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Meet Mr Goatee

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Well damn, I had thought sex vampires were the most ridiculous monster I would ever meet but now I was trapped in an underground bunker having been chased into it by the three little pigs, yes those little pigs. I shit you not. That must have been some fucking big-bad-wolf is all I’m gonna say. Johnny pays me well but, no amount of pay could make this scenario anything less than humiliating or anything close to worthwhile. Goddamn Dresden.

The boss distracted me from my irritation with the lanky wizard, “Mr Hendricks, please could you assist Ms Gard with barricading the window at the back? I think Mr Dresden has the door covered.”

I quickly moved to obey and within five minutes we had the high basement-window secure, or at least as secure as we could make it with wooden planks and breeze blocks.

Then we sat down to patch up wounds and formulate an escape plan, unusually Dresden wasn’t ordering anyone about, being juvenile, sarcastic or telling bad jokes, he seemed to be thinking (wow miracles can happen) and was pacing back and forth in front of the door. We ignored him.

After half an hour or so I became aware of Dresden muttering under his breath and getting steadily louder as the minutes ticked by, it became obvious that he was arguing with himself, half the conversation in his head. Great, just great! We get chased into a hole in the ground with only one way in or out by the three goddamned not-so-little pigs, and to top it off we are relying on a madman to get us out. Have I mentioned that this was great? I focused more closely on Dresden’s mutterings.

“I’d like to see you do better you pompous asshole.”

“Oh, I don’t know? Perhaps because I was distracted by the three, twelve foot high, sharp toothed, razor backed, wild boars trying to eat me?!”

“That wasn’t his fault! How many times do I have to tell you I am not gonna leave anyone to get eaten!” Dresden was definitely getting louder.

“No, not even Thomas.”


“No, not even if he eats someone first!”

 

By this stage even Lt. Murphy and Dresden’s pet vampire were shifting themselves as subtly as possible away from the seemingly mad wizard still pacing in front of the door. Lt Murphy looked more terrified of Dresden than she ever had when facing down any of the monsters I’d seen her take on, including the pigs that were currently slavering at the door.

Then we all went for our weapons as a shadow, a coil of impenetrable darkness, began to form next to the doorframe. Slowly its shape resolved itself into that of a man. It was Dresden - his double, the same height, same face, same taste in long black leather dusters. But there the similarities ended, this shadow-Dresden wore immaculately tailored clothes with style and panache, not a thread out of place or a wrinkle to blemish the easy and relaxed perfection of his appearance, he seemed to favour the colour black but his waistcoat was a deep red and appeared to be embroidered silk. He had a goatee.

Then Goatee began to fill in the other half of the conversation Dresden had been holding with himself.

“You could just kill the Baron, he’s the Lord of this town remember, the funny little Baron, his blood would satisfy the little piggies. A perfectly acceptable offering.” His tone was cold and mocking, he sounded a bit like old man Vargassi.

Well that wasn’t good. I threw a quick glance at the boss and I swore I spotted a soupçon of nervousness in his carefully set face.

“No,” Harry snapped back at Goatee “No killing anyone, how many times do we have to go over this?”

Aaand that was worse.

“How about a distraction? If Little Miss Police Brutality over there, could be persuaded to take one for the team?” He leered at Lt Murphy.

“I am not going to be performing ritual sex acts with anyone in this room!” he screamed at Goatee. “Not even Murph,” he added at a more reasonable volume and sounding very much like he had taken some time over coming to that decision. Lt Murphy squeaked, actually squeaked, like a scandalised teenager and then looked distinctly pissed off at herself for doing so.

“Hells bells boy, isn’t it about time we tapped th-” Goatee was cut off by a slap on the back of the head from Dresden.

 

For some reason the boss decided that this was a good point at which to interrupt. “Mr Dresden, while I hate to disturb you while you are… thinking, perhaps you can introduce us to your friend?”

“Hmmm, What?” Dresden’s eyes came to rest on us huddled defensively in the furthest corner of the room, all armed to the teeth with our weapons pointed at Goatee and staring at him with varying degrees of confusion and horror. Then he had to go and ask the question that increased our discomfiture a hundredfold, “You can see him?”

How? How does Johnny manage to get me into these things?

“Yes Mr Dresden, we can see him.” Johnny spoke quietly and rather carefully, as one does when addressing a madman.

“Huh, whaddya know.” Dresden paused, then shrugged waving away the question, “He’s my subconscious and an asshole, ignore him.”

I swear if we get out if this alive I am asking Johnny to put a Dresden bonus into my contract. A big-bad-wolf sized bonus.