Helpful Leddy, a story of runaway rivers, exploding restaurants, and teenage love – Chapter Six

Going from one darkened place to another, the friends found themselves falling over each other as the van trundled along the long-forgotten road. For what seemed like an eternity, the van rambled over potholes and bumps that made their journey all the more painful.

    Finally, they felt the van beginning to slow down and eventually stop. The men left the van and went round the back to bring the teenagers back into the outside world. As one of them opened the doors, a pair of legs that were resting on the door fell forward and onto the ground, bringing its person along with it. Leddy groaned as he felt himself being picked up and cut loose. He gazed into the van and found the other three all to be in jagged positions and groaning more than he had done.

    As the four friends eventually had all their ropes cut off, they found themselves facing a large country mansion, as tall as the trees that surrounded it. The shimmering windows gave the illusion of a cathedral. Snarling gargoyles gazed down upon them from the level of the first floor, which seemed to laugh at their misfortune.

    As they made their way up the marble staircase that led to the entrance, they noticed a window that had light streaming from it, and a darkened figure looking down on them. The front doors themselves slowly opened, like a mouth ready to devour its meal. From within, bright lights shot out into the darkening night time, and they and their capturers made their way in.

    “He likes his descriptions, doesn’t he?” Gary piped up.

    “Personally, I think he rather bled it to death a bit.” examined Fiona.

    “I never knew you were a literary man.” said Sandy, somewhat astonished.

    “Shut up guys, he’s doing a good job. Anyway, I want to find out how we get out if this mess, so shush!”

    They soon found themselves in a huge yet bare entrance hall and before them lay a great, winding staircase that spread itself high into the building reaching the upper floors, like an angel spreading its wings.

    “Okay, he’s over-doing it now!”

    “Your right!”

    “C’mon, let’s just hope he gets on with the story.”

    I’m only doing my job. Anyway, around them stood several closed doors, behind which they could hear the sounds of much activity going on. They were then led up the spiraling staircase and along the landing, where they stopped outside a door that looked more cared for than the rest. One of the capturers gave a gentle knock, and a deep yet slightly trembling voice answered.

    “Come in.”

    The door opened and the capturers ushered the four friends into the room. Compared to the grand, sweeping halls they had passed along the way, it was a very modest room. It was the shape of a perfect square, with everything in neat and tidy perfection. A tall window looked out onto the grounds and the entrance of the building, with the curtains drawn and light beaming through the window and escaping into the night. Sat at a finely varnished desk and in a velvet-bound chair, a man was ensconced in a book with one hand and holding a black cigar with the other. He then looked up at his guests.

    “Oh, thank you Boris, you may go now.” The capturers left the room and the man, placing his book and cigar down on the desk, rose from his chair and extended his arms, which shuddered like his voice. “Welcome, welcome, my dear friends.” He bounded over to them and shook each of them by the hand. “Lovely to meet you all, I’ve heard so much about you. Won’t you take a seat?”

    He held out a helping arm towards several chairs and returned to his own, leaning in as he watched the boys settle down into their chairs.

    “What’s your name?” asked Leddy as he sat down.

    “My name is Arthur Mainwaring.” He spoke in a hushed, relaxed tone, despite its slight quiver, and seemed keen to make the friends at home. He leaned back into his chair and reach for one of the drawers in the desk. Out from the drawer he pulled out several cigars. “Would anyone care for one?”

    “I’ll have one!” Gary reached for one excitedly, but Leddy shoved him back in his chair.

    “Why are we here, Arthur?” he asked, a growing anger rising in his voice.

    “My, my, my, you really want to get down to business don’t you?”

    “Unlike you!”

    “Well, my dear chap, what is it you would like to know?”

    “Everything, you douche!” Fiona suddenly leapt from her chair and landed on Arthur’s desk, her face a mask of blood red anger. “First you lock us up in some crappy washroom, then you get your thugs to tie us up, shove us in a van, drive for hours to this dump, and all you’ve done to rectify the situation so far is offer us chairs and cigars. Seriously, what the hell is going on?”

