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Funny Friendship Fiction

“We’re done, Eric!”

“Bit over-dramatic, mate.”

“This is the last time I do anythin’ wif you or follow your stupid ideas. There’s nothin’ down here.”

“How do you know? You can’t see anything.”

“And why is that, Eric?”

“Not my fault the batteries went dead… in both our flashlights. We’ve been down ‘ere longer than expected, so it’s only natural that the batteries would run out of juice.”

“Before we left the car, I asked you if you had new batteries in them.”

“No, you asked me if the batteries were good.”

“Same thing.”

“Semantics, Tom.”

“What?”

“Semantics. That’s where two things mean the same thing. Like the words, destination, and last stop. Technically, they mean the same thing, but semantics say they have two subtle shades of meaning.”

“Well, here’s one subtle shade of meaning from me to you. You’re a fuckin’ idiot! Idiot-idiot-idiot.”

“Whoa, Tom! You hear that echo all the way down the tunnel? Hello, hello-hello-hello.”

“What are you doing, Eric?”

“Making echoes.”

“Just pass me your backpack.”

“What backpack?”

“The one with the spare batteries in it - that was on the back seat of the car.”

“I didn’t bring it.”

“What do you mean, you didn’t bring it!”

“It was heavy, and I didn’t want to be luggin’ it around, coz I didn’t know how long we’d be down here.”

Semantics, Eric.”

“What is?”

“Idiot and stupid. Two subtle shades of you.”

“Well, there’s only one shade of me, right now. Black. It ain’t half dark down ‘ere, Tom. I can’t see ahead of me.”

“That’s your problem, mate. Always has been.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Look, let’s just turn around and feel our way back to the entrance, or at least until we see some light.”

“Right. Good idea, Tom. Which way is that?”

“Which way are you facing, Eric?”

“I’m facing you, Tom. See? Feel me breath on your face? Haahh…”

“Christ! What on Earth did you eat earlier?”

“A kebab from the van we parked next to.”

“Where was I?”

“You went off for a slash.”

“And you ordered and ate a kebab, while I was taking a leak?”

“Well, you said you’d brought a sandwich, and I thought, what if I get hungry down here? I’d better eat, first.”

“I made us each a sandwich, Eric. I said to you, put these sandwiches in your backpack.”

“I thought you meant they were both for you.”

“I’m not selfish, Eric. I share my food.”

“Well, that kebab had too many onions on it, anyway. So, I threw it in the bin.”

“Why didn’t you just pick them off?”

“It’s not a kebab then, is it. It’s just a meat sandwich and soggy lettuce in a bit of Turkish bread.”

“Your mind astounds me, sometimes, Eric.”

“Thank you.”

“That wasn’t meant as a compliment. Shush! Listen! What’s that gurgling sound?”

“That’s me stomach. It’s hungry.”

“Oh. Well, then. Better break out the sarnies, then.”

“Right-O, Tom… Oh…”

“How’s your loud belly, now, Eric?”

“The same.”

“Yeah, loud and empty!”

“Must be all of your other senses filling in for your current lack of sight. You know, my hearing seems to have increased in ability, as well.”

“And what do you hear, Eric?”

“Hunger pangs. Bloody hell, my hearing has improved!”

“Then, let me whisper my next bit to you, so your supercharged ears can hear… Waannkkerrr!”

“Yep, heard that loud and clear, Tom.”

“What’s that rattling noise?”

“You’re gonna be so proud of me. I came prepared with backup.”

“What backup?”

“A box of matches.”

“You brought matches?”

“Yep.”

“But you don’t smoke.”

“Like I said. I brought them as backup - in case the flashlight batteries ran out of juice.”

“Wait a sec. You’re tellin’ me..

“..That I was thinking ahead? Yes, Tom. You’re welcome. Those two weeks in the Boy Scouts taught me all about preparedness.”

“Why’d you only last two weeks in the Boy Scouts?”

“On account of a bad slip knot – when we went camping on a windy day and I was asked to tie the tents down.”

“What happened?”

