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Daft Tales – Go Fourth

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The continuing adventures of Kevin, and in case you didn’t read the first chapter it’s HERE.

In this second chapter, we learn about the fabulous Fourth Level of the Underworld and Kevin has a tussle with an engineered creature in the pursuit of his duties for the Department of Accidents and undertakes some engineering himself.  Any resemblance to persons we know is entirely accidental 🙂

Go Fourth

Kipper stood outside the Duck and Drake, taking a long, slow drag on his ciggie. Ah, that was better. Nothing like a ciggie break. Ever since that crazy night at The Barking Mad Rabbit, he’d needed the comforting poison of tobacco to permeate his lungs and soothe his mind. The collateral damage was acceptable. The Rabbit’s kitchen was still closed, pending a Health and Safety order, and he was out of a job for the time being. He’d applied to the Duck and Drake for chefing work but he didn’t hold out much hope. Jobs were hard to come by in this backwater but he had no desire to move on to Manchester. He’d discussed the matter with his wife, Katie. As she was a country girl at heart, the city held little interest for her and she preferred to battle on here. Fair enough. They had some savings put by, not much, but enough to hold out until the Department of Social Scrutiny came up with a living pittance. By the time they’d got their sorry arses in gear, he’d most likely be back at The Rabbit.
He’d also discussed with Katie the things that didn’t add up on that fateful night when David Davis got his comeuppance. OK, he hadn’t actually witnessed the carnage but he’d have thought the missing digits would be found on the floor somewhere, and not stuffed under a bagful of kitchen debris at the bottom of a steel rubbish bin. That defied the laws of physics, Captain.

There was also something, well, not quite right about the kitchen. He didn’t know how else to put it and to report such a thing to the investigating officers would have sounded chronic. But… the room itself had felt fuller somehow, and while he was waiting for the ambulance to arrive, he’d seen the air shift as if steam were rising from a pressure cooker and then escaping through a crack in the wall. It was unnatural. Katie had given him a cocoa and suggested an early night, even she’d thought he was suffering from shock. But he wasn’t. He’d seen it happen. And now, standing here rapidly using up his final ciggie of the week and it was only Wednesday, he got the same feeling when he looked over towards the back garden of the Duck and Drake. A few outdoor tables and benches enlivened a scraggy piece of lawn that was surrounded by various shrubs and hanging baskets. There was nobody there, and yet, it was fuller than it should be. The air was moving in places and he could see it. It was like plastic food wrap stretching the spaces that were usually clear. Then it stopped, normality was resumed and a sparrow chirped out a tune. Something weird was going on. Kipper decided to keep his eye on the situation, after all he’d got the time to do so.


Kevin was on his way to the Fourth Level of the Underworld to collect a special writ. According to Roycey, it was the only way to get into the Mancunian Department of Social Scrutiny without a lot of fuss. Such as being shot. Apparently they had a ectoplasm detector there, courtesy of the STERN Hadron Collider group. It had been obtained as a result of a day release program for persistent claimants who stubbornly refused to take work more than 65.7 miles away from their homes. At any rate, it did not sound at all nice.

The robust and stalwart Wall of the Fourth Level rose up before Kevin at quite a distance away. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Underworld and had been built with great effort and determination to strike fear into the hearts of the unfortunate human inmates who were working out their sentences there. The height of the wall had not really been assessed until a tribe of intrepid glow-worms had made their home on the ramparts, providing a spectacular bioluminescence in the midst of the interminable gloom. They did not really add to the general effect of doom and gloom styling, but nobody wanted to climb up there with the insect killer.

Kevin made his way to the gate. The Fourth was an interesting Level and had many sections, all perfectly built as you might expect from the architectural division of the Underworld. Its inhabitants were equally precise and pernickity. Kevin spat out his strawberry flavoured chewing gum and idly worked it into a handy brick crevice as he used the retinal scanner that would bring the guard.

“I hope you’re going to remove that, or I shall be forced to remove your head,” said Will-i-won’t, eyeing the disgusting gunge whilst balancing deftly on a set of steps. Kevin regarded the small, rather fay and beautiful architect, and suppressed a smile. You and who’s army, he thought. Will-i-won’t was followed by the border guard, who arrived in all his Orcian glory. He towered over the gate needing no steps and leant forward in typical Orcward fashion, his spittle dripping like blue raindrops onto Will-i-won’ts satin robes. The architect brushed them off quickly before the material was ruined. “Alright then, matey,” said the Orc, sharp teeth a-gleaming in the Gloaming, “You must have a Rhyme to gain entrance.”

