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Satyr Tales

Twisted stories to amuse and confuse.

United Corona-dom of Compassion/ Compassion Against Corona

And to a lesser extent- Dirty Britain III: Poo Angel

For Nanny Goat and J, for whom right now Corona is merely a drop in the ocean. Xx

Gosh, where to start!

Rather than stir up and add more to the doom, gloom and drama prevalent in the media I thought I’d just post something reasonably relevant to the situation but more wholesomely hopeful (sort of), heart-warming (possibly so) but above all-humorous (assuredly).

Whilst you’re all kicking your heals in your newly fortified house, quarantined and claustrophobic due to the ludicrous amounts of stashed bog roll and brand new chest freezers you just can’t seem to shift past, just know this Britain, it could be worse…And you’ know, look on the bright side: at least you’ll all have the fun of inciting the next Baby Boom of Britain.

I did have a very good reason and well-constructed intro to forward this next story. But what with the Corona thing now reaching fever pitch I really don’t feel the need to explain myself. Originally it was to do with the best and worst bosses you have ever come across. Maybe I’ll get back to that another time. But it actually has more to do with the current panicdemic than its initial purpose.

I won’t bang and rant on about corona, because, you know what it is-you’re living it! ‘Blah, blah, blah, you don’t need to panic buy, unless you’re purchasing for the vulnerable-a lot of whom were, or knew someone who survived the blitz; and yes I’m quite surprised to note that the government is actually doing something sensible and radical and pulling out all the stops to save the kingdom. Who knew they were capable? And yes, you should all have been washing your hands and your feet and your bottoms constantly anyway, long before today.’ But let’s not go there…There’s plenty of other satirists and spokespersons out there already doing a much better job than I ever could of ridiculing everything and everyone imaginable and playing a better hand at the blame game.

So, by way of explanation and introduction to the following piece, simply I shall say to the populace of the UK alive and hopefully well today: Corona? It could be worse…

Madames and sirs, I give you this-The follow up to Dirty Britain I-Dog Bog Bush and of course Dirty Britain II- Bin Bath.

It is based on a true story. The events are real; however, time, space, place and folk names have undergone minimal alteration so as to protect the innocent and those who still amuse me

Oh, and by the way, I don’t just write about poo you know! I write about absolutely anything silly, entertaining and extraordinary that I’d like to pass on. It just so happens that whenever I stumble on such a story that just happens to be about human nature and human condition it inevitably has something to do with your hygiene bits…

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…Poo Angel…Enjoy

Pencil Rage

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away in another life completely I used to reside further up north. I had a, let’s say, study buddy, at the student town nearby. I won’t give away the counties place name, suffice to say it ended in shire, and its mascot, certainly for its Kickball Team, is a male sheep…Indeed.

Anyway, this very good friend of mine worked in a hotel just outside of the city of a weekend to earn herself some uni-bar tokens. I’d often accompany this close acquaintance to work for fun, frolics and for inspirational purposes.

She used to clean the rooms and change the beds, while I meandered about the site collecting all the discarded naughty night attire and Polaroid pictures. One of the best and cushiest jobs I’ve ever had. Not for my girlfriend though. She was only little, but she worked like a demon. Sweat just dripped off her. And she was a proper little firecracker. A storm in a teacup. Well, a Hiroshima scale explosion in an upturned thimble to be more precise. She used to have to work so hard though. All the ladies there had to. But any way it was epic, at break time we used to get all the breakfast leftovers that they hadn’t shifted from the restaurant and it was all free. And I can be absolute porcine when I want to. Loved it.

Oh yeah, this was a while ago so get this, I wasn’t allowed to do the rooms and especially the changing of the linen because: I’m a man. I’ll do it all wrong. Different generation…

Anyhoo, so on this particular Sunday there’d been a massive function, a wedding or something or other the afternoon, evening and indeed night before and the House Keeping staff were putting right the guest’s rooms; loads of them. Well, I was having my 6th bacon butty of the morning, my 8th cup of coffee and 16th cigarette. Oh yeah, and you could still smoke indoors back then. Anyway, I get this call from my very good friend – she sounded horrifically rough – she said, ‘come quick, I’m really ill’. And I can hear her being sick. ‘Oh ok, I’m on my way’.

So, eventually, I put down my 6th Lincolnshire sausage of the day and thought: You know what, she did actually sound quite genuine. I know it’s a Sunday and she doesn’t want to be here, exhausting herself for minimum wage and a greasy breakfast which she refuses to eat. But maybe I should go check this out. So, after I’d finished me coffee and me fag, I hurried up to where I knew she’d be, well, as hurriedly as only a Goatman who has just eaten over a dozen deep fried hash browns can. I knew her route quite well, she would be at the very top of the main part of the hotel, this great big listed building.

Now then let me tell you ladies and gentlemen —The smell hit me before Id even reached the top floor. And as I was trip-trapping up the last flight I was thinking, ‘well that’s not right. That’s not right at all. Oh my god she hasn’t… she hasn’t had an accident, has she?’ There was only one guest room up there and I found my friend outside it on her hands and knees vomiting up her very soul on to the plush carpet. She was a very worrying colour.

So naturally, rather than hold her, brush her hair out of her face and ask if there was anything I could do, I merely said. ‘Well I’m not cleaning that up!’ But at that time her supervisor also arrived, the second in command who’d heard the fuss, my girlfriend had rung her already saying she was sick, and that she refused to clean the room.

Lovely lady the supervisor, she immediately gathered up my girlfriend saying, what’s wrong, is there anything she could do. And with puke still all over her hands and mouth my girlfriend simply pointed behind us into the guest room.

Now that lovely supervisor lady had seen it all and had been at that job since forever. Very difficult to surprise a veteran of House Keeping like that. She’d seen it all, the vomit, the poo, the drugs, the dirty laundry, the dirty mags, the homemade porn vids casually discarded betwixt the sheets, all that stuff. But my was she surprised by what she saw.

Now I can’t be absolutely sure of what I saw on the double bed in that room, but there was certainly at least one poo angel. That much was clear. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you heard me correctly. Somebody, presumably a man — but I can’t be absolutely sure — had had too much to drink, too much to eat and possibly too many drugs to inhale and shat and vomited in the night, then simply rolled over and gone back to sleep.

Get a good mental image there. And hold on tight to it. It’s necessary for the next part.

After she’d finished vomiting her false teeth out our lovely supervisor phoned down to our lovely manageress to try and tell her the situation. Now our manageress is a very strong woman, amazing character, she’s been at the game for longer than the supervisor and they’d worked together for centuries.  But the supervisor lady was saying, ‘please don’t ask me to clean this, if you do, I’ll have to hand in my notice.’

But the manageress was busy with something already so had to send her husband up, my supervisor. She’d be up as soon as she could though.

Now the hubby. Let’s call him, er, Mark (First name, Pants… Joke). Easily 6 foot 6 if not more, built like a bald brick rhino. Calm, loveliest guy you could ever imagine, knows the score. Salt of the earth type. Wouldn’t say boo to a goose. But don’t cross him. He’s got through life by being so immensely huge and terrifying he hasn’t had to fight anyone. But annoy him or offend his wife and he could easily turn your testicles into a bobble hat before you could say ‘oh f$£k!’.

Seriously, one of his fists was bigger than my head. Anyway, he arrived shortly to sort it out. He took one look in the room, swore horrendously, gagged, threw up, then phoned down to his wife saying; ‘I’m not even gonna consider doing tha’.’

After an awkward moments silence, this incredible woman, this humanbean, only half my height and weight… said, ‘right, I’m on my way up.’

