Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by halfwise on Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:49 pm

Mad

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:22 pm

4.

Petty and Halfwise made their way along the well worn road towards Needlehole and the residence of Amarie, the Admin.

Fortunately as Needlehole was the centre of Forumshire, and Forumshire having a topography that would have given Ptolemy a really bad headache and made him give it all up and take up goat herding instead, it was not far away. Needlehole was never far away because no matter where you were in Forumshire, whether in the depths of Scotshobbitland or dodging Vikings in Fjordianlands, you were never more than a few hours walk from it. But, and here was the tricky bit destined to make map makers cry- only if you wanted to go there.

“Ah didnae unnerstund whit it is we are daing?” Petty complained again as they trudged along

Halfwise who was walking beside him with a long rolling gait on his stilts frowned, “We've been over this more often than the Feds with a mobsters tax receipts kiddo,” he sighed exasperated, “we are just going to take the Dame a present.”

“Bit wi huvnae goat a present,” Petty pointed out, “and whit's a Fed? And whit a dinnae unnderstund is whit we ur goannie gie her?” he considered a moment, “and how wi are goannie git near her tae gie it tae her?” he thought some more, “and why we are geing it tae her at aw?” He frowned in further deep consideration of the interior of his lumpy head then finished, “naw, thut's it, thut's aw the questions A've goat in thur.”

They rounded a corner in the road and immediately the tress faded behind them. Before them a rolling hillside of grass led down to a paved road which in turn wound off between copses of trees and gentle hillocks to where it joined the path of a river. The river and road then ran on towards the town of Needlehole through pastures and farmlands, the Tower of Lore loomed distantly out of the midday haze and beyond it was the glinting hint of the sea.

They hurried on down the slope, Halfwise more hurriedly than he had intended as his stilts under gravity took on a momentum of their own and he erratically sped down the incline to the road below and skidded to a halt panting. Petty joined him a short moment after but was still equally out of breath, this was more exertion than he normally liked to expel in a week let alone a morning and he had to take swig of buckie to recover.

“Sae,” he panted, “the plan is wi roll up tae the Admin's hoose, wi a present wi dinae huv, and sumhow gie it tae her, fir reasons A'm no quite clear aboot. Jist be be sure, thits yir plan?”

“No that's the end of the plan kiddo, giving her the present, and is just the start of the bigger plan,” Halfwise informed him regaining control over his stilts as the arms of his frock coat flapped wildly like a distressed goose.

“Whit?” Petty frowned, “whit bigger plan?”

“The whole enchilada plan,” Halfwise enthused, “remember the aim- keep your eyes on the big prize. The buckie factory.”

“Whit?” Petty frowned again, he still had no idea what an enchilada was or why he would want one and he was unable to fathom a link between the present plan and the seeming impossible goal of removing Pretty and getting her to relinquish the buckie factory over to him, “How dae wi dae that?”

“We use all your natural talents,” Halfwise replied, “now come on kiddo, we've work to do.”

“Ma natural talents?” Petty grumbled with a sinking feeling as they set off again, “bit a huvnae goat oany.”


There was Needlehole, which consisted of a town square with a fountain and a statue of former Admin Eldo, the town Hall, official administration buildings and of course the important gathering places and business's of the town, such as Mrs Figg Emporium for Discreet Ladies or the jelly warehouses of the McBanks.

Then there was lower Needlehole where most of the actual inhabitants lived in modest holes and houses that were not too damp. For the most part.

And then there was Upper Needlehole, which was in truth was the closest thing in all of Forumshire to a respectable neighbourhood. At least its inhabitants thought so and would happily point it out where necessary to any who might doubt it.

Where there were businesses here, for where there is money there is always business, it was of the discreet sort conducted in elegant rooms that only qualified as an office because someone had put a desk in them, usually of expensive wood. Here were to be found Forumshire's lawyers, the offices Of Angmar and Sons, and at the exact opposite end of Upper Neddlehole their rival, the offices of Blue and Blue (there was in fact only one Blue but he felt so often that he was doing the work of two people that he had put another Blue on his sign one day in a fit of over-worked frustration).

Here too of course could be found the residence of Admin Amarie, her guarded official residence at least, positioned at the highest point overlooking all of Needlehole and the lands beyond on one side, and on the other it overlooked the harbours and the sea from where ships sailed to every point in Forumshire and even to other forumlands beyond the borders.

And here also was to be found the residence of one Odo McBanks, who was by the consideration of everyone who mattered, which as far as Odo was concerned meant himself, the most respectable person in all of Forumshire. As well as one of its wealthiest thanks to being the proud, but not unrespectably proud of course, owner of some of Forumshire's largest enterprises.

It was for this reason he lived in Upper Needlhole out of the damp and not say on the outskirts in Rushock Bog where he owned several properties which he rented out to those who didn't mind squelching. Which was not as bad as those who rented properties from him in Lower Rushock Bog where homes were not so much damp as flooded. Making money was hard and particularly if you dealt with Odo McBanks it was very hard for the customer.

This particular morning Odo was enjoying himself. He had been making jelly in his jelly making shed which took up a significant corner of his immaculate and large lawn and from which a short chimney protruded and exuded a faintly purple smoke that was sweet smelling. Jelly making always made him happy.