“A big gust of wind flew them up and over some power lines. Then, it bucketed down with rain for an hour, before one of the scout masters returned with the scout van. Three boys came down with pneumonia and two others were treated for exposure to the elements. I learned a valuable lesson from that experience.”

“What lesson was that, Eric?”

“Always be prepared and never pay your scout dues before they kick you out.”

“Always be prepared, hey? But you didn’t bring back-up batteries down here, did’ya.”

“Nope.”

“Why?”

“Because Tom. The batteries wouldn’t fit in me pockets.”

“…Dullard and moron.”

“Who are they?”

“They both share the same first name with you, Eric.”

Eric Dullard and Eric Moron? Nah, never ‘eard of ‘em. What crew do they hang out with?”

“The halfwits.”

“They new on the manor?”

“Yeah, they were trying to poach you from me to help them with a stupid, harebrained scheme that they need expert assistance with.”

“What scheme?”

“Apparently, they heard that the sewers under the Tower of London hid some old valuable gold coins that Sir Walter Raleigh – during his stay there - managed to stash by dropping them down the poop chute into the dungeon.”

“How’d they find that out?”

“Who knows. Maybe someone got drunk and shot their mouth off at the pub last week about sumfin’ he read at the library regarding the booty from the Lost City of Gold in South America.”

“But that’s why we’re down here, Tom. Only I knew about that.”

“I told myself this was a stupid idea, but you convinced me that you’d read about it in an old newspaper in the library microfiche system.”

“Yeah, I did.”

“What was the name of the newspaper, again?”

“It was a short comic strip inside it called, Ripleys Believe it or not. I mean, it was written in black and white, so it must ‘ave been ancient.”

“How old?”

“I dunno. 1920’s, I think. Not long after Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower.”

“He was there in the sixteenth century, you pillock!”

“Was he? Well, blame the newspaper for false information, then.”

“Did it mention a date?”

“No. I just assumed it was current news of the time.”

“You just assumed that a comic strip was news of the time?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s typical of you, Eric, to assume without question. Do you know what assume means?”

“Yeah… sort of.”

“It means, to make an ass out of u and me. And right now, I’m feeling a right donkey.”

“Semantics?”

“No, just habitual Eric stupidity.”

“It looked convincing - right above another Ripleys comic strip that said America has no national anthem, and that they had been using a vulgar old English drinking song.”

“Do you believe everything you read, Eric?”

“Yes, I do. Why would the news make things up? I mean, The Enquirer has been around for years.”

“Wait, what!? The Enquirer?”

“You should read it, mate. Did you know that the prime minister’s wife had lesbian lovers at Chequers?”

“Fuck me.”

“I know, right? While Ted Heath was fiddlin’ wif rent boys, his missus was playing hide the strap-on!”

“You beggar belief, Eric.”

“You can’t make it up. It’s published news.”

“How many matches you got?”

“Let me shake the box again and see… Oh, dear.”

“What was that splashing noise, Eric?”

“I forgot that I opened the box to pull out a match but didn’t close it again.”

“Right… Are there any left in the box?”

“Let me shake it to find out.”

“Stop, Eric! Close the box first.”

“Alright! I’m not stupid.”

“How many are left?”

“Dunno, It’s dark. I can’t see!”

“How many does it feel like? Half? Quarter? A few?”

“About a quarter of what was in there.”

“Right, well you’re the torch bearer now, Eric. Light a match.”

“Why, did you fart?”

“We need to see where we’re going.”

“Oh.”

“If it goes out, light another, then another, until we find our way out of here. You, Eric, will lead the way.”

“Where will you be, Tom?”

“Oh, I’ll just wait right here until you come back with the batteries.”

“In the dark?”

“It’s okay, Eric. I’ll have me own thoughts for company. They’ll be more interesting.”

“Really?”

“No, you idiot! I’ll be right behind you. I’m not trusting you to find your way back here.”

“I could leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind me.”

“…Stop talking, Eric, and get going.”

“Right you are. Torch bearer lighting up first match. Success!”

“Well done.”

“How far do I let it burn until lighting another?”

“Until you shout, ouch!”

“How long does that take? OUCH!”

“Don’t hold them upside down, you pillock.”

