DATE: Mon 28 Jun 2021 10:14 By:

The chronicles of Ned

I decided that if I am going to post more “creative” stuff I should do so in the “Book Club” section of the website. I decided this ages ago but Hunters Garden started life in the main topic so I left it there.

I wrote this. Its part 1. Unlike Hunters Garden I don’t promise to actually finish it. I think a few of you may enjoy it though. there should be at least one more part

Ned solves a murder (Part 1)

Nedrick the mighty.

Warhill was a little town on the edge of a place in reality called England. It had nothing much interesting about it except that it had won an award in nineteen ninety two for being the most uninteresting place in England. Ironically the award drew a lot of attention to Warhill making it substantially more interesting. That’s not even a joke, I know that it seems like one of those tired jokes that people make but in this case its actually true. Shocking right? And sets the tone for the kind of place it is quite nicely.

On this particular cold winters night the dull horizon of Warhill was blighted by three figures walking up a dual carriageway. Or, to be more precise there were two figures stumbling and one being carried underarm my a Viking of a figure. The first figure of the three was a short young man named Eric, he was commonly known to his friends as “Two’s Up” because as soon as some one lit a cigarette he would demand that they give him half. The result of course is that nine times out of ten some one would take pity on him and hand him a fresh one. Eric always had a lighter at hand though.

The second figure was that of a ‘dude’ (as he liked to be described) known only as “Viking” (the aforementioned ‘Viking of a man’). This was more than a nickname. As far as anyone could tell, everyone who had ever known him had referred to him as ‘Viking’. This was some feat of social engineering as there is no way a parent chooses to call their little boy “Viking”. Eric went to school with him but as far as he knew Viking had always been called Viking. This was a point of some pondering when up late drinking.

The third figure was the iconic Neil Curious. He wasn’t that curious really. It was just a name. He was, in most peoples opinion a legend among men. Well, a legend among Warhillians anyway. There was not a single person in the whole town that did not know Neil, or Ned as they called him. Usually when they said his name it was shortly followed by the words “Go Away.”

Ned Was being held away from the floor by Viking as they walked. “Dude, you gotta stop getting this trashed, unless you’re going to call a taxi home” said Viking in his usual monotone voice. “NO!” Ned replied. “What do you mean, No” asked Viking as he let go of Ned. “Mont brop ee” replied a muffled Ned from the floor. “Don’t drop me!” he said again as he peeled his face from the road a little too late for it to be relevant.

“Anyone got a smoke?” squeaked Eric’s tiny voice, Viking shook his head in disgust “You suck Twos, you’re such a fucking stereo type you know!” Eric, or Twos as he had come to accept as his name to be, nodded in agreement. Neil nodded back at him sarcastically as he dug about his pocket for his deck of cigarettes. He pulled one out for himself and passed yet another to Eric, “Its like I’m pregnant. You know? But I’m not eating for two, I’m smoking for two” Ned complained loudly.

The ‘guys’ as they collectively referred to themselves were not teenagers as you would expect. They were Now ankle deep into their twenties. They were living their own idea of ‘THE DREAM.’ As a group they had enough money to get by, while never making it as far as well-off or even well-off-enough to pay all the bills they did manage to squirrel enough away each week to buy drinks, smokes and keep the internet turned on in their respective abodes. The latter being more important than the drinks and smoked combined.

“You know Ned you remind me of my brother” mumbled Eric with a cigarette in his mouth, “Hows that?” asked Ned.

Eric lay back against a lamppost far too drunk to both talk and stand at the same time. He began to tell his theory “You see, my brother is a genius. You’re like the complete opposite of a genius”

“Thanks” interrupted Ned

“Right! What the fuck… Do you want to know what I am trying to say or what?” Eric yelled in a slurring drunken flash of annoyance.

“Sorry” added Viking who up until that point had seemed unaware of the conversation.

