Chapter:1 Part 1: Savera Street Tavern.
Posted on August 17, 2020 by DinosaurPuncher
The Dinosaur Puncher tucked in under the umbrella as he made his way through the pouring rain. The streets were dark and empty. Most of the shops along the street were closed. The apothecary light was still on. They typically stayed open late for last minute pickups of medicines, herbs, essential oils and the like. The wind carrying the rain down to the ground was furious enough to cause an undercurrent that blew the Dinosaur Punchers pants against the back of his heels. Looking down at his pants flapping in the onslaught, he mused, that he looked like he was wearing those 90s slim cut bell-bottoms. He found it, rather fetching. He made a note to check a vintage store post haste.
Looking up the spoke of his umbrella, he watched the rain pummel the canopy he hid beneath. A rather clever sorceress had gifted it to him after capturing some rather unsavory photos of her ex-huband with another magician. When the rain hit the canopy it created pleasant fractal patterns, in infinite variations. circles becoming sickles, becoming octopus arms, becoming waves of every color. Over and over. Infinite-variations…forever-
-He had to give himself a quick shake or he’d be lost. It was an effective tool in interrogation. It was also a meager distraction when standing in the middle of a deluge. Swirls of mist blown up from the rain began to penetrate the heavy wool sweater, and tiny drops of cold trickled down to the cotton beneath. He would never die from the cold, his sweater was wool. But wool was porous and rain was cold so he quickened his pace. He turned down a side street hurrying toward his destination, pants now flapping to the left as he tacked into the wind. He tilted the umbrella toward the rain but the majority of it soaked his pants.
In the distance a lantern swayed to and fro in the full force of the gale, yet another after effect of The Barrier.
The barrier cut the earth in half in a diagonal swathe that cut from northern Canada to Saudi Arabia and the southern tip Of Australia. The parts intersecting land were not a huge fuss. an orange yellow light that tingles, but easy to slip from one side to the other.
It was the Barrier boiling off the ocean that has produced catastrophic storms. Most are manageable with force fields and magical wards, but both take massive amounts of energy, one technological, the other spiritual.
He could see the Savera Street Tavern sign swinging violently below a magically stabilized, but still gently swaying lantern. A few hundred more steps, he would be dry, warm and god willing, drunk. If the lantern was swinging, the gale was in full force, so he pushed himself further into the wind to make the threshold.
As luck would have it, an Ogre couple were just leaving, and threw the door open with ease. Dinosaur Puncher was a good 20 steps away and still fighting the wind, The Ogre couple felt no effects at all. Ogre were immune to weather and wind. Especially wind, which was rather irksome, as he fought the gust. The ogre male casually threw his arm around the female, her hair, lovely, absolutely still. Uncanny. Legends say ogre were made before the gods thought of weather. 10 more steps and he could catch that door. The storm picked up in ferocity, now cracking lightning, throwing thunder. If the cold didn’t get him the wind would serve him up to the elements. Irrationally the Dinosaur Puncher realized that The Platypus was the executor of his will. If he lived, he vowed to change it.
Dinosaur Puncher began to plan for the worst. If the wind grabbed him, he was in England now, he could be blown as far as Oklahoma if he was lucky and could hold on to the umbrella, but if he wasn’t, he’d be sucked in a hyper wind out to the barrier in the ocean. If that happened he would be pulled straight under and drowned. He had just about braced himself for the worst, when the ogre male leaned in and kissed the female, and the world paused.
Cars and trucks and debris that had lifted off and started creating violence in the air did not crash to the ground, they just, paused. Everything stopped for this one impetuous, drunken ogre kiss. wind rain sun moon; A thousand dizzying suns could not have been more cute, or adorable or deadly.
He would have stayed and paused with the world because it was truly a glorious kiss, but if he didn’t go inside the tavern; he would die.
Dinosaur Puncher ran like his life depended on it, cause it did. grabbing the door he lingered for a minute longer than he should. The ogre embrace ended. The angry shit storm that is everything not an ogre kiss, hurled itself full force at the tavern doors, slamming them closed, and pushing dinosaur punchers guts straight into the bar, where he hovered for a second, sighed in quiet desperation, and collapsed.
“What’ll ye have?”
