An Early Childhood Chapter 12 Part 3


Continued from Chapter 12 Part 2

                Charlo winked at me in a surreptitious manner and I could have felled him there and then because there was no doubt in my mind now that he was a traitor. He shnuck out of the cave and made his way down the hill towards the nearest village as I followed him at a safe distance, ensuring I wouldn’t be seen by him. He glanced back every now and then to ensure he wasn’t being followed, but I melted into the scenery each time. Finally, he turned round a corner between a rock and a tree and reached a British encampment and I watched him go into one of the tents.
                It was getting dark at this stage; dusk was fast approaching so I found little difficulty in sneaking in behind the tent and listening to the conversation Charlo was having with Colonel Sir Edward “Gold Bollocks” Tiptoft.
                “…the Weatherlock is strong. He turned my daughter’s feet into hands and he’s slowly but surely turning her into a monkey using a combination of population replacement and multiregional continuity theories, gene replacement therapy and centrifuges. He told me he would restore her to her former condition only when we had captured Flanagan,” Tiptoft said.
                Now, in order to make the conversation that I overheard make sense from the outset, I must tell you exactly what a Weatherlock is. In the world of the fair-folk, you have warlocks and wizards, some of which are good, some of which are bad.
                The Weatherlocks are a kind of wizard that are not only very powerful in all matters pertaining to sorcery, but are also virtually omnipotent when it comes to controlling the weather. Not only that, but in general, you can take it for granted that Weatherlocks are evil to the very last of them. Anyway, as I said in the last chapter, I was sure that the fair-folk were involved in the murder of Constable Combover and I had as much evidence as I needed when Tiptoft next said:
                “We’ve already consolidated our power in his home village by murdering the local constable with the help of a banshee. And you are being handsomely paid by the British Army to deliver Flanagan to us.”
                Then I heard Charlo’s voice:
                “He’s a fierce evasive character altogether, is Paddy Flanagan, as well as being dashingly handsome. I’m doing my best. We’re just up in the forest beyond and if you’ll accompany me with no more than ten men, I’ll deliver him straight into your arms.”
                “Floudh Rak wants Flanagan ALIVE,” said Tiptoft.
                I nearly jumped with the fright I got when I heard the name Floudh Rak. Floudh Rak was the most powerful Weatherlock on either side of the River Shandy, a hybrid Gaelic and Norse creature of unlimited powers. And he wanted me!
                “The deal is,” Tiptoft went on, “we deliver Flanagan to Floudh Rak and Floudh Rak delivers us Ireland’s submission.”
                “Sounds like a good deal to me,” Charlo said, the pseudo-nationalism ripe in his tongue.
                “So we need Flanagan alive.”
                “Why is the Weatherlock so obsessed with Flanagan?” Charlo demanded to know.
                “The Weatherlock is related to a leprechaun who was humiliated by Flanagan when Flanagan was a child. Obviously, the Weatherlock wants vengeance.”
                Memories of my adventure at Aunt Molly’s, involving Dizzy MacFlash, flooded my cerebellum - or somewhere in my head, eliminative materialist that I'm certainly not.
               The colonel continued.
               “The Weatherlock waited till Flanagan came of age, so that he wouldn't have the innocence to enter the dreamscape of the Fair Folk, before he started his hunt for vengeance.
                “And vengeance he will get, as long as I’m handsomely paid,” Charlo said.
                “All right, I’m going to round up ten men and you can lead us to Flanagan tonight.”
                I crept off into the shadows and made my way back to the cave.

Continued in Chapter 12 Part 4