    “Oh my darling, I’m so sorry such things had to happen to you and your friends. You must understand that up until now; I’ve had no control over your safe-keeping. But now you are here, I can assure you all will be well for you from now on.”

    “How do you mean?” asked Sandy, trying her best to hide her quivering voice. Leddy slowly reached out for her hand and gently clung onto it.

    “Well now, my young friends, the reason you here, is because I want to help you.”

    “Cigars don’t help people much.” noted Fiona.

    “Quite, but I can.” retaliated Arthur. He leaned back once more into his chair and clasped his hands beneath his chin. “You see children; this is a difficult time for the world. I remember in my youth, the world was filled with almost nothing but happy events, war being declared over, great strides in peace and progress for everyone. But now that all seems to have changed, the world now seems only to be full of terrorism, recessions and paedophiles.”

    He then got up from his chair and slowly made his way towards the teens, his hands clasped behind his back and his head looking down in deep thought. Leddy turned to Sandy and spoke in a hushed voice, almost as hushed as Arthurs.

    “Y’know, this is all starting to remind me of a dream I once had after I ate all that cheese and watched that Monty Python/Young Ones marathon.”

    “That’s why,” continued Arthur, “I would do my best to make the most of today’s world and try and give some salvation to those whom I could.” He moved to the front of his desk and leant against it, giving each of the friends a cold, demanding stare. “Children, I want to give you the opportunity to become part of my family.”

    The four friends looked at him with slight shock.

    “That sounds just a little paedo-y to me mate.” said Leddy rather nervously.

    “My dear chap, there is nothing for you to worry about. Why don’t I take you downstairs?”

    “That sounds even more paedo-y, you dirty bastard.” said Fiona.

    “Oh now look kids, I’m being honest here. Please, just let me show you what I’ve got down below.”

    “Oh now your just taking the piss!” said Sandy.

    Arthur led them downstairs and reached one of the doors that stood closed yet a buzz of activity resonated from the other side. Two of the capturers from earlier were leaning against the door, guarding it. Arthur nodded to one of them and the capturer gave a knock on the door. Instantly, the entire buzz died, leaving a cold silence. The door opened ajar and a darkened face peeped out from the side.

    “Sir would like to show the visitors the production line.”

    The face disappeared behind the door as the hubbub started up again. Arthur led the four friends into the room, once a living room or a library, but now changed beyond recognition. The room was filled with people at desks handling several small items. Arthur became eloquent once more as he wondered down the lines of workers.

    “The world is becoming increasingly divided. People are moving to larger communities to try and survive, leaving little villages like yours to wither and die. I am giving those villages a new lease of life. The people of this village deserve it!”

    The four friends however had become slightly distracted by the goings on as they began to recognize what was being dealt with on the worktops. Each worker seemed to be dealing with several packs of white powder and several sparkling things. They also had a variety of tools and each had a small machine with a tiny saw and drill attached to it.

    “Those are the di-a-monds from the restaurant!” exclaimed Gary, having trouble pronouncing the fourth word.

    The person working at that particular worktop was too engrossed in her work to notice the friends. She kept her head down, but Leddy could just make out a horridly haggard expression on her face, as though she’s been at it for days. Her hair smelt unwashed and looked unkempt, but there was still something very familiar about this woman to Leddy. He then lent forward, cupped her chin in his hands and lifted her head up, and the friends gave a gasp as they saw who it was.

    “Muriel!” the four friends gasped all at once.

    Muriel’s eyes looked bloodshot and worn out, but they lit up in shock when she saw Leddy and his friends, who were regular customers in her sweetshop.

    “Ah, you know each other? Good,” said Arthur, turning to face them, “it is nice when two separate generations are so well acquainted with each other.” He walked over to them and placed his hand on Mrs. Roger’s shoulder, which was shivering slightly. She slowly looked up to him. “Sir, why are these kids here?”

    “They’re new additions to our family my dear, now, don’t let us disturb you, you crack on with your work, if you’ll pardon the expression!” Arthur led them away from Muriel and along the line of workers. “Perhaps you recognize some of the other members of our happy little family?”

