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The Strange Relic

Written by Vincent J Prince on Wednesday the 9th of June 2010
It had been over 15 years since Dave and Jim had last met, and as agreed, Dave was at the Scraggly End pub, Jim's local, at 7:30. The pair set about their witter like 2 old wesher women, reminiscing about the good old times and filling the gaps of the times spent apart. After an hour or so Dave's attention couldn't be drawn away from the motionless figure sat perfectly still at one of the tables. "What's the deal with this feller here?” he questioned Jim. "Oh you mean old John? Aye he's alright, keeps himself to himself”, Jim replied. "But I ant se'n him move all neet”, said an increasingly intrigued Dave. "Aye well, come to mention it, it's been a while like, wi' used to get a twitch or two out of him now again but that wer' a few months back, he seems to have slowed down a bit since like. To be honest I ant give it much thought.”
Dave eyed the stabile simulacrum from top to toe; aside from a few patches his body was almost entirely black, like charcoal. "Why's he look like that though?”, asked Dave. "I don't follow yer pal?”, replied Jim naively. "Well yer know, like... coal?” Dave furthered. "Oh, well, no one knows for sure like, but it's like he always said 'he lived and breathed them bloody mines'. Anyway, when they shut, it just sort of started happening... We din't tek much notice to be honest, thought he were buggerin' about like, oh he were a right joker old John”. Dave stared fixedly at the strange relic sat in its idle repose, each feature seemingly carved from the finest Whitby Jet by some weird and magnificent artisan. The mouth half ajar as if still awaiting the perfunctory pint of Smooth; his blackened teeth a row of sooty guards stoking a long extinguished furnace.
That's when Dave noticed that certain... appendages were missing. "What's happened there like Jim?”. Jim crumpled his face, perplexed, before tracing Dave's eye line to its origin. "What? Oh yer mean't leg?”, he suggested. "Aye, and half his bleedin' fingers”, replied an exasperated Dave. "Well I guess you could sorta put it down to... wear and tear like”. Dave nodded, as though almost contented with the explanation, before Jim piped up: "Anyway stop buggering about, waffling on you and come 'n give us an hand with his bloody head. Fire's nearly out here am bloody freezin'...”