Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Misfits; A Perfect Day is a working title. This story is a calibration from my friends in my writing group, Karen and Young John over a hearty meal in a pub. It is all done with loving parodies of the other members in our group. 

 

****

Graeme steps onto the landing. Happy to be on the ground and back in bonne terre, though he had to admit that his first trip to the Grand-Old U-S-of-A was…. most adventurous. He was sure to thank Slim by paying his tab for…. well at least a week. Remembering the red haired Julia certainly put a spring in his step.

Airports are anonymous. You weren’t anywhere in an airport. Not really. So Graeme was still caught up in his holiday-rose-goggles. He spots in the duty free window an array of plushies. One looks like it could be some sort of cow. Brown, fuzzy, little horns in a comical fashion. On reading the label it says it’s “Bou” the BabyBison. A light bulb flashes in his head. He knows just who to get this for! There is no security tag on it, so he takes off the shop tag and stuffs it in his coat.

He saunters on with a well practiced swagger, despite this he still draws the attention of security and they pounce on him with their horrid sniffer dogs. The stupid mongrel sniffs him most inappropriately before wagging it’s tail and barking. The look of smugness on that canine face makes Graeme seethe. If there were no cameras he would be sorely tempted to give the beast a sound kick right where he was so fond of sniffing.

He gets off with a tax from the airport because of the unclaimed fags in his bag. Still feeling disgruntled he signals down a cab to get a ride, he was in no mood to get on the metro now. He needs a drink and pronto.

The cabbie is a woman, her license says Anne – but just as he is about to read the rest of her info she swerves to the side, her hand out the window giving the world a rude gesture followed by several obscenities.

“Student drivers! They have to learn!” She shouts at Graeme, who at this point is holding on to the dash board for his dear life.

“You look tense, have you ever tried aromatherapy?” Anne asks, the question is so sweet and charming until she honks her horn and shouts out the window again. Graeme looks in the back of the taxi, which is stacked with Avon products.

Oh Lord, what fresh Hell is this? Graeme cries to himself.

Somehow, he arrives at the Anson alive and in one piece, though perhaps in a far more anxious state than when he boarded an airplane for the first time.

He jumps out of the car, practically tucking and rolling as Anne speeds away, honking her horn at the people she has cut off.

Graeme looks up at his favourite watering hole and has to take a double. The building has been repainted bright red and the sign is now black, with fancy gold lettering that spells out “The Anson Palace.”

If you told him that he was in an episode of The Twilight Zone he would believe you, no questions asked.

Looking closer he sees a sign post that his local pub has been bought and redone while he was gone. The wording of the sign in itself is eccentric. Graeme opens the door with trepidation.

His pub has completely changed. Gone was the dark interior and the slot machines, replaced with red silk hangings, dragons and paintings of tsunamis. On the stage where the buskers used to sing were two men dressed up in sumo costumes, doing a mock show of a wrestling match. Graeme gulped, please say they still serve beer.

The only thing familiar is seeing Slim sitting at his usual table, so relieved Graeme rushes over and drops himself in the spare chair.

A man comes over caring drinks, Graeme is taken-a-back by the man. He is dressed in a pin-stripped suit, cleaned and crisply ironed. Hair slick and combed back, he sits down with a self assurance that only comes from someone who has been told from the cradle that he was special.

“Graeme, this is Tarquin! He is an up and coming writer,” Slim introduces.

“Yes, yes. But currently I work for North Tyneside Council. In downtown North Shields,” Tarquin says jovially.

“Downtown North Shields?” Graeme asks, his eye brows raised ready to jump off his face.

“That’s right,” Tarquin smiles, sipping his brew.

The night carries on and soon the familiar buskers are back, but tonight it’s a Village People tribute band. While Graeme is at the bar getting another beer, a man dressed up as the red indian keeps giving him the come hither look! When he walks past, he gives Graeme a well planned wink and a playful pat on the bum that nearly makes him snort his beer up through his nose.

The Village People wait while the tattooed lady sings her folk songs, holding a trumpet that she is not quite confident enough to play. Graeme wishes she would hurry up, he does not like the idea of that indian being idle for much longer.

The new barmaid, a tart called Margie, is dressed in an elegant oriental dress and her hair is done in a tidy bun. Somehow though the woman makes the outfit look cheap, she has managed to get the neck line lower than one would think possible and so tight Graeme is surprised those puppies haven’t jumped out yet. The rose tattoo on her breast wobbles so much that Graeme has to look away, suffering from motion sickness. Not that he was looking, of course.

She wore paten leather stilettos, a bright red that stood out against the black floor, and had an odd shadow that followed her everywhere. He was a very distinct shadow, a strange man who wore and elastic band over his balding head, and took to weird moments where for no reason he would pull his black hood up over his head, covering his face like the Grim Reaper.

Gentleman John comes in, and Graeme is happy to see at least that this has not changed. He always looks forward to John’s home made pies, the pastry is always ever so good.

Jill comes in and sits at their table, exhausted after a long shift at Subway, but is glad to see that Graeme is back. She has missed his crack. Dan is there too, and they convince him to come over from his corner. He closes up his laptop and Graeme wonders what he got from all his people watching, especially in an establishment like this. Gerry has popped out again, for one of her suspicious tabs.

Two new faces come in, Jean and Ana. They have come because the place looks different now, and they have been told to find something new to do. They look around and think; WTF?! Following them is their back to work advisor, distinctive in her flamboyant hat.

Graeme remembers that he has that toy to give her…

La Fin!

Advertisements