“Can’t use this,” said Reginald as he gently tapped a mesh glove and watched blue static play across the surface. “Chrono-gloves are very tricky. I once smacked a man while wearing it and he vanished. Turns out that I’d hit him in such a way that his father had been stillborn. I felt kinda bad for a few hours.”




            By this point, Sir Reginald’s trip across the bridge had become a tedious, delirious journey. Five weeks since he first found the Misty Misty Water Bridge, one of the few remaining entrances to a place he had read about for years. The bridge had never been a priority, just one of those things you toss around in your head as something you’d maybe like to do someday if you get the time and the weather is right. Well, it was someday, he had the time, and the weather was just right.

The directions had been in a book he obtained absolutely by accident. The online purchase of a near-mint, first edition of Convent Cruelties brought them to him in the form of extra pages glued into the middle. He spent days of highly-skeptical research confirming their authenticity.

Christ, Reginald thought as he saw large, bejeweled shadows in the a few yards ahead of him, it’s more fucking nomes.

OH SHIT, WHAT THE FUCK IS A "NOME" )
END


Love,

b

     "All of the phones in Sir Reginald's home have dials, and all of them work. On cold nights, he can still call his parents."
The delightfully Jewish[profile] pensylvania_joeis including, with permission, Sir Reginald in a piece he's writing. I hearts me some Joe and I hearts me some Joe Writing. It works out well.

I give his bit to you now:

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{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}




{C}{C}{C}{C}

Thursday, 8:27am. The Wise Owl Cafe, Walter Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

I like this library. It’s really just a science and law library. Not much in the way of real books. But it does go down into several layers of stacks. And there is a door, marked “Staff Only” that leads to the occult section. Between that and the Rare Books Room, there’s some actual value to this place book wise. But more importantly, it has a cafe. A place for coffee. And for cookies.

Right now, I have both. I’m not eating or drinking though. I’m a little bit in shock.

You see, I sat down to enjoy my cookie and drink my coffee. I was all set to do that. Then this guy sat down across from me. He’s got a little goatee that curls up at the bottom, is wearing glasses that are just a pair of sqaure like lenses connected by wire somehow sitting on his nose, and is wearing a smoking jacket, pajama pants, and slippers. His hands are in fingerless gloves that look both like they are hand knit and like they’ve seen better days.

And now, for the REST of the story )
And no, that's not Reginald's Real Name. :)

Smooches, kids.

b

"Well," said Sir Reginald as he grunted another steaming turd onto the Prince of Darkness's smoking head, "the devil will have his doo."
Since writing has taken a back back burner with Sara sick--no change, by the way, and no updates--I thought I'd repost this Sir Reginald story that my brother Jason wrote almost two years ago.

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you his story:

"Sir Reginald and the Church Basement"

by Jason P. Stone

---------

Contrary to his custom, Sir Reginald was abroad before breakfast. A construction foreman, a McFeeney, or McSurely, or McSomeoneorother had asked him to come to St. Philomena's at 6 a.m., but under no circumstances was he to tell the priest. The mystery of it all attracted him, though he had a hard time imagining that any sort of worthwhile mystery could be connected with union labor.
St. Philomena's was a heavy and imposing, if somewhat ordinary, Romanesque revival pile of white limestone and a gray slate roof. Behind it, a new parish office building was being constructed up against the church. As he approached the gate in the chain-link fence, the foreman offered him a hard hat. Sir Reginald declined.

As they walked to the excavation, the foreman described how the day before they were opening a doorway into the church basement. Sir Reginald wondered if he could avoid having to remember the man's name. Evidently, it had been an exterior basement door that had been bricked up and backfilled, and the architect wanted it re-opened to connect the two basements. They came to the edge of the excavation, and the foreman pointed to the doorway. It was a doorway. It was slightly arched at the top, and a pile of bricks lay just inside the basement.

"I see," Sir Reginald said. Remarkable, he thought, that the stained glass windows in the apse should extend as far down as they did.

The foreman led him through a side door into the sacristy and down the basement steps. It was an interesting basement, but a basement nonetheless. It was only partially excavated, with a dirt floor and a long passageway cut into the dirt, which was about shoulder-high. Other passageways branched off from the main one. Three turns later, Sir Reginald was standing before the same doorway and the same pile of bricks.

Sir Reginald looked through the doorway. Perhaps this would be worth missing breakfast after all. Instead of an excavation, he saw a lake tossed by the wind and forms that looked strangely human lowering small soft objects into the water or fetching them up again. He took a brick and tossed it through the doorway. It landed, and one of the forms turned to look, then went back about its business.

Sir Reginald cocked his head and put his fist to his mouth and thought. He was disturbed by the voice of the foreman."I think it's P—Purgatory."
"Purgatory?" And after a moment, "Ah, yes. Gerontius and all that." After another pause, "Has anyone gone in there?"

"N—no. We all got wives and kids, Mr. . . ."

