Pressing Matters -- A Pub Crawl

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Dryadia2
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Postby Dryadia2 » 30 Jan 2006, 18:33

...that the scandalous photograph was missing, and in it's place was a 'ransom note', with instructions for Crow to meet the 'anonymous' person at a designated time and place!

In the meantime...

Dryadia decided to pay a visit to Lorraine at her B&B, since no one had seen her in several days.  On her way, she stopped by the pastry shop to pick up 'a tasty treat' for Lorraine.  Not knowing anything about the local delicacies, she asked the 'gal' behind the counter to 'choose something yummy'.

Upon arriving at 'The Wayward Druid Bed & Breakfast', Dryadia saw a sign in the window that read:  "Temporarily Closed".  So Dry went around to the backdoor, and knocked.  She could see Lorraine thru the kitchen window, and waved.  Lorraine, (with red-nose and tear-stained face), opened the door.

"What's the matter?  Are you OK?" inquired Dryadia.

"No, I'm NOT OK!"  wailed Lorraine.  "Ever since that wretched article in The Pagan Press, [sob, sniff], my life and my business are ruined!"

"But you had customers lined up for blocks outside your door." Dry responded with a perky voice.

"They were lined up for [sniff, sniff] the wrong reasons!" sobbed Lorraine.  "I run a legitimate, clean business here!" "I'm not 'that kind' of girl!"

"Everyone knows you're not." "It can't be that bad." assured Dry, as she handed Lorraine the bag that contained the pastry treat.

"What's this?" inquired Lorraine.

"Just a little sumpthin' to cheer you up."  Dry said with a smile.

Lorraine opened the bag; and as she peered inside, her expression went from thankful, to horrified, and began to cry!

Rather shocked at the unexpected disappointment, Dryadia asked, "Did I do something wrong?"

"It's a 'TART'!"  "What were you implying?" wailed Lorraine.

Dryadia shrugged, not knowing that the pastry had a 'double meaning'.  

"I was just trying to..." Dryadia's sentence was intrupted by the front door bell.

"Go Away!" Lorraine shouted, then buried her face in her apron and sobbed.

Dry tried to console her, but was aparently making things worse.  She didn't have a clue what to do next, and wondered who was ringing at the front door...
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

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Lora
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Postby Lora » 30 Jan 2006, 20:02

“Don’t you think you should answer that doorbell?” ventured Dryadia.

“No.  Most definitely not!  It’ll only be yet another ‘punter’ in a dirty mackinstosh, asking me me what ‘special services’are on offer or what ‘extras’ are available on my breakfast menu,” said Lorraine, thinking of Seeker.

“Well, if it helps any, I could answer the door for you...” said Dryadia, thinking that customers in dirty mackintoshes could be good for business - her dry cleaning business, of course.

“Do what you like, but tell them I’m not open for business in any meaning of the word!” said Lorraine.  With a sweep of her apron, and a muttered ‘Tart?  I’d have though she’d have known what one is’, she flounced away, through her back door, out past the squashed katnip plants and the massed petunias.  Stressed out though she was, she recognised that it was time to seek guidance from Nature... and more specifically, from her special tree.

While some Ovates have graceful willows, or majestic yews to talk to, the B&B propretress had a sycamore with attitude to converse with.  And he was not in the most gracious of moods today.

Before she could air her dirty linen in public, the sycamore tree spoke first.  “Here, get these notices from rival establishments off my back, will you?  They’re annoying me.  Drawing pins give me the itch.  It’s even worse than the time I got covered in those stupid ribbons for Beltane.”

“Stupid?  What on Gaia do you mean?”  Lorraine said, slightly hurt.  “I thought they looked lovely!  I took hours - no, days - colour-coordinating those ribbons with my hanging baskets, I’ll have you know!”

“Pah.  What a waste of time that was!  Bloody stupid bloody ribbons...colour coordinated?  I don’t think so... and why do all druids have two left feet when they’re dancing the maypole?”

As the sycamore grumbled on, and on, and on, the landlady circled around his trunk, widdershins, until she reached the side facing the fence.  There were the notices, clustered in bright lurid colours she would never have allowed anywhere near her tasteful and fully colour-coordinated B&B.  

She let out a shriek (she does that quite a lot, you may have noticed).

“What’s this?”

“Notices from rival establishments.  Didn’t you hear me the first time?”

“But... but... they’re...”

Dear reader, you might have guessed that the notices were not advertising other B&Bs.  That alone would have been enough to offend Lorraine, but this was far worse.  No, they were rather more like the postcards you tend to get in callboxes - advertising the very same ‘special services’ that her new clientele had been enquiring about.