“errr uhhmm. err.”
“If you are gonna lay there, It’ll be 250.”
“IM UP IM UP 1 PINT of BiTTERS and one round of sterilizer!”
Dinosaur Puncher assumed his bar-stool As he hung his Hat and Umbrella on the hook beneath. The madman behind the bar is Gslweiodor. a ’round of sterilizer’ is pretty simple. One shot of liquid fire. One shot of liquid plasma. One shot of the river of magic. The magic is cheap, it’s in the river and all around us, liquid fire no big deal. It’s the liquid plasma that will set your bloody wallet on fire!
“WOO yes! sterilizer! but maybe, maybe just Magic/fire! yes right?! magic fire everyone!~ YEah!?”
“Is eh welching!?”
“oye! toad that’s not noice!”
Gslweiodor didn’t really care, but if there was a chance for profit, he’d guilt your wallet flat.
Toad jr. sat at the far end as he always did. He drank magic all day everyday cause it was so cheap it might as well be free. The idea of diluting that magic with a little fire or plasma was an opportunity Toad jr. would not pass up.
“Pour it out bartender please see you heard the good man didnt-ya?”
“yeah aight. one more for me dear ole da in the corner there. he fought in the first barrier war dont you know!”
Toad’s ‘dear ole da’ had sat in the corner of this pub for 30 on a year. A veteran. A war hero. he had fought Dinosaurs and demons and all number of magical infiltrators since before you and I had been born. In fact, Colonel Toad Senior, was there when the Barrier went up. Frickin hero this guy is. 5 stars. Not like Toad jr. Toad jr. could throw infinite fireballs. Swallow the light of a thousand suns. Make it here to yesterday and back again. He could cool the earth where needed, heat it where needed. He could dispose of all plastic waste on every corner of the globe in the blink of an eye. Toad jr is a magic matrix. He has so much magic, If the world ever ran out of magic, the world could tap toad jr for an eon or two. Big deal they say. everyone on the planet has magic. The rivers run with magic. Magic is free. It’s everywhere. Why don’t these others swallow the light of a thousand suns? why don’t we all teleport to yesterday and back again? because you don’t believe you can so you can’t. Toad jr. doesn’t have to believe or not believe. he just is.
Toad jr bangs the bar. “Oye! pint please maAAte! Its like people don’t have courtesy these days have they?!”
Toad jr swivels head back and forth, but no one is there to agree or disagree. Dinosaur resigns his gut to fate.
“Sigh alright. Set’em up please mister bartender, I’ll have the extra for the colonel take mine over there.”
Gslweiodor wasted no time. he used his first two hands to hold the magic and fire steady and then reached around with a third; and carefully infused a drop of zomethingelse to create plasma. Simple. Simply expensive.
“Put it on my tab?”
“Aight, but just so you know, The Platypus been by the pub week ago looking for you.”
“Oye! week ago? No worries. We settled up this morning!”
“Oh aye! Alrighty then.’
“Send two pints of the good bitters over, It’s for the colonel you know how I like to splash out on our war heros.”
“Aye, I do. Is that on the Platypus tab then?”
“Yes please. Make it 4 pints thanks.”
Dinosaur figured he had about an hour or two before Gslweiodor accidentally snitched him out to The Platypus. Time enough to talk to the Colonel. If a rouge raptor band had been chasing a triceratops on this side the barrier, Colonel would know. Quick and easy pint session with the Colonel. Get a few facts. Stop at the store, buy some cl-icky tops. Drop off the wash. Pick up the dry cleaning for sure. Ma’s prescription, have that and drop it on the way. Help cousins kid with a bit oh math. Get that tutoring done. Manage the lawn. Clean out the car. Open the bonet. Get a degree in Law. How hard can it be? Home before supper. No problem.
‘AND ALL THE MENS OH LANDS OH GOT! LET OLD FLAG,
And ROYAL CROWN!
TO THE WEST TO THE EAST to the NORTH TO SOUTH!
AND WE WILL FIGHT AND WE WILL DIE AND WE WILL FIGHT
AND FIGHT SOME MORE!
AND ALL THE MEN OH LANDS OH FOOT LET OLD FLAG EH
The evening had devolved rather quickly into several rounds of Singing and Hollering. Dinosaur and The Colonel were now completely drunk.