    Indeed they did, as they walked up and down the multiple lines of workers hard at their task in hand, the friends recognized several residents of their village, all engrossed in the same task.

    Fiona, who was tailing behind the group, was fixated with the workers just as the workers were deeply concentrated in their work. She stopped by yet another worn-out looking villager whom she vaguely recognised. The villager had placed a diamond into the machine and was using the saw and drill to cut away at it. Having used the tools to loosen the diamond, the villager then turned a switch on the machine on, sending a bright red laser from within the device and into the diamond, removing its head completely.

    Once that was done, he poured some of the white powder into the diamond, and then used the machine once more to place the top back. Fiona was utterly confused and horrified, already forming an idea in her mind as to what was going on here. She pushed her way through and sidled up to Arthur, placing a tense arm around his shoulder.

    “Okay mate, you’ve obviously gone to great lengths to get these guys here,” she then started squeezing down into Arthur’s shoulder, as hard as she could, “but you haven’t done anything to enlighten us as to why we are all here, so you best come out with some answers now!”

    Arthur carefully removed Fiona’s clutch on him and stopped in his tracks. The four friends were each giving him a distinctive stare. Fiona gave him a look of disdain and anger, Leddy eyed him of curiosity and caution, Sandy looked at him apprehension and fear, almost from the corner of her eye, whilst Gary only emanated jovial innocent smile.

    “Perhaps we should retire to the lounge.” said Arthur, turning once more and leading them through another door into a smaller room, but no workers to be seen, only several leather-bound chairs and a roaring fire blazing away. In fact, the fire was blazing away on several of the chairs, rapidly growing larger and larger. “Tompkins!” Arthur called.

The group waited for what seemed like several minutes, watching the flames spread from chair to chair, rapidly coming towards them.

    “Shouldn’t we run or something?” inquired Leddy.

    “No need, my dear boy.” Arthur ensured, “Tompkins will be here any second now.”

   After several more minutes, during which the flames had now almost reached the ceiling, a disheveled and geriatric butler entered the room.

    “Ah, Tompkins there you are. Put out this fire out will you?”

    “Very good sir, I’ll just go and fetch the extinguisher.” He then left the room in the same slow, worn out manner he had done so as he came in and several more minutes passed. By the time Tompkins came back with the extinguisher, much of the room was beyond saving. But that didn’t stop Tompkins from carrying out his duty. He lifted the nozzle squarely at the heart of the flames and began squirting.

    Unfortunately, no foam came out of the nozzle. Only the squealing sound of an animal in pain erupted from Tompkins’ efforts. He kept on squeezing and squeezing until he could squeeze no more. “Excuse me sir,” he said, rather dejectedly, “but the extinguisher doesn’t seem to be working.”

    “That’s because you’re using our cat as the extinguisher and its tail as a nozzle, put him down at once.”

    Tompkins slowly began to put the cat down, until it leaped from his hands itself and, regaining its posture, gave its audience a sophisticated glare.

    “I do trust you will be more careful next time.” said Arthur.

    “As do I.” said the cat.

    “Tompkins, can’t you get rid of this fire?” inquired Arthur.

    Tompkins moved to a nearby window and opened it as best as his decaying bodily frame would allow him. He then waved his arms in the air moving towards the fire.

    “Go on, shoo! Get out of it!” At first, the fire did nothing. “Come on, leave! I’ll bring you out some nice treats for you if you go outside!” The flames then gathered itself up and shot out of the window like, well, like a, like a fire shooting out of a window. Closing the windows carefully, Tompkins turned to his employer. “Will that be all, sir?”

    “Yes, thank you.” Arthur appeared to be slightly singed but didn’t seem to notice this.

    “Would sir care for a refreshing glass of brandy?”

    “Tompkins, you read my mind. Ask these children what they want as well, will you?”

    “I can’t sir.”

    “What?!” Arthur pulled himself up and strode over to his employee. “Honestly, I just can’t ask you to do two things in the same room, can I? It’s not like it’s a difficult task to do, I mean, your pouring me a drink aren’t you? Now why don’t you want to do the same for our guests?”

