Thursday, January 06, 2005

Six; The Short Arm Of The Local Constabulary

The blue flashing stopped, and the siren was suddenly quiet.

"Hey fella's, how the hell are ya?" I backed away as the leprechaun soldiers closed in on me with their weapons pointed up at my chest. "Have you seen a border collie? I lost my dog and, well, you know how things are," I knew I was blabbing, but with half a dozen murderous leprechauns pointing halberds at me I wasn't sure what else I could do. "His name is Homer, I'm sure he came this way, but I can't seem..."

Another figure entered the cavern, the soldiers were all wearing blue, but this one was dressed in red.

"Zippacka!" he snapped at me in a squeaky leprechaun voice.

"Zippacka! Zootang! Zipp Zipp Zoorool!" He looked pissed off.

I shrugged, "Sorry, my Klingon isn't what it should be. Have you seen my dog?" In the absence of a real plan I decided to stick to the only one I had. "Homer."

It was clear these angry leprechauns, if in fact that was what they were, didn't want me there any more than I wanted to be there.

Zippacka snorted and walked towards me. He shoved one of the soldiers out of the way and said, "Zippacka!"

"Homer." Despite what you might think of me, I have travelled a little bit, and the one thing I've learnt about communicating in foreign languages with people you don't really want to talk to is to keep repeating yourself. Eventually they'll get bored of trying and leave you alone. "My dog is called Homer, and I want to get the hell out of here."

The head leprechaun was fishing around in his pocket for something while all the angry soldier leprechauns kept their beady eyes on me.

Old Red pulled something out of his pocket and thrust it towards me. I shrank back involuntarily, the coward in me taking over. When I wasn't laser beamed, I straightened myself out and took the object.

I noticed a couple of the soldiers trying not to snigger at my reaction but I decided to let it pass, just this once.

I looked down at the object I was now holding. It looked like a wine gum.

Old Red looked at me expectantly.

"Have you seen my dog?" I spoke slowly and loudly on the off chance that somebody who had never spoken English might actually understand me.

Old Red gestured for me to eat the wine gum.

I looked at it. One of the soldiers, obviously getting bored with the proceedings, prodded his halberd towards me.

"If this thing is drugged you're in a lot of trouble buddy," I waved the wine gum at Old Red and then popped it in my mouth.

It tasted okay, so I chewed it up and swallowed it down.

"Zoorool?" said Old Red.

"Zoorool?" I answered. He seemed to brighten for a moment but when he realised I was just mimicking him the enthusiasm faded from his eyes.

"Zoorool? Zoorool? Do you understand?"


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