“Sexy French Maid... Busty  Blonde... Lady Nimue’s House of Correction?  Seeker, gigolo for hire?  Really!  That’s... that’s... disgusting!”  

She ripped the postcards up into a thousand pieces.

The tree interrupted.  “Ahem.... it’s considerate of you to sit here making mulch for me, but don’t you think you should attend to that commotion going on in the B&B?”

Lorraine looked up from her  shredding.  “Commotion?  What commotion?”

The back door burst open, and then.....
Last edited by Lora on 31 Jan 2006, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Crow
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Postby Crow » 30 Jan 2006, 21:54

On the pavement outside Dryadia’s Dry Cleaning, Crow rifled through the collection of mail. There were fan letters from young starlings, a swan or two, and even one from the Hawk of Dawn, but the one letter he sought, the large envelope with the incriminating photo, was gone.

And then Crow’s journalistic instincts took over: This was no mere accident on the part of a laundry delivery cloud. No, something here was rotten in Denmark. Who had sent him the photo to begin with? And who did Moon Cloud work for?

The reporter knew that without the photographic evidence that he had seen, he lacked the key ingredient necessary to blow this entire story right out of the water. At last, he knew, the coveted Paganzer Prize was almost within his grasp.  But first, he had to get back the photograph, discover who had sent it and why it had been stolen away.

He took wing and headed uptown, toward OBOD Towers. His instincts told him that whoever was behind this, they had connections in high places.

Still soaring high above the street, he looked down and saw Damh and Phlipp Phlopp exit through the OBOD Towers' revolving door and go running stiff-leggedly down the street. Again, Crow’s instincts took over, and he followed the two druids.  He sat on a lamp post and watched as they waited at a bus stop, then saw them hitch at themselves and climb painfully up the stairs to the bus when it arrived. Crow followed the red double-decker bus as it followed its route through the busy streets. The reporter checked at every stop to see that the druids did not exit the vehicle.

Finally, near the docks, he saw Damh and Phlipp Phlopp ease gingerly out the door and hobble across the street to a large building made of rusting corrugated steel.  A light flickered in the reporter’s mind when he read the sign on top of the building, written in big orange letters:

Selene’s it said.

Crow whistled, which was difficult with his beak.  Selene, as everyone knew, ran the biggest fishmonger operation on the entire coast. With factories on three continents, Selene's was one of the world’s leading suppliers of cat food.

All of a sudden Lorraine’s involvement with the man in the photograph began to make sense.

Crow wondered what would happen next …

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Postby Lora » 30 Jan 2006, 22:39

Selene sighed and asked her receptionist to show Phlipp and Damh the Bard to her room.  It was rare that she saw the two druids, for her own offices, whilst efficiently-run, did not have the pleasant and luxurious feel of OBOD Towers.  She’d been meaning to decorate for quite some time, but the cat-food canning business kept her rushed off her paws.  

So it was that Damh and Phlipp walked with great care over the tattered, claw-scratched lino which led into the CEO’s office.

“Greetings!” said Phlipp, brightly enough, but with a slightly pained expression on his face.

Selene greeted them in return.  She didn’t like to ask...  no, she had to.  “Have you both taken up druid yoga?”  There could be no other explanation for the peculiar wide-legged stance that the two druids were adopting in unison.

“There’s no such thing”, said Damh.  He too looked a little strained.  “Now, dryad yoga is another matter entirely...”

“Now now, let’s forget about that, said Phlipp.  “No, my dear Selene, I have to confess that we’re standing like this because we are experiencing a little difficulty with our codpieces.”

“Cod pieces?” said Selene, mystified.  She had thought this might be a social visit, or else perhaps a serious and stimulating discussion of druidry.  She had not thought that their concerns would be about her business.    “Oh, I understand.  I understand perfectly.”

“You do?” said Damh, who looked rather surprised.

“Yes.  You’re concerned about the environmental impact of my business, particularly in the light of worldwide cod stocks declining.  Rest assured that I’ve done a full environmental audit, and all of the cod we use in our most popular brand, Kat Lady's Krispy Kod Pieces, is sourced from sustainable fisheries.”
She winced slightly.  She'd never wanted to go with that brand name, but the marketing department had insisted.  

