CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: MEANWHILE, BACK IN IRELAND (PART ONE)
Little Billy Boy “Bad to the Bone” Cullen had returned to Glut the Grogoch, who was still working his stall on Moore Street, in order to be doing some inquiring about his dodgy thread from the loom of the Stuntman Mary.
The hairy, ruddy creature was selling his wares with a crowd surrounding him.
“I don’t care if you have a single chin, a double chin, or a hole in the chin, this wonderful necklace is for YOIK!” He was pulled back by a lasso tied around him by Cullen, who now donned a cowboy hat, a red chequered shirt and waistcoat, and a pair of brown trousers with frills running down the seams. Two plastic toy revolvers hung from holsters on his belt. Billy Boy had an angry grimace on his face.
“What’s the story, Glut?” Billy Boy asked. “Somehow, my boy has been left hangin’ in the feckin’ Neverlands!”
“I dunno what you’re talking about, Billy!”
“Get out of it!” Billy Boy replied. “Your dodgy merch won’t besmirch my rep!”
Billy Boy tightened the rope so that it bit into Glut’s furry skin, chafing him.
“Alright, alright, alright. Cut it out! Look, I was given the thread by a leprechaun named Dizzy MacFlash, who told me it was kosher!”
“And – maybe it might’ve been from the wrong Stuntman Mary. I don’t know. All I was told was that it had to be sold to you when you came looking for it.”
“What, me specifically?”
“So this Paddy Flanagan fella probably has enemies coming out of the woodwork here!” Billy Boy gave a moment’s thought. “I heard all about this Dizzy MacFlash, and his barbarously ravaged bum!”
“He did walk with a limp,” Glut agreed.
“So how do I get Paddy Flanagan out of this predicament?”
Glut considered for a moment. Still in the grip of his lasso, he shuffled over to his stall and reached under it.
“Careful, you,” Billy Boy said, pulling one of his plastic revolvers from its holster with his free hand. The toy gun was charged with a strip of small bangers. “No funny stuff, or I’ll boooorsht a cap in your ass!”
Billy Boy watched as Glut reached under the stall, his hairy bum sticking out. He pointed his pistol into his buttocks and fired. There was a crack, and Glut jumped up, hitting his head off the stall, which overturned. The hairy grogoch fell back, landing with a thump on the cobbles. He held a small container of luminescent purple liquid in his hands.
“What was that for?” Glut the grogoch asked.
“I just didn’t like the look of your hairy arse is what it was for!” Billy Boy Cullen shouted. “And caps, like my apples, are ten a penny!” He snatched the small bottle of liquid out of the grogoch’s grasp and shook it. “What’s this stuff when it’s at home?”
“It’s a concoction of antimatter,” the grogoch explained. “It might be used to enter fantasy land. But it requires an artistic medium.”
“What you talkin’ bout? Like a picture?”
“Once you know where Paddy Flanagan is in the fantasy land, you can paint or create a rendering of that place, with him in it. And he can then emerge from the artwork, once the artwork is covered in this ectoplasmic antimatter liquid.”
“Well, that’s just cushty nushty!” Billy Boy said. “And how the hell am I gonna find out where he is exactly? Yeh numpty bumpty!”
“That’s up to you, Billy Boy Cullen! But I will tell you that he is in the dark, mountainous region, with lightning and thunder and all sorts! If you paint a landscape such as that - you may just succeed in drawing Paddy Flanagan out of Fantasy Land!”
With a flick of his wrist and the bottle of antimatter in his hand, Billy Boy freed the grogoch of his ropes. Glut got up and scarpered down the street, rubbing his singed, hairy buttocks.