170220012, 29052012, 30051431, and 29052012 all sat down to watch the Saturday morning cartoons. 29052012 liked them, 17022012 found them immature and caused some slight temporal discomfort, 29052012 was flat out not interested in them, and lastly 30051431 was completely wrapt by them. It was pathetic to observe.
“So my clothes will be dry inside that hot drum machine now? Oui?”
“I will check”, sighs, “for you Liv.”
The were dry in the drier as promised. While she disappear and dressed, Mini experienced an odd internal sensation at the thought of Liv leaving, and old John didn’t bat an eyelid. Cartoons were his passion. Really.
“Why were you running?” Mini in a quiet voice so not as to cause offence.
Said question either unheard or ignored, the response remained the same, and that was that of silence transferred.
“So, you and your valiant rodent will escort me home then?” more demand than statement.
“Oui Liv.” heart a flutter, and a bit too noisy for Mini’s liking.
The repugnant stench of the medieval village they strolled through had them both gagging within minutes of them entering it. Even vieux John, who had a gaping hole where his nose may have once been, was rocked by the shock of it. Liv primly removed the scarf from her hair, and wrapped it purposefully around her lower face. Even “Ferret” the ferret scarpered up into whatever horrors old Johns skirt held without a second thought.
Mini, in a spot of day dream laden absent mindedness, compared the intrepid foot wary trio plus ferret to a L. Frank Baum inspired moment, and pictured one and all heading down the yellow brick road minus one male lead character. There was however a ferret taking the place of a canine beastie roughly its own size, and the burnt black, hairless, organ free, and dermatologically deficient, humanoid styled walking jerky who, being able to apply for the a three in one part from the very outset due to a genuine need for most components required in satisfying the parts scribed for those requiring heart, brain, and a dash of bravery for good measure.
That left a spare meanderer on the yellow brick road. He figured could fill the part of “close friend killed off due to valiant act near end of story”, or “hardcore security type, with sunglasses, cheap suit with prominent arm pit located lump, and curly wire inserted into left ear”, or lastly “person unknown joining post-lock in revellers en route “Salmonella & Sons Kebabs, Curries, and Chlorea” at 3 in the morning, also being slightly beyond the power of speech, and walking in the entirely opposite direction from home” with a stifled giggle.
A sharp and enormously loud boom, followed in less than a second by an equally loud and identical report, ripped Mini from his day dream escape. The first ear shattering parcel of sound causing only one of the three to pause in the clichéd position of “kangaroo in spotlight”. The second transformed “kangaroo in spotlight” into this time something reminiscent and along the lines of Mr Lewis Carol, and he “disappeared like a rabbit down a hole”.
Both men were on their knees. Both were supporting themselves with the barrel of the smooth bore flintlock pistols. Claret was running freely from the upper left chest of the one nearest Mini. The other had a hole that had gouge away the corner of the socket of the left eye, removing all bone and tissue through the left ear. to end ripping all further bone in a steady cleave the width of the ball, only just deeper than the depth of the bone. Now he was screaming the scream that would draw lions anywhere else. Vultures would circle. He was now upright and on his feet, dancing in tiny circles to the rhythm of pain. A motley brew of blood and eye and cerebrospinal fluid seeping between his fingers. Not once did the primal howl cease or diminish. His second was with him, gently pulling back the screaming mans fingers to examine the gore that was once the face of a proud and arrogant man. Replacing hand to face once more, remaining directly before his charge, he, his masters second, took two steps backwards drawing his sabre from scabbard in a singularly fluid motion, raising the point to the level of his masters throat, and to then drive it expertly through the notch, created between collar bones at the top of the sternum, through oesophagus, wind pipe and the disc between vertebrae.
The act of mercy made all the more noticeable through the immediate lack of blood curdling scream.
Down and slightly across the green, in an equally gruesome yet ultimate act of kindness, the opposing second raised his masters pistol, held it to the back of his masters head, gently pulling the trigger leaving the final resting place of his charges face before him on the ground. Drowning slowly in ones lung and heart blood being more than his charge dared bother with.
Mini was still vomiting at the spectacle. Liv had gone very pale in colour and sat down where she had stood, and John and ferret did not bat an eyelid, choosing to go slightly further down the road to look more closely at some sort of unidentifiable recently flying craft.
A second sound clogged the air with engine whine and swearing.
