Brass Buttons and Bobby Socks – Dead Deer

Today I wrote from 10:14 to 10:24. I was prompted by ideas here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Bobby adjusted his tie and his wig, the heavily made-up face looked wearily back at him from the mirror; a mirror framed by bulbs, the majority long since blown.

He listened for the roar of the crowd as the unrealistically excited M.C. announced his name; “LAAAAADDDDIEEEESSS and GENTLEMAN – Now a REEEALLLL treat for you all! FRESH … ” (‘Fresh!’ thought Bobby, ‘it was 12 years ago’) ” … from starring… ” (‘starring! I was in most episodes’) “… in the HIT … (‘hit! Two series of six episodes each, and they only got second because the producer was sleeping with the Head of Production at the time’) “…T.V. show … HEEEERRRRRREEEEEE’SSSSSS the one, the only …. BOBBY SOCKS!!!”

No roar. A ripple, at best.

Deep breaths. Strong entrance:- Face contorted into joy – Jesus Christ how hard is that now – Bobby bounced on stage to face the crowd. He knew it was just a few old crones and some derelicts attracted by the warmth and ‘Free Matinee’ poster but he chose to stare directly into the lights and forget that fact. He had never suffered stage-fright in his life, the bigger the crowd the better. It was these sparse audiences that were much harder.

He started the old routine that had served him for years. It wasn’t that great even back then, when new, but now …. well everyone knew their role at least; he pretended to be funny and the public pretended to be amused.

‘Just get through this show,’ he thought to himself, ‘ and then…’ Then what? Another show tonight. And tomorrow, ever diminishing crowds, ever further down the bill until … until he finally fell off the bill completely as he received the gentle embrace of the ultimate curtain call.

“GO FUCK YOURSELF”; the scream of a crazed old down-and-out jolted him out of his on-stage reverie. He saw the twisted angry face right in front of the stage.

Bobby stopped. Bobby stared at the floor. Bobby stared at the lights. Bobby walked slowly over to the edge of the stage. Now, finally an air of expectation tingled in the room. The people await the witty rejoinder, maybe even something original and genuinely funny.

Bobby drew back his foot and carefully, firmly, decidedly kicked the old man clean in the teeth.

Nov 16th – Brass Buttons and Bobby Socks

November 16th – Brass Buttons and Bobby Socks

09.51 – 10.01

Bobby Socks was a small-time crook. Small-time, as in ‘not very good’. Even his name was a disappointment to him, given, as it was, by a small-time (but slightly bigger-time than Bobby would ever become) bookie in the East End by the name of Danny Clark. In fact, possibly the most memorable thing Danny Clark had done was to give Bobby Socks his name, which gives you an idea of just how small-time Bobby Socks was.

But he was going big-time.

At least, this was what he told the boys in the pub the other night, over a couple of pints of disappointing lager.

‘I’m going big time, boys.’

These were Bobby Socks’s actual words, and the fact that no-one was really listening, or cared that much, or believed him in the slightest, was an indication again of the small-time reality of his big-time dreams.

‘I’m planning a job. You want in?’

They all shook their heads, or looked away. Or almost all of them. And when they made their excuses and left, (making sure they got their drinks from Bobby Socks’s round first), Brian stayed behind. He even bought Bobby Socks a pint, which was unexpected, because no-one ever bought Bobby Socks a pint, at least not voluntarily.

‘What’s the job, Bobby?’

Bobby looked around, making sure they were not overheard.

‘There’s an antiques shop on Portland Road. I’ve been watching it. One old guy, he bags the good stuff up at the end of the night before he locks up. All we have to do is hit the place just before he closes. Just before 6. Grab the bag and run. Easy as.’

For once, Bobby Socks was right. The elderly owner of the antiques shop on Portland Road did bag stuff up at the end of the day, and Bobby Socks and Brian hit the place just before six. Brian stood over the terrified man, watching the door, while Bobby Socks grabbed the bag and they ran.

They didn’t see the CCTV cameras liberally dotted along the street. If they had it would, perhaps, have come as less of a surprise when they saw the blue lights splashing on the bare walls of Bobby Socks’s flat, seconds after they’d emptied a bag full of mismatched brass buttons onto the only table in Bobby Socks’s place. They were still rolling around on the floor when the hammering started on the door.

Inspired by a prompt from here.