"Sir Reginald."

"Sorry, Sir Reginald. What should we do, Sir Reginald?"

"We? Hadn't you better tell Father?"

"No!" The foreman was horrified. "If I told him, he'd have to tell the bishop. Then, the bishop would come with a troop of monsignori at his heels. Loose lips sink ships, you know. One loose lip, and a whole parade of pilgrims descends on my construction site looking for their dear departed."

Sir Reginald thought about clapping with one hand, and the man continued: "We'd never make our deadline, and that'd cost us money."

As Sir Reginald began to rearrange his chi in hopes of clapping with one hand, the foreman stepped around in front of him. "Can't you exorcise it or something?"

"Exorcise Purgatory, my good man? One can hardly exorcise a place with no demons in it."

The foreman glanced nervously at his watch. At 7 a.m., his crew would arrive, and the first Mass of the day would be said. He had to get Sir Reginald out of the basement before the priest arrived in the sacristy.

"We've got to do something."

"What you've got to do is brick it back up. From the outside."

"Can't you make it go away?"

"Look, man, it was fine for a hundred years inside a brick wall, and it will be fine for another hundred once you put the wall back up. I can't believe you brought me here to tell you that!"

The foreman was dumfounded. As soon as he recovered his panic, he asked, "What are we…I…going to tell the architect when he says open it back up again?"

Sir Reginald was annoyed.

"Oh, make something up."

Another glance at the watch. Time was running out, and the foreman was too nervous to think. Sir Reginald, meanwhile, was trying to clap with one hand again.

"I don't know what to tell him."

"Tell him anything,” said Sir Reginald, losing his patience. “Tell him the portal…er, the doorway…was unstable, and you had to fill it back in."

Fr. Schneidemann was a good, punctual German, and he had already arrived in the sacristy. Noticing the open door to the basement, he followed the sound of voices to the portal. He might have admired the accuracy of Cardinal Newman's description of Purgatory, or he might at least have spoken to the men. Instead, he simply exclaimed, "Mother, is that you?" and rushed over the bricks and through the portal before either man could stop him.

"Poor man. Portals like that are always one-way."

The foreman was beside himself. "There's a Mass in ten minutes! The Bishop is coming next week! We've got to get him out of there!"

"That would take a plenary indulgence. And I haven't got one."

The foreman made a noise as if to speak, but Sir Reginald held his finger to his lips and slowly said, "Brick it back up." And he turned to leave.

On his way to breakfast, Sir Reginald made one last effort and gave up. Who ever heard of an Englishman clapping with one hand, anyway?

------------------------------------------------------


And there you have it. Now I totally want to convince as many family members as I can to write Sir Reginald stories.

benjamin

PS: Jason has included the following as a bit of a lesson about the imagery and information in the story, 'cause he's like that:

If you're curious... )

    After the fight, Sir Reginald painfully checked his balls.
    One...two...five...seven. He tucked the sack away again.
    "Only four more to go..."

---------

ALSO:

Hourly Comic Day is today. It was started by [profile] stereotypist a few years ago. A forum about it--where you can track people--is right over here.

Newcomers include [profile] justexquisite  , so go check her out.

If you are participating, please let people know in the comments.

If you are not participating, you'd better find people who are and read their comics.

I will make occasional updates to this entry, listing people who are participating as more information becomes available.
           
PEOPLE THAT I CURRENTLY KNOW ARE PARTICIPATING:

[profile] stereotypist , [info]jimmahgee , [info]lucylou  , [profile] blueshat  , [profile] beatonna  , [profile] passive_mission  , [profile] joshpm  , [profile] justexquisite  , [info]blindkingdom , [profile] tedprior  , [profile] sirive[profile] destro_simpson , [profile] boxbrown , [personal profile] mrnihil , [profile] kapnkaty , [profile] himynameisjamie , [profile] chamonkee , [profile] robotaday ,  ,
For the benefit of all of my recent arrivals; this story is about Sir Reginald. I'll have a new drawing that somebody did of him up later today. I'm also working on a new full-length story. I'm writing it while listening to the Madd DJ Stylings of [livejournal.com profile] nhyrvana, which you can download or stream FROM RIGHT HERE. And yes, the story has Sharon. Now...

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            “The Butterfly Effect theory is, of course, a load of poppycock,” said Sir Reginald to his captive audience.

“Time doesn’t work like that at all. No, it’s not the infallible flowing river that some characterize it as, fixing errors willy-nilly, but it’s also not some delicate fucking flower that will explode if you go back and shoot Hitler.”

            “For example, if I go back in time and shoot Idi Amin in the head in front of tens of thousands of people, time may decide that he was sick that day and that the man I shot was a stand-in. It will retroactively cause this to happen with nobody noticing the change. I could, however, go back to last week and choose the winning lottery numbers without adverse effects. You see, time is primarily concerned with what has already happened, not what is currently or will soon happen. There’s very little chance of the history of the universe that will change if I jump back a few days and buy a ticket.”

