Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 62) by Grant Harbison

Blaine was on his way once again
And the throb in his head was driving him insane
“Oh Lord, see me through,” he mumbled to himself. “And never more will I partake in the Devil’s brew. Please lead me to river and I promise to refrain forever. I don’t know what is worst, the hammer in my head or my incredible thirst.”
For miles he trundled and began to run out of steam  
With no river in sight or even a stream
But just as the day dawned
He stumbled upon a large pond
Removing his robe first
He then ran to the water to slake his thirst
His thirst was extreme
But he was immediately interrupted by a woman’s scream
He turned and saw that she was as naked as he
“Maiden, please hush!” cried Blaine and felt himself blush. “It’s not what ye think. I just came for a wash and a drink!”
“Then avert yer eyes, for already yer man thing is startin’ tae rise.”
Blaine closed his eyes. “Young maiden, I do apologise.”
“Then stay where ye are until ah get dressed, an’ ah might believe that ye’re not a peepin’ pest.”
“Yer fine figure would make any man weak, but I sincerely promise not to peek.”
“Right, ye can open yer eyes,” she told him after a while. “Ye certainly gave me a surprise.”
“May I get dressed too?”
“Aye, please do!”
Blaine donned his robe and walked to where she sat on the grass. “My name is Blaine, and who might you be, lass?”
“Ma name is Allure, an’ ah’m sorry if ah thought that yer intentions were impure.”
“That’s okay, lass. Nowadays ye can never be sure.”
“So what are ye daein’ aw the way up here? Yer brogue is Irish fae what ah hear.”
“Aye, we do have different brogues. I’m on my way to grab a couple of rogues, so that I can save my love from execution. Bringin’ them to justice is the only solution.”
“Och, that’s so romantic.”
“Aye, but it hasn’t gone well so far and I’m gettin’ a wee bit frantic.”
“Then let me see what ah can dae. Love is precious an’ ye cannae let it slip away.”  

Oh, brother (part 61) by Grant Harbison

Borium, Truman and Deplorium went through the cavern
And scaled many rocks to reach Hamish’s tavern
“Deplorium, how are you?” cried Hamish when they came through.
“Jist had a narrow escape, Hamish. Ah could dae wi’ a brew.”
“Aye, comin’ up. Who are the other two?”
“Truman an’ ma cousin Borium,” replied Deplorium.
“Ah suppose they’ll be wantin’ ales tae.”
“Please, sir,” said Borium. “If we may?”
“It sounds like he comes fae far away,” Hamish said to Deplorium. “A Sassenach, ah’d say.”
His discourteous tone caused Borium and Truman fright
“Aye, that they are,” responded Deplorium. “But ah can assure ye that they’re baith awright.”
“Ah’ll take yer word as ye’re a trusted friend, but ye ken us an’ their lot dinnae blend.”
“Och, Hamish, we’re aw human. Wait till ye get tae ken Borium an’ Truman.”
“Friendship ah cannae see. Ah’d banish the lot o’ them if it were up tae me.”
Borium and turned pale
“Dinnae be daft, Hamish,” chuckled Deplorium. “Noo, wid ye bring us that ale?”
“Deplorium,” whispered Borium as he watched Hamish go. “What has he got against Anglo?”
“Dinnae ye worry, cousin, it’s jist his way. Hamish is a man that likes tae have his say.”
“Ah suppose the goods ye have are Laird MacBlach’s,” said Hamish when he returned with the ales. “Is that why ye needed the Sassenachs?”
“Aye,” replied Deplorium as he took a sip of his ale. “Wi these two wee lads ah knew ah widnae fail. But MacBlach an’ his men raided the strand before ah could make a sale.”
“Ah’ll take them aff ye, jist name yer price.”
“Twenty groats wid be nice.”
“Ah’ll gie ye ten plus free drinks for you and yer men.”
“Hamish, ye’ve always been a hard man tae beat. Make that free drink an’ somethin’ tae eat.” 

