I put this story up a couple of years ago but, having only just re-discovered my account, I can't say where it disappeared to. Maybe I deleted it. Anyway I found this on my computer and have tweaked it slightly. Second chapter will probably be up soon!
Er, so, I don't own any of these characters. Obviously.
'Oh Jesus Manny, will you just be quiet?' A hung-over Bernard Black spoke in a muffled voice, as his face was rested on the desk.
'And was Jeruuusalem, buuuilded here. Among those dark, satanic mills ...'
Bernard looked up in exasperation, 'Jerusalem was not builded here you arrogant English halfwit!'
'It's just a song, Bernard,' Manny pointed out as he made light, swift movements with his feather duster while he tidied the bookshelves.
'Exactly! No singing in my shop, it says so on the blackboard.'
'No it doesn't.'
'Well it should! It's your job to write up the rules,' he flailed his arms wildly; 'it's your fault.'
Manny sighed, outwardly expressing his annoyance. But what could he do? It would be a rather large overstatement to say that Bernard Black was a rational human being, so Manny settled for pulling a face behind his back rather than attempt some sort of confrontation. However, midway through the act his face froze in contorted horror.
'Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day! I…'
'I am not your mother. If I was your mother I would have thrown you into a basket years ago and set you on a course down the Thames, tearful only because my good basket with the honey-coloured weave was gone.'
'I need the phone! She always gets very ... takes things very ... ' He scrambled around before finding what he needed and punching in the number.
'Just be a sec ... Ah, moo-ma!'
'Right Bernard I'm going to have to leave for a few days to visit my parents, ok?'
The Irishman only made a disgruntled noise and a few minutes later shouted, 'You'll get no pay for those days!' Then winced as his head pounded, before crawling into a ball of self-pity on his chair.
'Yeah, Bernard, I know. I've learnt not to expect luxuries working here,' Manny sighed and wondered for the umpteenth time whether he was in the right place.
For the next hour the two men were silent, save for the occasional groans of an Irishman whose headache was slowly receding. Manny gave a loud sigh, indicating his boredom. He was tired of being stuck in the dark, dank book shop, deprived of a good morning sing-song and so declared, 'Right, Bernard, we're going out.' Manny bounced around as he explained his plans, 'out as in outside, in the sun, where other people are. It'll do you good.'
'No it won't be good, all I need is wine ... WINE.'
'Well that can be arranged, I think,' Manny replied, knowing this would provoke a positive reaction.
'Come on Manny get your coat.' The Irishman walked a few steps towards the door before stopping. He eyed his assistant suspiciously, 'as long as you're paying.'