Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Long Bank Holiday 2

If you were to have told me, last week, that black masses were being held under the same roof as that which provides shelter to Wales’ largest thong collection, I would have called you delusional with latent feelings of inadequacy. You’d not be the first to feel in awe of the Chipster and I dare say you won’t be the last. After all, it’s hard not to feel somewhat inferior to a man with good looks, a perfect body, sharp wits, and inexplicable sexual chemistry.

Yet should you have made the same comment today, I’d have merely nodded my head and asked your opinion on the best to get rid of an infestation of warlocks. And midget warlocks at that...

When Mrs. Tunpipe promised that we’d have an unexpected visitor, little did I expect events to take a turn towards the cooler end of the Dulux colour card quite so quickly. Gabby had barely finished cleaning Archibald the goat in the bathtub (and in the process, using the last of my apple and tea tingle shampoo to get the congealed blood from its back), when there came a loud insistent knock on the door.

‘That must be the Dark Lord himself,’ I muttered, checking my less than humble self one last time in the mirror.

I’d decided that if a man is to argue with a Satanist, he must really look the part and take a side. Dressed in my white suit, with white tie, shirt and shoes, I looked like a respectable member of heaven’s advance guard in search of a prime time spot in BBC1’s light entertainment schedule. It might be too much to say I looked ‘angelic’ but on second thoughts, with my good looks, ‘angelic’ is much more on the nail than to simply say that I looked presentable. If there are such things as stud muffins in heaven, then I was one of those. And if there’s not, then let’s just settle on admitting that I looked in the mood to cha-cha-cha around a ballroom.

Bracing myself for the next adventure in what was becoming an increasingly odd business, I opened the door. Then I paused to examine the blank wall of the hallway across from me before I heard a cough and looked down.

It was a small man, leaning on a short wooden walking cane. He was compact in both body and features and stood no more than four feet from the tips of his jet black boots to the top of his fedora. For the whole of that, however, he was immaculate; a dark suit, somewhat antique in its style, gathered to the point below his chin where it pressed a purple cravat into a small rose of colour. Tied beneath his chin was the cord to a black cape which he wore – again with no little sense of style – as easily as I would wear something in transparent lycra. The outfit was topped off by the aforementioned hat, which he had tilted with a slant that reminded me of Alfred Lord Tennyson when he was feeling particularly malicious and in no mood of rhyming.

Facially, the man resembled a hairless dwarf, with a broad overextended nose and downcast mouth. His eyes sagged in little unpleasant pockets of flesh while his mouth was encumbered by lips whose thickness dragged them down into what I imagined was a perpetual frown. Even his chin seemed to have been relegated to become the upper part of his neck, and his neck part of his upper chest.

‘You are Dale?’ he asked with an accent which was very evidently English.

‘Chip Dale,’ I replied coolly after deciding that no matter how much I admired the man’s style, I did not like his tone. His voice was also disturbingly deep for so small a frame.

‘I believe you have taken possession of a goat?’ he said as he proceeded to remove a large purple handkerchief from his pocket and wipe his nose. ‘I believe that you have commandeered a member of the genus Capra which does not belong to you.’

I had an urge to close the door on him right there and then. I don’t take to being spoken down to – or being spoken up to, if you see what I mean…

‘And who are you?’ I asked.

He sneered, revealing small teeth that might have been filed to sharp little points.

‘My name is not important,’ he said. ‘I am merely here about the goat of which, I am led to understand, you have a current excess to the amount of one.’

‘Tell me your name or I close this door right now.’

‘Very well,’ he said, shifting the cape over his shoulder. ‘My name is Fitzfulke. Hector Fitzfulke. I am an associate of your neighbour, Ms. Tunpipe.’

‘And I suppose you’re the fiend that painted a star on poor Archibald’s back?’

‘What if I am?’ he asked, more haughtily than I can write it. ‘Is it wrong for a man to express his religion of choice in the ways dictated to him by the articles of his faith?’

‘Listen,’ I said, stretching to my highest inch. ‘It’s all well and good singing the odd hymn or organising the occasional bingo night, but I don’t hold with slapping emulsion on animals in the name of the Gods of the Underworld. Have you no shame? And where did you get that blood?’

‘I don’t see why I should tell you,’ he replied, stretching himself to the top of his own highest inch. ‘You are interfering with strong forces that lie beyond your understanding. I warn you, Mr. Dale. Do not cross swords with men who have powerful friends.’

‘Is that a threat?’

‘You can consider it a brief précis of the situation. I have come for the goat and if you refuse to hand it over…’ He traced a shape in the air with his cane. ‘Let us just say, Mr. Dale, that if you do not present me with that animal, matters shall be taken to a higher…’ Here, he laughed at some conceit. ‘Or should I say, a lower authority…’

‘Little man,’ I said, now irritated by his manner. ‘Do your worst. I’ve a good mind to report you to the RSPCA. Let’s see how they deal with your idea of faith.’

My words seemed to have no effect on him. He merely blinked once before leaning his cane against the door frame as his left hand came out from under his cape. He opened his fingers to reveal a small tin box in the centre of his palm.

‘What’s that?’ I asked.

Again, he didn’t answer but brought his other hand up and lifted the lid of the box to reveal a dark brown powder. He took a small amount in the fingers of his hand and thrust it up his nostril.

‘Snuff?’ I said, finding it odd that I’d never seen the stuff taken in all my life.

‘Special snuff,’ he said and with that and a malicious smirk pulled across his lips, blew onto his hand to send a cloud of the infernal power into my face.

‘Consider the goat,’ he said and turned on his heels before I had chance to offer a word, or, more precisely, a sneeze. My eyes were watering as I closed the door and stumbled my way back into the living room.

‘What’s that on your face?’ asked Gabby, half laughing.

‘A mysterious powder thrown into my face by a cape wearing dwarf,’ I explained before I shook the room with a violent sneeze.

‘Don’t be silly,’ she answered. ‘What is it? Really? Chip?’

But by then I’d collapsed on the floor. The goat came across and began to lick my face but to my mind, poisoned by whatever power or powder the man had used on me, the goat has become a manifestation of evil itself. It had the torso of a goat and the body of Dale Winton who was warning me in a light chatty voice about fighting a war that could not be won.

I was more than grateful when I felt the whispering silence of unconsciousness fall over me.


Ms Baroque said...

Chip! I bet your adventures with Mr Green down at the allotment shed are looking almost like the good old days!

The Battle of Good and Evil (in all its forms, seemingly especially those associated with livestock) would seem to be the everyday burden of the thong-god, especially one in a shining white suit.

We are on the edges of our seats here in Baroque Mansions, waiting for the next installment - please God, don't let anything have happened to the goat, it'll be just like when Little Nell died...

Chip Dale said...

I do, Ms. Baroque. This has opened my eyes to the private lives of quiet people. And I hope you're beginning to see that we strippers are sometimes the most normal and well adjusted people you can find. It's the librarians you have to watch out for...