Welcome to my ongoing web serial ‘The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange’. If you are new to the series, please click here for a complete chapter listing or here to jump straight to the first chapter
As always, please leave comments afterwards; I really do appreciate the input and it is good to know what is and isn’t working. This week, I’d be particularly interested to know if The Green Man’s accent sounds ok. (It’s supposed to be sort of West Country- think Devon).
On with the fun!
The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange
(In which Fiona conducts a rather damp interview)
By the time Fiona returned from the coffee shop, The Green Man, assisted by Neil and Bertie, had managed to separate the wailing Harpies from the howling Furies, and a semblance of order had returned to the Exchange.
‘What have you done with them?’ asked Fiona.
‘I ‘ope you don’t mind,’ said The Green Man, ‘but I took the liberty of placing the ‘arpies in your office, and Neil ‘as kindly offered to interview the Furies in ‘is.’
‘Very sensible,’ said Fiona, glancing nervously down the corridor, ‘has anyone else turned up?’
‘Well,’ said The Green Man, scratching his head so that a dozen or so dead leaves floated to the carpet, ‘a coupla’ goblins were ‘ere, but when I told ‘em that there were no money involved, they disappeared in a flash.’
‘I thought I could smell burning,’ said Fiona, ‘goblins always were a bit on the mercenary side; we’re probably better off without them.’ She looked around the reception. ‘Where’s Ms Pinky?’
‘In the ladies’ toilet, she weren’t feeling too good.’
Fiona looked annoyed.
‘Well, she can’t stay in there; I’m interviewing the next candidate shortly.’
‘In the lav?’
‘Yes, of course,’ said Fiona heading for the toilet, ‘where else?’
Once inside, Fiona immediately found Ms Pinky slouched on the toilet seat in the cubicle; she was snoring loudly, each of her three nostrils flapping wildly with every exhalation.
‘This won’t do,’ said Fiona, looking at her watch, ‘she’ll be here any minute.’
She stood at the door and took a deep breath.
‘Ms Pinky! Wake up!’
Ms Pinky opened her yellow eyes and roared, revealing all three rows of her serrated teeth. She took a few moments to remember where she was, then, spotting Fiona, she gasped and put her pink paw to her mouth.
‘I’m so sorry, Fiona; must have dropped off.’
‘That’s ok, Ms Pinky, you had a busy night. Why don’t you take the rest of the day off? Put your feet up.’
‘But the interviews, won’t you be too busy?’
‘There’s only a few more, I’m sure we can cope.’
Just then, a muffled knocking began inside the toilet.
‘Ms Pinky,’ said Fiona, ‘would you be so kind as to lift the lid please, I think my eleven thirty has arrived for her interview.’
The monster lifted herself up sleepily, turned round and held up the toilet lid. For a moment, nothing happened, then quite suddenly a pale green face, framed by lanky dark green hair appeared in the bowl. The head smiled, revealing a set of sharp teeth which matched the hair in colour. Both creatures looked at each other with yellow eyes.
‘Blimey,’ said the head in the toilet, ‘you’re ugly.’
Ms Pinky turned her nose up and sniffed.
‘I could say the same about you,’ she said.
‘Ladies, please, there’s no need for unpleasantness,’ said Fiona, squeezing herself into the cubicle, ‘Ms Pinky, may I introduce Jenny Greenteeth. Miss Greenteeth, this is our new receptionist, Ms Pinky.’
‘Well, why didn’t you say?’ said the girl, holding out her long, bony fingers, dribbling toilet water down her chin, ‘pleased to meet you.’
‘Now, Ms Pinky, if you don’t mind, Miss Greenteeth and I have important business to attend to. Go home and have a rest, and we’ll see you bright and early in the morning. The Rescue Committee meeting is at nine o’clock.’
As soon as Ms Pinky had shuffled out, Fiona set about explaining the nature of the rescue mission to her wet and slimy client.
‘So you see, Jenny, we need the cooperation of a large number of sirens and merfolk if we are to stand any chance of our mission being successful.’
‘And you say they are holding a havfrue captive on this ship?’
‘So we believe,’ said Fiona, gravely.
‘If this is true, it is an insult to every water-dwelling creature alive.’ The river mermaid ran her sharp fingers through her knotted hair. ‘It is not often that my kind enters salty waters, but we will do so on this occasion. We will head north and search out our sisters of the frozen seas. Together we can attack from below.’
‘Thank you, Jenny, you are very kind.’
‘Not at all; it’s been a long time since I sank my teeth into something this exciting.’
Fiona flinched as the creature slowly ran a dark tongue over her thin lips.
‘I’ll be in touch when the plan’s been finalised; how will we contact you?’
Jenny Greenteeth held up a waterproof box containing a mobile phone.
‘Text me,’ she said, before disappearing round the u-bend.
Exiting the ladies’ loo, Fiona found Neil showing the last of the Furies out of the Exchange.
‘How did you get on?’
‘Not bad,’ sad Neil, ‘as long as we keep them separated from the Harpies, they could prove quite useful.’
As he spoke, a piercing shriek reached them from Fiona’s office.
‘Crikey,’ said Neil looking worried, ‘I sent Bertie in there to keep the Harpies occupied; I hope he’s alright.’
‘I’ll go and check,’ said Fiona, ‘they’d be very useful to us, especially as they can fly.’
‘Before you do that,’ said Neil, ‘the Norwegian Minister for Myths called whilst you were in the toilet; they want Njord and the Havfrue returned as soon as possible and have offered assistance.’
‘Really? Did he say what kind of assistance?’
‘He mentioned something about the Beserkers. Does that mean anything to you?’
‘The Beserkers!’ exclaimed Fiona, ‘fantastic.’
Neil looked confused.
‘Who, or what, are they?’
‘Think of them as a kind of Old Norse shock-troop of completely mental warriors.’
‘Wow,’ said Neil, ‘impressive.’
Fiona nodded in agreement.
‘You know Neil, I think this plan might actually work; Alice might be rescued after all.’
‘Good,’ said Neil, as another ear-splitting scream came down the corridor, ‘but let’s start by rescuing Bertie from those Harpies; there’s not much to him and his experience with women is somewhat limited.’
© flyingscribbler 2011