Now this is the bravest, hardest woman I have ever met. Again, don’t cross her, or she’ll turn your newly acquired fleshy bobble hat into a hairy handbag before you can shrilly squeak ‘not again!’. Bless this woman, she arrived, didn’t bat an eye lid, didn’t even sniff the air once, she just stuck on a pair of marigolds, knelt right down and got to it.

What’s that thing? Lead by example? We were all in shock anyway…

But once we’d eventually broken out of our reverie, we had the opportunity to look the rest of the room over and investigate the extent of the soiling. Ladies and gentlemen, it was like a horrific masochistic murder scene. An orgy of bloodletting. But just of poo. Now I’m no Columbo, but it was quite clear that this person – and again I can only assume it was a man, just by the smell of the beer poo – had had his enormous accident in the bed, awoken sometime later and staggered across the room, leaving obvious foot marks along the way, towards the ensuite bathroom. Presumably, I can only imagine, to finish off his poo or vomitation. Staggering, obviously, and steadying himself with his mucky paws, on just about everything along the way. But then the tracks of this animal suddenly stopped at the now open door to the lavatorial arena. Stuff on the handle. But no further.

The bathroom itself was pristine. The toilet: immaculate. The bath and shower unit untouched. Now this is where the plot thickens as we realised that there was a second pair of smaller, lighter foot marks that followed the larger ones to the door of the ensuite, then too just terminated. It eventually dawned on us that both pair of feet had simply turned about, staggered back to the soiled bed…and got in again.

Yup. This is all true. Think about that ladies and gentlestools. Think about that. Later investigations led us to believe that the occupants left between 4 and 5 am that very morning. In their hire car. Presumably still pissed out of their minds. And covered in shit. An abundance, if not all of their luggage, was still present. The night porter must have been asleep at the reception or something. Or had been chloroformed and concussed by the smell.

But that’s not all ladies and gentlemen. Can it get any worse? Of course It can. While you are still reeling after those last insights let me just bring this train wreck to its finale.

Remember again why we are here?…

Are you ready?…

Then read on…

Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, that very big, very expensive room in question was the Bridal Suite. BOOM! A-huh. Oh yes. Hold on to that thought. Play it through your already beleaguered minds.

Now, the ramifications of this don’t really need explaining, do they? But I’m going to anyway for my own amusement. Think about it, past, present and future. Let do it in a scripted montage format if you will-

MAN:                    You know my darling, I do love you terribly you know.

WOMAN:            Yes dear, and I you.

MAN:                    You see, I think it’s time. We should get married.

WOMAN:            Oh my gosh, yes!

MAN:                    Will…will you? Will you marry me?

WOMAN:            Yes, yes! It’ll be the happiest day of our lives. Just think, I’ll be in white

MAN:                    Yes dear, and I’ll be in brown

Skip forward, the lucky couple are at the altar, the priest guy who stand at the front is doing their vows with them.

VICAR:  and do you such and such take thee… and do you such and such…in sickness and in health

And they both nod their heads vehemently and give a very positive and very public, yes! And inside both are thinking, ‘what’s the worst that could happen, right…?’

Then spin on again to only the previous evening.

BRIDE:                   Oh my darling, are you sure should have any more of those seafood canapes?

GROOM:              Yes darling, I haven’t had crabs in so long.

BRIDE:                   And for very good reason darling!

GROOM:              Now, are you sure you should have another bottle of champers my dear, that’s your 6th all ready.

BRIDE:                   ‘course I’m sure, it’s my birthday after all; I can do what I like. It’s all about me.

GROOM:              Well, no dear it’s not actually. But never mind, would you like a fist full of ecstasy tablets to wash all that down with?

BRIDE:                   Yeah why not, it’s a party after all. Bottoms up!

Then, less than an hour later, in the already fetid Bridal Rooms…The Groom is staggering about, head to toe in faecal matter. The bride still on the bed, sloshing from side to side, trying to raise her upper torso enough to see her beloved…

BRIDE:                   Come back to bed darling, it’s just a bit of indigestion.

GROOM:              I’m shitting myself to death here woman!

BRIDE:                   Its fine darling, its ok, come here. We need to consummate our love. You swore to, even in sickness, in front of god and that vicar bloke. See, the beds still lovely and warm.

…as she makes her poo angel.

See Corona Kingdom, I told you it could be worse. That could have been you.

Now go and pop a fresh bog roll through your elderly neighbour’s letter box.

Dearest regards

ST

Satyr Rant – Dirty Britain II: Bin Bath

Satyr Rant – Dirty Britain II: Bin Bath

And to a lesser extent: The Coronavirus…

I say, here’s fun…

I hath a few tales to tell you over the next few posts, under the canopic, and-soon-to-be-renamed, title: Dirty Britain. I didn’t originally intend to post any of ‘em. These were mere trifles for my own amusement.  Plus, they are a bit yucky and not, as I understand, socially endearing. But what with all the brouhaha as the country is on its knees, deep in diseases and media heightened hysteria, they seem absolutely apt. Huzzah!

I alluded to Dirty Britain some time ago in this hither-yon post Dirty Britain 1: Dog Eggs Bush which I hath renamed slightly to accord, and bring in line with, what is about to be a most wholesome little series. The aforementioned link concerns treading in turds, striding through stools, dodging dog logs and the very populace that allows their pups to poop freely throughout the countryside.

But first, some brief prose regarding the nonsense that has brought the country to a standstill making us the laughingstock of our former friends, the EU and thereforethe rest of the world.

Pandemic? Or just Pants-demic?

For some the Coronavirus is a blessing in disguise: free days off work, woo hoo!

-“Sorry Bossman, I can’t possibly make it in today: I’ve got a headache and a fever, beer burps and a craving for donner kebab; clearly its suspected corona virus. I’m sure I’ll be fine tomorrow however.’…now then, where’s the remnants of that lager…”

Preppers and media moguls alike are treating the outbreak of Coronavirus like a zombie apocalypse. Seriously, it’s just the same as a touch of flu. Its winter (where I am anyway) it’s going to happen.

I, me, moi, personally don’t have to worry about all this nonsense; being a mythical entity in a world full of hyperbole and racial indifference I’m unaffected by such paltry failings of the body, no matter how many Chinese sheeps, dogs and bats I eat. A cold is a cold in anyone’s language.

Those most at risk are the people who are already at high risk? Like for instance, people already on fire falling from a plane with no parachute on? ‘He would have been alright if it wasn’t for the Corona thing…’.

But in reality, of course the old, the frail and those suffering from a degenerative disease are already in for a bad time. They’re just as susceptible to die from a common cold. Hence the Latin doctorial term: helpless as an old bastard.

I must get on. Time is money, I’m paid by the word and words are power. Not my cliché, but yours… But I do find it hysterical watching you all run around like decapitated domesticated poultry, hither and thither, panicking because of super-super-Superflu. Just do what you have always done or should have always done: and be hygienic. It’s not rocket science…so, onwards…

To continue the theme and indeed the next instalment in the Dirty Britain series, I bring you this:

Bin Bath

(And this is indeed a true story by the way)

Now, as all of you either know or don’t know that I often collect human debris discarded by miscreant’s unknown on the countryside walks and Queens’ highways betwixt my fine forest and the nearest village. I have always done my bit for Mother Nature; she does so much for all of us but asks so little in return. But you human types seem determined to wreck and disrupt the natural accord of the very place you’re still living in! Talk about doing doings on your own doorstep.

One of my greatest pet peeves, above all else, including the dreaded and rage-inducing cling film, is fly tipping. Just writing those two words angers me so very muchly! But I haven’t got time to rant about that here as well. But fret not, I’ll devote a whole post to it soon.