He had been making Rasberry jelly, which was also known as Royal Jelly and was his personal favourite. He currently had left the shed and the jelly to be stirred in the vat by his rather comely niece Mirabella, who was at that age where he felt she needed helpful instruction and of course strong disciplining. If she were going to turn out to be a respectable member of the family that was.

He had therefore set her to work, the stirring would teach her patience before Eru and to aid her in her balance and deportment she was doing so perched atop a three-legged stool, a stool one of whose legs Odo had shortened to ensure a healthy wobble.

After all she was in the sixth form of Little Sisters of Eru now and if she wanted to join the Sherriffs department she was going to need a lot of good disciplining. And she must learn that life was often difficult and full of unexpected wobbly chairs, metaphorically speaking.

It was purely coincidental that the best way to teach her this was to get her to do the most tedious part of the job that he just happened to hate, whilst perched atop a wobbly stool over a vat of jelly in a thin cotton sixth form blouse. These things were pure coincidence and would in any case not be at all respectable were it otherwise. Whereas he, Odo was obviously acting respectably, obvious because it was he, Odo, doing it. So it could logically not possibly be construed in any other way.

He whistled a happy tune out of tune at this as he sat down on his bench outside his shed, staying close enough by that if the poor unfortunate girl were to fall into the jelly vat in nothing more protective then her thin cotton blouse he could rush in and assist her out, covered as she would be in wet, clingy rasberry jelly.

It would of course only be the decent and respectable thing to do: not to leave her alone in hazardous working circumstances. He had a duty of care after all and he of course was taking his duty of care very seriously indeed. As was right and proper and respectable of him.

Nothing fishy about that.

He lit his pipe and sat back and waited for the splunk of body on jelly and wondered if he had shortened the stool leg enough.

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by azriel on Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:51 pm

Very Happy

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by odo banks on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:31 am

Odo as businesshobbit, respectable citizen and mentor of young people: yes, credible. But I think the writer of this tawdry Tale will have some difficulty one thinks in giving a certain Scotshobbit a ‘talent’ while having it seem credible....Rolling Eyes

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:51 am

{{Ah well now, if you are familiar with the original Puss in Boots tale you would know that the eldest son is
Spoiler:
hopeless and feckless- given I didn't want to offend anyone I cast myself in the role! So I dont have to worry too much about Petty's (my!) talents, there aren't any- that's the point!
}}

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by odo banks on Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:26 am

Puss in Boots Tale? Never heard of it.... ridiculous idea anyhow... pussies in boots... what!? ... as to spoilers.... I can’t work out how to do one in return...   ...   Asked Orwell, he said he can’t do spoilers either....and him a Moderator... what a ridiculous Forumshire we have here.... Scotshobbits and incompetent Moderators in the same place.... [sigh]... 

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:38 am

5


Petty and Halfwise were arguing. Petty was also rubbing his behind.

“It wisnae ma fault!”

“Yes, yes it was! Do you know how hard it is to run in stilts?” Halfwise retorted his fur ruffled, “don't you ever pay attention? Don't you ever read a sign kiddo?”

“Whit sign?”

“Oh I don't know. Maybe the huge big one, the huge big twenty foot high roadside one that said 'Dave's Farm- nutritious fruit and veg. Novelty carrots a Speciality. Squatting Scotshobbits will be shot on sight.' Maybe, just maybe that sign! I mean why go there?”

“We'd bin walking aw morning and drinking buckie...”

“You've been drinking buckie,” Halfwise interrupted.

“And there wur these perfect rows of wee channels fir daein' it in,” Petty protested reasonably.

“Those were drainage ditches for his crops, rows of crops, you took a two storey dump on his harvest!”

“A wis touching kilt!” Petty cried in what he considered justifiable explanation.

“Are you even aware of your surroundings?” Halfwise enquired with a shake of his head and a flapping of loose coat arms, “To much buckie is your problem.”

“Thur's nae such thing.”

“I think you might be proving that false kiddo, and it's time to learn, time to learn and learn fast. If I had arms I'd been using them to slap you right now” he twisted his coat body as fast as he could right to left and back again till the flopping coat sleeves swung out from the sides and hit ineffectively against Petty, “Now concentrate kiddo. We are almost there,” he nodded ahead to where the road forked, the right hand road began to rise gently with the land towards Upper Needlehole whilst the lower road went on towards the town itself. They took the road for Upper Needlehole.

Upper Needlehole exuded wealth and privilege. In obvious ways such as the size of the houses and smials, in the expansive gardens which varied from the ostentatious with hedges carved into wondrous designs and ponds full of golden carp, to the deliberately and fashionably austere and severe where over fraught gardeners measured the length of the cut grass with a ruler to ensure it was all even. And then there were the more subtle ways in which wealth and privilege were expressed. For example houses in Upper Needlehole were not 'next door' to each other in the conventional sense. Rather they were 'near' each other, not only because of the huge grounds they sat in the midst of but because there was always a gap of natural land left between. These spaces between properties were pleasant places of deliberately cultivated trees and greenery that were only allowed to remain because they did not block the view or they formed boundaries between properties and offered shade and privacy from neighbours or prying passers by, such as Petty and Halfwise.

And whatever it was Halfwise was looking for it seemed to Petty he had not yet found, for as they made their way up the sloping slightly winding road he led them close by each property, passing each one over with a sharp and keen eye from under the fringe of fur only to move on.  

