Badger's Ma
Thursday, January 10, 2008

A standalone tale, set anytime in the 'verse. In slumming's excellent tale Black Widow (part 2) she mentioned Badger's mother. And I commented that it might inspire me to a tale. Here it is, a silly story and all my own! Once you read it, you'll know why I had to get it out of my head ...


Badger rarely took off his bowler hat anymore. His hair loss had been increasing, despite the expensive lotions he bought and got Dermott to rub into his scalp. Even in bed with one of the whores from Macey’s he kept his hat on. Well, they weren't ladies. And he was paying for them to service him, not the other way around. ‘N’ as what he was paying was good coin, they could do all the bleedin’ work.

Besides, he loved that hat. It looked good, perched on his head. It showed how he felt, depending on the angle. Made him look like a gentleman.

So standing in the local Fed station, his derby in his hand, was something of a special occasion. Although the reason was not. Unfortunately.

“Again, Badger.”

“Yeah.” The hat started to spin.

Lieutenant Kelly just stared. “You’ve got to put a stop to this.”

“You think I ain't tried?”

“Try harder.”

Badger glared at him, then dropped dispiritedly into the chair opposite. “Come off it, ‘Arry. You know I ‘ave. You think I wanna come ‘ere like this? It don’t do me reputation no good.”

“And I can’t keep covering up for you.”

“So it ain’t been put in the system?” Badger asked hopefully.

“Not yet.”

“’Arry, you’re a mate.”

“Which isn’t going to last at this rate. You need to get her some help.”

“She don’t think it’s a problem.”

Harry Kelly shook his head. “Badger. It is.”

The little man got to his feet, derby in hand. “Can I … collect ‘er?”

Kelly nodded and pressed a button on his desk, and almost immediately a young, upright Alliance officer, looking barely old enough to shave, stepped smartly into the room and ripped off a textbook salute.


Kelly sighed. “Ling, I told you. Don’t salute in the office.”

The young man deflated a little. “Oh. Yes. Sorry, sir.”

“Take Mr Badger here down to the cells.”

“Sir?” He looked almost eager to lock the little man up.

“No, Ling. Just let her out.”

Ling collapsed a little more. “Yes sir,” he said, turning and leading the way out.

Badger looked at Kelly. “The usual?”

Kelly nodded, not bothering to answer, just waving with his hand for the little man to leave.


Down three flights of stairs into the basement of the building, Badger was finally face to face with his nemesis.

“What the ‘ell do you think you’re up to now?” he asked, shaking his head.

“Winston, I didn’t bring you up to talk like that!” his mother said, peering through the bars at him.

“Ma, don’t call me that! It ain’t … manly.”

“It’s your name. And I should know. I gave it to you.” She was half a head shorter than him, demure in her floral print dress, her white hair drawn into a bun at the nape of her neck. She looked like she wouldn’t hurt a fly. “And don’t say ain’t.”

“Ma, it’s ‘ow everyone –“ He stopped at her look. “It’s how everyone talks out here, Ma.” He was tempted to exaggerate the ‘h’ but decided she’d probably give him a clip around the ear.

“I spent enough money getting you to talk properly when we left Dyton, and I don’t want to see it wasted.”

“Ma, the job I do … if I talked proper … properly like you want, I’d be a laughing stock.”

“Better that than a thug.”

“Ma …” He sighed, knowing he’d never win this argument. “How much this time?”

She lifted her eyebrows at him. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Yes, you do. How much?”

She smoothed her dress down. “Two hundred, if you must know. And they took it away from me, so I didn’t really break any laws.”

“Ma, you were cheating!” His voice was getting more squeaky.

“Then they shouldn’t play with me.”

“They didn’t know you had a marked deck.”

“It was a lesson for us all.”

“What, that you got caught?” He was gripping the rim of his bowler hat so hard he was sure he was leaving finger-shaped dents in it.


“Ma, you can’t go around fleecing people. They don’t like it. Not … not at your age.”

She bridled. “What’s my age got to do with it?”

He stepped closer. “If they throw you out this time, I ain’t got another place for you to go. That’ll be a dozen homes you’ve been evicted from.”

“Asked to leave,” she corrected.

“Well, they’re starting to talk to each other. They only took you at Golden Gables ‘cause I said I’d pay full whack. And it ain’t cheap.”

“I should think not.” She smiled a little, looking like any other white-haired old lady. “And I could always live with you.”

Badger’s mouth dropped open. “You wouldn’t.”

“Sons should look after their mothers,” she pointed out.

“Ma …”

She took pity on him. “Anyway, I wasn't doing it there. Most of them don’t have two credits to rub together. I was down at the Wishbone and Drum.”

“That place?” Now his voice had almost gone supersonic. “Ma, that’s a dump!”

“How would you know?”

“Because I go there!” He realised what he’d said. “Went there,” he amended. “Gorramit, another place I ain't gonna be able to show my face.”

“Winston!” she said sharply. “You know how I feel about swearing.”

“Sorry, Ma.”

“So there won’t be any problems with the home. In fact, shouldn’t we be getting back there? I'm sure it’s suppertime.” She patted her bun, making sure every hair was in place. “Now, is he going to let me out?”

“Door’s open, Ma.”

She pushed and it swung free. “You know, they could do with making these places a little more comfortable. More homely.”

“You ain’t … aren’t supposed to like it, Ma.” He took her arm. “Time to go.”

“Did you thank Harry for me?” she asked, allowing him to escort her out.

“Yes, Ma.”

“And you’re going to make sure he gets –“

“Yes, Ma.”

“Don’t interrupt me, Winston.”

“No, Ma.”

“And I need a new pack of cards. Or do you think they’ll give me mine back?”

“No, Ma.” He sighed heavily. She was never going to change. Ever. He made himself a promise – soon as he got back to the office, Dermott was going to head over to Macey’s and bring back the blonde, the redhead and the brunette. He needed cheering up.


Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:04 AM


I'm laughing so hard I can't hardly see to write this, OMG, it was hilarious!

Wonderful ditty! Wonderful!

Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:19 AM


How delighted I am that I made that reference to Ma Badger. This was great fun! :D

Thursday, January 10, 2008 7:23 PM


Fun, it was fantastic. Can't stop laughing either.

Friday, January 11, 2008 3:03 AM


y'see? i actually bleedin' missed this - nearly! by crikes, wot a corker!:)

Friday, January 11, 2008 4:13 PM


I really liked how badgers mom was so upset about him not talking proper. I can just see it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 4:44 AM


This was fun. Badger's Mom is a handful. I guess we know where he gets it now.


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