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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Chapter Four - We Fade To Grays

"Old Blue Lady," grinned Shackleford as she approached the table, holding Ricey carefully by the earlobe. "You came."

Old Blue Lady lowered her squirming guest gently onto a barstool and stepped away, leaving him clutching his ear in annoyance and glaring up at her.

"I always do. For you." she said, looking right at him and raising her left eyebrow just a fraction.
Steveo coughed theatrically.

"Sorry Steveo," said Shackleford, breaking the gaze. "And you've met Ricey?"

"We met at the door. He's a little forward, isn't he?"

"He's a little confused, we think. Just turned up and found Billy Ocean was his welcoming committee."

"As soon as he turned up? That's premature, isn't it?" asked Old Blue Lady, staring Ricey up and down.

"That's what I thought," said Shackleford. "I figured he might be part of a splinter group on the other side of the zone, a rogue faction, something like that. But no. He's brand new. I'm not even sure he knows where he is."

"Why's he dressed like that?"

"That's my bar-staff uniform. From when I had bar-staff," explained Steveo. "I got them cheap."

"Steveo," said Old Blue Lady, turning to him. "I'm glad you're here. Well. Maybe glad isn't the best way of putting it. Look, I didn't want you to find this out any other way, but I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you."

"What is it?" asked Steveo, looking nervous.

"It's Grays Blue," she said quietly. "I'm sorry, Steveo, but they got him. He's been deleted."

Steveo gulped and stared at the floor, avoiding her eye contact. He looked up as if to say something and then looked away again in silence. He bit down hard on his lower lip and took a deep breath, composing himself as best he could. It was as if someone had cut the strings holding his face up.

"Can I get some service here?" shouted a small man with a mullet from the bar.

"I'll look after it, mate," said Shackleford. He stood up and stepped towards the customer, pausing only to reach out a hand and touch Steveo gently on the back of the head. "I'm so sorry, Steveo."

"I'm sorry too," said Old Blue Lady. "He was a good man. A little more militant than the rest of us, but a good man."

Ricey sat very quietly. He was finding it hard to believe that any of this was real, but the authenticity of the grief and the pain around the table cautioned him against mentioning that out loud. The tears welling up in Steveo's eyes looked real enough to him for now. He resolved to hold his tongue and wait for things to pan out further. There had to be a logical explanation for this, a reason why all of these characters, avatars from his football messageboard, were here. Why he was here though? He didn't think he'd find out by upsetting anyone, especially not at a time like this.

"How?" whispered Steveo.

"Come on now, you don't need to know all the details. It's enough to know that he's gone."

"Tell me," he implored.

Old Blue Lady sighed and shook her head.

"He was stabbed in the chest as he slept," she told him. "By Sonya."

"That scouse bitch," growled Steveo, and he spat on the floor. "I thought we killed her? We put her through a industrial pressing plant, for Christ's sake"

"I know. But she survived."

"She said that we'd never stop her from killing Grays Blue. I guess it doesn't really matter what we put her through."

Old Blue Lady nodded silently.

"So," she said, addressing Ricey directly for the first time. "Do you have any idea why they're after you?"

"Who?" asked Ricey. "Why 'who' is after me?"

"The moderators, kid. You're obviously on their list. They're hunting you down and they'll keep hunting you until you're dead. What we need to know is why."

"I don't know," said Ricey. "I really don't know. I woke up in an alleyway and Billy Ocean was there as soon as I came to. I haven't done anything, I don't know what's going on."

"Well, who are you? Let's start with that." she asked kindly.

"You want to know who I am? Right now, I'm not even sure what I am."

"Perhaps I can help you there," called the mulletted man from the bar as he approached their table. "You're my favourite waste of time, Ricey. Your account priviledges have been suspended and you're scheduled for deletion!"

"Bloody hell!" yelled Steveo. "It's Owen Paul!"

"You *******," shouted Shackleford from the bar as he reached for the gun in his pocket. "I just let you buy a large brandy and a bag of dry roasted on your switchcard! You were nowhere near the minimum amount!"

"Get down," screamed Old Blue Lady, doing exactly that and throwing herself under the table.

Owen Paul withdrew a large handgun from his pocket and pointed it at Ricey. But he reckoned without Steveo. With a primal howl of rage, he hurled himself at the short-on-top, long-at-the-back assassin just as his finger curled around the trigger, and as they crashed to the floor the gun went off.

A window exploded behind Ricey and showered him with fragments of broken glass. There was another shot, this time from Shackleford, but it was too low and the bullet embedded itself in the carpet. Old Blue Lady leapt up and smashed a bottle on the wall, waving the broken end in front of her, but it was an empty gesture. Steveo and Owen Paul were wrestling on the ground for control of the gun, rolling over and over and preventing either anyone from getting away a clear shot or a good slash.

"I've...always...hated.....that....song," grimaced Steveo as he pushed against Owen Paul's grip, slowly turning the gun's barrel upon its owner "It...starts...with....the....chorus.....and....that's...just...lazy."

There was a loud bang and Owen Paul's head disappeared in a moist, red cloud, his struggling breaking off with a sudden lurch. Steveo slumped back on the carpet, gasping for breath.

"How much....is that going to cost.....in cleaning bills?" he panted.

"Whatever it is, it'll be money well spent!" grinned Old Blue Lady, helping him to his feet.

"I'm so sorry, Steveo. I didn't even recognise him," apologised Shackleford, helping to lift him up.

"Why would you?" said Steveo, patting him on the back. "He never had another hit after that one. And it only got to number three anyway. Where's your friend?"

"Friend?" asked Shackleford. "Oh, you mean Ricey. He's right ov-"

But he wasn't. The table was upturned, the drinks were spilled, glass lined the floor and there was a large, man-sized hole where a window used to be. Ricey was long gone.
 
Last edited:

steveo

mine to stay the same please
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Messages
7,545
Blimey! If you can keep the standard this high I might even buy Football Fables.
 

Ricey

Scott Forbes No.1 Fan⭐
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
33,610
Location
Braintree
****, where have I gone? All alone out in a world I don't know. But I have to admit my character is a bit of a pussy! I ****ed my pants!!! LOL!

Good effort once again slips I look forward to the next one.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Ricey, I can assure you that if I woke up in an alleyway to find Billy Ocean pointing a gun at me, I'd **** my pants as well!
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
47,926
Location
Benfleet
It's absolutely brilliant! Think we ought to be allowed to give you extra rep instead of keep getting "spread it around" messages!

I love innuendo (like you didn't know that!), and I think it actually is my left eyebrow that I raise in those "situations"!
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Glad it's still going down well! Chapter 5 is complete and will be out on Friday morning when you'll see a couple of Szers in a whole new light...
 

Ricey

Scott Forbes No.1 Fan⭐
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
33,610
Location
Braintree
Ricey, I can assure you that if I woke up in an alleyway to find Billy Ocean pointing a gun at me, I'd **** my pants as well!

Well the way I saw it in my head was I kicked the gun out of his hand and beat the **** out of him Transporter style. But lets face it your vision of me is pretty spot on ;)
 
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