Anyhither, on my last venture out with my Grabbing Stick of Picking and Plaggy-Bag of Containment, I ended up outside the village convenience store just as they were about to open early doors – wonderful staff, a well-oiled, drilled and passionate team. They should be commended – Any hoo, as most of you are aware, we of the British Isles have been subject to hurricane Hapocalypse or what-have-you of late; and as such the forecourts refuse receptacle had run-eth over and spread its contents liberally about the car park. And as it so happened, I had literally bugger all better to do, so I thought I’d be a good Samaritan and help out.

The things people discard! An almost full bottle of wine! That’s a crime punishable by death in my neck of the woods! A whole, indeed untouched, pre-cooked chicken – or quite possibly cat. I couldn’t be sure. It had a collar anyway. And I know what singed fur looks like. And someone had broken open a box of sanitary towels, just taken one and thrown the rest away. Why? And in a car park too!

Anyway, further detritus could be observed trailing off around the corner – roadside of the shop. Now I’m not a half measures type of Goat-bloke-hybrid-guy – all or nothing says I. Therefore, I trotted off following said trail around with aforementioned litter picking apparatus. And what did I discover? Somewhat of a degenerate’s dinner had been in effect the evening previous. Or, Beelzebub’s Buffet had been in occurrence. A Reprobates Repast. An episode of ‘Come Shoot Up With Me’ had been hosted hither.

Such a bizarre, telling and exquisitely damning pile of filth. Quite clearly at least one young lady had had quite an evening prior. I enquired with the store manager/ ess as to whether they’d had to call out the paramedics, or the police even, on behalf of a customer who couldn’t quite make it off the premise’s perimeter. You see, all the evidence pointed towards someone getting off their rocker, feasting on anything obscene and bad for them that they could find and then doing myriad of drugs until they threw it all up again. And then, proceeded to gather all the filth about them and make themselves some sort of nest out of it.

Bin Bath_Toxic Satyr

Now I’m no Miss Marple, but it was obviously evident that this young adult lass was down on her luck of late judging by the amount of torn up lottery scratch cards adorning the upper crust of the filth-cocoon. And she had clearly caught a nasty case of the munchies too as there were all manner of junk food wrappers and cartons in abundance forming the core. There was even an ice cream bucket filled to the brim with what looked like regurgitated mushrooms and/ or molluscs in it.

Now, I don’t know what those big scary prescription tablets were, but they had obviously come from a pharmaceutical’s outlet at some point. Whether or not they were the lady’s in question however, I’ve no idea. I should have checked the name and the address on the box and delivered the whole mess back to her. But what if they had been extricated from some poor unsuspecting bobble-hat-wearing old oxygenation’s handbag; who had been recently and mercilessly mown down by the evil, Hurricane Hannibal?urricab

But that’s possibly all well and good. Peeps need pills. I get it. But would it not be a rather splendid idea to keep your prescription/s on you, or at least out of harm’s way in a high cupboard in the kitchen or something? Rather than leave it lying around for any Tom, Dick, Child, dog or unassuming but rather dashing Goatman to pick up and accidentally nibble on?

But never mind, at least these persons, or one of them at least, had the good grace and mind to take their used needles and syringes home with her/ them/ it. Or perhaps dumped them haphazardly at the epicentre of the bin I’d just emptied out whilst not wearing protective hand-wear. Damn, hindsight’s a bitch sometimes… But why leave the container thingies strewn haphazardly throughout the muck pile? The bin was less than 4 meters away! What, you were so tired/ high/ drunk you just couldn’t make two trips? Were you worried the poor widdle Unlucky Fried Kitten would get some plastic lodged in its throaty? Along with the already dirty needles and the lone, used feminine hygiene product?

Either that, or you fretted that that whole, lovingly, homemade ham and mustard sandwich might take offense at the amount of non-food-litter cluttering up the bin and seek asylum elsewhere before attaining passage to land fill haven? – “This neighbourhood’s really gone to rot. I’m outta here.”

Anyhee, let’s do some wrap up and finger pointing. I know you Homo Sapiens, and especially the God Fearing Americans among us, like to point a finger – ‘How do you know it was a female?’ I hear you cry. So glad you asked: Elementary my dear readers- I could tell the gender of the offending filth merchant simply by observing the nature of her discarded, heavily-soiled pyjama bottoms. That’s right Ladies and Jellymen: cute, sleepy, printed bunnies do not lie.

And I will give you a moment or two to digest that…

I am aware that in these overly PC times that it could have been a part of a rather effeminate gentleman’s ensemble. But if you saw the things, you’d have come to the same conclusion as well. His waist would have had to of been thinner than one Angelina Jolie’s arms.

But let’s try and look at the other side of the much tarnished, tetanus-inducing coin. I don’t know all the facts; I am merely regurgitating them for your amusement. But more mine. There could have been a perfectly reasonable, er, reason for all this. I’m just presenting the known facts at hand. For fun. But now I shall try and accommodate this persons ne’er-do-wellings and formulate a hypothesis for these anti-sociable behaviours and offer up the main, choicest, innocent and innocuous reasons for how they could have come into being. Again, for fun:

The miscreant could have been a diabetic and had too much or too little blood in her sugar stream. Hence the needles were for insulin or whatever. Right?

But most diabetics I know don’t hike to the outskirts of the village when they’re feeling a little lightheaded and wibbly then gorge themselves on ice cream flavoured sea mushrooms and scratch cards. No, they tend to make themselves a nice sweet cuppa and have a sit down. Possibly whilst texting a loved one to let them know of the situation.

Now I’m no doctor, but diabetics never under any circumstances, walk to the edge of the village in just their night attire, then sit outside the conveniences, in winter, in Hurricane Humpfrey, stuffing themselves with as many sugars, carbs, greaces and salts as possible. And they certainly then don’t then wash it all down with a few cans of nice, wholesome super strength lager.

But perhaps and maybe, she drove to the shop? So, woozey and weak, the best course of action for her to undertake would be for her to drive a ton of metal around a busy little village full of sheeps and childs. During 50 mile an hour winds. At night. But why then sit about around the corner of the damn shop?

-“Oh, I don’t want my car to smell of fags, deep fried unidentified meat lumps, sweat and booze; so I’ll just have a nice sit down round the corner of the car park, in full view of every road user passing by. Only then shall I commence my degenerate orgy with gusto.

And now, as I’m feeling quite sleepy, I’ll make a wee nest, a lair, out of all this junk. I could go and sleep it off in my warm, comfy, sheltering car, but I just can’t be bothered. Plus, I don’t want to get into trouble for smelling of alcohol whilst at the wheel of a car…”-

[Ahem]

Could it be some homeless persons had come into some monies all of a once? Perhaps one of the multitudes of scratch cards actually paid off? Or out. Or Whatever. So, they therefore spent the rest of their greasy gains on as much junk food as possible whilst enjoying some sociable and very open drug taking?

And you know what? I’m a semi-fictional, enigmatic Goat-boy-man-thing; I do go number 1 in the woods, as do bears by the by. But at least I have the good grace to go off by myself, after having excused myself, and do it in a quiet, unused corner then cover it over with earth. I don’t do it at the dinner table then mix it all up with the crockery and leftovers and have a good writhe about in it…

…Well, at least it would have kept them that much warmer for a little while. Mine only comes in piles of little raisins. So, no warming or insulative properties to speak of really. Nutritious in a pinch though…

But more importantly, did anyone check on her? Was she/ they that well camouflaged in their bin bath that no passer-by could tell that there were persons within? Again, no call to the authorities, parents, partners or emergency services were logged. Do convenience store consumers now all wear blinkers? You tell me, for I’m an humble forest-dwelling Goatboy who only discovered discovered gravity last Tuesday.

