Apparently the owner's son had run off with the landowner's only daughter and as a consequence, the tenants were being evicted. Since there was no one to claim his things... all of Jamie's belongings, including the godawful mirror, were sitting in the middle of the road. After some bargaining with the innkeeper, she had paid the rent due on the room and, in exchange for the use of a wagon and the manpower to transport the mirror back to her cottage, she had removed a large, ugly wart from the landlord's wife's nose. She was particularly interested in keeping the mirror since she vaguely remembered McButler mentioning such a one as the mode of his transport into the 18th century. Whether it was this particular one, she aimed to find out.
Truth be told, she was missing Jamie and she wanted him to come home from wherever he was. The only way she was going to find him was by finding Gerremy McButler and, if she could not get to either one of them, she would have to figure out a way to bring them to her. She was pondering this dilemma when the wagon with Jamie's belongings arrived and she was enlisted in trying to figure out where she would put the blasted mirror.
New York City - Present Day
One week since their exploits at the Cock and Ball and several similar venues and Gerremy McButler and Jamie McFraser were no closer to locating their prey, one F. Neil McRandall, captain of his Majesty's 10th Dragoons. The City had swallowed him up and they could find no trace of him anywhere.
In another week, Gerremy would have to report to Salt Lake City to start filming "Runway to Nowhere" and Jamie, much as he was enjoying the wonders of this century such as real toilet paper and the comfort of Calvin Klein briefs, was getting a hankering for Scotland and his wife, the loopy Sassyhack also known as Clairvoyant Beachie McFraser.
Puppet on a string.
Every time he would feel his manhood stir over some nice looking female fawning over him, this female puppet master who lived in his head and her constant voice over narrative served like a bucket of ice water poured over his genitals and he was getting very sexually frustrated indeed. He was also exasperated trying to explain the feeling to McButler who was starting to think he was a eunuch of some sort. He did, however, tell Jamie that acting felt a little like someone else, but at least a visible someone, was running the show too. McButler had also added, as an aside, that his own cock had a mind of its own and often led him around by the nose regardless of his resolve not to stick it into certain places. His nose he meant, of course.
Jamie had nodded in understanding, but looking at McButler's now sunburned nose, he suddenly had an image of those two disjointed body parts, outfitted with little tiny arms, holding hands and jumping into the metaphorical fire. McButler's commiseration had done nothing to make him feel better, but that picture in his head had made him grin.
The truth was, that no matter how much cotton Jamie put in his ears, the constant thrum of that voice driving him to live a kind of "goody two shoes" existence, was what had originally driven him out on his journey of discovery. Now it only sent him as far as the Latin bar down the street where the salsa dancers and the bongo drums were the only things that seemed to drown out the whiney voice.
McButler was convinced he had a crush on one of the girls who frequented the bar, but the fact was that he was developing a taste for the music and found that he was having trouble keeping his hips and his feet still all the time he was there. He liked the way his kilt twirled around his legs, but besides that, it was the only place he seemed to be out of reach of the unseen hand driving his life and putting a curse on the natural response of his genitalia. It was almost as if he only existed as a figment of some female's imagination and was not a living, breathing, lusty 1800 century male set loose in a 21st century world. He loved his wife, but come on...this was perverse.
Well, he'd better get going, as he'd promised to meet Gerremy for lunch and sitting around thinking about his problem wasn't going to make it any less of one.
West Village, New York City
|The formidable, but charming Giovanni.|
As his taxi pulled up to the restaurant to let him out, he saw Jamie peddling up the street. The Highlander liked to walk but he had also learned to ride a bike and used that mode of transport whenever it was feasible, although yesterday he'd almost had a teardown, drag out fight with a cab driver who who had almost mowed him down. Riding alongside the cab and banging on the driver's window while holding onto the guy's door through rush hour traffic had not sat well with the cop who had come upon the scene. A tough SOB, McFraser was not one to back down easily when he was wronged. The cop hadn't known what kind of a ticket to give him though, and he had gotten off with a warning after presenting what the policeman thought was a logical argument. It hadn't hurt that the officer's name was MacDonald either.
The Pakistani cab driver had complained that McFraser was calling him indecent names, but since he was doing it in Gaelic, it was only his tone of voice that had given offense. The fracas had been filmed by a tourist and hit the evening news. Watching the two go at each other, each in a unintelligible tongue, with the poor cop in the middle rolling his eyes and trying to keep the peace, had made for an entertaining end to the newscast.
Greeting each other, Gerremy had gone in search of Giovanni to see about the table while Jamie locked up the bike. After sitting down and ordering something cool to drink, they perused the menu and ordered. Jamie excused himself to use the bathroom and Gerremy pulled out a copy of Vanity's Faire and started turning the pages. A minute later Jamie returned and sat down.
JMcF: Crimson ballocks! What the hell is this?
Jamie was pointing to the page Gerremy had folded back in an effort to read an article. Startled by the outburst, Gerremy turned it over to see what was making McFraser's mouth hang open in astonishment, only to find a large black and white photograph of a man looking very much like their missing Captain, dressed to perfection in an expensive looking tuxedo and surrounded by two men and a woman. The man with a hand on McRandall's shoulder suspiciously resembled designer Tomson Fordham.
Upon closer inspection, his eyes bugging out, Gerremy gasped.
GMcB: Well fuck me blind! It IS Fordham!
|"Dare to live large!"|
GMcB: "Designer Tomson Fordham introduces his new protege, Francois McRandell, at a celeb studded party, which included the likes of New York artist Enronymous Youngsmith and socialite Tissy Fairhair featured here talking to the pair."
Jamie was goggling at a second photograph, which featured a tanned McRandall in what Gerremy deduced was apparently part of an ad campaign shot by Thierry Ricardosan for the designer's new season over the caption "Dare to live large!"
After taking a few moments to explain to Jamie about the people involved and the significance of the photographs, they sat there, mouths open trying to understand what they were looking at.
Waiter: "Ahhh. Quello che un uomo delizioso, eh? I wait on heeem last week when he came in with Marty Scorsese! They maybe make movie of McRandall's life, so he say."
GMcB: (incredulous) Scorsese? WTF? I can't even get the time of day from the guy and this wacko manages to have lunch with him? Talk about a fucked up world!
Jamie sat there and watched in amazement as Gerremy McButler almost wept. It was not long before the frown was replaced by a very Machiavellian look.
GMcB: (evil grin) I think I know how to locate and grab our friend and perhaps create an opportunity for me to talk to a certain snobbish director.
JMcF: If the fella is sae famous now, wilna he be missed if he suddenly disappears? I'm thinkin' ye'd better be taking that into consideration, no?
GMcB: (frowning) Yer right. I didn't think o' that. My publicist will have a cat and a cow if I'm arrested again. Shit!
JMcF: (confused) A cat I can see, but where the devil is this publicist going tae find kine in these parts?
Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction that exists only in the twilight zone of the writer's mind. Any and all resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.
Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate
*1940's screen star Anne Sheridan