Chapter 7: My First Pub Brawl
I felt a faint breeze comb through my hair as I woke up. When my eyes opened the first thing I noticed was the sky. It was rather grey with few clouds and I could see, in the distance, a cluster of darker clouds that did not look appealing in the slightest. When my head had stopped spinning I tried sitting up, only to be greeted by another wave of nausea. I shut eyes to dispel the dizziness and when I opened them again I took in my surroundings. I appeared to be in a field. Just a plain field with grass and a few cows a distance away who were looking at me funny.
I took a moment for me to realize that my wrist was vibrating, or rather; the watch on my wrist was vibrating. I looked down at it and press the button on the side. A small pinprick of blue, artificial light expanded out of the middle of the face to form a digital image of David’s head.
“You got through ok then?” It said. I said nothing, simply sort of standing there, staring. “Jessica?”
I shook my head and answered.
“Yeah, it looks like it.”
David’s head seemed to get knocked out of the beam of blue light by Jack’s, which turned out sort of lopsided as if he was leaning from one side.
“Jess, you’re ok, thank God. Seriously, I was ready to bust this guy’s skull in if I didn’t get proof you were alive.”
“Nice to see you too Jack and thanks, I guess.”
David’s head pushed itself back into the frame, dispelling Jack’s in the process.
“Sorry to interrupt but you have a job to do. You appear to have landed a few miles off target so you need to head North.”
“Which way’s North?”
“Don’t worry, you’re facing it.”
I looked up from my watch and David’s miniature, floating, glitching head to look in front of me. The upside of what I saw was the fact that there appeared to be a road next to the field I was in the lead roughly in that direction. The downside was the fact that the sinister, dark, rain threatening clouds from before hung over the distant countryside ahead of me.
“I don’t suppose I can find a short cut via South?” I asked, without looking down.
“What’s the problem with North?”
“I’m going to get peed on by God.”
“Ok, odd metaphor. Rough weather then?”
“Looks like it.”
“Well then, you’d better hurry up and find shelter and no, there are no short cuts via South.”
“Just find shelter and call us back.” And, with that, the light retracted back into the watch face, distinguishing David’s hologramed head.
“Great. No, brilliant even.”
I sighed and put the hood over my head in an attempt to make me fairly water-proofed. I braced myself and I set off in the direction the road would take me, cows staring at me disapprovingly all the while.
A few miles North
Artemis felt more uncomfortable than he had been since he died. He was wearing a light grey hoody and a pair of jeans. The same pair his mother had bought for him on his fifteenth birthday over a year previously. He had only worn them about three times since then and they still, regrettably, fitted him.
Presently Artemis Fowl Junior was standing in the middle of Superdrug, waiting for Angelina Fowl to choose a bottle of shampoo; a couple of days after it had rained frogs. The occurrence was put down to a tornado passing overhead, picking up and dropping amphibians all the while (you would be surprised how often similar occurrences actually happen). It seemed the most plausible explanation and the public took it in.
Since Artemis’ resurrection, his mother had been determined to be as much of an ordinary family as possible and that meant buying the smallest amount possible from the internet and doing most of the shopping in person and in public. Artemis had rarely ever set foot in a chemist (if Superdrug could be counted as a chemist) and he had never intended it to be a regular thing.
“Mother, just grab a bottle. They all, more or less, do the same thing anyhow.”
“You’re robbing me of my profit rising ignorance Arty.” She answered whilst weighing a Tresemé bottle in one hand and a Herbal Essences bottle in the other. She seemed to make up her mind on the Herbal Essences and shoved it in her basket.
“Brilliant. Could we go now?” asked Artemis.
“Let me pay, and then yes.”
Fifteen minutes later they were in a small car-park next to ‘The Green Cap Inn’ that had a swinging sign depicting a very unflattering image of Ireland’s perception of a leprechaun holding a tankard of whiskey and wearing (unsurprisingly) a green cap. Angeline had instructed Butler, who had gone to buy food, to park there to save on parking tickets as it was a ‘free for two hours’ offer. Not that paying would have made much difference to the Fowl’s bank account but when Angeline decided to act like a normal family; she was determined to be thorough.
It had begun to rain heavily as Angeline searched her handbag for the car keys whilst trying to keep her shopping off the ground (and Artemis was already hefting three bags so don’t blame him). After his mother realized that Butler was the one with the keys she resorted to suggesting the inn behind them for shelter.
“I would prefer to go back to Superdrug.” Artemis said.
“Well, we can’t. It’s close to closing time which, hopefully, means Butler should be back soon.”
And so they found themselves in a small booth in the corner of the pub, surrounded by shopping bags and a little damp from the ever thickening rain.
“We’ve really fallen this low haven’t we?” Artemis said under his breath.
“Calm down Arty. This is just a one off and we shan’t be here for very long.”
‘Arty’ still didn’t look very happy.
“I still don’t like it. Those men, sitting at the bar, they’re looking at you oddly.”
Angeline spared a quick glance in their direction.