Time is short…

So now to resolution-Yes, that might have been one or two miscreants out of many that made a bad thing worse with no thought or consideration for anyone else or the fall out to be endured; but think how many other people placed their litter on top of an already overflown bin (yes indeed, overflown is now an official word. Courtesy of me. Donation button at the bottom of the text).

Not one of them thought to ask the shopists to empty it for them. We all experienced the might and magnitude of Hurricane Hogwart. We all know what a high velocity air born can of half open beans can do to a car window or little old ladies bobble hat. Come now. But you wonder why Sar’s, cholera and now Corona-zombie-virus is spreading so quickly and thickly? And you wonder why public spaces and workplaces have had to put up silly little signs from the government about how to keep clean. You’re dirty Britain. DIRTY!

Now go and wash your hands for twenty seconds!

Convivial regards

The Satyr

Video Picture Book: Bumble’s Sore Bumper

As promised ladies and gentlemen, the above title is now available to watch on the YouTubes!

Enjoy!

Kindest regards

The Satyr

Small Folk Picture Book: Bumble’s Sore Bumper!

Ladies and Gentlefolk! How the devil are we all? How is 2020 treating you? Those hastily made new years resolutions coming good?

I have risen once more from my winter slumber to bring you this post and this piece of child-fiction.

Its a special day in my neck of the woods. A gentleman some of you may know has become one year older, and I’ll wager, not a jot wiser. And what better way and what better time to celebrate this than by releasing the full manuscript of Bumbles Sore Bumper. It concerns this gentleman’s very own boy child cub and his pet Land Rover, Bumble – a very enigmatic and lovable chap.

But i alluded to these characters some time ago in this post: Cheese, Beers and Bumble for those of you whom are interested.

To be honest this title should have been ready aeons ago but as usual life and technology got in the way. And of course, I had to have my annual long term nap during the colder months. But what better time to publish than on this, Didda the Chief Artificer’s Birthday!

You may read this riveting tale it in the click and flick through PDF version:

Bumbles Sore Bumper

Bumbles Sore Bumper_PDF

Or you may simply sit back and watch it in the You Tubes version:

[Watch this space! I told you I had technologicall issues…]

 – “A fun and sweet young persons picture book, filled with drama, suspense, daring-do, high adventure and sausages in ice cream.” –

Enjoy!

Kindest regards,

The Satyr

The Night Before Christmas…Revisited

Merry Christmas one and all!  

I hath risen from my hibernation early in order to bring you fine people this-

A re-visualisation of a classic seasonal verse, with additional silliness. Its traditional, so I get to post it every year. Read it to sleepy kids.

And of course, once again, the biggest things at Christmas time are the littlest people. So this is for Jack, Martha, Ethan, Conrad, Kobe, Harrison, Albert and Grace.

 

The Night Before Christmas-Revisited

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

Well, except for two villains, a’ prowling the night

Creeping round Old Mrs Palins’ house, led by torchlight.

 

Gary and Jordan, were a veritable pair

United in crime, clad in counterfeit sportswear

T’was that time of year again, when they must provide for their kin

All the luxuries expected, to welcome the New Year in.

 

Neither had had, a real job up to date

Preferring to sponge, off of the welfare state.

So over to the rich side, of their town every year

To pilfer some presents and other assorted gear.

 

But what the pair didn’t know, was that Grandma Palin was a witch

A peaceable respectable one, homely but not kitsch.

Indeed the seasonal bunting, was all but for show.

Being a pagan she cared little, for reindeer’s and snow.

 

But she played along every Christmas, for it was both happy and wry;

And she baked breads and cakes, for the elderly nearby.

But the men bound her to a chair, then set her aside

And carried on pillaging, without breaking stride.

24894011798_b8f389e79d_b

photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska 24 days to Christmas . . . via photopin (license)

 

Quite rightly Grandma Palin, became quite hotly vexed

To teach these thieves a lesson, she would have them both hexed

So the old dear did mumble and an incantation she did weave

Jinxing the villains and all they touched and perceived.

 

Lo all of the plunder did significantly alter,

Into big lumps of coal causing both rogues to falter.

The burglars were enraged and turned on the old crow,

‘Turn it all back, we need gifts to bestow!’

 

Said Mrs Palin, ‘Well Mr Burglars, I would if I could.

But first I need you both, to do something good.

To atone for your crimes and lift off your curse:

Make an honest festive gesture: Open your hearts not your purse.’

 

‘To dispel my magic’s, all you need do

Is give something back, to the community you eschew.

It need not be pennies or Frankincense or gold

Merely show a little love for all to behold.’

 

But the chums would have none of it and both curtly said

‘To hell with you woman, we’d rather be dead.’

To this the witch rounded, ‘So be it, it is done!

Not a gift you will enjoy ‘til the spells’ course is run’.

 

‘Now be off with you both, for I’m a busy gel

And you and your new coal, can go burn in hell!’

The two thugs did huff, then threw down the fuel

Ridiculing the old woman and humbugging the yule.

 

So off into the night, they went in search of more stock

But alas every gift unwrapped, turned out nothing more than black rock.

The duo began to quaver, as they considered their plight

A change in plan was required, at least for this night.

 

Gary knew a charlatan who liked to prey on the Ebayer,

And Jordan went to his local, to pick up a hot DVD player.

But the pub had just closed and the hacker was asleep,

So both men moaned wretchedly and into their palms did weep.

 

Whined Jordan, ‘There’s nothing else for it, we’ll just have to submit;

Do the witches bidding, or our families will fit!’

Cried Gary, ‘Let’s do some good, for the people we’ve done wrong.

And hope to god it works or we’ll have no household to belong’.

 

So the thieves turned to thinking, a somewhat dubious notion

How to repay the town, and prove to their kin their devotion.

Hence they made a plan, both brilliant and bright

Then ran back to old Grandma Palins to set everything right.

 

Sang the Witch, ‘that’s the way lads, I knew you’d come through;

Now up and dashing both, you’ve got lots to do.’

So the pair spent the dawn, diligent on their plan

And soon it was finished with a little help from the old gran.

 

A carefully worded contract, up the witches enchanted chimney flew,

Promising their hard labour once the night’s dilemma was through;

They solemnly promised Santa, they would help him this year and the next

If he could possibly help them, what with them being both destitute and hexed.

 

High above the land, a familiar sleigh did soar,

Carrying a rosy cheeked fat man and presents galore;

Pulled by eight little reindeer, galloping on through the black,

When an unopened letter arrived, top the bearded man’s sack.

 

‘Ho, ho, ho, what be this?’ said the jolly old man.

‘A late letter to Santa? Well, I always do what do what I can.’

But then he read more closely and immediately understood

Then hastily changed course for Gary and Jordan’s neighbourhood.

 

The pair were most shocked, when Santa’s sleigh came to land

Their mouths did drop open as he proffered his hand

Their plan had worked! Who could have wondered?

Santa shook both their palms and smiled as he thundered:

 

‘Come on then lads you’d best climb aboard,

And let’s get to delivering this yule tide hoard.

There’s something for everyone, ho, ho, even your kin;

Now let’s all hustle, before they realise the trouble you’re in.’

 

So in jumped the pair and the sleigh took off at speed

So high and so fast that Gary almost wee’ed.

Back on with Santa’s rounds and the duo worked as hard as they might

Depositing gifts in stockings, throughout the rest of the night.

 

No one was left out, and some households were even repaid

To make up for the previous year’s seasonal raid.

Santa made quite sure, the pair’s homes were both filled

With everything their kin wished for, just as the contract had billed.

 

Returning to Grandma Palin, the sleigh finally empty of toys

Jolly St. Nick boomed, ‘well done, same again next year boys?’

