Episode 5 – Another Day

By Daz Trei

Squelch, squelch, squelch, splatter. Splatter, squelch, splatter, squelch.

“No Mr Knight, stop slopping the mop about!” Becky shouted in an increasingly irritated tone, “Squeeze out the mop to remove excess liquid, then wipe it across the floor!”
‘SSssssssssss’
“Dave!” Daz shouted with his hand protecting his beer, “Stop spraying that air freshener about will you? You’re ruining my ‘Hags Wobbling’!”
“Hags Wobbling?” Helen enquired.
“Yeah, well we had to change the name a bit….copyright problems, product placement and all that bollocks,” Daz replied.
“Oh, very wise….bloody bureaucrats,” Helen concurred as she drank her pint of Strangebow.
“I can still smell the Purple OAP shit though!” Dave shouted back belatedly.

It was two days since the purple OAP saga, but Dave was right, the smell was still lingering, despite the numerous mopping sessions. Maybe it was through innocent pride, or shear blissful ignorance, but the protagonists of this story simply hadn’t acknowledged that it was probably them that was stinking. They’d been stuck in the pub for almost a week, without a wash and with the dreaded beer sweats.
“I’ll have another pint of Hags Wobbling please Dave,” Daz said.
“No!” was the simple, if not a little blunt, reply.
“Come on Dave, let’s not mess about. I’m sorry about shouting at you, I realise you were only trying to make the place nicer with your inane air freshernering,” Daz splurged in an attempt at an apology.
“No, you don’t understand, the Hags Wobbling has run out, you’ve drank it all!” Dave revealed, to a dramatic reception.
The obligatory cue ball leapt from the pool table, a pack of cards flew into the air, and Daz was in a state of mental shock.
‘THUD’
“Will you fucking stop it!” shouted the man at the end of the bar, as he got back onto his stool.
“We didn’t write that!” Helen shouted as she approached the bar.

[No it was me! I wrote it! It’s funny.]
[Now get back to the sad story.]

“Fucking writers,” the man muttered as he climbed back on his stool.
“Daz, you’ve got to grieve mate, let it out, there’s no shame in crying,” Helen said with a dry snigger, while Daz quivered and slumped into the bar sobbing.
“Don’t know what you’re sniggering at, there’s only one pint of Strangebow left and you’ve drank all the posh bottled cider,” Dave told Helen.
“FFFFFFuck! Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” Helen shouted as tears began to well.
“Oh man I can’t believe this shit,” Daz dramatically wailed through sobs and snot bubbles.
“Here lad, have a blow,” The Knight said, handing Daz a tissue. With a gurgling thrust and a comic farting sound, Daz was now able to smell again.
“Cheers mate. Oh no! What’s that bloody smell?” Daz shouted, whilst sniffing his own armpit. “I haven’t had a shower in a week! It’s me that stinks!”
Everyone else in the pub had a sneaky smell at themselves too, even the Knight Before Christmas was smelling under his chainmail.
“This is serious now, this is very serious!” Daz was on a dramatic slightly camp roll, “Beer’s run out….the pork scratchings have run out, we’ve eaten all the crisps and nuts. I’m completely bloody sick of this. I’ve had enough! Fuck those Purple OAP tossers!”
Daz slammed his glass on the bar in a childish strop, before running to the back door. As he passed The Door, he shoved it open.
“And you can fuck off an’all!” he shouted into the darkness, before ramming open the back door for his escape. To his dismay, he was met with an unexpected scene. There should have been the smoking area, with maybe a few Purple OAPS slumbering around. Instead, there was an Olympic sized swimming pool full of beer. This raised a dry smile and even stirrings elsewhere, excitement was high, then he realised something was wrong. To the right was a huge diving structure with various levels, and at the top was a diver looking down to see what had disturbed proceedings.
“Yes, I’m gay, so what!” he shouted down, as a crowd of spectators on the other side of the pool began to hiss and boo.
“What the fffff,” Daz began to mutter, but he was stopped in his tracks as he noticed something peculiar. It was a a mouse, doing a backstroke along the frothy surface of the pool with tinsel water wings and a very small gin and tonic.