             “Time is both a doting wife and an evil fucking woman that will try to bite off your cock in a back alley if you forgot that today was your 17 day anniversary and then try to steal your wallet before…you have to…” Sir Reginald paused and cleared his throat.

            “Now, there is a distinct personal risk to…where are you going? I’m not…oh.  Feeding time,” he sighed as he watched the walruses waddle their flabby, slime-covered bodies over to the zoo keeper.

            “I suppose it was too much to ask for you to appreciate the gravity of is that fresh herring?” he asked and sniffed the air. Sir Reginald gave a concerted effort to shrug his shoulders—which failed miserably—and waddled his own flabby walrus body to the wading pool for something to eat.

###

For those of you who are relatively new to this journal, this is the latest story about Sir Reginald, Occult Bastard. Also, LJ's formatting sucks.

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“If you touch that chalice, so help me, you’ll be in a world of hurt.”

Rich threw back his head and let out a horrible, phlegmy laugh that reverberated throughout the house. He looked down at Sir Reginald—indeed, very down, since he was just over nine feet tall. He wrapped his hand around Reginald’s head and, with a grip strong enough to tear a bear in half, lifted the warlock into the air.
           
            “If you so much as think about magicking me, Reginald, I’ll punch your breastbone straight out your back. Do we have an understanding?”
           
            “I—”
            
            “Rhetorical question, you son of a bitch.”
           
            “Got it.”


            “You still talking?”
           
            Reginald shook his head.
          
            “You still moving?”
           
            Reginald stayed perfectly still.
           
            “Now I’m gonna take your little cup and get the hell out of here.”
           
            Rich tossed Reginald onto a nearby davenport then reached for the chalice…and stopped.
           
            “Aw, see, now I get it. It’s gonna be some kind of Raiders of the Lost Ark thing, isn’t it? I touch the cup and then angry Nazi ghosts come out and melt my face, right?”
           
            “It was actually the wrath of—”
          
            “I know what it was, Reginald. Now how do I pick up the chalice? Or rather, how do I pick it up SAFELY?”
              
            Reginald’s eyes very briefly flickered over to a chain mail glove laying on the sideboard. Rich turned and smiled.
           
            “You gotta work on your poker face, Reggie,” He paused for a moment and stroked his goatee menacingly. “Unless you want me to grab the glove, because it’s the real magical thing that’s gonna mess me up. Okay, I take it back; your poker face might be pretty good after all. So how’s this gonna go down, little man?”
              
            “RAAAAAARGH!” screamed Willy, Reginald’s resident ghost as he flew across the room at Rich, who punched him in the face.
           
            “Gah! How the devil did you do that? Why did that hurt? Nothing hurts anymore!”
           
            Rich grinned and pointed at a black band around the middle finger of his right hand. “This is a little ring I picked up in the mystic realm of Delaware a few weeks ago. Makes my fist solid to anything in the spectral realm. As a matter of fact…”

His hand darted out again and grabbed Willy by the throat.

“You wanna tell me how I can pick up that chalice?”

“With your hand, why?”

“Oh,” said Rich as he tightened his grip, Willy’s face distorting in pain, “we got ourselves Casper the Funny Ghost here.”

“No…I’m serious…he just…picks it up…” wheezed the spirit.

“You serious? And to think I was gonna bet on the glove.”

“Can I…go…now?”

“Nah, man, you’re my insurance. Anything bad happens to me then you’re getting it, too.” Rich looked over at Reginald, who was reaching for an enormous glass ashtray.

“Reggie, you think I can’t get over there and kick your head in before you can even lift that?”

Reginald sat back on the sofa and gave a sheepish shrug.

“I was going to say ‘At last, the Cup of Lords and Flame is mine!’ but people who do that shit always end up dying,” smiled Rich as he grabbed the chalice and was promptly struck by one, then another bolt of lighting.

Rich’s hand now permanently clenched around Willy’s throat, the spirit tried to talk but eked out nothing but a shrill whistle.

“Shit,” said Reginald as he walked over and peeled back the dead man’s fingers. “So what was that all about?”

“Well, it’s not like he could have actually killed me, so I thought that I’d just trick him into touching the Cup of Lighting.”

“Cup of Twice-the-Lightning, it seems,” Reginald grimaced as he looked up at his ceiling. Two perfect holes had been burned straight through it. He reached over the ring Rich was wearing and with some strategic bone-breaking managed to slide it off.

His face went flat as he turned it over in his hand, squinting to make out the marking on the inside surface.

“One ring to…no, sorry, misread that. It’s a…well, thank you for risking your life to save me, Willy.”

“Like I said,” he smiled as Reginald tossed him the ring, “It was only a matter of—oh. Is this really…oh. So he, uh…he could have really killed me again.”

