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666 Great Junction Street

Part 9

Jock's tick, Tock, shuffled uncomfortably underneath the ribbed Argyll sock rubbing against his shiny body. He had now grown to the size of a marble in his quest to suck the lifeblood from his host and his confidence and irritation were also growing in equal measure.

As he arched himself to retain a firmer grip on Jock's lower leg, his squirming attracted the attention of Michael Cade's daschund, Rudy, snuggled at the feet of his master in Wilkie's bar where Jock had retired for the afternoon. The curious dog snuffled around Jock's feet, sticking its nose into his sock to sniff at the industrious tick.

Tock froze as he felt the beast's damp schnozzle brush against his back. He considered a swift leap of faith onto the daschund's face but quickly decided against it, having fed off canines before and remembering the disgusting company he endured then. In the world of parasites, fleas were considered despicable company with their haughty jumping ways and condescending attitudes. They were the lightweights of the bloodletting brotherhood in Tock's opinion. Plus they stunk. No, he would not be joining the clinging throng with their arrogant displays of aerial prowess. Now he had a taste for human, there was no going back.

The daschund was persistent and Tock could feel the air from its damp nostrils coursing over him. The trouble with being insect size was that dog's breath was like a sewage scented hurricane. If only he had a back leg long enough to kick the stupid mutt in the face. 'Get off me!' he yelled while trying not to throw up.

Rudy yelped in shock as Jock looked around hurriedly to see if anyone had heard. There were only three other punters in the pub along with Fat Boab the barman - Eddie Thomson, who lived downstairs from Jock, Guy Pistov, Hibs recent Romanian signing with a taste for the low life, and Michael Cade.

Jock, attempting to kick the dog out of the way, noticed how limp his foot felt. Leaning over, he whispered to Tock: 'You're draining the life out o' me.'

Michael Cade called out, 'Rudy, come away from the strange man,' as he eyed Jock McConnell curiously.

'Ah wasnae talking to yer dug,' said Jock.

'Well, who else is down there?' said Michael.

Jock thought it best not to propel Tock into the public domain just yet and decided to go the John McEnroe route. 'Ah was talking to maself,' he said. Then, quickly trying to change the subject, he yelled across to Guy Pistov, 'Hey, Guy, whit's this Ah hear about you bein' caught doggin' on Calton Hill?'

'Right, that's it!' Michael Cade picked up his beloved Rudy and scooped his paraffin lamp under his other arm. He'd never heard of the latest trend in sexual diversions, dogging, which involved watching and participating in couples having sex in cars. He assumed it was a lude slur on dogdom by comparing them to the animalistic tendencies of randy footballers.

'I didn't come here to be insulted.' And out he flounced. Jock, Guy and Eddie Thomson, peered after him and laughed.

'So, is it true, Guy?' asked Eddie.


Next week: High life, low life, park life.



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