‘Of course Mr Claus’ they replied full of cheer;

‘We can’t thank you enough, we’ll start work in the New Year.’

 

Grandma Palin was gleeful and said with a grin,

‘Glad to see you’ve learnt your lesson, now get home to you kin.’

‘We thank you too Grandma Palin, for teaching us right.

Now Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!’

photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska 24 days to Christmas . . . via photopin (license)

photo credit: Jutta M. Jenning Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr – Merry Christmas and a happy new Year via photopin (license)

Satyr Rant: Satyr on the Buses

I’m amazed you Brits get anything done at all of a day. If the buses don’t mess you up then the extreme weather will. I hate leaving my woodland home and community for anything short of luxurious paradise. But I hate it even more when I have to use your pathetic excuse for a transport system; laughable is a laughable understatement.

This rant/ informative guide came about because of several horrendous and stupefying events that occurred to my good self recently. My usual if little used mode of transport – ox cart, was in the menders having its exhaust done and they had to have her over the weekend. Then actually start work on her the Monday. It wa a busy time for me and the only way to get about and get her back was by bussing it. But I learned much from my experience. And id like to share my learnings with ye:

A short but conclusive guide to public transport in the more rural areas of Britain. Well….any where outside London really. For those of you whom are not from ‘round these parts’:

Specialist equipment you will need (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

• A heavy duty bin liner (black plastic bag)
• Anti bacterial hand lotion or wipes.
• An ordinary household clothes peg.
• Exact ticket change/ money/ currency/ coinage of the realm….from the 1800’s.
• A large bottle of fresh water.
• A telephonic communications apparatus with a full battery, adequate credit/ minutes, good signal and 4G roaming capabilities. Do Not under any circumstances waste the battery life!
• A rain mack
• Some wellies (Wellington Boots)
• Walking Shoes.
• Some light summer wear including sun glasses and sun hat
• Snow boots
• A good warm coat.
• Snacks and supplies to last a good few days.
• A couple of Dog Poo Bags, the thicker and stronger the better,
• A necklace, charm or wrist band detailing next-of-kin contact details and any medical or dietary requirements you maybe subject to.

…You know, I’d like to think you already know where I’m going with this…but anyway…

• An A-Z Atlas of British roads.
• Emergency Flares.
• Any old news paper, the thicker and more absorbent the better.
• A copy of public foot paths of England, this could provide you with alternative routes and short cuts home again.
• A bold heart and a strong will to survive.
• Luck.

Catching a Bus in Bucolic Britland/ Brexittain/ New Amerciashiredom.

Points and Steps to be Aware of:

• Research a month in advance local bus stops and their time tables and the routes they intend to follow and the weather forecast.

A bus timetable sign in a village near me has literally just had their timetable from 2006 updated…To April of 2016. True story.

• A week prior to your travel, do the above again.

• The day before you intend to travel, repeat the first suggestion again.

Also, in my experience its a good idea to use a multitude of weather apps, programs and reports to get a good feel of the irregularities and extremities you should expect to encounter and prepare accordingly by doing the exact opposite. The list provided above should help.

• Allow adequate time to travel (walk, cycle, drive, hop, skip, jump) to your intended Bus Stop.

– My closest bus stop is merely a thicket near a lay-by usually reserved for doggers. About a 20minute hike cross-country. True fact.

Not the complete lack of a shelter, schedule or signage.
My Bus Stop. Note the complete lack of a shelter, schedule or signage.

There is no shelter or even schedule on a post there. I discovered it purely by accident. The place that the bus stops. Not the dogging. I’ve never known the dogging not to be there. So they don’t need a schedule. The only reason I found out it was a bus stop too was because of all the discarded cigarette ends and scrunched up bus tickets on the ground.

• A few minutes before you intend to leave to go to the bus stop, check all of your planning and research again.

On your way to the bus stop assume all the details you have previously researched have changed in the space of time it has taken you to leave your respective domicile and arrive at said bus stop.

• After the initial 30minutes after your intended bus has still not arrived use your telephonic device to call friends and family to let them know where you are and that for the moment you are safe and well. Its also a good idea to contact any people you had intended to meet with at the conclusion of your intended journey.

• If necessary, don your rain coat and/ or snow shoes or light summer outfit dependant on prevailing weather increment. What ever you feel is right at that time.

• Much, much later decide whether it is still worth waiting and trying to complete your journey or simply to go home. You may wish to consult online transportation schedules or use your book of public footpaths. However, if you feel you might as well wait for the next bus to be late too, please refer to the first few steps of this list again; But ask your self:

-Do I have enough supplies to last me until the next supposed departure?
-Will the people I intended to meet in town have moved on or even passed away by now?
-Just how saturated is my light weight summer jacket?
-Can I afford a cab?
-Would anybody else in this queue want to share the cost of a cab?
-Would I want to share a cab with any of the other people in this queue?

• Lets spin on and, by some drastically optimistic stretch of the imagination, pretend a bus has arrived at your bus stop. Which bus is absolutely irrelevant. Now it is time for you to step up on to said bus and purchase the requisite documentation in order to legally travel.

Now the uniformed creature behind the wheel of this steam-powered contraption will not understand any language no matter his nationality. He does not accept coinage minted after 1830. He does not know where the bus is headed, where it came from, what stops are along the way, where your intended destination is or how long it will take to get there.

So, in order to procure your ticket then go and find a seat without spending too much time in such close proximity to this person you must communicate with him. ‘Eughn, euh. Ah!’ always seems to do the trick for me. Ive no idea what it could possibly mean but it doesn’t matter. Where ever you go, no matter how long you are on the vehicle, a single-way ticket will always be the equivalent of £2.90*. I have no idea why. (£2.90 is the equivalent to approximately 18 sheckles and 6 flamps-pence or an 8th Spoogle of Lambs Juice or a Bakers’ Quart of Butter Maids).

• This man, and it is technically male just so you know, is now responsible for your safety and well being for the immediate future. I say unto thee: good luck and god speed.

• Finding your seat:
Now your ‘permission to travel’ slip, or ‘ticket’, does not actually entitle you to a seat. It merely allows you to board the vessel and remain within its original factory set parameters until journeys end. However, this is not a problem because if you’re travelling in a more rural neck of the woods nobody else will be on said bus. Other than the creature from the swamp at the helm of the machine.

However, the closer to civilisation you get will result in more and more people and less and less seating amenities. Furthermore, as you get closer to a town the average public transport enthusiasts belly will get closer and closer to the seat in front of them and their hips will positively spill out all over the seat next to them. Either that or a ruck sack or Morrisons shopping bag will be stoically erected next to the seat-holdee as a warning to others that it is imperative that they need both of those seats for highly important works and reasons unspecified.

Furthermore, the more further you get toward a city, the more prolific the arrogant, rude and obnoxious passengers will be and become. Its nothing personal. Its just that they hate you. And everything else. Seats available or not, you are going to have to stand and get rubbed up the wrong way by several strangers all rubbing themselves up against you in unison. And they wont care if you cant push past them to get off at the next stop. In fact, they actually quite like a bit of frantic struggling and the resultant friction. Just what ever you do, don’t scream or let them see you crying.

But its usually straight forward finding a vacant seat, most of the creatures that actually travel on countryside buses live there and/or are related to the thing driving the thing. They are creatures of habit and quite literally stick to the same seat every time. For these subjects English is not the accepted currency and coins are only worth chewing on as they absent-mindedly drag their neandathol nose and brow up and down the windows all day. With that said…

• …Now is usually a good time to deploy you clothes peg on your nose as you hunt for a seat.

• So, having found a vacant couple of seats far away from the maddening crowd its time to gingerly brush off the larger pieces of detritus and deploy your bin liner over the back of the seat. Then your unfolded news paper goes over the crumbs and spillages of presumable organic matter that has mustered uponst the tasteful upholstery.

