FLIPSIDE, Book 2
Flipside is a world beneath ours where dreams go to die. Imagine a world created solely for the repository of our imaginations, where the unwritten stories live alongside those never completed and every fickle being that has ever been conjured from the deep recesses of our mind walks the yellow brick roads that pave the way to great cities.
Flipside is a place where you can get anything, or if you are not careful, where anything can get you. You can find ogres, dragons, superheroes, demons, knights and dead pop stars drinking alongside each other in any of the many bars, pubs and nightclubs that offer every vice imaginable.
You can only access Flipside if you wish for it hard enough, or are desperate enough, or have a death wish. Gods walk through the streets, passing undead cheerleaders or old cowboy gunslingers and no one bats an eyelid. Tourism is a big trade, mainly because Flipside gets a cut of the insurance money, which is ridiculously high. In a world where Satan, Dr Doom, Hannibal Lecter and Jason Vorhees can establish their own businesses, no one is ever really safe.
So… welcome to Flipside; a place where dreams can come true, or, more likely, where nightmares will kill you. For god’s sake; be careful.
Chapter 1, A mysterious murder
For those of you who haven’t already met me, my name is Arthur. Yes like the King and yes, the same person. . I am protected by Merlin the magician’s most powerful spells and carry at my side Excalibur, the gun reshaped from my old sword. It shoots bullets that kill instantly and the name Arthur Pendragon has become synonymous with death in Flipside. Oh, I am also an alcoholic, and worse, a cop.
As with most stories, this one starts with a murder. Blood seeping through floorboards and somebody’s brain splattered against a dirty wall… you get the picture. Strangely enough in this story however, it isn’t who was killed that is important but rather, where they were killed.
The Atlantis Bar is an old bar. Once a tavern and before that a drinking house, it has housed many clientele throughout its years. Nothing strange about that you’ll say, there are thousands of bars in Flipside. The Atlantis does have its own quirk however and that is that it is an Unpowered Zone. Very rare those, in Flipside and I could probably count them on one hand. No dangerous magic, powers, telekinesis and even technology will work in Atlantis, and as such it’s a hard place to kill someone in.
I owe the owner of the Atlantis a couple of favours, which I won’t go into at the moment, and when he asked me to investigate the killing I couldn’t say anything but yes. In recent years the bar has been remade into something dazzling and new. Hollywood had reached out its glamorous hand and sprinkled some of its own magic into Flipside, and it had all landed in the Atlantis.
Once a popular dig for outlandish barbarians and bloodthirsty rogues, it had now become a haven for an even more dangerous and violent type of clientele; Actors. Not actors, but Actors with a capital A. If you hadn’t been at least nominated for an Oscar and in the limelight of the rich and famous, then don’t even bother showing up to the Atlantis, you’d only get chucked out and probably have your face trodden on.
Any Actor who had once been someone or who was currently on the rise knew about Flipside and the Atlantis bar, and if you didn’t then you probably didn’t matter anyway. They turned up in their posh limos, usually with a couple of attractive members of the opposite (or in some cases same) sex under each arm and dazzled each other with tales of their outlandish behaviour and exploits.
Truly there was no more arrogant or ostentatious breed than an Actor, and I had met the Elves of the North and some golden dragons in my time.
Well, there was some good news in all this; one of them had managed to get his pretty brain splattered all over the wall.
It was cold evening when I walked through the doors of the Atlantis, and instantly the heat hit me like a wall of flames. It was boiling in the bar, obviously something to do with the décor which was currently Hellish red. Fake fires blazed in man-made pits and the waiters and waitresses were dressed in skimpy devil numbers.
I’d had to leave Excalibur in the car, as it would never have agreed to coming into an Unpowered Zone. The very fact that my own magical defences, put in place by one of the most powerful sorcerers in the history of mankind, were suddenly gone made my skin shiver. I felt vulnerable and naked.
I had jut managed to walk through the door when the manager of the Atlantis came to greet me. Gorgeous Sam was a midget ogre, which made him just slightly taller than my near six feet. Cursed with smaller than average height, and blessed with above average intelligence, Gorgeous Sam was everything his name was not. He was ugly, even for an ogre with long sharp teeth that jutted from his lower jaw to near his eyes and a piggish nose resembling that of a bat’s.
Not someone you’d want to meet in a dark alley, or for that matter in any brightly lit area.
“Pendragon! So glad you could make it at such quick notice. Do you like what I’ve done with the place? Look at those waiters and waitresses, a delight wouldn’t you say? Come this was, you’re making the place look untidy and upsetting the clientele. Stop glaring at me like that…”
I shot him a withering look and followed him as he walked blissfully on, chattering all the while.
And then it happened……
Without any warning whatsoever, a fight broke out in the middle of the Atlantis. As a cop I have an eye for these things and you can usually catch the brewing of a bar fight. Spilled drink, glares, whispers, something like that, but in this case there had been nothing.
One moment the two Actors had been chatting to separate people at opposite ends of the bar, the next moment they had run towards the centre stage and started pounding on each other.
There was definite intent to kill, and I quickly made my way over to break up the fight.
Suddenly a force slammed into me, powerful and unyielding and I was stopped in my tracks. I looked around and noticed that everyone was the same. No one could move. It wasn’t magic, wasn’t telekinesis or anything I had ever encountered before. But the fact was still there: something unnatural had come to an Unpowered Zone, which was supposed to be impossible.
We were all helpless to do anything but watch as the two actors tore at each other, only hate and death in their eyes.
I had a feeling this was going to be another one of those cases, so I took my hipflask out of my pocket, took a deep swig and resigned myself to watch a man beat another man to death.
Whatever the outcome, I promised myself that someone was going to pay for this.
And so ends Chapter 1 of Book 2. Hope you all enjoyed and this is going to be a murder mystery with a hopefully surprise ending. Don’t try to, you’ll never guess.
In case you didn’t guess by the pictures, it is Samuel L Jackson V Bruce Willis. Fist fight, no weapons, and only one leaves alive. Oh and if you get a moment, feel free to post a comment onto the Mace Windu V John McClane fight on CBUB (and rate me an A of course) :rolleyes: