The world’s an inky blur and me tongue is furry and ten thousand shileleighs be pummeling me head. Arrrgghhh. Metaphors aside, that last part may actually have happened.
Not quite sure where I am, other than the cool grass under me back, and the inky blur has yet to uncloud. But I hear voices.
“Dave? Dave? Hey, is he OK?”
“Ehhh. No surprise – he’s not a big drinker and he had like eight honey meads.”
“Uh, no, babe, YOU had like eight honey meads.”
“Oh. Yeah. Need more.”
English. They’re speaking English. When was I captured? How was I captured? How many did I take with me? Why have I no memory of anything since departing County C....
Mmmmm .... honey mead ...
The dark cloud is partin' from me eyes. Tis a sunny, warm day – and I’m clearly on no battlefield. There is no carrion strewn about – just paths and buildings and smiling people milling about in mingled, strange garb – some almost normal yet off just a bit, some garbed as if they came from some far-distant century. The buildings – an ale house, a leatherworker, a potter, a luthier – all look just a touch off, as if they’re not quite real. Not false fronts, quite, but contrived nonetheless ...
Tis a false village. No doubt intended to lure their enemies – my people – into a deceptive security, then set upon them. Such is obvious to one of my unquestioned cunning and sophistication. I no doubt must have let meself be captured to spy out the land. Now all I must do is shake off the effects of whatever treacherous draught they’ve poisoned me with, slay a couple hundred English, and make me way back to the kindred. Such is stark simplicity to one of my unmatchable might and ...
Where’s me broadax?
Where in all the hells is me BROADAX?
Begorrah. Slaying a couple hundred English shall be a mite harder. A mite, mind. Aye ... two mites.
For the first time, I glance around at my band of captors. Two scarlet-tressed wenches, two men dressed, as I, in furs and tartan – like they think they’re fooling anyone – with a third watching an artisan make a bodhran. Ehhh – that drum doesn’t even look like it has ANY human flesh in it. Fools and knaves. He leaves the bodhran-maker and approaches, and I squint at his features – clearly a Hibernian. This “Mahooch,” as his drunken colleague calls him, is clearly a turncoat whose demise shall be slow and brutish. Argghh. Me poor broadax.
A wench speaks. “Ally and I are hunting down the ladies’ room. Stay out of too much trouble.”
“Hey, Dave’s awake.”
I say something in my native speech, but by the time it gets from me bowels to me tongue, it comes outsounding simply like, “Bee–hheeeerr.”
“Always a fine idea,” says Mahooch, and for that he canna be faulted. “Kiosk across the path.”
I know not what a kee-osch is, but the men and I approach a small lean-to of sorts, a makeshift pub with one long slab of wood covered with bottles and glasses and the heaving bosoms of two heaving wenches. What satanic crafter carved their corsets? Not that I complain, mind.
They pour us something that call Whore’s Garden or some like, a sweet yet tangy confection that warms me gullet and eases the pounding in me skull. I set the glass down, and another appears as if by sorcery. The wenches clearly are paying little attention to me; they haven’t registered I’m the same man they just served. They’re clearly entranced by the turncoat Mahooch, their eyelashes fluttering and their fingersa twistin’ their locks as they stare lustfully into his visage. I shan’t tell the ladies that by dawn on the morrow I’ll be lacing me boots with Mahooch’s entrails. Not as long as they keep feeding me Whore’s Garden. A third! A fourth!
“So yeah, this Ren-Faire thing will end up covering board, but it doesn’t dent tuition. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I dance over at Knockers Pub outside Trumansburg.” Flutters eyelashes and manages to shift her weight so that even more, dangerously more, of herbosom protrudes from her bodice. “Any plans forTuesday?”
I gulp my seventh Whore’s Garden and see the crimson-tressed ladies approaching from a distance. Not yet, not yet – I need another Guard’s Whoredom! Er, Horde’s Gargoyle? Hard Gorgon? I’m finding it hard to care all much about me broadax ...
The one lass – Krull, they call her and sure as that’s a worthy warrior’s name that – returns and links her arm in Mahooch’s. The wenches at the bar contemplate vile acts of torture and homicide – then they look at me and realize they’ve fed me fourteen Hog’s Gargles. Gore’s Wardens. Hoegarten. Whate’er. Sure an it’s been a pleasure, lassies.
We head off lookin’ for turkey legs. And I’m thinkin’ the massacre can wait a day or two. Or five. Must gather intelligence and all. May even spare Mahoochs’ entrails, as twas his sorcery that filled me gullet with Horny Gollum.
I begin to bellow a heartfelt paean to Eire. But instead, I belch.
Tis close enough.