In a kind of mirroring of what had happened between Glut and Floudh Rak, Billy Boy Cullen had returned to my flat on Kildare Street, where he encountered a chimplike young woman cowering behind the couch.

            He stood in the middle of the living room, holding in his hands two pots of paint and a bumper packet of Rolf Harris marker paint brushes with the colours in tubes, kind of like toothpaste except with the brushes built in on top and you had to squeeze them to get the paint out. In his bag, he also had the vial of ectoplasmic antimatter – which was, in effect, a kind of antimaterial ectoplasm. He also had made sandwiches in his lunchbox – some containing spreadable cheese, as well as others, which had as the filling a cheesy spread. He also had apples in his bag,

and a bottle of sparkling wine that had been made in Germany, but tasted like champagne. Billy Boy was too young to drink himself, but it was in case he ran into any clients who were old enough that he had the wine.

            “Who are you?” he asked the womanly primate.

            The chimplike woman scurried out from behind the couch and stood with her back to Billy Boy Cullen, looking over her shoulder demurely.

            Billy Boy Cullen put his clipboard on the table, alongside the sandwiches, some apples, and the antimatter. Melanie Tiptoft eyed the sandwiches hungrily.

            “You a hungry monkey? Have a sandwich or two there,” Billy Boy said.

            “Are you another grogoch? Your back is very hairy! How come your back is so hairy? What’s that about? Explain yourself!”

            “I am Melanie Tiptoft,” the chimplike lady declared, however shyly. “I am the daughter of General Sir Edward Gold Bollocks Tiptoft. Despite my colonial overseer provenance, Paddy Flanagan became my friend. My father lost our home due to Chapter 11 foreclosure, and I have been waiting to hear back from Paddy Flanagan so that he can cure me of my chimplike appearance. I’ve become more chimpanzee than young woman now! Paddy believes that a spell was put on me so that my General father would do the bidding of Floudh Rak the evil weatherlock. The last time I heard from Paddy, he wrote to me to insist that he would sort out the evil weatherlock once and for all in the Neverland Fantasy Cloud Cuckoo Land.”

            “That’s enough back story!” Billy Boy Cullen insisted, setting down his paints. “Get out of the way. I need to start painting a mural of a dark, gloomy mountain range on the wall.”
           “Why do you need to do that?” Melanie asked.

            “I've to do it to rescue Paddy Flanagan, at the suggestion of a grogoch,” Billy Boy Cullen said, putting on a pair of dungarees.

            “A grogoch? You mean the beasts with hooves that have set up stalls everywhere?”
            “I never noticed if they have hooves, those grogochs,” Billy Boy responded, reflecting for a moment. “But given the amount of business I've done with Glut, and the amount of money he's made out of me, he's certainly an ungulate-ful creature!”

Photo courtesy Dhammika Heenpella.

He started to paint the wall, as Melanie set down to scoffing into the delicious cheesy sandwiches.

With all of this realism, the reader will be glad of a return to fantasy land in the next chapter.