A Faerie Tale: Ice-Cream


2. Bill

Bill was a happy man (although he was still annoyed about the fact that no-one could pronounce his last name right; he couldn’t quite understand why people found it difficult to say Zkychloemathichlyke). He’d spent the last few years flying people here, there and everywhere without even so much as a thank-you from anyone but now, finally it was time; finally, after an entire lifetime of waiting (about five years actually) he was going to the Ruddy Dumplings, home of the world’s greatest ice-cream.

Ice-cream was Bills life. Ever since he was a child he had had a dream of becoming a world famous ice-cream connoisseur but unfortunately the opportunity had never arisen and Bill had been forced to take a different route, many routes in fact, and become a pilot. But with great disappointments come great rewards for it was it was on his debut flight that he had first found out about the Ruddy Dumplings.

It had been almost five years but he could still remember it like it was yesterday. The day hadn’t started out in the best of ways: alarm dead; shower cold; toast burnt; weather foul. Thankfully he had managed to make it to the airport on time; although a part of him wished he hadn’t: he still had nightmares about that day.

He had been on what was known in the trade as the nightmare shift: the 7am from London to Calgary; you get up before six (provided your alarm works) and by the time you get there, it’s six o’clock again. Anyway, the flight had somehow started out perfectly (surprising, considering how that morning had started): he cruised down the runway without even coming close to crashing and the take-off was smoother than a baby's backside (pardon my French).

Unfortunately things didn’t stay perfect. Barely a few minutes into the flight a sudden shockwave rippled through the plane and out of the cockpit window the clear blue sky changed to cold hard ground which was rapidly coming towards him. To this day he still didn’t know how he'd done it but somehow he had managed to pilot the plane, minus a few engines, safely into the river Thames not far from the centre of Chelsea.

No-one could quite figure out how an almost brand new, state of the art, passenger aircraft could suddenly lose half its engines (although a few of the passengers swear blind, which they clearly were, that they had been ripped off by a swarm of tiny creatures; they are currently residing in a mental ward) but Bill o' the crazy last name didn’t really care what had happened for what he had seen as he was sitting in the plane, floating on the water waiting for help to arrive, was like a message from some unknown deity. A billboard, telling the world of the most amazing restaurant ever: the Ruddy Dumplings; home of the world’s greatest ice-cream; his dream come true.

Five years later and it was almost time to taste that ice-cream; he had booked the reservations months ago, the moment he’d known he was going to be back in Chelsea, and now he was on his way:in a bright yellow Reliant Regal Supervan; his best friend Ben at the wheel (Bill couldn’t drive cars, just planes); on the motorway heading straight for Chelsea.

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