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  • Tom McNulty

King of the Mountains!


W900 Excerpt 4:

Lance Percival’s ‘Bike U Like’ in Bangor, was probably the finest Cycle emporium in the whole of North Wales. So, it was first port of call after Gwendolyn’s decision to become a living sculpture. Hovis decided to treat himself to a real killer machine. He chose this eighteen-gear, Black and Red ‘Graffiti’ model, which cost him the princely sum of £999.00, nearly 20 years ago.

“Keep the change," he facetiously remarked to the assistant, whose work tag claimed was called Dave, as he ostentatiously and very deliberately counted out the one hundred £10 notes and slapped them down on the counter, in front of the amazed shop worker.

Dave, suitably irked, responded in kind, asking Hovis if he wanted the bicycle ‘gift wrapping and delivering, or was he in fact, going to ride the machine home?’

“If so, may I say, that Sir will be needing a helmet. However, I think that we'll be able to throw in a cheap one for free," he offered, with a sickly and sycophantic smile on his face.

"Actually," said Hovis, "I'd like the thing delivering to this address,” and he furnished Dave with his card giving the location of No.37. "You don't need to gift wrap it, it'll be just fine as it is," he offhandedly added as he headed for the door.

"If you're from the mountains," said Dave looking at Hovis' address on the card. "Won't you be wanting a better-quality helmet as well? Maybe a new pair of gloves too? I notice Sir’s are rather worn." Hovis stopped abruptly and turning around, started to make his way back towards Dave at the sales counter.

"You might like to try on a pair of these as well," Dave offered, holding up a pair of this years, new wrap around cycle sunglasses. "I know that it sometimes gets a little 'glarey' up there and you wouldn't want to go over the edge, would you?" He asked, while trying to tempt another sale out of his victim.

"Okay," Hovis mumbled barely audibly. "How much for the better hat, gloves and the shades?"

Dave twiddled his pen in between his fingers and made it appear that he was totting figure's up, "£123 exactly," he replied with a half-smile. "Plus, I'll throw in a couple of reflectors, for free," he added as a further tempter.

There it was again, that magic and very personal number. Was it fate, or simply pure chance? It was obvious that the figure was just randomly made up, so just how and for what reason did Dave choose 1, 2 and 3?

"You're a silver tongued divil, Dave," Hovis commented with a wry grin, while counting out the required sum. "Have them all delivered, to my address please. A.S.A.P,” he added sternly and strode out of the shop, feeling quite pleased with himself.

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