Welcome, Dear Reader, to Easter at the LoL…
*You’ve already lost me, Clicky…/lights up… I’m gonna post last Easter’s Underdog Anthology ‘Harry’ story…/drags…*
*Not crying, Clicky, just not sure what your Reggae Sets have to do with my Easter Eggs… /streams smoke…*
by Roo B. Doo
I thought I heard my name being called but dismissed it; only my best friend Lol knew I would be here and he was standing right next to me. We were on one of our regular pilgrimages to London to see Mamma-Mia, a shared passion that we felt fuck-all need to share with anybody else. Besides, there were plenty of people about. Any one of them could be called Harry.
“Harry! Lol! Over here!” a familiar voice bellowed over the hubbub of the hot and sweaty, but very happy Saturday matinee crowd streaming out of the theatre alongside us, and into the fume-choked, twilight air. Oh shit!
Lol spotted him. “Oh Jesus! It’s the Fat Kontroller,” he informed me with a sharp jab to my ribs. “Look! He’s waving at us from across the street.”
Indeed he was. The founder and driving force behind the company I work for, F.A. Kontrell – my boss – was trying to get our attention from the back seat of a sleek, black Mercedes S-Class parked on the other side of the road. He saw that we’d spotted him and waved harder. “Over here, Harry!”
I considered feigning deaf, dumb and blindness, but Lol was already striding confidently toward the car. “Bastard! Can’t I get a bloody day off?” I mumbled to myself, but followed in his wake.
“Farnsworth!” Lol greeted the Fat Kontoller and shook the plump hand proffered through the open window of the car. “What a nice surprise,” he lied jovially. Lol’s a bank manager; it’s a skill that comes naturally. “What are you doing in town?”
I knew exactly what The Fat Kontroller was doing in town, having ordered the nice wheels and driver for him. But never in a million years, in a city the size of London, did I think that I would bump into the old boy whilst he was entertaining clients. Just my fucking luck!
“Hello Mr Kontrell. Is everything going okay?” I asked, dodging a cyclist that stared malevolently at us as he zoomed past.
“Fine, fine. Get in before you’re flattened,” The Fat Kontroller ordered. A suited figure emerged from the driver’s seat and rushed round to open the rear passenger doors. Lol took the front, leaving me the rear, which looked to be already occupied by a pair of long, shapely legs sheathed in a gossamer shimmer. Hello! I thought, as the legs shifted over to make room on the back seat. I jumped in.
“Dana, this is Harry Egg my assistant and Lol Williams. He’s our bank manager,” The Fat Kontroller introduced us to the owner of the shimmering legs. “Lol, Harry, this is Dana Cossetti, VP Europe for Clovis.”
Clovis, F.A. Kontrell’s biggest customer, had recently been bought by an American conglomerate, and the Yanks were visiting to see exactly what they’d bought. Of course I knew that too as I’d arranged a dinner for them in another part of town. What the fuck are they doing over here?
I dragged my gaze from Dana’s luscious pins, up and over the thick, gold rope chain that disappeared between her swollen breasts, until it rested upon her smiling face. She had twenty years on me, but she didn’t half look good on it. I resisted the impulse to ‘Yee-haw’.
“Hi. Have you guys been to the theatre?” Dana asked with a Texan drawl that made the hairs on my neck stand to attention. “I love that show. Have you seen the film version?”
“Yes,” I replied dumbly, transfixed by Dana’s firm jawline and the absence of wrinkles. Botoxed? I idly wondered.
Lol twisted in his seat so as to face us. He smiled warmly but I recognised the mischievous glint in his eyes. “Harry had a spare ticket and dragged me along,” he said as if he’d been doing me a favour.
“You asked your bank manager to go to the theatre with you?” Dana asked me directly. Her eyes were piercing blue, like my own, and her gaze steady. “Are you guys on a date?”
“No, no,” Lol blustered. “Harry and I are old friends from university. It’s just lucky happenstance that we have F.A. Kontrell in common.”
The corners of Dana’s mouth curled in answer, but she refused to shift her stare from me. Crikey! I thought, that’s what it’s like to get a shot of piercing blue.
The Fat Kontroller, who’d been sitting quietly now piped up and broke the silence. “Lol, are you two going anywhere in particular now? I’m taking Dana for a drink at a fun, little place I found in Spitalfields. Can you join us?”
“We were thinking of getting a bite to eat first and then go for a drink,” Lol started to reply.