Eventually they found themselves cresting the top of the slope where the really expensive homes were. Even just walking by them gave Petty an acute case of class consciousness and by normal Scotshobbit standards he was from a rich family. But Upper Needlehole was a legendary other level of wealth and prestige.  Petty's Paw had begun with less than nothing, he was new money. Upper Needlehole was establishment money. Petty was walking with his head held so low in class shame he was almost crawling.

“What's wrong with you kiddo?” Halfwise enquired as he strolled over and by the gate of what in fact was Odo McBanks residence.

“Nuttin'” Petty grumbled as lowly as his posture, “A jist didnae feel like a belong here.”

Halfwise paused in mid-stride, stiff and straight, “Yeah that's a problem we need to fix, now look at me kiddo, what am I? I'm a ball of fluff trying to balance on two sticks is what I am, do I give a damn? Do I act like it matters? That's the key kiddo bravado.”

He swung away from Odo's gate and led Petty back the way had come down the hill.

“Whur are wi goan' noo?”

“That's the one,” Halfwise said nodding back at Odo's gate, “Owners in the garden smoking a pipe, easy to engage, its perfect.”

“Fir whit?”

“For you to go up and get us some information.”

“About whit?”

Halfwise sighed in exasperation,”Anything you can about Admin Amarie of course, see if you can subtly wheedle out of him anything that might help: what she likes to do, what she doesn't like, that sort of stuff. Grease him up a bit like your a hipster with a pocket full of aces at a strip-joint, get him revealing stuff.”

“Whit?” Petty retorted starring back at him, “How? An' A've no goat oany grease or oany cards or hips really an A didnae see how they'd help.”

“I told you kiddo, you got to be observant,” Halfwise said ignoring Petty's confused grumblings, “See that discrete gold plaque next to the gate?”

“Noo,” Petty said squinting in the direction of the gate.

“Well trust me its there, and it tells us that the owner is one Odo McBanks esquire, a respectable and obviously wealthy businessman."

"How di yi ken he's respectable?" Petty interrupted.

"Because he put it on his plaque," Halfwise replied, "He's in the jelly business, by appointment only”

“Sae whit? An' wi dinae huv an appointment oanyways.”

“So what? That's your in kiddo, and you don't need an appointment, your just passing by, but you are going to pretend to be a fellow businessman, then you've something in common to get the conversation going.”

Halfwise nudged at Petty trying to push him in the direction of the McBanks residence.

“Wait a meenite!” Petty cried, “Ah cannae jist go strolling ooer there pretending tae be a businessman.”

“Why not?”

“Because A'm noo a businessman.”

“Yeah, but he doesn't know that,” Halfwise pointed out.

“Noo, A canane dae it!” Petty wailed.

“Yes you can, just remember,” Halfwise said nudging him on further on up the slope arms flapping, “observation, confidence and bravado kiddo, its all you ever need.”

He propelled Petty forward, “Whit dae I say tae him tae start wi?”

“Just go over to the wall, he can see you from there, give him a cheery wave and say Hi,” Halfwise instructed.

“Then whit dae a say?” Petty asked panicking.

“Busk it kiddo, busk it. Consider this your first test, I'll be right over watching how you do,” he then darted to the side of the road in long inelegant strides and out of sight to observe.

Petty walked hesitantly towards the indicated wall sweat pouring from him so that his hair was actually sticking to his forehead. He always did hate being tested.

As he approached he could see the long face of Odo coming into view, sitting as he was on a bench beneath a large oak tree outside a large shed.

He tried to remember what Halfwise had said and cleared his throat to speak but only croaked, he tried again “Ho there!” he said as he reached the garden wall and raised one tentative hand and tried waving it at Odo, his hand felt like a dead slab of meat on a stick, “Aw right mate?” he tried.

Odo frowned up at him from his bench, he was keen not to have his otherwise very pleasant morning ruined and this fellows timing could not be worse, what with Mirabella likely to have an unfortunate jelly related accident at any moment. He rose from the bench and approached the wall waving one hand irritably at Petty, his long downturned mouth and frowning long forehead in his long face radiated utter annoyance, “tradesmen entrance is at the back!”

“Oh aye right, sorry 'boot that,” Petty said automatically then remembered why he was here, “Aw naw, haud on,” he stammered, “Am no a tradesmen, A'm a business man, like yerself.”

Odo frowned at him some more, which given the immense space of forehead he possessed for it to happen on meant he packed a lot of frown into it, “What sort of business?”

Now it was Petty's turn to frown and panic and sweat even more, so that actual rivulets of sweat were streaming down his face. He hadn't thought of this, he was going to say the buckie business as it was about all he knew anything about, well ok not the actual business side mainly the drinking side, but he knew that very well indeed. But everyone knew the only major buckie factory had been Paws and if they did not know already they soon would know it was now Pretty's. He desperately tried to think of something else that he knew anything about at all.

Odo stared at him as he went through these internal gymnastics, watching in fascination as Petty's acne ridden gleaming face contorted in thought before Petty eventually blurted out, “porridge,” which other than the eating of he knew absolutely nothing about. He couldn't even successfully cook it on his own.

