SHADOW LAUGH - PART TWO

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
More drama for Mister Smith.

Submitted: October 05, 2016

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Submitted: October 05, 2016

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SHADOW LAUGH

PART TWO

The room above the Snug, was the only place to stay, for the resilient John Smith.  The slim man took notes of his first day in the strange village.  Certain names were highlighted.  Mall Mack the shopkeeper.  Farmer Joe the man with black livestock.  And Farmer Jack, the other ruler of Shadow Laugh.  It was Friday night.  So the visitor decided to have a drink with the locals.  To know them better and learn any qualities of the time locked settlement.

*

The worm of a man, Jock Bran had prepared the single bed for sole visitor.  The letch offered a pint of the best, in the Snug.  Barman Ted Stuart, was a tall and skinny.  Much slimmer than Smith.  Pint glasses were cleaned and wiped continuously.  The short banister was lain with three pints of Stout.  Smith had to give a Scottish ten pound note.  No change was returned.  The note was to cover more drinks for Smith and Jock.  The runt of a man, grinned and stared merrily. 

 

The black stuff ran down cool and strong.  As Smith watched Jock’s eyes go cross-eyed.  His sight also struggled.  Thanks to the powerful ale of Farmer Joe.  Around the small bar, sat several locals.  The night was young.  A record played in the corner.  Tunes of Scottish bagpipes.  Or the album of singers.  Smoke clung to the low ceiling.  It billowed out through a small window behind the bar.  Two or three locals chatted among themselves.  The voice of Mall Mack found Mister Smith.

 

‘How are you liking our village?’

‘Oh, quite interesting,’ came the reply.

The high tones of the local Scot, spoke faster than other clansmen that Mister Smith know of.  Some words here were old Celtic slang.  Though he did not understand them.  This lost corner of Scotland was different.

*

Not before too long, the pints poured into the mind of John Smith.  The small pub began to expand then shrink.  The leery Scot Jock slurred and laughed in a dark way.  Mall Mack roared with amusement.  Rocking back and forth on his seat.  The gossiping men and some old women, giggled like little children.  The barman hiccupped as he laughed. 

 

The sight of Smith reeling, drunk and in mess.  Some how felt the funny side his predicament.  At the stroke of Midnight the whole small but packed bar, shook with Shadowy Laughter.  Just as Smith crashed.

* * *

The noisy morning came with milk bottles clashing.  The weekend delivery had stopped at the bar come bed and breakfast.  The Snug.  A dirty faced man poked his face into the sleeping room.  ‘Grub up, Mr Smith.’

 

When the typical bedroom stopped spinning, the man from Inverness, climbed out and dressed.  After a quick wash and groom, he downed the stairs to the bar.  There a table was lain.  Full of hearty food.  The agile Jock Bran, shuffled away, back into the tiny kitchen.  The aroma of bacon, eggs, beans, black pudding, a slice of toast, a sausage and some tripe.

 

A sip of hot coffee was welcomed by a hangover body.  Then the food found its way to the stomach.  All was fine.  Until Smith tried the tripe.  He pushed the crap away.  And gulped down more hot drink.  Jock returned and took away the plate and cup.  Then slurred, ‘What is your plan for today, sir?’

 

John Smith gathered his senses.  Fixed his suit and tie.  ‘I plan to get the train back to the city.  And report my findings.  All about this strange place of yours.  I guess some people may find it worth a visit.’

As Jock came out of the kitchen, Mall Mack came into the pub with the full milk bottles.  He had heard the last sentence.  Both men smiled.  Then giggled.  Mall explained, ‘Oh, Mister Smith.  I thought you understood.  The train will back at the end of the month.  Four weeks from yesterday.  Oh you will be alright here.  We take care of our own.  I can find something for you to do, if you like.  To help the time go sooner.’

 

Smith fixed his tie again.  Staring at the red carpet.  Musing over the situation.  His forehead twitched.  What was he going to do?  He asked Mall, ‘Is there no road or track out of here?’ 

 

‘There is the pass,’ Mall answered.  ‘But it is ten miles to the nearest road.  And the path is very rocky.  And the road only goes from here to the farms.  We can put you up for a month.  What do you say?’

 

‘What about the tunnel.  I could walk back through it.’

‘Ock no,’ said Jock, it is a mile long.  Then five miles, with savage sheep.  They killed me dog, one time.  I would only use the train.  So stay Mister Smith.  What do you say?’

*

John Smith looked at his briefcase.  From it he pulled out a page.  Then looked at the others.  ‘Then there is only one thing I can do, next.’

The pair of locals waited for the answer.

Smith revealed, ‘this is from the police and farmers law.  Giving me the legal right.  To do a mass Stocktaking form.  Of the whole area.’  His eyebrows lifted, ‘making me the law.’

 

The locals scuttled away.  Not sure of what that meant.  The visitor returned to his bed.  To prepare for his next assignment in the lost hamlet of Shadow Laugh.  He was the Inspector of the Land.  Of all Highland settlements of Scotland, in the region of Inverness.  He placed a badge on the breast pocket of his jacket.  A fierce face stood before the men of the village.

 

As the clouds in the sky drifted away.  The sun beamed upon the next day.  Mister Smith borrowed a walking stick from Mall Mack.  Then headed out of the main street, laughing.  Realising and giving up.  Because the man was trapped in the time locked village called, Shadow Laugh.

* * *

 

 


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