by Oonah V
Fast Flo was
barmaid at The Clew & Sail. She knew how to
keep a warm berth after a cold floe, mete out ale
and meat fit for an ailing mariner and in return
she asked only goods for sale. Her board was
legendary and her bed as much sought after as her
advice. It was said she was a witch
shed certainly examined many a deck.
window you could see the sea, the strait, the
quay and the sheer face of Scull Rock where young
men tested their courage and seamanship. It was
no minor feat to dive from that rock and whether
feet first or head first, risk broken ankles or
skull. Most of them proved their manhood with
Fast Flo too but there they risked only a broken
heart and as every sailor knows, broken heart is
easy mended at the next port. She kept some token
from each of them - called them her naval
decorations. In reality most of the booty was tax
free of unknown source and origin, and a
lot of it was gold. She watched them all moor up
and saw them weigh anchor and sail away and
return once more to the tavern and to her.
companion was a bird one of the sailors had
acquired on his travels.
Ate, eight, pieces of eight, it said
and bait, bate pieces of bait and
mi, me, minor, miner, mi minor,
Shed been so enchanted with this drivel
that she begged him to give her the bird instead
of the diamond necklace hed brought.
Itll be company for me when youre
shed said although he
knew very well company was never a lack.
Shed been teaching it to say, Bugger
off ye bugger.
Fast Flo never
favoured any one companion so it was a strange
thing when she was found dead in her bed. The
local sleuth, Colonel Kernel searched for any
clue as to why she was done to death. A client
perhaps, jealous of the time she spent with
But a jewel of some worth was found
in her navel, why leave that? Some ships
tacks had been spilled on the floor so it could
be a shipwright, and a miners lamp stood on
the table. No one had ever noticed it there
before. Someone from the tin mines then
off ye bugger. Bugger off ye bugger. Bugger off
ye bugger. Ate eight pieces of eight.
Will someone take that damned bird away, I
CANT THINK! said the colonel.
There was a
large, empty carpet bag was on the floor nearby
An accessory or an accessory?
Maybe shed been planning a
trip. She may have known she was in danger. The
door was locked with the key on the inside and a
trail of dark dust besmudged the carpet. What did
it all mean?
scratched his head as he concluded his
examination of all the evidence. His mien was one
of puzzlement. He took the monocle from his eye.
Well man, straight to it! Have ye found the
answer? asked Joule the landlord.
Aye, I think so. It is my belief she died
of Homophonia, he said.
And what be that, prey? said the man,
A mynah disease, said the sleuth.