An old Honda Civic, year of make not easily identifiable, came to a skidding, much berated, halt at a roughly equal distance between both dead men. Death stepped from the left hand, passengers as also known, door, placed a plastic, coffee stained traveller’s mug on the roof of the car, lit a cigarette of no discernible brand, straighten her white emblazoned “We love a roll on the grass!!! Death” lawn bowls team t-shirt; strapped on belt with secateurs in holster, and stepped purposefully toward dead gent A) – partial head loss. Spine severed. Upon lighting beside him, she turned to the second and commended him on such magnificent work. She then drew he tool of trade, waved it around a in the general vicinity of the man on the ground, replaced her secateurs back in their holster, bid fair well to the second, turned on her heel and headed to the other end of the green.
- B) – Presumed drowning in blood of lung and heart. Head shot, back to front, removing top of head and face. On bent knee she looked from the now extremely uncomfortable second and his deceased charge. She repeated this four more times, finally resting her eyes on the man without a face, took a breath, closed her eyes and continued speaking what sounded to be an apology.
“You!!” No venom known in the living memory of man or beast was ever as distilled as this. “You are a disgrace. You are scum. He would have lived, now he will go out beyond this place for eternity without a face. He will never taste nor smell nor hear. He will never see. He was your master, your charge. You have been derelict in your duty, and I shall not be in mine.”
With that, she said “best you run boy. There be monsters here.” She took her coffee cup from the roof of the beaten up small car, opened the squeaking lid of the boot, and out hopped Mr. Darcy.
The road with Liv was far further than she had eluded, and by appearance, realised.
Mini, still green around the gills from the carnage earlier, and Liv displaying similar symptoms, were quiet as the moved along. Only John was can to talk, but was finding himself in one sided conversations and hence, had given up.
Mini made a mental note to discuss death and “Death” and dying again, and this time to get a slightly more informative answer.
“Bloody Death!!” John.
“Why was that dog chasing that bloke, and why did the dog blur?” Mini.
“I am sure I do not know” Liv.
Inappropriate and random snap at passerby. Ferret.
The countryside began to gradually slide from rolling green hills and sunlight, to cold and more and more desolate plains with grass finally giving way to stones and sand and rubble, broken only by the skeletons of dead tree’s, forever reaching toward their grey skied cover.
They passed through village and town alike. Dreary places, all pre-Roman or Dark Ages in appearance. People stare from glassless windows unabashed as they passed through whatever burg they occupied.
“Right girl. Enough’s enough. Where are we headed and why so long to get there.” John arrow straight barks after half an hour of uncomfortable silence on the march between them.
“Home” the simple reply.
“Home, all the bloody way out here? I don’t believe a word of it.” John, the diplomat as always, still thinking. “Well if that’s not bollocks I don’t know what is! Now, let’s try again. Where the bloody hell are we going, and will we make it back to Mini’s freestanding, possibly floating, flat before nightfall?”
“Of course you will my crispy friend; we are nearing our destination now.” Murmured Liv as she gazed away from the others in a far away voice.
“What do you do Liv?” quietly asked Mini. “As in what do you exactly do? Are you a teacher or a governess or something of the like?”
“Nothing so quiet or quaint I am afraid. Although by learning I am both Governess and Teacher, and science is where I dwell. I am a Professor and I am a student. I am a picker, I am a grinner, I am a lover and a sinner. Although I just made up everything else after I said student.”
“That as it may be my girl, where the bloody hell are we, and where are we going? If I had have had one, I would have had it full by now! My gut that is. So, spit it out, and enlighten us ‘Professor Melamare’.”
Mini stopped. Distracted by what this educated beauty was about to next, the other two crashed to a halt in sympathy.
“Whose bloody name?”
“Bien sur! Of course!! He is why I am here! I paid €250 for the entry, and I won! Right as I stepped backward into the path of a fast moving truck. I won the right to name him!”
“That is a positive delight, and one that has answered the question of your semi-squashed appearance. However, who or what are you talking about m’dear?”
“Why, Monsieur Furet!! Why didn’t I think of that earlier. The ferret as is currently known as “Ferret”, but now to be formerly known as “Ferret”, and now in his reinvented state, and for ever………………
“The bloody ferret! That thing whats been chewin’ on my bum these last couple of days?! Give it a rest Coque!”
“My all teeth, fur, and grinning friend is to be formally known as “Citizen Capet”. Informally however, I will call him “Scallop”, you may do so also. Huzzah!! Dancing in the streets and other related merriment!!”
“We are here.” said Liv quietly in a tone far from inspiring happiness. Morale suppression and foreboding possibly better terms for the same.
The door swung in just a crack, as if of its own accord.
29052012, inner voice asking as loudly as possible “what the hell is she doing here, and more importantly, what are we?”
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