“He didn’t mean it!” Dave shouted into the blackness behind The Door, before pulling Daz away from the back door, slamming it in the face of the approaching angry diving spectators.
“Come on mate, come and sit down. We’ve got smooth bitter, there’s plenty of that because no bugger drinks it.”
“Dave,” Helen said with a curious undercurrent, “who were you talking to when you shouted in The Door?”
“What door? I didn’t say anything,” Dave said, whilst coyly pulling a pint of crap bitter.
“Why was there a swimming pool behind the back door, Dave?” Daz asked.
“A swimming pool?” said Becky, as the pub looked on in puzzlement.
“Yeah, there was a swimming pool full of beer, a diver with sexuality issues, loads of angry people….and a mouse,” Daz replied.
“Give him pop Dave, he’s hallucinating!” said Helen.
“I’m not hallucinating, you go have a look, see for yourself!” Daz said confidently.
“Erm, no don’t do that, erm…” Dave muttered.
“Piss off Dave, I’m going for a look,” said Helen, as she barged past to the back door. She opened it and looked out for a good minute or so whilst the pub peered round, waiting for conformation that everything was okay. (Though they were all secretly wishing for the beer pool.)
Helen finally slammed the door shut again, walking back into the bar area with a slightly puzzled demeanour and mildly angry.
“Told you, big swimming pool, yes?” Daz asked as everyone sat up slightly in anticipation of a yes.
“No,” came Helen’s reply, as everyone slumped back down disappointedly. However, Helen hadn’t seen the smoking area that should be there either. “Erm, I think I’ll have pop as well Dave.”
“What did you see?” Becky asked.
“Oh, erm, nothing!” Helen replied, obviously perplexed by what she had just seen. Then, as Dave placed a pint of house cola on the bar, a strange noise came from outside. It was the sound of horses’ feet on cobbles, loud enough to attract the whole attention of the pub. Everyone climbed upon the seats to look out of the window.
“What the chuff is happening out there? That’s no swimming pool,” Becky shouted.
The scene was of something from the 1800s. A carriage rolled up the cobbled street pulled by big black stallions and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau wasn’t there. Instead there was a sack being winched into an open door on the second floor of an old building. Above, the sky was black with billowing smoke from tall distant mill chimneys and everything just seemed…..well, grey really.
Dave came from behind the bar for a look out of the windows himself. Climbing back down again, he shook his head with his hand briefly against his face. A large sigh followed before a stern clap of his hands. “Right, come on, get down, okay. Don’t look out there, it’s not real, you’re all hallucinating,” he said. He felt a little intimidated as everyone looked round at him through glaring, sobering up eyes. “Look, I’ll fix everything, just sit down, wait a minute okay?” Dave said with an err of desperation.
Maybe everyone was simply too confused or too tired to care, but they all climbed down from the seats and sat down as ordered. Meanwhile, Dave had opened The Door again and was talking with a stern voice.
“Look, the Purple OAP thing, that’s their problem, but cut the crap with the swimming pools and old horsey shit will you? Also, they’re getting cranky, we need more beer and snacks.”
As everyone sat sulking, a brief strange rattling sound could be heard from behind the bar, like a domino rally. Dave slammed The Door shut, before returning to his proud position behind the bar. Looking a little apprehensive, he pulled the Hags Wobbling pump.
‘Gurgle gurgle rattle.’
No beer, just a strange noise came from the nozzle, as Dave mopped his brow and tried again with the same….’Gurgle cough splutter’.
“Please!” he pleaded with the pump, before trying for a third time. This time the pump delivered a full pint of delicious Hags Wobbling. The other pumps sprang to life. A pint of golden Strangebow followed, then everyone else’s drinks, to much rapture and joy. Tucking into the fresh bar snacks and drinks a plenty, everyone seemed to forget about the swimming pool and the horse drawn carts. Dave was joyous, as the jukebox rang out ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen. Feeling proud, he filled his own glass and joined in the merriment.

To be continued…(when the holiday hangover subsides)

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Episode 4 – The Knight Before Christmas

By Helen Rhodes

The rumbling roused even the deadest of spiders. The bricks shivered in their mortar, huddled together amidst the thundering ripples. Ears were covered, eyes screwed shut. Would it ever end? Oh please! Let it end! Helen nudged Daz, who snorted up half of his dribble and ventured a peep through his slumbering eyes.
“Wha..?
“You fell asleep. Dave wants to wipe down the bar. Shift.”
Daz roused his dozy arms. They complied and fell to his sides. Dave wiped down the bar, then plonked a packet of finest pork scratchings in front of Daz’s somnolent features. “Breakfast,” he said.
“Oh, thanks.” Daz ravaged the packet and pondered himself whilst chomping on a very crispy bit of pig skin, with extra hairs.
“You were mumbling in your sleep, you know,” said Helen.
“Was I?”
“Amongst the horrific snoring, yes.”
“I don’t snore.”
The bricks shivered, and Helen agreed. “Of course you don’t.”
“But now you come to mention it, I did have a very strange dream,” mused Daz.
“Did it have David Tennant in it?” Becky enquired enthusiastically.
“No.”
“Oh,” said Becky’s slightly disappointed face.
“There was a Knight or something. He liked to write. And he’s buried here.”
Daz’s description made Dave busy himself with the glass washer.
“Something to do with The Door, Dave.”
“Oh really? Nice. Yes, nice. Good. Good,” said Dave, attending fastidiously to a shot glass.

CLATTER, BANG, BANG!

The front door rattled. “Help me, please!” came a feeble cry from the other side. “Quick, before they come back.”
“We can’t! Don’t open the door, Daz!” But Helen’s plea for help couldn’t stop him. Daz was already undoing the blots and latches.
“It sounds important.”
But it wasn’t.
On the other side of the door stood a small, frail, and very wrinkled old lady. She smiled sweetly. The kind of smile that says I’m old, therefore you must help me, it is the law.
“Please,” she whimpered, “let me in. I had a spare Softmint in my handbag. They’re fighting over it now. Please, let me in. It’s cold out here, and my bones hurt. I’m 92, you know.”
“Aww,” said Becky. “You can’t leave her out there.”
“But she might be infected,” appealed Helen.
“She’s not purple enough. Look.” Daz led the stare towards the crumpled face, which, everyone had to admit, wasn’t at all purple. Kind of waxy in fact.
“Oh, let her in,” said Dave. “I’ll see if I can find some sherry out the back.”
The non-purple OAP slowly shuffled towards the bar while Daz secured the door once again.
“Oh, thank you, young man,” quivered the OAP. “You’re all very kind.”
Becky helped the pathetic frame over to a comfy seat. The woman sat, clutching her brown leather handbag on her knee, and sipped her sherry. Her cheeks became red with happiness, and everyone felt the right thing had been done.