“Sustainable fisheries?  That’s very commendable of you, Selene... very commendable indeed!" said Phlipp, wincing for reasons of his own.  "However, there is another little matter we’re here to discuss...”
Last edited by Lora on 01 Feb 2006, 23:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Underground River » 31 Jan 2006, 04:01

GD finished washing the last load of her shift at 5:00PM. She finally left Dryadia's DryCleaning and went home. On the way, she took a wrong turn and ended up walking toward the docks. She was really curious about this part of town, but she had never gotten round to visiting. She listened hard, trying to hear the sea but heard only men talking and cars moving. What kind of beach is this when everybody is so loud, she tought grumpily. Doesn't anybody have respect for Mother Sea around here? She walked on further until she felt wood underfoot. She figured she was on a dock. She walked a bit more, trying to hear the waves...and stepped off the dock...into...not the sea...some strange building...she heard voices from a nearby room. Quickly, she adjusted her hearing aids to hear better. Two men and one woman. Selene, and two druids. They were talking about cod or catfood or Kat-Lady? She wasn't sure exactly what they said.
Suddenly, the door flew open behind her and a huge shape rocketed over her head...she thought it was a bird of some kind...possibly a crow because she only knew Crow to come at moments when interesting things happened...darn reporters, she thought. Who is he going to write about now? Me? :wink:
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Postby Crow » 31 Jan 2006, 18:51

Crow gestured for Green Druid to follow him into an empty office across the hall from Selene’s, but then remembering that the blind bard couldn’t see him, he whispered, “Pssst! Green Druid, in here!” He extended a wing and guided her into the office.

“Watch and learn something,” the old reporter whispered.

“But I can’t see!” Green Druid hissed back.

“Er, well, listen then … you know what I mean.”

“But why should I want to help you anyway?”

Green Druid had him there, and Crow knew it. But thinking quickly, he gave an answer that seemed to satisfy her for the present: “Because I said so!” The argument settled, they both turned their attention back to the meeting among Phlipp Phlopp, Damh and Selene.

“Yes, as I was saying,” said Phlipp Phlopp to Selene, “I believe there’s something dodgy going on at Dryadia’s Dry Cleaning.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand,” said Selene. “First off, you said this was about cod pieces, and now you say it’s about dry cleaning, which has absolutely nothing to do with me. Gentlemen, if it’s all right with you, I’m very busy today and …”

“I apologize …”

“That’s apologise,” said Damh. “Remember, Phlipp, we’re English.”

“Ah, right you are as usual, Damh. As I was saying, I apologise because I see now that this must be very confusing to you. So if it feels right …”

“Blimey, Phlipp, stop with the touchy-feely gwers-speak, will you?” said Damh.

“Oh, right again Damh,” said Phlipp. “As I was saying, I wish to apologise because I see now that this must be very confusing to you. So let me try to explain how we think all these things, codpieces and dry cleaning and fishing, are related.”

“I’m all ears,” said Selene.

“You see, it all started for us yesterday when we were toweling off from the hot tub and we had no codpieces.”

“But they’re available all over town in your grocer’s freezer section,” interrupted Selene.

“What? That might feel nice in summer, but it’s practically Imbolc here now, although I suppose for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere it might be quite nice.  But at the grocer’s? Whatever would codpieces be doing there?” asked Damh.

“Where else would you expect to find cod pieces?” asked Selene. “At the apothecary, perhaps?”

“My gods!” exclaimed Phlipp. “At last I understand the confusion! No, woman, not cod pieces, codpieces! Take the space out!”

“Oh!” said Selene. “You mean a pouch, especially a conspicuous and decorative one, attached to a man's breeches or close-fitting hose to cover the genitals, worn in the 15th and 16th centuries.”

“That’s it exactly!” said Phlipp. “My gods, you are a prime Ovate, aren’t you, to divine my meaning!  You’re working on Gwers 27, aren’t you?”

“How did you know?”

“Never mind,” said Phlipp, “that’s not important right now. What’s important is that after Damh and I got out of the hot tub, we had no clean codpieces and soon learned that they had all been sent to Dryadia’s Dry Cleaning, but the return delivery was delayed. It was then that we saw the latest edition of The Pagan Press and learned that the very shop where our codpieces had been sent, as well as some other businesses in the Downs, had been involved in some sort of sex scandal. Well, we asked a few questions at The Foggy Duck that evening, but could get nowhere with our inquiries. The next day, however, after another soak in the hot tub, we found that our codpieces had arrived, but we had stiffies …”

“I don’t want to know about that,” said Selene.

“No, what I mean,” said Phlipp Phlopp, is that our codpieces had gone all stiff.”

“Hard as a rock,” said Damh.

“And that’s why you’re both standing like that?” asked Selene.

“Quite right,” said Phlipp Phlopp. “Now, to continue, we donned our codpieces and staggered out of the locker room, and that’s when he spoke.”

“Uh, who spoke?” asked Selene.

“The Salmon of Wisdom,” Damh said.

“The Salmon of Wisdom was in one of your codpieces?” asked Selene.

“No, how absurd!” said Phlipp. “The Salmon of Wisdom was still swimming in the hot tub!”