    “It’s not that I don’t want to, sir. Nothing would give me a greater pleasure sir.”

    “Then what on earth is the problem, old man?”

    “There’s no-one to ask, sir.”

    Arthur instantly spun round to discover he and Tompkins were in fact the only two people in the room. The four friends, having escaped from the burning room, were now being chased by several brute guards.

Chapter Seven comes next week!

Every Jazzy Gem, a funky flower poem.

Photo from hqwallbase.com

Photo from hqwallbase.com

Trains of colourful clusters
Punky punch aside the creamy green,
Swinging their thing
Like a rainbow river.

Each spunky bud grinds their funk
Down and sprouts into
Blue boogies,
Purple twerks,
And pink twists.

Every petal to the metal,
bringing their swing
To full fruition.

Stigmas split, oozing groove,
While sepals slice into jives
And stems snap a tap.

All soon falling for the waltz,
And slipping snuggly into the creamy green.

The Weapons of a Scribbler.

Sorting through the many books I have for Uni, I’ve only just discovered the amount of notebooks I have for my writings, and not even for my lecture notes! These books are for, mostly, all the non-Uni writings I do, which includes poetry, prose, recipes, media-related notes, and other utterly random scribblings.

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My self-written library, which I’ve only just realized I had.

    My main one is my Queen book, the large black one, which is full of scribbles, ideas, thoughts and rough sketches of work I use for both Uni and personal scribblings.

    My Marvel superhero book is the one I use as Head of Drama for HUUTV, its full of all the ideas, proposals/treatments, and scripts that I have in mind, or have already used, for our productions. As you can probably guess, I really only write in this book because I get to colour it all in. God, I’m such a child.

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Scribblescribblescribblescribblescribblescribble

    My doggy notebook used to be my short story/poetry book, but now its used for miscellaneous scribbles and the occasional recipe.

    I’ve posted about my new poetry book in a previous post, complete with the wonderfully tacky drawings that go along with the poems.

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Didn’t even get round to mentioning the handy Oxford side-dishes.

    The smaller-looking peacock book is currently empty, but I hope to use it as a book to catalog all my stories, both short and novella, which will take an absolute eternity! (Even if I’ve only got four short stories and one novella that are any good at all)

    The tiniest of the bunch, the Wuthering Heights one, came free with a bag of goodies given away by Waterstones’ stall at the fresher’s fair this year, and I originally started using it as my new poetry book. But now I’ve a proper book for that, its yet to serve a proper purpose, but that doesn’t stop it being the cutest book in my collection.

    As an aspiring writer, its only natural I have a constant supply of notebooks handy, but I just didn’t realize I had this many already. And I’ll probably realize the same thing, when I acquire more and more of them!

When Ladybirds Disturb your Essay-writing

In an earlier post, I rambled on about what it was like living with cats at Uni. Now I’ve gone one better! Sort of. I’ve recently found these ladybirds perched on my bedroom light, looking all sleepy and cozy.

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Snoozing away.

    I think they’ve made my room their home via the fact that I tend to keep my windows and curtains open for as long as possible. What with the winter hours drawing in quicker and quicker, I don’t usually get back from Uni till seven in the evening, by which time my room is the only one in the street who’s windows and curtains are wide open.

    All this is good news for both the ladybirds, and for burglars. But fortunately, my room is on the first floor of the house, so the ladybirds have an easier time finding me.

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Must be awfully hot up there!

    They make for lovely decor, but my only worry is if they’ll stay there until some new ladybirds emerge, and if that were to happen I’m afraid I’ll have to shoo them along.

    But they’re awfully quiet and peaceful at present, and they’re still managing to distract me from my first essay of the year. Maybe I’ll start keeping a ladybird diary as time goes by, but for now, I’ll just leave them to their snuggliness (if that’s even a word).