Kevin pulled out his notebook and attempted to read Roycey’s scrawl. It was important to get this right. “Ahem… Ian had a little lamb, her fleece was black as soot. And everywhere that Ian went, her sooty foot she put.” The Orc was suitably amused.

Ten minutes later, he was following on the heels of Will-i-won’t as they traversed the streets and passages of The Fourth quarter, the small architect bouncing up and down the composite pavements, his satin robes floucing along with him. Kevin looked longingly at a nearby cafeteria which had matching place settings, glasses and softly lit central ornaments artfully arranged on the perfectly aligned tables and chairs. “Absolutely no time for that,” remarked Will-i-won’t, as he ascended the Crema Valencia marble steps to the offices of Gobbert Raland.

“Kevin from the DOA requires a newclear writ, Sire,” informed Will-i-won’t, as he genuflected to the Chief Architect Raland. “Keep your eyes on the ground,” he hissed to Kevin, helpfully.
Gobbert looked up from his Mayan Systems Public Administration Software, curling his lip and tapping a spare hand on the jewel encrusted table. What a pain! He was right in the middle of designing a complicated bargeboard to be used on the gable end of the new Museum of Inequities and precision was imperative. He hit the Save button and sat back in his black leather gold studded ergonomic air-tek industrial swivel chair, stretching all eight arms at once. It was an imposing sight. “Really,” he said, as an adjustable triangle fell from his lap and he caught it with the lower right hand. “Where are you off to? Surely not Spellafield, that place has the exterminators in.”

“No,” replied Kevin, hazarding a quick peak as Gobbert rummaged in the nearby filing cabinet and then wished he hadn’t bothered. “The Social Scrutiny in Manchester.”

“One newclear writ,” said Gobbert, flourishing the paper in front of Kevin’s nose. “Give my regards to Broadway,” he added inexplicably as he returned to his desk.

“We better go,” said Will-i-won’t, dragging Kevin from the hallowed room as best he could.


It was five o’clock in the morning by the time Kevin reached the Manchester branch of the Social Scrutiny. This governmental institute was set in a Gothic style building which had previously been a dreaded workhouse back in good ole Victorian England. Not much difference nowadays, then. Squeezing his way in through an air vent, Kevin arrived just before the heavy mob did. With much chortling and glee (they enjoyed their jobs) the boys set up by the entrance doors, Kalashnicoughs slung from their shoulders, while Kevin went to find the offices of one Darell Dubious.

According to Roycey, Mr. Dubious had overstepped the mark in a big way. He was the chairman of the Appeals Board and had been rejecting sundry claimants’ desperate appeals for monetary support left, right and centre. In fact, the consequences of this had been so heinous that a couple of suicides had resulted. Enough was enough and Roycey wanted the chairman taken out altogether. There was a much fairer person waiting in the wings, apparently, but said personage would get nowhere near the cushy staff position for years and years without an enormous amount of help. It wasn’t Kevin’s first RFL (Removal From Life) and he supposed it wouldn’t be the last, but this one was rather interesting and by the time Darell Dubious turned up for work, Kevin had already come up with a cracking plan.

Darell Dubious walked past Kevin rubbing his hands, damn but the heating was crapola in this building! He slammed the door shut and marched off to the telephone. As he was tearing a strip off the poor caretaker, Kevin rummaged in his rucksack and pulled out a jam jar. It had previously contained a very passable strawberry jam but now it was the earthly abode of the Fliddy Flies. These useful little creatures were about the size of fruit flies, in other words they were so small they were very hard to swat effectively. They were also nanobots forged by none other than Lord Yama himself and were strictly for the use of the DOA. Kevin unscrewed the lid of the jar carefully and the Fliddy Flies were released. They buzzed lazily around Kevin’s head ascertaining if he was a bona fide employee of the Department of Accidents. At length, they were satisfied and came to rest on the palm of his left hand, to await instructions.

“Alright then, little mates,” said Kevin, “I want you to turn up the radiators in this office to fiery furnace level, then seal the entire room with a forcefield strong enough to keep out Genghis Kahn’s ravening hordes.” The Fliddy Flies, who were keen researchers of centuries past, knew exactly what he meant and they set to work leaving a handy keyhole open for themselves. Five minutes later they were back in their jam jar replete with the smug satisfaction of a job well done. Kevin returned the jar to his rucksack because if anybody ever found those little beauties, and didn’t belong to the DOA, chaos would ensue.