“Oh of course, how foolish of me, said Selene, “pray continue. …”

“Right-o. The Salmon of Wisdom said it appeared from our gait that there was something fishy going on.”

“Something fishy?” asked Selene.

“Yes, he said that he could tell that something fishy was going on, and that if we’d just throw our nuts into the water, that he could scry from the ripples and perhaps help us get to the bottom of this.”

“So you got undressed again and got into the hot tub so that the fish could scry from the ripples that your nuts made?” asked Selene.

“No! Woman, you have a one-track mind, don’t you?” said Phlipp. “Our hazelnuts, is what he meant of course, and so Damh here did a brilliant job of throwing the dish of hazelnuts into the hot tub, and the Salmon of Wisdom scried the ripples.”

“I see,” said Selene, “and what did he tell you?”

Just then in the office across the hall, Crow stepped forward a little in order to hear better, and he stepped on Green Druid’s foot. Green Druid cried out, then clapped her hand over her mouth.

“What was that noise?” asked Damh.

“I don’t know, said Selene, "but it came from my partner’s office, and he’s out of town on business.”

As footsteps approached their hiding place, Crow looked for an escape, but there was no other exit, not even a window.  He wondered what would happen next …
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“You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.” ~ Edward Abbey

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Postby Underground River » 31 Jan 2006, 19:47

Selene flipped on an orange light, and the office was a-wash in the pumpkin glow. "I see the light!" screamed GD in amazement. "I can't see anything else, just the light!"
Her scream stopped Selene and the two druids in their tracks, allowing Crow to wing out the door over their heads.
Crow hid himself, while GD faced the enraged ovate and druids.
"So it was you!" screamed Selene. "Letting that reporter in here to spy on us! I thought you had more sense than a codpiece, but I see now that you want us all plastered over the Pagan Press, looking like complete fools!"
"I'm sorry, Selene," mumbled GD. "I walked in here while trying to find the sea to go and worship her. Crow flew in behind me and dragged me in here, then stepped on my foot while he was moving closer to listen. Silly bird could have flown over my head to hear better, but no, he has to step on my new shoes with those sharp tallons of his. Now could you please turn off that light! It's blinding me!"
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Postby Pixie Fay » 31 Jan 2006, 20:14

Because GD is such a nice member of the ensemble cast, Selene obliged and turned out the orange light.  As they were all standing there waiting for their eyes to adjust, Selene asked Phlippe what the Salmon of Wisdom had scried from their nuts. As Phlippe was about to respond, they noticed a slight disturbance in the air around them and suddenly Phlippe and Damh let out simultaneous yelps.  All of a sudden Pixie Fay announced in her cackling, crackling fashion, “My good friend Salmmy, revealed my secret fixation for stiff codpieces!! I like to make necklaces out of them and sell them in head shops in the US.”  As their eyes adjusted they saw her fumble bumble slapstick comedy rumble out the door, codpieces in hand, laughing wildly!!

Selene, Phlippe, and Damh all looked at each other, as GD said, “I knew this was gonna’ get out of control sooner or later!!”  

But Phlippe said, “No that’s not what The Salmon of Wisdom really said, that was just Pixie up to her usual antics.  Let’s go somewhere where we can talk privately…”

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Postby Underground River » 31 Jan 2006, 20:44

The bard, ovate, and two druids walked out of the building and toward obod towers...
Crow followed at a discrete distance high in the sky.
When the arrived, Crow sneaked in through the open window of the room with the hottub. He knew what the others did not about obod towers, that the window near the tub was always open, to allow cool breezes to blow on to the sky-clad druids...
Luckily for him, the room was empty. He hid himself in a locker stuffed with towels.
Flip, Damh Selene, and GD all arrived and climbed the stairs to the great hottub room. GD was too shy to go sky-clad, so she put on a black bathing suit and sat in the hot water. They all began to talk again...
GD
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Postby Crow » 31 Jan 2006, 22:01

It was one of the strangest scenes in the history of OBOD pub crawling, and one that Crow hoped never to see again, Damh, Phlipp, Selene and the Salmon of Wisdom were all skyclad in the hot tub, while Green Druid frolicked in a black bathing suit, and the hazelnuts bobbed on the surface of the roiling waters.

“Move over, you’re blocking my view,” whispered Pixie Fay, who Crow discovered was also hiding in the locker.  Together, they listened as the bathers talked.

“I call upon the Salmon of Wisdom to tell us what he knows,” said Phlipp.

The salmon reared his head in the middle of the hot tub and began to speak in that particular monotone which everyone who has ever spoken with a salmon is well acquainted.