“Oh no, please join us.” Dana turned to The Fat Kontroller. “Does the place you’re takin’ me to serve food?”
“Oh yes. You can get something to eat there,” the Fat Kontroller replied mysteriously.
Lol puffed out his cheeks and looked to me for direction, but instead caught sight of Dana’s slender left hand resting lightly on my right thigh. “Yes, I think Harry and I can join you,” he said turning back to The Fat Kontroller and nodding vigorously. “Thank you, Farnsworth.”
“Good, good. Artillery Lane, E1, please driver.”
The car pulled out smoothly into the traffic and sped away.
“Where are you from, Dana?” Lol asked. I could tell from the tone of his voice that inside he was laughing his bollocks off; it’s not every day his best friend attracts a cougar, and he was going to make the most of it. “Is that a Texas twang I hear?”
“Yes. I’m originally from Dallas but I’ve lived and worked all over the world,” she replied.
“Really? Are you moving to England?”
“No, I fly back tomorrow evening.” Dana crossed her long legs, giving me an eyeful of shimmering thigh. “But I hope to come back soon. England is a beautiful country,” she said gently squeezing my knee.
“It is that,” The Fat Kontroller interjected, oblivious to Dana’s wandering left hand. “You worked in the States for a bit, didn’t you Harry?”
Dana hardly needed any further prompting. “Oh where was that?” she asked huskily. I swear her skirt had ridden up a further inch.
As much as I was enjoying her attention, I was also acutely aware of Dana’s status as a client. And apart from my occasional bouts of lustful longing for Josie, F.A. Kontrell’s goddess of a HR Manager, I tried not to mix business with pleasure. I couldn’t deny though, that it felt good to be the prey for once.
“In New York. It was only for a gap year. I was working for an AIDS charity.”
“That seems very altruistic, Harry.” Dana smiled at me, raising her eyebrows. Not botox then.
“Admin mostly,” I said with a sheepish shrug. A year licking envelopes, being sent for coffee and sucking jelly out of doughnuts; I’m a fucking humanitarian, me. I gave her my best benignant smile and was rewarded with the soft crush of side-boob, as she shifted her position imperceptibly closer.
The traffic thinned out as we entered the City of London. The Saturday streets were devoid of office workers, but a few tourists congregated in their place. Chatter in the car continued amicably, as we passed St Paul’s cathedral and Guildhall until we at last reached our destination: a bright yellow door along a narrow side street.
“Here we are!” The Fat Kontroller said, as he got out of the car and held the door open for Dana. She gave my knee a final squeeze before unfurling her long legs and exiting.
“The Breakfast Club?” She sounded distinctly unimpressed. I could understand why: apart from the jolly legend – ‘Today is going to be a good day’ – emblazoned above the windows, it appeared that The Fat Kontroller’s “fun, little place” was in fact a workmen’s cafe. Through the window I could see wooden chairs and tables, topped with centre pieces of ketchup and HP Sauce bottles.
“Are we at the right place?” I asked after The Fat Kontroller had told the driver to come back in an hour.
He laughed and tapped the side of his nose. “Follow me.”
Once inside my first suspicions were confirmed: it was a cafe. A very nice, clean one, but cafe all the same.
“Farnsworth, I fear I may be somewhat overdressed,” Dana said worriedly.
Now that we were standing, I could fully appreciate exactly how long Dana’s legs were. She was wearing a little, black dress that shrieked “Money!” It clung to her firm hips and slender waist, accentuating her ample bosom. Sod overdressing. I’d like to see you undressed, I thought lecherously.
“No, this is the place,” The Fat Kontroller stated firmly and approached the counter. There was a small queue of people waiting to give their food order, but he managed to get the attention of one of the staff. He leaned in conspiratorially. “We have an appointment with the Mayor.”
The staff member gave a brief nod of understanding and asked us to follow. He led us toward a large American style fridge.
“Oh smeg!” Lol laughed at his own joke. The staff member gave a tired smile – he’d obviously heard that particular joke before – and opened the SMEG fridge door, ushering us inside.
“Good heavens, Farnsworth. It’s a speakeasy!” Dana laughed.
The Fat Kontroller beamed with delight. “Welcome to The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. I was brought here myself a few months ago. I’ve been dying to reveal it to somebody else. What do you think?”
