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It is then that I have the ability to look down and see the tattered fragments of my huggie jacket barely covering the essentials of my masculinity (or what is left of them after such pyrotechnic shocks to my poor body!)
I now have feet on ‘terra firma’ and able to skirt the large hole in the floorboards in the Tea Room.
Charlie, as practically minded as ever, hands me a coverall so I can be seen in company again.
I am surrounded by small workmen scurrying around me and patching the holes so recently developed. It is remarkable how efficient they are, especially when untold wealth in the form of diamonds as well as decent food is put before them.
The floor is whole and safe once more and the central table restored to it rightful position with our individualised chairs around it. The antimacassar on Angel’s is a bit skew-whiff but that is normal for her. There is however a vacant chair – the one belonging to my nemesis!
Has she chickened out and refuses to own up to our demise?
No – she would brazen it out and convince everyone that it was my fault for being missing in the first place.
So where can she be?
Anyway, I need to be brought up to date with the recent deeds or misdeeds of the others while I have been elsewhere.
It is then that in the corner of the Tea Room that I notice several small bundles of brown fur, shaking and shivering.
Charlie does not seem to be too concerned so I just give them a cursory glance.
They are rabbits! And I notice one in particular. Peculiarly this one has a floppy ear complete with a groove in it!
Rabbit PLUS dynamite? It cannot be.
But when I call out its name there is no recognition.
Stupid me – it is too young. But when I called out, its eyes lit up with the same manic expression that Hoppy used to have, especially when on a mission for Jen.
Son? Grandson? Even great grandson of Hoppy? It could well be. And if so its genes will tell me where that shap**** fashionista is at this moment. I do so want a word with her!
AS I ENTER THE TEA ROOM IT IS SWARMING WITH WORKERS FLYING ALL OVER THE PLACE BANGING HAMMERING NAILS FLYING FLOORS BEING FIXED BROKEN WALLS BEING TORN DOWN AND REPLACED WITH EXTRA ENFORCEMENT AND ALL THE WIRING AND LIGHTS BEING REPLACED AND THE CEILING REPLACED WITH INSULATED TIN AWESOME THAT WILL KEEP EVERYTHING COOL IN THE SUMMER AND TOASTY WARM IN OUR HARSH WINTERS.
MY HEART IS FULL AND MY STEPS LIGHT AS A FEATHER THAT IS WHY I SCARED THE BEJESUS OUT OF A HEAD IN BOOKS ANGEL LOL
I TURN AND SEE OPEL GIVING DRINKS TO THE WORKERS AS I GRAB HER AND BEAR HUG HER AND KISS HER EBONY CHEEKS,,, GOOD THINK HER FRYING PAN WAS IN THE KITCHEN OR MY FACE WOULD BE FLAT AS A PANCAKE LOL
SHE SPAT OUT A STRING OF CREOLE THAT I AM SURE WOULD HAVE MADE EVEN ME BLUSS,
SHE LAUGHED AND SMACKED MY ARM AS I FAKED AN OUCH,,, MISS KATT WALKED OUT OF THE KITCHEN WITH PLATES OF SNACKS FOR THE WORKERS WELL THEY WENT FLYING AS I SWOOPED HER UP AND TWIRED HER AROUND COVERING HER CHEEKS WITH KISSES
SHE SCREAMS TO LET HER DOWN YOU BIG BABOON BUT HER SMILE IS A MILE WIDE.
LOOK WHAT YOU DID AS SHE LOOKS AROUND TRYING T FIND THE SNACKS ,,,I LAUGH THOSE WORKERS ARE SUPER FAST THEY CAUGHT THEM ALL AS THEY WERE FLYING TO THE GROUND SEE THEY ARE ALL EATING.
HUMPHRH AS OPEL AND MISS KATT RETURN TO THERE KITCHEN.