“It all began when Lorraine, the moderator of the Greening Gaia forum, was buying fertilizer made from fish meal for her gardens. She was buying tons, whoops, tonnes of the stuff, and she was purchasing it from Selene’s, which as everyone knows is the world’s largest seller of fish-meal-based fertilizers.”

“Nothing’s wrong with that,” said Selene. "Fish-meal fertilizer is a legitimate business, and we only fish from sustainable fisheries!”

“Not exactly,” said the Salmon of Wisdom.

“I have learned from the ripples that your fleet has been overfishing off the coast of Denmark.”

In the locker, Crow said softly to Pixie Fay, “I knew there was something rotten in Denmark!”

“Shhhh,” said Pixie Fay. “Listen!”

“Lorraine also found out about this environmental crime, and she threatened to raise the alarm.”

“But I’ve never heard anything about this,” said Selene.

“That’s because Lorraine worked with your hidden partner, Tony Blair,” replied the Salmon of Wisdom.

In the locker, Crow could barely contain himself. “Tony Blair!” he whispered to Pixie Fay. “He was the man getting intimate with Lorraine in the photograph that was then stolen from me!”

Back in the hot tub, Selene exclaimed, “Tony, that scoundrel! He never told me about any of this, I swear it!”

“Oh we believe you, Selene,” said Damh. “But pray let the Salmon of Wisdom continue.”

The Salmon gulped down a hazelnut, then continued. “When Lorraine found out about this scandal, she confronted Tony Blair, and Tony Blair threatened Lorraine with the destruction of her business if she exposed his duplicity.”

Feeling a little exposed herself, Selene pulled a towel off the nearby rack and draped it strategically around her shoulders while the Salmon of Wisdom continued to speak.

“Tony Blair conceived of a plot to discredit Lorraine’s Wayward Druid Bed and Breakfast by creating a sex scandal in The Foggy Downs that also involved Dryadia’s Dry Cleaning. Poor Lorraine, her business is almost ruined because of this.”

In the locker, Crow was thinking, What about the picture? What about the picture? What about the picture?

But before he could learn the answer, there was a shriek from down the hall.  It was Lorraine, and she was being pushed roughly into the room by the downstairs security guard, Lady Nimue.

Crow wondered what would happen next …
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Postby Lora » 31 Jan 2006, 23:39

“There’s no need to be quite so masterful”, protested Lorraine.  “Or mistressful, for that matter!  I know all about you and your ‘House of Correction’ but there’s no need to mix business and, er, business!”

“Silence, prisoner!”  thundered Lady Nimue.  Everyone in the room raised their eyebrows so far they almost hit the ceiling.  Being appointed as a security guard had changed Lady Nimue’s personality radically.  “I know all about you and Tony Blair, felon!”

Lorraine would have let out another shriek of outrage, but realised that she’d exhausted her yearly quota, rather like the fishing limits in Denmark.

“Unhand her,” said a deep male voice.  

Everyone looked around.  Could it be that Tony Blair himself had arrived on the scene to explain himself?  Unlikely, and besides, the voice was completely wrong.  It wasn’t slightly anxious or excitable.  Not “if-you-vote-for-me-I’ll-do-anything-absolutely-anything-honest!”  It was oddly calming, like the voice of a really good therapist.  Phlipp had to double-check that he wasn’t the one who had spoken.

In walked Pobble, followed by Dryadia, Dair Cuin, and Merlyn.

“Ah, Dryadia!” said Phlipp, hopefully.  “How kind of you to drop by.  Have you managed to rectify that little problem with the starch and bring us some rather more comfortable and, ahem, flexible replacements?”

“No yet,” said Dry.  “My dry cleaning business is temporarily closed.  We had some more pressing matters to attend to.”
Everyone groaned.

What about the picture?  Crow thought from inside the cupboard.  In his frustration, (doubled by the way Pixie Fay kept elbowing him out of the way to see through the keyhole), he was unaware that he was voicing his thoughts aloud.  

“What about the picture?” squawked the cupboard.

“Impressive,” said Dryadia.  “It’s one thing motivating a dryad to stick around in a wand, it’s quite another to ask them to hang around in a piece of furniture which is stuffed with towels and codpieces.”  

“That’s no dryad,” said Lorraine, pointing at the cupboard.  “And I’ll wager there are none of those... things stuffed in there, either.  That voice sounds like Crow, the one who started all this trouble!  He’s probably hiding in there, hoping for yet another exclusive!”

Lady Nimue sprang forward to flip the door open with her truncheon, hoping to make another ‘arrest’.  

“Don’t all look at me.” said Crow as he emerged with Pixie Fay.  “Sure I wanted a story, who wouldn’t?  But I didn’t start all this.  It wasn’t me who ended up being caught in a clinch with Tony Blair!”