The Fliddy Flies had indeed done their job well because it wasn’t long before Darell Dubious went to test a radiator.  He was absolutely boiling. The innocent radiator was red hot by now and practically burned his fingers! He went to a window and couldn’t open it. He tried the other window, same thing. Then he tried the door and he couldn’t get that open, either. He picked up the phone and that wasn’t working. What the effing bollocks! He was on the point of heatstroke as he fell into his executive leather chair, reached under his desk and pressed the alarm button. This was something Kevin hadn’t bargained for.

The alarm resounded down the corridor. Nobody responded to it but that was because they didn’t have to. Kevin heard a thundering footfall some distance off so he put his rucksack on a nearby chair and attempted to unearth his penknife. All he found was the newclear writ and he was still standing there, sighing and cursing the rucksack to no effect, when a huge animal made her entrance to the corridor. She was a mum and her pup was the Social Scrutiny building and if some hapless person was trespassing, she wanted to know so she could tear their head off. Kevin spun round, the writ flapping in the air as he beheld an enormous two-headed bulldog looking extremely pissed off and heading in his direction. “Up the Underworld!” he thought, but there was no escape as the bulldog leaped into the air and landed on Kevin, squashing him to the ground. Mighty talons sunk into his arm. Yes, of course ghosts can feel pain, what do you think the unfortunate inmates of Hell feel as their punishments?

“Get off,” gasped Kevin uselessly as the dog slobbered over him, a glint in at least one of her four eyes. Guarding was what she was born for. As panic turned everything to glorious technicolor, Kevin noticed the metal tags dangling from identical spiked dog collars. One said, “Property of STERN” and the other said “Broadway”. This terrible animal was no other than the Social Scrutiny ectoplasm detector, only it was fully upgraded with two sets of gnashers! Much growling ensued as Kevin gamely scrabbled about for the nuclear writ thinking it might help. The dog gamely ripped it to pieces and actually laughed. Now that was creepy, even for Kevin. As one of the heads hovered threateningly over his crown jewels, Kevin broke out into an ectoplasmic sweat and an old forgotten tune ran through his head. Fortunately for him, he’d been very fond of mid 20th century (mostly American) musicals with their catchy if rather sentimental tunes. And then the last thing that Chief Architect Raland had said came to him. In this case two and two definitely made four.

“Gobbert Raland sends his regards,” shouted Kevin in desperation. Although his crown jewels weren’t of much use to him in his current existence, he wanted to retain them for the next time around. A most amazing thing happened. The mighty dog with two ferocious heads sat back on her haunches and went all googly eyed. If she could have smiled, she would have. She seemed utterly taken with the thought of the Chief Architect.

At this point the ghost of Darell Dubious wandered past the extraordinary scene on his way to the canteen for lunch. He was so fixated on his fish and chips with mushy peas (it being Friday) that he paid no heed. He had no idea he was dead… at least not yet. However, Kevin mused, it was job well done there. Kevin repeated the blessed mantra and Broadway laid her heads on her paws and settled down to dream of Gobbert. It was thus, that Kevin picked up his rucksack and made his escape.


“No problems, then?” enquired Roycey.
“No,” returned Kevin, rubbing his arm which had by now stopped dripping drops of ectofluid everywhere.

“A job well done then,” said Roycey, ticking off the relevant forms. “Take a week off, why don’t you.” It was praise indeed. Darell Dubious had already been rounded up and consigned to the Ninth Level of the Underworld to serve his sentence, a trial nobody would be envious of.
Kevin left the office, closing the door gently. A whole week off! He thought he might visit a club or two and annoy the dancers, check out the School of Crookery for useful tips, trash unwary sandcastles on the beach, that sort of thing. At any rate it would be fun. He set off for the Duck and Drake whistling the theme tune from, “Singin’ in the Rain”. It was very appropriate for a small coastal town near to Manchester.


®Copyright – ML 2019 – unedited – illustrations welcome!



Written by Moz Loordes

24/04/2019 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Daft Tales

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Daft Tales – Intro & Just Desserts

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Dear Readers, this is a bit of a departure from my usual H&G but as I have now retired I’ve got more time to delve into the heady realms of original fiction. So I present to you tales of my anti-hero, Kevin.  They are written for pure entertainment, both on my part and on yours. Please read the introduction first and if the genre does not interest you, then go no further! However, if you’d like to step into Kevin’s world, then put your foot on the doorstep…



Kevin is a ghost who lives in a dilapidated coastal town located near to Manchester, UK. He used to be a painter and decorator but events that were entirely his own fault meant that he’s now been seconded to the DOA, the Department of Accidents, Underworld. To help him carry out his orders, he has a number of boons so he’s not your average wandering spirit. My Underworld is taken from elements of legend and is, at least, partially fantasy. Head of the DOA is Lord Yama, he’s the God of Death, aka the Grim Reaper. These daft tales contain elements of political sarcasm and observation, exploration of the strata of modern day British society, Britspeak, mild horror and masses of black humour. They will also contain thinly disguised portraits of my virtual friends, just because I can 🙂



1. Just Desserts

Kevin was good at hanging around, he’d been doing it for years. Nothing much happened in the daylight hours but when the sun had moved right around the yardarm, squashed itself summarily into the horizon and darkness prevailed, it was time for fun. And first orders, of course.

