Regardless of the gargantuan quantities of alcohol consumed, each of the three lasses remained stone cold, motherless sober. The round table, placed directly beneath a window offering views of a grassy paddock behind the pub, was a place of not so much despair, rather an acknowledgement of a well deserved result amounting to failure specific to a lack of the best formed plan, not being the best researched nor executed plan.
With an ashtray semi full in the tables centre, three empty pint glasses had been placed upon the windowsill. A green tailed blow fly bumped lazily against the window as they talked.
“Ok, we buggered that up royally,” began Bast, air gently whistled through her teeth, “she now knows someone here and now is after her. Everything from now on is happening in real-time, regardless of what time or place she is in. We know that, so far at least, she is confined to a relatively small area, as her only means of locomotion are either confined to her own feet, or on the outside, that of a horse. That is in our favour. What else have we got working for us?”
“Well, back to basics, we are three, she is one, which is what we started with anyway.” deliberated Maude sadly,” we have the battered beetle. I’m a Goddess, you’re a winged witch, and you are a sidhe come witch.”
“Yes, we were before,” interrupted Cat bluntly, “what have we got know that we didn’t have before?”
“We know of her strength, and that she can slip through time easily. Easier than she should have been able to, given the circumstance. However we don’t know if she understands the fact, nor do we know of the extent of distance she took herself away from us.” reflected Bast. “On top of that, we know that a direct confrontation is not the best method of attack.”
“And we don’t know the full effect of blood on the cloak, which looked pretty fresh to me when we hit her earlier.” said Cat pointedly, “it might be better next time to hit her when the horrible bloody thing is as close to dry as she lets it get, or figure out a way of removing it from her entirely. Sadly, and as I’m sure you’ll agree, achieving both of those things is pretty unlikely. But that said, it is something not to be discredited.”
Silence followed for a moment, the girls not looking anywhere in particular, the green tailed fly continued bouncing against the window.
“We are in 1897 aren’t we?” questioned Cat looking out of the window.
“Yes, why?” asked Bast, she and Maude looking up to follow Cat’s gaze through the window.
“Bloody hell,” exclaimed Bast seeing a little car coughing and spluttering as it came down the bumpy dirt track toward the pub. “is that a Morris Minor?”
“Christ on a bike!” spluttered Maude, using Bast’s favourite expletive. “That’s War’s car!”
Within moments of the dodgy looking car pulling up in front of the pub, parking next to a peasant’s horse. Two old ladies entered through the pubs heavy oak front door, sauntering to the bar, nodding at locals as they passed them. The fox terrier and the enormous rabbit that followed drawing odd looks from the other occupants.
“Any chance of a pot of tea?” asked the first twinset wearing lady with an air of familiarity, her blue rinsed perm bobbing slightly.
“Sorry ma’am.” replied the stout smiling publican, his apron a history lesson in spilt beer and whatever food stuff he served regularly. “We’s ran out of your tea a week ago Death. About this best I can do is offer you a pint of the local amber stuff.” looking pointedly at the three girls near the window, a frown creasing his brow, “I could have offered you red wine, brandy, whisky, or absinthe an hour or so ago, but them wimun over there by the window has drunk the lot. Don’t know ‘em does you?”
“Never seen them before Keith.” lied Death.
“Right you are then Keith, two pints of your finest then.” requested War moving away from the subject of the three lasses in question.
“Do you mind if we put a couple of tables together?” asked Death, paying for the drinks.
“Fill your boots ma’am.” was the response.
After a shuffling of tables, Mr. Darcy and Tea Time made themselves comfortable in a patch of sun on the floorboards behind two of the Horsewomen of the Apocalypse.
“Evening ladies!” said Death happily, “anything to report?”
The long faces of the girls grew inches.
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