Friday, February 16, 2024

Two Trolls walk into a bar

 I promised more, I didn't promise it would be better. Grammar Nazis prepare for another assault upon your citadel of purity. I hope it kills you.

I was happily finishing my first pint of what promised to be at least an 8 pint evening when two trolls walked into the bar, and trundled/lumbered over to my booth. Of course, they weren't actually trolls, but if trolls exist then these two fellows certainly had questions to ask of the female leafs on their family trees. They even have actual names, not some cool troll name like Oric the Hammer or Baldric the Elf Eater, but everyday names like the rest of us. I even knew their names, though I never called them by their name(s). I tried to avoid encounters of any kind with this lot of bruisers. They worked for Felix, and the sight of them usually meant bad news for someone. Usually that someone was me. If they were in my local, they were not here for the fish and chips. They loomed over me, (they are champion level loomers) until I was forced to acknowledge their presence, "hello boys, here for the fish and chips? Pity that, today is chipped beef, or at least that what Sully calls it, my opinion is that the "beef" he uses had nine lives and liked to claw the chaise lounge too much, if you catch my drift." They didn't, Felix didn't hire too many fellows that went to the finishing academy, unless there exists a finishing academy for breaking heads. If so, these two were probably in that institution's Hall of Fame. 

The brighter of the two, which is a low bar to get over, grunted and said "I suppose that was designed to be clever.? I nodded. He continued "as usual if it was we don't care, you know why we are here Felix wants to see you, and said to make sure you were sober, so we came early just to be sure." The dimmer one of the two, the one I call Mutt, Jeff was the brighter of the pair, dropped a coin on the table, and said "your tab is paid, now get in the car easy like, it's too early to crack your head open." For him that was a speech similar to Antony's eulogy of Julius Caesar. I sighed, if they were paying my tab and coming for the sober version of me, then things were probably more serious than the sober version of me is equipped to handle. I stood up and finished my pint, "with such an eloquent invitation and fatherly generosity, how could I refuse? Plus I don't feel like waking up in two days wondering why my nose is pointed a different direction. Lead on MacDuff!, let's go see what fresh hell brother Felix has cooked up for me this time."

One silent car ride later, Mutt and Jeff deposited me at Felix's front door, Mutt knocked politely, which I had assumed was beyond his skill set, and the voice of Felix said "enter." My two "escorts" nodded to me to go in, and took their usual places on either side of the door, guarding it like two meaty, silent sphinxes. I walked in and plopped my ass into Felix's uncomfortable "guest" chair. The chair itself was fine, it was its location that brought about the discomfort. "Hello, Felix, what's the rumpus this time? Your favorite cat gone missing? If so, I can already tell you a good place to start looking." Felix, not known for his sense of humor, actually smiled at me, and that is when I knew I was in deep, deep trouble. Felix is not a smiler, and it's not because he is hiding crooked teeth, his are perfectly straight, and startlingly white. 

"Glad you can still make jokes GI, for a man in your position it shows that you still haven't given over to despair." I quirked an eyebrow, "my situation? other than being tragically sober, I don't think my situation is so bad in relative terms. I mean I had enough money left to get dramatically drunk, if your playmates hadn't interrupted me" Still smiling, Felix shoved two envelopes across his desk towards me, one white, one blue. "Open the white one first" was his command. I considered opening the blue one first just to express spite and independence, but then considered my "pretty" face, and how Mutt and Jeff were just outside the door, and probably itching for a chance to make it less pretty. Sighing, I opened the white envelope. The contents were not pretty, they depicted what could be politely called a murder scene, more to the point they were pictures of a fucking bloodbath. Five pictures (I am sure there were more) of a man whom was as dead as dead can be, and by the looks of his "remains" someone took a great deal of pleasure in making him deceased. 

"Looks like a fucking bloodbath Felix. not your boys", I nodded to the door, "work?" Felix's smile had disappeared "no GI, my 'boys' as you call them are professionals, this, he pointed to the pictures, was not a professional job, it was done either by a sociopath or someone who really disliked the dead fellow, or someone who is both." He peered at me as he said this and asked "surely you recognize the fellow? or at least what is left of him?" I glanced back again at the pictures, first time around I really hadn't looked at the face, I was too busy "admiring" the gore.  "Well fuck" I said "yes I know him, or rather I know of him to be more precise." Felix nodded "of course you do, you killed him after all, wouldn't be polite to kill a stranger in such a personal manner." This was a new tactic even for Felix, "I did what to him?" I asked with a sense of rising panic and impending dread. "You killed him, made him unalive, shuffled him off this mortal coil, however you wish to put it, but simply put you murdered him, and it is of course my job to make sure you are punished for it, despite my warm feeelings for you." You have to give Felix credit he said that line of shite with a straight face, Felix never had warm feelings for anybody, not even his mother. That is if he even had a mother.

Felix raised a forestalling hand, "before you say anything particularly stupid, you should open the other envelope." I sighed, "what's in it, a pardon from the governor? for this murder that I didn't commit." "Just open it GI you will see, and I will make it clear in due course." was his reply. I decided to open the other envelope, after all if it was another dead body what did it matter they could only hang me once. Felix noticed (he notices everything) the look on my face, and said "don't worry we aren't going to hang you, at least not yet. And besides hanging is passe, in these modern times we put you against a wall and shoot you. But, we aren't going to do that yet either. "Thanks for the "yet" you smug bastard" I replied as I opened the blue envelope, and to my surprise it contained a rather large amount of cash. "That's a lot of coin Felix is this my pay off for not killing that fellow?" Felix shrugged, semantics GI, semantics. That money is all yours, you will need it for your trip. I understand you only have a loose idea of money, so let me give you the highlights. Governments print it, and we can print as much of it as we want within reason, people earn it, steal it, or are gifted it. It even gets handed out to schmucks who 'earn' it with the sweat of their brow, it's called a job, you should try one sometime just for variety's sake. Rarely do people just hand it over to you in blue envelopes just for looking pretty. And as pretty as you think you are, this money is not for your looks. You will earn it." 

"I happen to think I am quite pretty, and the whole sweat of my brow thing never much appealed to me, there are other ways to make money you know. Plus, beer is cheap, and I don't have a lot of other needs in my life. Working is no way to make a living except as a last resort. However, I will bite, what is this trip that you seem to think I am going to be taking?" Felix tented his fingers together and said "oh just a little excursion to  R____ L_____.  I hear it's lovely there a few mountains, lots of fresh air, and best thing about it, at least for you, is no one there knows you for a murdering scum on the lam from justice." I laughed out loud, "Felix, you wouldn't know justice if  he/she/it bit you on the ass on your birthday." I pushed the money back towards him and said "take your fucking money, and shove it up your arse. I am not going to R___ L____ or anywhere else other than back to my pints. You know I didn't kill that guy, and you've got fuck all for proof." I stood up to make an indignant exit, but Felix wasn't done with me. There are times when I think that Felix will never be done with me. The bastard will probably find a use for, or a way to abuse my corpse for public games, or if he dies first he will haunt me from beyond the grave like Marly and Marly did to Scrooge.  

To be continued . Don't want the TL/DR crowd getting bored, now do we?


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