Ten p.m. and all was good. A few early revellers deliberately scorped shoes along the pavement on their way to the Duck and Drake. Kevin raised his eyebrow, the one he could make stand upright in annoyance, it was a great trick of the ectoplasm. Young people nowadays! They had no respect for recreational activities and even less for a good meal. He stuck his leg out and one of them tripped up and came crashing down on the stonework. Unfortunately no blood was spilled but plenty of commonspeak was. Ah, slim pickings.

Roycey was heading his way, trailing a dark cloud of dread in his wake. One of the revellers shivered and moved on quickly, choosing not to believe in the shadows on the nearby wall, and the others followed. “Hey Kevin,” said Roycey. He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a notepad, flipping the pages with his claw until he got to the pertinent one.
“Hey sir,” replied Kevin. He was always a polite man, even with one of Lord Yama’s cohorts. Roycey surveyed him with a keen eye. “Ready for more work?”

“Yessir,” said Kevin. Not that he had any choice in the matter since it was a unilateral decision on the part of Lord Yama not to allow full egress to the Underworld and a possible rebirth until certain deeds were done, and having been done… were done well. It was all because Kevin had dispatched his boss after a flaming argument. That little episode was also done well, spectacularly in fact. His boss had been up a ladder at the time telling Kevin off for imperfect paintwork on the latest job. His mouth had opened and went on and on in a most aggravating manner until Kevin kicked the ladder over and the bossman came sailing down to his final harbour. The coroner had mentioned a soft skull or something along those lines. All Kevin had wanted to do was to stop the endless and excruciating yack. He’d had a skinful the night before and his head was on bad terms with the rest of his body. But oh no, he’d committed manslaughter or boss-slaughter, whatever way you’d like to put it. Typical.

Roycey ticked his notepad with a raven’s feather quill. “I’ll put you down for this one, since it’s only a quick trip across town. There’s a chef called David Davis who needs to lose a thumb. It’ll end his career or at least curtail it somewhat. The thumb being the most needed digit, that is.” He rolled his eyes and gackled. “Well?”

“Give me the addy then,” said Kevin. This was a prime job and right up his street.
“The Barking Mad Rabbit on Canal Road,” said Roycey. He snapped shut the notepad and returned it to his briefcase. “Make sure the whole digit is dealt with. If a job is to be done…”
“… then it should be done well.” finished Kevin.


The moon was out by the time Kevin reached Canal Road. The road was well named because alongside its eastern perimeter there lay a stretch of water known fondly as the Pisser’s Pot. It had been a bona fide waterway at one time in the dim and distant past, but nowadays it was overgrown and ill used by the local populace. The canal was conveniently sited by The Barking Mad Rabbit public house, which contained but two toilets for use by gentlemen of the drinking persuasion, and so helpful when these receptacles were otherwise occupied.

Kevin walked in by the side of customer, skirted past the main bar and into the kitchen. The sous chef was chopping up sundry vegetables for so called salad. A couple of limp lettuce leaves and two slices of cucumber do not a salad make. This was already a capital offence in Kevin’s eyes. However, the culprit was not David Davis, it was merely his sidekick.

There was a crash from the other side of the kitchen as the door struck the edge of a water bath and recoiled, hinges askew. “Get a fecking move on, Kipper!” blasted David Davis in the direction of his sous chef. “There’s more meals out there than hairs on the arse end of a donkey.” The much put upon sous chef coughed into the salad in alarm, thus improving the flavour no end.

“I’m doing my best, chef,” he replied, and increased the output of spring onion slices and fried green tomatoes. Kipper narrowly dodged a clip round the ear as David Davis made his way to the preparation counter. He wished for the umpteeth time for union representation but it was grossly discouraged at The Barking Mad Rabbit where the manager was a raving Conservative.

Kevin smiled. Yes, there was his man.

He watched as David Davis put filleted trout into plastic bags and vacuum sealed them before chucking them into the water bath. Oh the delights of sous vide, which basically means “boil in a bag” only posher. Any home cook could manage the process with a handy packet of Uncle Ben’s rice mix and a pot of boiling water, but on-trend chefs had made a mountain out of a molehill and blinded the consumers with science. It was also an excellent excuse to charge more.

