Local Talent

Karen welcomed Old Mrs Sindy who was getting her notoriously frizzy and course hair done at Ken’s Unisex Salon, her regular appointment had been moved as there was an unexpected rush on this week.

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As usual the place was a hive of activity, buzzing with the sound of whisperd gossip, clippers and heady waffs of hair lacquer. Old Mrs Sindy watched as a confused young man tried to get the assistants attention.

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Karen just walked right past him several times while he tried in vain to get her to notice him.

“Er excuse me Miss”

IMG_5169“Miss?”

He looked very awkward until the suave salon owner Ken came to his rescue

“Have you got an appointment, love?”

“Yes, I’ve been here for my 3.30 trim” Both the young man and Ken looked at the clock, it was quarter to 4.

Karen whispered loudly, “I swear I didn’t see him.”

“Put your glasses on, you silly moo.” Ken chastised his assistant jokingly, “He’s wearing the same colour blue as the walls!”

IMG_5172As Ken ushered the confused young man to a vacant barbers chair, in walked the very smart and dashing Sir Charles; he rapidly scanned the waiting area and spied Old Mrs Sindy. ‘Perfect’ he thought to himself as he politly nodded across to her, ‘Splendid.’

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“Beautiful morning Madam, your hair looks perfection, if I may say so?”

“Ho ho, I haven’t had it done yet, young man!” she chuckled in delight, it had been many a year since she’d had a complement from the rougher sex!

“Ah, I will be interested to see how young Kenneth can surpass your natural beauty.” Sir Charles was incorrigable in his persuit of new prey.

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Old Mrs Sindy giggled and blushed.

“I haven’t seen you here before?”

“I’m new to town, recently moved on…I mean in,  not far from here but its only temporary until I can get settled properly.” Sir Charles looked wistfully off into middle distance, as if transpoted on a distant memory.

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Old Mrs Sindy studied this dapper military chap, his slightly dull brass buttons and battered cap, there were frays on his cuffs and his boots had seen better days; apart from that he was a fine looking man of indeterminate age.

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At that moment Ken bustled through with a final spray of lacquer on his latest hair masterpiece.

“And that my dear is how I create perfection….” He was in a very jolly mood today, although he generally was a happy fellow, there seemed to be a special skip and bounce in his step.

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“You, my dear are ready for the ball,” He exclaimed loudly,

“Are you entering the contest too, Ken?”

“I may be ” He tittered and winked and gave yet another final spray.

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“It’s all just too exciting!” Sindy entered to collect her friend for some more rehearsal practice.

Sir charles couldn’t help but ask what all the fuss was about and the girls were more than happy to tell him

“A Talent Contest at the Ritzy, there will be celebrity judges and maybe a TV show…” Mindy explained.

“Or record contract..” Sindy butted in, hardly containing her obvious enthusiasm.

“…and huge cash prizes.” Mindy finished.

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This was exactly what Sir Charles needed and his brain whirred into overdrive.

In the meantime he continued his persuit of the comely Old Mrs Sindy, even if he had to shout over the dryers.

By the end of his salon visit he had successfully arranged a date to take her out to the new Tiki themed cocktail bar next to the Wimpy on the High Street.

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As ususal it was adorned with the beautiful people being all elegant and fashionable, Ken  regularly popped in and out for a top up and to chat with his new friend the barman.

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“Oh isn’t it….colourful? I’ve always wanted to come in but not on my own.” Old Mrs Sindy was so glad Sir Charles had asked her.

“What cocktail would you like, my dear?”

“Oooh they all sound….so exotic, I really don’t know, I usually have a port and lemon but what do you recommend?”

“A Piña Colada…that springs to mind, dear lady….for some reason.”

“Oh go on then, you Devil!’ Old Mrs Sindy was ecstatically happy, for a change.

Jolly good.

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Meanwhile Burt was busy in the garden when Barry visited on his way to the match.

“Have you had one of these? Sindy is making me hand them out and I’ve only got three left.”

Burt read the flyer as Barry told him how impossible Sindy has been recently,

“She can’t speak of anything else but at least she’s let me go to the footie while she’s rehearsing.”

“Good for you Barry.”

“Well, are you entering then?”

“Hmmm.” Burt murmered thoughtfully.

