Peregrine Montague Smythe
Cynthia Tidmarsh always remembered the day she met Peregrine Montague Smythe, Lord of MuddyMuck . Although now in her ninety-seventh year she looked backed on the day she turned five with much pleasure and wonder.
By the time Cynthia became acquainted with him, Peregrine was much feared. He was already rumoured to be the one thing that the godfather of the Italian mafia utterly dreaded. The entire crime family were also believed to get panic stricken at the mention of his name and there had been much talk of this loathing running deep through the veins of the American Mob as well.
It was known that the Hong Kong Triads had made many attempts to take his life. He had always been seen as the thorn in their side and they wanted nothing more than to remove his presence from the face of the earth. Hit man after hit man had been sent to erase him but none had ever returned successful. In fact there were a large number who never seemed to return at all.
More locally ,there were some very scary prisoners locked away in the deepest darkest parts of Broadmore Hospital who would do anything to avoid having any contact with Peregrine at all. The truth seemed to be that among a large number of the criminal underworld, Peregrine was much worse than feared.
People had been known to cower in fear at the actual sight of him; not that many people had actually seen him, and very few people lived to tell the tale. The ones that had survived seemed to remember very little detail about what he actually looked like and the whole experience was generally veiled in madness and terror bringing endless recurring nightmares. Cynthia was once told that Genghis Khan would simply disappear whenever Peregrine was in town.
Cynthia was never sure if the stories about him were true or just a large amount of myth, tales, and legends. It was true that just the mere mention of his name sent shivers down the spine of many a tough person and murderers would use his name to keep their children in check. They’d tell them “If you don’t behave Peregrine Smythe will get you in the night.”
The Peregrine Cynthia met that day was kind, gentle, unassuming and not really that partial to travel. In fact the thing that she always, to this very day wondered about was, how anyone could get so scared that they would run and hide at the mere mention of someone with such a ponsy name. Peregrine seemed to have been around since the dawning of time and had visited almost everywhere in the world at lease once.
So it came as a great surprise that evening all those years before when Peregrine was sat on her sofa, drinking a bottle of beer and watching the England match on the TV. England were playing Macedonia and making a right pigs ear of it by the gargles, grunts, and profanities that were emanating from her fathers rather crude and filthy mouth. Peregrine on the other hand was the picture of cool as he took the game in not seeming to get to uptight about it.
She sat and watched him for a good five minutes, wondering what he was doing sat on her sofa, well her mothers actually, watching her TV, well her fathers to be truthful, and drinking her beer. Ok, so the beer was her Uncle’s but either way Peregrine had no right to be drinking it.
The odd thing was that her father just didn’t seem to notice him, her mother walked through the room and passed right by without giving a second look, and she could have sworn to her self that he hadn’t been there a few minutes ago.
Peregrine drunk the last dregs of the bottle and the belched.
“Excuse me.” He said. “You wouldn’t be a darlin’ and get me another beer from the fridge would you? That’s a good lass.”
There was something in his tone that made Cynthia get up and do just what he had asked. She wasn’t sure what it was but as she returned and handed him the beer she felt a slight moment on unease.
He took the beer from her just as Macedonia scored their second goal.
“Bugger.” He said as he put the bottle in his mouth and pulled the lid off with his teeth.
Cynthia looked in awe as she watched the muscles ripple through his body. Peregrine was large, he was a little bit scary with all his facial hair but she also found him kind of cuddly. He didn’t wear much apart from large Dr Martin boots. These were some of the best boots she had seen in her short lived years, they would prove to be some of the best boots she would seen in her long lived life. They went all they way up to the first joint in his legs, had something like eighty nine lace holes, and each one was a different colour; all eight of them.
That was the thing that was different about Peregrine Montague Smythe. He was a spider, albeit one that seemed to be the size of a large dog, but he was a spider none the less.
And unbeknown to Cynthia this meeting would prove to be the start of a friendship that would span for over ninety two years and the beginning of many adventures that they would have together.