag Role sumfin’ or another…  /deep drag… In D I A… /streams smoke…*

‘“I believe the elephant may have been trying to ingest wood charcoal,” said Dr Varun Goswami, WCS India scientist and elephant biologist.

‘“She appeared to be picking up pieces from the forest floor, blowing away the ash that came along with it, and consuming the rest.”’

And the reason the scientists think she’s taking up smoking, Dear Reader?

‘The charred lumps of wood can also serve as a laxative to the pachyderms who are able to consume it in the wild after forest fires and lightning strikes.’

belly laugh.gif

*/grins… And Shiny posted it in the Red ‘Excretion’ universe of MRS REGN? Priceless… /puffs merrily…*

capnomancy (n.)

“divination by smoke,” c. 1600, with -mancy“divination by means of” + Latinized form of Greek kapnos “smoke,” which is of uncertain origin, perhaps a non-Indo-European substrate word that also produced Lithuanian kvapas “breath, smell,”kvepiu, kvėpti “to gasp, breathe,” Latvian kvept“to smoke, smell,” and perhaps Latin vapor.

That’s as far as I got, Dear Reader. It is a “very great fact”, as John Lamb Lash might say, that elephants never forget

Reich-ous Hitler lost his War, Dear Reader. So if Lashy is correct in his telling of the Sophia Correction narrative, it rather begs the question:

Q: If Adolf had the whole fucking planet on his side, how in the hell did he lose?

A: Could it be?

Nah! It’s not like tobacco is associated with a goddess or sumfin’…

‘And at the spot where they had burned First Mother’s bones, there grew another plant, broad-leafed and fragrant. It was First Mother’s breath, and they heard her spirit talking: “Burn this up and smoke it. It is sacred. It will clear your minds, help your prayers, and gladden your hearts.”

‘And First Mother’s husband called the first plant Skarmunal, corn, and the second plant utarmur-wayeh, tobacco.

‘“Remember,” he told the people, “and take good care of First Mother’s flesh, because it is her goodness become substance. Take good of her breath, because it is her love turned into smoke. Remember her and think of her whenever you eat, whenever you smoke this sacred plant, because she has given her life so that you might live. Yet she is not dead, she lives: in undying love she renews herself again and again.”’

Two things happened this week. One with little mainstream media coverage…

*/final drag…*

… And one saturated…

*/stubs butt…*

That’s quite enough for now, Dear Reader. Locking up the LoL for tonight before we get arrested… Have a Song 😉

*******

Thanks for having me 😀

giphy5

That’s all there is for now, and there ain’t no fucking more.

It’s time for you and all your parts, to hit the fucking door.

Get your seated ass de-planted, and get your knees unbent.

Put some swagger in those hips, just in time for end of Lent.

The eggzit is where you’re headed, head there now and soon.

Or else I’ll chase you out with my….say, where’d I put my broom?

giphy6

Seriously…I’m not fucking around…get gone.

Breakfast Embed Part 2 – Sun E Sighed Up

Hello again Dear Reader. In case you’ve forgotten, my name is Mr. Slimey, you are indeed at The LoL, but RooBeeDoo and her assistant Clicky are currently…indisposed.

giphy2

*first doors, now windows. A flying carpet would not be out of place here /me taps foot and ponders…hmmm, when and where is a flying carpet “in-place”? /me wonders*

Actually, I’ve no clue whether Roob and Clicky are indisposed, outdisposed, or striking any other dis or dat pose(s). As far as I know, they are in the same place and places they’ve always been. But who really knows where that is? Who really knows what they are up to?

tumblr_nzqclolqvw1t63sglo1_540

*/me does double-take. At first glance, that window actually looks kinda…normal. But it it?*

We’ll continue to work on the pertinent and relevant as we proceed. But now, and for your continued reading enjoyment, may I present the next installment of RooBeeDoo’s… The Inchoate Egg.

*******

*No, the beginning is on the last post, Clicky… /lights up…*

Many thanks again, Cade, for the lovely intros and exits ❤

And now, Dear Reader, the story continues…

As it happened, I ended up arriving late for the County Business Awards at the Civic Centre. Very late as I’d overslept from the afternoon nap I’d taken, with the intention of being fresh for the evening ahead. Now I felt frazzled; I hate being late.

Despite the area outside the building being clearly designated ‘No Smoking’, there were a good number of glammed up people loitering by the entrance, taking a last puff, as if their lives depended on it.

I felt a hand lightly tap my shoulder and turned to see a vision in shimmering gold in the warm evening sunshine. “Harry! You’re late too. Thank goodness, I didn’t want to arrive on my own!”