I HEAR PTG GOING OFF LIKE A LOADED CANYON,,,,, WELL WELL LOOK WHO IS BACK,,, UM PTG YOU ARE KINDA BLOWING IN THE WIND THERE WITH YOUR DOWN UNDER EXPOSED AND I GRAB HIME AND HUG HIM TIGHT GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK NUMBER 1 ,,, GET OFF OF ME YOU ARE WORSE THEN A LEECH AND NOW THE FAMILY JEWELS ARE #$%^&*()_)(*&^% AS HE GRABS FOR THE CLOTH CHARLIE GAVE HIM,
YEP HESSSSSSSSSSS BACK BUT LET ME TELL YOU THIS YOU FLIPPING IDJIT IF YOU EVER DO ANOTHER STUNT LIKE THAT AND PUT YOUR AMULET IN YOUR PANTS POCKET AND NOT AROUND YOUR NECK I WILL SEND A SHOCK VIBRATE TO IT AND YOUR FAMILY JEWELS WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT HIT THEM AND YOUR LILL SWIMMERS WILL ALL HAVE BABY MOHAWKS AND SINGING ******* WHATA RUSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*****
NOW GO GET DRESSED AND MEET ME AND ANGEL IN MY COTTAGE THIS WILL GIVE THE WORKERS TIME TO DO THERE WORK AND NOT BE FALLING ALL OVER US.
ANGEL AND I HEAD TO ME COTTAGE WHEN WE HEAR AND FELL A HUGE KABOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM THE GROUND SHAKES AND BLACK CLOUDS FLOAT FROM THE BACK OF THE TEA ROOM
ROT ROUH THAT MEANS ONLY ONE THING ==== JEN HAS STRUCK-------
OPEL ANS MISS KATT COME SCREAMING WHERE IS SHE ??? WHERE IS THAT MANIAC JEN??? SHE BLEW UP OUR KITGHEN
TRYING TO STOP OPEL IS LIKE TRYING TO STOP A MAD CHARGING BULL.
OPEL OPEL STOP YOU AND MISS KATT ARE NOT HURT *** I AM NOT GOING TO SAY WHAT THE BOTH LOOK LIKE MISS KATT IS NOW OPEL'S TWIN.
THE WORKERS WILL REBUILD YOU A BIGGER BETTER KITCHEN NOW GO TO THE MESS TENT AND CLEAN UP,,, THANK GOD WE HAVE THE MESS TENT
I HEAR LOUD VOICES AND LOOK TOWARDS THE CASTLE GATES,,,WE SEE JEN EMERGE FROM A HOLE COUGHING OUT CLOUDS OF SMOKE AND SAYING I SHOULD HAVE NOT LITE THAT MATCH OH WELL ON TO THE NEXT ONE BUT SHE IS STOPPED IN HER TRACKS BUT A CASTLE GAURDE ,,, WE CAN HEAR THEM SCREAMING AT EACH OTHER THEN HOLYCRAPONACRACKER JEN HAULS OFF AND SMACKS HIM.
YOU??????????? SAYS THE GAURDE ARE UNDER ARREST MORE SCREAMING AND ANGEL LOOKS AT ME WHEN SHE HEARS THE NAME TARQUIN
NOW WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING DRESSES LIKE THAT??
WE SEE HM SLAP THE CUFFS ON JEN AND HEAD FOR THE DUNGEON.
I CALL OUT JEN DUCK AS FROST SWOOPS IN AND GRABS TARQUIN BY THE COLLAR AND HEADS SKY WARD WITH HIM SCREAMING HIS LUNGS OUT,
WE WATCH AS FROST AND SNOW HAVE A GAME OF SKY BALL WITH HIM UNTIL HE WETS AND DIRTY;S HIMSELF THE PASSES OUT.
FROST DROP HIM IN THE POUND ELLIE AND HER BROOD WILL BE HAPPY TO SEE HIM.
WE HEAR ANOTHER SCREAM AND FROST REPORTS HE IS SWING AS FAST AS HE CAN TO THE HARBOUR WITH A LILL HELP FROM CHOPPER AS HE NIPS AT HIS HEELS CHOMP CHOMP HEHEHEHEHEHE
JEN LETS OUT AN EAR SPLITTING SCREAM CAP STOP LOOKING AT MY BEAUTIFUL BOOBIESS AND GET THESE FRIGGIN CUFFS OFF OF ME.
