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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Chapter 13 - 5am


    The vicar and his flame waving party of easily lead clergymen, lay preachers and general unpaid godsbodies (I must remember that – it’ll make them roar at the club) were bearing down on us and we only just escaped before they set light to the family plot. Or tried to at least. I could’ve told them it wouldn’t work. Not only does stone not burn, that stone was drenched in the bodily fluids of uncouth people who let their bladders rule their heads so would burn even less efficiently than it would’ve if it could, which it couldn’t. I lead the escape party from the rear as the poor lighting, the damp ground, the threat of torch wielding maniacs, a lack of sleep, the dizziness caused by my near-drowning, the shock of doing something for charity, the peculiar cologne Melba chooses to wear and some sub-standard Bargainsave shoe laces meant I kept losing my footing and tripping over my feet. Or worse. It was only a time-hardened gusset that kept me from serious damage when I misjudged a cherub and scraped myself quite deeply on his upturned bow and arrow. Francois Devine didn’t let such trifling matters as gravestones and fences stand in his way as he tore through the cemetery. That which he judged he could jump, he jumped. The rest he merely demolished. Centuries of tradition were erased during that mad dash but we’d previously catalogued each and every gravestone and come to the learned conclusion that there was absolutely no one of any value buried there what so ever. Not that we would’ve exhumed the remains of any notables and put them in our cryogenic units. Certainly not. Such a suggestion in beneath contempt. Soaring electricity bills and a shortage of cryogenic extension units since the worldwide financial meltdown mean we have to be far more choosy about who and what we preserve these days. If the opportunity arose today, I can’t honestly say I’d even take Richard Hurndall’s corpse. Shocking I know but that’s the truth of it. Single episode appearances come very low down on the waiting list for space in our cryogenic necropolises. Francois Devine claims it’s necropoli but he’s wrong. He won’t admit he’s wrong and has even suggested we arm wrestle to prove he’s not wrong but he’s still wrong.

    We reached Brent Towers, snuck under the barbed wire fence (we’d approached it from the rear and had to accept the inconvenience that presents), entered the secret passage through the fake potting shed which the men who installed it insisted on kitting out as a functional potting shed, thus making it an actual potting shed rather than the fake potting shed I’d ordered, and were eventually safe and sound in the secure wing of the house. Nothing could get to us in the heart of my collection. Chesterton’s trousers to my right, Bush’s leggings to my left, a Zarbi’s leg in the case behind me and many hundreds of priceless objects around me to soothe my troubled and perspiring brow.

    “I’d forgotten how pokey it was in here” said Francois Devine as he surveyed my magnificent museum with a mixture of envy and stupidity.

    “Pokey?” I cried, failing in my goal of loft detachment.

    “Cramped, small, enclosed” he clarified. “And without the sense of awe and splendour that can often give a fairly tight room the grandeur its owner is striving for when he does his best with what he has.”

    “I’ll have you know that’s a genuine thread from the first cardigan Wright ever wore in Story A.1” I told him firmly.

    “Pah – I have two threads and a button. All with credentials too. Where are your credentials, Dennis Brent?”

    “I have the Master’s credentials from Story HHH” I boasted.

    “They were forged – everyone knows that – and if I owned such an item, which I chose not to since I was observing the auction in question, I would never be able to entirely rid myself of the thought that maybe they were forged copies of the forged originals. It would keep me awake at night, Dennis Brent, and you know how I need my six and three quarter hours each night or I become tetchy.”

    “You do, Francois Devine, if you have even a minute under your six and three quarter hours, you become crotchety.”

    “I believe I said tetchy not crotchety.”

    “I’ve always thought of you as crotchety.”

    “Well don’t.”

    “I won’t... if you stop being crotchety.”

    “I’m never crotchety. If you would keep the noise down after half past nine there would be no risk of my becoming tetchy. It is a simple enough request.”

    “Chaps” interrupted Melba.

    “Quiet, Melba” we both told him. We were having a disagreement and the last thing we wanted was Melba butting in to turn this into a threesome.

    “My forged credentials are genuine – they came with a certificate” I insisted.

    “I could never be sure” he retorted. “The certificate might be a forgery. It’s an ever more complicated spiral of potential deception, Dennis Brent, and not worth my time. Your time may be less in demand and thus you are able to own such a dubious object but, alas, mine is not.”

    We were never going to agree so I moved on.

    “Two thirds of Dent’s hair from the same production” I boasted. “Two thirds – by weight as well as by volume – and you cannot possibly dispute the historic and monetary value of that.”

    “True” he agreed, “but I own the other third, all three pairs of trousers he wore during the recording – including the ones with the slight stain on the left knee which has never been satisfactorily explained – and the original blue prints from which his hair was constructed.”

    “Blue prints? They’d be a mild curiosity – in a junkyard or otherwise”

    We three roared before I continued my point.

    “- but I have the scaffolding used to actually construct the hair.”

    “That might be of interest to the tabloid end of the telehistorical circuit but serious researchers would have little time for such a nebulous collection of miniature pipes and wiring.”

    “Chaps” said Melba again.

    “Quiet Melba” we repeated but this time he wasn’t so easily deflected.

    “I’ve just had a splendid idea” he continued.

    We looked at each other. Melba’s track record was somewhere below Byrne’s and we weren’t keen to have something as wretched as Story 6E (let alone 6L <g>) spoiling our fascinating technical discussion.

    “Speak” I said with a wave of the hand. “Briefly” I added.

    “We need to raise money, right?”

    “Yes” we agreed.

    “Rather urgently.”

    “Yes” we agreed again.

    “What if we went along to the Saturday morning car boot sale at the rugby club in an hour’s time…?”

    “Hmmm” we intoned.

    “…and sold a few of Dennis Brent’s collectables.”

    Francois Devine collapsed with an “Ak” at the suggestion while my head spun so much I had to loosen my tie a quarter of an inch and hold on to the glass case containing Morbius’s left knee to stop myself fainting completely. Sell objects from my collection? For charity?

    “Melba, if you want me, I’ll be retching into the fire bucket” I told him and I staggered off to do just that.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...


    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    “Quiet, Melba” we both told him. We were having a disagreement and the last thing we wanted was Melba butting in to turn this into a threesome.
    No, Dennis didn't just mention having a T.H.R.E.E.S.O.M.E with Francois & Melba did he!?

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