Ben had never seen a zombie before. Come to think of it he’d never seen a phantom or a leprechaun either and he watched open mouthed as Robert (not Bob) and Lonely Len approached.
“Ayup there mate. Where can a zombie get a cup of tea round here? The zombie asked Faffy.
Faffy disappeared to fetch one from the DeVito’s urn.
Robert (not Bob) smiled at Ben.
“Morning lad. Ah gather ya be havin’ a bit of trouble with Fook oop faeries. ‘appens I mart be able ta elp ya out.”
Ben’s mind turned over slowly.
“You’ll be from Yorkshire then Robert?”
“Ba gum ya be a bright one lad. I was born, raised and died there. God’s country lad. Now as soon as I’ve had me tea I’ll get cracking.”
Ben noticed a positive pong emanating from the Yorkshire zombie. Sort of an aroma of freshly turned damp soil. He looked about a hundred years old with a positive green tinge. He also wore a crumpled old tweed suit and deer stalker hat.
A bit like Sherlock Holmes really thought Ben, if Sherlock had been from Yorkshire … and dead.
Lonely Len was silent although Ben was sure he could hear him sniffing every few seconds. Can phantoms get colds he thought?
He also seemed to fade in and out of view a lot. Most of the time Ben could see right through him but he was a short man (sorry thought Ben … phantom) He had grey hair and wore black trousers with a white stained shirt.
Faffy returned with a large mug of steaming tea.
“Just how ya loik it Robert. Double measure of poteen, ten spoonfuls of sugar.”
Robert (not Bob) downed half of the mug in one go. Ben swore he could see steam coming from the zombie’s ears.
“Eeeeeeeeee ba gum that’s reet hit the spot lad.” He downed the rest and smiled.
Ben was surprised Robert (not Bob) didn’t spontaneously combust after his own earlier experience of Faffy’s poteen but the zombie seemed to positively grow. Even the green tinge seemed to recede a bit.
“Right lad I’m ready. Let t’ dog see t’ rabbit and I’ll get started.”
“Lonely Len will show youse around Robert. Oi’ll let ya get on with it.”
“We’ll that’s an experience oi’ll, I mean I’ll never forget said Ben to Faffy.”
“Aye sorr. And don’t worry. They will sort out our problems. Would ya loik ta see how the De Vito’s are doing out back?”
“OK Faffy but get me a coffee first and I mean coffee, just coffee. None of your additives please this time.”
Faffy returned in the blink of an eye with Frank DeVito’s mug again filled with steaming coffee. Ben sniffed it warily first then took a tiny sip. It seemed fine. In fact it was delicious. Ben smiled.
“Oi hope ya loik it sorr. Tis my own brew. Better than dat machine jollop. Oi wouldn’t polish moi shillelagh with dat muck Mr Ben.”
Ben smiled again. The coffee really was rather special.
“What is a shillelagh anyway?” he thought to himself.
Faffy led Ben to the rear of the warehouse. He briefly caught a glimpse of Robert (not Bob) crawling about under some shelving.
They entered the rear part of the warehouse and Ben’s jaw dropped in amazement. The DeVito’s rushed about in what looked like random chaos. Ben ducked as large envelope wallet flew through the air just missing his head. One DeVito would grab a packet and throw it to another DeVito who in a flash opened it and in a blur shuffled through it. He then threw it to the third DeVito who resealed it and stacked it neatly on a trolley. There were three trolleys already finished and counted.
“For fecks sake Faffy. Are they doing it properly? It needs to be done properly.”
“Check for yourself Mr Ben.” Grinned Faffy with a twinkle in his eye.
Ben rushed over to one of the finished trolleys and pulled a few samples off. He opened each one and checked it carefully. They were perfect. All perfect. Each envelope’s address matched the contents. Faffy resealed them and placed them back on the trolley.
Ben sighed and held out his mug.
Faffy poured the poteen in.
“Funny, thought Ben as he sipped it with no little trepidation, this stuff actually is not too bad when you get used to it.”
© 2013 Stan M Rogers. All rights reserved.
TO BE CONTINUED …