• Then its time to apply the anti bacterial hand lotion and quickly, because if you start actually thinking about what that sticky substance was on the handrail that you just accidentally touched you’ll realise that you will never again want to leave your house and will be highly considering amputation as a means of ridding your self of that horrendous rash that has just materialized…Ever seen what Giant Hogweed can do to a human beings skin? Only those not of faint heart should follow this link… Actually, do your own research. I’m not going to get it in the neck for this one. But you have been warned.

• Again, now is usually a good time to ‘sign in’ with trust worthy family, friends, guardians and anybody else not on the bus to let them know that you now are indeed on public transport. They will now wish you well and say that their prayers will be with you.

• Remember, keep hydrated, keep alert.

• After an hour or so of blindly skidding and lurching around the tiny countryside lanes your bus and its driver will have their crash. Either that or the ‘engine’ will break down. This is a perfectly ordinary everyday occurrence. Leafs on the road, too much snows, too little snows, whatever. Not enough coal in the boiler, not enough boilers on the coal. Etc.

Now, our driver is not a mechanic by any means. But he will always assume that he is. It will take an unprecedented amount time for him to come to realise this if at all. Now, dependant on how far your fatal journey has taken you into the wilds it could take anything up to an hour or more for an authentic, real mechanic to reach you. Where upon, he will scratch his chin and wheeze oxygen in or out from between his teeth in accordance with the severity of the mechanical issue or the severity of the situation in general.

Relax, this is the normal method of accident and repair observational reconnaissance in the British isles today. It doesn’t actually achieve anything beneficial other than let the monobrowed, hunchbacked, knuckle-dragging driver know that he is in the safe, capable hands of a professional.

• Therefore, depending on whether the air around the actual mechanics’ mouth was sucked in or out, and resultant noise longevity could mean that the ‘fix’ could take anything from 5 minutes to 5 hours to 5 days. However you will not be privy to this information. And in reality, neither will the mechanic. The driver will have no clue as to what is happening at all nor any means of conveying it if he did…

• …Take out your mobile phone again and let your friends, family, passers by, know where you are and what the situation is.

• Consider: paying an outrageous fortune for a man in a private car to come and collect you and then have the pleasure of his verbal diarrhoea during the remainder of your journey. But beware, this will reduce your phone batteries life. And just because the car says ‘Taxi’ on it doesn’t mean he knows where he’s going or where he is or what his name is. See, I circumnavigated a nasty subversive rapey subtext then. I’m not so bad…

• Consider: walking to your destination or even back home – True story, this happened to me very recently. The bus got half way home before it exploded. There were no health and safety amenities on the bus, the engine had over heated and conked out, I was fast running out of water and it was only a 2 hour hoof home in 40 degree heat along one of the busiest, noisiest, dirtiest stretches of road in the county. No option really. Off I trotted.

• Consider: asking the driver for your money back (‘Ah! OO-eee! Ughnnn!’- is the usual and most correct exchange). As the ticket technically was purchased on the presumption that the service would terminate at your destination, which the bus and its driver can now no longer hope to achieve in the pre-alloted time frame, then the purveyor of said service is now in deficit of services un-rendered.

Now negotiations with bus drivers can be tough but pointless. If you are lucky enough the driver will eventually concede and take your money out of his mouth or bottom and paw it back to you. Do not under any circumstances put this back in your wallet or purse with the rest of you coinage as this will inevitably lead to cross-contamination. Retrieve said monies using the dog doo bags and await a proper time to rinse and scrub them properly with a strong bleach.

• Several days later, when your carefully rationed water supply has all dried up and your phone battery has died, its time to face facts- Another one of the inbred freak passengers has to die to provide the rest of the survivors with nourishment. Now usually in these circumstances its ‘women and children last,’ but that sort of thing is really for post aircraft crashes and boat sinkages. If anything, in this instance, you will be doing the world a service by culling the weaker specimens of the gene pool and indeed halting the stupider specimens from reproducing at all in the future.

• Next, when the rescue man descends from his helicopter with his hand outstretched be sure to shout in a clear, loud voice, ‘Thank god, I’m saved! Thank you, Kind Sir!’ this will allow him to safely identify which passenger survivors are actually worth saving and which are best left with their bus.

• Now all that remains is for you to complete your written complaint to the transport chief. But be prepared to wait for a good few years for a response if any at all. And you can be sure that if there is a response received it will almost certainly say something like this: ‘Ah! OO-eee. Ughnnn!’

Happy travels and I thank you.

The Satyr

[Audio Book] Fantasy Farce: On A Vampire Hunt (Pt. 1.)

The first piece in the above mention series is now available as an audio book on YouTube!

Fantasy Farce: On a Vampire Hunt (Pt. 1.)

Enjoy!

Kindest regards,

The Satyr

Fantasy Farce: On A Vampire Hunt Pt. II

Just get on with it, Pudding Bowl!’ the bristling dwarf knelt, shouldered his blunderbuss and took aim at the rotting, claw-scarred door.

‘It’s just, I don’t think this is quite the way; we might be releasing something we can’t control.’ Whimpered Burr, hunkering down by the aforementioned access point.

‘It’s just a bloody vampire or something, Wobbly. Just get that door open or I’ll shoot you through it.’

Burr muttered a quick prayer to any god that might have been listening, localized, inter-dimiension-ary or otherwise, and reached for the rust pitted door handle.

There was a mighty bellow of ‘Raaagh!’ from the room beyond and the door exploded inwards. Burr took the full force of the splintering oak in the face and chest and was jettisoned across the flagstones.

Heldmann the Barbarian combat rolled into the room with his broadsword at the ready, growling and huffing fiercely, spittle varnishing his dark beard and the ground below him. A psychotic spittle tsunami if you will.

Through the door way peeped the shrunken, bent over form of the wizard, Greybeard, wide eyed and his staff at the ready with a slight nimbus of light at the end protruding into the room.

The Elf ranger, Gretchen, sighed and shouldered her bow. She leaned against the remainder of door frame and lit her pipe. ‘I told you. I could smell the pair of them before we even entered the castle.’

‘Hmmm, perhaps.’ Muttered the old man. ‘Well at least that’s one problem solved.’

‘Balls!’ Bellowed the barbarian relaxing his stance and raising to his full height. ‘I thought you chaps were this blasted vampire.’

‘Bugger it all!’ huffed the dwarf engineer relaxing his aiming squint. ‘We knew it was only yous! Just wanted to give ya a surprise is all.’

‘Do I smell a feint trace of wee, Herr Dwarf?’ Purred the Elf with a lopsided grin.

‘Bah, out of it fancy britches. You know perfect well that’ll be Burr. Nice of you to drop by mind, any later and we’d be on ours way home just as you were arriving. We’ve almost tracked the damn parasite down and we’re about to kill it. Now form an orderly queue.’

‘Clearly you have everything well in hand…’drawled the elf.

‘Ah, yes’ began the wizard hobbling at speed into the room. ‘That’s what we came to tell you…wait a tick, where is Burr?’

‘Dead in the corner there.’ Rumbled the dwarf flapping a hand in the general direction of the blubber pile.

‘Oh dear lord’ exclaimed the elder tottering over to the prone form of Burr. ‘I told you to take absolute care of him.’ The wizard cast a few spread hands over him, intoned an incantation along the lines of ‘Umbly-Bumbly-Boo’, and then snapped his fingers in front of the pudgy man’s face. Burr’s eyes snapped opened and he tried to scan his surroundings with dull, glazed eyes.