Josie fair took my breath away, stood there lithe and tanned in a floor length gown that she appeared to have been poured into. Her thick black locks were piled high on her head, loose tendrils curled down, emphasising the slenderness of her throat and shoulders. And her make-up was as smooth and flawless as the skin tight dress she wore, emphasising her jaunty breasts, flat stomach and lean thighs.

“Whoa! Hi Josie, you look…” It’s difficult to keep the awe out of your voice when faced with utter perfection. Then another thought occurred to me: where’s Alfie? I scanned the road but couldn’t see his car.

“You scrub up nice!” I joked, trying to play it cool and prevent a drooling incident.

Josie giggled nervously, twirling girlishly. “Is it too much? I wasn’t sure, I haven’t been to one of these events before.”

I felt my jaw start to drop at the sight of the satin material clinging to her righteous arse cheeks. Jesus! She can’t be wearing any underwear!

An appreciable number of smokers’ heads turned in our direction, although I could tell none of them were looking at me. “No, you look absolutely stunning. In fact if we win tonight, you should definitely go up on stage to collect the award. It could get us on the front page of the local rag.”

She has no idea how gorgeous she is, I thought, as Josie blushed at my suggestion. I lightly grabbed her elbow, steering her toward the main entrance, unable – and unwilling – to remove the huge smile now plastered across my face. “Come on, we’re really late. We should go inside and find the others.”

More posh frocks and penguin suits milled about inside, quaffing champagne and munching canapés in between small talk. We made our way to the bar area, zeroing in on the sound of booming laughter. For once the Fat Kontroller was already in attendance; he usually liked to make an entrance, but from the ruddy colour of his cheeks I’d say he’d arrived a while ago.

“Harry! Over here!” the Fat Kontroller called out, beckoning us over. “You’re late.”

He was sat at the bar, flanked on one side by Simon and Katrina from our newest client, Clovis International, and on the other by Lol our friendly bank manager. Next to him was Shazza, showing far too much flesh in a low cut dress and braying like a donkey at an amusing anecdote being told by our final guest, who stood with his back to us. I hadn’t met the famous Zander Rhodes yet, but from the look of his slim hips, broad shoulders and slicked back hair, I could tell he was cut from the Alfie mould of manhood. Then I saw the wolfish look flash across Zander’s chiselled features, as he turned to see Josie sashaying toward him. My heart sank, only to be further compounded when I saw the look Josie gave him as hellos and introductions were made.

“Bad luck old girl,” Lol whispered in my ear as he kissed my cheek and squeezed my arse. “Good evening, Miss Egg. You’re looking radiant this evening.”

“Lol Williams, what have I told you about trying to grab my assets,” I replied with a smile, moving his hand up to my waist. “Honestly, you bankers…” I said with an exaggerated eye-roll, loud enough for the others to hear. It was a charade of course. I’d known Lol a lot longer than I’d worked at FAK. You could say we were kindred spirits and he was the only person I’d confided in over my longings for Josie, what really happened at Christmas and the loathing I felt for Shazza and her antics.

Lol laughed at my playful rebuke and quickly shifted his eyes in Shazza’s direction, urging me to look.

As unhappy as I was that Josie and Zander were hitting it off, Shazza looked positively crestfallen at the fizzing chemistry between the two best looking people in the place. She must have thought she was in with a chance with Zander. What a fucking pair of jokes we are, I thought, feeling a rare sense of camaraderie with the dope. It lasted all of a second as Shazza decided to open her mouth.

“Yeah, you look nice, Harry. Is that the same outfit you wore to the Christmas party? I thought that got ruined.”

“Oh no, what happened at the Christmas party?” Katrina asked innocently. She was a recent addition to the Clovis management team, so probably wasn’t aware of the gory details, just eager to join the conversation.

“A chocolate incident,” I replied smoothly, shooting a reassuring look in Josie’s direction. But she wasn’t listening, being totally absorbed in whatever Gaia-saving bollocks Zander, with his designer stubble was feeding her.

I downed the whisky proffered by the Fat Kontroller, who clapped me on the shoulder and stood up. “Right then boys and girls, now we’re all here, let’s get this party started.”

The main room set up with about 20 tables and was filling fast with the Great and the Good of the county’s business community. The level of chatter was high as we picked through the crowds to table four, positioned close to the stage. I decided I should take that as a good sign for award success but, to be honest, I was clutching at straws considering how the rest of my hopes for the evening were panning out.