“Yep. Sure, it would have cost him a week of his life, but if he was really after the Chalice of Lords and Flame, then a single week wouldn’t have been very important once he got it.”

“Well,” said Willy, slipping the ring into his pocket, “Why did you have the Cup of Lightning out, anyway?”

“Oh, I guess I was looking at it or something.”

“And how did he get through the mystical defenses around the house?”

“Probably tricked his w—”

“And the front door, which was unlocked?”

“Look, if—”

“Reginald, you can’t keep doing this. There are better things for you to be doing than electrocuting a half-wit who thinks that he can best you. Sharon is still terrified about that man who’s after her, and you keep—”

"She is NOT terrified," fumed Reginald, "She's one of the strongest people I've ever known, and she--"

"...can't do a damn thing against a magician she can't see."

“Do you want me to finish what Rich was doing to your neck,” he asked, looking for the ring.

“I still have it, Reginald, and if you were half as here as you pretend you are, you would have noticed. Look at you. How long since you showered or even changed your clothes? You have important things to do and you’re just sitting around, all but asking people to try to kill you. What are you afraid of?”

“I’m not afraid of anything,” said Reginald as he walked to sideboard and poured himself a very large sherry. “except sobriety and continued conversations with you.”

“You make me sick, Sir Reginald, and I used to sacrifice children.”

                Willy sank through the floor as Reginald threw his glass at him.

“I’m afraid,” mumbled Reginald before taking a long pull straight from the bottle, “that I’ve no idea what to do with my life anymore.”

                He sat on the floor, closed his eyes, and tried not to think about Sharon.

###
Sir Reginald clutched his broken arm and watched as the creature menacingly licked its lips before putting them back on.

     Sir Reginald knew which side his bread was buttered on: the inside.
    
     "What, that's it?" asked Sir Reginald. "That doesn't even sound original. Look that up on the internet, I bet that's been said a dozen times already."
     Wait, what?
     "I said look up that thing about 'the inside,' as I'm sure it's been said before," he reiterated. "I reiterated? Isn't that a bit forced? And...hang on, did you just italicize the word reiterated? The reader should be able to infer, by context, which words should be emphasised."
     Well, sometimes I think they need a little p--
     "Did you properly notate above that I interrupted you? Good. Because I'll have you know, you fucking

###
"This White Russian is really strong,' Sir Reginald noted, just as the Cossack tried to punch his eyes into his brains.
b
Indeed, Sir Reginald played a far crueler version of 'Got Your Nose.'
     As Sir Reginald wearily emerged from the house’s library--his shirt and pants in tatters, the book in his hands still vomiting torrents of blood--he had to suppress the urge to find Levar Burton and punch him square in the gob.

###
    It was clear that the man dragging himself from the water and onto the shore had seen better days. He smeared algae from his face, which was slowly turning blue. He quickly grabbed the intricate silver necklace he was wearing and tore it off. The tiny metal fish charms that dangled on it began to flop and gasp before falling still and solid again.
    Meanwhile, Gavin was vomiting up two lungs worth of water. He spat out the last drops and rolled onto his back. From there he stared up at the canopy of leaves between him and the sky and began to laugh.
    "Right," said the Scotsman, "I can't say that were anything but my own fault."

            “You know, until last year I didn’t have a problem with boats. Since then, though, I’ve not been very keen on them,” said Sir Reginald, “I’ll also have you know that I’m using the word ‘boat’ very loosely here.”

            “Keep insultin’ my boat and I’ll make yeh swim,” smiled Gavin.

            “Don’t fuck with me, you sawney bastard. I know a shitty boat when I see one, and this,” he said, breaking off a piece of the prow with one hand, “is a shitty boat.”

            “Hey, that was like that for a reason!”

            “And the motor you’ve got on this thing. It sounds like its grinding kittens.”

            “Why d’yeh think the exhaust smells like burning hair?”

            “I like kittens,” frowned Reginald.

            “You think I didn’t know that?”


Love,

benjamin
Who always seems to be the one who always has to sit next to--and, as such, shout at to scare him into closing his damn mouth--the crazy guy with the trash bag who's yelling at the far-too-polite black guy across the aisle to "Shut up and go back to India!"

         “Bored,” said Sir Reginald to nobody in particular as he threw a fifty peso coin across the room. It ricocheted off of a bronze statue of JFK, which yelped in pain.

         “Bored,” he repeated, throwing another coin at the Stone of Unyielding Sorrow, which hung from the ceiling by a rope. He missed, and the coin instead landed in the bucket under it, the one that collects the tears and blood that slowly leech out of the stone.

         “Bored,” he said a bit louder and flicked another coin at the back of Willy, the ghost that lived in Sir Reginald’s house in exchange for assistance with matters that only a ghost can assist with. His name wasn't actually Willy, but Reginald liked that better than its real name. The coin flew through the ectoplasm and landed in a tank of fetid water that may or may not have had a very tiny coelacanth in it.