Eric muttered some abuse then dived back into his monologue “Yeah, like; I was saying, you’re no geeneeus, you don’t even know how to spell it. But, he did this science experiment at school. Well, out-side the back of the school, where he got a frog and he held it up by its head and spray painted it blue, well, right, it looked like a little fact as fuck alien! I never saw it but thinking about it reminds me of you” both Ned and Viking looked at each other wishing they had drank more at the pub.

“So what your saying is that your Genius brother described a blue frog to you and that made you think of Ned?” pondered Viking.

Ned began to shake his head and scrunch up his nose… “What the fuck! That whole story makes no sense at all, not even a little! And as for your genius brother? It sounds to me like he’s a fucking idiot!” He ranted somewhat triggered by the accurate accusation that his features were somewhat ‘froggish’.

Eric dropped his cigarette and stubbed it out with a little flurry of his boot (because he saw a cool guy on telly do it) “No, he is a genius right! But he is also like only five so its hard to tell some times is all” Ned was about to reply when Viking jumped in with a cunning observation “How do you know he’s a genius then?” Eric licked his lips and took a deep breath before could muster the focus to answer “Because his head is really big”, “What? Like he’s a total cocky arse hole?” asked Ned, “No, like his head is massive when you look at him its like his body is way too small, like them aliens on Doctor Who.”

Ned and Viking spoke in unison “Fuck off Twos!” a chant which was uttered towards the end of most of his stories.

Morning service.

It was the sound of gunfire that first woke Ned from his slumber, as he opened his eyes the light was blinding, as things came into focus he began to realize the worst possible thing had happened. He had at some point in the drunken daze got confused and instead of stumbling to his flat he had ended up at his fathers house. For a normal person this would not be a massive problem other than the humiliation of possible vomit in their parents bathroom. For Ned there was few things worse than spending time with his video game obsessed hippy father. He looked at at the ceiling and instantly recognized the orange blotchy paint job of his dads living room. He turned and sat up from the sofa.

A figure looked back at him from the chair that faced the telly. “Morning lad, want a controller? The bloody aliens have landed now!” His father pointed at a controller on the floor next to him and then gestured at the telly, which displayed the rather graphic images of an interstellar war for pizza, or something.

“Had a good night did you son?” Ned thought it was endearing how this question was asked without any eyes being removed from the screen. “Yeah, think so, can’t really remember” Ned began to have bizarre flashbacks to the events of the journey home. And of somehow acquiring an additional bottle of vodka.

“One thing son, why are you covered in blue paint?” Ned stood up quickly and looked into the mirror, he was in fact entirely blue. “Err, yeah, I think it was to make me look more like a frog” the telly made a boop noise as his father paused the game. He peered around from his large sofa chair and said “Bloody hell son, you must have had a good night… frogs are green.” Ned turned to face his father and indignantly said “Only the ones from earth!” He then wondered into the other room looking for a wash cloth as the sounds of war resumed.

An half an hour of scrubbing and one cup of extra strong hangover curing coffee later Ned braved the living room again. He was now a washed out blue colour with an almost neon blue jacket and dirty extra-blue tee shirt and jeans. “Its been great dad but I’m going now.” His father leaned towards him without taking his eyes from the screen again “Take the other one with you as well will you son? I think he’s going to upset Mrs Pearson next door.” Ned looked around he couldn’t see anyone else “What are on-about dad?” “He’s in the front garden.” Ned nodded and strolled to the front door, upon opening the door he was greeted with a crowed of people and what could only be described as a man on a cross.

The sight took a few moments to sink in. It appeared that Eric had been stuck to a lamppost with some kind of gorilla tape, a pool queue strapped across his arms to give the impression on a religious icon. He was dressed in what appeared to be robes fashioned out of a Knight Rider bed cover.

Ned lit a cigarette as he wondered across the road to get a better view. He took a quick snap with his phone before shouting up to the sleeping Jesus impersonator “Twos! What are you doing?” It took a few moments for Eric to realize what was happening, “Shit!” he squealed “I’m really high up dude!” he yelled in a panic. Ned couldn’t help but smile “No shit.”