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Later that afternoon, Burt’s mind wondered to his long distant dream of show business and the bright lights, he could almost hear the loud roar of applause and something deep inside him stirred into life.

YES he will be entering!

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So the night of the contest had arrived and there was a huge crowd queuing for tickets outside the Ritzy, all the way up the street and almost to the station. The contestants had been practising all afternoon, getting their props and stage routines perfected; everyone wanted to win, it was the biggest thing to happen in this sleepy town since the Tiki bar opened next to the Wimpy.

Darius, the enigmatic owner and proprietor of The Ritzy was to be compare for the night but the rumoured celebrity judges were still a mystery, you would not believe the wild guesses flying around, some were just plain obsurd!

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“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, please take your seats Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen!’ It was all very cosmopolitan and the audience loved it.

“Without further ado, our first contestant for tonights extravaganza is …..(drum roll)…. The Magnificent Burtini.”

The crowed were so excited they clapped with all their might as the curtain opened to a darkened stage, the spotlights lit up and there, standing on his podium was a veritable beast of a man.

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Oh how the ladies swooned at the sight of his rippling muscles, the oiled thighs and sheer animal magnetism (I’m sure one even fainted!)

With loud grunts of pure energy Burt ( for it was none other than our old friend just using his stage name) managed to lift the enormously heavy barbell weights high into the air.

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Of course the whole auditorium cheered encouragingly at his amazing feats of strength, Burt was almost tossing it into the air with apparent ease, posing as each wave of applause reached a crescendo – what a man!

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At this point I shall break off and compose myself for the thrilling second half of this tall tale on a small scale.

You may wipe your brow too.

….to be continued shortly.

 

 

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020

SHIP WRECK

Barry’s big brother Neville had been staying over for a few nights but he was beginning to feel restless and confined, preferring open spaces and seeing the stars than four walls and a ceiling

His constant pacing around like a caged animal was beginning to get on Barry’s nerves, even when he was quiet, he wasn’t – forever sniffing, coughing and mumbling to himself.

“Come on Nev, lets go down the pub?”

“Ok, thats a good plan Baz…but I’m a bit short at the moment.” As he emptied his pockets, 15p and half a pack of dusty Woodbines tumbled out.

“My shout, you can owe me one.” Barry said knowing that may not happen for a long while.

“I’ll try and get you on the bins with me, we’re a lad down since Arthurs accident.”

“Cheers.” Although Neville was hoping for a musical related job rather than hard graft.

In the back bar of ‘The Jolly Sailor’ sat Burt quietly mulling over the remnants of his last pint, he perked up when the boys burst in.

“Two pints of Best, Cheryl….and a pint for my mate Burt” Barry was feeling generous, it was the day after payday and he still had a wad in his pocket.

Burt, Barry and Neville toasted each other, awkwardly the conversations started then stumbled as Neville was only giving one word answers, eventually Barry asked Burt a leading question to rev up his storytelling yarns.

“Have you ever been shipwrecked Burt?”

“Have I ever….it was late summer when a freak storm hit our boat….”

*FLASHBACK CAMERA WOBBLES*

As the salty sea waves crashed over the crude raft, a recumbent figure was drenched for the umpteenth time. Not a flicker of life was to be seen as the sea birds circled above hoping for a tasty titbit.

Dawn had broken revealing a calm horizon after the furious tempest that raged all last night.

Burt was lying unconscious, as the raft was gently carried on the prevailing tides, he had no idea how long he’d drifted; only aware of his gnawing hunger and overwhelming fatigue as each day gradually became night.

As if in the far distance, the familiar sea sounds drastically changed as he fell in and out of consciousness, the waves became louder as they rhythmically pummelled the soft yielding sand and withdrew fulfilled swirling spume and shingle until the next one rushed in.

Over the beach the girls playfully chased and dodged each other while they enjoyed the first day of their weekend break.

Giggling and splashing along the shoreline in the soft sand and shallow warm waters, they stopped in their tracks at the strange sight; half scared and half inquisitive the girls approached the raft, desperately hoping not to see a gruesome sight.

“Is he dead?”

“How should I know, poke him.”

