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  #1   Add to Londonboy's Reputation   Report Post  
Old April 8th, 2007, 04:39 PM
Thicker is Best
 
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An American Muscleman in London - Part 4

The First Full Moon – Continued

I woke up Sunday with a slight hangover. Dominic told me that the alcohol count is higher in Stella. No wonder I liked it. No wonder it had its nickname.

I didn’t have much trouble sleeping during the night – probably because of the beer. I finally got out of bed around 11:30am. When I glanced at the clock I immediately remembered the antique shop I was supposed to visit. I contemplated not going – I didn’t want to spend my first full day in London inside. But I didn’t want to disappoint Martin – after all, I was going to see him tomorrow and I’m sure he would ask. I could also use some other items around the flat. I was still so honored by Martin’s offer. I would definitely get him a thank you gift.

I showered and went to get something to eat. I decided to head towards Covent Garden – where the shop was located. I had my pocket map and the directions Martin had given me. I finally stopped at a patisserie called Boswells. It was right off Covent Garden’s Piazza and Central Market. Once seated, I spread the map out to plan my path to the shop. I realized that I had, indeed, passed Maiden Lane walking to get food. Martin was right – it was easy to miss. After finishing my lunch (or was it breakfast?), I followed my plan and found myself standing in front of “Arthur’s Antiques” on Maiden Lane. I opened the door and stepped in. It was a good thing that I do not have allergies to dust or mold. This shop, which was not that big, was covered from floor to ceiling with stuff and the stuff was pretty old. The room even smelled old. As the door shut I had to let my eyes adjust because there wasn’t a lot of light in the place. It was also very quiet – Maiden Lane was not that busy. I heard only the ticking of a large grandfather clock in the middle of the wall to the left. There were two long counters on either side of the room and large objects were strategically placed to make three aisles running up and down the middle of the room. I noticed a large table right in the middle of everything. In the back right corner of the room was a doorway that had strings of beads hanging in the frame.

A voice yelled from the back, “It is about time you arrived.”

“Pardon me,” I yelled.

An older gentleman came through the beads just as the clock struck two o’clock. The old man repeated, “I said – it is about time you arrived.”

“Do you know who I am,” I asked.

“Sure, sure. You are Anthony from the states. Martin sent you. Who else do you think is going to drop by today? No one – that’s who.” By this time the man had walked the length of the counter on the right and was standing across the glass top from me. He seemed a mess. The sweater he was wearing was buttoned wrong, his hair went in every direction, and his glasses were covered in dust. He reminded me of an absent-minded professor.

“So I’ve pulled out a few items for you,” he said as he took his glasses off to clean them with the sleeve of his sweater. He looked up at me as he spoke and when I saw his eyes I was instantly reminded of someone – but I couldn’t remember who. My face must have showed I was puzzled. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nothing. Nothing. I’m sorry,” I said trying to hide my embarrassment, “It’s just that I know someone who has dark blue eyes like you and I can’t remember who it is.” Suddenly the clock started chiming again. I jumped at the sound and turned to look at it.

“That blasted clock,” the old man said loudly, “It does that all the time. Just goes off when it wants to.” I turned back to the man and he had returned to cleaning his glasses. I looked into his eyes again to see if I could remember who they reminded me of – but his eyes were a bright green.”

“Hey, weren’t your eyes blue a second ago?” I asked.

“What? No, Anthony. My eyes have been green since the day I was brought into this world. Martin told me that you might be a little jet-lagged. He said to go easy on you. Why don’t we take a look at the stuff I pulled out for you? It is right over here,” he said as he led me to the table in the middle of the room.

Of course the old man was right. I was still a little foggy from the time change. It seemed that my jet lag was getting worse, though. I glanced at the table in front of me and immediately saw something that interested me. There was a wooden stand in the middle of the table and resting on it was what looked like a knight’s glove for battle. I could tell it was pretty old but it seemed to shine brighter than anything else being displayed. I bent down to look at it.

“Oh, you are interested in Lancelot’s armor glove are you?” he asked.

I smiled and said, “It is nice – and different. It would be fun to think it really did belong to Lancelot. But then Lancelot would have had to belong to the real world to wear it, wouldn’t he?” I said chuckling. There was silence as I continued to look at the glove. The silence finally got to me and I turned to the man. He was staring right at me. I suddenly felt like I was in trouble.

“Anthony, son. Lancelot was real. He was a great knight and a good friend of King Arthur. His looks, his strength, and his courage were known the world over.” The shopkeeper sounded like a Harry Potter fan who believes the young wizard lives down the street.

