The rough wood of the table’s surface came to Gemevere’s attention. She sat upright on the bench and stretched her neck, hearing it crack at least six times. “Blarmey!” she said. She stretched her back, and her spine cracked again, at least ten times this time. “Flippin’ ‘eck!” She rubbed her eyes, and noticed the Hempsty, Katherine and Æthelstan were still fast asleep, Katherine snoring loudly as she lay on her back. “Blarmey!” Gemevere muttered once more.
She walked around the tavern. Everything looked in order. The front wall was in place. She could see the door was locked, and through the window she could see several villagers milling about. She walked into the room at the back of the tavern, which was empty. She looked around at the various barrels which were placed around the room. Another door led into the kitchen, so she walked through to have a look around in there. The larder door on the far side was wide open, so instinctively she closed it. The wooden table in the middle was neatly laid out with plates and bowls, all stacked ready to use. An oven stood next to the larder. Gemevere walked over to it and touched it. “Storn cold.” She said. She turned around and headed back out of the kitchen and into the barrel room. She jumped as she saw the red-skinned man appear out of a sudden orange light in front of her. “Eeek!” She shrieked, which was unusual for Gemevere.
“‘Oo the ‘eck are you?” Gemevere asked as the man faced her.
“My name is Mr Sinster. I believe you can help me to find an object I’m searching for.” Mr Sinster offered his hand to Gemevere.
“Arm not fallin’ fer that ‘un!” Gemevere pulled her arms in close to her body. “There’s a lot o’ strarenge things ‘appenin ’round ‘ere today.”
“You do have the oddest of tongues!” Mr Sinster commented.
“That’s rude!” Gemevere replied. “Comin’ from one with a pointy tail.”
“I am a Kraa demon. I mean you no harm, my fair lady. I’m merely trying to obtain one of six items from a list that must be found by Halloween. A map has sent me to this location, which means that you must know of the items whereabouts.”
“You expect me to believe all that? A map sent you? Oh, yer mean yer followed a map.” Gemevere tried to translate what the man was saying.
“No, a map actually sent me. It has points upon it which reveal the name of the item we seek, and then sends us through a portal to the time and place the item will be hidden in. Which is how I arrived here.”
“OK then,” Gemevere still didn’t believe Mr Sinster. “Prove it. Tell me where y’from.”
“I’m from 2020. From a town call…”
“2020? This is 489. Yer tellin’ me yer from thousands o’ years in the future?” Gemevere interrupted. She remembered Katherine’s coins which were also from almost two hundred years in the future. “Orr Kare, Ah’ll believe ya. Wha’s the item yer want? Bear in mind we doorn’t live ‘ere, and aren’t from ‘ere.”
“Oh. That may be difficult then. I’m looking for a pyramid. A round pyramid.”
“A round pyramid? ‘Round ‘ere?”
“This is where the map sent me.”
“We’re in a room full o’ barrels. There’s nothin’ in ‘ere that looks like a normal pyramid, lerralone a round ‘un!”
“I can see that.” Mr Sinster looked around the room. All of the barrels were the same shape, although not all the same size. “The map sent me directly here… perhaps it sent me to you.”
“Me? I doorn’t ‘ave any pyramid… oh.”
“Have you realised that you know where it is?” Mr Sinster’s eyes widened.
“Not really. It in’t a pyramid as such, but it’s me ‘at. Me cone. It’s out there, under th’tarebul. But yer carn’t ‘ave it.”
“Please, dear lady, I must have it. The repercussions aren’t even worth pondering. We must get all items together by Halloween, or else.”
“Or else what? An’ who’s ‘we’?”
“Mrs Sinster and I have been sent on two missions. Well, the same mission but for two different people, one in HR and the other an Angel. One for chaos and one for joy.”
“Doorn’t know what an HR is, but I do know an Angel. Gabriel ‘is name is. Cairm to me the nart before I decided to become Lairdy… never mind.” Gemevere clamped her mouth firmly shut.
“Gabriel is the Angel we are working for. He’s sent us on this mission, to replace HR’s mission, but HR needs us to complete her mission also. It sounds complicated.”
“Naw, it mairks perfeck sense t’me. Jus’ doorn’t believe we’ve both met Gabriel. Oh go on. Yer can ‘ave me cone.”
“Thank you dear lady. Tell me, please, what is your name.” Mr Sinster’s face lit up with a broad smile.
“‘Ave you ‘eard of Lairdy Reverence from your time?”
“Lairdy.” Gemevere paused and opened and closed her mouth on slow motion. “Lairdeee.” Gemevere exaggerated the second syllable.
“That’s what I’m saying ‘Lairdy'” Mr Sinster felt confused.
“Lay Dee.” Gemevere broke the pronunciation down a little further.
“Oh. Lady Reverence!” Realisation shone out of Mr Sinster’s face. Gemevere’s face now lit up with a smile. “No. Should I have?” Mr Sinster watched the expression vanish from Gemevere’s face.
“No. Not yet.” Gemevere corrected. “But yer will. The Legend o’ Lairdy Reverence will become legendary. Circles’ll be talkin’ about it fer years to come once it’s art there.”
“So you are Lady Reverence then?” Mr Sinster smiled once more.
“I am. But yer can call me Gemevere. Arm Gemevere Inxlsis in this garb. Arm Lairdy Reverence in me other clobber an’ me crown. Oo… me crown’s in’th cone. Ah’ll ‘ave to shove it in me frock!”
Gemevere and Mr Sinster walked over to the table where the other three were still sound asleep. Gemevere reached under the table and retrieved her hat. She pulled off the ribbon and handed the cone part to her new friend. She promptly snatched it back, and with a slight giggle took out the tiara and tucked it into a pocket in the front of her dress. “‘Ear. Teck it before ah chairnge me marnd.”
“Thank…” was all Mr Sinster could say as he touched the hat, before he was engulfed in an orange light and disappeared before Gemevere’s eyes.
“Charmin’!” Gemevere said. She looked at Hempsty and the others around the table, and decided to join them in sleep once more. “With any luck, when Ah wairk up, me cone’ll still be there an’ this would’ve all been a dream.” She used the ribbon from her hat to make the table top a little more comfortable as she settled down to sleep.
Not that there’s any order or timescale or anything sensical about the Sinster’s quest, you can find previous parts in the links below. The next part will be along soon enough!