“Porridge?” Odo repeated with some suspicion but then when on in consideration, “mmmm, healthy breakfast is important, plain and simple pure ingredients approved of by Eru,” he mused, “Well I must say that does seems a respectable enough enterprise,” he nodded in seeming satisfaction and Petty's face gleamed with the relief of realisation Odo seemed to be buying the cover tale and his confidence soared, “do you then source your ingredients locally with Farmer Dave?” Odo inquired, he had himself some small private dealings with Dave for his speciality carrots, of which Odo had an extensive and secretive collection, “a most respectable fellow in all his dealings. Very discreete.”

“Whit?” Petty said in panic, his rush of confidence rushing away twice as fast, “Farmer Dave?” he repeated utterly confused, “porridge disnae cum oot the groond yi daftie,” he replied with a shake of his head feeling he was back on solid ground, which he wasn't.

Odo blinked at the insult then slowly said, “I meant the oats.”

“Whit oats?”

“The oats you use to make your porridge.”

“Thurs oats in porridge?”

Odo frowned at him in increasing annoyance, at any second poor Mirabella could have an industrial accident and he might not be there to witness, rather help, her, “I thought you said you were a porridge businessman?” he said his previous sense of annoyance returning,  “Yet you don't know the main ingredients of your own product?”

Petty panicked, clearly he had lost some ground here even if he was too stupid to know where, so he desperately tried to reclaim it, “Oh aye, defiantly A um a porridge person, maker. Aye.”

Odo stared at him then said, “I don't believe a word of this. And I don't believe you are a businessman at all. You don't look like one, you  don't sound like one. In fact,” Odo said his long face reddening from the top down like a plunging sales graph, “I don't think you are respectable at all. Good day to you,” and he turned to leave.

“Naw wait,” Petty cried, “A huvnae goat tae the bit whur I ask yi oot aboot the Admin an' her hoose.”

Odo paused and turned, “I knew it!” he roared, “you are one of those awful tourist people aren't you? That come and gawp at the homes of people more important and respectable than themselves. Disgusting disreputable behaviour- we don't want your sort around here, no not at all,” Odo said angrily shaking his long head, “I will have you know I am a close friend of the local Sheriffs department and will have you removed for loitering.”

“But A'm no loitering” Petty protested, “A'm a legitimate porridge, guy.”

“I have a whistle you know,” Odo said pulling a small silver whistle from his top pocket, “and if you do not desist in your malignant lingering I will blow it and call the authorities. We have a neighbourhood watch scheme you know, I am its Head being the most respectable person in the neighbourhood, so be warned.”

“Naw, nay need furr that A jist wunt yi tell me..”

Odo put the whistle to his mouth and began to blow loud short blasts on it as Petty in a fit of panic turned and ran off back down the hill.

Odo stopped whistling just as there came from the shed a shriek and the splunk of a body on jelly. His eyes widened and he raced back towards the jelly shed.


Petty ran back down the hill as Halfwise emerged to greet him.

“Did A pass yir test?”he asked between pants.

“Take a guess kiddo,” Halfwise replied shaking his head in utter disbelief at Petty's complete hopelessness, “take a guess.”

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Orwell on Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:55 am

One has gotta laugh, and somewhat frequently, but one also just has to pick out the even-specialer bits.... one just must...

....squatting Scotshobbits will be shot on sight... .... you took a two storey dump on his harvest....

Now there is gold in that there... my mun.... makes an old Colonial titter... it doo....

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by azriel on Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:41 pm

Odo stopped whistling just as there came from the shed a shriek and the splunk of a body on jelly. His eyes widened and he raced back towards the jelly shed.

Very Happy Laughing

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by halfwise on Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:16 pm

“do you then source your ingredients locally with Farmer Dave?” Odo inquired, he had himself some small private dealings with Dave for his speciality carrots, of which Odo had an extensive and secretive collection, “a most respectable fellow in all his dealings. Very discreete.”

Nod He even knows to label his zucchini as 'turnip greens'.

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Orwell on Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:54 am

Oh yes... the extensive and secretive collection... Laughing

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:37 am

6.

“Ah dinnae ken whit a did wrang!” Petty lamented.

“How about absolutely everything kiddo, the whole pizza, anchovies and all the crust,” Halfwise replied his head sagging into the collar of his suit, “what did I tell you kiddo? Observation, bravado you need bigger cojones.”

“Bigger whits?” Petty asked mystified.

“Watch and learn kiddo, watch and learn. You hide here this time and let me show you how it should be done,” Halfwise turned in one fluid swivelling motion pivoting on one stilt and arms flapping set off back towards Odo's  garden wall as Petty skulked in the undergrowth and watched and listened and slugged at his buckie bottle.

As Halfwise neared the wall he could see beyond the large shed with its chimney of purple smoke, which he noted sniffing the air had the sweetness in the fumes drifting on the wind of rasberry, if he was not mistaken. Odo was emerging from the shed with a young, pretty girl with a stern face who was wrapped in a towel. She was otherwise wrapped in glistening dripping jelly and one of Odo's arms covering her shaking shoulders.

“Well hello there!” Halfwise cried, “I do hope there hasn't been an accident.”

Odo looked up sharply, “No, no, nothing serious.”

“Nothing serious! I fell in the jelly vat!” Mirabella said angrily, “I could have drowned.”

“And this fine gentlemen rescued you?” Halfwise observed waving a sleeve at Odo, who perked up  at being called a fine gentleman.

“Well yes, but I only fell in in the first  place because Uncle..” Mirabella began by way of explaining.