Helpful Leddy, a story of exploding restaurants, runaway rivers, and teenage love – Chapter Five

Doris stood in the kitchen doorway, the door itself wide open. On hearing the fits of giggles, she had opened the door ajar and listened in on the friends’ conversation. “You’re not bloody inspectors at all are you, and you’re not a cleaner!” Her face then turned pale. “Who are you, are you the police?” The three friends were amused and bemused at Doris’s panic-stricken anger. “What do you know about this place, and Arthur?!”

   “We don’t know anything!” Leddy protested. “Look, maybe I should have explained before, you see…”

   But then, Doris suddenly leapt towards the group, and grabbing them each, dragged them through the bar and into the washroom down below. She flung them through the small door, slamming and locking it behind them. For a woman of small stature, Doris made up for it in strength.

   Falling over each other, Leddy, Fiona and Gary picked themselves up pathetically, squeezing themselves in as best they could into the narrow corridor which leads downwards.

   “Anyone there?” a sweet, warm voice called out.

   “Yes!”

   “Who is it?”

   “It’s us!”

   “Who are ‘us’?”

   “We are us!”

   “And who is ‘us’?”

   “We are!”

   “Oh bloody hell just come here, whoever you are!”

   The three friends, making their way down the corridor, soon joined a startled Sandy in the washroom, all four friends taking up much of the floor space in that small room.

     “What are you two doing down here?! If Doris catches you down here, she’ll go mad!” she turned a pair of frowning brows towards Leddy. “Is this part of your stupid plan?”

     Leddy stared down at the floor for a second. The gaslight hanging above, with its dull, flickering light, cast a darkened shadow over his face.

     “Well, actually…” his voice became mouse-like and defeated, like his regiment had just lost a great battle and now he had to tell his general the bad news.

     “Actually, the plan’s kind of gone to shit.” said Fiona, finishing off where Leddy started.

     Sandy’s face exploded into anger.

    “I knew it would turn out like this, you stupid, bloody idiot!” She thumped Leddy hard on his arm.

    “I was only trying to help; I didn’t know she was listening in on us!”

    Sandy ignored his explanations, and hit him again so hard he tripped and fell into the damp wall, bringing a lump of earth with him as he slid to the ground. Sandy was immediately apologetic and helped him to his feet, but Leddy almost ignored her completely.

    He was fixated by the lump of earth he held in his hand, something seemed to shine away within the earth. He dug away at it, and eventually held in his hand something large that sparkled insanely in the darkly lit room.

    “Is that…?” Leddy began to ask.

    “I think it is.” Sandy answered.

    “Wow,” began Fiona, slightly less impressed, “rather a clichéd situation, don’t you think?”

    “That wall’s rather wet, don’t you think?” asked Gary, looking straight ahead of him.

    Outside in the kitchen, Sylvester was returning from the realms of drunken debauchery. He had since dropped to his knees with his head still hanging dejectedly over the sink, while Doris had kept the tap running above.

   “Sylvester! C’mon you bloody ape, we’ve got trouble!”

    Sylvester finally dragged himself upwards, his naturally bloated, and now sweaty, face and chest resembling some kind of newborn monster.

    “What’s happened?” His voice sounded as gravelly as rocks in a cement mixer.
“Those bloody critics aren’t critics at all, they’re just bloody kids! I’ve a feeling those kids know something about what’s going on here, so I’ve shut them up in the washroom.”

    “What do we do know then?”

    “We go down there and sort them out, or at least you’ll sort them out for me.”

    They made their way down to the washroom, Doris holding onto the still slightly hung-over Sylvester as if he were a dog being taken on a walk. Down in the basement, the four friends were still staring at the discovery they had made. Having unearthed a few more small lumps that fell from the wall, the friends found more and more sparkling lumps of stone with almost every lump.

    “These must be worth a fortune!” Gary said ecstatically, holding several in his hands.

    “You can finally quit this crappy job and live a life of luxury!” Leddy said, slapping Sandy on the back with one hand and holding up several diamonds to his face with the other.
“We still need to get out of here first.” Sandy retorted. “And anyway, maybe we should stop digging at the wall?” She raised her eyebrows and nodded discreetly to Leddy, whilst Fiona and Gary looked over their spoils.

