CHAPTER TWELVE: MY ADVENTURE WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL EVER AND A BETRAYAL BY ONE OF MY MEN (PART FIVE)
We returned to my home village not long after with heavy hearts and no new addition to the team. As myself, John Fisherman O’Reilly, Sean Tubridy O’Reilly (related by marriage) and Tancred Moorphy M’Nally approached my town, we saw a young man ploughing the land, running a rusty shovel over the earth with the worn hands of a weary farmhand. It was Fletch Curtis, the West Briton whose sister and brother-in-law had been killed by the fair-folk and the British. He greeted me and I informed him of all that I’d learned about the Weatherlock, and how I felt that the Weatherlock, in collusion with Colonel Tiptoft, was ultimately responsible for the death of his sister.
“I want to join your unit,” he sez quick as a flash, “And I want to bring that Weatherlock to justice.”
I told him that we could do with another pair of hands after the loss of Charlo Mallooolly, but that he was too much of a West Brit for my liking. Fletch readily disagreed with my argument, citing the Emmet brothers, Wolfe Tone and Charles Stuart Parnell as West Brits who had done a great deal for Irish independence.
“I can’t disagree with you there,” I disagreed, and we shook hands, “Welcome aboard.”
“Wait here,” he said, “I want to get my coat of chainmail passed down to me from my ancestors under Henry the Second.” He hurried towards his farmhouse, and returned minutes later carrying a coat of metal links.
“It was once used to protect my ancestors against the Irish,” Fletch said. “Now, ironically, it will be used to protect me against the British.”
We all laughed heartily.
“Fletch, my friend, we’ll die laughing because of your funny jokes!” I said, and we all roared heartily again.
That would’ve been a bad enough ending to a very poor chapter of my life, but instead there was a bit more talk.
“So what’s next, Paddy?” asked Sean Tubridy O’Reilly.
“I have to pay a visit to the only young f’laawww I know who can help me get into the dreamscape populated by the fair folk and confront Floudh Rak the evil weatherlock on his own turf.”
“Who will provide help like that, in this realm, Paddy?” Tancred asked.
“Little Billy Cullen, the apple salesboy!”
“What? You mean that young apple seller, who’s related to the vampire fambly?” bursts out John Fisherman O’Reilly. “But he leads a rival group of rebels, a shower of democrats and liberals and and and capitalists! Capitalists, Paddy! And a cuzzling to the vampires at that!”
“Shut up, you!” I said. “I have to do this now and make an ally out of the youngest entrepreneur this side of the River Shandy.”
“Why though? When we’re Marxists and communists?”
“Because if everyone teams up against this otherworldly villain – the evil weatherlock – then we’ll become a bunch of marvellous avengers!” I said.
“Did you say Marvel Avengers?” asked Sean.
With that, a huge beam of light went into the sky from some distance away, with a bat symbol in the middle.
“What in the name of Allah is that?” asked Tancred.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with us. But tomorrow morning, come hell or high water, I’m going to the park to ask Billy Boy Cullen for help.”
Continued in Chapter 13 Part One.