         “Right, I was fine with ignoring you, but now that you’ve started violating my rights as—”

         “Oh dear, here comes the whinging…” interrupted Reginald.

         “—a spectral entity with free will and emotions,” continued Willy, “I am going to go elsewhere. You need to understand that just because I cannot feel…” he said, passing his hand through a nearby table.

         “Doesn’t mean you can’t feeeeeeel…” said Sir Reginald, clasping his hands across his heart and fluttering his eyelashes.

         “Fuck you,” said Willy and headed out the side wall into the garden.

         “Don’t scare off my butterflies, you…you…GAH!” screamed Reginald as he failed to come up with an insult of any merit.

         Deciding a scotch and scotch was in order, Reginald laboriously stood up and made his way to the sideboard. After pouring himself a triple-double, he sighed loud enough for the neighbors to hear and took a large drink.

         The rat in front of him giggled.

         “Fuh…psht!” sputtered Reginald, spraying a fine mist across every bottle and glass. “Where the shit did you come from? Are you the little bastard that’s been chewing through my boxes of steel-cut oats? Perhaps more importantly, you just giggled, didn’t you?”

         “I did,” said the rat in an impressive baritone, looking at Reginald with tiny human eyes.

         “That’s really disgusting,” said Reginald.

         “After all you’ve seen, is a talking rat with the eyes of a man really—”

         “I’m talking about the fact that you might have been leaving rat hairs in my rocks glasses, or even…if you’ve shat in my little dish of cashews—”

         “Silence, sorcerer!” shouted the rodent, rattling the bottles around it.

         “Okay, sure.”

         “Too long have I waited for this moment, Reginald.”

         “You know my name?”

         “I should. It was you who vanquished me decades ago, when I came so very close to conquering this dimension.”

         “Telling me that I vanquished you while you were trying to conquer this dimension only narrows my choices to a few hundred, you know.”

         “Orpath! Orpath, the Mighty of Soul!” thundered the rat.

         “Ah. Orpath. I never understood your nickname. What does ‘mighty of soul’ mean, anyway? What can you do with…oh. Possess a rat, I should wager, after I’ve had your body cut into tiny bits?”

         The rat smiled, which was the most disconcerting thing Reginald had seen in weeks.

         “For years I sought your home, trapped in this loathsome body, in hopes of finding something within these walls that could bring me my freedom. Now, after two years of drinking from the Stone of Unyielding Sorrow, my power is nigh at its apex.”

         “You’ve been drinking from the blood and tears of the Stone and Unyielding Sorrow? That couldn’t have been pleasant.”

         “The years of burning pain were worth it, you tiny man! In a few moments, when I am finally free of this rat’s body, I will—”

         Reginald knocked back his scotch and brought the glass down hard on the rodent, nearly splitting it in half. Its eyes bulged out of its head and its intestines spilled out across the smooth mahogany surface it had been sitting on.

         “Never tell somebody that you’re still a few moments away from getting your true form and power back.”

         Reginald looked down at the his poor array of drinks and glasses; they were covered in scotch, rat blood, rat hair, and other bits of rat. Reginald used a small towel to wipe his hands and made his way across the room to a mini-fridge. He pulled out two six packs of Modelo Especial and went back to his chair.

         After popping open two cans, he fished around in his pocket and pulled out another fifty peso coin.

         “Bored,” he said as he drew back his arm.

        The statue of Kennedy began to whimper.

###

(Optional Music: Put this into your media player: http://83.249.199.215:8000}

           “Sweet Yemaya, but I do love small-town carnivals. Japan’s festivals are amazing, but there’s something refreshing about the garish simplicity of those in America. Here we are, on the edge of a tiny little town, surrounded by excitement!” smiled Amadi.

             “I will reluctantly admit that they do carry a certain appeal,” agreed Sir Reginald, taking another bite of his fifth corn dog, “but if you ever tell anybody I’ll have you…well, I’m not really sure. But I’ll have it done nonetheless.”

            “If my parents could see this—”

            “Your parents died three-hundred years ago.”

            “Yes, but the point is that they would think they were in the land of the Gods, surrounded by delicious smells and flashing lights and…” his voice trailed off as he met the stare of a man whose confederate flag t-shirt covered only half of his belly. “Perhaps it is best that they aren’t here after all.”

            “Yes, well, we should expect that sort of thing. I’m British and dressed properly, with well-groomed hair and clean skin and you’re…well, you’re an African vampire.”

            “I prefer ‘Amadi, Idiok Ekpo with the Power of Ten Moons.’”

            "And I prefer 'Sir Reginald, Only Sensible Person on the Planet,' but I don't imagine it will catch on."

            "At least mine's true."
Okay, so if you missed it, give a quick click RIGHT FREAKING HERE to see the entry where Trevor "[info]rumpusroomie" Wood did more awesome fan art. I feel guilty calling stuff this awesome "Fan Art."