    “Oh err, right, yes. Good idea.”

    Suddenly, footsteps were heard approaching.

    “Quick, hide them!” Sandy said, stuffing the diamonds into her pockets while the others did the same.

“What about all that earth?” Fiona asked.

    Leddy looked around him feverishly, the footsteps coming closer, before kicking the earth towards the sink.

    “Stand in a line in front of the sink; we can hide them that way.” He said

    The four of them quickly stood side by side just as Doris and Sylvester appeared. Doris looked no threat at all, particularly as she stood in front of the hulking Sylvester, who was barely able to fit in the small room. His swaying figure looked as though he could collapse at any minute. Doris gave a scathing look towards Gary and Fiona before turning to Leddy.

    “Do you know who these little buggers are?”
Leddy glanced at Gary and Fiona, who both seemed to quiver where they stood. He himself was feeling rather anxious about the whole affair; it all seemed to have turned completely on its head. He opened and closed his mouth rapidly, thinking of something, anything, to try and overcome the situation. Finally, a little twinkle seemed to sparkle in his eye as a plan formed in his head.

    “Well of course I know them, stupid!” Doris fumed as he said this. “This is Gary and this is Fiona.” He held out a helpful arm to show which one was which. “They’re a couple of mates from school, I texted them earlier asking if they could come down and pretend to be restaurant critics.”

    A shocked silence seemed to fill the room. It seemed as though to his friends that Leddy was actually admitting defeat before the enemy. Doris herself seemed rather stupefied by his explanation, thinking that he would have at least tried to put up a fight. But she could not know of course that she was dealing with Leddy Bloomfield, one of the great minds of his generation. She finally overcame her silence.

    “So…” she gasped, “well, what was it all for?”

    “For you, of course!”

    Doris felt even more confused than before.

    “Oh, god’s sake, what are you on about you horrid little boy?!”

    “Well look, when I first came here today, I felt the place looked rather, err…” he paused at put his finger to his lips in deep thought, “well, I can’t really think of other words to use other than ‘shit’, but you know what I mean. I thought I could liven things up for the customers if I got some of my mates in, have them pretend to be proper posh critics and stuff, oh, I hope they managed to fulfil that role successfully?” Doris nodded her head, resulting in her mouth falling open. “Ah excellent, well, I thought that if they gave you a bad review, it would set some fireworks off and give the place some much needed air.”

    “But… but…” Doris stammered, “We haven’t had any bloody customers all day!”

    “Well I can’t help out with everything, you know deary!” Leddy waggled his finger in her direction. “I’m only the cleaner; I have enough on my plate as it is.”

    Doris seemed to loose herself completely. She raised a shaking finger and pointed at Sandy.

    “Did you know anything about this?”

    Sandy went red instantly, unable to think of a satisfactory reply.

    “Can’t say she helped out much,” Leddy chipped in, “she was against the whole thing, said it wouldn’t work. Mind you, I can’t get too cross with her, as I’ve only met her today. It wouldn’t be right to start off on the wrong foot with your co-workers now would it?” He gave a sickly sweet smile, which he knew was all too smug.

    Doris fumed slightly, as she took control of herself.

    “Right,” she said, after simmering down, “I’ve had just about enough of you, and I know exactly what I’m going to do with you lot. You’re going to stay down here while I ring up some of my own friends. They’ll take care of you alright. Until then, you’re going stay down here.” She turned to leave, but collided with the mass of Sylvester, whom everyone had seemed to forget about. “Bloody hell you moron, why didn’t you do anything!?”
Sylvester gently rubbed his head.

    “Well, I kind of wasn’t listening, I’ve got a splitting headache.”

    “Oh, c’mon!”

    The two of them left the other four alone, breathing a sigh of relief.

    “Leddy, that was immense!” said Gary.

    “What exactly was that anyway?” asked Sandy piercingly, looking up at Leddy with clear, steady eyes that couldn’t let him go.