“What are you doing? Trying to offend every catholic in Warhill are you?” called Ned. Eric began to struggle and grasp and the tape holding him in place with the ends of his pudgy fingers “No” he yelled back “Wankers Ned! Street wankers got me… They said I was an Emo Jesus and crucified me!” Ned laughed so hard that he had to sit down at the side of the road “Dude, where the fuck did they get the Knight Rider thing from?” Eric was slowly wriggling one arm free from the queue “its mine, they knocked my door and asked my mum for it!” Ned puzzled over this for a few minutes before he finally had to ask “Your mum endorses this kind of behaviour does she?” “Not really. But she didn’t expect them to dress me like Jesus and tape me to a lamppost did she!” Eric replied angrily. “Why not?” asked Ned “Because the street wanker that got me was Lenny” Ned began to laugh again so hard that his hang over gave him a well deserved shot of pain as punishment “Dude your mums boyfriend taped you to a lamp post!” Eric was not so amused.

“Where’s Viking anyway?” called Ned. “He said something about asking ‘The-One-And-Only’ about the blue space frogs, next thing I now, here I am.” Ned took another few photos with his phone and began to send email them to everyone he knew. “Okay, thanks man, I”ll go find him.” With that Ned wondered down the road towards flat building site that ‘The-One-And-Only’ called home. “Dude? You gotta’ cut me down… Dude? Seriously?”

Leon, the one and only.

The door was being knocked, no one knocks the door in that way. Leon knew that it was the knock of Ned. He looked around his building site of a house and reached out for the dark glasses on top of a pile of bricks. He put them on and then slid into his leather jacket before answering the door, god forbid that anyone should see him under dressed. The idea of being seen without his ‘cool’ worried him so much that he did not consider putting on trousers before answering.

Ned was bored of waiting and banged the door again. Ned always tried to knock a door in the style of a police officer looking for criminals. He assumed that it would make people answer faster. A strange assumption given they types of people he associated with.

The door opened slowly… “Yes Neil, how can I help you?” Ned looked up and down and after a few moments of silence he could not help but ask the obvious question “Why are you showing me your willy?”

Leon muttered some profanity then darted off to find his shorts. Ned wondered in. He had known Leon, who liked to be suffixed with the title ‘The-One-And-Only’ (because he wrongly assumed it made girls think he sounded cool) for a few years now and the entire time his ‘fixer-upper’ home had been in a state of ‘knocker-downer first’ in fact the bricks were gathering dust and the large hill of cement with a shovel sticking out of it that lived in the kitchen had been solid for longer than Ned could remember. Before he could get a proper look at the ‘work’ Leon emerged from a half walled room wearing his signature leather trousers which complimented his leather jacked and shades rather well and at the same time made him look totally ridiculous.

“So? Nedrick!” Leon liked to talk. “What do you require from me, The-One-And-Only today?” Leon asked while spreading his arms in an effort to seem like a source of wisdom. Before Ned could speak Leon began to talk again “Because I don’t have your tenner yet.” Ned had forgotten about the tenner but appreciated the reminder. “Have you seen Viking?”

Leon thoughtfully rubbed his brow as he ventured into the kitchen, the kitchen had a wall made of a wooden frame and little more, “Yeah, he’s a tall bloke with the monotone voice. Dresses like its the nineties.” Ned knew this would be harder than the had first thought.

“That’s not what I meant dude. Have you seen Viking recently?” Leon put the kettle on. Kettle being the affectionate nick name for a pan of water and a mouldy electric hob. “No, not today. By the way Ned why are you blue?” “Don’t ask. It’s a long story and I can’t remember most of it.” replied Ned as he made himself at home using the dry mound of concrete as a chair of sorts. “Have you tried calling him?” asked Leon as he poured instant coffee into some cups straight from the jar. Ned observed this ritual and wondered why spoons were not good enough “I’m not convinced he would hear me.” Leon filled both cups with way more sugar than was needed and without looking up made the obvious statement “No, I mean, on the phone.” Ned took his phone out and took some crafty snaps of the dusty bricks “No, I messaged him but the speaker on my phone doesn’t work” Leon muttered something about that being no surprise and tossed Ned the cordless telephone that had been up until that point hidden under some semi-pornographic magazines that looked suspiciously 80’s.

Ned carefully typed Vikings number into the telephone, he always typed numbers in carefully as a few months ago he had been trying to contact a well known games company to complain about his fathers addiction and he inadvertently got connected to a nice girl named Sally who wanted to talk dirty and take his credit card number. The whole experience might have been more fun but Ned didn’t have a credit card.

The phone was pressed tight to Ned’s ear. He could feel the dust on it invading his hair. How was it possible that everything in Leon’s house was covered in building dust when Leon had never actually done any building?

“Its ringing!” exclaimed Ned. After a short time the ringing stopped and the unmistakable monotone voice of Viking said “Hello, Viking’s phone.” Ned stood up as if standing was a prerequisite for talking on a phone “I know its Viking, I just called Viking’s number… Anyway where are you dude?” he could hear a low rumble and voices in the background. “On a train” replied Viking “Why?” asked Ned, “I don’t know.”

Ned didn’t want Leon to feel left out of the conversation so he called across the kitchen a lot louder than he needed to “He’s on a train! He doesn’t know why he’s on the train.” Leon gestured towards the cup of coffee that now sat on the stack of bricks on Ned’s side of the kitchen ‘wall’ “What train?” he asked. Ned walked away as he muttered “Dude, I’m on the phone!”

Viking continued his story “I’m on an accidental holiday!” Ned felt pressed to interrupt before the story got any more confusing “What’s? An accidental holiday???” he could hear Viking telling another passenger that his friend didn’t know what an accidental holiday was, the other passenger asked Viking to stop talking to her. “I was on my way to Leon-The-One-And-Only’s house when I thought getting a train might me less hassle. There’s this place in Scotland called ‘Leon’ that this train goes too, anyway I thought that it sounded close to Leon’s house so I got a ticket and here I am, one stop away.”

Even Ned could see the flaw in this plan “Dude, Scotland is like seventy hundred miles away and Leon lives next to the shop. That’s not even as far as the train station!” Ned could hear Viking getting annoyed with the ‘daft’ questions “Yes but oh wise and holy Ned, the one part of this that your not accounting for is that last night when I got on the train I was proper hammered. Now I’m sober I can see that my plan was not as full-proof as I thought it was.”

Ned liked being referred to as ‘Wise and Holy’ even if it was said as sarcasm. “Okay dude, I’m coming to save you, don’t leave that ‘Leon’ place, the mighty Nedrick and ‘The-One-And-Only’ Leon are on the way to liberate you from the fascism of the Scott’s” with that righteous outburst Ned slammed the phone down, this was not the best plan he had ever had because it was a cordless phone so instead of slamming it down he had in fact thrown it at the floor and now it was broken.

Leon was leaning against the stove in the kitchen and thankfully had not seen the whole phone destruction incident. Leon was uninterested in the phone call but felt that it would be rude not to ask, and he heard enough of it to know that there was about to be a stupid outcome. “Are you going to Scotland then?” he called. Ned wondered in to him and with a menacing grin on his face he slowly said “Oh yes we are!” Leon looked back blankly and took a swig of his coffee. It wasn’t very nice coffee, the dust made it grainy.

After a relatively long conversation about ‘not wanting to go’ Leon eventually decided that it would be better if he did in fact join Ned on his ‘Holy mission’ he wasn’t entirely sure why but Ned could be very persuasive.

