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Yes, we have no olives.

Yes we have no olives
Count Bologna stopped in for some gin pie and olives, or something like that. I poured him a beer and gave him some career counseling, because that’s what good bartenders do.
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  1. Count Bologna Count Bologna November 25, 2019

    The Count swayed heavily as he stepped off the tram and on to Abney Parkway. He was still feeling the many pints he had put back at the Gangplank, which contributed heavily to his current plan. He looked up at City Hall looming over him beneath the dark pendulous clouds. “Really a brilliant idea.” he said to himself as he started up the steps unsteadily. It seemed that Junie had simply created a position for herself at City Hall, and was now working in the archives. The Count had no intention of working for a living, but certainly was attracted to the idea of a lofty title… and a steady paycheck.

    He stepped inside the building and made his way up to the offices. He peeked inside Underby’s suite to see if the fool was burning the midnight oil, but all was dark. He was looking around for the office of the mayor when a soft voice said “How can I help you, sir? Things are mostly closed for the evening.”

    The Count spun on his heel. A short raven-haired young woman was regarding him. “Heavens to Murgatroyd, who are you?” he asked, flabbergasted. He snapped his hands behind his back instinctively, then attempted to relax them nonchalantly once he recalled being empty handed.

    She raised an eyebrow, then said: “I am Miss Gladstone, Mr Underby’s assistant.”

    The Count looked around. “What happened to Fizzybottom?”

    Miss Gladstone stiffened. “I assume you mean Miss Buxombottom.”

    The Count stroked his goatee. “That doesn’t sound quite right, but all things being theoretically possible there is admittedly a slim chance you are correct. If memory serves, she was a thoroughly unpleasant woman. Irksome, even.”

    “Was is right. She has been missing for over a month.”

    “Missing, eh? Well one hopes she remains so.”

    Miss Gladstone curled her lip slightly. “So.” she said. “What can I assist you with before you go?” There was a hint of a threat in her last words.

    The Count seemingly remained oblivious. “I need to leave a note for the mayor.”

    Her eyes narrowed. “Is he expecting any correspondence?”

    The Count looked at her as if goldfish had begun to rain from her nostrils. “Nobody expects correspondence, nobody asks permission to correspond? Are you new?”

    Miss Gladstone scoffed. “Sir, I don’t know who you are when you aren’t wearing a funny hat, but I happened to have spent the last four and three quarters years as a city messenger. I can assure you, the folks receiving the messages are aware they are coming…. They have their names on them, after all.”

    The Count stopped to think about that. “By Jove, there is something resembling sense mixed in there somewhere. How did you get this job?”

    “I just told you I was a city messenger.” She folded her arms and looked at him expectantly.

    The Count looked around to see if she was looking at anyone else. He seemed slightly surprised to find himself alone with her. “Is that supposed to mean something to me?” he said. “You keep looking at me with that peculiar look on your face.”

    “Being a messenger is a step on the path to a position in civil service.” she sniffed. “Everyone knows that.”

    The Count blinked at her and shook his head. “Look, are you going to tell me where I can leave a note for the mayor or not?”

    Miss Gladstone breathed in deeply through her nose. “Go leave it with the bartender on the mezzanine.”

    The Count narrowed his eyes. “Is this the run around?”

    “Sir, prolonging this encounter is the furthest thing from my mind, believe me. That is where the mayor collects his mail.”

    “Yes, well… ditto.” the Count said, then stalked off briskly toward the mezzanine. “How is it there has been a bar in here this entire time and I didn’t know about it?” he asked himself aloud. “That makes this new position all the more attractive. Alluring, even.”

    The Count was surprised to find a few people at the bar, even at this late hour. “Pencil pushers can really put it away.” he mumbled to himself as he made he way toward the bartender. He was a lanky man with large round protruding eyes and limp thinning greasy hair; he polished a glass methodically, devoid of enthusiasm.

    “I need to leave something for the mayor.” the Count told him. The bartender nodded blandly, saying nothing. “Where do I leave it?” The bartender extended a hand.

    The Count patted his pockets, then remembered he had yet to write the note. “Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a piece of paper just lying around, would you? Menu, perhaps? Napkin?” The bartender stared.

    “Strong silent type, are you?” The Count continued patting various pockets upon his person. “You wouldn’t happen to have a quill as well? And some ink?” He patted another couple pockets. “Perhaps an envelope?”

    A squat man sitting at the bar elbowed the Count. “Go ask Miss Gladstone, Underby’s assistant. She’ll help ya wif dat.”

    The Count turned to the bartender. “I’ll have a martini, straight up.” he said, then leaned forward. “You do have olives, I hope.”

    • Mr Underby Mr Underby November 25, 2019

      “Coffee, Myron.” Mr Underby ordered as he removed his tall stovepipe hat and placed it onto the bartop. The City Hall mezzanine bartender nodded and turned to pour a cup for the mayor’s assistant. The moment the bartender’s back had turned away, Underby darted his arm over the bartop and under the pile of old Free Press editions. The little sneak’s new hiding place. As if he wouldn’t find out. Underby fished around and pulled out a small stack of envelopes. With feline agility he peered through the envelopes, mentally cataloguing what each would be about – the bizarre scrawl on a single envelope almost made him drop the stack altogether. He pulled himself together and had rearranged the pile of old newspapers just in time for Myron to turn back around with the steaming cup of black coffee. The bartender bowed slightly.

      “Thank you, Myron.” Underby purred, snatching up his hat, with the troublesome envelope deep inside. Once in the privacy of his own chambers he removed the envelope and tore it open. Upon rapidly scanning its contents he turned to his door and bellowed, “Miss Gladstone!”

      A small dark head poked through the doorway. “Sir?”

      “Did a fool in a ridiculous helmet show up here last evening?”

      “And then some.” she said. “I got rid of him.”

      Mr Underby stared at the girl. “How did he manage to leave a note for Tenk?”

      “That’s how I got rid of him, sir. Seemed a trifle, as you’ve mentioned several times in the twenty-three days I have been in your service that the mayor never reads his mail.”

      “That must never be let to chance, Willow.” the tall man said. “If the wrong letter ever made its way through to that little goblin, who knows how this city might grind to a halt?”

      Miss Gladstone smirked crookedly. “Well yeah, but surely not that crackpot…”

      Underby crumpled the letter. “My dear girl, the mayor happens to owe that crackpot a favor.” he held the crumpled letter over a nearby candle and watched as the pages shrivelled and blackened. He dropped the letter into a ceramic bowl, then looked at her. “Do you have… any idea… what that man is like… when he owes a favor?”

      Miss Gladstone swallowed. “Well, no.” she admitted.

      Underby nodded. “See that you do not.”

  2. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk November 26, 2019

    Mr Tenk stood with one foot balanced on the footrest of a barstool and bellied up. “Coffee, Myron.”

    Myron loaded a cup of grounds into the machine and started it steaming, then placed a small stack of envelopes and a brass message tube on the bar, then went back to finish the coffee. Tenk nodded and reorganized the envelopes according to color.

    Tenk thought he was getting more correspondence since he began having Myron hold his mail for him. Or should that be, more correspondence was actually making it to his hands rather than being intercepted by Mr Underby.

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