Life has a habit of getting in the way of writing. Eight-week old Cocker Spaniel puppies in particular. But I’ve finally begun making progress on the eighth installment of Brian’s adventures. Expect it by the end of the month!
Cheers – Gaz.
“Fairies are no trifling matter, Helsing,” Heimlich replied. “They are diminutive but deadly. And, with their fifth-dimensional magicks, they can affect the very strings of fate, bringing us mortals good luck… or bad, as the residents of the Scilly Isles have been discovering to their detriment.”
“Bad luck, eh?” Brian snorted, pushing open the door to the Snug and gesturing for Heimlich to enter ahead of him. “You’ll forgive me for my lack of empathy; asking me to feel sorry for someone suffering bad luck is like asking a starving Ethiopian child to pity you for lack of tartare sauce to put on your scampi and chips.”
“This is bad luck of a most lethal kind, Helsing.”
“As is mine, most of the time,” Brian mused, making his way towards the drinks cabinet and opening the mahogany double doors to reveal the beer fridge behind. He selected a bottle of Doom Bar, before turning back to Heimlich and twisting the top off. It wasn’t a twist-off cap, but when you had supernatural strength, it didn’t really matter. “And you never hear me complaining.”
“You complain frequently and at great length,” the Master of Magic retorted, clicking his fingers and summoning a glass of brandy to hand. “But that is by-the-by. You are the Helsing, thus handsomely paid to face such danger. The poor residents of the Scilly Isles, however, are fishermen and pub landlords, shop-workers and schoolteachers. Ordinary innocents who shouldn’t be at the mercy of magical foes.” He took a sip of his brandy, before frowning and glancing down at the smoothly moving hands on his Breitling watch. “It’s… eleven a.m. Why the hell are we drinking?”
“I’m still up from the night before,” Brian shrugged, taking a slurp of his beer. “New Warcraft expansion out, and I’ve been up all night levelling my character. Started drinking at eight last night and not gone to bed since, so technically I’m not so much starting today’s drinking, as just continuing last night’s. Was gonna sober myself up with a coffee, but seeing as you caused me to spill half of it down my fucking hoody, I gave that up as a non-starter. What’s your excuse?”
“I… I’m not sure, in all honesty,” Heimlich grimaced. “Just habit, I guess. We seem to start all of our briefings with an alcoholic beverage. It’s worrying, at times.” He stared at his brandy for a moment, before shrugging, and taking another sip. “In for a penny…”
Brian flopped down on a sofa, placing his enormous and ageing CAT boots on the leather, a move that caused Heimlich to wince in sympathy for the antique couch.
“So, where are the other Masters?” Brian asked, taking a glug of his beer.
“Preparing themselves to instruct you. A process which always requires some girding of the loins beforehand.”
“C’mon, I’m not that bad, not these days.”
“You are, and always shall be, that bad. And, as I keep reminding you, and you keep forgetting, you’ve barely scratched the surface of the ring’s powers. You are still somewhat limited in your sorcerous repertoire compared to your predecessors.”
“Limited? I’ve got myself a veritable smorgasbord of magical tricks up my sleeve!”
“Do you even know what a smorgasbord is, Helsing?”
Brian paused, bottle halfway to his lips.
“Some kind of… fish?”