Shazza had been busy in my absence as the place settings on the table were arranged boy/girl and she’d placed herself between the Fat Kontroller and Zander, with me opposite sandwiched between Lol and Simon. With Katrina sat between her colleague and the Fat Kontroller, Josie had been placed the other side Zander, and the suave environmentalist was availing himself of the opportunity to be as attentive as possible.

Lol gave my knee a reassuring squeeze under the table. “I’d offer to swap seats with you, Harry, but I don’t think you’d get a look in,” he muttered out of the side of his mouth.

“Don’t sweat it, love,” I reassured him, “I’m here to work. Here, have some some wine.” I poured him a large glass of Barolo before filling my own and grabbing a bottle of Chardonnay. “Simon? Katrina? Red or white?”

And so the evening progressed, through three passable mass catered courses, made more palatable by my excellent selection of wines. The Fat Kontroller and I worked on Simon and Katrina, the only actual clients at the table, whilst Lol tried his best to engage Zander and Josie in conversation. He was fairly successful too through his keen interest of in cycling and holidaying in Asia. Bless him, he’d even tried to include Shazza in their conversation with less success – she was finding the evening hard going, fidgeting in her seat, shifting from one conversation to the other, unable to contribute to either. She could drink though. Warily I watched her find solace in her wineglass, looking more and more miserable. I didn’t know whether to feel concern at what she was capable of after a skinful, or sheer delight at her self-imposed discomfort. But on the whole, I sided with delight – at least she wasn’t gobbing off.

Eventually the awards presentation began, starting with several dull but worthy eulogies of the strength and diversity of the county business community. We sat and clapped through numerous categories of award before they got to the one we were shortlisted for. I don’t mind admitting to a jolt of nerves as ‘Green Business of the Year’ was called out. My submission was F A Kontrell’s first attempt at winning any business gongs. Writing it up had been a doddle and success would mean more brownie points for me. As much as I liked my recent pay rise, I still preferred to earn it than get one for being merely non-litigious.

Under the table I felt Lol’s hand cover my own as I squeezed and scrunched the napkin on my lap. I lent across him toward Josie, “You’ll come up on stage won’t you, if we win?”

“Ooh can I come up too?” Shazza suddenly piped up, visibly brighting at the prospect of a bit of reflected glory. She turned to the Fat Kontroller, “If Harry and Josie are going up, can I go up too?” she squealed.

“Tush, Sharon, it’s not the Oscars,” he replied calmly, patting her on the arm. “And we haven’t won anything yet.”

It seemed to take an age for the presenter to read through all the names and for the nominees’ logos to appear on the screen behind him. You could cut the tension around our table with a knife.

“And the winner is…” He opened the envelope and pulled a card. “F A Kontrell!”

We erupted in a chorus of cheers and whoops. We’d only fucking won it!

With scraped back chairs, the four FAKkers got up to collect the award, receiving congratulatory hugs from the rest of our guests. Zander seized the opportunity to kiss Josie full on the mouth. She kissed him back. Slut! You’ve only just met him!

“Oi! Don’t smudge your lipstick,” Lol playfully chastised Josie, pulling her from Zander’s embrace.

I grabbed Josie’s hand and tugged sharply. “Come on! Let’s get you on the front page.”

Despite the huge quantity of alcohol he’d knocked back during the evening, the Fat Kontroller was steady and measured ascending the stairs, whereas Shazza was bouncing around like a demented yoyo. Josie and I joined them under the bright spotlights, standing behind our Glorious Leader while he made his acceptance speech. We posed with our trophy for the official photographer with beaming smiles, arms wrapped around each other’s backs. I could feel Josie’s right boob pressed up against me, my hand lightly resting alongside her satin covered left. This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to touching her tits, I lamented whilst we all shouted “Cheese!” at the camera.

Lol had procured a bottle of Bollinger and was already pouring it out by the time we returned to our table. “A toast to F A Kontrell,” he said, handing me a bubbling champagne flute. “And to Miss Egg and her award submission writing prowess!”

“Oh give over, Lol,” I said punching his arm, but loving his efforts to big me up. “It was a team effort,” I stated magnanimously.

“Oh no, Harry,” Shazza said slyly, handing me the trophy we’d just collected. “You definitely deserve this!”

It might have been the nervous anticipation or the excitement of winning, but I hadn’t fully appreciated the trophy’s shape until that moment. It was a heavy, crystal egg on a pedestal base. “Because it’s the shape of my name?” I asked.

“No,” Shazza hooted maliciously. “For your enormous butt plug collection!!”

Jesus fuck! What the hell?!