Kevin waited until David Davis was fully occupied with assembling another set of mediocre dishes and then he slipped into the chef’s memory. It was a good trick and rendered lots of useful information as to the sins of the unwilling participant. David Davis wiped his brow and winced with pain as Kevin traversed the prefrontal cortex which was a morass of half formed sentences, unreasonable sexual positions and revenge tactics. Now why the latter? This was interesting. Further investigations deep within the medial temporal lobe revealed the reason. David Davis’s wife was indulging in an affair with the local taxi driver. Once a week, she’d take the Bonking Bypass all the way to Manchester, bouncing along in a satisfying rhythm that she hadn’t received from David Davis, ever. She’d been found out by a friend of a friend whilst making too much noise in a busy lay-by, thus disturbing a master nightingale who shot from his singing perch in disgust and drew attention to the animated taxi. Then the local grapevine, which was highly developed and bursting with succulent fruit as is the usual case, transferred the news post-haste to David Davis. He was still considering what his next move should be. The possibilities were not at all nice.

Kevin removed himself from this distressing scene of potential crime, and stood by the side of the preparation table. The loss of a thumb was simply not enough.


Surveying the range of implements suitable for the job, Kevin’s gaze fell on a Damascus 67 layered steel professional chef’s knife slotted innocently into a knife block. How on earth David Davis had come by one of those Kevin had no idea, maybe it had been purchased at a pre-Brexit price. It had a generous and ergonomic slip resistant handle and was very, very sharp. Now if he could get David Davis to use it, that would be half the problem solved.

By a stroke of good fortune it was a Friday night so fish and chips were all over the menu and fast running out. It was down to David Davis to save the night and bone a large cod that would cover the remaining orders. Indeed, one was laid out for dissection on an equally large chopping board. Kevin moved over and laid his hand on the cod. He recalled the Frozen Wastes of Limbo and lo and behold, the fabric of the cod changed to a near impenetrable state, its solitary eye staring up into the kitchen lights in an enticing way. Not that it would get any reaction from said lights, but it was worth a try. Its tail quivered slightly with magnetic force.

David Davis bore down on the cod with his best boning knife but nothing happened. The cod’s scales seemed imbued with unnatural strength and failed to part. “You petit bâtard, come here!” said David Davis, as time was of the essence. Whilst the chef’s attention was on the cod, Kevin removed the Damascus 67 from its block and laid it gently down by the side of the chopping board. David Davis flung the useless boning knife aside and picked up the Damascus 67. He applied no mean amount of strength himself to the recalcitrant fish.. All it took from Kevin was a nudge in the wrong direction and David Davis’s thumb and adjoining three fingers were sliced cleanly off in a most efficient way, just as the Damascus’s advertising blurb had promised.

Blood and gristle let forth in all their scarlet glory and David Davis turned a fetching shade of green before collapsing to the floor in a dramatic faint. Kevin hid the useless greying digits in the rubbish bin while Kipper was left to phone for the ambulance. Naturally, it took half an hour to arrive which was relatively quick according to the local health authority, but David Davis’s digits were too cold to reattach. Job done.


It was roughly 4 a.m. when Kevin found himself in front of Roycey’s desk.

“I said the thumb, ” stated Roycey, furiously checking his notepad. Yes, it was the thumb. Kevin had this annoying tendency to overdo the obvious. He’d never work out his sentence at this rate. “The paperwork,” moaned Roycey, as if it were a dirty word. He drummed his claws on the desk.

“It’ll be fine,” replied Kevin cheerfully, “I can help if you like.”

Roycey bit his lip, releasing a stream of orange fluid which dripped down his chin, an unflattering pose at the best of times. “It is not a job done well. And perish the thought!” He looked for all the world like an overheated iguana.

“He deserved so much more than the thumb,” mused Kevin, out loud.

“But it’s not up to you to decide the grade of punishment. Your job is to carry out the order as requested.” Roycey sighed. It would have to do, the morning would arrive all too soon. He ticked the relevant forms, bending the raven’s feather quill at right angles as he did so.

Kevin smiled. There were certain compensations to his current state. He was already looking forward to another job. And yes, it would be done well next time. He walked out of the office since Roycey seemed to be finished with him, and closed the door gently. As he stepped outside, the glow of an early dawn made the old town look halfway decent and he was whistling as he made his way back to the Duck and Drake. The wind whistled back.

®Copyright – ML 2019

Written by Moz Loordes

25/03/2019 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Daft Tales

Tagged with ,