‘Easy, Chosen One, you’re safe. For the moment. Just let your senses fully return before getting up.’ The wizard turned to address the group as a whole. ‘I’m afraid we are all in the most grave danger. No pun intended.’

‘Aren’t we always? Roared the barbarian proudly, smacking a fist on his pecs. ‘We’re heroes, we’re supposed to be…’

‘Please, let me finish. This vampire we seek is not the usual run of the mill undying foe.’

‘Oh really?’ said Burr sitting up and rubbing his neck. ‘You mean it’s not the usual fluffy, welcoming aristocrat who’s all charm and curtesy until he fancies a bit of a snack?’

‘Erm, no. Not really. Quite the opposite actually. All my research and my enquires in the village seem to point to one thing. One rather large thing…It’s a Strigi Vampire. A Ghoul King.’

‘Oh for f….’ the ranger trailed off and kicked a pebble hard against the wall.

‘Ah’. The barbarian simply said and lowered his considerably huge sword.

The dwarf un-cocked his blunderbuss and stroked his beard thoughtfully.

‘Yes,’ continued the wizard at pace. ‘I thought that would give you pause for thought. So perhaps we might want to sit this one out and take a slightly less heroic stance? But never the less, take an altogether even more important role in this matter: by traveling to find the nearest witch hunter, a detachment of the Emperors finest, a Priest of Sunna and an out of the way cave somewhere for us all to then hide in until this all blows over. Questions?’

‘But why didn’t you tell us this on the way here, wizard?’ rumble the barbarian dangerously.

‘Because I needed an escort. And obviously you wouldn’t have come otherwise. Besides, we all have to look after, Burr. If the stars, portents, prophesies and the author are to be believed then we must safe guard him at all costs. The world depends on it!…Apparently.’

‘Well I’m not staying here,’ said the elf sulkily. She knocked out her pipe bowl then disappeared into the shadows of the next room.

‘Er, well’ mumbled the gigantic barbarian staring at his feet. ‘Well if there was anything we could do. Y’know to kill it, then I’m all in. But…y’know…’

The dwarf inspected his boots and beard for an easy excuse. He finally came up with: ‘Bugger that, I’m not wasting good ammo on a shit sucker! I’m off.’ He hefted his armament onto his shoulder and stomped across the room after the elf.

‘Wait, wait, wait! That’s not the attitude!’

The party turned, or slid back out of the shadows, to stare blankly at Burr.

‘Hello’ he said pleasantly. ‘What?’

‘You were saying’, coerced the wizard.

‘Oh,’ said Burr genuinely surprised, ‘was that me?’

‘Yes, Burr: Wait, wait, wait, what?’

‘Erm, I don’t know I hadn’t really thought it entirely through. Well look, Heldmann, I’ve seen you slaughter whole war bands of Wildhorns and Orcs single handed…’

The barbarian gave him a half smile and a quarter shrug.

‘Gretchen, I’ve seen you shoot a whole flock of bats out of the sky in the time it takes me to say, ‘Eugh, bat poo! Run for you lives.’

The elf merely raised an eye brow and continued her deep disapproving glare.

‘Bottkrak Ye Engineer, you…’

‘Oh look, we get the picture, Burr.’ Snapped Grey Beard butting in with a windmill of flapping robes. ‘There’s no need to go on, dear boy.’ The mad geriatric took a snort of what was presumably snuff out of a small tin. After a huge sneeze he continued in a reedy, nasally type way-‘But you don’t seem to understand. It’s a full moon out there, it’s around midnight and we’re on its turf. We don’t stand a chance. More immediately important-we-can’t-kill-the-thing!

The aging wizard took a chug from a small purple vial, a deep breath and continued on apparently more relaxed. ‘See here, I’ve brought some vials of thrice-blessed holy water and a stake or two, but they were more of a token gesture.’ He unslung a back pack and began rummaging around within.

‘We could always stake Burr to the ground and give him a bed bath? Chimed the elf helpfully. ‘And I always carry a bunch of garlic with me to ward off his smell.’

‘So we’re set then, we’ve got all we need!’ cried Burr jubilantly. ‘Why don’t we suffuse the garlic in the water, cover the stakes in it then somehow fashion a firing mechanism to shoot it at the vampire.

‘Ok Burr, here’s a stake,’ huffed the red faced wizard suddenly stuffing the whole bundle into the fat man’s arms. ‘Here’s some holy water. In fact, here’s all the holy water. Now off you go and kill that nasty, immensely huge, terrifyingly strong, horrendously swift and agile, undead monster. Ta-ta! Don’t be long now.’ He patted him on the shoulder with unconvincing companionship.

‘Erm, what I was trying to do was…’ stammered Burr shouldering the sack. ‘Rally round the whole group with a can do attitude. Y’know, lead by example? Heard of that?’

The rest of the group merely stared at him dumbfounded. A tumble wheel traversed between them. A skeletal rat ran half way up the wizards robes, sniffed then ran away again.

‘I see,’ started the wizard. ‘What you are suggesting, Burr, is suicide…’

‘No: Heroism! Against all the odds, come what may, against impossible forces and odds and what not. The nemesis at the climax of the story in his castle of power. The final show down. None of this mean anything to you?’

‘Ok, chimed the elf re-lighting her pipe. And what are you going to be doing whilst we’re fighting this thing? That is of course if it hasn’t already picked us off one by one silently in the darkness?’

‘Er…well…I hadn’t thought of that. I just assumed he’d play the game and be waiting for us in the throne room in the tallest tower with his hordes of treasure and a bunch of easily overcome-able guards.’

‘No.’ Gretchen said flatly. ‘No, it won’t be like that, Burr. We’ll be lambs to the slaughter. We probably won’t even see it until its already feasting on our innards in front of our still staring eyes. It’s not the cutsey-wutsey, effeminate, prepossessing, romantic, dashing, type vampire; it’s a huge hulking monstrosity, hell bent on tearing us all limb from limb then feasting on our remnants, type vampire.

‘Oh, I haven’t heard of those guys before.’

‘‘Well, now you have. And how exactly do you propose to insert one of those rather small and flimsy wooden cocktail stick through its abnormally huge, muscular and tough ribcage? Hm?’

A familiar tumble weed rolled back the other way between the group. The skeletal rat returned, shook its head vigorously at Burr then scampered out of sight.

The full gravity of the situation seemed to come upon fat man rather suddenly. ‘Oh well, we tried’ he shrugged. ‘Off we go then’ beaming, he picking up his shield and making to move off.

‘Quite right, Burr. Knew you’d get there eventually.’

The rest of the congregation got their stuff together and made to depart.

‘Well on the plus-side,’ began the wizard conversationally, ‘we haven’t been detected yet. We’ll just slip out quietly and come back with the mob…’

Burr opened another door and stared down in revulsion at a grubby, grey, deformed and hunched over and unnecessarily ugly man-thing. Its obsidian, pupil-less eyes widened like dishes as it hissed and thrust its taloned fingers towards his face.

The enormous bulk of the barbarian’s silhouette hooved into view behind Burr. The creature was immediately taken aback then loped off at pace on all fours down the corridor. A blast from the Engineer’s blunderbuss threw it forward hard against the opposite door before being pinned by five elvish arrows in unison.

‘Balls,’ said the barbarian simply.

‘Bugger’ said the dwarf dejectedly.

‘For fu… sake’, Winced the elf.

‘Oh my…’ twitched the wizard, taking another strange liquor out of his sleeve.

‘What?’ Said Burr, turning happily to the band. ‘It’s dead, job done. And we all survived. Now we can return to the village as heroes. Not what I was expecting at all I must say. Easy!’

In unison the group turned to stare at him once more. The barbarian even went so far as to lift a mighty fist ready to bust him one.