I turned back to the table as I said mockingly, “Yeah, he was a friend of Arthur’s until he stole his girl.” The room suddenly became darker – probably clouds blowing across the sun. The room also seemed colder than before.

“Anthony, there are many things about Camelot and the legends surrounding it that no one knows. I will tell you something that very few have heard. Lancelot was not banned from Camelot because of his love for Guenevere. It was because of his love for Arthur.” The clock chimed once loudly at that moment and I jumped again. The old man seemed not to notice and continued, “And Arthur returned Lancelot affections. But this information had to be kept from most people in the kingdom. It was a different time then – much worse than the even when England was in an uproar over the ‘love that dare not speak its name.’ All the Knights of the Round Table shared in a fraternity far greater than anything we know today. They loved each other with an intensity that seemed almost beyond logic. They would have given their lives for each other – and sometimes did. But Arthur and Lancelot had a love that was the strongest – and the purest. The kingdom needed an heir, though. And there were evil forces across the lands that were jealous of the bond between Lancelot and Arthur. In order to save the baby of Arthur and Guenevere from this evil, a fake story was created about the queen and Lancelot. They were banned so Lancelot could protect her and the child. Arthur knew there was no greater knight for the job. Later, Guenevere and Lancelot had a son of their own. Both boys grew and carried on the line of Lancelot and Arthur. That lineage still exists today. And that, Anthony, is the true story of Camelot. The old man finished and the room brightened again. I suddenly felt warmer, as well.

What a bizarre man, I thought. I did, however, enjoy the thought of Lancelot and Arthur having wild sex. The old man’s intensity made me want to get out of the store as quickly as possible. I blurted out, “I’ll take the glove, okay? Nothing else.”

The man’s mood all of the sudden became very cheery. “Of course, of course. A fine choice. It would have been what I picked for you. But first you must try it on for size,” he said lifting it off the stand.

“What?” I asked incredulously. “No, that’s okay. I won’t be wearing it. I’m just going to put it on my mantle.” My mind was spinning. Was this guy insane? I was waving my hands in front of me trying to get him to stop when he slipped the glove on my right hand in what was a flash. It was obviously too big for me, but as soon as it was on it seemed to shrink and tightened around my hand and lower arm. Immediately the tips of my fingers felt as if a thousand needles were stabbing them. I screamed out in pain. My entire body flushed intensely hot for a couple of seconds and then everything stopped.

For a moment I forgot everything. I was confused and felt out of place. Did I dream all that just happened? I looked down and the glove was on my hand but it was way too big.

“Well, that is not a good fit,” the old man said laughing. “I think I would keep it on your mantle if I were you.” He had taken the glove off my hand and placed both it and the stand in a wooden box. He placed the box in a bag and put it in my hand. I was still in too much shock to say anything. I just turned and walked to the door. Before I stepped out onto the street I remembered about paying for the glove.

I turned to speak to the man but he was gone. I assumed he had gone to the back room. “Hey, what about the cost? How much is this?” I said - still in a daze.

His voice bellowed back, “Martin has paid for it already. Cheers, Anthony. Enjoy London.” I turned to leave but stopped when he yelled, “Oh – one more thing…”

Even in my semi-conscious state I knew what he was going to say before he said it. I could have said it with him.

“You are going to be fine. You have people looking out for you.”

I pushed open the door and walked into the bright sunlight. I knew the area well enough to know that turning left would take me in the direction of my flat. I just started walking. When I hit Trafalgar Square I was able to find my building. I opened the door to my place, put the bag on the dining room table, walked to my bedroom, fell face down on the bed, and was out cold for the night.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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This story has really intrigued me. I can't wait to see where it goes!
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Old April 9th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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More please?
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Old April 9th, 2007, 05:43 AM
A wanabe be muscled chav
 
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Please DO!!! continue
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Old April 9th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Thicker is Best
 
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Bobman, TGilders, and Blake,
I really appreciate your comments. It helps to know that I am on the right track with this story. Blake, your enthusiastic response definitely brought a smile to my face and made me work harder (especially since it comes from someone in England). Please keep responding - I hope to keep entertaining!
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Old April 9th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Heheh, no problem. Great set up so far, but when are we going to get to the good stuff?
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Old April 9th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Thicker is Best
 
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Patience my good man, patience. Good things come to those who wait. (Sorry, I just had to say it)
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Old April 9th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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My guess is it was Col. Mustard in the Billard Room with the revolver.....oh wait, I mean...cool story so far!
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