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Big Hats and Loud Voices


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The green, unwashed creature watched in awe as the Bigjobs came out of the rip. They held big, wide stickers, with a hole right in the end. The creature almost snorted with dirision. That wouldn't even slow down a pig. Keeps em sharp, keep em pointy. That's how he-

wait a minute.

A shadow passed over the creature, and it looked slowly upward in exactly the same fashion as nearly every gremlin in the course of history had when first encountering a bayou vulture.

Gremlins were consistant. They seldom learned from past experiences, because gremlins seldom get many past experiences.

To his amazement, he didn't die. Instead, thunder crashed, even though the sky was clear. Then the massive bird crumpled in midair, falling in a feathery, dead heap.

The gremlin gazed out towards the newcomers with the profound respect of someone who has witnessed two incredible miracles in a short period of time, and more importantly has an incredibly pragmatic view of the future, i.e. he'd very much like to learn how to perform such miracles on a daily, or perhaps vulturely basis.

The bigjob holding the funny looking sticker looked pleased with himself. A tiny amount of gray fog was emitting from the drilled hole, and he was baring his teeth in apparent defiance to the predation of all vulturekind. Another one, this one with a big, black hat, struck him firmly on the shoulder. The gremlin watched, mental calculations furiously sizzling in his tiny brain, hitherto unknown neurons sparking in distantly remembered patterns. The hat was Important.

"I say, Locksley, spot on shot there!"

Big hat then moved off, shouting at the others. The gremlin noticed how all the others bowed their heads, spoke the mantra "yes mister Jones" after every shouted command.

It was all so simple.

Clearly, the yesmisterjones was the one with the biggest hat and loudest voice. He didn't even need to call down holy vulture smiting magic, he could tell other people to!

The gremlin every detail into his memory. The black powder, poured into the sticker with a rock, a round rock, that was how you made the magic thunder. The way the Jones pointed and yelled, and the others did what he said. He studied the Jones intently, and when the bigjobs had settled into cloth huts, he snuck close, sniffing and prowling around the huts.

There was a strange green rock sitting near one of the huts. It was a beautiful shape, and gremlins liked to collect rocks. Rocks didn't hurt you. Rocks were, therefore, valuble, because they were a rarity in the gremlins' world, and pretty rocks were considered the stuff of legends. He picked it up, and noticed how smooth, perfectly shaped it was. It made a funny sloshing sound as he did, as well as a heavenly scent that wafted from a perfectly round hole in the top.

He sniffed.

He was infatuated.

He tilted the hole to his lips and tried a sip.

It was bitter at first, but less so than marsh water, and it made his head spin, and it was like... Like drinking.....

The gremlin fell backwards, his eyes turned skyward.

Moonshine..... He was in love.

Before the break of dawn the gremlin scampered away from camp. He now resembled a mobile trash heap, loaded down as he was with stolen goods, looted soundlessly from the camp. A huge top hat pinned with shiny medals, coins and rocks festooned his hairless green head, and his crooked teeth were stretched wide in a gleeful grin. The grin grew degrees wider as a bayou vulture spied deceptively slow and easy prey and learned the error of its ways.


The word echoed through the gremlin's skull, ricocheting madly between ear to ear.


He would be the greatest Jones in the history of the gremlin race.

He lovingly fondled the still half full bottle of the precious moonshine. There was a whole case sitting next to him.

Jones had had an excellent day.

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