In a world gone mad, where nobody is safe and danger lurks at every turn, there are men who will answer the call to stand up for what is right and to defend the innocent in the face of impossible odds. Here tonight, in a quiet village pub in an unassuming English village, you might just find those men.
That is to say you might, but you won’t.
The men in this pub are like those men, just not quite as courageous or as athletic. They don’t possess the chiselled jaws or the superhuman powers of those other men and those other men possess a certain confidence with the ladies that these gentlemen most certainly lack . Here in this pub you will find men who would very much like to fight crime (given the right circumstances and good weather) but these men also recognise that a game of dominoes and a pint is a wholly safer endeavour and considerably less exerting. and pretty much never results in one losing a limb.
The last of the regulars had left and the landlord of The Three Pigeons had kindly closed up for the night and popped upstairs to bed asking them to lock up when they were finished and pop the key through the letterbox.
Trevor rapped his meaty knuckles onto the table loudly, “Order Gentlemen, Order please!” Silence fell and he continued. Physically he was a rather average and underwhelming man by most standards, other than his inordinately large hands. “Firstly, I would just like to thank you for coming this evening, these are dark times indeed and in times such as these it is incumbent on the likes of us to stand up and be counted.”
He paused for a moment, in his mind rather dramatically, staring at the ‘us’.
The ‘us’ mostly sat and waited to see what would come next. Trevor had always had a flair for the dramatic, it went back to his days in the local am-drams club. After a drink or two he could quite often be found recalling with much fondness , to anyone whom he might corner, details of his finest hour as Tony in West Side Story performed at the local church hall for a crowd of nearly 50.
“Our village is under threat from outside forces Chaps” he continued “and it is perhaps time for us to do something about it.” He stood quite still, legs akimbo, hands on hips.
Gerald, the local post master, was suddenly filled with the urge to sing ‘I’m a little tea pot’. He did not, but he was next to speak. “Trevor, don’t you think that we’re rather past it now? Is it not time for us to leave this sort of thing to a younger generation?”. A number of the others nodded and mumbled in agreement. Johnson, the cricket club chairman and first team captain, even managed as much as a “Too bloody right!”
Trevor looked rather hurt as he liked to think he was something of a local leader. “No, I think it is precisely that attitude that has got this country in the mess that it’s in to be honest and …”
“Now hold on Trevor” Gerald interrupted, suddenly somewhat vexed. “This country is in the mess it is in because a sodding great space time rift opened up and the majority of people went completely bonkers, the government collapsed and we…” he took a deep breath “and we have god knows what spilling out of the rift and making a jolly great mess of everything!”
“Here here” mumbled Johnson., now starting to feel somewhat braver, probably down to the three pints he’d enjoyed earlier.
Trevor drew himself up to his rather average full height of 5 foot 7 and puffed out his chest. He looked rather ridiculous.
“Well I for one am not willing to stand back and watch our village go the same way as the rest of the places around here. I am willing to fight back!”
“Fight against what Trevor?” Asked Alan Benson the local grocer, “you reckon we’re in the sort of shape to take on the likes of some of the things the local Rift Police have been tackling lately?”. He took a swift drink of his pint and slammed down the glass. “It’s getting worse Trevor. Just yesterday they had to rescue Mrs Billings the librarian from her prize winning rose bushes which had apparently grown sentient and were attempting to prune her arms off!”
“Good lord ” said Johnson.
“Bloody hell man” exclaimed Gerald.
Trevor was not to be deterred and pressed the point. “That is exactly the reason why we need to get the team back together and do something!” They other sat stony faced. “We cannot rely on the council or the Rift Police to protect us we need to look after our own.”
“Trevor, the team haven’t seen light of day for nearly 5 years now, what makes you think we still have it?”
Trevor felt he was making head way now. “You never lose it Alan, you know that. What we did and what we achieved is legend in these parts!”
“There is no way my suit is going to fit me anymore Trevor ” Alan protested. “I’m sadly more than the man I once was”. He looked down at his waistline. Time had been rather unkind he felt, given the food shortages and rationing they’d been subjected to since it all started. “I promised the wife that Id given up on all that super power business”.
“You cant avoid destiny Alan” said Trevor.
“Destiny? Good god man – we were sucked into and then spat out of a rift on the way back from a boozy weekend watching darts in Blackpool and ended up with the world’s most ridiculous super powers. That’s hardly destiny!”
Alan took a deep breath. He knew things were getting worse, he had hoped these days were over though. They weren’t particularly effective super heroes, in fact they were rather poor and far too fond of tea and biscuits to really commit fully to the endeavour.
“Do you know there’s a chap in the next village along that can breathe fire Trevor ” he asked “Fire. From his mouth. Like a bloody great dragon!”
“We may not breathe fire Alan but by god man you’re The Bee!” he exclaimed dramatically. “You strike fear into the heart of those who would do us harm!”
“I can hover four foot off the ground wearing a striped yellow suit Trevor!” he shouted “that is absolutely no use unless you have a cat stuck in a very small tree”.
Trevor knew that if he could get Alan on board the others would follow. “Alan, our suits may not fit but we are still those self same men we were five years ago. We made a difference, and surely we have to try.”
“Oh bugger” interrupted Johnson, knowing that this was a losing battle.
“All I’m saying is let’s give this a shot eh” Trevor continued. He knew he was nearly there. He needed this, he needed to feel what he’d felt all those years ago. He had always believed that they had been chosen for greater things. “How about we get together tomorrow morning at half 9 and…”
“I cant” said Johnson “I need to take the cat to the vet.
“How about half ten then? We all ok with half ten? You can come to my place, we’ll have a nice cup of tea and work out a bit of a plan.” Trevor already had a plan though. He had spreadsheets and rotas and maps and schedules all lined up. This time “The Accountant was ready.
“Fine” said Alan sighing. “Let’s see how it goes but no promises ok”
The others nodded in agreement
Trevor grinned. “Bee, Stretchy Legs, Frog Boy – I think this deserves another pint!”
44 thoughts on “We unlikely few – An Armitage tangent”
You are the next Terry Pratchett. Brilliant and hilarious.