“A tragic industrial mishap,” Odo interrupted hurriedly, “but no one hurt, no harm, no blame especially. Now Mirabella you really must go indoors and warm by the fire.”

As he ushered Mirabella through the round door of the smial Halfwise said, “I must say that was a mighty fine display you put on there, just the sort of thing we are looking for.”

Odo turned, “Oh?” he said his eyebrows arching with some peaked curiosity, “and what are you looking for?”

“Well I work for the Admin's Rural Special Enterprises department,” Halfwise bluffed hoping Odo was no good at acronyms, “and we are on the lookout for a candidate to accept the tile of the 'Most Respected In All Of Forumshire',” Halfwise smiled at him, though Odo could not actually see that because of all the fur but his eyebrows perked up even further on his brow at Halfwise words, “and I have to say that display of heroics you put on rescuing that poor girl from the jelly vat, well that's just the sort of thing we are looking for in a respectable personage of the realm.”*

* Forumshire's politics is based on a system of Constitutional Democratic Dictatorial Monarchy. This ensures you get a lot of holidays.



“Well obviously when one sees a  maiden in distress, coated in glistening ruby jelly, one does what one can in ones respectable manner to save the day, heroically and at what ever cost to oneself and no thought spared to ones own safety, yet with all due modesty,” Odo said.

“And if I'm not mistaken it was the finest rasberry jelly at that, royal jelly indeed, smells wonderful.”

Odo beamed at that compliment to his jelly and immediately warmed some more to this unfashionably hairy fellow.

“Well I think I can safely say you are going on my list,” Halfwise informed in.

“There is a list?” Odo probed, “may I enquire are there many others on it?”

“Oh yeah,” Halfwise replied, “quite a few, Forumshire has a lot of respectable folks.”

“Well yes, I suppose that could be true from a certain, perhaps less respectable or sober viewpoint,” Odo tutted, “but true respectability is not just acquired, it is bred. And we McBanks have been known for our respectability for many generations.”

“And I will be sure to consider that when I present the Admin with my choice of candidate, this has been a very fortunate meeting, good day to you,” Halfwise said and turned to leave his bait laid.

“You will be making the decision?”  Odo called after him and Halfwise half turned back to him, “Yeah,” Halfwise said, “I make the recommendation.”

“Would you care for some jelly?” Odo offered suddenly graciously.

“I really can't, Admin is waiting, and I still have the Award Presentation to set up, as that involves coordinating with the Royal Household you can see how busy I am,” Halfwise said layering the bait generously with ego gravy, “but hey there is one thing you could maybe do for me.”

“If it's at all within my respectable duty I will endeavour to help,” Odo eagerly replied already dreaming of being presented with his award by Her Majesty herself.

“It's just, well there's this function coming up at work, and whilst the Admin is a great boss to work for she isn't known for fraternising with the staff, it's not considered respectable you know?”

“I do indeed,” Odo nodded in agreement, “not respectable at all unless you have to bring them in for a one on one firm disciplining or some hard retraining,” his eyes glazed momentarily at fond memories.

“Thing is all the staff buy the Admin presents at this function, and I mean its hard enough to find a gift for the woman who has everything but I want to get ahead of the pack and the rest of the jokers in the Admins pool, you get me?”

“You want your gift to stand out, be above the cut of the others?”

“Exactly, but I don't want to just throw money at it, any fool can do that, what I need is some inside track, some hobby she has, or some food she particularly loves, something personal, meaningful to her. That's what I need to stand out from the crowd.”

“I see the dilemma, and you want me to tell you if I know of any such thing that might help?”

“Exactly!”

“Well,” Odo said slowly, “I am not sure that would be entirely respectable, to give you a head start over the others?”

“Oh on the contrary, I think you'll find that to me it would be considered very respectable indeed, a very kind and respectable act of helping out a stranger in need, in fact that's probably exactly the sort of respectable and selfless act that would catapult a person to the very top of my recommendations list.”

“Well that is very reassuring to know,” Odo nodded, “but as you are aware the Admin is a very private person and keeps her personal affairs very closely guarded, but I could point you in the direction of someone who would know.”

“That would be very helpful of you,” Halfwise nodded encouragingly.

“The person you want is Mrs Figg, she runs a very discreet shop selling very discreet items for very discreet women of a certain discreet age, including I believe the Admin. If anyone in Forumshire knows her likings, it will be Mrs Figg. You can find her shop in Needlehole town square.”

“Well thank you again, that is very helpful,” Halfwise beamed under the fur, “now I really must be on my way, but I think I can safely inform you that your name has gone to the very top of my list of recommendations.”

“Well that is splendid news,” Odo beamed, “good day to you,” and as Halfwise lurched off arms flapping Odo turned and went back to his bench where he sat down basking in the thought of being crowned Forumshire's Most Respected and lit his pipe.

“Hold on a minute!” he suddenly thought choking and coughing on his pipe smoke, “he never even asked me my name!”



“And that kiddo,” Halfwise said as he rendezvoused with Petty further down the road, “is how you do it. So what did you learn?”

Petty frowned, he had always had trouble with learning, and observing things and with thinking coherently, “well um, yi tricked him?” he hazarded.

“Well spotted,” Halfwise replied sarcastically, “that's it? What did you learn about the methodology?”

“The whit?”

“Observation and bravado!” Halfwise replied shaking his head, “First I praised him to inflate his obviously huge ego, then I used what we learned from his gate plaque..”