AND NOW:
Sir Reginald Prefers The Treadmill, Thank You Very Much

            “It’s true,” panted Sir Reginald, “the Chinese really do have a lot of hells.”

            He wanted to stop for a moment, just to catch his breath and rest his legs, but every time he did so he immediately lost his balance and fell down all of the stairs he had just climbed up.

            The first time it happened, he had simply stayed on his back at the base of the steps, refusing to get up. When the floor quickly became searing hot and his clothes began to burn, he decided on the stairs again. He pulled himself up—leaving a few bits of skin behind—and began climbing, wincing as his wounds painfully closed themselves.

“At least the stairs won’t ruin my suit.” he thought to himself.

            “Hell of…the Endless Steps…indeed. Bloody Chi—” he cut himself off. The last time he’d said something about them the stairs had gone flat, and he’d slid all the way down them, shearing the skin on his face down to the bone.

            After a while, time no longer functioned as much more than a vague concept to him. When he arrived, Reginald made an effort to keep track of time by the number of steps and the pace with which he took them. When fatigue and his countless tumbles took their toll, he abandoned his attempts. He then tried to gauge it by how far the soles of his Florsheims had worn down, but at last even they failed. Now he left a bloody footprint on every step.

            At one point he’d realized that he still had a secret cigar in a metal tube sewn into the lining of his jacket. Though he had no idea if he was being watched, he still took his time in removing it, doing his best to be secretive. As such, it took over half-an-hour to remove the cigar and get it near his mouth. He had no matches, so he decided to take a careful bite and chew it.

            It tasted delicious, for the few seconds until he tripped, dropped it, smashed his teeth into the steps and took a Sisyphusian tumble back to the bottom. When his ears stopped ringing, he stumbled to his feet as distant voices laughed hazily at him.

            “Yes, enjoy yourselves you bastaARGH!” Reginald screamed as a massive stone spike sprung out of the ground and drove itself two feet up the center of his leg. With a devastating amount of effort, he managed to half-pull, half-tear himself off and start climbing again.

            “I suppose I should be happy that they didn’t throw me into the hell where all the money you’ve ever had is calculated in gold which they then melt and pour down your throat,” he mused one day to nobody in particular. “Or 剑山的地狱—the Hell of the Mountain of Swords.” As he continued his ascent, he began to get a pain in his ribs.

            “Exactly what I wanted,” he said loudly and sarcastically. “It’s not bad enough that I’m exhausted and that SWEET JESUS THAT REALLY HURTS!”

            Reginald began to feel faint, and as everything went blurry he had just enough time to wonder which bones he would break this time. He tipped backwards and braced for impact. He needn’t have bothered.

            Sir Reginald found himself inexplicably laying on a wooden floor with a young boy standing over him and repeatedly kicking him in the side. He tilted his head and saw that he was in an abandoned house. Its windows were all boarded up and the glass had been knocked out of them. Beer cans littered the ground and obscene words and gang signs had been painted on every free inch of wall and ceiling.

            “Okay, enough!” Reginald shouted at the boy, as he made a feeble attempt to sit up.

            “Sorry, Mr. Reginald. It’s the only thing I could think of.”

            “Who the hell are you? Where the hell am I? Why can’t I find my cigarettes?”

            “I think the other boys took your cigarettes, Mr. Reginald. You’re in the old house at the end of Patterson Street that everybody says is haunted. Oh, and I’m Jimmy Livingston. I’m eight.”

            “Boys stole my smokes, I’m in a filthy abandoned house, and an eight year-old is—wait, why are my hands orange?” Reginald asked, turning them over and over.

            “The other boys spray-painted them while you were asleep. They also wrote “LOSER” on your forehead with a marker. I tried to smear it off, but I think it’s permanent.”

            “Do you think these boys also stole my shoes? And shaved my head? And nailed my jacket to the wall?”

            “Yes, Sir.”

            “Got it. Can you tell me how I got here?”

            “Well, Geoff found you in the empty lot over on Corey Avenue and first he thought you were dead and was going to charge us all a dollar to look at you before he called the police, but then he noticed you were still breathing, and he thought you were a homeless man with nice clothes, so he came and got us all and then Danny peed on your face but you didn’t wake up, so everybody peed on your face, but I didn’t, and then when you still didn’t wake up they all carried you in here because our parents don’t think we come in here and then they did all this other stuff.”

            Reginald blinked at the sheer enormity of that sentence and shook his head. He had been hoping that the faint scent of urine had been coming from the floor, not his face.

            “So, this whole time, all these months that I was climbing stairs in a Chinese hell, I’ve just been in this horrible place, being painted and urinated on? I suppose you’re going to tell me that the spirits did it all in one night, hmm? That you brought me here earlier today? Stupid ghosts always think it’s clever when they—”

            “No, sir, they brought you here three weeks ago. The boys were betting on when you were going to die, but they all got bored with waiting. I’m the only one who’s come in here in the last couple of days. I only kicked you because I was bored and I thought maybe since I was the only one who hadn’t hurt you, maybe I could help.”

