Mick's Shiner

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs

Mick showed Henry his black eye, and told the tale.

Mick’s Shiner

A car pulled up behind Henry just before he was going to deviate from the road into his driveway. He guessed someone must have wanted a yarn, but when he turned around, he didn’t recognise the car. The driver’s window rolled down, so he bent to look in.

‘Who the hell whacked you?’ He half-pie laughed as he said it, because sitting there was Mick, who had a very black eye and a small cut at the top of his cheek.

‘Bloody Lenny!’ Mick hit the steering wheel, ‘Teaching him a lesson, I was… for telling tales about me!’

‘You never did get along with old Lenny,’ Henry observed, ‘but it’s the first time it’s come down to fisticuffs… isn’t it? What was it about this time?’

‘Well you know I applied for that drivin’ job with Brown & Co, eh?’

‘Yeah,’ Henry replied, ‘you had me down as a referee and sure enough, old Cess Brown gave me a ring and we had a chat about you.’

‘Yeah.’ Mick replied. ‘Cess interviewed me, but bugger me days, he said he’d met up with Lenny at the pub the night before. Told me that years ago, he’d worked with Lenny on the Rabbit Board. Said he hadn’t seen Lenny for years, so they had a good yarn.’

‘You worked with Lenny on the Rabbit Board too, didn’t you?’ Henry asked, but knew.

‘Yeah I did.’ Replied Mick. ‘But Cess was long gone when I started with them. I’d sure enough heard of old Cess but this was the first time I’d met him.’

‘Well, what made Lenny give you a black eye?’ Henry asked again.

‘I gave better’n I got! Don’t you worry!’ Mick assured Henry. ‘Well, I missed out getting the job y’see. And I knew damn well I wouldn’t get it the minute old Cess said he’d spoken to Lenny.’

‘Why was that then?’

‘Well, back on the Rabbit Board, Lenny and me were night-shooting up behind the forest, y’see.’ Explained a re-faced Mick. ‘And there in the spotlight was a deer with its leg stuck in the fence. We couldn’t see tag in its ear so I shot it to divvy up the meat. But there was a tag in its ear after all!’

‘Shit! Did you tell Matheson? He didn’t even like feral deer being shot up there!’ Henry guessed the answer.

‘Nah,’ admitted Mick, ‘its leg was broken and Matheson mightn’t have been up there for a week. The deer’d be dead by then.’

‘So you think Lenny told old Cess you pinched a deer?’ Henry guessed.

‘Damn right, otherwise I’d have got the job!’

‘And that’s why you bopped him one?’ Henry guessed again.

‘More’n bloody bopped him one.’ Mick nodded.

 

A week had passed when Henry called to fuel up at the local garage. As he was paying, from the workshop he heard voices talking about motorbike repairs, Henry recognised the voice as Lenny’s. They hadn’t crossed paths for a couple of years, so Henry took the opportunity.

They talked mainly about their kids because Lenny’s daughter was the same age as Henry’s youngest, so they each wanted to know how they were getting on in their respective jobs.

‘It looks like you’ve healed up pretty well.’ Henry commented after they’d finished their chit-chat.

‘Healed up?’ Lenny had a puzzled look. ‘Healed up from what?’

‘I met up with Mick the other day and he told me he gave you a black eye!’ Henry said, and added, ‘He had a shiner too, said that you clobbered him.’

‘Mick? Shit, I haven’t seen him for more’n a year.’ Replied Lenny. ‘Nah, I didn’t hit him. But the bugger keeps telling bullshit stories about me, he’s had his knife in me since I shot that ten pointer stag he’d had his eye on. And that was blimmin’ years ago. Pissed him off though.’

 

For once, Henry and his missus were sitting down in a tearooms having lunch before they went their separate ways to fill in the afternoon. Mags, Henry’s missus spotted Mick’s missus at the counter ordering her lunch, Mags waved to her, signalling for her to join them.

‘Mick’s just organising parking meter money and he’ll be here in a tick.’ Said Jen, Mick’s missus, as she sat the sandwiches and cakes down.

When Mick came in, he went a bit red when he spotted who Jen was sitting with.

‘What happened to your eye?’ Mags asked concerned. Henry hadn’t told her about his meeting with Mick, and he noticed the eye was yellow now, the way bruises turn after a while.

‘He walked in the cupboard door!’ explained Jen. ‘My fault really.’ And she gave a little titter. ‘It’s an overhead cupboard, and I pulled it open as he walked past, the corner of the door caught his eye and a bit of his cheek!’

‘Oh dear!’ Sympathised Mags.

‘And he squawked like a stuck pig!’ Jen tittered again, and added seriously. ‘But it must have blimmin’ hurt!’ And she gave him an adoring smile.

Henry opened his mouth to speak but Mick quickly shushed him with a warning finger.

‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.’ He espoused.

‘And never mind other peoples’ reputations.’ Responded Henry drily.

 


Submitted: March 15, 2021

© Copyright 2021 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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