We were stood in a small bar with bare brick walls and wooden floor. The room was intimately lit and a few patrons sat at tall tables made of heavy wood, sipping cocktails. At the back of the room the bar was backed by brightly lit shelves housing an array of spirit bottles. I felt like I’d walked onto the set of Bugsy Malone.
“It’s wonderful, Farnsworth,” Dana enthused.
We found an empty table and perched up on the high bar chairs. Except for The Fat Kontroller – he remained standing, ready to go to the bar. “What’ll you have?” he asked.
I had nabbed the seat next to Dana, and we scooched together to peruse the cocktail menu. She casually placed her hand on the backrest of my chair, and I could feel her fulsome breast pressed up again my arm.
“I think I’ll have…” Dana paused as she scanned the list. Her protruding tongue flicked over her lips whilst she decided. “A pear and cinnamon sidecar, please.”
“Harry?” I was still mesmerized by sight of Dana’s probing tongue, and basking in the heat of her touch.
“Harry?” the Fat Kontroller repeated again, this time somewhat louder. “What would you like?”
What I’d like is for that pink and glistening beauty to flick over me, but I didn’t say; that would be impolite. “I’ll have the same thanks, Mr K,” I replied hoarsely. My throat suddenly felt quite dry.
“I’ll give you a hand at the bar, Farnsworth,” Lol chuckled, standing up. He dropped me a surreptitious wink before he left.
“So, Harry,” Dana drawled. She turned to face me. “Your folks called you Harry?”
“No, they named me Harriet but everybody calls me Harry. Actually so do they now.” I could feel myself blushing under the weight of her naked gaze on me. I delicately coughed to clear my throat. In for a penny, in for a pound. “Unless of course I’m very, very bad. In which case they call me Harriet.”
There was a pause filled by the muted sounds of the bar around us. Dana raised a quizzical eyebrow then smiled slowly, revealing predatory teeth. “Well, I look forward to calling you Harriet,” she growled softly.
Ding dong! I’ve pulled! Then another thought crossed my mind, this one not so euphoric. There’s something not quite right. “Dana, would you excuse me for just one moment, I just need to have a quick word with Lol. I’ll be right back.” I gave her wrist a comforting squeeze, then slipped down from my chair and started for the bar. I nearly bumped into The Fat Kontroller who was his was back with our drinks.
“You’re not off already, Harry?” He looked concerned.
“No, I just need to see Lol. I’ll be right back.”
I collared Lol at the bar. He was sipping on a syrupy concoction through a straw. The cocktail glass was laden with umbrellas and fruit.
“Lol, quick question: did you know that The Fat Kontroller and Dana would be outside the theatre tonight?” I gave him my sternest look.
He didn’t answer straight away, preferring to suck harder on his straw. I waited whilst the liquid drained from his glass.
“That’s brilliant! I’m going to have another one of those,” he answered at last.
I breathed out hard. “Lol. Did you and The Fat Kontroller conspire for them to bump into us tonight? It’s a simple enough question.”
“No, of course not, Harry,” he laughed uncomfortably. “What do you think we are? Pimps?” He turned away quickly and asked the bar tender for a refill.
You bastards! I thought. You set me up! “Oh Lol!”
“Look, Harry,” he said calmly, placing his hands on my shoulders. “We just thought it would be nice for you and Dana to meet. She’s an important client, new in town. You don’t have to sleep with her or anything, it’s just a drink.”
I looked over towards our table. The Fat Kontroller and Dana were deep in conversation. I was torn between outrage at the actions of my best friend and my boss, and lust for the lusciously lanky Texan. I watched her swing her shimmering legs and my mind loitered on the thought of them wrapped around my head.
“Come on, Harry. We’ll get something to eat after this and go home, okay?”
Lol grabbed his drink, telling the bar tender to put it on The Fat Kontroller’s tab, and steered me back toward our table.
“What are you two talking about?” Lol asked when we returned. Dana turned and smiled at me as I climbed back onto the bar chair next to her. I sipped at my sidecar and smiled back.
“Jackalopes,” The Fat Kontroller boomed.
I placed my fingers to my mouth to stifle a burp. “Jacka-whats?”
“Jackalopes,” Dana replied, “They’re ubiquitous in Texas and the most fascinating creatures.”
“Rabbits with antlers?” Lol asked sceptically.
“Oh their antlers are poisonous. If they ram you, it injects poison,” Dana answered drily.
