An Early Childhood Chapter 22 Part 6

Continued from Part 5.

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock surreal autobiography. Its first chapter is here. It parodies misery memoirs (such as Angela’s Ashes by the late great Frank McCourt), as well as time travel, pop culture, and literature of various kinds.

             On her re-emergence, she was wearing a fetching kimono.
            “Very fusion!”
            “Only gorgeous! Zing zing!”
            “You are looking as if you will be painting the town red!”
            Ai Bang Mi Fa Kin Ni smiled.
            “I like to do things Gangnam style!” she declared.
            And so, a new catchphrase was coined.


            “So we’d better get out of here,” I said, “Before the witches turn up again and take us all prisoner!”

            “I don’t know if I should be going with you,” Arheddis Vaarkenjaab exclaimed. “My friend, Aywelbe Fayed, was also being taken by the witches, and I must effect a rescue of him. They took him away because he is a Muslim. You aren’t anti-Islamic as well as anti-British, are you?”

            “That depends. Sunni or Shia?” I asked.

            “Sunni,” he said.


            “Shia?” he asked.

            “No,” I said. “What’s the difference, anyway?”

            “It’s like if your Peter and your Paul had caused a schism in the early Church,” Arheddis explained.

            “Oh, right. What did Peter and Paul have to do with Islam?”

            “No,” he said. “Look, it doesn’t matter. I’m a Hindu.”

            “Yes,” I said. “I can tell from your shaven face and the obsolescence of a turban atop your head!” I said.

            “What’s a turban?” asked Old Man Phelps.

            “It’s the traditional Sikh head dress,” I said.

            “So you’re not a Sikh, Arheddis?” Old Man asked.

            “No. But Sikh, and ye shall find,” he said, and we roared laughing.

            “Look, we’ll go looking for Aywelbe Fayed once we get back to the raft,” I said, as I wiped the tears off my face. “I strongly suggest we travel further downriver, and set up camp again.”

            The four of us set off on the raft, Ai Bang Mi Fa Kin Ni fishing for the legendary Carp of Great Wisdom, and the two new recruits to our battle against Magick regaled us with their stories up to this point.

            Ai Bang Mi Fa Kin Ni’s husband had been turned into a Zombie Chinaman Chinaman Zombie by a Mechanic Master of Black Zen – who was a kind of a steampunk Hell’s Angel from Oriental culture. Her husband's transformation into an undead creature had meant banishment to the land of the Fair Folk in Ireland.

               Ai Bang Mi Fa Kin Ni had herself travelled thousands of miles across Asia and Europe to find her husband. I had myself seen a Chinaman zombie on my travels to the Land of the Fair Folk, and I said as much to Ai Bang Mi Fa Kin Ni. I told her what little I knew and her interest was piqued. She then explained how she had been travelling in the region seeking out fairies and leprechauns, and she had heard that the Norse-Irish weather monster Floudh Rak was in town.

              She felt he could best assist her in her difficulties in returning her husband from the dead. Her association with magical peoples was how she had been ultimately duped by the witches in becoming a near-meal for them.

Continued in Part 7 of Chapter 22.