A Girl and her Critic

Slowly an old man shuffles onto the stage. He huffs and mutters as he lowers himself into a conveniently placed chair, that wasn't there a moment ago. He coughs, snorts and spits onto the worn boards. Fully settled, he turns his rheumy eyes towards Ashyena and Gwen.

"Now 'hen. You lasses give an old man a bitta space why doncha. Goan clear off now and let the elderly 'ave ther say," he says in an accent thick as clotted cream and just as slow to pour. He flaps his spotted and corded hands in their direction. "Goan bugger off for a moment would'cha?" As the two girls schooch off the other side of the stage the old man pulls out a pipe and a wadge of 'baccky.

"Now then," he says, eyeing the audience and stuffing 'baccky into his pipe simultaneously. "I don't know about all this exsitin' or not existin' malarky. 'S far too philly sophical fer the likes o'me. But, see, I be a story teller through an' through. So gather ye 'round ladles and gentlebeans, an' I'll tell yer a tale of times long past and high adventure, like." He gesticulates with the pipe and a match, to the point where it seems he might set alight his unruly silver beard.

"Oh give over granddad," comes a new voice. From the wings strides a small curvaceous figure. Beads glitter in her coal-black hair, but she is otherwise dressed simply in black tee, grey combats and industrial boots.

"Aww buggar ya off!" the old man cries on hearing the woman's voice. "I were just gettin' started on a good ol' yarn, now you comes along and spoils it! Push off I say!"

"Look you," she says to the old man, standing side on to his chair. "I thought we had this settled. I tell the stories, and you get to give them the once over when I'm done, telling me what you think with your harsh, abusive and frankly down-right dirty mouth." In comparison to the old man the woman's tones are clipped, precise and reek of elocution lessons.

"Ach, lass. 'Tis no way to walk about an old man!"

"Not like it isn't true you crotchety old miser,"

"Crotchety yourself," the old man responds hotly, "you massive windbag with your lexi-con, and you three silly bull words and your toffish speakin'. Goan, get along now, and let me do the talkin'. 'S not like your any good at the tellin' of tales anyhap!" The woman rolls her eyes. A low murmur has started up - the audience is getting bored.

"For goodness sake, shut up!" the woman snaps. "These people came here to be entertained and all you can do is sit there and prattle on. Enough I say! I impose Nano rules."

The old man looks up from sucking on his pipe. "Wha'? Ye can't do that! Tis no where near November yet." The woman glares at him sharply.

"Nano rules!" For a moment the old man looks like he might protest, but as the audience watch a slice of gaffa tape grows across the old man's mouth. The audience, now intrigued falls silent. The total quiet is broken by a single solitary sigh of contentment. The woman smiles.
"You have no idea how nice it is to be rid of the monotonous moaning of this vexatious venter. Anyhow," here she leans on the old man's chair, "let me introduce us. This bothersome burden is Albert, the Inner Critic. I myself am Brianna, the meddling Muse. Together we make up the mentality of the lissom literary loon you know as DruidX."

The End

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