            “Yes, well, thank you for that. Three weeks? That’s unfortunate, but I suppose it was nice of them to keep me alive while they…wait, did you say your last name was Livingston?”

            “Yes, Mr. Reginald.”

            “Is your father David Livingston?”

            “Yes, Mr. Reginald.”

            “First, please call me Sir Reginald. Second, I’ve known your father for years. He’s a talented, if limited, sorcerer. I imagine it’s your latent magical abilities that allowed your rib-kicks to wake me up.”

            “Okay. Are you the guy who smokes and drinks all the time and sometimes blows up things that you aren’t supposed to blow up?”

            “Yes, that’s me.”

            “My dad’s mentioned you before. So, why didn’t you wake up for three weeks?”

            “Ah,” said Sir Reginald, rummaging through the layer of garbage on the floor, picking up every cigarette butt that had a few puffs left on it and grabbing any almost-empty lighters he could find. “Therein lies a tale.” He lit his first cigarette, took a long drag that killed it, and began his story.

            “Do you know anything about Chinese ghosts, Jimmy?”

            “I watched a movie once where I saw that their vampires were stupid, but that’s it.”

            “That’s more than most people know. Anyway, very few Chinese ghosts become vampires or come back to haunt the living. Most of them live in a kind of heaven-like place, or get reincarnated, or sit around in one of the dozens of hells that they have. Are you with me?”

            “Yes, Mr. Sir. Reginald.”

            “I accidentally upset a Chinese ghost when I was doing some magic, and it started following me around everywhere. It would throw cans of beans at my head while I was at the supermarket, or make all of the rice in my house go bad, or…well, you get the idea.” He lit another cigarette and then shook a depressingly empty can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

            “So I made this ghost go away with these special pieces of paper with magic words on them, but I think I hurt the spirit a lot more than I meant to. It came back a few days later with about twenty of its friends and started breaking my antique furniture, and dumping out all of my scotch, and having pizza that I didn’t order delivered to my house.”

            “It’s kinda disgusting to watch you smoke. And are you trying to find old beer to drink?”

            “Of course I am. I just spent three weeks in hell. Even you’d be looking for a bit of a buzz right now.”

            “I’m not old enough to drink.”

            “You’d start if you were me. Where was I?”

            “Pizza.”

            “Right! So I’d had enough of their nonsense and made a little shrine to them. Usually Chinese people burn special money for the ghosts to spend in hell, or they burn paper houses or cars, which will then appear in hell for the ghost.”

            “Ghosts drive cars?”

            “Apparently so.”

“And the paper cars become real cars?”

“Indeed. Anyway, people normally offer all these paper gifts, and oranges, and

incense to the ghosts to make them happy, but I wasn’t interested in making them happy.”

            “Because they were being mean?”

            “Yes. So after I finished this shrine, I made my own things to send to them.”

            “Did you send them paper pizzas that they didn’t order?”

            “Not exactly. It took a few months, but I was finally able to burn a very large package for them.”

            “What did you burn?”

            “Bees.”

            “Bees?”

            “One thousand three-hundred and fifty paper bees.”

            Jimmy looked at Reginald’s eyes, trying to find any trace of that look adults get when they lie. He found nothing.

            “And they decided to put me into hell for that, which I thought was very petty.”

            “Mr. Sir. Reginald?” Jimmy quietly asked, with obvious concern in his voice.

            “Yes, Jimmy?” asked Reginald, leaning forward to hear the boy.

            “My daddy’s right. You really are a dick.”

            Jimmy drew back his skinny arm and punched Reginald square in the eye.

            “You little shit! What the hell was that for?!” he shouted as he stumbled backwards.

            “Mr. Sir Reginald, I’m only eight and I know that you don’t send people bees. I’m going home now.”

            “Tell your father he’s a hack,” shouted Reginald as Jimmy turned to leave, “You hear me?!”

            “Maybe he is, but he still doesn’t send people bees!” Jimmy yelled as he walked down the hallway to the front door. Just before it slammed behind him, he addressed Sir Reginald one last time.

“I kinda wish I hadn’t kicked you back from hell.”

            Sir Reginald sighed and had a seat on the floor. He found a few sips of Jim Beam in a bottle with relatively few dead bugs in it, as well as a crumpled cigarette that looked mostly unsmoked. With nicotine and alcohol settling his nerves, he began to contemplate what his next move would be.

            He decided upon “Find My Pants.”

                                                    

Smooches,

benjamin
[PS - I'm went through and back-tagged with a tag saying "sir reginald fiction" so people can go straight to all of the previous Sir Reginald stories if they want to skip the posts with fan art and the like

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you my brother Jason's story:

Sir Reginald and the Church Basement

by Jason P. Stone

---------

        Contrary to his custom, Sir Reginald was abroad before breakfast. A construction foreman, a McFeeney, or McSurely, or McSomeoneorother had asked him to come to St. Philomena's at 6 a.m., but under no circumstances was he to tell the priest. The mystery of it all attracted him, though he had a hard time imagining that any sort of worthwhile mystery could be connected with union labor.