SHE IS BAWLING LIKE A BABY ABOUT HER OUTFIT THAT IS LITERALLY IN RAGS AND JUST BARELY HANGING ON IF THE WIND PICKS UP SHE WILL BE IN HER BIRTHDAY SUITE,
HERE AS I WRAP M SHIRT AROUND HER SHOULDERS AND SAY TAKE ANGEL AND YOU TO GO ON A SHOPPING SPREE ON ME
OMG DID I SAY THAT??? OH I AM GOING TO BE SO SORRY I SAID THAT TO LATE NOW I CAN NOT TAKE IT BACK AND THEY ARE ALREADY HALF WAY THERE ***** GROAN**********
BEFORE I CAN GET TO MY COTTAGE AND HAVE A STIFF DRINK I AM JUMPED ON FROM BEHIND ,,, KNOCKED TO THE GROUND AND BEATEN WITH MY OWN SHIRT..... WTFFFFFFFFFFFFF\
I GRAB A SPITING BITING SLAPPING JEN AND THROW HER OFF OF ME AND YELL WTF JEN YOU TOTALLY LOST ??? THAT BLAST BLEW WHAT LILL BRAIN YOU HAVE CLEAN OUT YOUR EARS????
NO YOU $%^&*()_)(*(&&^%$#$%^&*()_+_)(*&^%$ CRAZY IDJIT VERY FUNNY ********** NOT******************
WE GET TO THE SHOP ALL EXCITED AND TELL KAILEY HERE IT;S ON DA CAP.
I WAS HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE NEW STOCK HAD JUST COME IN AND OH THE BUBBLES AND BANGLES ARE TO DIE FOR BUT CAN I GET THEM?????? NO NO NO NO I WAS TOLD THAT YOU YOU YOU EVIL SKUNK CALLED AND TOLD KAIELY I WAS CUT OFF FROM USING YOU CREDIT CARD I CAN NOT EVEN HAV A BUTTON SO WHATS UP FUNNY MAN ?? YOU STILL HOLDING A GRUDGE???
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME AND SHE TOOK A SWING AT ME.
I HAVE NO IDEA IN HELL WHAT YOU ARE SAYING I NEVER EVEN SPOKE TO HER IN A FEW MONTHS....COME ON I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON.
I HEAR A ROAR OF LAUGHTER PTG JUST AS I THOUGHT.
WE REACH THE SHOP AND I YELL AT KAIELY WHAT IN HELL ??
WHO TOLD YOU TO CUT JEN FRON MY CARD?
WELL YOU DID AND NO NEED TO YELL AT ME.....NO ARE YOU SURE I HAVE NO REASON?? WHO CALLED??? YOU SHE SAID
REALLY WHEN HAVE I EVER CALLED YOU VIA THE AMULET??
I WILL BET YOU A BAG OF DIAMONDS YOU HEARD AN ENGLISH ACCENT???
WELL A SOFT ONE BUT I THOUGHT,,,,, I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WAS NOT ME AND BTY DID I GIVE THE SECRET WORD???
UM UMMM UM NO NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT AND SHE HANGS HER HEAD SAYING I AM SO SORRY CAPTAIN RANDY PLEASE LET ME MAKE IT UP TO YOU BY GIVING THE GIRLS WHAT THEY WANT AMD I WILL KNOCK OF 50 NO 60% OF YHE BILL..
DEAL AND NEVER MAKE THAT MUSTAKE AGAIN.
OKAY LADIES IT IS ALL YOURS/
YELPS AND SCREAMS OF DELIGHT FOLLOW ME OUT THE DOOR
MAN I NEED A DRINK BEFORE I GET PTG.
From the few off-the-cuff remarks, smirks and grins by the diminutive builders I gather that our partner Jen has caused them to pile new heaps of diamonds and gold from the Capn’s coffers because of her explosive predilection with dynamite.
What is more worrying is that she has completely depleted our stock of the stuff and we are all now virtually defenceless if attacked by anything bigger than Opel’s spoon!
It is all very well to close off all the tunnels, but that does not stop an attack on the surface and my intelligence gathering showed me the vast extent of our foes that have already flowed through the portals.