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 60) by Grant Harbison


“Gaul, from these chains I demand release,” said Erik to Meric. “Do that and won’t rip you apart piece by piece.”
“Viking, I have the key and I wouldn’t talk like to me. If you are going to be rude, I might have to cut off your manhood.”
Erik looked at his crazed eyes. “Okay, I apologise.”
Meric laughed loud. “For I was planning to save that till last.”
Erik stared at him aghast
“Yes, Viking filth, you are going to die. And do you want to know why?”
“No, your hatred I don’t get. As far as I know we have never met.”
“You may not remember, but I remember you. Oh, the pain and humiliation you put me through.”
“What exactly have I done?”
“You and the others thought it was fun.”
“Gaul, will you please explain. These shackles are very tight and I’m in terrible pain.”
“My pain was insane and since then I haven’t been with a woman again. Oh, so loud I protested, but I was ignored by you and the others as you brutally molested.”
“In the name of Thor!” cried Erik. “Things like this happen in war.”
“And I’ve never been at peace. I’ll start off slowly and then the pain will increase.”
“Let me try to make amends, my friend.”
“You didn’t offer friendship when you forced me to bend.”
“Things were crazy, not all my fault!”
“That’s no excuse for my brutal assault.”
“Please, let’s have some accord. If you let me go, I won’t use my sword.”
Meric began to giggle. “Oh Viking filth, see how you wiggle. No more time for chit chat, I have to make a start. But where to begin, which part?” 

Oh, brother (part 59) by Grant Harbison

The man who held the reins went by the name of Arthur Haynes
And his fervour for Paine’s expertise was far greater than Blaine’s
The frequent stops and his demands for more
Were for Maude and Claude such a bore
Even Paine began to see it as a chore
“I’m getting so tired of it,” Paine complained to Maude and Claude. “I’m surprised that he is still able to sit.”
“It’s like your whip has now become a feather,” said Maude. “Or he has become so accustomed, his rear is like leather.”
“Maybe next time I’ll take a turn,” said Claude. “I’ll make sure the pain will burn.”
“Hey, I be hearing what you are saying,” said Arthur. “Only the mistress be doing the flaying.”
“Sir, she tires and has little zest,” said Claude. “And would you mind telling us why we are heading west?”
“We’ll go west and then the west Highland way. I’d rather avoid going near Glasgae.”
“Glasgae?” Paine queried. “Where is that and why do we have to turn away? Changing direction will cause further delay.”
“It’s a town renowned for blaggards and thieves. Some say that when one enters, one never leaves.”
“I’m sure there are,” said Maude. “But why do we have to veer so far?”
“Seeing that it will be for your wellbeing. You’re welcome to get off the cart if you don’t be agreeing.”
“Let’s just go with the man and not complain,” said Paine. “All I want to do is meet again with Blaine; my wonderful monk and gorgeous hunk.”
“Sounds like he’s been led astray,” Arthur mocked. “I’ve seen a few heading this way.”
His words brought hope to Paine. “Was one of them dark, handsome and tall?”
“Two I remember were very small.”
“Then that cannot be Blaine.”
“Then there was a larger one who’d been brutally slain.”

