Friday, 25 January 2013
“Another fifteen pence on the price, they're getting more expensive every week, that's cos they're getting harder to catch, I think we may be hunting them to extinction.”
John placed his beer glass back on the table and turned his head towards the next table where the voice had come from. The guy who sat there looked pretty ordinary, except for the look in his eyes that was, wild eyes, psychotic maybe? John immediately felt uncomfortable. An almost empty cider bottle was on the table in front of the man, beside a partly eaten pie resting on a paper plate.
”Err... Hunting what to extinction?” Said John, glancing at his watch and hoping that his mates would turn up earlier than arranged.
“The pies, what the hell did you think I was talking about?” The guy's voice rose aggressively. “The goddam PIES.”
“Err... Aren't the pies made in the pub kitchen?” Said John, hoping that he didn't sound confrontational.
The guy's eyes grew even more dangerous looking. “Jeez man, which planet are you on? Pies are wild, and carnivorous mostly, why the hell do you think most of them are full of meat? It's their diet. Some of them hunt chickens, others hunt cows or pigs, pigeons even, oh yeah you get the odd herbivore pie, and some pies seem to prefer fruit, some are even omnivorous, that's how we come to have meat and veg ones.”
“Err... what kind of pie have you got there?” Asked John, trying to keep it light and conversational.
“This is game pie, a particularly aggressive pie I can tell you, they feed on footballers and cricketers, Video game players, that kind of thing.”
“And err... is it tasty?” Said John, hoping that his smile looked at least half way genuine.
“Oh, it's tasty okay, just more expensive than last week, which gets me really riled up, I can tell you.”
John felt the cold tendrils of terror run down his spine as he pushed himself further backwards into his chair. “H..How do they catch the pies then?” He ventured.
“Have you heard of the Pied Piper?”
“Well, he was a great pie hunter, maybe even the greatest of all time. He used to charm them by the thousand with his music, and taught other people his skills too. Nowadays it's more commercialised, beaters, nets, shotguns. The pies are adapting too, urban pies are becoming quite common, they feel safer in the city, and safer in numbers too, they gang together, hunt in packs.”
At that moment the pub door opened and to John's great relief his three mates walked in, Charlie went straight to the bar and shouted for four pints of bitter, Kevin and Pete headed for John's table.
“Thank god you guys have turned up.” Said John, already feeling better. “This feller at the next table is a complete nutter.”
There was a deafening bang as the pub door opened again, this time it slammed back against the wall, the impact almost tearing it from its hinges.
The room erupted into a cacophony of scraping chairs, overturning tables, smashing glass and screaming, as through the opening flooded hundreds of ravenous, needle-teethed pastry cases.
©2013 Stephen. J. Green.