Eric was getting bored of being crucified now. He was glad to have tried it; from the point of view of ‘doing something different’ but the tape was making his wrists sweat and he needed to use a toilet quite badly. Also he was getting worried about the time in the sun, even though it was winter he was sure that long term exposure to solar rays was not good for his delicate skin. At this point in his thoughts he saw the silhouette of Ned and Leon walking towards his lamppost. It reminded him of all those movie’s where the heroes stroll into town to kill all the bad guys and save everyone just in the nick of time, then the thought that he watched too many movies.

Eric grinned away to himself thinking that soon he would be able to release the pressure in his bladder as Ned and Leon strolled past. “Hey, guys?” he called. Ned and Leon briskly walked backwards towards him. “Sorry! Totally forgot about you mate.” said Ned. Leon looked up with a grin and took a photo with his phone and started emailing it to everyone he knew “You look like an Emo version of Jesus you know?” Leon observed as he hit send on his e-mail. Eric was not impressed “So I’ve been told.”

Within half an hour or so the three friends sat in Ned’s fathers living room. Leon had made Eric a rather nasty cup of coffee. Eric didn’t care that much it was warm and he was not taped to a lamppost any more so it didn’t really matter to him. He was still dressed in a Knight Rider toga. With Michael Knights face looking oddly suspicious of he exposed nipple.

Ned’s father was sitting on his chair with his game on pause looking at the three idiots wishing they would go away so he could carry on ‘saving the world’

Ned noticed his father staring. “Dad, can we borrow your car?” he asked. His father looked back “If I say no, will you all go away?” Leon was the first to think of a witty reply “Not unless you have three train tickets to Scotland Mr Curious.” Ned’s father had no idea what that was supposed to mean. “And if I say yes? Then will you all go away?” he asked. Ned was not as hurt by the comment as he was about to pretend to be “You know what dad, your son’s are here spending time with you and your not interested! Do you know how that can effect young men?” his father was thinking faster today than Ned had hoped “You’re my only son. The other two just turn up and eat my food regularly. I don’t even know their names.”

Leon leaned forwards and a business card almost magically appeared in his had “Leon ‘The-One-And-Only’ Jones. Construction Manager. At your service sir” Ned’s dad took the card, it wasn’t cut strait and he was fairly sure that ‘Manaygarr’ was not spelled correctly. “You really a construction manager lad?” he asked, Leon laughed and looked around, no one else was laughing “Of course not, I just say that because it sounds cool. Come on, construction manager? Have you seen my house?” Eric and Ned nodded in agreement at each other “No” added Ned’s dad, “You can take the car. Just make sure, wherever you go that you don’t bring the ‘one and bloody only’ back with you will you please.”

Ned was satisfied with the terms of the agreement and grabbed the keys from on top of the television as he left the room, the other two followed.

They took a quick stop at Eric’s house so he could argue with his mum about her boyfriend being a wanker and so he could get some actual clothes. Ned and Leon waited outside but were able to hear the while argument along with a strange ‘70s hits’ soundtrack that was being played too loud on speakers that were not good enough.

They walked the short distance to the car park behind the flat. “So what complete piece of shit are we driving today then?” asked Leon. Eric noticed a burnt out classic mini at the far end of the car park, “Is it that one?” he asked as he pointed. “No” Ned proclaimed, “That’s my Nan’s” Eric and Leon looked at each other worriedly. “I don’t see it” Ned mumbled as he dissipated behind the big blue plastic monstrosity marked as ‘recycling bank’

Eric pulled out an empty packed of cigarettes “Dude, I’m out of smoke’s can I pinch one of yours?” he asked. Leon sighed “Firstly, you have been using the whole ‘I’m all out, look at my empty packet’ scam for so long now, the packet is actually faded and secondly, I don’t smoke dude” Eric tossed his empty packet into a near by bin “So when did you quit?” Leon turned to Eric “Never! I have never smoked, I eat well and work-out, smoking does not compliment my lifestyle” he then turned to show Eric his perfect ‘ass’ and began to rub it proudly “You don’t get one of these by being a twenty-a-day slob you know” Eric paid more attention than he should have done, “That is a very nice arse to be fair” he said “can I touch it?” Leon slapped him with an open hand “no one touches it! No one!”