    “I thought I’d try and get you off the hook,” he explained, “if Doris thinks only me, Fiona and Gary were the cause of all this, then you wouldn’t get into trouble.”

    Sandy’s eyes seemed to release Leddy from their clutches as she gave a small smile, and seemed to whisper into Leddy’s ear.

    “Thanks.”

    “What do you think she has planned for us?” asked Gary.

    “Who cares? Whoever they are, let them come!” said Fiona. “We got all the diamonds we could ask for, and who knows what else is buried in them walls!” she pointed to them, and then everyone seemed to turn rather solemn.

    “That wall looks a bit, well, sort of…” began Leddy.

    “Wet?” finished Gary.

    “It’s always been wet.” Sandy retorted.

    “Yeah, but it sort of looks even damper than before…” noted Fiona, who had seen how wet the wall was when she first came in.

    But those thoughts seemed to wash away as she dug into her pocket and brought out the small, shimmering stones of various sizes. Hours seeded to pass by, during which the four friends sat on the floor, idly fingering the stones in their hands, and noticing how much damper the wall was getting. They sat facing the wall in silence, and with each minute, another drop of water seemed to slither its way down the wall.

    “These glass stone things are amazing,” said Gary, feeling the smooth yet cold and wet stones slide through his fingers, “I wonder of you could build a window with these?”

    The others laughed at his lack of expertise in these matters.

    “Gary, you do know what these are, don’t you?” Fiona enquired, who was sitting next to him.

    “Sure, glass stones!”

    “You mean diamonds?”

    “Di-a-monds? What are they?”

    “The things you’re holding in your hand!”

    “Well, whatever they’re called, they sure are lovely.”

    Fiona and Gary then settled down into a miniscule argument over what was the name of the objects they held, and why they should be called such. Leddy and Sandy sat next to each other, ignoring them.

    “So,” began Leddy, tenderly, “what are you going to do with your diamonds?”

    “Hmm, not sure yet,” said Sandy, feeling more at ease than she was earlier, “how about you?”

    “I don’t know,” Leddy’s voice changed to a more consciously casual and carefree style, “maybe I could take someone on holiday with me or something?”

    Sandy blushed, immediately picking up on the hint.

    “Like that holiday we took to France?”

    “Maybe even better,” suggested Leddy, “maybe it could be all across Europe for the summer.”

    Both Leddy and Sandy gazed at each other, a warm glow spreading over them. But then that glow lost its warmth when Fiona’s voice dominated the room.

    “You know, I’m probably not the only one in thinking this, but isn’t there a possibility that there is water behind that wall?”

    “Not just behind, above and around as well.” answered Leddy dryly, exasperated at Fiona’s interruption.

    Both Fiona and Gary shot up in shock.

    “What?!”

    “Yep, there’s that river isn’t there, and we’re underground, aren’t we?”

    “That’s right.” said Sandy cheerily. Leddy noticed that Sandy didn’t seem as upset that their conversation had to end as he was. He lent back into the wall morosely, feeling as though his efforts had once again been defeated.

    Both Fiona and Gary turned to face the wall, now with a sense of panic.

    “Oh, bugger.” said Fiona.

    “Cool!” said Gary.

    Fiona then smacked Gary around the head.

    “Not cool! That wall could collapse and we all could drown! Couldn’t we Leddy?”

    “Well, maybe,” said Leddy in a dejectedly relaxed manner, “I don’t know that much about it though, what do you think Sandy?” Sandy didn’t answer; instead she looked as though she were far away from reality.

    “I’m still worried as to what Doris is going to do with us.”

    “She’s probably just going to get some of her friends to take us back home, that’s all!”

     “Yeah,” popped up Gary, “it’s not like she’s going to kill us or shove an onion up our bums, that sort   of thing’s illegal. Trust me, I googled it.”

    “What, shoving an onion up your bum?” asked Fiona.

    “No, the whole killing thing, onion-shoving is generally just frowned upon. Or is it the other way round?”

    “I’d rather have an onion shoved up my arse rather than have it shoved the other way round.” quipped Leddy, suddenly perking up.

