Funny Drama Fiction

‘Ok babe. I’m just outside now. Time for one last performance. I know, you too, have a great night and I’ll see you tomorrow at Gatwick. Can’t believe it. We will be out of here and Rome here we come!’

It was absolutely chucking it down in the village of Tollhurst in a sleepy corner of East Sussex and Sophie often wondered why she hadn’t accepted a lift from her pa to work. He was always so insistent about chauffeuring her and other members of the family around. She suspected it was a rouse to get out of the house and avoid any chores her mum likes to set him.

She’d looked immaculate as she left the house but hadn’t thought the four fields from home to her place of work, would be as challenging as they were. The farmer had moved his cows into the upper field and on encountering, they had seemed a bit too frisky. As they had started charging towards her, she summoned her inner farmer's wife and ran at them. Unfortunately, she hadn't seen the huge cow pat in front of her, slipped and landed on her bottom. Oh fuck, it’s too late to turn around. Hopefully Hels will have a spare pair of bottoms.

She took a deep breath to compose herself and get into cheery mode, before entering the beautiful 16th century inn for one last shift.

‘Hhhheeeeellllloooo lovely, you better get going. What's wrong? Why are you walking like you’ve done something to your pert little derriere?

‘Because I have Hels. I don’t suppose you have spare skirt/trousers?’

‘Absolutely love, in the staff room. Chop chop. We’ve got thirty covers booked in for tonight and Lee just rang in sick so we may need you at the bar in between.’

‘oh, bloody hell’

With that, Sophie ran to change in the cluttered staff room which smelt suspiciously like weed, checked her hair and make-up in the corridor and grabbed a leather pinny, notepad and pencil.

Turning to her colleague for a debrief on the clientele for this evening, Helen came into her own, outlining the best form of attack for the evening and how to keep the customers in line.

Despite her diminutive appearance, Helen was a warrior and Sophie often thought she could have been one of Hitler’s henchmen. Goebbels had nothing on Helen. She was a stunning woman of almost sixty, amazing cheekbones and a pixie haircut. Mother to two children who still lived with her at home. Her husband who had since passed, had been a monster and had physically abused Helen through their marriage and while she was pregnant with both her children. Sophie often wondered if it was this experience that had created such fight in her.

The Five Bells had recently been bought by an entrepreneur or as some of the locals would refer 'Mr. New Money’. Well, whatever anyone thought of Mr. Collins, he had turned a pub that had been closed for five years into a beautiful space that no longer stank of wee. In every room in the pub there was always something new to notice. A Damien Hirst installation in the stable room, signed first editions of rare books by Arthur Conan Doyle and Road Dahl to name a couple, a stuffed squirrel sitting on a rocking chair hidden behind the beams in the main bar.

As Sophie tried not to get sentimental, she followed the plan of attack Helen had outlined and approached ‘The Money’ first.

‘Good evening, Mr. Le Tissier. How are you this evening?’

She had been forewarned by Helen that Mr. Le Tissier had been drinking his ‘special cocktails’ since lunch and to be careful where his hands wondered.

‘All the better for seeing you, gorgeous’ he slurred in his Franglais accent.

‘And what can I start you with Mr. Le Tissier’.

‘What do you recommend?’

‘I’d probably start with the Soft-Shell Crab in a Tempura style followed by the Duck Gratin with a selection of Berlotti Beans, Peas and Broad Beans lovingly covered in a Wholegrain Jus.’

‘Sounds inviting Sophie. Would you care to join me this a drink after your shift?’

‘Thank you so much Mr. Le Tissier. You are so kind as always. My father will be collecting me after my shift so perhaps we can all have a drink together?'

Mr. Le Tissier started to withdraw his very large grotesque frame at the mention of her father. Sophie’s father was a local farmer who owned some land Mr. Le Tissier was after. The last thing he wanted to do was to get on his wrong side.

‘Sophie, would you also mind grabbing me a bottle of chateaux margaux…oh and another of my cocktails’. Mr. Le Tissier’s special drink consisted of four shots of Jack Daniels and coke. As Sophie headed to the bar to place the order, she heard a clicking sound. As she turned back, Mr. Le Tissier’s face had become more ogre-like and he clicked his fingers….AGAIN.

‘Sorry Mr. Le Tissier. Did I miss something?’

‘I just wanted you to hurry up.’

‘of course sir, I’ll be with you toute suite’

'It's toute de suite' and then muttered something like 'you stupid girl' under his breath.