Just at that point the arse talk was broken up by the roar of a mighty engine, they both jogged towards the recycling bank. Behind it was a totally silver hyper masculine beast of a vehicle. Neither of them knew much about cars but they both knew that this car was a master work of engineering and just the sort of thing that would cost more money than either of them had even realised existed.

The tinted black window rolled down with an elegant hum and a smooth motion to reveal the face of Ned “get in then guys, we have a lot of miles to do!” “What the fuck?” proclaimed Eric expressing Leon’s open mouthed thoughts.

Ned made the engine roar again “This is my dad’s car” Eric and Leon were not expecting this. Eric and Leon were expecting something the exact other end of the spectrum. They were expecting less ‘zoom zoom’ and more ‘piece of total and utter crap’

Within seconds the three friends were cruising the open road, or at least the dual carriageway out side the car park. “Dude” began Eric. “How does your dad own a sexy sexy sexy car like this?” Ned turned his head a little in that was all experienced drivers never do, just enough tilt to make you feel like they are talking to you, not the window screen and not enough to take their eyes off the road, “My dads Bit coin billionaire.” “no fucking way!” exclaimed Leon who was playing with the games console that was mounted in the back of the rear read rest.

Ned thought he should clear up this matter before it began to be an epic lie “Don’t be stupid guys, my dads not a millionaire, he got the car in the divorce settlement, its my mum that’s loaded.” Eric felt he should say something to make Ned feel better. Talking about his mother always upset him “dude, I miss you mum as well, its OK dude” Ned was surprised at the touching comment and was about to thank Eric for using his special Emo powers of love when Leon decided to add a comment as well “Yeah, your mum’s ugly as hell but she has the most amazing legs I have ever seen, shame about the rest of her though”

Ned was strangely ‘grossed out’ by the observation and intended to think it over later when he found a bar that served something strong “whatever guys. Fact is though its Sunday and I got almost no drinking cash left so you guys had better shell out for some petrol because we only got like ten miles left in the tank”

Eric unzipped his rather feminine brown leather pouch. There was nothing more than a few pence in it. “I didn’t bring my wallet dude’s” called Leon as he turned off the games console in the back “dude, video games and driving give me motion sickness” he had barely gotten the last word out when he proved his point by spilling his breakfast and the rest of his stomach contents over Eric’s shoulder and straight down the front of his blue tee shirt

Ned was horrified at the sight and swerved the car wildly, Eric was screaming and shouting “Not cool dude! Not cool” and that was the last thing that Eric remembered doing for a while.

Trash can.

“Do you think he’s dead” asked Ned as he looked thought the front window of the now crashed car. “No, I don’t see how. You drove into a ditch. Not really fatal. Well, not when you haven’t even dented the car” replied Eric. He was right there really was no damage to the car except that it was now parked in a ditch and covered in mud at the front.

Ned only had to slap Leon once or twice before he woke up and once he had shook the more ‘chunky’ pieces of vomit from his shirt he felt a lot less sick. “So what are we going to do about the car?” asked Leon. Ned sat down at the top of the ditch and lit a cigarette. Eric was about to speak when Ned tossed him the packet. “Well, we are not that far away from dad’s flat, I think we should walk back, give him the keys, and leave, fast” even as he was saying it Ned knew it was a stupid idea. “Yeah” Eric began as he lit his cigarette “That way when he goes out next he will think its been stolen”, “Genius!” Leon added “well, it does run in the family” Eric replied smugly. Ned and Leon looked confused. “because my brother is a genius?” Leon had no idea what he was talking about. “Do not start that again or I’ll tie you to a lamppost!” said Ned with annoyance.

