The Kingdom of the Cavan Strawberries |1|

Rain drip-dropped onto the concrete like that stupid broken tap out the back of my house as B-Man parked his Beemobile (A yellow Fiat Seicento with, naturally, black go-faster stripes) outside Paddy’s house. It was the third Friday of the month and time for the monthly meeting of the Limerick chapter of the League of Superheroes (and Sidekicks). He walked up to the front door and pressed the doorbell, it was one of those new digital ones that sounded like a computer imitating a human imitating a doorbell. The latch clicked as Paddy opened the door and nodded in greeting.

“Evenin’ Paddy.”

“How’re ya now. Come in outta the rain, we’ll head out back to the Refuge and get this meeting started.”

They shuffled quietly through Paddy’s carpeted hall, past the living room where his wife was watching Corrie while talking to someone on the phone, “Course they’re going to have an affair! You saw the looks they’ve been giving each other. And his wife’s just gone off with yer one with the head’s son….”

They walked on through the kitchen and out the back door. At the end of the garden was Paddy’s Refuge of Peace and Quiet; three by four meters of pine-walled magnificence. Paddy unlocked the door and led them inside. Five chairs of various types, a small table with a small stack of papers and pack of playing cards on it, and a fridge took up most of the space while assorted tins of paint, a broken strimmer, and other detritus filled the rest of the shed.

“Right” said Paddy, easing himself down into a swivel chair and picking up some papers off the table, “Let’s get down to business. We’re all here then?”

B-Man made a show of looking around as he plonked himself on a barstool. “Yes.”

“Good. First order of business…”



“Ever since The Human Otter got a boyfriend it’s just been us two. I don’t think we need to do all of the procedural bits at every meeting.”


“Look, I know we have to send an update email to HQ every quarter but it’s not like they’ll check if we did all the “Dear committee members” shite at each and every meeting. All they really want to see is that the accounts are in order and since we’ve never had more than fifty quid in the bank it’s not likely they even check that.”

“Hmmm… I suppose you’re right.” Paddy set down the papers on the table. “Anyways we’ve got something a bit more important to do tonight.”

“Yeah! Let’s get pissed!”

“Eh, in a bit. We’ve a guest.” Paddy stood up and opened the door. In strode Sound-Man with the confidence of someone who is both known to be sound and carrying a crate of porter.

“B-Man! What’s the craic lad?”  Exclaimed Sound-Man as he dropped the crate on the table. He wore an old-fashioned but well cut grey suit, white shirt, and black tie. A black mask covered the upper part of his clean-shaven face.

“Ah jaysus Sound-Man! Been ages since I’ve seen ya, how’re ya keeping?”

“Ah good, good. Well, not that good really. That’s why I’m here.”

Paddy shut the door and motioned for him to sit. He chose a fold out garden chair and cracked open his can as he sat.

“Help yourselves lads, it’ll only get warm.”

They all got stuck into the cans and began discussing football. After a few minutes of back and forth they all came to the same revelatory insight that all of the players were overpaid and crap.

“Right, I think it’s time you filled us in on what’s been going on Soundy.” said Paddy.

Sound-Man tapped his can a few times on the table then looked up and met their eyes. He sighed. “This is big, even bigger than your mothers arse. It’s… its Dennis O’Brain.”

“Ah fuck”

“Yeah. I heard this off one of his cronies so as far as I know it’s legit information. O’Brain is searching for the Anti-Craic, an ancient device created by the Tuatha de Danann that removes all the craic from Irish people. It turns Irish people into boring zombies who eat healthy, only drink wine and agree with neo-liberal economic theory and politics. He’s going to use the Anti-Craic to become King of Ireland.”

“Ah fuck”

“Yeah I know right?”

“Who is Dennis O’Brain anyway?” inquired B-Man “I mean, I’ve heard people talk about him on the news and stuff but can’t say I paid much attention to it.”

“I’ll take this Sound-Man.” said Paddy, “Dennis O’Brain is an evil, rich bastard who gets away with everything he does cos he’s an evil, rich bastard. He’s the richest person in Ireland; though he doesn’t pay any tax here cos he had his brain transplanted into a robot duplicate and keeps his actual body in Malta on life support. He’s kind of like Lex Luthor but with hair.”

“Sounds bad.”

“There’s more, he has an army of rabid lawyers that would rip yer throat out with their teeth as soon as injunction ya. He’s wanted to rule the country for years and now he might have a chance if he can find and use the Anti-Craic.”

“So not a nice fella then.”

“Not really, no.”

“Well how can we stop him then?”

“I don’t know really, he’s very connected and also his body is made out of a carbon fiber-titanium alloy. But first things first; we have to go to Newgrange, that’s where the Anti-Craic is buried according to legend. We’ll have a snoop around and see if there’s any sign of him or his cronies.”

They finished their cans and put the rest of them in a plastic bag for the road. After locking up the shed Paddy created a rip in space-time beside one of the flowerbeds and they cautiously stepped through.

Keeping low as they exited the portal they moved to a low-rise overlooking the ancient Neolithic passage tomb. It was worse than they expected. There were vans parked around the entrance and electric lights spaced out at regular intervals. Groups of disheveled men in pinstripe suits patrolled the area in twos and threes. It looked like they were packing their equipment away.

“We need to see what’s going on in there.” whispered Sound-Man.

“We’ll need to be careful, don’t want to catch the attention of those maniacs. Best wait till they leave.” replied Paddy, his voice low and quiet.

“Why are we whispering” said B-Man in his outside voice, “sure they’re a good bit away yet.”

Cries rose up from the groups of lawyers, like wolves who went to private school. They turned and faced our heroes, not fifty meters away.

“You bloody eejit!” snapped Paddy to B-Man.

Next week on The Kingdom of the Cavan Strawberries: Will our heroes escape from the gang of lawyers without a hefty legal bill? Will they get their costs? Just how sound is Sound-Man? Can B-Man redeem himself? Will Dennis O’Brain sue HeadStuff? There’s only one way to find out. See you back here next week: same Paddy Time, same Paddy channel/website. Until then dear friends, Adventurosis!

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