Panic broke out in Kent's Bluewater shopping mall last night when a man described by witnesses as "a mental" began threatening passers by with an uncapped gold nibbed Parker fountain pen.
Shoppers ran screaming from the vicinity as the man made poking and stabbing gestures with the uncapped fountain pen, howling like a wolf and foaming at the mouth, according to some observers.
Fortunately for the innocent bystanders, veteran Olympic bronze medal winning fencer, Beryl Finn happened to be on the scene with her trusty sabre.
"I heard screaming, and observed people running for cover," Ms Finn said later. "Then I saw the man making stabbing gestures with an uncapped pen. That's a pretty flipping scary situation to be in, I can tell you. As I was on my way to a fencing class I unsheathed my sabre and warned him that he would be wise to cut it out and pretty damned sharpish. When he refused to comply I had no alternative other than to get stuck in."
In the ensuing face off, the pen wielding maniac had both legs and an arm severed by Ms Finn's trusty sabre, in a scene painfully and exploitatively reminiscent of that old Monty Python And The Holy Grail film.
"I suppose Ms Finn put paid to the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword," said the manager of Victoria's Egret, in what may well be his swansong as he is due to retire next week. "By the Christ, it was messy. I suppose trying to fight a razor sharp sabre with an uncapped fountain pen is a bit futile really."
Latest reports from Kent police have the pen wielding maniac recovering in the hospital wing of a secure psychiatric hospital. Allegations that the man has been poked through the bars with sharpened sticks by people with malicious intent have been strenuously denied.