“Nah, they’re way too young for me. That guy can’t be more than nineteen, tops.”
“Artemis, I know their sort. They act interested in women to impress each other and, if you show no interest whatsoever, they move on to irritate some other poor individual. I’m just happy you didn’t turn out like that.”
Artemis nodded in agreement.
“So am I.”
I was ready to collapse. I had been walking for miles in the pouring rain. My nose was blocked, my muscles ached and I had the Godzilla of all headaches. My backpack was soaked through, rendering the food inside useless. The journey had been torture and I had been relieved to see the lights of an inn about half a mile away.
When I got to the car-park, the first thing I looked for was the sign. It was there, hanging above the door and was barely distinguishable through the heavy rain but I managed to read something like ‘The Tree Tap Inn’. I doubted that was the name of it but, at that moment, I couldn’t care less. I stumbled into the pub, soaked to an extent that, if it weren’t for the hoody, a lot more of me would have been visible than I would have been comfortable with.
I leant against the bar and asked for a glass of water. The bar tender nodded sympathetically and filled a two pint tankard full of it, though I gave it a sniff before I drank, just in case.
I took a chance to look around the room at the other occupants. There were a couple of families, I could see, both with at least two squabbling children trying to wrestle each other’s colouring pages from each other. This was one of the few moments of my life when I added to my ‘Reasons NOT to have Kids’ list. There were several middle aged guys playing darts across the room and in the corner there sat a woman surrounded with shopping and, what must have been her son, sitting with his back to me with his hood up. The last few people I took note of were the three young men, perhaps in their late teens or extremely early twenties, sitting about a yard away from me. One of them saw me and drew the others’ attention.
The first got up and walk toward me. I tried my best to ignore him, seriously I did, but he parked himself right next to me none the less.
“Haven’t seen you here before.” I noted he had an Irish accent. I remained silent and took another sip from my tankard. “The silent treatment, honestly? But we’ve only just met.” Ignore, Ignore, Ignore. “Let’s try this again. My name is James.”
It was clear he wasn’t going to give up so I gave him an answer.
“Jenny.” (not strictly a true answer though, hehehe)
“Well, Jenny. Can I buy you a drink?”
“Already got one.” I replied tersely, followed by another swig to make a point. He seemed to find it amusing.
“I mean a real drink.”
“You mean alchohol?”
“Give me a reason why not.”
“One, I’m about three years under aged to drink and, two, the day I share a drink with a guy as untrustworthy looking as you is the day pigs fly.”
“Well, it rained frogs the other day so that may count.”
Now, I could stand the annoying flirting. He would have gotten bored eventually and sat back down with his mates. However, what really tweaked my anger spark was when he stretched an arm over my shoulders.
“If you want to leave with your manly area intact, get your arm off me.”
This didn’t deter him.
“Prickly little babe aren’t you?” He said as he slid his hand to my waist. That was when the spark hit the bomb as I twisted my hips and rammed my knee into his manly area. Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn him. He yelped in pain and doubled over. His mates stared at me in astonishment but astonishment became anger. They got up and hurried to their friend’s side.
“You little piece of...” started one as he drew back a fist to pound me but, as he swiped, I dodged and I kicked him in the shin. It wasn’t quite as crippling as my first strike but it still left him buckled for a moment. The men playing darts suddenly noticed what was going on and started toward us. Both of the boys had recovered to an extent now and they all looked ready to pummel me when one of the dart guys stepped in.
“What do you think you’re doing young man?”
“Stay out of this gramps. She needs to learn a lesson.” Said James.
“For what? Defending herself?”
“I said, stay out of this.” He hurled a fist at the darts guy and, quite suddenly, all of them were at it. Three young men against four experienced men. The two families I had noticed earlier were herding their children out through the door. I wished I could follow them but two men quickly obstructed the doorway so I decided to try the door on the other side of the room. I dodged several flailing fists and a couple of badly aimed kicks but I eventually got to my target, only to find it was locked. I can’t say I was thinking straight at the time so a ducked under the nearest form of shelter. The table of the woman and her son. So, giving a quick look of apology to the woman, I slipped under the table and waited amongst the shopping bags.
“Now could we go?” I heard the boy in the hoody ask.
“And how are we meant to reach the door?”
The boy sighed and decided, instead, to exchange words with their sudden guest under the table.
“Would you mind starting a fight somewhere else next time?”
“Well it’s not my fault if slimy jerks insist on trying to chat me up.” I snapped as I dragged my backpack under beside me.
I then looked at the boy, who now had his head under the table and was looking at me with a tiny bit of annoyance, and I nearly choked in shock.
Looking at me, with sapphire blue eyes, was the face of Artemis Fowl II.
Most Creative member of the year 2011: Scarlett
Best Writer of the year 2011: Scarlett
Newbie Award 2011: Scarlett
Biggest Fan boy/ girl of the year 2011: Scarlett
The Interesting One 2012: Scarlett
Best Writer 2013: Scarlett
Some Day My Prince Will Come
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