Creeeeaaak… Crack!

The bricks looked at each other warily. The Door – yes, THAT DOOR – pulsed, as if about to burst.
“Er…” said Helen.
“Oh it’s fine!” said Dave, a little too positively. “It’s just the wind making it creak. It always does that. Ahaha…herher…hmm.”
“But the hinges, they’re sort of…”
And they were. The hinges, they were sort of…swivelling in their hinge holes. They creaked again. Then the door slammed open, sucking all the green paint inwards like a super-strong vacuum.
“What the fuck!” shouted Daz.
The ‘Free Pool Every Tuesday’ sign ripped itself from the notice board and disappeared into the blackness. The notice board itself swiftly followed.
“It’s gonna suck us all in!” shouted Helen, trying to persuade her hair not to follow the trend.
“Oooh, like a timey-wimey sorta thing,” said Becky, inappropriately.
“Quick, Daz, shut it!” Helen wafted a hand towards the door.
“But…but…I…can’t…reach…” Daz strained, hanging onto the bar post with his arm. His feet slipped slowly towards the dark hole, now pulling at his trainers. The laces fluttered seductively. “It’s gonna pull me in! Shiiiiit!” Daz grasped the doorjamb, his knuckles white with effort and fear.
“Daaaaz!” screamed Becky.

Vooommfff.

There was nothing.

Like sound, generally, had imploded.

Then, a second later, an opposing figure appeared in the doorway. It leered at everyone. Its dark eyes wandered about the slightly wavering figures. Its face gave nothing away. Stoic and…well, reliable.
“Who the hell are you?” said Helen.
“I…” growled the figure, slowly, “…am The Knight Before Christmas.”
Everyone blinked.
“And I am here for one reason and one reason only.”
The silence demanded a conclusion.
“I bring you forgotten presents, railway cancellations, and still frozen 18 pound turkeys.”
“…” said the room.
“I bring you non-alcoholic mulled wine laced with bits of old tinsel and soggy wrapping paper.”
The rest of the room shrugged through glassy eyes.
“But most of all,” boomed the Knight, “I bring you the prophecy of the lost Sellotape in all its blackened doom…ness.” The figure hunched in the doorway, expecting the usual panicked reaction. He coughed.
“Sorry, love, you bring what now?” said Helen.
“Look, I’m the Knight Before Christmas,” said the disconcerted voice. “I am here to panic you about things you’ve forgotten or that aren’t in your control that can ruin the one day of the year when everything’s supposed to be absolutely perfect.”
Daz rolled his eyes (backwards), “Of course you are. And I’m the fucking bollocks fairy.”
The figure glared the darkest glare ever to darken any glare, ever. “You wanna keep me on side, mate. I can make your life hell – with added tinsel!”
“Squeak!”
“And what’s that?” asked Helen.
“That…” said the Knight. “Why, that’s the Knight Before XMouse.”
“Squeak.”
“Really?” said Helen’s eyebrows.
“Well, yes.”
“No. Really?”
“Yes.”
“Does he want a pint?” enquired Daz.
“Squeak!”
“A pint!” boomed the Knight. “A pint?! To him, that’s like asking you if you want an Olympic swimming pool of beer.” Glazed eyes contemplated this dreamy image for considerable time. Then…

“Shit!” squealed Becky. “It is! It’s bloody Christmas!
“Oh no! I didn’t realise we’d been in here that long,” said Daz.
“Oh yeah,” said Helen, and sipped her cider, still with the swimming pool image…
“But what about Sophie? And your Nan, Daz. What about Marc, Helen?” Becky’s face panicked over. The Knight chuckled to himself, then hid the Sellotape.
“What about REAL LIFE?!” Becky said, her face turning a sickly white colour.

“Hey!” A shimmery voice appeared all around them. Omnipresent. Like the air was speaking to them all. “We’ll have no reality here, thank you,” it said.
“Is that that bloody writer again?” said Helen. “Sod off will you? We’re trying to be naturally realistic here.”
“Sorry,” said the ghostly voice.
“I should bloody well think so.”
“I’ll just be off then.” Said the writer, gloomily.
“You could at least write us some shots of Jagermeister before you bugger off,” said Helen. “And no bomb, just Jager.”

Shots of Jager appeared in front of everyone. With ice. A streak of blond raced across the bar.
“Harry!” Becky exclaimed. “Here to oversee the Jager drinking I presume.”
“Obviously,” said Harry, flicking his hair behind his shoulders. “Now, you’ve got to wait till it gets to the right temperature. Just keep feeling the glass with the back of your hand. You’ll know when it’s there.”
Everyone took the instructions from Harry very seriously and touched their glasses intermittently to check for the correct coolness, and which of the two glasses in front of them was real and which was a figment of their already sozzled minds…

[This is a long pause…]

[Long isn’t it?]