As she headed to the bar again, she was greeted by her pal James, head barman and son to Helen the warrior.

‘I see Toad of Toad Hall is on usual form?’

‘He is indeed…I’m a bit concerned that we may be in for a bit of a night with him’

‘Well, we’ve all got your back. Just let us know if he's a bit of a handful and I’ll send mum in. She’ll get him to tow the line or get him barred.’

‘Thanks James. You are a star’.

‘Right, Mr. Le Tissier, here is your Chateaux Margaux. Let me open for you.'

‘oh girl has no one shown you how to open a bottle of wine before? he barked, shocking Sophie at how volatile he could be. 'Give me the corkscrew. Right, I will allow you to pour a drink now’.

‘Is that alright for you sir?’

‘Yes, fine I suppose. Chop chop…where’s my starter?’

And with that Sophie scurried to the kitchen.

‘Chef, how are we doing with the crab for Mr. le Tissier?’

‘Eeh you poor wee lassie, that fat toad isn’t out there again? I wanted to punch him the other night after our shift. Walking around here like he owns the place. Clicking his fingers at our staff but we’ve told to be nice to him as he’s one of our investors. I want to tell him to f**k off!’

Head Chef, Jock had been acquired from a renowned Michelin star restaurant in London and Sophie absolutely adored him. She also loved his gutter mouth.

‘Lassie, hope you can stay after shift for a little sendoff we have planned for you?’

‘would love to…thanks Jock. Right, ‘I can fight.’

'Ha! You’re right, they may take our lives, but they’ll never take…OUR FREEDOM!!’

She chuckled leaving the kitchen. She and Jock had bonded one evening after a shift. Their mutual love of Mel Gibson and reciting lines from Braveheart was a regular feature during their shifts together! It seemed apt for now.

‘Mr. Le Tissier, here is your Soft-Shell Crab…’

‘My what! I didn’t order this. Take it back…now!’ As the alcohol swirled around his huge mass, his ugly temper seemed to unveil itself. To the horror of the customers moving from the bar into the restaurant.’

‘Well Mr. Le Tissier, what would you like instead?’ She tried not to sound like a mother scolding a toddler but she couldn't help but adopt this tone.

‘oh, fuck it, I’ll just have another cocktail’ he started to sound even more incomprehensible.’

‘Another round….now’ he hollered from the table.

At this point, Helen seeing that the antics were about to escalate, leapt into action.

‘Right girly, come with me…time for War Talks in the kitchen.’

Helen ushered Sophie into the kitchen and cornered Jock.

‘We’ve got a Code Amber….bordering on Code Red imminently’ Helen relayed.

Jock was in his element. ‘I assume this involves a Mr. Le Tissier, otherwise known locally as Toad of Toad Hall. Is he the confirmed enemy?'

‘Yes affirmative’

‘Ok it's time to enact ‘Operation William Wallace’

Sophie and Helen were all ears.

‘You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.’

‘Ding dong Jock’ Helen was slightly swooning and then realizing what she’d said, blushed.

‘Thank you, Helen, you’re not too bad yourself. Anyway, I musn’t get distracted. We need to fight to protect our freedom.’

‘YES’ Helen and Sophie cheered.

‘But how do we do that?’

‘It’s tricky as Mr. Collins wants us to keep him on side. I think we’ve only got one option.’

Sophie and Helen waited with baited breath.

‘We drug him. It'll looked like he's pissed and fallen asleep in his food. He's so vulgar, no one will suspect a thing. I’ve got some sleeping pills left over from my trip to Australia last month to just Masterchef Australia. The fat fuck will fall asleep in his dinner, and I can carry him into the snug with the help of James’.

‘That is brilliant. You are brilliant!’ Helen whooped with delight.

‘oh, thanks Helen’ Jock blushed.

‘Right Sophie, back to station. Keep him going and I’ll sprinkle something special in his duck. you won't have to put up with the hog for much longer.'

Sophie returned to his table, to discover Mr. Le Tissier breathing his revolting alcoholic fumes all over two very pretty young girls hoping to enjoy a girlie catch up.

‘Sophie, I was just telling these gorgeous girls how rubbish the service is in here. I haven’t even had a starter.’

‘Mr. Le Tissier’

‘Jock, what are you doing here?’

‘Well, I thought I’d save Sophie some time as we’re so busy here and bring you your meal myself as you’re so important to The Five Bells and all of us here.