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 58) by Grant Harbison

Jess and Ilirium awoke and saw that Beryl was up and dressed
“Good mornin’, little one an’ Jess,” she greeted. “Ah hope the pair o’ ye had a good rest.”
“Yes, dear Beryl,” said Jess. “Be ye blessed. Ye mentioned last night that ye be expecting a guest. I see nothing in my ball, it’s really a pest.”
“Aw ah ken is human. It could be a man or could be a woman. A strange sight, but ah cannae tell the gender, try as ah might.”
“Like a hermaphrodite?” 
“Aye, ye could be right.”
“That must be Shear de Lite,” said Ilirium. “She must have found a way of escaping and taken flight.”
“Well, she’ll be here sometime this mornin’,” said Beryl. “It looks like she’s comin’ wi’ a message o’ warnin’.”
“I wonder what that might be,” said Jess. “It be amazing some of what she can see.”
“Perhaps it might be aboot why ye’ve came tae me.”
Jess clapped her hands with glee. “What great fortune this be. They won’t stand a chance against us three.”
“But if yer foe disnae ken if it’s a he or a she, then we have the power of four, no three,” stated Beryl. “Would ye agree?”
“Oh yes,” responded Jess. “Any counter attack could be such a mess.”
“I pray that she has inkling,” said Ilirium. “Our greatest weapon would be to know what potion they are drinking.”
“Well, ye wullnae have tae wait much more,” said Beryl. “Oor guest is jist aboot tae knock oan the door.”
A few seconds later they heard a rap
“Open the door, little one,” Jess told Ilirium. “Be a good chap.”
“Oh, Shear!” cried Jess as she came through the door. “I’ve been so very worried about ye, my dear!”
Shear ran to Jess and they hugged and kissed. “Jess, your presence I’ve sorely missed. I’ve come to warn you of great peril.”
“Relax, my dear, let me introduce ye to Beryl.”

Oh, brother (part 57) by Grant Harbison

Blaine lay on the floor of the inn in a crumpled heap
“My head is so sore I could almost weep!” he cried. “I wish I’d never eaten that neep!”
“It wisnae the neep, nor the rodent stew,” said the barman. “Ah’d say that the fifteen pails o’ brew is what did it tae you.”
“Hey, Irish, same again?” asked a man, and there was raucous laughter from the other men.  
“I’d better not, I’m northwards bound.”
“Aw, c’mon,” said the man. “Hair o’ the hound.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to pass. I’m on a mission that will save my lass.”
“Ah’m Robert Murray,” said the man. “An’ naebody gets oot o’ here in a hurry.”
“Aye,” said another. “The only time ye’ll be northwards bound is when ye buy each an’ every one o’ us another round.”
“But I haven’t got many groats to spare.”
“Irish, we don’t care,” said Robert. “Go for that door, if ye dare.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Aye, an’ a good goin’ over is what ye’ll get if ye try tae leave the inn withoot payin’ yer debt.”
Blaine listened to his inner voice. “I don’t suppose I have a choice.”
“Good man,” said Robert. “That’ll be twenty pails o’ ale for me an’ the clan.”
Blaine reluctantly bought the beers
And the inn erupted with very loud cheers
They made him order over and over again
“Ah’ll tell ye when ye can stop,” said Robert. “Noo, same again.”
Three hours later their thirst was sated
And when Brother Blaine saw that they were all inebriated
He sneakily slipped out the door
And promised himself never to return once more 

Friday, 18 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 56) by Grant Harbison

“It shouldnae take too long for the boats tae land,” said Deplorium to Truman and Borium as he lit some fires on the strand. “Let me dae the negotiatin’, understand? Sometimes the right price is no easy tae command.”
“What happens if you don’t get the right price?” asked Borium. “A good few groats is all well and nice; but if my life is at stake, I care not to dice.”
“Yes, how can you guarantee that we won’t be harmed?” asked Truman. “We will definitely be outnumbered and we’re totally unarmed.”
“Ye’re a right pair o’ fearty cats,” sighed Deplorium. “It’s only wi’ each other that there’s sometimes spats. Most o’ the time they jist come for what they need, but ye do get those that are bent oan greed. I have ma regulars an’ the occasional scum, but ah only trade for a decent sum.”
“Get ready to earn some groats,” said Borium. “I think I’ve spotted a number of boats. Looks like eight, maybe nine.”
Deplorium looked to the sea. “Ah can only see three. Yer eyesight must be better than mine.”
“Perhaps we should kill the fires,” suggested Truman. “The light has been seen by your buyers.”
“We’ll have tae wait till they’re closer tae the beach,” responded Deplorium. “It’s an agreement we have an’ ah will not breach.”
Just as the boats arrived at the shore
They heard the sound of horses and a huge uproar
“It’s the laird an’ his men, we have tae leave now!” yelled Deplorium. “Pack whatever yer sacks will allow!”
“But there are too many men!” cried Borium. “We’ll never get away!’
“Jist listen tae me an’ ah’ll show ye the way!”
“Borium, just listen to Deplorium,” said Truman. “Let’s hear what he has to say.”
“A wee bit further up there’s a cavern. If we go through an’ up we’ll get tae Hamish’s tavern. Dinnae worry, we’ll aw be fine. Hamish is a good friend o’ mine. Noo hurry up, ya wee Sassenachs. Hell hath no fury like Laird MacBlach’s.”     