“Cor, that seemed like a long time,” said Helen.
“It’s that writer, went off for an artistic strop after you had a go,” explained Daz. “Seems ok now. These words keep appearing, so maybe we’re back on track.”

It was the wheezing that attracted their attention first. That, and the puddle of drool slowly accumulating on the carpet. The smell too. That wasn’t good. Like something had burst, or was at least leaking a bit.
”It’s a matter of patience,” Harry continued to explain.
“Er…” Becky ventured.
“Just shoving it down your neck is such a waste.”
“Harry, I think…”
“People just have no class about the art of Jagermeistering these days. You have to savour the burn, and…”

“Arrrrrggghh!” The OAP lurched towards the bar, arms wide and flailing. The bar lurched backwards, taking Daz, Becky and Helen with it.
“I was bloody right, look!” said Helen. “She’s one of them!”
The dehydrated beetroot face dribbled hungrily in front of them. Custard creams and sprouts wafted from her yellowing teeth filled mouth. Something brown and drippy lingered behind her.
“Ugh, gross!” said Daz, as collective noses were held.
The bloke at the end of the bar fell off his stool with an inevitable sigh.
With brilliant, yet uncharacteristic, timing the jukebox blurted “Tay, Tay, Tay, Tay, t,t,t,t,t, Tay, Tay…..” And Mel, the presumed dead half of 80s pop duo Mel and Kim, jumped on the purple OAP’s hunched shoulders, screaming just a semi tone short of top D. The heap of old dead pop star and old undead pensioner writhed on the floor. Dave, in unsung hero mode, lept over the bar with a nicotine stained bit of tinsel and cocooned the purple monster in shiny sparkliness. “That should hold her,” he said, brushing himself down. “Nice work, Mel.” Mel nodded, and returned to her John Smiths as ‘We ain’t ever gonna be respectable,’ crackled from the speakers.

“That was close,” managed Daz, trying to contain the wobbles currently afflicting his legs. “But what are we going to do with her now?”
All eyes watched the squirming sparkly horribleness that was oozing all over the carpet.
They contemplated. They drank their shot of Jager all together, in one go.
“Nooooo!” screamed Harry in disgust.
But nobody cared. The Knight Before Christmas sniggered under his breath.
Becky’s compulsion could no longer take the mess unfolding in front of her and decided cliché was the only answer, and picked a relatively modern one.
“Right, Helen, fetch me a pool cue. Daz, bang some Queen on the juke box.”
“I don’t know if I can find a willing homosexual at such short notice. But if Dave’s got any more tinsel…”
“Queen, the band, Daz,” explained Becky.
Dave put the tinsel away.
Becky dropped a coin into Daz’s palm, “You know which one.”

Defying gravity, and various other laws of physics, a very fat man dressed in red flew over the Wakefield rooftops. The faint pulse of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ reached his ears as he passed over the city centre. But there was something else that pulsed with it. Something kind of squelchy, with undertones of splatter…

To be continued…

Episode 3 – Writers’ Shock

By Daz Trei

“Shite! That’s you’re synopsis for our story is it, Dave? Just shite?” asked Helen.
Dave looked at Daz who was staring beady eyed waiting for an answer, then looked at Becky who was shaking her head in disappointment. Then, Dave tilted his head a little while he tried to think of a suitable reply and with an err of caution, he proceeded. “Well what the ‘effing hell is a Purple OAP anyway?” Dave asked, to which the blue touch paper was lit, causing an explosive cocktail of vague explanation and ranting from the two writers. At the end of the rant there was a short silence.
“So basically neither of you know what a Purple OAP is then, even though you wrote about them,” Dave said, before walking towards the bar. Understanding of the conclusion, but unwilling to except defeat, Helen and Daz sighed, before finishing off their pints in a mild huff.
“Well I liked it!” Becky said, before cheering up the mood with an announcement of a round of drinks. Just then, the pub doors flew open abruptly, as a man came crashing through them, landing on the floor. A second person followed, a dishevelled women who slammed the doors shut and shoved the bolts on. Dave the barman bounded over to see what was going on. “Its happening!” shouted the man on the floor.
“What’s happening?” asked Dave as he helped the man to his feet.
“Out there, its happening!” the women repeated as everyone in the pub looked on.
“Hang on!” Becky said calmly, as she walked over and unbolted the doors to see what was going on outside.
“No! Shut it, shut the door!” the man shouted.
“No you shut it and sit down,” Dave told the man, tailing of into a rapid thought process. “Is this an effing play or something?” he asked the two writers. Helen and Daz shook there heads innocently as they too approached the door.
“What’s out there Becky?” Helen asked.
“Nothing’s out here, just an empty crisp packet in the gutter,” Becky replied, as she looked out of the door to her right. In unison, Daz and Helen shouted, “Look the other way!”
Immediately, Becky shot back in, slamming the doors shut and shoving the bolts firmly home. With her back to the doors and a worried expression, Becky demanded an answer.
“What the chuff is going on? There’s forty odd OAPs coming up the street out there.” she said to the writers pertinently. “Well, what’s bad about that? The bingo’s probably finished or something,” Dave replied.
“They were purple!” Becky added loudly. Just then there was loud rapture on the TV as Ronnie O’Sulivan’s cue ball jumped off the snooker table and flew into the crowd. Noticing the events on the TV, Helen went to elbow Daz to draw his attention. Unfortunately Daz wasn’t stood where she thought he was and she accidently elbowed the man who sits at the end of the bar, causing him to fall from his stool and land on the floor. Daz looked round on hearing the thud, “Shit, I wrote that bit, what’s going on?” Daz shouted.
Interrupting the chain of events, a man walked over, the man the writers had based ‘Kevin Jibberishski Van Der Cockun’ on. We all sighed, because usually he is full of nondescript talk and slurred words, but not now he wasn’t, “You seam to be in a bit of a pickle,” he said.
“Well effing spotted, now go sit down!” Dave replied sternly.
“Oh I will, don’t worry about that. I just thought I’d explain the predicament you’re in first,” the man replied. He wasn’t slurring now, he was a completely different person, in a trance maybe, but he was very serious. Sat down at the bar, with his drink in his hand, he began to explain.
“You two wrote a story. People tell stories all the time about the Inns of Court, but they rarely mention The Door. You see, this pub is haunted by an ancient spirit of a Knight of the Knights Templar, who was burned at the stake hundreds of years ago. He was a writer, like you two, and was half way through a story when he was arrested and executed. The good townsfolk of Wakefield quite liked the guy, so when the fire had died down they collected as much of the unfortunate Knights’ ashes as they could and scattered them around this pub. Amongst the ashes were some remnants of bones that hadn’t burned, so the townsfolk buried them around about where ‘The Door’ is now. He was a cheerful soul before he died, and also in the afterlife it seems, as his spirit happily haunts this pub. He listens to people chatting and sometimes even sets the jukebox off. However, he takes a special interest in writers and poets, because that’s what he was. You attracted his attention because in your story, you mentioned ‘The Door’. He’s now interested in your story, but you left gaps and questions. He wants to see how the story ends, so he’s put you in it. Your story might have been light hearted fiction, but it’s very real now. You’re in your own tale and those Purple OAPS out there are real too,” he said.