‘Well that really is very kind. I did enjoy watching you on Masterchef the other night. Goodness, you know them all, Jean Michel Roux.’

‘I do. Anyway, have a fabulous evening.’

With that Sophie took a few more orders as the restaurant filled up.

As she chatted to James at the bar, Sophie heard what sounded like a warthog dropping its head in a slop tray. A couple of screams later, Jock and James swooped in and removed the hostile to the snug bar where he could sleep it off.

Jock apologized to the other guests, offering them a complimentary glass of champagne and a selfie.

Later that evening as Jock, Helen, James and Sophie were gathered by the huge fireplace with a glass of champagne, Jock said.

‘We wish our gorgeous Sophie a wonderful time exploring rome and Italy for a year and just remember, I know you can fight. But it’s our wits that make us men.’

‘Who said that? Henry VIII?’ Helen looked confused.

‘Malcolm Wallace’

‘I really need to watch that film you and Sophie keep quoting’

‘Perhaps we can watch it together Helen?’ Jock suggested softly.

‘I’d really like that'

‘Mum’ James said awkwardly.

And with that they all giggled. They even giggled the next day when they saw a review of The Five Bells on TripAdvisor.

‘The worst meal I’ve ever tasted. In fact, I don’t remember tasting a thing. They ignored me all evening. Shan’t go back.’

October 06, 2023 13:24

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19:36 Jan 30, 2024

I’m sure that I’ve been to this pub 😂. And served Le Tissiers in my time…


Rebecca Detti
19:34 Feb 03, 2024

Ha! I think we all know a Mr Le Tissier! 😂


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Rebecca Detti
19:34 Feb 03, 2024

Thank you for reading and your comment !


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Alexis Araneta
12:33 Jan 19, 2024

Hahahaha ! Enjoyed reading this. I was not expecting the twist. Loved it. Petite correction: It's actually spelt "tout de suite".


Rebecca Detti
14:11 Jan 23, 2024

thank you so much! I just tried to edit but realised I couldn't after it's been reviewed but thank you! I appreciate it!


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Karen Snelson
11:51 Nov 18, 2023

Loved the way the story took a twist to the dark side in a very witty way.


Rebecca Detti
21:50 Nov 20, 2023

Thanks so much Karen for taking the time to read and send such kind feedback!


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Vid Weeks
22:46 Oct 11, 2023

never live below the noose of a hostile server?


Rebecca Detti
11:44 Oct 13, 2023

That is a great expression Vid. I’ve never heard that before!


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Martin Ross
23:55 Oct 07, 2023

Hilarious tale! Duck gratin sounds delicious, and as a mystery fan, I’d love to have those signed Doyles. Nicely done!


Rebecca Detti
16:15 Oct 08, 2023

I’m so pleased you thought so! Your comment has brightened my day! I love it when I see Duck on the menu anywhere so thought I’d add in. I’ll contact the owner of The five Bells and see if he’ll send you the signed Doyle’s. 😀 thank you again, really appreciate you taking the time to read and feedback!


Martin Ross
17:32 Oct 08, 2023

A local Asian restaurant, now closed, had my favorite dish ever — a duck breast cut up over seafood and Chinese vegetables with a brown sauce. So delicious!!


Rebecca Detti
20:56 Oct 08, 2023

Sounds delicious Martin!


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Martin Ross
17:44 Oct 08, 2023

Interesting, BTW, the Five Bells — Dr. Joseph Bell was the inspiration for Sherlock’s Watson.


Rebecca Detti
20:57 Oct 08, 2023

Thank you for that very interesting nugget, I didn’t know that!


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Jane Andrews
05:35 Oct 15, 2023

Re Martin’s comment on Joseph Bell, Arthur Conan Doyle met Bell in 1877, and served as his clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Doyle later went on to write a series of popular stories featuring the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, who Doyle stated was loosely based on Bell and his observant ways - there was a one-off TV film, ‘Murder Rooms: The dark beginnings of Sherlock Holmes’. followed by a spin-off series back in the late 1990s which showed a fictionalised account of Bell solving cases with Doyle in the ‘Watson’ role.


Martin Ross
06:53 Oct 15, 2023

Thanks — I’ll check that out.


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Mary Bendickson
19:16 Oct 07, 2023

Difficult customer.


Rebecca Detti
19:21 Oct 07, 2023

Indeed Mary! Hope he learns a lesson! :-)


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