By the time the three had walked back to the flat Ned had not managed to come up with a better plan for explaining the whereabouts of the car. He used his key and entered the flat quietly, he put the keys on top of the microwave “Thanks for that dad. The car park was full so we parked it just by the dual carriageway.” his father nodded, Ned left quickly.

“Well? How did it go?” asked Leon who was leaning against the wall outside. Ned still knew that eventually his father would figure out what had happened and probably so something very nasty to him but right now he was free from blame and although he knew he should not feel good, he kind of did. He liked the thrill of it all. “I think, its about the best plan we have had all day mate.” Said Ned in response. Leon put on his shades and pulled at the collar on his jacket as if he were in a fifties teen rebel movie. “Great, lets get trashed then” and with that outburst he began to walk away. Both Ned and Eric knew where he was going. He was heading to the greatest pub that had ever been built. He was heading to a pub that was so great its a wonder they were ever sober at all. He was heading to ‘The Trash Can’

‘The Trash Can’ was a legend of a pub. They never asked for ID so it was always full, even if most the customers were still in school uniform. They had a barmaid that had a reputation for pretty much sleep with anyone who brought a pint and most of all it had cheep booze. Lots of bars had cheep booze but very few had a standard charge of just about half price to anyone over the legal drinking age. They offset the loss by charging anyone who looked under twenty one double. The genuine people would leave fast, but the masses of alcoholics who might as well have been wearing nappies would spend all their money on a single pint if it meant they could drink it in the warm and dry with a game of pool to wash it down.

Ned, Eric and Leon entered through the door at the front. The sign above it had more than a few blown bulbs in it so the neon now read ‘The ash an’ and that was only on a good day. As he entered the bar area Ned noticed a stack of blue spray paint cans in the large bin by the door. Things made a little more sense now.

Leon sat on his usual bar seat, the one at the very end of the bar, Ned and Eric sat on the flea infested leather sofa next to it. One of the barmaids wondered over to where Eric was sitting. “Three pints of cider and one hit of brown stuff with extra ice?” she asked, Leon took his dark glasses off, it was so dark in the bar that even his well trained eyes could not see a thing with them on “no Lisa, today we are one idiot short, so two cider and my usual please babe.” Lisa was not one of the ‘friendly’ barmaid’s so both Ned and Eric were surprised that she had simply nodded and waked towards the pumps, as opposed to beating the shit out of Leon for calling her ‘babe’ she quickly returned with two pints of cider and a single shot of whiskey with extra ice “That’s twenty pounds please Leon” this was a ridicules amount of money for three drinks.

Leon looked over at Ned and Eric and grinned. He then looked back at Lisa “I think you have your facts wrong, I’m well over the drinking age, hell, I’ve been coming here longer than that sofa” he said as he pointed over to the where Ned and Eric where sitting, Lisa leaned forwards towards him “No, I think you have your facts wrong, I’m charging you more for calling me babe and not smacking you!” Leon opened his mouth as if he was about to say something witty as Lisa pulled his wallet from his hand, she took a five pound note out and placed it into the register, she then took another and slid it down her top, to that place that bar maids keep things. “Thanks babe!” she said as she handed Leon his wallet back. Leon swivelled around on his stool and passed Ned his drink. “I think she really likes you dude” said Ned, Leon nodded “yeah, I can tell… Its in her eyes” before Leon had finished his sentence Eric coughed and gestured towards the other pint of cider on the bar. Leon apologised for forgetting him, he took the pint of cider from the bar and with an almost sarcastic level of care he took it over to Eric and placed it on the table. “cool, thank man” said Eric “That’s okay buddy, by the way you owe me a tenner” said Leon as he sat back down “what?” argued Eric. Leon smiled as he picked up his drink as he spoke “I paid last time we were here, and Ned before that. As we haven’t rescued Viking yet, its your round mate” Eric was trying to figure out the logic and argued “Yeah that’s okay but half the money is between Lisa’s tit’s. That’s not my fault” Leon shrugged his shoulders and took a sip of his whiskey. Ned thought it wise that he help out in this discussion, mostly because he had no money “We know Eric. It’s fine, it’s Leon’s money down Lisa’s tits but your paying for the next round too mate!” Eric nodded “well that’s OK, as long as I’m not getting ripped off here.”