Kevin Jibberishski Van Der Cockun, walked away and sat at a table in the corner, as the writers and their friends stood motionless, bathed in an eerie silence. “Shite!” Dave suddenly shouted, as he shook his head as if to reset his mind. He went to unbolt the doors again, but nobody tried to stop him, as they all wanted to confirm that it was all in fact just a load of shite.
Opening the front door, Dave was confronted with an unwelcome scene. There was two old age pensioners, looking rather miffed and purple, stood at the door. Helen quickly ran to pull him away, slamming the doors firmly shut again. Before she could shut the second set of doors, the letter flap rattled at the bottom of the door and in came a set of false teeth. The old dears outside could be heard cackling in a mischievous fit of laughter. Everyone was pissing themselves inside too, before Daz suddenly remembered something.
“Oh shit!” he shouted, running to the back door. There was a Purple OAP with his walking frame just in the doorway, but Daz wasn’t about to start using the ladies toilets. With a swift kick, the purple OAP was out of the way and the door was slammed shut and locked.
“I cant believe you just kicked that poor old bloke, Daz!” Becky said.
“Had to be done love, you don’t want them pissing all over the seats in the ladies do you?” Helen interjected. Becky smiled and nodded. “Fair enough,” she said.
“What are we going to do now then?” Dave asked.
“Well Dave, its an apocalypse mate. Standard apocalypse rules apply,” Daz said.
“That’s very true Dave, rules dictate a free bar!” Becky said.
“Fair enough!” Dave agreed. The man at the end of the bar fell off his stool, a cue ball shot past everyone, and a pack of cards suddenly flew into the air. All looked at each other in disbelief, as there was no one actually playing cards, or pool. “What the ffff,” Helen said in puzzlement.
Just then, the man in the corner piped up, “Its in your story. A ball comes off the pool table and a pack of cards fly into the air. You’re in your story!” he said, reminding us of our situation. Nobody realised that the man and women had disappeared too, the ones that had come through the door earlier.
“This is all getting a bit weird, what comes next in the story?” Helen asked Daz, but he didn’t need to reply as Dave placed three pints on the bar. “I think that answers your question!” Daz replied, as Dave was tucking into a pint too, like a kid in a sweet shop.
“So, what happens now then?” Helen asked the Kevin man.
“Well you need to finish you’re story,” he replied.
“So, whatever we write, is going to happen?” Helen asked.
The man simply nodded, as Becky began jumping up and down with joy shouting, “Tardis, tardis, tardis!”
“Don’t forget, the spirit is a writer, you have to finish your story,” the Kevin man said, as the jukebox suddenly started playing. It was Thriller by Michael Jackson, the windows began to rattle almost to the beat with the OAPS walking sticks. The spirit was reminding them about the tight spot they were in. The writers sat down, with pen and paper, the lives of their friends were in their hands.

To be continued….

Episode 2 – The Purple Apocalypse of the Tragic Mind

By Helen Rhodes

Bang! … Bang! … Bang! …

“Shurrup! Said Helen. “Tryin’ to watch the bloody snooker here.”
It had been five hours and thirty-four minutes since the Purple OAP Apocalypse had commenced. To be honest, it wasn’t really that bad. The Apocalypse Code meant the drinks and assorted bar snacks were free. There was snooker on the telly, and pool in the bar. And if you got really desperate, there was always dominoes. In fact, the main worry was Daz seemed to be running a bit low on pork scratchings, having consumed 22.4 packets since learning of the Apocalypse Code.