“Whit di we learn?” Petty misguidedly interrupted.

Halfwise rolled his eyes, “that he considered himself respectable, anyone who calls themselves that on a plaque thinks pretty big of himself, so I praised his jelly too.”

“Whit jelly?”

“The jelly you failed to spot was being made in the jelly shed.”

“Whit jelly shed?”

“The one right over there?” Halfwise replied agitatedly trying to wave a coat sleeve at it, “the one with purple sweet smelling rasberry jelly smoke coming out of it. The one right in front of you!” he said in angry frustration and sighed before plunging on with the lesson, “and then having won him to being well disposed to me I hit him with the sucker punch and reeled him in with talk of a most respected competition, appealing even more to his huge ego.”

“And whit good did that dae us?” Petty harrumphed.

“Weren't you listening? We got  a name to get our information from for your present for the Admin.”

“Bit A still dinae ken whit wi ur daing aw this fir?” Petty grumbled and pulled a face so sulky it would have made a tantruming toddle envious.

“Look from what I can tell you're having enough trouble keeping up to speed on this bit of the plan, so let's not get ahead of ourselves here, though an arthritic tortoise going on vacation with several heavy bags of luggage on its back could probably get ahead of you kiddo. Come on, lets go downtown.”

“Whit fir?”

“Don't you pay attention to anything apart from buckie? We are going shopping at Mrs Figg's Shoppe for the Discreet and Discerning Mature Lady.”

“Um,” Petty frowned, “A didnae think we qualify as oany o' thum.”

“No,” Halfwise mused as they set off, “That is very true. I think we might have to get you into a dress.”

“Whit?!!”

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:11 am

Delicious! I love it.

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Orwell on Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:23 am

Yes, very delicious. I fear Odo is portrayed more exactly so than even Ol’ Anon has been wont to so portray him erstwhiles.... which I think is a compliment of the higher sort... as to Petty.... we have a saying in Ozhobbitland, ‘thick as two bricks’, and Ol’ Anon has once or twice portrayed Petty as being as thick as two... but in this tawdry Tale, I swear he is as thick as three! Well done, ol’ son!  ... also, I do believe, ol’ Halfy is a charming invention... though how much invented, one does begin to ponder...

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by azriel on Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:49 am

We say "as thick as a sideboard & not half as useful" Laughing tho I'm sure Petty will have something up his sleeve, or maybe up Halfy's sleeve, or even up his kilt ? Smile

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Orwell on Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:12 am

I have often wondered if Petty has anything of use up his kilt, either for good, or bad, or both....

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:37 am

{{{Emergency buckie supply Twisted Evil }}

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:15 pm

7


“Noooo! Nooo way, nooo buggering way!” Petty was complaining his face red and throbbing.

He and Halfwise were standing outside the thick glass window of a clothing shop in Needlehole Town Square.

The Town Clock, which was atop the steepled front of the Town Hall was nearing striking noon. Which was a big moment for it and it was having to concentrate.

The square below the clock was busy with folk going about the everyday business of the town. This included the obligatory scuffle and raised voices emitting from the blue doorway of the Official Doctor Who club, the noisy consistent cries of “Nooooso't'purrrreeeee!” all in one near unintelligible bellowed burst, occasionally punctuated by the variant, “Gityernoooosere!” which was the News of the Pure vendor selling his newspapers by the fountain in the squares centre. Carts crowded the streets, their horses decorated it and the very thought of walking about in this bustle, in a bustle was horrifying Petty.

“What's the big deal kiddo?” Halfwise asked perplexed, “you are already wearing a skirt,” he pointed out nodding his hairy head downwards in the direction of Petty's unkempt and never cleaned kilt.

“Thut is noo a skirt!” Petty retorted indignantly, “it's a kilt. Thuts noo the same at aw.”

“Why not? It looks the same.”

“Naw, yi didnae unnersund, if um wearing ma kilt folk ken um a man...”

“They do?” Halfwise could not help himself interrupting, he would guess were most people to be asked where to place Petty on the species chart they'd be hard pushed to place him even in the animal section, if they were judging on intelligence alone he might just scrape into vegetable.

“Aye, they do,” Petty affirmed fiercely, “but if a put yon thing oan,” he waved a disgusted hand at the modest blue dress in the shop window with its oversized bustle, “folk will think um a womin!”

Halfwise sighed, “Folk thinking you are a woman is the whole point. Its a Discreete shoppe for discreete women of a certain age, seems Mrs Figg only serves women. You have to dress like one.. to ..get.. into.. her...shoppe,” he said painstakingly slowly, “do you understand the plan kiddo?” he said in the tones of someone who was trying to explain the intricacies of thermal mathematics to a rubber plant.

“But folk will see me!” Petty pointed out appalled at the very thought.

“They can see you now kiddo, how could this possibly be any worse than what's already on display?” Halfwise snapped his temper beginning to fray slightly and he had to take some slow deep breaths and remind himself he was at his core, as all his kind were, a teacher. And he prided himself on the fact that if he set his mind to teach a lesson then the pupil was damn well going to learn it, no matter what. Even if the pupil was as painfully, breathtakingly stupid as Petty was, “look at it this way kiddo, do you want the buckie factory or not? Do you want your sister Pretty to take everything from you and leave you destitute?”

Petty hung his head at that and grumbled something lowly to himself.