“But then they’ll go out, if I hold ‘em upright.”

“Then, hold them sideways.”

“Right you are. Torch bearer lighting match number two.”

“Well, don’t just stand there.”

“It’s the flame, Tom. It’s hypnotising the way it dances in the dark.”

“Look into my eyes, Eric. Look into my eyes.”

“Hang on a tick. I need to light another match. There! Now, what am I looking for?”

“A fucking brain, you twat! Now, turn around and start walking!”

“Whose brain, Tom? OUCH! Don’t worry, mate. I’ll just light another…”

“…Eric?”

“Tom.”

“It’s still dark.”

“Yeah, I can tell, coz my hearing suddenly improved.”

“Light another match, Eric.”

“Erm, there ain’t no more matches, Tom.”

“I thought you said you had about a quarter of the box left.”

“No, I said I had about a quarter left… of what was in the box. Another case of semantics, I suppose… Tom? Tom?”

“I’m out of here.”

“How are you gonna to find your way?”

“I’ll feel my way along the wall.”

“What about me, Tom?”

“Why don’t you use your superfied hearing to follow the sound of my footsteps.”

“Right you are. Tom? Tom?”

“What!”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“That’s because I’m standing still.”

“Why?”

“I can hear a distant rumbling noise getting closer and my fingers have discovered something sticking out of the wall.”

“What is it?”

“Feels like a.. switch. I’m flicking it… LIGHT! It was a light switch!”

“Woohoo, Tom! We can find our way out, now.”

“Eric?”

“Yes, Tom.”

“Why are we standing in a railway tunnel?”

“Dunno, maybe we accidentally took a left, when we should ‘ave turned right at that last cross-tunnel. That rumbling noise seems to be getting louder and look, there’s a light heading directly for us!”

“Eric?”

“Yes. Tom.”

“Where did you get the map of these tunnels?”

“I told you. At the library.”

“Which library?”

“The transport museum library. It showed all the old tunnels under the Tower of London.”

“Including railway tunnels?”

“Yes, Tom.”

“So, we’re not standing in a sewage tunnel, are we, Eric. We’re standing in a railway tunnel.”

“Semantics, Tom. A tunnel is a tunnel.”

“Not when there’s electrified metal rails on the ground and a fucking tube train heading directly for us!”

“Fuck! Right! What do we do, Tom?”

“I’m heading back to the sewer tunnel. You stay here.”

“Right you are. Oy! What for?”

“See if you can stop that train and ask the driver if he’s ever met an idiot.”

“Right you are, Tom. Wait! That don’t make sense. What kind of idiot would be down here standing on a railway line with a train approaching? Tom…? Tom…? TOM…?

January 09, 2024 14:53

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36 comments

Kevin Marlow
01:23 Jan 19, 2024

Great dialogue! A bit of a late-night BBC serial feel, I loved it.

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Chris Campbell
01:53 Jan 19, 2024

Thanks, Kevin. Growing up with the BBC has indubitably tainted me, but still a great compliment. 🤣

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Marty B
04:54 Jan 17, 2024

There is something about the banter between a pair of boneheads, Bill & Tedd, Beavis & Butthead, and now add Tom & Eric to the Canon!

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Chris Campbell
05:20 Jan 17, 2024

Thanks, Marty. Great feedback! After six successful episodes, they'll be back.

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Flavia Gazdovici
15:42 Jan 15, 2024

Brilliant banter, loved it. The semantics jokes are just pure gold!

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Chris Campbell
23:43 Jan 15, 2024

Thanks, Flavia. I'm glad it worked for you.

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Elli Price
07:23 Jan 15, 2024

I enjoyed that. Great characters

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Chris Campbell
08:27 Jan 15, 2024

Thanks, Elli. They are two of my favourite characters to write about.

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Helen A Smith
16:19 Jan 14, 2024

Great characters and lines. Very funny and their friendship is strong enough to take the insults.

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Chris Campbell
23:53 Jan 14, 2024

Thanks, Helen. Yes, they're friendship is a bit co-dependent. Made for each other, I think.

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Ferris Shaw
21:45 Jan 16, 2024

I take it that they're no longer friends. Unless Tom has a good professional psychic to communicate with ghosts for him.

