Places are filling fast for UK Meet in Bristol. We are currently at more than 4/5 capacity. It could be more, maths isn’t my strong suit. Basically, there is a maximum number for healthy safety reasons and we aren’t that far off it. So if you’re dithering about booking a place, stop dithering and get registering and paying *snaps finger* OK?
Back to the blog story. It’s J L Merrow’s turn at the wheel of this blog story. The previous posts are here:
*opens page of book*
Rob swivelled his head around to stare at the open door. “Darren,” he said, his voice strangely meek for such a strapping lad. “I’d like you to meet the Reverend Josiah Netherbottom.”
I goggled at the bulky, dog-collared shape whose shoulders filled the doorway. The sheet wasn’t the only thing that was ripped around here. I’d always thought of vicars as being a bit weedy, the sort of bookish types whose only form of exercise was turning the other cheek, and if they did too much of that they’d have to go and have a cup of milky tea and a lie down. But bloody hell, this bloke was the Rottweiler of Reverends. Any lost sheep from this man’s flock probably got served up with mint sauce for next Sunday lunch. And here I was, leading one of them astray. Shit, was he about to get out the carving knives?
I opened my mouth to say something suave, confident and assertive, that would show my complete mastery of the situation. What came out was, “Netherbottom?”
“Fine old Yorkshire name,” snapped out in an accent so thick it probably owned its own flat cap and walked its whippet down to the Snug at the Rover’s for a pint of Theakston’s Old Peculiar every Saturday. The vicar’s bushy black brows lowered at me, fluttering a bit at the edges like the devil’s own homing pigeons as he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him with the finality of a shut coffin lid. “You got a problem with my name, lad?”
I cowered under my entirely too flimsy half-a-sheet as fists the size of York Minster clenched by his sides. The only plus point was that if he was planning to rip my balls off for my sins, he’d have a bugger of a job finding them. They’d just shrivelled to the approximate dimensions of sambuca coffee beans.
I hoped they weren’t about to get toasted. “No, no,” I stammered, my sheet all a-tremble. “Absolutely not.”
The Rev rolled his eyes. “Bloody ’ell, Rob, where’d you pick up this soft Southern nance?”
I frowned. That didn’t sound entirely complimentary.
Rob was blushing redder than Man U’s home kit. “Sorry, Josiah. I met him on the street and we just got talking.”
“Aye, and then you got doing summat else, didn’t you?” Josiah stared at our mostly-naked forms with a curiously enthusiastic glint in his eye. I hoped he wasn’t about to bring out his Bible and give us a lecture on Leviticus.
“Er, yeah. Pretty much.” Rob gave him an apologetic—and entirely too appreciative—smile. “So, um, what brings you here?”
I’d been wondering that myself.
The Rev snorted, sounding like a champion bull about to gore the opposition with its mighty horns. “You left t’pub before they were halfway through the second chorus of Father Abraham. Ben and Cheryl were that mithered about you. Thought you’d wandered off to get yourself a kicking in t’ ginnel. ”
I winced. I wasn’t sure exactly where on the body the ginnel was, but it sounded painful. The warm glow from the tequila had been replaced by the chill winds of Ilkley Moor. And right now, I was as baht’at as they came.
What was worse, I might be about to be baht bollocks.
“And here I find you,” the Rev went on, “nancying about with some pretty-boy Southern Jessie.” Beefy hands met sturdy hips, incidentally drawing attention to a package that was, well, very much in proportion to the rest of him. Vague memories of my old Sunday School classes sprang to mind, something about Aaron’s rod having magical powers over serpents. I reckoned Josiah’s rod could beat it, hands down.
“Have you no shame, lad?” Josiah continued.
“Well, a bit,” Rob admitted. “But I’ve found if I drink enough alcohol it usually goes away.”
Josiah nodded sternly. “As the Good Book says,” he began, his face solemn. I braced for the Bible bashing—then suddenly, he grinned. It had a worryingly lecherous look to it. “You should take a little wine. For your health’s sake, of course.”
“We’re all out of wine,” Rob told him, fluttering his eyelashes. Which really shouldn’t have looked quite so seductive on a strapping great rugby player. Unfortunately, it wasn’t directed at me. “But I think there’s a bit of tequila left.”
Bitterly, I wondered how much alcohol it would take to make the vicar go away. Judging from the way his reverend eyes were widening as they roamed over all the naked male flesh on display, I’d probably have to bash him over the head with the bottle. His eyes weren’t the only things that were getting bigger, either. I’d been right about the Rev having a mighty horn.
And I had a nasty suspicion Rob was only too willing to be gored. “Doesn’t it also say something about Sodom and Gomorrah?” I babbled, as the Rev started taking off his coat.
“Aye, lad, that it does. And what it says—to the true scholar, any road—is that the people of Sodom were condemned for their lack of hospitality. So, Rob, are you and Gary going to show me a bit of hospitality?” He licked his lips and advanced upon us.
Rob’s eyes lit up. “It’s Darrell,” he said, not looking at me.
“It’s Darren, actually.” I gathered the shreds of my dignity—and Rob’s sheet. “And I’m not really into threesomes.” Particularly when I had a strong feeling I was the one making the crowd. I clambered out of bed, swaying slightly.
Josiah, not looking quite so reverend now with his dog-collar unbuttoned and his trousers at half mast, stared at me in amazement. “Not into threesomes? A lusty young man like you? Well, go to the foot of our stairs!”
I frowned, and hissed at Rob, “Is he trying to put me on the naughty step? Or, you know, the not-naughty-enough step?”
Rob didn’t answer. He seemed mesmerised by the sight of Josiah’s Rod poking through the opening in his y-fronts.
The Rev leered at me. “Don’t ’old with that new-fangled rubbish—spare the strap and spoil the child is what I always say—but if it’s a spanking you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.” He rubbed his massive, bony hands together.
A spanking? It’d be like being walloped by a glove full of nails. I’d never sit down again even if I didn’t allow the Rev’s rod to ransack my holy of holies. I legged it to the door, grabbing articles of clothing from the floor en route.
“Don’t go,” Rob pleaded insincerely. Too late. My feet half in my shoes and my legs not remotely in my trousers—which, I noticed vaguely, weren’t even mine; I’d picked up Rob’s by mistake—I closed the door behind me and leaned against it, breathing heavily, my eyes tight shut in despair.
I’d really thought Rob and me had had a connection. Was I ever going to find true love again?
I opened my eyes—and found myself looking at the last person I’d expected to see here.
Next week it’s Jo Myles’ turn.
Until then, it’s goodnight from me.
Liam Livings xx