28. Heard it through the Grapes Vine.

The grapevine of spies that helped Chalfont keep his finger on the pulse on Uranus, extended beyond all expectations. There were times that Lord Chalfont himself was shocked by the information superhighway he appeared to control. It was almost like he had a propaganda machine that could reach out and gather vital data from every unsuspecting idiot on the planet. Just like a Social Media site. So it will come as no surprise to hear that Chalfont very quickly became alerted to the presence of the Questers in the Charnel House of Fat Larry. Still I suppose stories of sore bottoms will always be heard on the grapes vine.the-garden-of-earthly-delights-by-hieronymus-bosch-1

Of course Larry being a Pixy, his mission to look after the dead would be quite well known to Chalfont. Coupled with the fact that the gorgeous looking Ogres, Mr. and Mrs. VannBergen, had recently arrived in Setebos with a story to sell about a ravenous Fairy who had saved the arse of a bedraggled Pixy. This had  led the nasty Chancellor to concentrate his spies on the Eastern border of the Wild, not to far from Where Things Are More Pleasant and that.

As luck would have it one of his more scurrilous Brownies sat drinking in the little town of Gobroke, slamming back several pints of Lager with whisky chasers, when in came a dozen or more Gremlins all carrying tins of red paint. This particular Brownie went by the name of Hugh Jarse and coped well with hunting with the hounds whilst running with the fox; in other words he was a two faced, double crossing, junk bond dealing bastard. Never a one to let an opportunity slip, he soon got deep into conversation with the chaotic creatures who had entered the bar.

This did take some time as a dozen Gremlins trying to order beer was a magnificent sight to behold.

“Twelve pints of Lager please my good man,” would have been the expected comment from a spokesGremlin.

Not in this case.

Each of them tried to order a round of drinks simultaneously. There was no coherence to the requests; even the dimmest of bartenders could have recognised the same request if shouted at him twelve times. At a brewery the Gremlins would remain sober.

No so easy.

Some asked for twelve different drinks, some for seventeen. Others asked for three glasses of Babycham, Rum and Coke and a Bacardi and Coke. Then another ordered seven cups of Earl Grey Tea and a Cappuccino. One asked for two glasses of water and a crate of milk. There was also a request for a glass of Red Red Wine that would go straight to his head, and a fishbowl full of Tequila; while one brave soul requested two bottles of Dehydrated Water. The most confused of the Gremlins put in a request for Pie and Chips twice, a Sofa, a new pair of trousers and a bag of marbles.

The barman asked them to go and stand in a corner, leaving just one at the bar. All of the Gremlins disappeared to different corners, a couple climbing up the chimney to hide.

He tried again.

One was to stay at the bar so seven did, the other five hiding in the fridge. The barman was considering banning them but remembered they had already been banned dozens of times.

“It’s chaos when you lot come in!” he said, yet again. It was like asking the spoilt bastards of the Bullingdon Group to calm down and behave and take away that cuntish attitude.

Hugh Jarse decided to interrupt.

20100425132030!Hieronymus_Bosch-Removing_the_Rocks_from_the_Head-Detail

He knew that Fat Larry’s place was the only other possible refuge for the travellers should they come this way. He ordered twelve pints of Lager Shandy, paying for it by squeezing a Gremlins testicle until it dropped its money. He then told the Gremlins to cause as much confusion in the bar as possible. This was a double bluff leading the Gremlins into an internal spiral of misconceptions, deep reflections and uncertainty. Thus they stood perfectly still while trying to figure out what the fuck they were meant to do.

“Had any interesting visitors recently?” asked the devious Brownie of the one Gremlin that remained standing next to him.

“Yes and they’re

 

all dead but great fun to be with and lead me to feel that I am living a very satisfying and fulfilled existence!” decreed the chaotic oaf, quoting from Fat Larry’s

Bible.

“Any living guests?”

“Yes. No. Maybe.”

“Explain.”

“Well we had this Troll come in today and you can never tell if they’re dead or not. Then there was this Pixy with a magic arse or something so he’s probably dead. Then there was a friendly Gnome and a Fairy with big tits. I liked her and would happily give her a good seeing to if only I could arrange it.”

“Fairy Hanny?”

“Yes I like that too!”

It was enough for Hugh.

The shifty little fucker had scooped the top story. Lord Chalfont would pay him a fortune for the information. Either that or have his tentacles removed and pinned to a wall. He bought the Gremlins another round of drinks. He left the pub as the Gremlins emerged in a frightful tizzy, ready to paint the town red.

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