“Bar har har har! Jolly good ole chap! Ah Barkeep!
“Gslweiodor! Gslweiodor!” Two shots magic two pints bitters please. Where do they get these people?”
“itinit your kin?”
“Ehm. exactly. Daniel! listen!”
The Colonel leaned in Conspiratorially.
“My name it’s..Dinosaur.”
“Donatello? Not bloody likely! Not on my watch!”
The Colonel began drawing his staff. It was equipped with laser scalpels that protruded from the staff on both ends, and made it a double headed axe that sliced with sterile precision;).
“What Wat! have at you! Who-za!”
The Colonel began maneuvering toward Dinosaur with a fluid motion that beguiled his age, and distracted one from the much more dangerous staff effortlessly twirling in one hand, the other hand holding a deadly flattering cloak cocked back from a holster on the waist. That holster, totally held a fully loaded plasma fire cannon! I mean! you can’t even get those anymore!
It would be such a shame to kill him. To be honest, the whole display was just, well impressive to Dinosaur Puncher. This Man had held Carrow’s Pass against 100 stag-horns at The Breach! on Boxing day! While sewing his own leg back together and trying to grow a handlebar mustache! He did not grow the handlebars, but the rest is pretty cool.
The dark sleuth inside Dinosaur Puncher knew he was being a giddy fanboy, but you don’t just drink and sing all night with the defender of Carrow’s Pass everyday. I mean you don’t.
The spinning blades came closer… and… I mean what is the ceiling clearance in this shit hole you call a ‘community space?!’ It is like seven and a half feet. I mean just a master of his craft to be able to spin those blades so fast with such low ceiling clearance.
With a silent shrug, Dinosaur reached out to crush the crap outta the Colonel’s Skull.
The Sparing match had gone well. he had managed to land a few glancing blows and the Colonel had left a sizeable knot atop Dinosaur’s Head. They had worked up an appetite and ordered some Fish and Chips. It was now time for the Colonels other favorite game; messing with the tavern boy.
“Excuse me. Yes please over hear mate. Could we get some more malt vinegar please mate cheers, and just a quick question, are you stupid?”
“Are. you. stupid?”
“I don’t know how to answer that.”
“You don’t have do you. Not a clue?!”
“Oh ha-ha, did I say something funny?”
“Om. maybe. I don’t know I just work here… I’m traveling.
“Oh you’re traveling are you? do you know where you are?”
“Ding ding ding, jackpot!” Welcome to England garbage shit pie! Do you know what we like to eat here in England?”
“Om, garbage shit pie?”
“Don’t get cheeky with me-I’ll crush your goddamn skull and feed it to you through your fucking asshole!”
“Okay! Jesus! Sorry!”
“Ont! language! this is still the queens land and we have respect for queen and country, here!
Not quite in unison, the pub mumbles ‘the queen’.
“I mean, sure.”
“I mean sure. I mean sure you hear that! You hear that everyone?! This slag hates the queen!”
“What I mean, god! sorry!.. is there something you need..is there something I can help you with?”
“Is-there-Something-I-need? Is-there-something-I-can-help-you-with? Tell me this, Jerry is it?
“Little advice Om-Jerry, when you work in a pub yeah, in England yeah, where they sale fish and chips there better be malt vinegar on the table right?”
“Wasn’t looking for an answer mate.”
“I’m NOT your Mate!”
“Sorry mate! I mean sorry!”
“Listen closely: ARE YOU MENTAL?!”
“WHAT? NO? IF you just let me-“
“Yes! If you will just let me-“
“LET YOU, SO NOW IT’S on me to let YOU do your Job is tha-it?!]
“Well yes I will get the malt vinegar.”
“OH! oh my god people he gets it! it’s like the lights are coming on! The Ferris Wheel is turning look at him!”
“HERE! here’s your malt vinegar! what’s the big deal?”
Typical. You Americans. Everything handed to you snug in your, what ya call’em, cul.de.sacs?
“What of it! You know what fuck you!”
“Ah ah language Jerry.”