My “inner ear” now tells me that Jen has set off in a huff for Viking lands with a largish quantity of XXX Ale in tow.
Now I may be a bit naïve but even I would not care to be a young(ish) maiden bedecked in Kayley’s latest finery and in charge of quantities of ale when traversing that bleak landscape.
For a start she will get frostbite and secondly the ale may freeze and explode, which is not the sort of bang that she will enjoy. Also I am sure she will be the unwelcome recipient of somewhat lusty attentions of large horned and bearded ruffians wielding axes!
But how to defend her?
I dare not leave the confines of the Tea Room now that I have only just returned or our dear Cap’n will be apoplectic yet once again.
From the air she will be almost invisible to our friendly dragons to pluck out of this frozen landscape.
I do not know the route she has taken, nor can I find Charlie in order to borrow a tracker dog.
Ah yes! Of course.
We have the rabbits.
I scuttle into the newly restored kitchen and scrounge a few large carrots before returning with my vegetarian prizes to the brown bundles of fur in the corner of the Tea Room.
I fix a note (with a pencil attached) to the rabbit who I think may be the offspring to Hoppy.
My crow can do inter species conversations, so I tell it to follow and find Jen.
Then the rabbit willgive her the note, and I await a reply before taking any further action
The rabbit understands me and hops off down the hill!
I settle down to a freshly brewed cup of hong cha and one of the kitchen’s famous meat pies, all steaming and hot from the oven. The smell is almost overpowering but I contain myself and only take a small bite. I do not want to burn my mouth through over eagerness!
I am just biting into the tender crisp crust to savour the contained meat juices when I get a message from my pet crow.
“Your fashionista friend is being followed and so is your rabbit
“What shall I do? Attack a very bedraggled male hot footing it below or pluck the rabbit from the path?”
The picture in my mind’s eye shows me that it is the foe who is called Tarquin who is following and obviously he still wants revenge and pecuniary reward by imprisoning my unruly partner.
I shudder to think what will happen if Jen decides that she is thirsty!
I reflect on how another contact with those two could end up and smile!
“Do nothing at the moment, but keep me informed”
BENT OVER ROLLING OH THE FLOOR FAMILY JEWELS IN MY HAND ON FIRE WITH THE DEEPEST GUT WRENCHING PAIN EVER INVENTED AND TEARS FLOWING DOWN MY CHEEKS BURNING MY FRESH SCAR.
JEN HIT A BULLS EYE WITH HER STEEL TIPPED STILETTO O AM SIRE THAT MY LILL SWIMMERS ARE ALL BELLY UP .
OH JEN YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS,,, OOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGG THAT IS IF AND WHEN I CAN MOVE,,, GET UP... STAND AND WALK
I HEAR VIA THE AMULET SHE IS HEADING TO THE VICKIMGS PLAY GROUND LOADED DOWN AND SOON TO BE LOADED WITH A HUGS STASH OF XXXX ALE,
WELL NOW WE SHALL SEE JUST HOW FAR OUR LILL BLOWER UPPER MAKES IT.
FROST ********* RIDER***********
JEN IS HEADED YOUR WAY MAKE SURE SHE DOES NOT MAKE IT TO THE VIKINGS AND IN PAY BACK FOR THIS PAIN DROP HER ON THE SHORE OF THE HARBOR RIGHT BESIDE TARQUIN HE WILL BE SOOOOOOOOO HAPPY TO SEE HER LOL OUCH LOL OWIE.
OPEL COMES RUNNING WITH AN ICE BUCKET AND HELPS ME TO MY CHAIR,,,, WHAT IN HELL DO YOU WANT ME TO DO OPEL SIT IN THE BUCKET????
NO YOU BLOODY IDJIT AS SHE WRAPS ICE IN A RAG AND SLAPS IT BETWEEN MY LEGS
OOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG I ALMOST PASS OUT.
NOW HUSH YA FACE AND HOLD IT THERE OR YOU WILL GIVE A NEW MEANING TO * BLUE B***S
SHE ALSO PUTS A BOTTLE OF HONEY RUM DOWN ON THE TABLE BUT I GRAB IT BEFORE IT GETS THERE AND SWIG ALMOST HALF DOWN.