Oh, brother (part 55) by Grant Harbison

Erik rambled with absolute ease
Hiking was second nature to the Viking
And gale force winds were merely a breeze
Mile after mile he wore a smile
When he thought about Borium and that special day
When first they’d met and he’d carried him away
Every now and then he’d sing out loud
About the man he was and how much he was proud
“Good day,” he heard a man say as he reached the top of a brae. “At least someone is gay on this wet and wintry day.”
“My heart brims with sweet elation,” responded Erik. "For once again there will be reunification with the most beautiful creature in all creation.”
“Forgive me if I’ve misconstrued, as I would not want aggravation; but I gather that we might be of the same persuasion.”
“Your attire and manner seem somewhat effete; but the same desires, I would bet.”
“Yes, you are precise; and for a reasonable price, I could offer you some sugar and spice.”
“You have gall, impudent Gaul. I desire only one or none at all.”
“It is said of the Norse that many are hung like a horse. I expect that is true, judging by the size of you.”
Erik grabbed him by the throat
“Please don’t hurt me!” he cried. “It’s what I do to make a groat.”
Erik was suddenly consumed with shame
And not just because they were both the same
It was a way to make a living and he had no right to blame
Erik let him go and asked his name
“My name is Meric.”
“Pleased to meet you, I am Erik.”
“Erik, very soon day will become night, and I do not wish to make you uptight, but I can offer a place to sleep and some needed respite.”
“Okay, young Gaul. Show the way. I suppose I can wait another day.”
Erik awoke in the morning with a pain in his head
But his cause for alarm was being chained to a bed 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 54) by Grant Harbison

Maude, Claude and Paine got off to the perfect start
When they met a man with a horse and cart
“Pardon me, sir, are you going our way?” asked Claude. “We are heading north and willing to pay.”
“That’ll depend on how much you’ve got,” replied the man. “I’m on my way to the land of the Scot.”
“Sir, that is where we are heading too. Would twenty groats do for you?”  
“I’d never take more than I need. Part for my kindness and the horse’s feed. But I do have inkling. One of the wenches, I be thinking.”
“Well, kind sir, we will be thanking,” said Mistress Paine. “I could offer you some mighty fine spanking.”
“Could you, indeed? It’s been many years since I’ve had that need.”
“No one does it better than me. The most pleasurable pain; you will see.”
“Well in that case, let’s start. I need some assurance before we depart.”
Miss Paine smiled and produced her whip. “Lift your robe, far above your hip. I’m in command, don’t give me lip. Now tell me when you are ready, say it to me.”
“Ready as I will ever be. Oh, sweet maiden, give it to me!”
Paine let rip and the man bucked and screamed
Paine sighed with pleasure and Claude and Maude beamed
“I be thinking that you are all on the run?” asked the man when all was done.
“Yes, just take us where we want,” replied Maude. “I will make certain that you continue to have fun.”
“I will most certainly do. I have a feeling that she was trained by you.”
“Beautiful and well equipped,” Maude responded. “Many returns from those she has whipped.”
“Much excitement and a perfect show. Hop on the cart, it’s time we should go.”
The slowness of the journey drove Paine insane
For all she could think of was Brother Blaine  