“But... but... but... nor was I!” shouted Lorraine, stamping her foot.  “There was NO CLINCH!  I don’t ever remember Tony Blair getting me in that... that... POSITION!”  

Phlipp sighed discreetly.  Was this the calibre of Ovates these days?  Hadn’t she done Gwers 107 yet?  Surely it would help with her ‘anger management issues?’

Pobble’s ears pricked  up.  Position?  What position?  He only wondered out of professional interest, of course.

Crow’s feathers were ruffled by the discovery of his hiding place, but something else was troubling him... something at the back of his mind.  Why, on the brink of finding out everything, did he feel he should be somewhere else?  

Selene rearranged her towel once more.  “Now that we are all assembled here, can we hear the whole story from your perspective, Lorraine?  If you start over at the beginning, we might be able to piece together how and when this picture was taken.”

The seconds ticked by as Lorraine steeled herself to explain absolutely all the details of her meeting with Mr Blair from the very beginning, without getting annoyed or uttering a single shriek.  

There was a large grandfather clock on the wall opposite.  Or ‘ancestor-clock’ if you prefer.  Tick-tock...tick...tock.

Odd, Crow thought.  How odd to have a clock here, in OBOD Towers.  He thought everything always ran on ‘druid time’.  Maybe it was set wrongly on purpose, in that case.  Time... something important about time.  He suddenly let out a squawk.  
He had an appointment with the one who had sent him the ransom note for the photo, and time was running out!
But who could it be?  Surely Tony Blair would not risk a meeting.  He would have an accomplice, surely, but who?  Everyone else was assembled here in OBOD Towers.

He thought again.

Everyone was assembled here apart from just two people.

A certain lunar cloud, and a druid turned professional gigolo...

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Postby Seeker » 01 Feb 2006, 01:00

"Drat and tarnation...it's cold out here!"  (maybe I've been hanging around with that old Billy Bob too much...starting to sound like him.)

That's the last time I'm going to agree to a meeting at this late hour and under this old oak! The oak was friendly enough...in fact, maybe a little too friendly! Just then, Seeker realized one of his posters was clinging to the north side of this matronly old oak. Then he caught wind of what sounded like giggling..and he jumped when the tree branch pinched him!

He sighed "It was a lot easier in the old days. Here I thought I could start the old business up again but so far...not even one call! Wait...there was that one call...just a lot of laughing...and purring at the other end."

Should have used an older photo in the advertisement...not that he wasn't still a striking figure...but the tights may have been a bit too much.

"Where is that feathered bird-brain? If I have to sleep with a hot water bottle again tonight because of my aching bones acting up...somebody is going to get a taste of my wrath!!!" Just then he felt another pinch from the old oak...

Sigh...
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
Matsuo Basho

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Postby Ruthie » 01 Feb 2006, 02:00

The sun had set, and Moon Cloud was on her last round of delivery for the afternoon. Lorriane's fresh aprons were all neatly starched and folded in her satchel, marked with a picture of a house. Few humans know how confusing it can be to follow streets from above. There are no street signs, and so the laundry delivery cloud had to navigate by trees. She learned little rhymes to bring her to her various destinations, but as the day drew to a close, she remembered the wrong rhyme.

Left two yew, and three beith be, oakey dokie, rowan tree.
Ash to apple, right at pine, tickle heather, doing fine.
rows of rose, and pansy faces, ivy homes Lorraine's space is.

She mixed up Pobble's directions with Lorraine's after the pine. Hey, it'd been a long day. And she got delayed at the Pagan Press when Crow refused to hand over his cleaning. That was one dirty bird. What on this green Earth he had put in that satchel she had no idea, but it stank! Probably saved up for a couple weeks. What he didn't know, was Dryadia's charged by the pound, partly because this WAS Britain, after all, and partly because Dry had experience with the pagan type. They didn't turn lead into gold anymore, they turned currency into rubber and stretched it about as far as it would go. So her fee schedule was based on weight.

Moon Cloud had a go herself through the washing machine after returning with Crow's satchel. There must have been twenty different perfumes coming out that sack. She wondered if Mrs. Crow was really that fickle, or if that photo Crow had tried to hide so quickly in his office could prove deliciously incriminating. Ah yes, a case of the pot calling the kettle black - or the bird, in this case, and he certainly was black!

It was she who had artfully stolen the photo. The old creeping puddle distraction never got old. This thought gave her a chuckle, and she let fly with a little round of hailstones. She'd be paying out her wage for those seventeen windows in OBOD Towers for months, she was sure.

But wait! This wasn't Lorraine's, and it wasn't Pobble's, either. She must have taken a wrong turn someplace. She recognised the sea, and flying lower, she caught whiff first of the fishy smell, and just a moment later saw the big orange sign announcing

Selene's Piscine Pleasure Palace: Cod Pieces Our Speciality. Kippers R Us round the rear.