“No you poke him”

The recumbent figure didn’t look dead, just very wet and a bit sunburnt, as the girls argued about what to do now, whether to call the police or coastguard?

His head felt heavy and was throbbing incessantly, the high pitched sounds pierced his eardrums as Burt gradually came to with a grunt.

The noise continued as the girls squealed their surprise at his sudden movement.

“Oh my gosh, he’s alive!”

“Are you alright?”

“No,” grunted Burt hoarsely, he suddenly became aware of how thirsty he was, his mouth was drier than a crisp packet.

All Burt could see was a lithe pair of firm tanned female thighs.

‘Am I in Heaven?’ He blinked tightly and tried to focus again.

“Oh you poor thing.”

“Let us help you.”

Burt was so weak and his legs were wobbly, between both the strong strapping girls they managed to support his manly form and slowly he limped back to their beach encampment.

Stacey was quietly reading her book when she spied her friends returning.

“What the devil! You girls are fast worker.” She chuckled, thinking at first Burt was drunk.

“We saved him!”

“Yes, he would have died if we hadn’t have rescued him.”They seemed very pleased with themselves, although Burt was close to collapsing again.

” Wat – er… water.” He whispered weakly.

“Oh dear, we’ve only got beer and some bottles of Lambrini.”

Then Burt knew he really had died and this was his heaven. Glugging down a small bottle of beer, then another and another to quench his incessant thirst was the last thing he remembered.

“Aw, he’s gone to sleep and we don’t even know his name.”

“He must have an exciting tale to tell, wonder where he comes from?”

“Do you think he’s a natural blonde, lets check?”

“Barbie! Leave him alone.”

Burt suddenly sat bolt upright and alert,

“Where am I? How did I get here?”

“We were going to ask you that.”

“…and where is my shirt?” Barbie just tittered while she rubbed sun lotion into his arms and back, “Oh what firm muscles you have.”

” …and that’s how I first met Stacey.”

“What happed then?” Barry was curious, Neville was silent.

“Er, well that’s the tricky part.” Burt explained, “I was reported as missing presumed dead…and I still am where the official records are concerned.”

“Oh!”

“Bit like me, under the radar.” Muttered Neville, more to himself than a general statement.

©Juliette Dodd 2019

A Few Dollies More

Burt was staying in lodgings at the very respectable Guest House run by Miss Sindy.

Stiff Men’s Creek wasn’t all rough and uncouth, it’s very religious Towns Women Guild was growing in numbers with new members joining almost daily; the word had spread fast it was a safe haven for ladies who had once fallen.

With a tasty portion of cow pie on his plate Burt could hardly wait to begin.

“Not before you say Grace Mr Burt, this is a God fearing household” Miss Sindy chastised her guest piously.

Miss Belinda also lodged here, she’d paid in gold four months in advance, no questions asked, Miss Sindy was very discrete.

“Do you get many male guests? He asked as he drunk his second cup of coffee.

“Not really only you, all the men head straight for that house of shame across the street, next to the Saloon.” She tutted at its very existence.

Burt wanted to track down the whereabouts of an evil Bandit called ‘The Butcher’, some deeper investigation was needed.

In the cool of the Saloon bar, amid the company of the rough and ready towns men, Burt joined in a friendly card game.

Murray Steel eyed this newcomer with suspicion,

“We don’t want no trouble makers around her…I mean here.” He was a very jealous man and knew where Burt was staying.

“I’m just a passing through buddy, on my way to find me a fortune.”

They all laughed at their shared common goal, every man wanted a fortune, whatever it took.

There was a sudden silence at the bar followed by hushed worried voices.

“Mutter mutter…bandit…mutter…just arrived…mutter…in town…”

“The Butcher!” squealed Cowboy Ken loudly as the others shushed him quickly by slapping his hand.

Tension was rising as their game was reaching its climax, gradually the stakes were raised waiting for the cards to be turned.

Burt was being reckless and bid all his hard earned cash on this last hand, he had an inkling he might be coming into some fresh funds pretty soon.

“Four Aces does it …thank you boys.” Fanning out his winning cards on the table, Burt was quietly pleased at this unexpected bonus.

Just then the doorway darkened as a large figure loomed briefly, a pair of dark squinting eyes surveyed the motley customers within, seemingly satisfied he moved on letting a stream of sunlight pierce the gloom.