The Fat Kontroller took a swig of his drink, a single malt doubled – his favourite tipple; no fancy cocktails for him. “Jackalopes sound extremely dangerous.”
“Oh they are, Farnsworth.” Dana was warming to the subject. “Their fur is also poisonous. Each hair is like a barb on a sea-urchin or porcupine, and that poison is more toxic than the one produced by their antlers. Not only that but the hair has barbs, so the more that the fur touches you, the more attached the Jackalope becomes. It’s not uncommon in Texas to see a hunter running around screaming with a Jackalope stuck to them.”
She paused to take a sip of her cocktail and her eyes flicked between us, as if to gauge our reaction. Rapt attention, as far as I could tell, but I was still miffed at the situation I found myself in.
“So they’re pretty poisonous, then?” I asked blithely.
Dana suddenly grabbed my arm and turned me sharply toward her. “You don’t know the half of it, Harry,” she said with complete seriousness. “Their claws are also poisonous, but this poison has a more osmotic delivery mechanism. They will climb on the back of a horse, and if it refuses to give the Jackalope a ride, to wherever the Jackalope wants to go, it will slowly release poison from their claws.”
Her piercing blue eyes danced delightfully as they stared into my own. Underneath the table I felt Lol give me a friendly kick.
“The Jackalope saliva is also poisonous, but they spit that at their target. The spit ball is encased in a corrosive acid that eats through the victim’s skin, allowing the poison encapsulated in the spit ball to enter the bloodstream. A Jackalope can spit the poison spit balls accurately for up to 1/2 mile which is..?” Dana looked toward The Fat Kontroller.
“Oh, almost a kilometre,” he replied mirthfully.
Dana nodded to him. “Thank you, Farnsworth. The poisonous saliva makes Jackalope turds toxic, Harry. Toxic, but not fatal. That’s why there are so many college kids out looking for Jackalope turds. They collect the Jackalope turds, then eat them.”
“Eww!” Lol laughed. “Well, I suppose that’s better than eating Tide pods.”
“True,” Dana continued with a straight face. “The toxins in the turds causes the kids see really weird stuff. Of course they won’t see anything as weird as seeing a bunch of people out picking up Jackalope turds just so they can eat them, but they’ll see some pretty weird stuff. Or so I hear.”
She sat back in her seat and took another gulp of her sidecar, the level of which was getting dangerously low in her glass.
“Dana, is there any part of the Jackalope that isn’t poisonous?” I asked sweetly. This is fun! Not only is she smoking hot, but she’s fucking funny with it.
“Only their bite, which is odd considering the toxicity of their saliva. Science never could figure out why. But the bite still hurts like a mother fucker.”
Lol guffawed, nearly choking on his drink, whilst The Fat Kontroller slapped the table. “Have you ever been bitten by a Jackalope, Dana?” he asked, his ruddy face shining with amusement.
“No fortunately. The Ancient Americans thought that someone getting a Jackalope bite, without dying, was a sign of good luck. But what the heck could they possibly know?”
Dana laughed a long, throaty chuckle at our amusement. Once again I felt her hand on my thigh.
“Gentlemen. Harry. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go powder my nose,” Dana said, stepping gracefully off her chair. She craned her head in search of the bathroom.
Lol stared at me with widened eyes; The Fat Kontroller contemplated his empty whisky glass. “Oh, I think they’re near the bar, Dana. Hold on, I’ll come with you,” I said sliding off my chair. “Shall I order another round while I’m up there?” I asked The Fat Kontroller.
“No, we’ll need to push off soon if we’re to meet the others for dinner on time,” he said looking at this watch. “The restaurant you booked is on the other side of town.”
I followed Dana towards the bar, drinking in her swaying figure from behind: her sensuous shoulders, slender waist and flare of her hips. Not to mention those long, shimmering legs. She’s really not that bad for an old girl, I thought.
I caught up to her when she stopped at the bar to ask for directions. “Dana,” I said, sidling up next to her.
She snaked her arm around my hips and left it hanging there. “Harry. It’s been a truly wonderful meeting you. I’m just sorry that we didn’t get to spend more time together on this trip.”
“Me too.” I really meant it.
“When I’m over again in couple of months, maybe could take in a show together?” Dana shot me other blast of piercing blue.
“Yes, I would like that very much.” I could feel the grin plastered across my face. “Mamma-mia?”
*A jackalope and aliens? …/pats snout… Nice one, Clicky…*