BELLY WARM .. HEAD FUZZY AND THE UNGODLY PAIN TURNING INTO A DULL ACHE.
********** RIDER********* YES FROST?
PACKAGE DELIVERED.......... GREAT NEWS NOW GO PLAY . THAT BE DA HONEY RUM TALKIN
I TURN UP MY AMULET AND HEAR THE VOICES CLEAR AS A BELL
JEN #$%^&*())_+_)(*&^% AND HER RANTS AND VOWS TO SKIN ME ALIVE ARE MUSIC TO MY EARS .
AND WOW SHE DOES NOT NEED TNT SHE CAN BLOW YOU UP WITH THAT MOUTH.
* SNICKER SNICKER** AS TARQUIN GREETS JEN WITH HIS MOUTH FULL OF ROTTEN TEETH
I THOUGHT I LOST YOU BUT THE GODS HAVE SMILED ON ME AND HAND DELIVERED YOU TO ME.
YOU ARE UNDER ARREST AND FACE LIFE IN THE DUNGEON OH AND I CAN ADD THEFT TO YOU MANY CHARGES AS HE SLAPS THE CUFFS ON.
JEN *SIGHS * COME ON BUDDY CAN WE WORK THIS OUT OVER A COLD ONE?
SHUT UP WENCH OR I WILL GAG YOU AS WELL.
* SIGH* GUESS I AM OFF TO JAIL NO GETTING OUT OF THIS ONE.
JEN SCREAMS CAP YOU ARE DEAD MEAT AND PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
In my mind’s eye I am aware of an urgent conversation going on between my two pets.
My beautiful owl is practically incohent with its “coos” and “clicks” while even the crow seems to be squawking in a very un-crow like fashion.
Eventually matters calm down and the crow opens up to me.
“We have lost her!”
“Who is ‘her’?” I ask
“Your bauble bedecked friend
“One minute she was careering on a somewhat irregular manner down to the Vikings and the next moment: POOF! She was gone.
“The rabbit tracking her has just disappeared down the nearest rabbit hole and the pursuer you call Tarquin has just come up over the rise huffing and puffing.
“He is now jumping up and down incoherent with rage, calling on all his gods to help him find her again!”
Something is afoot!
Well! She can’t just suddenly disappear into thin air. There must be some clue as to what happened.
Unfortunately with all of Tarquin’s current ranting and ravings any such evidence will soon be gone.
Direct action is called for.
I take my broom out of the new garment’s pocket.
“Expand into my luxurious charabanc – the kind I am accustomed to when being transported about the Realm.
“I now need some fire-crackers as a diversion. So off you go and find me some.”
Soon it returns with a cushion full of the little whizz-bangs.
I climb aboard.
“Take me to the rise just behind Tarquin and prepare for a hasty retreat”
I dismount and lay a trail of the fire-crackers back down the hill. They end in a huge snow drift. This I stamp about a bit and make as if someone has recently tunnelled into it.
I light the end fuse and scuttle back to my chariot.
I soar up into the air and wait.
It is not long before Tarquin, now puce with rage, appears over the horizon and hurls himself into the snowdrift tunnel that I have just made.
Grasping at nothing!!
Dejected he looks around and sees nothing so marches back to his post muttering and cursing. Jen is NOT his favourite person at this moment!
Now it is safe for me to more closely examine the exact spot where Jen disappeared. I kneel down on the frozen ground for traces of any action.
To my surprise I feel a lump grow in my pocket as an ice cold bundle of fur chitters and chatters as it gets warm inside it. It is the Hoppy lookalike rabbit still with note and pencil attached.
My crow is now overhead
It tells me: “Your rabbit is very upset in having failed to accomplish its mission
“A cloud of magic gas descended on your female friend and she suddenly disappeared.
“No warning, and no one else was there or even near her.
“This is dark animal magic that I do not understand, human so I will return to the Tea Room”
And flies off leaving me with one shivering bundle of fur to warm up!
And me in a pickle.
We need a conference back at home base so I magicked my shoes and in a twinkle of an eye am once more sitting at the table in the Tea Room.