This week’s #writephoto prompt is
‘Not again,’ mumbled Geronimo Malpractice as the portal closed on his left leg. That was the third time in a week that he’d been caught by the time-slippery brickwork. And, he realised with a sinking of the lower intestine, Tinsel Soffit was off on a jolly so there was no one with the necessary mix of magic, turmeric and spanners to open up the misbehaving Islington Conduit.
It was his fault, he knew. If he’d remembered to pick up a couple of filleted tree-sprites on his way back from Tesco, he wouldn’t have had to come out again. And if he hadn’t been so impatient and gone out via the Finchley Fawcett, none of this early closing would have occurred. A Green Man such as he shouldn’t be reduced to this level of involuntary entrapment.
Gerry scratched his chin and pondered his options. With Tinsel off playing havoc with the Kentish hop pickers as her annual distraction and her assistant Twinkle Architrave barely able to unblock a tributary, let alone free a Demi-deity from some aggressively bonded brickwork, he had three choices.
One, wait. Which would never do as he had an order book full of mayhem and disruptions and if he allowed events to proceed smoothly when someone had paid with their soul to ruin someone else’s birthday or baby shower or bar mitzvah, he’d never get another gig. That charlatan lucifer would be all over Insta and Twitter with some crapulous meme dissing his dissing abilities.
Two, call out Mucous Petrification, the nearest troll to pull him free. On the upside it would be quick. On the down, he’d lose at least his left leg and maybe other more essential body parts which Amazon Prime would have a job delivering this week, even if someone had a set of Green Man’s limbs available. And for all Mucous’ lack of intellect, you could never be sure he wouldn’t mention what he’d done to some mischievous fae and before Gerry knew it, he’d be a laughing stock.
Three, find a local builder who wasn’t intimidated by the idea of removing part of a major London sewer to free an irascible Demi-deity to go wandering around North London. A poor option but did he really have a choice.
Being largely divine, although his driving was largely human influenced, which made the regular bursts of road rage both visceral and spectacular, he scrolled through his memory contacts and put in a telepathy call to the first builder on the list.
‘Acme Aardvark Builders. Aaron Aardvark speaking.’
Gerry fought hard against booming his demands: dealing with the puelling inhabitants of leafy, entitled and smugly self-satisfied, socialist north London had taught Gerry that reasoned debate and a calm, willing-to-listen demeanour served no useful purpose. Well, he’d tried it once, become frustrated at the dreadlock-sporting, hemp clad harpie’s hectoring demands to ‘stuff your patriarchical hegemony where the sun don’t shine, sonny’ and turned her into a dry and patently infertile aspen on the spot. Still, booming demands, while good for clearing the queues in Tesco when he went to buy his weekly groceries, didn’t encourage tradespeople to offer their services.
He attempted subtle, but no one replied. This Aaron person must be a half-wit, mused Gerry. He began again, but this time a voice, the same one who’d answered initially interrupted him.
‘Are you that Green Man fella, lives in the Ravensbroke?’
Surprised, Gerry acknowledged the truth of Aaron’s speculation, adding ‘how’d you know?’
‘The caller ID on my phone. It says “terrifying deity” and your the only one that lives near-by.’
‘It says “deity”?’
Despite being trapped, Gerry did a little self-preening, adjusting his foliage into a display of magnificence, if only someone could see it. ‘Not “Demi-deity”?’
‘Nope, full on deity. I expect Abe included you from the last time you called.’
‘I… you know about that?’ Gerry looked at his fingers. He’d need to get them checked out. What was the point in being both magical and divine if you can’t wipe simple human minds when you want to. ‘I thought I’d cleaned his memory. Stop him worrying.’
‘Well, you know. Dealing with the divine can be a little discombobulating for some.’
‘Oh, believe me, mate, some of the arrogant know all smart arses around here would make you rethink your strategies. Take Mildred Curfew at 31, The Terrace. Your average fireball would look like a safety match compared to one of her hairdryer complaints. Her use of the word ‘one’ as in ‘one is disappointed’ makes anyone’s flesh creep far more than your worst plague of bitey things.’
‘Really? I need to pay this Ms Curfew a visit.’
‘If you want to ponder on the limitations of immortality, then go ahead. Personally having a time limited lifespan has its compensations when it means you get an eternity’s break from Madame Curfew. Anyway, don’t worry about the old memory wipe, it worked on Abe.’
‘It did? Then how come I’m in your contacts?’
‘You didn’t listen to the bit at the start, did you?’
‘The “press one if you want to end up listening to Schubert for an hour, press two if you want to be put through to the wrong person…”…’
‘After that. “We record your calls for training purposes.” Sorry, but we sort of captured you booming and thought it would help in case you called again. You know, forewarned is forearmed.’
‘I know. It’s a bummer. So how can I help you, squire? Stuck in the bricks again?’