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Chris Campbell
00:45 Jan 17, 2024

They've managed to escape previous precarious situations, so I'm sure they'll be back to mess things up again.

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Alexis Araneta
14:46 Jan 14, 2024

HAHAHAHAHA ! Another one that made me laugh.

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Chris Campbell
23:55 Jan 14, 2024

Thanks, Stella.

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Sara Thomas
04:03 Jan 14, 2024

Very funny! Love this Duo.

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Chris Campbell
04:43 Jan 14, 2024

Thanks, Sara. This is the 6th installment of these two. It all began with "May Day." https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/t9xlck/

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Kailani B.
17:56 Jan 12, 2024

“It means, to make an ass out of u and me." -- Great line and hilarious story!

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Chris Campbell
02:35 Jan 13, 2024

Thanks, Kailani. So glad you liked it.

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Claire Trbovic
16:22 Jan 12, 2024

Ace ending, and some perfect punch lines, doesn't get much better than 'Idiot and stupid. Two subtle shades of you'. :)

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Chris Campbell
02:35 Jan 13, 2024

Thanks, Claire. So glad the comedy comes through.

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Michał Przywara
21:35 Jan 10, 2024

Ha, that ending is great :) Well, the whole story is. I'm wondering why they keep trying capers, as it looks like in their case, crime actually has never paid - but then again, we don't want them to change :) Great dialogue, as usual, and it's fun how every solution is just a shovel to dig deeper with - like shaking that open match box :)

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Chris Campbell
01:13 Jan 11, 2024

Thanks, Michal. I don't think these two deserve each other. I think they need each other to alleviate the boredom. 🤣 I sincerely hope that I can continue to keep them hilarious in future stories. I like your shovel comment. It highlights Tom and Eric's knee-jerk reaction to everything. If only they could stop to analyse their predicaments, they might find better solutions. However, they would probably need two brains between them for that.

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Jody S
17:10 Jan 10, 2024

Normally I don't like stories of all dialogue, but this was fun to read!! Good to see there will be more stories about them! Love that it is all about semantics!! So much fun! Plus a great take on the prompt!!

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Chris Campbell
01:06 Jan 11, 2024

Thanks, Jody. I write a lot of all-dialogue stories. I don't always set out to do so, but sometimes the writing dictates the method.

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Anna W
19:33 Jan 09, 2024

haha! so funny!! I loved this line: “Idiot and stupid. Two subtle shades of you.” Joking in the way only two people can when they've been through thick and thin together! great story, thanks for sharing Chris!

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Chris Campbell
22:27 Jan 09, 2024

Thanks, Anna. These two continue to stumble through life, not learning from their escapades. Hopefully, they will continue to provide laughs along the way.

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19:11 Jan 09, 2024

Hahaha hilarious again Chris! When's the collected edition coming out ! :)

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Chris Campbell
22:29 Jan 09, 2024

Thanks, Derrick. They will certainly be back. Should I reach ten stories about them, I might put them into a collection of mishaps.

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Trudy Jas
18:28 Jan 09, 2024

Cheers. Welcome back. I missed these guys.

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Chris Campbell
22:29 Jan 09, 2024

Thanks, Trudy. They will return.

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Mary Bendickson
18:25 Jan 09, 2024

One more doomed trip! When will they ever learn? Thanks for liking my Match-u And my Magic

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Chris Campbell
22:30 Jan 09, 2024

Thanks, Mary. I don't think they will ever learn. 😂

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Michelle Oliver
15:49 Jan 09, 2024

What kind of idiot indeed! Gosh I just love these two! You’d think Tom would have had a guts-full, by now. Love the dialogue, love the chaos these two get into. Thanks for a fun read.

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Chris Campbell
22:31 Jan 09, 2024

Thanks, Michelle. I suspect that Tom and Eric wouldn't survive without their co-dependency. 😂

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Unknown User
20:27 Jan 18, 2024

<removed by user>

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Chris Campbell
23:00 Jan 18, 2024

Thanks, Thomas. Here's to all that speak their minds. ✊

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