That was just about enough to ruin any delivery cloud's day. Lorraine would never stand for fish smelling aprons, and they'd have to be re-laundered. Moon Cloud would have to be re-laundered, too. She sighed blue skittles all around the pavement, and settled in for a good cry into the sea.

Suddenly, there was a "psst" next to her. She turned away, thinking someone was also uh, finding relief by the seaside, but the "psst" became more insistent, and came round to face her.

"You're Moon Cloud, aren't you," the dark hooded figure asked.

By now, she was in a very foul mood, facing three hours' unpaid overtime on the aprons. The delivery cloud replied scornfully "was that a guess, or did you read my name off my shirt?"

"I've been waiting for you. I have something you need. Please come with me."

The figure lurched forward, as though it wasn't one entity at all, but rather a collection of many littler bodies, straight into Selene's Piscine Pleasurehouse.

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Postby Midnightpentacle125 » 01 Feb 2006, 02:13

The hooded figure told moon cloud that he knew her, and that he has somthing for her. Swiftly the hooded figure ran twords moon cloud glomping her on sight !
The hood fell off to reveal...

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Postby Ruthie » 01 Feb 2006, 02:18

a dark and mysterious wizard, with an oddly youthful face!

Of course Moon Cloud knew him. And happily the two danced together into Selene's, having completely forgotten all about Lorriane's aprons.

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Underground River
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Postby Underground River » 01 Feb 2006, 04:26

Lol you guys...
Just as Lorraine was about to start telling her tale, there was a loud meow from the doorway and in walked...you guessed it, Kat-Lady!
"Hi, Kat Lady," said GD. Then turning to Flip she said "Sorry about the codpieces, Flip. I mistakenly put them in the starch because I didn't see the sign saying no starch."
GD
I love you...
Je t'aime...
Ik hou van jou...
:ghug:

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Postby Crow » 01 Feb 2006, 20:52

After flying over the bikini-clad Green Druid and exiting through the tub-room window at OBOD Towers, Crow flew through the gathering gloom, hoping he wouldn’t be too late for his meeting.

Despite the explanations he’d heard about Tony Blair’s involvement in the fish-meal-fertilizer business and his plan to discredit Lorraine and ruin her business, there was that photograph.  And Crow remembered that in the photograph, Lorraine had looked like anything but an unwilling participant in the amorous clinch with the well-tanned and handsome Tony Blair.

Up ahead in the moonlight he saw an old oak tree, the one that the caller on the phone had mentioned.  He landed in a top branch and shooed away the pinching dryad. Looking down through the bare limbs, he saw an old codger waiting. The man muttered once, and Crow, with his photographic memory honed by years of experience in the reporting business, recognized the voice of Seeker, the man who had arrived at the dry-cleaning shop and interrupted the tryst between Lorraine and the nefarious Pobble.

So many men, so little time, Crow thought about Lorraine.

He flew down to the ground, and cocked his head at Seeker, who started at his sudden arrival.

“Okay, where’s my picture?” asked Crow. “Moon Cloud stole it, and I don’t know how you got your hands on it, but I’m guessing the two of you are in cahoots.”

“Not at all, you black-hearted miscreant,” said Seeker, "and I don’t have the photograph, but I do have some information. Relax. I’m on your side, as much as it pains me to admit.”

“What? Who are you and who do you work for?”

“I’m Seeker of course, you know that. Unlike most in this business, I use my own name; it’s the last thing anyone would believe, but it’s true.  And as for who I work for, I work for the Federation of Underground Cod Protectors.”

Thank the gods, Crow thought, that was one acronym I almost couldn’t have used in this story.

“FUCP?” asked Crow. “I’ve never heard of that group.”

“Of course you haven’t, you fool. That’s why it’s underground, or underwater, or something. But members are sworn to defend cod wherever they are oppressed.”

“I see. But what does any of that have to do with the stolen photograph, and Lorraine’s apparent duplicity, on the one hand allegedly threatening to turn in Tony Blair, and on the other hand, in a clinch with him?”

“Lorraine’s on our side,” said Seeker. “She’s been a FUCPer for years! I’ve been going around The Foggy Downs for the past several weeks in the guise of an old pervert just to try and protect Lorraine, as her life is in danger for exposing Tony Blair!”

