Fantasy Fiction posted September 3, 2019 Chapters: 1 -2- 3... 

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The pub is visited by police

A chapter in the book The Fae Nation

A visit from the Ministry

by snodlander

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Bob runs a pub in the east end of London for both humans and fae
As Peter approached the door, it swung open and he nearly head-butted the stomach of a man who looked as though sucking lemons would make his current expression sweeter.

"Watch it, short arse," snarled the newcomer.

"My apologies, officer, I'm sure." Peter stood aside and let the man through, followed by a young man, barely twenty, dressed in Ministry uniform. After they'd entered the bar, Peter paused in the doorway, turned and gave their backs an obscene gesture.

"Gentlemen," said Bob, as Peter made his exit. "What an unexpected pleasure. What can I do for you?"

"Andrews," said the sour man, "Meet Constable Nunes. Fresh out of training, he is, head full of learning. Thought I'd show him some of the real world. See some of the choice spots on the patch. Not a city boy, see?"

"Constable Nunes. I hope Sergeant Wilson isn't being too hard on you."

"That's 'Inspector Wilson'."

Bob expressed surprise that could almost have been genuine. "My, promotion? I'd celebrate, but you're on duty. Would you care to buy a lemonade, perhaps?"

Wilson treated the bar to a stare, turning slowly as the few drinkers avoided his eye.

"Andrew here fancies himself as a comedian, because he thinks he's better than us. Yet he runs a pub for fairies. You think that makes him better than us, Constable Nunes?"

"No sir," said the constable.

"No sir, indeed. In my book that makes him pretty low. Makes you wonder what else he does with fairies."

"They're not fairies," said Bob. He glanced at the couple in the corner. "Well, they're mostly not. Civilised people prefer the term, 'fae'."

"Is that right?" Said Wilson. "Well, you live and learn. I'll try and remember that next time I meet fairies." He stared at a woman sitting at a table for a moment. "You see, Constable Nunes, there's people back in the nick would call this a fairy bar. Not the Lion and the Lamb, though. No, this isn't a fairy bar. Not even a fae bar. Want to know why? 'Cause there's humans drink here too. Gay for fae, some of them. Molls for trolls. Rather have an animal stick their tongue down their throat than their own kind."

"That's unfair," said Bob. Instinctively he let his fingers stoke the pickaxe handle as he knew his mouth was going over-rule his brain again. "I'd gladly stick my tongue down your throat."

Wilson spun to face him. Bob raised his hands and stepped back. "Or you can stick it down mine. Whatever keeps the bloodline pure."

"And the lion will lie down with the lamb." The words seemed unpalatable in Wilson's mouth. "You know where that's from, Constable? The Bible, that's where. Bit of a blasphemous name for a fairy bar, but you know what? Makes sense. Want to know why? Because it's unnatural. Lions and lambs don't mix, and we all know the reason why. Still, we let it go on for now. Want to know why?"

"Because it's not breaking any laws?" suggested Bob.

"Because it keeps the little bastards quiet. They all hate each other almost as much as they hate us. You know the difference between a dwarf and a leprechaun?"

"No, sir."

"No. Nobody does. They're the same thing, but you try and tell them that. They'd be slitting each other's throats day and night, but here, they can talk things out. Mark up the manor. Bury the hatchet, and not in each other's skulls. And if they do kick up a ruckus, we know where to come and find the little short-arses, see? Very useful to the Ministry, this place." Wilson raised his voice so that it would carry around the bar. "Especially as how the landlord used to be a Ministry officer." He smiled sweetly at Bob. "Must be competitive, running a pub in the East End. Lots of fairy speak-easies about. You know, for those fairies that don't like drinking with the likes of us. Not formally registered with the magistrates, like yours, of course. Difficult to take their licences away if they don't have one. Easy if they do. Oh!" He raised his hand to his mouth in mock horror. "I do hope I've not ruined your reputation by letting slip you used to be one of us."

Wilson turned and made for the door, Constable Nunes on his tail. At the door he stopped and turned, taking in the faces of all the drinkers. He winked at Bob. "'Night." Then he was gone.

Bob stared at the door, wondering just how many of his regulars would be prepared to swear an alibi for him if he actually used the pickaxe handle on the obnoxious copper. He felt a light touch on his arm and turned. Dawn looked up at him.

"It's not like everyone didn't know," she said. "Stuff him. We all know his sort. Deal with it every day." She shivered and her wings spread, shimmering in the overhead lights.

"Not behind the bar. Watch the glasses." Bob leapt in front of the optics, spreading his arms protectively.

Dawn laughed and folded her wings again. "Sorry. Can't help it when I get angry." She reached up and patted him on his shoulder. "We know you're okay, Bob, really we do. Don't let that bastard get to you."

"It's true," growled the creature at the other end of the bar. "We don't care. Specially when you get a round in." He downed his pint and put the glass on the bar. Bob looked around. There were maybe half a dozen people on the public side of the bar. There must have been twice as many before Wilson arrived. He heaved a sigh.

"Fine, fine, one round, but no cocktails and none of the good stuff."

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