The Tavern manager came walking past, headed for the til to count some receipts. She was well aware of the Colonel’s game, and had been taking side bets all week with the other customers on exactly when Om-Jerry, as he was called, would lose it, again. Everyone just called her Mum.
“I’m sorry miss.”
“He’s sorry. MUM! Really are we gonna have to put up with this ALL summer on our fish and chips? Really? Really Mum! Really?!”
“Eww nasty! That’s yer Mum yer talking to there you know that right!? Tell me this Om-Jerry: Has she let you unpack your backpack yet?”
A low chuckle erupted from the Tavern as a whole. All other conversations had stopped a while ago as the people keyed on to the game.
“Oye! So you flew all the way cross the pond, to work in a pub, to live there, and Mum won’t even let you unpack? Oooohhh Om-Jerry.”
More chortles from the crowd and Om-Jerry’s face turned red. Om-Jerry had now become acutely aware the entire bar was witness to his humiliation.
“She said… she said ~~ it..s cause…”
“Oh hey hey Om-Jerry, if you wanna cry that’s okay lad. You are a man now what’s it 21, 22? Man tears are man tears. When you are a big man like you are, you can shed a few manly tears. Are you a man, Om-Jerry?
Unintelligible bit of mutters came from Om-Jerry. The Colonel had him on the ropes. Now just for the final blow. With false Sincerity, the Colonel leaned in toward Om-Jerry.
“Do you think she doesn’t want ya to unpack cause yer so fucking stupid, you don’t know when the malt vinegar is empty? hmm, Om-Jerry?”
OmJerry turned and stormed up the stairs at the back of the pub. The Colonel spun his bemused gaze to The Tavern Manger.
“Mum, where did he go?”
The tavern manager held up a restraining hand.
“Wait for it love. Left his backpack upstairs.”
The crowd cracked up in knee slaps and chuckles. Om-Jerry poured down the stairs in a tear streaked angry heap, wearing a giant backpack. A hush fell across the pub. To his credit, Om-Jerry did the best angry slow motion fuck you sign that the tavern had seen in a while. Having, apparently, retrieved a measure of dignity, he stomped out through the garden door. The last time he had stormed out so fast through the front door, he had landed flat on his back. The front door has 5 and half feet of clearance. the garden doors have 6 and a half feet of clearance. So with a backpack one can imagine.
Om-Jerry stomped across the garden, at least the rain had stopped.
It had been 3 minutes since Om-Jerry had stormed out, but the patrons remained silent. They had been fooled before. The time before last Om-Jerry had forgotten his ‘travel journal’. Wanker.
5 minutes. Perfect timing really, if Om-Jerry hustled he could catch the 10:42 to London….
And still not a peep. not a whisper.
The Tavern held it’s breath. The air was palatable with the weight of fresh tears on the tavern floor.
All eyes were now transfixed on The Tavern Manager. A tongue, began to snake out and touch her nose as she started to shake with cackles of glory. And with that, the Pub went nuts. Good natured guffaws and slaps on the back as blue and pink slips of paper changed hands. It was the most people ever, to replicate the American fuck you sign in a single day. The entire village flipped each other off for a week or two after that, and died laughing. The Tavern Manager covered the Colonel and Dinosaur Punchers tab, which was a good thing as it had increased rapidly beyond the means of his wallet.
The Tavern Manager Shouted for Natetan, the other manager.
“Honestly you don’t have to shout.”
Natetan came strolling in from the kitchens pulling his coat on. When he spoke, his teeth never seemed to move. His speech was very clipped and precise, as if he was breaking off each word in an exasperated sense of finality.
“Yes dear, fetch Om-Jerry please, we’ll need him for the lunch rush tomorrow.
“You should of thought of that before you made him storm out of here, for the 7th time! For the record this game is barbaric tiresome and annoying.
“Just a bit of fun. I mean really.”
“At least point him at the train station please Mum! For god sake last time he was 12 miles away butt naked standing in a cow field. What does it look like Mum? I’m trying to coax a very high, tripping young man into the carriage.” He then aimed a very serious finger at the crowd as a whole. “And whoever is loading the Om-Jerry up full of drugs for these ridiculous contest, when I find you, I’ll kill you.”
Grabbing the keys to the carriage, Natetan headed out to coax the help back, before tomorrows lunch rush.