    At this point, three voices laughed sharply into the air, but one remained silent.

    “What does that mean, the other way round?” asked Gary.

    “It means you wouldn’t want to have an onion shoved up your sausage, would you?” explained Leddy.

    “That makes a great lunch, sausage and onions.”

    The other three let out sighs of despair for the youngest of the group. Suddenly, the jangling of keys could be heard some distance away and the echoing of a door being opened floated down the passage way and into the washroom. The four friends stood up expectantly and soon came the small figure of Doris. She gave them a deceptively toothy smile.

    “Come along children, its time to go home.”

    After that, she gave them a low laugh that seemed to linger forever in the damp passage way. As the four friends made their way out of the larder, Doris’s haunting cackle seemed to slither down the passage way past the friends and make its way back to Doris, enveloping the group as they walked. Her laugh seemed to stick to their persons, leaving a low murmur that seemed to keep its menacing eye upon the teenagers and never to leave them.

    “Well, at least she seems happy.” said Gary.

    “Oh shut up Gary!” the other three voices rang out in unison.

    Doris then halted the group and opened the washroom door. As she did so, they could just make out four dark figures standing either side of the entrance, but once the door was fully opened, the bright lights of the kitchen hit them hard and before they had time to adjust their vision, they felt themselves being grabbed around the waists and being dragged away.

    They kicked and screamed as best they could as the rough bodies dragged them through the dining room. As they went past the tables and chairs, Leddy was struck by a thought, and hopefully his capturer would feel the full force of that strike. He grabbed a near-by chair as best he could, raised it into the air, and brought it down onto the capturer’s head, sending splinters and shards of wood flying everywhere.

    Leddy’s capturer didn’t fall to the ground unconscious like he had done in Leddy’s head. Instead, he stopped dead in his tracks and slowly turned his head down towards Leddy. He was holding Leddy sideways at his hip and Leddy could now clearly see the blank yet demonic face of his capturer. His lower half was caked in stubble and his eyes looked as though he hadn’t slept in weeks. His short hair fell flat across his head. No emotion radiated from him, but Leddy still felt a slight shiver run through his body.

    “Are you alright Michael?” said a monotonous group of voices.

    The other three captures, also holding their captives sideways to their hips, had all stopped and were facing Michael, waiting for an answer. Leddy then saw that all four men held the same dull yet dangerous face upon them.

    “I’m fine.” said Michael, also in the same monotonous voice as his friends. “Did you do that for any specific reason?”
“I thought I saw a fly.” answered Leddy quickly.

    “Do you mean on the chair?”

    “No, I mean on your head.”

    “We’ve got to get a move on!” piped up a shrill voice. Doris had become lost within the four men and had to jump up between two of them to make herself noticeable.

    The cavalcade made its way out of the restaurant and into the outside, where the sun had dipped behind the hills considerably since Leddy had found his way back in, and had turned the sky a warm shade of musty pink. The capturers opened the back doors of a waiting van and with much rummaging and kicking and punching, tied the friends up and shoved them into the back, slamming the doors shut. Two of the men followed the friends into the back and the other two took to the cab. As they closed the doors, Doris looked up to the men.

    “Sylvester and I will stay here until the pick-up arrives.”

    The van then roared into life and sped off down the dusty pathway.

The adventure continues next week!

Attack of the Pie-Horse-Cloud, a limerick

Hazy clouds float by,
Different things, eye to eye.
That one looks like a mule,
And that one a ghoul,
But gad, that ones a pie!

A hungry mouth floats close,
That pie will soon be toast!
But see, it morphs,
Into a horse,
And scares the mouth to the utmost!

The mouth turns and runs away,
Which for a cloud is quite a display.
It doesn’t have any legs,
And for ground, it would have to beg.
Such a pathetic getaway!

The horse tramples the mouth to death,
Barely giving it a last breath.
The mouth deteriorates,
White puffs evaporate,
While the horse snorts success.

The horse then stares at me,
Wonder what its interest could be?
Its trot turns quick,
And he’s chomping at the bit!
Run for it folks, he’s after me!