An Early Childhood Chapter 24 Part 8


An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock surreal autobiography, narrated by a fictional Irish war hero, champion bodhran player, and television presenter. 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 adventure, pop culture, and literature of various kinds.

Continued from Chapter 24 Part 7.

                My eyes had squeezed shut automatically at the blast. I opened them to see Old Man Phelps standing over what was left of Floudh Rak’s head, cracking six shots from a Magnum 45 into his skull.

                I looked up to see my other saviours.

                Arheddis Vaarkenjaab joined Old Man Phelps on his left, holding a smoking machine cannon. Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni appeared to his right, wielding - in her delicate, porcelain hands - a rocket launcher, no less.

                All three came towards me, smiles that were almost condescending spread across their faces.

                “You overestimated yourself,” Arheddis said. “You thought you’d defeat him.”

                I shrugged.

                “I don’t care. How do we get across to the other side of the river?” I asked, “We have some wounded over there and they need our assistance.”

                Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni was reloading her rocket launcher. She pointed it into the earth at the point where Floudh Rak had met his grisly end.

                “Stand back, people!” she insisted. She fired.

                There was an explosion, and smoke, and a hole, and a groan as a zombie Chinaman Chinaman zombie emerged from the hole. It was the same chap I'd seen appear in the Land of the Fair Folk. He had a sheet of paper stuck to his forehead, hanging down over his eyes.

                “The prophecy was accurate!” Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni shrieked in delight. She peeled the sheet of paper off her husband’s face, and suddenly his pallor changed, and he looked at her, and his eyes filled with joy so they did.

                “It is my husband, Wai Yu So Tan – back from the dead!” she shouted at us, and they embraced.

                “Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni!” he said.

                “Wai Yu So Tan!” she responded. “Now we can return to China!”

                “What is all that about?” Old Man Phelps asked.

                “I don’t know,” I replied. “This romance is not really part of our story.”

                “What are you trying to say, Paddy?” Old Man Phelps asked.

                “I’m just trying to say—”

                Arheddis Vaarkenjaab interrupted us.

                “I must go now and find Aywelbe Fayed, my own friend,” he said sadly, shaking hands with us all. “My own journey continues.”

He set off into the woods, smoke still billowing from his machine cannon.

                I thought about what Old Man Phelps had just asked. I guess everyone has a different story. And everyone has their own path to travel in life, and we are all on different roads – and some of them are smooth as motorways, and some of them converge with others, and some of them require time and thought and dedication, and you have to mend the odd tyre puncture or the odd boat leak if you’re on a canal – or even a river. And I suppose it was pertinent that Old Man Phelps had been here to see the destruction of this evil warlock, given that together we had defeated one of our previous nemeses and the warlock's cousin, Dizzy MacFlash, together, many years ago, as mere nearly-reareds.

                “Did you just say something, Paddy?” Old Man Phelps asked, as I stared off into the middle distance wistfully.

                “Paddy? Paddy? Hello-oo-ooo? Paddy?”

Continued in Chapter 25 Part 1.