“Well what's it to be? A future where you can't even afford a buckie, you think what you've got left is going to last you forever?”

Reluctantly Petty considered a future without buckie, it was a long and horrific future full of sobriety and knowing what was happening around him and not being able to escape it.

And then there was another future in which humiliated he walked through the crowds of Needlehole Town Square at noon dressed as a women, and that was just as horrific. But it was, even Petty had to note, shorter. Unlike his envisioning of a future without buckie wearing a dress did not stretch off into an inevitable future of everything being too bright and in focus instead of the fuzzy soft edged universe he was used too and loved. And best of all he realised in a rare flash of thought, wearing a dress in public was a future he could then forget had ever happened when he had his buckie factory back by simply getting very, very drunk.

“Fine, A'll dae it,” he finally conceded moodily.

“I knew you'd see sense kiddo, come on lets go get you fitted, time to open that sporran.”

“Whit!” Petty said in renewed horror and another argument broke out which lasted right through the clock tower striking noon and on to the striking of the quarter past the hour before Halfwise had overcome this second greater hurdle of getting Petty to open his sporran and spend money on something that was not buckie.

Eventually however he did succeed and they entered the shop. The clock, which was not interested in their goings on, as if it was it would probably lose count, went about its business until it had struck one o'clock, which it always enjoyed as there was only one gong to count along with the passing of seconds and that was a relief and quite frankly a pleasant break. Now it was onto preparing itself for counting out the striking of the half hour before Halfwise and, something, emerged from the dress shop. One of the things the clock hated most, in fact the thing it hated most to its very last gear and cog, was when it lost count. It did so now at the sight of Petty and its gong for the half hour was out by more than two thousands of a second and it was not happy about that, being as it was built with precision as its main motivation. But then Petty was quite an astonishing sight, even for a clock.*

*If the topography of Forumshire can send a map maker to drink and an early grave then time in Forumshire would have had caused Einstein to take up a job in the circus as Albert the Kooky Clown. Time was not just relative in Forumshire it was downright personal, so whilst Halfwise and Petty had clearly arrived just before noon they had also arrived in the early evening, the early morning, the middle of the night and many other times in-between as well as in winter-time and the summer depending on who was present and if they were observing and what relative time they possessed about themselves. The Forumshire town hall clock had to keep track and count all of this  for everyone all of the time. And here was the catch, accurately. This was obviously too big a task for a brass gears and cog with a big bell outfit and so a little wizardly had been applied in the construction which resulted in a clock that could achieve the task, with the one draw back that it had to think about it to do so. This in turn meant it was possible for it to be distracted by something else if it was something suitably astonishing enough to distract it. Sadly for the clock and its drive for accuracy, as this was Forumshire, something truly astonishing tended to happen at least once a week.



Halfwise regarded Petty in the bright light of what was most likely early afternoon if the clock could be trusted to judge by.

Petty was transformed that was certainly true, and it was possible he could be mistaken for a woman. Maybe. The blue dress with the oversized bustle and now matching bow sat on Petty like a tent that hasn't been pegged out yet. A huge floral pale blue hat perched atop a powdered white wig, beneath which Petty's humiliated red face sat in a crabbit contrasting sulk so deep the lines on his forehead were actually overlapping.

“Its still not right,” Halfwise observed, severely understating the problems Petty in a bustle presented him with, “follow me kiddo,” he said and moved along the row of shops until he found what he wanted and dragged a reluctant Petty inside. A few minutes later when they re-emerged Petty was carrying two round cushions.

“Now put them down the front of your dress... no at the top you idiot,” Halfwise instructed with a shake of his furry head-body. He regarded Petty again with his new additions, “nope that ain't right either, your supposed to be discreet and of a certain age, those are too fulsome and, sticky out,” he considered  a moment, “pull some of the stuffing out of them,” suggested and grumpily Petty obliged, dragging handfuls of white wool from the interior,”yeah that's better, ok kiddo, guess you'll have to do.”

“Now whit?”

“Now we find Mrs Figg's Discreet Shoppe and you go in.”

“Aye, bit then whit?”

Halfwise sighed again, “Same aim as before, get inside information on what the Admin likes.”

“Aye bit how?”

“Lets just find the shoppe and I'll explain as we go,” Halfwise replied wearily and they began walking round the square checking each shop as they passed for Mrs Figgs.

“Ok kiddo, the plan is simple, you go in, you look around the shop and you find something that looks nice, an ornament or some knick-knack,” Halfwise explained as they walked.

“Bit A didnae even ken whit she sells?” Petty complained trying to keep his face low and hidden from the other shoppers they passed on the street, which he need not have bothered doing as at the sight of him approaching most shoppers decided dodging carts and crossing the road was the better option and stray dogs barked at him and then ran away to whimper from behind doorways..

“Me neither kiddo, it doesn't matter what she sells, just find something, show an interest ask some questions about it, get her chatting. You'll need a cover story.”

“A whit?” Petty asked as they reached the corner of the first street and began checking the shop front windows on the next side of the square for Mrs Figg's shoppe.

“Like with Odo, he was a businessman so you pretended to be a businessman to get him onside.”

“Oh aye, A see,” Petty said then added, “sae a tell her A'm a businessman.”!

“No,” Halfwise said exasperated, “that was for Odo, you need a new cover story this time for Mrs Figg.”