“But the photograph …”

“Damn and blast the photograph,” thundered Seeker, “haven’t you ever heard of Photoshop? The thing is a fake! I’ve seen the original. It’s a photo of Lorraine hugging her beloved sycamore tree, but somebody got hold of it and doctored it to insert Tony Blair, so that when she tried to expose him, she would be revealed as nothing more than a jilted lover with an ax to grind. In truth, the woman hates Blair. Now, thanks to you, the word is out that Lorraine’s some sort of trollop. But the truth is that if Pagans had saints, she’d be one, though personally I have a soft spot in my heart for trollops, too.”

“Then it must have been you who was behind the stealing of the photograph, since you didn’t want me to write about it. That laundry-delivery cloud must be a FUCPer too!”

“No. The photo was stolen because the more chance you have to examine it, the clearer it becomes that it’s a fake. They wanted you to have a look, and then they stole it back before you could see the truth.”

“Who’s ‘they?’ Who stole the photo? Who’s the laundry-delivery cloud work for?”

“That’s no laundry-delivery cloud, son. That was Moon Cloud. Think about that name a second and you’ll see who she really is and who she works for.”

Crow thought and thought, his feathered brain close to bursting. Finally he had to admit, “I just don’t get it.”

Finally Seeker filled in the blanks.

“Don’t you see the double o’s? She’s an agent. 00N. She works for Blair, and think, think man, what other holdings does Blair have other than Selene’s fish business?”

“My god, I’d forgotten,” said Crow. “He’s part owner of The Pagan Press! Blair’s been using me along, feeding me clues and getting me to write stories that divert attention from the real story that you FUCPers rightly want told!”

“Be careful around Moon Cloud,” advised Seeker. “Behind that happy-go-lucky image, she’s a stone killer!”

Crow gulped, knowing this was the biggest threat he’d faced since Mrs. Crow bought a new marble rolling pin.

What could he do? If he wrote about the photograph, as clearly Blair and Moon Cloud wanted him to, then innocent people would continue to be harmed, not to mention the severely oppressed cod.  But if he wrote the truth about a part owner of The Pagan Press, he likely would be fired from his job.

He flew back toward OBOD Towers, hoping the window would still be open, and hoping even more that the Salmon of Wisdom would have some more answers.
Last edited by Crow on 01 Feb 2006, 21:55, edited 1 time in total.
Image
“You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.” ~ Edward Abbey

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Seeker
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Postby Seeker » 01 Feb 2006, 21:51

Small Commercial Break!!

Master Crow...I must bow to your superior writing skills! :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  Fantastic...but, where can I get a bumper sticker and badge that says

"I'm a FUCPer...have been for years!"

Does this come in one of our future OBOD packets?


Now back to our regularly scheduled Pub Crawl...
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
Matsuo Basho

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Postby Ruthie » 02 Feb 2006, 02:09

Inside the darkened cannery, the mysterious and surprisingly youthful wizard showed Moon Cloud what he had summoned her for.

"It's a magic box," she giggled, "it glows!"

"It's called a computer, and yes, it is magic," he answered, "It has the power to make things appear differently than they truly are."

"Oh that's not magic," she chuckled, poking him in the belly, "that's lying, silly. Even I know what a lie is."

But then the wizard pressed a few buttons on the magic box, and suddenly, Moon Cloud was looking at a picture of herself, with the hindquarters of a horse.

She quickly checked behind her to be sure this wasn't the case, and it wasn't.

"That's one heck of a lie," she said, almost speechless, "why did you bring me to see a magic lying box?"

"You have a photo," the wizard said most solemnly, and pointed into her apron pocket. "A photo made by another magic lying box. It's a dangerous lie, capable of hurting many good people, and I need it to prove it's untruthfulness."

"Okie-Dokie" was all Moon Cloud could manage to say. She understood everything up to "box" and then completely lost all meaning in the conversation. A box making lies like this? It was evil, pure and simple, and she'd make absolutely certain it never lied again. She darkened, and grew compact, pulling in all her wafty, nebulous tendrils as she roiled with anger.

Before the wizard could stop her, she shot a round of hailstones and two thunderbolts straight into the glowing-box-lying-machine.

There was a horriffic explosion. A rain of fish particulates fell all across the Downs. Passers-by ducked under awnings for the halibut, traffic floundered, and a priest was heard shouting "holy mackerel" as he bounded up the steps into the kitchens.

Back at Selene's Piscine Pleasure House, the smoke cleared, as the sirens wailed. The wizard stood alone by the now severely charred and destroyed computer.

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Postby Midnightpentacle125 » 02 Feb 2006, 02:23

The Young wizard looked around for his dear friend
"Where could she have gone" He thought to himself...
Suddenly there was a loud THUD a few feet away.

The Wizard staggered over there dusting himself off to find a blackened Moon Cloud.
"Big mistake" she said with a little hoarsness in her voice.
The Wizard then helped Moon cloud up and said " I do hope nobody heard that..."


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