Undeterred by lack of laughter from the rest of us, Shazza cackled wildly and dug in. “You know, to go with one you got for Chrissmass!” she said oblivious to the shocked faces around the table.

Josie pulled away from Zander and stood up. “Sharon! Take that back,” she reprimanded her.

“An’ you can shut up, you snobby bitch! Or will Alfie beat me up, too?” Shazza sneered. A red flush crept from her chest, up her neck and flooding her contorted face. She pawed at Zander’s sleeve, “You know her boyfrien’ beat ‘arry up, doncha? Thought she was trying it on and tried to drown her in chocolate. Didn’t kishy prisshy pants tell you?”

“Sharon! It’s time you went home. I’ll call you a taxi,” the Fat Kontroller said, placing an arm around her shoulders to shepherd her away from the table.

“And get your hands off me!” Shazza shouted angrily, squirming out from the Fat Kontroller’s, causing a bout of rubber-necking from the surrounding tables. “I’ll do you! I’ll tell HR!”

Josie pulled herself upright. She looked magnificent, eyes glittering with righteous fury. “I am HR, Shazza! Duly noted. Now go home, you’re drunk!”

Shazza suddenly looked confused at the turn of events. The room had descending in silence at her outburst. Even the presenter had stopped speaking and was peering down at our table. Talk about snatching defeat in the face of victory!

“Oh Mishter K, I’m sorry…” Shazza slurred, allowing him to lead her away but the drunken cow wasn’t quite done. “Call me!” she sloshed back at Zander. Fat chance, you never pick up the fucking phone!

Zander shifted away from Josie, “You have a boyfriend?”

“Oh, um, I…” Josie faltered, losing her composure.

“Harry dear, what was all that about?” Katrina asked open mouthed. “Was that about the chocolate incident?”

“Erm,” I hesitated, “There was a misunderstanding with a chocolate fountain someone had bought Josie for Christmas.”

“You have a boyfriend and a fountain of chocolate?” Zander accused Josie indignantly. “Do you have any idea of the environmental devastation wrought by intense cocoa farming in West Africa?”

“Katrina. Simon. I am so sorry for the upset,” I apologised, refilling their glasses. I slumped back in my seat and drained my Champagne flute. “Oh god! What a fucking disaster,” I said under my breath.

“Don’t sweat it, love,” Lol said laughing and gave me a hug. “Just look at this way, Harry, not only did you win an award tonight but it looks like you might be getting shot of Shazza at last.”

“Heh,” I scoffed sceptically and looked over at the perceptible rift opening up between a suspicious looking Zander and Josie, guiltily gnawing at her bottom lip with pearly white teeth. Yeah, I conceded, things could have turned out a whole lot worse.

*******

There may or may not be a Part 3 Dear Reader. I don’t yet know, as I’m only writing the top and bottom portions, and RooBeeDoo is filling in the middle bits + doing any formatting/making any all decisions. A tough job I’m sure.

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*can we effectively operate without knowing the particulars of what others are doing and/or might be doing? Or does the veil need…some assistance?*

I guess we’ll know, when and if we know. If not, we’ll know. Don’t worry…I’m not eggzactly sure what that means either.

Queue song. 😉

*******

Shithead Jen

*Snot shit… /facepalms… The quote is, “It’s not shit”, Clicky… /rolls eyes… Couldn’t find a slightly long gif? …/stubs butt…*

Clicky and I decided we couldn’t not include an, um, Epi-chocolate-logue to end, Dear Reader…

fire screen

*Fanks, Clicky… /pats snout…*

The elevator journey up to the office the next morning was interminably long and extra bumpy, rattling my brains and turning my stomach. Shazza wasn’t manning reception but that was nothing new. I strolled round to my desk clutching our trophy in one hand and my head in the other. The Fat Kontroller was waiting for me, looking as fresh as a daisy. How does he do it?

“Good morning, Harry. We made the press,” he said handing me a copy of the local paper. “Front page.”

I placed the trophy on my desk and sat down, spreading the newspaper out and tried to focus. Josie had indeed made the front page, but so had Shazza – the awards photographer had captured the commotion. He’d even managed to capture the line of spittle streaming from Shazza’s spiteful mouth.

I read out the headline, “’Fracas at Local Business Awards. What a FAK Up!’. Oh bollocks!”

“You’ll be able to sort won’t you, Harry,” the Fat Kontroller said, picking up the trophy and polished it with his sleeve. “There’s a Good Egg.”

Happy Easter, Dear Reader. And don’t forget to stuff your faces with as much chocolate as you can because, next year… who know?

Have a Song 😀