Bang! … Bang! … Bang! …

It was a bang that defiantly said ‘Give Me A Gin and Tonic With Extra Brain.’
Dave, having joined in most thoroughly with the Apocalypse Code regarding free drinks, stood firm. Well, as firm as nine pints and a whiskey chaser could manage. The plague of Purple OAPs, now numbering at least, oh, 41 and a half (not including plastic and metal replacement internal parts), were stepping up their attack. Two pilfered patient ambulances had arrived within the last half an hour, dropping off another dozen or so Purples. The echo of the wheelchair lift filled the air for the third time in the last ten minutes. The noise seemed to excite the octogenarian crowd, as their banging got slightly more forceful, and the chilling rattle of crutches became…well, more rattly.

Nigel adjusted himself from within his sensible trousers’ pocket.
Sharon tried very hard not to notice, then tried very hard not to be sick.
Kevin Jibberishski Van Der Cockun – a local – made his way to the bar.
“Yes, Kevin, whattllitbethen?” slurred Dave.
“Smirinoff Ice, please, if that’s okay, if you don’t mind. Thanks,” jibbered Kevin. Dave fetched the girly…er, I mean the lovely, and very cool, but slightly warm, bottle from the fridge, popped the top, and placed it on the bar towel in front of Kevin.
Kevin pondered the tall erection in front of him. Nigel moved off towards the ladies’ toilets, and Kevin picked up his drink and downed half of it in one go. He wiped his mouth, then proclaimed, “I’m not bloody scared of these old bastards! I’m gonna go out there and…and…” The silence listened intently. And then listened some more. “…and glass ‘em with this bottle!”
Shock reverberated around the bar. Surely not. Surely, Kevin Jibberishski Van Der Cockun, the bestest jibberer in town, but quite harmless really, if you let him just carry on talking till he’d finished, then got away quickly before the next sentence came forth, wasn’t that type of person really. Not the type who did violence and that. Not the type to actually follow through on such heat-of-the-moment threats. Was he?
“Don’t be stupid, Kevin,” said Dave. “You’re best off in here till it’s all over. It’s five o’clock in the afternoon. Nearly their bedtime.”
“No!” Kevin roared, heroically. “This has gone on for far too long.”
“I dunno,” said Helen, “I could manage a couple more pints.”
“Me too,” Daz chewed, through the remnants of dried pig skin.
“I am, y’know. I am! I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna grab one of them half dead Purple bastards, and I’m gonna…I’m gonna…”
“Dry Roasted, Kev?” Dave smiled, holding what might as well have been a bag of gold in front of Kevin’s enraged features.
“Oooooh, thanks, Dave. If it’s not too much trouble, that’s very kind, thank you very much. I do like a packet of…” Kevin wandered off with his new found interest towards the bright flashy lights of the fruit machine.

“Oh, this like in the power cut innit,” said Sharon. “It’s like that time all of Wakey went out for a whole 24 hours. I spent most of that in the bath you know, with 16 candles and a bottle of vodka. Then I went to bed and slept right through it all.” She giggled at her own logic. What more could she do? The groaning from outside was growing. Obviously the replacement hips were starting to grate, and some of the Purple OAPs really could do with a nice sit down and a cup of tea. Maybe a teacake.

Helen’s phone buzzed apathetically.
“It’s Becky. She’s on her way down.”
“Oh no! Tell her it’s too dangerous. Tell her she mustn’t come anywhere near!” said Daz, somewhat panic stricken.
“It’s okay, I’ll tell her to come round the back.”
Daz’s eyes widened like an Argos corner whore’s legs. “No! What are you thinking! She’ll be gotten…gotted…got…”
“Stop wasting perfectly good words, Daz,” said Helen, a bit too sure of herself to be sure of herself. “We’ll get her in. I have a plan.”
“Is it a…” began Daz.
“No, it’s not a cunning one. It’s just a plan.”