“Ah, right, A see,” Petty paused his brow furrowed in concentrated efforts to think, “sae this time, cause Mrs Figg's a discreete shopkeeper A sae A'm a discreete shopkeeper?”

The really sad thing was Halfwise thought this was probably progress, “No, if you say that she will want to talk shop, where you get your supplies, what you stock, what your margins are, do you think you can bluff your way through all that kiddo?”

They reached the end of the second side of the square and began progressing along the third.

“Keep it simple and believable,” Halfwise suggested, “we will say you are housekeeper for the Admin, you fell on hard times, husband passed away and the Admin was incredibly kind to you and now you are back on your feet you want to replay her with a personal gift and you are willing to pay whatever it costs.”

“No am noo!” Petty cried reaching instinctively for his sporran and groaning when all he found was the front of his new dress.

“I saw how much was in that sporran of yours when you paid for the dress kiddo, you've quite the stash of green-backs in there.”

“Thut's ma buckie money!”

“No one could drink that much buckie.”

“I didnae ken aboot thut but I intend tae use that money tae find ooot!”

“When you have your own buckie factory you won't need buckie money,” Halfwise pointed out and  then stopped at the shop they had reached and turned and stared at it.

“This it thun?” Petty enquired.

“No, this is the clothes store we bought your dress in,” Halfwise mused, “we must have missed it, we've gone right round the square,” he spun round on his stilts annoyed and swept his eyes around all the shop fronts he could see within the square, there was no sign of a Discreete Shoppe for Discreete Ladies, “lets go round again,” he frowned.

A short while later they were back once more before the clothes shop.

“Its nooo here, yon filthy McBanks wis lying tae us.”

“He had no reason to, the information was free to him to give and he thought he was getting something out of it,” Halfwise reasoned,”no there is something else going on here. Keep your eyes peeled kiddo.”

“Whit fir?”

“Women of a certain age, I have a suspicion, when you find one watch her, see where she goes.”

Together they watched the people milling about the square, shopping, buying a newspaper, avoiding horses manure and wobbly carts of jelly. Eventually Halfwise spotted a likely candidate but she only bought some vegetables from a stall selling produce from Dave's farm and disappeared into the clothes shop. Petty likewise spotted a likely candidate but much to Halfwise's annoyance Petty lost track of her as she approached the corner of the square on their right.

It was only when Halfwise likewise lost track of a likely target in the same spot and seemingly in plain sight that his suspicions began to firm into certainty.

“It's this way kiddo!” he cried and led Petty along the street to the last building on the corner, “this is it!”

“Whur?” Petty said looking round at the shop behind them which was an old fashioned corner shop with glass so thick and bulbous in its windows it was impossible to see anything inside save a soft yellow light and the outlines of unknown objects and possibly soft furnishings. Its was completely nondescript to his mind and unimportant, “A dinnae see it.”

“It's right here,” Halfwise said pointing at the shop Petty had just been staring at, “I think.” He frowned then spotting a woman of a certain age approaching he stopped her and said, “excuse me madam, you would not happen to know where Mrs Figg shop for Discreete ladies is?”

The women suddenly looked flustered, “No, I do not,” she said seeming shocked and stormed off. Halfwise frowned then stopped a passing man who was heavy of built and wearing a flat cap, “excuse me sir, “ Halfwise said, “could you do me a favour, I have lost my glasses, could you tell me what the sign above this shop says?” he pointed at the nondescript shop behind them. The man stared up at it and then frowned, he frowned some more then with a blank look said,”what shop?” and walked on.

Halfwise frowned under his fur and then said to Petty, “I've got an idea, you ask, ask the next woman of the right age you see.”

They had to wait a few minutes for a suitable candidate to approach and then Petty, in a somewhat squeaky attempt at a female voice stopped her, “A say, yi cudnae tell me wur Mrs Figg shoppe is could you?”

The woman stopped and stared at Petty a moment as if trying to take everything in, she seemed to be doing so with some reluctance but finally she nodded and whispered in a low husky voice, “its the one right behind you love, on the corner there,” before winking at Petty and continued on her way.

Halfwise was almost impressed, Petty had got some information successfully.

“Cheers luv,” Petty thanked calling after the women in his normal voice and she stared at him then with a suspicious look stormed off.

“So this is it!” Halfwise said turning to the shop on the corner, “this Figg Dame isn't kidding when she says discreete, seems only women of a certain age can even see the place, everyone else just seems to block it out their heads like its not even there.”

“Aye,” Petty agreed trying to stare at the shop window, “its like efter a real gud buckie session, whun yir sae oot it that though the worlds still thur, yi cannie really focus or concentrate oan oany o' it,” he squinted so hard at the shop it was giving him a headache,” so whit noo?”

“Now, we work out where the door is and you go in and find out what Mrs Figg knows about Admin Amarie.”

“Bugger,” Petty commented not feeling at all confident in his chances of success but at least wanting it over with, and with no ideas what potential terrors might line within the shoppe, “awrigth lets dae this!” And estimating where the door was and getting it completely wrong he walked right into the shoppe wall. Halfwise groaned in despair.

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Re: Crabbit Faery Tales and Folk Tales of Forumshire

Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:42 pm

The story rings true. This certain Halfwise is acquainted with a speakeasy where the entrance is the back of a barbershop. You walk right past the people getting shaved and cut; a knowing look at the barbers is all you need as a pass.

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