As his heavy foot steps headed off next door, the scared whispers at the bar got louder; Burt cooly collected his winnings and bid ‘Good day’ to his fellow gamblers.

Barry had gone back to meet his prospective father-in-law Chief Howlin’ Wolf, to tell the truth Burt preferred working alone, especially as Barry was so drunk and miserable.

Next door to the busy Saloon on the only street in Stiff Men’s Creek was the infamous house of Sin, Madame Barbie’s Bawdy Bordello; with its plush furnishings and comely companions, this was the most popular place in town.

A tall dark, heavily built figure loitered impatiently in the lobby.

‘”Come on lover, I’m worth more than that, especially after what I just did to you…none of the other girls would!” Mad Kate hustled her John.

“Why did you throw my boot outa the window, you silly mare?”

Mad Kate didn’t get her nickname for nothing.

Madame Barbie’s best girls were on hand to tempt this big burly stranger and relieve him of his heavy coin pouch.

One wanton harlot flashed her knees in a bid to get his exclusive attention, he uttered a low long animalistic growl at the sight of her shapely and sleek legs.

Mad Kate promised him some of her special sticky peachy fun as she wafted a jar of preserves around in a titillating way.

He grunted and shook his head, no way, not after the last time when she did the chilli pepper trick.

Mad Kate would go too far even for this mean Bandit.

While they disappeared into the back room, Mad Kate leisurely supped from a bottle of the best while humming a popular Music hall ditty,

“A little bit of what you fancy does you goooood…”

Then she rubbed honey inside his hat ( the nutty tart!)

Later that day, on the outskirts of the strangely sedate town of Stiff Men’s Creek, at the very edge of the arid desert, two hard nosed adversaries eyeballed each other next to a long dead tree.

No one could miss ‘The Butcher’ with his distinctive hat and unfortunate flatulence problem, as he stood his ground against this new antagonist, lots of flies and bees seemed to be drawn to him too, not to mention ants.

Being on the ‘Most Wanted’ list was becoming a bit of a pain, forever on the move with young bucks trying their luck to claim the bounty price on his head.

“What do you want Gringo?”

“I want you to come with me to the Sheriff’s office.” That was a simple answer to the question.

“Why would I do that Gringo, do I look like a fool hahaha?”

“No Mister, you look like one hundred thousand dollars!”

“Go to hell.” He shouted back, spitting out a big lump of chewing baccy and puffing out his chest in a show of masculine dominance.

“Dead or alive the poster said, you choose your own fate.”

It was all over quicker than a hummingbird’s poop, two gunshots echoed through the gully and only one man stood tall.

“Bugger!” Muttered Burt, who had only mean to aim for his leg.

‘Now I’ve gotta get his big ol’ carcass back to town before the coyotes and buzzards come to feed.’ Burt’s annoyance was only quelled by the thought of the massive reward money.

THE END

“Cut!”

“It’s a wrap folks, see you all at the premier.” Called the Director, sweating under the hot sun, “May you all get an Oscar darlings.”

Burt gave Butch a hand up,

“I’m parched!”

“Yoo Hoo, boys.” Waving seductively from a short distance off set were the delicious twins Mali and Boo.

“We thought you’d never get that last bit right, 15 takes to fall down, Butchy baby you are a one!” They chaffed, giggling.

“Haha, thank goodness it was sand else my ass would be black n’ Blue.”

“We’ve been trying to keep the cocktails cold.”

“Cheers everyone”

( You must know by now I don’t do nasty stories!)

©Juliette Dodd 2019

A Fistful of Dollies

Big Gun Barry was in love, his wild and roaming heart had been skilfully lassoed by the charms of Big Chief Howling Wolf’s twin daughters ( Big Gun Barry wasn’t fussed which sister he married to tell the whole truth y’all!)

After many a Pow Wow and quite a lot of liquid fire water persuasion followed by some serious sessions on the peace pipe, Big Gun Barry had agreed to become a Brave; the only way the Chief would let him marry his beloved daughter(s)

Once the initiation period was over the wedding ceremony would commence, in three moons time – on the condition of a large dowry payment of course; daughters were a precious commodity.

Big Gun Barry was, as usual, broke.