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 53) by Grant Harbison

Jess knocked on the door of Beryl’s abode
“I hope she’s home, little one,” she said to Ilirium. “It’s been an arduous road.”
“Come in, Jess. Don’t stand there waitin’,” cried Beryl from inside. “Yer presence ah’ve been long anticipatin’.”
Jess opened the door and they both went in
And were met by a woman who was alarmingly thin
“It be lovely to see you again,” said Jess as they both embraced. “I should’ve have guessed that my journey was one ye would’ve have traced.”
“Ma visions sometimes have their use. What a fine lookin’ young man ye have with ye. Would ye like tae introduce?”
“This here be Ilirium, my little one. He be in search of two rogues who are on the run.”
“Well, for a monk, he’s certainly no chaste. Ah have tae commend ye, Jess, ah like yer taste. It’s been a while since ah’ve had a man in ma bed. Perhaps tonight wi’ me he could lay his head.”
Ilirium looked at her with utter dread
“I don’t be minding if he goes to yer bunk. Ye won’t be disappointed, he’s full of spunk.”
“But first ah’d like tae have a look at the tackle.”
“Show her, little one,” said Jess and began to cackle.
Ilirium’s face turned a bright shade of red
“Don’t take any notice of what’s been said,” said Beryl. “Jess an’ me are jist playin’ wi’ yer head. Sit yersel’s down an’ rest yer feet, an’ ah’ll go and fetch ye somethin’ tae eat.”
Beryl brought them black bread, cabbage and eel
And with ferocious hunger they remained still through the meal
“Noo tell me Jess an’ little one,” said Beryl after they were done. “How can ah be of assistance tae procure them oan the run?”
“There be a monastery in the far northwest,” replied Jess. “There be another that can my spells contest.”
“That could prove tae be a taxin’ test, but tonight ah suggest we all get good rest. Tomorrow we will have another guest.” 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 52) by Grant Harbison

Tired, hungry and sore
Brother Blaine cursed as the rain started to pour
It wasn’t long till he was soaked right through
Causing despair to promptly ensue
But then suddenly a settlement came into view
Instantly his curiosity began to accrue
Its enormity was one that he’d never seen before
And immediately he wondered what danger could be in store 
Hunger pains caused him to frown
And he knew he had to make his way down
But his hopes began to subside
When he saw that the town was fortified
Entrance was through a large iron gate
Where he was met by a guard and instructed to wait
“Tae come through here ye have tae pay,” he said to Blaine. “What is yer reason for comin’ tae Glasgae?”
“Sir, I’m very hungry and extremely beat. I need a place to rest and somethin’ to eat.”
“Three an’ a half groats is the admission fee. So gie it tae me or ye better bloody flee.”
Blaine reluctantly gave him the cash
He saw no need to complain to someone so brash    
The guard opened the gate and let him in
And he was amazed to see the hustle and bustle within
Never before had he heard such a din
But he had no time to waste and went in search of an inn
He looked around and saw there were four
Opted for the first one and went through the door
Conversations stopped and the patrons stared
Tentatively he walked to the bar feeling very scared
“An’ what can ah dae for you?” asked the barman. “Somethin’ tae drink or somethin’ tae chew?”
“A pail o’ special brew and whatever ye recommend from your menu.”
“Boiled neep and rodent stew.”
Hunger insisted and he couldn’t eschew. “Aye, that’ll do.”