Nigel returned from the ladies toilets. “There’s no seat on one of them toileting facilities in there, Dave. You should sort that out, Dave. It’s a health and safety hazard is that, Da…”
“Hey Nige,” said Helen, in such a friendly manner that Nigel stopped dead in his tracks, in the middle of zipping up his fly, wondering if he should be zipping the other way.
“Er, hey,” he ventured.
“Listen Nige, we’ve got a plan, but only you can follow it through.”
“Me?”
“Yeah. There’s a major problem outside.”
“Is there?”
“Yeah.”
“What, apart from the Apocalypse thingywhatsitthing?”
“Oh yeah, apart from that. This other thing is just so much more important. It’s a hazard waiting to happen. We might all die if you don’t sort it out.”
Nigel’s chest puffed out like a pigeon on crack laced vomit.
Helen continued. “Out there, just down the road, by the vets, there’s a sign.”
“A sign. Yeah.” Nigel listened intently. Could his moment have possibly come?
“It’s a one way sign,” Helen explained. “But… Oh, I can’t honestly believe it myself. It’s…it’s just terrible.” Nigel could see the despair in Helen’s eyes. The despair that only he could take away. Helen controlled her sobs and placed an arm on Nigel’s knobbly knuckles. “The one way sign.”
“Yes?” Said Nigel.
“It’s… It’s facing the wrong way!!” Helen covered her face. Her shoulders shivered. Nigel HAD to fix this. This just wasn’t on. Anything could happen. People could get lost! People could go…THE WRONG WAY! Bloody council, thought Nigel. They think they can get away with murder!!
Nigel’s upper lip stiffened, amongst other things.
“That’s bloody appalling. I shall go and fix it immediately!”
“Hang on,” said Helen. “You’ll have to go out the back. There’s not as many out there. If you go out the back then run all the way round the front and down the street they’ll start to follow you. By the time you’ve fixed the sign they’ll be half way. Plenty of time for you to come round the back way and we’ll let you in.”
“Great plan,” said Daz.
And it was a great plan. A brilliant plan. An inspired pla… Anyway. Nigel too, fortunately, thought this was a great plan. His nostrils flared. He straightened his dark rimmed glasses and headed for the back door. The students moved the barricade from the door as Nigel readied himself.
“Wait!” Shouted Dave, who hurried his way towards Nigel and slammed something cylindrical into his sweaty palm. “Thought these might help, you know, throw them off course sortathing.”
Nigel considered the marigold coloured packet of Werther’s Originals, undid the little red strip, and filled his hand full of the little peado… er, creamy, yummy, ‘very special’, caramels.
“Okay, I’m going in.”
The door slammed open and Nigel charged through, flinging caramels in the air all about him.
“Aaaggghhh,” screamed Nigel, in full testosterone mode, as he pushed his way through the metallic clad hoard of Purple OAPs.
“Oooh, a Werther’s Original,” drooled one of the wrinkly daemons.
A pile of beige macs and brown shoes clambered towards the golden treasures adorning the flagstones.
“Hey Becky,” said Helen.
“Hey. What’s all this?”
“Some kind of apocalypse.”
“Oh. Er. Right.” Becky puzzled over the dome of Pack-A-Mac’d blue rinses.
“Free beer though,” chirped Helen. But Becky was already at the bar.

By this time Nigel had charged round the front of the pub, past the rest of the Purples and was three quarters of the way towards his destination. The hoard turned, slowly. The creaking of wheels pointed them in the direction of their pray. Together they charged. Squee, squee. Squee, squee. Squee, squee. When I say charged, I obviously don’t mean charged. The squee, squee of the melee slowly faded out. The students began barricading the door again, when…

“Hang on! Before you put them back. Let’s barricade the back door. Then we can use the gents.”
All the men in the room growled their agreement in a very manly way. All had experienced the ladies’ toilet, and they didn’t want to go back again.
So, the back door was barricaded. The familiar waft of puddled pee and little yellow squares of deodoriser made its way up the corridor, and all was right once again.

“Dave,” said Daz enquiringly.
“Yes, mate.”
“What’s that door for? The one down the corridor there, opposite the back door.”
“Oh, that door,” chuckled Dave in a very suspicious manner.
“You don’t need to worry about that door. Just… Er, just pretend it’s not there.”
Dave grabbed a bar towel and a glass and busied himself with them at the other side of the bar. Very suspicious behaviour, thought Daz. That’s a man with something on his mind, thought Daz. That, right there, is a man who has a secret, thought Daz. All this thinking was dehydrating Daz’s brain cell, so the other one told him to order another drink. He did. As Dave turned away from him, obviously avoiding any further door related conversation, Daz picked up his pint and strolled nonchalantly to ‘The Door’. Daz’s brain contemplated the door. It was much like all the other doors. Green. Just sitting there, doing door things, like doors do. Daz sipped his pint, then knocked, twice. Silence. Then…
Knock… knock… knock…
Daz’s eyes looked startled, then relayed to the other brain cell that maybe there was something amiss here. He was absolutely certain this door didn’t lead to anywhere outside, because, well, there was bricks and stuff on the other side, sooo…
He knocked again, and waited. Then…
Knock… knock… knock…

When confronted with such mysteries as this of course it is absolutely natural to conclude that the door must be opened to see who/what was making this sound. However, the apocalyptic situation did make Daz pause for thought. Just a bit of thought, mind. Then he shoved the door open with his shoulder, rubbed his shoulder like a girl, and peered into the darkness.
“Oh my god!!!”
The whole pub crowed round Daz and ‘The Door’
“What? What is it?” stuttered Becky, spilling her pint on the spilt pint stain on the carpet.
“It’s…” But Daz was lost for words. It was impossible. Wasn’t it?

Mel, from the long not given a shit about Stock Aitken Waterman band Mel & Kim appeared from darkness where ‘The Door’ had once stood. She went to the bar, asked for a pint of John Smiths, and made her way to the juke box.

To be continued…

Episode 1 – The Day of the Purple OAP Apocalypse.

By Daz Trei

It was a cold autumnal Saturday afternoon, the sun shone, but coats were still worn. Abhorrent crowds gathered in the streets, the atmosphere was tepid, but with the pub door shut, only laughter was to be had inside. There was a couple of lads playing pool, a small group of students were sat playing cards and there was a man half sat on a bar stool, half leaning against a post, watching the football on the TV. For Helen and Daz, it was Pint Club, where they met weekly to indulge in some intellectual thought exchange and pint glass fettling. However, their cerebral symposium, was to be short lived that day.