Pretty Pocaharder was eager for the sacred matrimonial ceremony, Pocalonger couldn’t wait for the nuptials.

Big Gun Barry was beside himself with frustration, he needed some mega bucks and fast.

Time to seek out his old partner.

The man with one name ~ BURT

The deadliest and quietest gunslinger in the West.

“Beautiful mornin’ Ladies.” Always the perfect gentleman, Burt doffed his hat to the respectable towns women of this busy trading outpost called Stiff Men’s Creek.

Half way between the plains and the Mountains and not too far from the desert, this far flung ramshackle town was always full of roaming settlers, prospectors and sometimes even outlaws!

Barry had to drop his rootin’ tooting’ cowboy name and take on a new tribal one (it was part of his initiation)

He wasn’t very happy to be re-Christened ‘Little Gecko,’ it just didn’t have the same connotations but it was the first animal to be seen at the naming ceremony, so be it.

“If that’s what you want?” Burt was a bit surprised at how far Barry would go to get a bride (or two).

“Yeah, but I still need to make some big dollars quick, any ideas Burt?”

“We’ll have to go back to Bounty hunting ‘cos I know you hate mining.”

The God fearing Church going ladies were chatting loudly about the gallery of villains on all the ‘Wanted’ posters, so very ugly, what awful crimes and how they should find redemption if they only saw the light and mended their thieving ways.

“Why, I do believe you’re not a real Injun?” One lady questioned Barry who was busy trying to find the bottom of the bottle.

He just growled his annoyance, he wasn’t a happy Barry!

‘What is the New World coming to?’ thought Burt, as he saw so many females on the posters, Pear Heart, Della Rose, he was sure he’d had a dalliance with at least one of these naughty ladies.

‘Belle Starr!’ Burt whistled at the $750 reward, she sure looked familiar!

“She’d sort our finances out a treat.” He quietly folded up her poster for later viewing.

In his despondent stupor Barry wasn’t convinced, he had a double dowry to find; Burt thought he was just being a little bit greedy.

“This is more like it, $100,000 for ‘The Butcher’, what a nasty piece of work, I’ve heard all the terrible tales about him.” Barry needed big funds and quickly.

He longingly thought of affording a third bride to rub his feet while the twins were tending his other areas.

Naughty Barry!

“Good afternoon Miss.” Greeted Burt as the very prim but very pretty School Teacher walked past; Barry was too lost in his own personal bourbon fuelled fantasy to notice.

The school house was right next to the Church, although mostly empty as this town had no children at present.

As he sat drinking coffee and studying the poster it suddenly clicked, Burt was sure he knew the teacher’s friend, she looked a little too familiar but he just couldn’t place where from.

He now recalled she used to have dark haired, although that was a very bad picture of her and it was a while ago back in Frisco.

Meanwhile in a secluded stable behind the school house, the stealthy figure of Murray Steel was silently saddling up a fresh steed.

( Tongue twister, the faster the better)

Murray was her willing slave, he adored his Mistress more than words could say, he would do anything she asked.

Love is the only motive.

Dressed in matching jeans and shirts, her real identity heavily shielded, this mysterious and deadly female was on a mission to rob the next stage coach before it even reached Stiff Men’s Creek.

Gold and plenty of it, the only real commodity way out in the wild West; you could buy a thousand acres, you could buy a whole town, no one messes with the highest payer.

“Be careful Belle.” Murray called as she galloped off through the sparse trees.

He would take the rap for her, thats how much he loved that wicked, wicked lady.

Burt turned a blind eye at the School house stables when a very fast horse and rider swiftly dismounted inside the gloom, he wasn’t a vindictive man and Belle had been mighty kind to him when they were ‘friends.’

A short while later that same day, two very respectable Church going Ladies walked along the empty one street town towards the deserted school house.

“Careful Belinda, I hear footsteps.” Alerted the School teacher to her companion.

They began loudly singing hymns to cover the chink chink of gold coins.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me….”

“Good day to ya.” Greeted the rough handed cowboys.

“May the good Lord be with you boys.”

“I once was lost but now I’m found….”

“..was blind but now I see….”

And the school house door slammed shut.

….To be continued…..

©Juliette Dodd 2019