Friday, 8 January 2010

A couple from The Haunting Of The Orc And Dragon, a nano I wrote in 17 days about three friends, one of who is an amputee and another has achondraplasia. It was in response to a nano dare to write a story with disabled characters.

Because we were passing the Golden Duckling Chinese takeaway we stopped off in there to place an order. We often go there, it’s cheap and the food is plentiful. As with the pizza orders, we never seemed to vary our Chinese food order either. A special Sweet And Sour for me, curry for Figgis and a Special Fried Rice for Bel. We have no imagination when it comes to food. Not even Figgis, whose capacity for imagination in every other area is outstanding.

Bel wriggled up and onto the nearest chair. The guy behind the counter was new,at least I hadn’t seen him before. Bel winked at him. He seemed to be fascinated with her every move, as though she was some exotic creature that he had never before seen. Bel was used to this, she drew stares wherever she went. When she was in good humour she would smile at people and ask if she could help them. Bel in a bad humour looked evil enough to make most people think twice about opening their mouths. People who were stupid enough to make comments to a bad tempered Bel usually found themselves on the wrong end of an acidic retort. If the guy behind the counter wasn’t careful, he was going to experience it first hand.

And then it happened. The stupid bugger opened his mouth.

“Hey,” He said, and smirked. “You, you’re a dwarf ain’t you?”

Bel looked up at him. He wasn’t much to look at, an acne covered teenager who looked like his IQ was half that of toast. She sighed. “ I have a form of dwarfism, so yes, I’m a dwarf.”

“Seen any hobbits lately?” He sniggered.

“Seen any braincell activity lately?” Bel smiled pleasantly. “Hobbits? No, I don’t believe I have. I do think I’ve seen an orc though. Or is it a goblin?” She turned to Figgis. “Which are the really stupid, ugly ones?”

“The tall stupid ugly ones are orcs.” Figgis said helpfully. “The small ugly stupid ones are goblins.”

“So, you’re what? Medium height?” Bel asked sweetly. “I guess that makes you the half-witted bastard offspring of the two.”

“What?” The youth looked surprised.

“No, perhaps it is unfair to call you such names,” She said, still smiling. “After all, it can’t be your fault that you grew up both stupid and ugly, hereditary was it?”

“Hey!” He said. “Shut up.”

“And that sparkling wit, it’s so, what’s the word? Witty.”

“Shut up!” He said again. “Fucking dwarf.”

“Oh!” Bel clapped her hands together in glee. “It knows how to swear!”

Things could have got very ugly at that point, except that the bloke who actually owned The Golden Duckling came out to see just what was going on. He didn’t look very pleased at the youth’s version of events, which ran predictably along the lines of the youth being harrassed by three drunken foul-mouthed patrons calling him names. That was us, presumeably.

Bel tried to explain nicely that she was verbally defending herself against the ignorance and tactlessness of his employee. The owner must have been related to the youth because he launched into a defence of him that mainly consisted of saying what a nice polite boy he was. Bel told him that he was not a nice boy, far from it. He was an ignorant boy with less brains than a mollusc, a boy who would go far in the field of being a complete prick and a boy that was not likely to lose his virginity with anything that didn’t possess four legs and a wooly coat,. and only then if he was lucky, and it was a blind sheep, with no sense of smell, and it was cornered.

“Fuck, I’m drunk.” I said to Bruce, “Why did I drink the punch?”

“Because you’re a masochist?” He suggested, smiling the smug smile of someone who is sober when all about them are pissed up and feeling it, the smug smile of someone who knows he is going to be hangover-free in the morning.

“Oh ha ha, you are so funny, Bruce.” I said “Blimey, how do you go through life being called Bruce? It’s just one of the most crap names ever.”

“Well, thanks a lot.” He said. “I’m rather partial to it myself. It’s better than Ralph.”

“That’s not your middle name is it?” And I very unkindly shrieked with laughter. “Bruce Ralph?”

He nodded.

“Go on, tell me. What’s your surname?” I whispered. Crossing my legs just in case his surname was just as funny and I wet myself laughing. At that point it was looking like a distinct possibility.

“Simpkins.” He said.

I howled. I absolutely howled with laughter. I couldn’t help it. “Bruce Ralph Simpkins?”

And then what followed was the most embarrassing moments of my entire life. Bar none. Well, until they were surpassed by the embarrassing events of the morning after. But as October ticked over into November, they were still at the number one spot.

“How much did your parents hate you to saddle you with that?” I managed to ask through my giggles, and then I wasn’t worried that I was going to wet myself laughing because I knew without a shadow of a doubrt what I was actually going to do was puke. I ran for the ladies, threw myself down to my knees and was very, very ill. That wasn’t the worst bit. Oh no, that was still to come. Because I’d run off halfway through tormenting poor Bruce, he’d been worried about me. So, like the gentleman he was, he decided to come and see if I was ok.

“Hey!” I heard through the door. “Are you all right?”

“Yeurgh.” I said. And spat bile into the pan.

“Can I come in? Do you need a hand?” He walked into the stall and tried helping me to my feet. Despite the fact I’d got rid of most of the alcohol in my stomach, the rest seemed to have hit my bloodstream at a phenomenal rate. I could barely speak, let alone get up. He tried gripping me under the armpits and hauling me to my feet, with me still snorting hysterically with mirth. Then it happened. I slipped, he slipped, and to stop me falling back down he grabbed a hold of my arm. Except that he grabbed the wrong one. And it came off.

I’d never seen a man faint before, but good old Bruce hit the deck like a sack of spuds. Which, in my disgustingly inebraited state, I found hilarious. It was not my finest hour. I landed back on my arse beside him. When Bel found us a minute or so later we must have looked a right state. Bruce on the floor, with my arm in his hand, and me on my arse in drunken hysteria. As I said. It was not my finest hour.

“How did the seance go?” I mumbled to Bel.

“Shut up, you bloody drunken fool. I can’t get you up, I’ll have to get Figgis to help.” She yelled for help and we were suddenly surrounded by lots of people, Figgis and Jherek, Tyler and various others. All of whom were both amused by poor Bruce fainting and by the fact that I was now ‘legless as well as armless’ Gee, thanks for that one Figgis.

Bruce was carted off in the small side room until he recovered. Apparently he’d never noticed that I only have one arm, no wonder the poor bugger fainted. I was carted off home in Jherek’s van because nobody dare put me in a taxi. The last thing I remember was being helped out of the back of the van by two Jack Sparrows and a small witch that swore incessantly at me.

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