During my 16th summer I frequented the taverns and tapas bars which bejewelled the Tipton shore like a pearl necklace on a whore’s breast. One fateful evening I entered the ‘Rhino and Crippled Nun.’ I surveyed the denizens therein with a critical eye born of wanton abandon. My gaze fixed upon an old sailor. His visage was rubicund, a parrot perched precariously on his one good shoulder and a patch covered the place where his once glistening nose had been. No I thought, not him; too cliché. My bright blue eyes moved on, finally alighting on a dark cowled form in the shadows. His eyes burned as incandescent coals and his bony fingers beckoned………
“What is your name O fair one?”
“They call me Flaxen of ‘The Council Estate’.”
“The estate. I have not ventured there many a long day. Tell me, do the lifts still smell of stale piss, fags and cheap liquor?
“Yes, especially on the morn after giro day.”
“Flaxen, I have heard of your quest to find the fabled city of Brumagem.”
My eyes widened and my sphincter tightened but not before a low strangled phweoooot escaped from my nether breeches.
“Pray tell dark one. Is the city just a figment of a fevered imagination?”
The stranger coughed and gagged and the coal fed eyes blazed fiercely for a moment with an ethereal green glow.
“Shit on a stick, Flaxen you need to add more fibre to your diet and perhaps a lump of charcoal. Wheeze, gasp. It exists. I have never been there myself. Although the Elven whisper of a long boat, also known as the 127 bus, which leaves Tipton High Street (opposite Mr Khan’s select purveyor of premium Halal meats) and sails to Corporation Street in Brumagem.”
A strange feeling effused my groin and once again a low growl oozed from my posterior. “Parp, toot, nwelch. Blaart.”
“Go now! Please go!
Exalted and aflame, I stood and prepared to leave but not before thanking the dark stranger. As I spun upon my heel I couldn't help notice that the tavern had emptied and a mysterious low pall of mist hung suspended in the air. A portend of things to come, perhaps? Only time will tell……
The mysterious stranger watched intently as the tall, broad shouldered and surprising pert buttocked youth left the tavern. The cowl slipped away revealing the swart countenance of Loki.
Loki (for it is he): “Fuck, that last fart has taken all the enamel off my teeth.”
To be continued….