Suddenly the pub doors flew open, as a man came crashing through them, landing on the floor. A second person followed, a dishevelled woman, she slammed the doors shut and made sure it was locked. Dave the barman, bounded over to see what was going on. “It’s happening!” shouted the man on the floor.
“What’s happening?!” Dave shouted, as he helped the man to his feet.

“Out there, it’s happening!” the woman shouted. Everyone in the pub looked on.

“Hang on,” Daz said, as he calmly unbolted the door to see what was going on outside.

“No, shut it, shut the door!” the man shouted. Dave told the man to shut up and sit down whilst Daz leaned out of the door to see what was happening. Looking to his right, he couldn’t see anything improper, just an empty crisp packet floating about in the gutter.

“What’s happening Daz,” Helen shouted, as Dave the barman looked on.

“Nothing’s happening out here!” Daz hollered, before looking to his left. “Arrrrg!” he shouted and shot back inside. With the outer doors firmly shut and locked, he then bolted the second set of doors shut, propping a bar chair against them to be sure.

“What’s happening?” Dave asked. Helen stood up and walked over, bringing Daz his pint.

“Here, you better have a drink. What did you see? What’s out there?” she asked. Slurping down the rest of his beer, Daz sat down on a barstool as everyone looked on, waiting to hear what he’d seen. “There’s loads of them, oh shit!” he said, trying to calm down and focus, whilst looking in his glass for more beer.

“Loads of what?” Helen asked.

“OAP’s! There’s loads of them…..” Daz replied, with a hint of fear in his voice.

“Jeez, is that all?” Dave said tutting as he headed towards the front doors. He began pulling the chair away from the door, the lads carried on with their pool game and the students resumed play, one of them was shuffling the deck. “Nah, nothing to worry about, fancy another?” Helen asked. Taking the empty glass from Daz, she headed back to the bar for another round.
Meanwhile, Daz, finished off his sentence, “….Purple OAPs!”

Everyone froze, there was a smash as Helens empty glasses hit the floor, a deck of cards sprung into the air, a ball shot from the pool table across the floor and there was a loud thud as the man on the stool fell off landing on the floor behind him. Dave quickly rammed the chair back under the door handles, then froze. Nobody moved. All that could be heard was a moaning sound from the man on the floor, then a sudden exit of flatulence as Dave accidentally farted.

“Sorry about that!” he said, still holding the chair firmly against the door.

“How many was there?” Helen shouted at Daz.

“About thirty!” he replied.

“Shit, the back door!” Dave shouted, pointing towards the rear of the pub. The lads who were playing pool ran to lock the door, but it was too late, a purple OAP had already got his walking frame in the door.

“Quick, help me!” Daz shouted as he picked up a table. There was an old doorway leading out to the mens toilets and the back door, if they could block that they’d be safe. The patrons picked the heavy tables up and rammed them against the doorway. Finally they were ok, but they were trapped in the pub, then Daz suddenly remembered something.

“Oh fuck” he shouted.

“What is it?” Helen said, dramatically gripping Daz by the arm, “What’s wrong? Were you bitten? Please don’t say you were bitten, its your round at the bar!” she said.

“He’ll have to be quarantined!” one of the students piped up.

“She’s right, we can’t take the risk,” one of the pool lads said.

“No, no, I wasn’t bloody bitten,” Daz said, shaking his head as he wept a little.

“What is it then? Was your Gran out there?” Helen asked gently.

“No, the men’s toilets are out there! We can’t get to them now!” Daz shouted, pointing at the blocked up doorway. All the women in the pub sighed at the pointless dramatic announcement. Meanwhile Dave, looking shocked, let out another nervous fart, the man on the stool fell off again and another pool ball bounced across the floor.

“You’ll just have to use the ladies!” Helen announced sternly, whilst pointing towards the women’s toilets. Daz, needing a wee, courageously set off towards the forbidden ladies loos. The lads all looked on, but Daz had bottled it. He stopped still and turned around, “I’ll wait!” he said heading back to the bar.

“What are we going to do now then, with the purple OAPs outside?” Dave asked.

“Well, we’ll just have to sit it out in here. Pint of bitter and a pint of cider please Dave” Daz said. Dave nodded and smiled whilst pouring the drinks. Everyone else got back to what they were doing. Dave put the drinks on the bar whilst Daz went in his pocket for some money.

“Wow, what ya doing?” Dave asked with his hand out in a stop stance.

“Erm, paying for the drinks,” Daz replied.

“No, this is an apocalypse, ya don’t pay for anything when there’s an apocalypse on,” Dave said, “It’s the apocalypse code!” The man at the end of the bar immediately fell of the stool again and another pool ball bounced past, as Helen and Daz looked at one another like it was already Christmas.

“I’ll have a packet of scratchings as well, please Dave, and have a pint yourself,” Daz said.

“Very kind of you sir!” Dave replied, whilst filling his glass.

Everyone told their loved ones and friends that they’d be home late and they all got gradually drunk. With the jukebox turned up loud, the happy patrons couldn’t hear the walking sticks tapping on the windows and the men eventually built up the courage to use the ladies toilets.

The saga, might continue…..