Scene 4: The post-modern face-off

Fade in. The music is maudlin, the colour leeched and the video grainy. Cue our hero, sat in a cafe in Dusseldorf…

The attempt to save Belgium, and by extension the world itself, is underway. It’s only slightly spoiled by the fact I got on the wrong train and ended up in Germany. Damn both my poor knowledge of european languages, and a ticket-agency convinced it knows my destination better than I.

espressoI only just escaped from a trap. Romaine Badger, the erstwhile benefactor of Sir Kenneth’s legacy and vast personal wealth, has her minions seeking me throughout the continent. Only last week I savagely resisted a young Badger’s attempt on my life when he tried to re-enact a scene from The Omen, only to realise that chasing me on a child’s tricycle had only minimal chances of making me fall to my doom over a balcony.

And what’s more, the staff of this cafe insist upon smiling at me in a friendly manner, which is crippling me emotionally. I cannot cope with the kindly and prompt service. I am English, and such efficiency and pleasance makes me suspicious.

I sip at my espresso. I really must find a train to Belgium. I feel waffles and other traditional images of Belgian culture nagging at me. When one is assailed by images of Hercule Poirot, you know you have a job to do.

I look at my vintage timepiece, given to me by the rotted corpse of H G Wells himself, and realise the time is approaching for action. Rising, I note with some alarm that a face I recognise appears around the corner. Romaine Badger herself. The face of a withered deer, an expression that curdled milk aspires to, and armed to the teeth with every manner of projectile weapon.

“______,” she says, calling out to me with her voice like a badly maintained Volkswagon Passat. “Don’t Push it. Don’t push it, or I’ll give you war you won’t believe. Let it go. Let it go!”

A quote from Rambo – First Blood. Damn she’s good. I respond in the only way possible, setting my thighs to inscrutable. I postured up as Romaine Badger approached, and said “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”

She visibly flinched. I’d dug up that Dumbledore quote as if from nowhere. She quailed, turning and running when she saw I was preparing a quote from The Lion King.

She’d be back, armed with better quotes – probably from Rocky or, perhaps, a bland Jennifer Aniston rom-com.

But I’d be ready.

Fade to ineffably ginger and with the words, “To be continued,” written, bizarrely, in Comic Sans font.


      1. Writing a ‘tome’, are you? Teasing. But what kind of word count are you going for? Just curious. I’m going to use you/your pace to get myself working on my stories, if you don’t mind. A little one-sided competition. 😉 I need some motivation, so keep posting your progress!

      2. A tome implies I might actually finish it. But I am in the luxurious position of just writing to see where it takes me. I have an over-arching story arch but no idea how to achieve it. At the moment my protagonist is just finding his feet, somewhat like me. Little tales within the big one. I am hoping I will be able to find a realistic ending to the first book (yes!) at something like 200k, but I imagine that could be scaled down by any editor worth their salt. Incidentally, I have no idea what that book one ending will be…a journey indeed…

      3. You’ll finish it. 🙂 And that is fun of writing…seeing where the stories take you, IMO. I always think I have a pretty good idea of where I want things to end but then I’m always surprised at how I get there! Usually not how I thought! Just more of the fun, right? I’m in awe of you people who can write sequels and series. I have too short of an attention span. 😉 Good work, anyway, jdaitken. I hope you post a bit of it sometime.

      4. The only reason I say it will be more books is because the pace is so bloody slow. I haven’t tried to do this before, so I can’t claim to be one of ‘you people’. It’d be nice though. You’ll be getting in the acknowledgements at this rate (he promises, knowing how unlikely publication is!).
        You want a snippet?

        “You Appertan Turilan Copperdak?”
        I winced. Nobody called me by my full name. Especially if you considered the rather embarrassing middle name, Turilan, the name of one of the ten master makers of ancient history (or myth, depending on your religious proclivities). Appertan Turilan Copperdak was too many syllables for one man. I preferred Apt. As the joke goes, I chose to be called Apt because it’s appropriate. It’s not a funny joke, I’ll admit, but one has to look at positives with a name like mine.

  1. Okay, let’s try this again. (iPhone retarded!)

    Really?! That would make me, like, semi-famous or something, right? 😉 I’m not ‘one of those people’. But that’s funny! I predict that you WILL be published- just as soon as you get that manuscript in the hands of a publisher. Sooner than I will be, for sure! You’re good, jdaitken. Thanks for sharing the snippet. 🙂


    1. Don’t get yer hopes up on the publication thing. I’m a realist if nothing else… Thank you for the kind words, They are only slightly hollow because the rest of the remaining 135k words are shash of the first order. Still, it stretches my creativity muscles!


      1. Oh! Taking it back ALREADY? 😉 Hmph. You sound more like a pessimist to me…but I understand the reasoning behind keeping your expectations low so that you don’t get disappointed – I tend to do that myself. Also, my kind words, or any of my words, for that matter, are never hollow because I don’t say things I don’t mean. I’d bet something bit that those 135 K are good, as well, and you’re just full of… it. 😉

    1. You never harass, CDF, or at least I never see it as such. I fear today my mind is unable to cope with the vast creative resources required to write my pithy posts. I shall ponder anon. or I might just do one shortly. The tension you may experience may be debilitating, but you shall cope! Regarding your interesting speeling, you would never witness me beeing so daft.


  2. Owe, gud! Sumthymes I teez two much and dohn’t no wen too stahp! Eyem sary ewe have lost yer mind. That happens too me two. Ewe shud luk under the cowch. I alweighs find mighn thair – along with the TV remoat! And dohn’t wurry about me beeing ‘tentz’ or distrot (knot shur if that’s wut ewe meant) cos eye am feeling chill and relackzed. Eye mite even taek a knap. I hoap ewe feel beddar sune. Eye no eye will knot bee righting a blogue post twoday eether. Eye mite have to steel ‘speeling’ ! That’s a gud won! (Dew ewe have a heedake, yit?) 😉


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