‘Oh well, I guess it knows were here now. Prepare yourselves everyone.’ Sighed the wizard.

‘What? What, that wasn’t it? You’re kidding?’

‘No, Burr,’ wheezed the wizard, wearily sitting on a crate. ‘No, that was just a random ghoulish minion that just happened along. One of quite possibly hundreds. And all linked to one being.’

‘The actual for reals vampire?’

‘Yes, Burr. Perhaps we did have a chance, but now…They’ll come. All of them.’

Perfectly cued a chorus of echoing hisses and screeches erupted from all around the castle. The barbarian slumped against the wall with a cold, hard slap. The elf crouched with her face in her palms. The dwarf sat on the floor with his feet outstretched and stared vacantly at his antiquated firearm in his lap.

The malevolent screeches were already coming closer, and there could be heard the distinct sound of naked feet running on stone.

Burrs baleful glare snapped between the dejected group members. ‘Not a chance in hell!’ he spat viciously. We’re not giving up like that. Balls to this sodding vampire. He’s the end game to worry about later. Right now we can do ourselves proud and do what we do and take down as many of those sickening, dirty, little bastards as we can before we snuff it.’

Nobody shifted. Nobody spoke. ‘Right,’ huffed Burr hiking up britches and armour and readjusting his belt. He set about grabbing the nearest furniture and detritus and began building a haphazard barricade against the broken door.

‘There’s only two ways into this room,’ he wheezed as he worked. ‘From down that rather long corridor which the dwarf and elf will guard and this rather knackered doorway here which myself and the barbarian will guard. The elf huffed. The dwarf looked up to shrug. The twitching wizard simply entertained himself with whatever it was that only he could see in the mid distance.

‘The corridor will act as a shooting gallery, it’ll take them ages to get to you, and you can’t miss. We just need to make the other door way solid enough so only a couple of those little feckers can get to us at once. The barbarian will take care of them and I’ll protect his flank with my supposedly magical shield.

Meanwhile the wizard will be our eyes and ears for both groups and help out and heal as needed. He glanced at the distracted mage worriedly. ‘And occasionally, when the desire takes him, he can lob a fire ball or two into the room beyond, because all of the little bastards will be trapped in there, packed solid. Questions?’

‘Just two,’ said the elf, a warning note in her tone. She rose slowly and nocked an arrow. ‘Who are you and what have you done with our Burr?’

‘No time for that now Lanky Bird, the beasts are upon us. Don’t waste your ammo, or energy, just take the bastards down one at a time. No show, all pro, got it?’

By now the rest of the congregation were on their feet looking around rather foolishly and unhelpfully.

‘Now who put you in charge?’ bellowed the barbarian, suddenly sounding more himself.

‘You lot did, Bigman; as soon as you thought it was all over and the day was lost before the fight had even begun. We may not be able to kill this vampire but we’re going to go down swinging. If I die and the world ends by whatever means, at least you guys will be remembered as having fought for my life to the last, side by side.’

‘But this strategy stuff…’ rumbled the dwarf quietly. ‘How would you know all this stuff?’

‘Computer…er. Games, just games…never mind; I’ll try and explain later. Just help me make barricades.’

Heart beats later the door at the far end of the corridor burst open and a horde of foul, wretched, nearly naked bodies erupted out of the shadows. Filthy clawed feet stampeded over the remains of their fallen, squashed, broken, pin cushioned comrade as they screamed and hissed their way to the hero’s last stand.

The elf shot the fat man an angry look, then shook her head. She cart wheeled to her spot and with bow and fletch immediately in hand started making measured, timed shots into the oncoming horde. The door to the room on the other side shattered and another horde swarmed over to the barricade where the barbarian was already standing, his fingers flexing on his sword handle, his teeth gritted and brow furrowed, saliva already flecking his lips and beard.

Burr stumbled over to the giant and slapped his shield beside the barricade and door. Now the only way into the room this side was past the swings and jabs of the warrior’s broadsword.

In the centre of the room the wizard stared bemused at Burr’s back. He grinned a lopsided grin then shook his head. He drew an outline on the floor and a circular Sigel appeared covering the whole area and engulfing each hero in blue light. With a flick of his fingers a glowing orb appeared in the centre of the ceiling and began radiating warming, encouraging rays.

The heroes morale soared, their grips on their weapons tightened and the weapons themselves became light as air…inhuman vitality coursed through their veins.

The engineer and ranger worked surprisingly well together, like a well-oiled machine of death: The blunderbuss taking out the majority of the front line of foes; then the dwarf would dip back behind the barricade to reload while the elf took pot shots at those behind who were still dazed and confused. Together they were like a morbid threshing machine.

Likewise, each time the blood mad barbarian swung through the bodies pressed up against the barricade, Burr’s shield would then appear blocking hands and claws reaching through. When the huge man was ready for a focused return swing Burr would remove the blockage and duck…like a grizzly version of whack a mole. Whack a ghoul, if you will.

The wizard was far more relaxed now and even seemed to be enjoying himself; easily coping with healing the minor nicks and bruises his band suffered in a timely and orderly fashion. He even had time to repeatedly charge their weapons with temporary enchantments of fire and ice and got into quite a rhythm.

Suddenly the waves of revolting grey bodies and pointy teeth ceased. Either their moral had gone and they had slunk back off into the shadows to lick their wounds; or perhaps the whole tribe of them were prone, splatted and sticky on the flagstone floor.

Peace settled in the little room. Weapons were checked and fire arms reloaded. Arrows were retrieved from twitching corpses, brows were moped, pipes were puffed and barricades rebuilt.

A melodic note lifted in the room. The elf was laughing in her pleasing, harmonious cadence. Burr found himself trying to recall the last time he had heard it.

The dwarf gave his earthy chuckle and stroked his beard. The barbarian began to gaffore with his blood covered fists on his gore splashed hips. The Wizard tittered and lit an obscenely long cigarette. But Burr’s brow furrowed.

‘Hmmm, makes me wonder…’

‘No point wondering now, Piggyman’ bellowed the warrior. ‘Battles over…’

‘But not the war’, muttered the Wizard and gave Burr a grave look.

The rest of the company turned a worried countenance towards the fat man and the Wizard.

‘This bastard Vampire could have easily over run the barricade at any point.’ Pondered Burr aloud. ‘And crucially, when the fighting was thickest…So where…’ he said slowly and meaningfully ‘Oh where, has the Vampire been all this time?…’

‘…And why…’ began Grey Beard, just as slowly ‘Hasn’t he shown himself yet.’

‘Because…’ hesitated the elf. ‘It’s been here…

As one the company raised their head towards the considerably high vaulted ceiling.

‘…All along…’

There was enough moonlight coming through the lofty arched windows to enable them to make out a vast, hunkered shape atop a wooden beam spanning from wall to wall. Somewhere in that monstrous shadow were a pair of large, evil, red glowing eyes. They stared down hatefully at the heroes.

‘Erm…’ Ventured, Burr. ‘Run?’

‘Too late’ breathed the Elf, half drawing her bow. ‘Far, too late.’

The shape above them unfurled wings like a monstrous bat and pushed off from its perch. Plummeting like a lightning bolt to the ground below its considerable silhouette grew immense as it fell.

Burr had just enough time to scream some horrified gibberish before the red eyes closed with him. Then blackness. And cold, damp, stony oblivion.

 

***

 

 

Thanks for reading

The Satyr

Audiobook: Mum and the Messy Monster (Children’s Picture Book)

Hello you fine, fine people. And welcome to spring!

Please enjoy the final release of Mum and the Messy Monster. Play it to your little ones.

As originally intended, dedicated to Boof.

Mum and the Messy Monster

 

Kindest of regards,

The Satyr

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