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 51) by Grant Harbison

Deplorium was first out of the hole
Caked with earth like a burrowing mole
Borium followed suit
While Truman remained and passed on the loot
“Back, safe and sound,” said Deplorium when they were all above ground. “Prosperity comes tae he who dares. Open the bag and let’s see oor wares.”
Borium opened the bags to let the contents unfold. “Jewellery, silver and gold.”
Deplorium rubbed his hands and began to twitch. “Stick wi’ me and ah’ll make ye rich.”
“A fair amount of treasure, that’s true,” said Truman. “But who in this wilderness do we sell it too?”
“Dae ye think that in a place this remote that there’d be naebody tae come and spend a groat? There’s many a traveller and many a boat.”
“I must admit, I am rather scared,” said Borium. “What if we’re accused by an angry laird? He seems to know a lot about you. Maybe he will suspect us Anglos too.”
“Dinnae worry, ah’ve got everythin’ planned. We’ll make a fire oan the strand. That’ll be the signal for the boats tae come, and it shouldnae take much negotiatin’ tae fetch a tidy sum.”
“Deplorium, I’m sure you are right,” said Truman. “But by the time we arrive it will be broad daylight.”
“Ah don’t mean noo, we’ll go tonight.”
“Deplorium!” cried Borium. “These pilfered goods we cannot keep!”
“Relax, wee cousin. We’ll dig a hole and bury them deep.”
“Borium, let’s just have faith in Deplorium,” said Truman. “I’m in dire need of sleep.”
“Aye, wee cousin, listen tae yer pal. Tae protect ye both from harm, ah certainly shall.”
“I only hope you are right, I’ll be wishing the hours away till it is night.” 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 50) by Grant Harbison

The impending trek brought out much ardour in Erik
But first he had to say goodbye to Elise and Derek
He made his way to the Badger and Boar
Then walked up the stairs to the second floor
And sighed when he saw the queue outside their door
“Get to the back of the queue if you want to see the whore,” said the man at the front. “I’m going in next and there’s still another score.”
Erik’s response caused a huge furore
When the force of his punch sent the man to the floor
Erik knocked hard on the door
Inside the room Elise yelled for more
The door was opened by Derek
Who was somewhat surprised to see his brother Erik
“Erik, what on earth brings you here?”
 “Just came to say goodbye before I disappear.”
“In search of the monk, I presume,” said Derek as Elise’s cries of pleasure ceased in the room.
“Yes, I can’t get the little one out of my mind. Up north he has gone, but he shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
“Sound like Elise is done, Erik. Come inside.”
“Why do you allow this, brother? Have you no pride?”
“I know it’s hard to understand, but I really enjoy adhering to her demand.”
“Derek, what is Erik doing here?” asked Elise. “I thought that he was…”
“He’s here to say goodbye, my dear.”
“Yes, Elise,” said Erik. “Without Borium I cannot have peace.”
“Erik, junk that silly monk. Travel with us and I’ll find you a hunk. Give it thought at least, for soon we will be heading east for warmer climates and a carnal feast.”
“I’m afraid that life would not be to my taste. Now I must make haste for there is little time to waste.”
Erik hugged them both and wished them the best
And then hurriedly left the room to begin his quest

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Oh, brother (part 49) by Grant Harbison

Mistress Paine lay in her cell and heard a key in the door
The guard walked in with a bowl of gruel and threw it on the floor
“The floor be fitting for a whore,” he said and began to roar.
And continued to laugh as he locked the door
She crawled to the food and scooped it from the ground
Voraciously scoffed it like a famished hound
The measly portion failed to satisfy
And she lay on the floor and began to cry
“Oh, Blaine. How long still before I see you again? I cannot bear being locked in this cell. My life has become a living hell.”
She heard the jangle of keys and stared in alarm
Fearing he’d returned to do her harm
She grabbed her blanket and nervously gnawed
With mounting terror of being beaten and pawed
She stared in disbelief when she saw Maude the bawd
And a tall dark stranger she introduced as Claude
“It’s Claude you should applaud,” said Maude. “Never shall you have to worry again, for thanks to Claude the guard has been slain. Now you are free to look for Blaine.”  
“Madam Maude and Claude, I don’t know what to say. Such kindness I can never repay.”
“Rejoice in your emancipation,” said Maude. “You would have done the same for me without hesitation.”
“Maude, we must be on our way,” said Claude. “Very soon night will become day.”
“Oh, Maude. If only I knew where to look for Blaine,” said Mistress Paine as they started to leave.”
“On his way north, I believe.”
“You know this for sure?”
“Straight from the mouth of the hag in the wood and certainly not obscure.”