“I thought you forgot your wallet?” Ned asked Leon. “Oh, that was a lie” he said. “I didn’t even want to go to Scotland, so there was no way I was paying for us to get there.” Ned decided that it a was reasonable stance.

“So” said Ned “how are we going to rescue Viking now that we shagged the car lads?” Leon sighed “We could try hitching a ride” Eric shook his head at this idea “No, no, no who’s going to give us a ride? We got one blue dude, one guy with so much leather on that he looks like he’s wearing a Gimp suit and me… lets face it, no one wants to give an Emo a ride, even if they did stop it would only to take pictures of the three ‘freaks’” Ned could see his point “Right thumb based travel is off the menu then!” she announced, “What else could we try”

Lisa who was having a cigarette by the beer pump had overheard this discussion and thought she would ‘chip in’ “where’s Viking then?” she asked. “Scotland” replied Ned. Before she could say anything else Leon noticed a crime in progress “You know, you can’t smoke here, its an enclosed place, you have to go out side… it’s the law” he said, Lisa blew a few smoke rings into the air and then slid the bar-top payphone towards Leon. “Call the bloody police then” Leon knew the phone didn’t work “Yeah right… Okay. Please don’t throw me out” he said as he went back to his drink. With this being said Ned lit up a cigarette too, Eric lit up one of Ned’s just after.

Within a few minuets Ned and Leon had finished their drinks, “Its your turn to go to the bar dude” said Ned to Eric. Eric was barley half way down his drink “Leon’s sitting right on the bar dude. Why do I have to go?” Ned had an answer ready “Because he went last time” Eric knew there was no point fighting it so he walked the four or five paces over to the bar, next to Leon. “Lisa can I have another round please?” he asked. Lisa was already pouring them. “fiver please darlin’” she said, Eric looked at Leon, Leon looked back and said “wow, that’s a half of what I paid mate and don’t forget you owe me a tenner” Leon paid Lisa and Eric then sat back down, he was sure that some were here he had been conned but wasn’t quite sure how.

“How about we just phone Viking, maybe he doesn’t need rescuing!” pondered Eric aloud. “Shut up Eric!” said Leon. “Yeah that’s stupid” added Ned. Ned knew that Viking didn’t need rescuing, so did Leon but the fact was none of them had anything better to do.

The afternoon went by quickly. Ned realised that he had not been home for days now and decided to go before he got too inebriated to walk. After a short discussion about not wanting to go home to his mum’s ‘street wanker’ boyfriend Eric decided to join Ned. Leon thought it best if he stayed at the bar and continued to try his luck ‘charming’ Lisa.

The walk back to Ned’s flat was not a very long one when they both were mostly sober but it had began to rain and it was very cold. The two never said much on the walk they just kept their head’s down to keep their face’s dry and walked briskly. This was the reason that they never saw the police car until it was too late.

The police were parked right outside Ned’s ground floor flat and all the lights were on. Eric stopped dead in his tracks “Dude, you’re getting busted!” he said with an uneasy voice. “Dude! Why would they bust me? I’m not a criminal. I’m a loser” replied Ned as he jogged to the front door to find out what was happening “Officer! Officer!” he called politely “What’s going on?” an officer standing by the door put his hands out to stop Ned going any further. “I’m sorry sir you can’t go in!” he said “But I live here!” by the time he had finished his ‘I live here’ statement the police officer had him bent over the bonnet of the car and had him in cuffs. “I’ve got him inspector, he’s here sir!” called the officer. Ned could not see much except that Eric had ran off and there was blood on the bonnet of the car, Ned assumed it was from his own nose but couldn’t tell for certain. Then it all went black.