        St. Philomena's was a heavy and imposing, if somewhat ordinary, Romanesque revival pile of white limestone and a gray slate roof. Behind it, a new parish office building was being constructed up against the church. As he approached the gate in the chain-link fence, the foreman offered him a hard hat. Sir Reginald declined.

        As they walked to the excavation, the foreman described how the day before they were opening a doorway into the church basement. Sir Reginald wondered if he could avoid having to remember the man's name. Evidently, it had been an exterior basement door that had been bricked up and backfilled, and the architect wanted it re-opened to connect the two basements. They came to the edge of the excavation, and the foreman pointed to the doorway. It was a doorway. It was slightly arched at the top, and a pile of bricks lay just inside the basement.

        "I see," Sir Reginald said. Remarkable, he thought, that the stained glass windows in the apse should extend as far down as they did.

        The foreman led him through a side door into the sacristy and down the basement steps. It was an interesting basement, but a basement nonetheless. It was only partially excavated, with a dirt floor and a long passageway cut into the dirt, which was about shoulder-high. Other passageways branched off from the main one. Three turns later, Sir Reginald was standing before the same doorway and the same pile of bricks.

        Sir Reginald looked through the doorway. Perhaps this would be worth missing breakfast after all. Instead of an excavation, he saw a lake tossed by the wind and forms that looked strangely human lowering small soft objects into the water or fetching them up again. He took a brick and tossed it through the doorway. It landed, and one of the forms turned to look, then went back about its business.

        Sir Reginald cocked his head and put his fist to his mouth and thought. He was disturbed by the voice of the foreman.

"I think it's P—Purgatory."

"Purgatory?" And after a moment, "Ah, yes. Gerontius and all that." After another pause, "Has anyone gone in there?"

        "N—no. We all got wives and kids, Mr. . . ."

        "Sir Reginald."

         "Sorry, Sir Reginald. What should we do, Sir Reginald?"

         "We? Hadn't you better tell Father?"

         "No!" The foreman was horrified. "If I told him, he'd have to tell the bishop. Then, the bishop would come with a troop of monsignori at his heels. Loose lips sink ships, you know. One loose lip, and a whole parade of pilgrims descends on my construction site looking for their dear departed."

        Sir Reginald thought about clapping with one hand, and the man continued: "We'd never make our deadline, and that'd cost us money."

        As Sir Reginald began to rearrange his chi in hopes of clapping with one hand, the foreman stepped around in front of him. "Can't you exorcise it or something?"

         "Exorcise Purgatory, my good man? One can hardly exorcise a place with no demons in it."

        The foreman glanced nervously at his watch. At 7 a.m., his crew would arrive, and the first Mass of the day would be said. He had to get Sir Reginald out of the basement before the priest arrived in the sacristy.

         "We've got to do something."

        "What you've got to do is brick it back up. From the outside."

        "Can't you make it go away?"

         "Look, man, it was fine for a hundred years inside a brick wall, and it will be fine for another hundred once you put the wall back up. I can't believe you brought me here to tell you that!"

        The foreman was dumfounded. As soon as he recovered his panic, he asked, "What are we…I…going to tell the architect when he says open it back up again?"

        Sir Reginald was annoyed. 

        "Oh, make something up."

        Another glance at the watch. Time was running out, and the foreman was too nervous to think. Sir Reginald, meanwhile, was trying to clap with one hand again.

        "I don't know what to tell him."

        "Tell him anything,” said Sir Reginald, losing his patience. “Tell him the portal…er, the doorway…was unstable, and you had to fill it back in."

        Fr. Schneidemann was a good, punctual German, and he had already arrived in the sacristy. Noticing the open door to the basement, he followed the sound of voices to the portal. He might have admired the accuracy of Cardinal Newman's description of Purgatory, or he might at least have spoken to the men. Instead, he simply exclaimed, "Mother, is that you?" and rushed over the bricks and through the portal before either man could stop him.

        "Poor man. Portals like that are always one-way."

        The foreman was beside himself. "There's a Mass in ten minutes! The Bishop is coming next week! We've got to get him out of there!"

        "That would take a plenary indulgence.  And I haven't got one."

        The foreman made a noise as if to speak, but Sir Reginald held his finger to his lips and slowly said, "Brick it back up."  And he turned to leave.

        On his way to breakfast, Sir Reginald made one last effort and gave up.  Who ever heard of an Englishman clapping with one hand, anyway?

------------------------------------------------------


And there you have it. Now I totally want to convince as many family members as I can to write Sir Reginald stories.

benjamin

PS: Jason has included the following as a bit of a lesson after reading, 'cause he's like that.

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