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  1. #1
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    Default Brenty Four 2013 - Chapter 6

    My pessimism was interrupted. Sadly, not by exciting new avenues in the field of telehistorical research but by luncheon which was doled out, to my surprise, by ninety-something year old borderline midget and character actor, Stanley Heritage of Adventures into Space fame. The elderly semi-dwarf pushed his trolley well for a man of such advanced years and when he asked me if I was having the milkshake he revealed himself to have a much deeper voice than one might’ve imagined.

    “No – mine is the small ham sandwich. The milkshake is for the invisible man over there” I said wittily. Francois Devine looked at Melba’s bandaged face and roared with appreciative laughter. Heritage appeared confused and looked round for something that wasn’t there.

    “I can’t see an invisible man” he said without richly comic irony. “Dunno what you’re talking about.”

    “I would’ve thought a man of your age would be above grammatical shortcuts and sloppiness” I said reproachfully.

    “You what?” he barked aggressively. I had no idea the elderly could be so abrupt. Well, obviously I know they can be as many is the toe I’ve had bruised by a tartan shopping trolley on pension day when I made the mistake of standing at the pedestrian crossing opposite the Post Office in Bendaton. Not that I blame them entirely for their haste as Mr Sluice, the post master, drinks heavily and has been known to run out of money shortly after Booze-o-Rama opens at 9.30. I understand people being brusque if there is money involved but Heritage was employed to do a job and all he could do was...

    I paused my brain while a thought struck me. It was just possible that my painkilling medication was affecting me again and that this oaf with the lunch trolley might not be Heritage.

    “Are you an hallucination?” I asked.

    “You what?” he barked again.

    “Did you play a light green skinned alien engineer whose skin colour pallet was chosen so you would appear to be pure grey on 405 line television sets?”

    “No.”

    “I thought not” I said even though, for a brief period, I had. “Prey continue with your tasks.”

    “Ham sandwich” he grunted as he tossed a plate with two slices of curled up bread and the merest sliver of ham onto the tray that neatly turned an ordinary bed into a fully functional office. A bed office in which I could (but had not yet got round to) write a series of fascinating technical journal articles on a number of intensely interesting subjects without ever needing to get up.

    “Thank...” I began but then I looked down and stopped in case he mistook my politeness for sarcasm. No one could be thankful for that meagre sandwich except perhaps for a rebellious Jew who wanted to commit a sin with the least possible effort.

    Melba’s milkshake was put in front of him and a fresh straw fitted to his facial apparatus. He sucked away, happy as Larry, until the liquid reached his blunted taste buds and he shuddered. Only Francois Devine seemed happy with his lot in life as Lorne Cossette, Stephen Dartnell, Ilona Rodgers and a second iteration of Stanley Heritage wheeled in trolleys piled high with delicacies from around the world, all skilfully prepared in enormous portions. I shook my head strongly and the cast of Adventures into Space blurrily transformed into four young people with glum faces and contempt for everyone they were paid to wait upon. Lola Whitecastle herself – or rather a functionary I momentarily mistook for a 1960s version of Lola Whitecastle – followed them in with a hamper and laid it down on a spare quarter of Francois Devine’s extra-large bed.

    “Compliments of someone called Mr White-Finger” she explained.

    “Wetfinger” corrected Francois Devine, “Mr Wetfinger of ‘Wetfinger’s Cosmic House of Pies’ in Bendaton. Have you been there perchance?”

    “Bendaton?”

    “Wetfinger’s Cosmic House of Pies.”

    “No.”

    “You’re missing out. It really is the most splendid pie shop in those portions of the world to which I have journeyed and within which I have eaten.”

    “There’s also a girl here to see one of you.”

    “Is it Leticia Wetfinger?”

    “I don’t know. Is her name Annabelle?”

    “No – it is Leticia” he said patiently.

    “Then it isn’t her.”

    Melba put his hand up and pointed to himself.

    “Is... she... here... to... see... you?” asked the woman as if Melba was mentally impaired.

    Melba nodded his encased head.

    “Is your name Melba?”

    He nodded again.

    “And you know someone called Annabelle?”

    He nodded for a third time. This woman was trying my patience and I wasn’t the one being cross examined.

    “Are you expecting her?”

    He nodded yet again.

    “I’ll show her in.”

    “If Leticia Wetfinger does put in an appearance, day or night, show her in” ordered Francois Devine. “Unless I am being bathed in which case please ask her to wait. I am a friend of the family but not that close a friend. Thank you.”

    She went out and a moment later in came what we both assumed to be this Annabelle female. It was most odd – Melba had never mentioned having a sister. She was not in the best humour.

    “Melba” she said angrily.

    He made a noise that was something like “Muh muh muh-muh-muh”.

    “Don’t you ‘hello Annabelle’ me” she snapped, apparently able to understand him when no one else could.

    “Are you related to Matthew Corbett?” I asked.

    “Shut up” she growled, leaving the question open and, to my mind, entitling me to ask it again later.

    “Muh muh, muh-muh-muh?”

    “I’ll tell you ‘what’s wrong Annabelle’, you two timing weasel, I’ve been looking at your blog.”

    Francois Devine and I looked at each other. Two-timing was an expression we’d heard when accidentally watching snippets of soap opera on television while waiting for our sensible recordings to begin playing. It normally meant that one person – usually male – had been having relations with not one but two females at the same time without either of them knowing about the other until the very point in their lives being dramatized for the viewers at home. This didn’t sound like the sort of thing anyone’s sister would say. We were fogged. I decided the only thing to do would be to ask her.

    “Francois Devine was wondering if you’re Melba’s sister” I said.

    “What?” she replied angrily.

    “Are you Melba’s sister?”

    “No – I’m his girlfriend, you morons.”

    “Girlfriend?” I goggled.

    “As in friend who happens to be a girl?” clarified Francois Devine.

    “As in his girlfriend. Or maybe ex-girlfriend if this two timing weasel doesn’t have a very good explanation as to how he came to be having breakfast with some woman.”

    “Melba – have you got a girlfriend?” I demanded, looking over my spectacles in a way that told him I wasn’t clowning around.

    “Muh” he replied sheepishly. We looked at him not knowing what that meant.

    “He said 'yes'” explained Annabelle.

    “Did you have breakfast with a different fem... woman?”

    “Muh.”

    “Yes” added Annabelle.

    “Who was she?”

    “Muh-muh muh-muh-muh.”

    “Someone called 'Lola Whitecastle'” she spat angrily.
    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...

    #dammitbrent



    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
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    Melba has a G-I-R-L-friend!! What ever next?

  3. #3
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    You might have to wait to find out. Wifey admitted to hospital* this evening after a day in A&E so I'm not at home to post the next exiting instalment.

    *not life threatening - just for observation.
    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...

    #dammitbrent



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

  4. #4
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    Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. No worries getting the next couple up. Just as & when you can. No rush. Just keep taking care of yourself & "Wifey".

  5. #5
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    Hope everything is ok Lissa.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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