Each week, Raven gives us a set of 15 words - 5 for the mini, 10 for the 10-worder or all 15 for the mega challenge. The idea is to create a passage which includes the words
You can go to Raven's Nest for the original rules of the game and some excellent advice.
This week's words were a mixed bag. Worst one: cats-in-the-cradle.
The Mini (paragon of virtue, cats-in-the-cradle, swamp, sprinkles, garbage)
I ran my fingers over the Braille message, the dots feeling like tiny sprinkles all over the card. I was unsure whether or not to throw it in the garbage. I thought it might be a promo for some ultra-trendy downtown restaurant, like the one sent out by the Cats-in-the-Cradle bar last year – a cute little ceramic cat in, guess what, a cradle. I gave mine to my little niece, as I recall. But what if it wasn't that? Maybe it was an awareness-raiser for some blind people's charity or something – at least it wasn't a crappy pen or set of address labels like they usually liked to swamp me with. Now, I'm no paragon of virtue where it comes to charitable giving, but I do my bit and I don't like to be badgered into it. The card dangled from my fingers over the garbage bin, but I hesitated. What the heck, I might as well try to find out what the message said - I had nothing better to do, after all.
The 10-worder (officer, candid, drowning, turtles, sugar-coated, prospecting, shame on you, recliner, luggage, brains)
New to Harold's story? The summary is here
Director Opal regarded the hand-held GPS tracker with its steadily glowing red dot.
"Turtles Wood Heights." he mused, "Nice address these black Sheep have. Good work, Agent."
As India's supposed superior officer, Agent Mercury felt mildly envious of the praise India was getting. As a far more experienced agent, he should have thought about the tracker himself, but hadn't. He shook off the unworthy bad feeling with a finger-wagging mental reprimand: shame on you, you know she deserves it, now learn from it and move on.
"We'll need to move quickly," said India, "the battery in the Ladybird won't last forever,"
"Indeed," agreed Opal. "We'll need a different approach this time, though: we can't just bust into a private residence – especially one in that particular neighbourhood. They'll probably have private security and everything. Thinking caps, people!"
"So," said Harold, now ensconced comfortably in one of Ray and Nicole's expensive electric recliner chairs, "If you're on a mission and I'm supposed to be helping you, why did I have to waste my time working in a bar all those weeks, why didn't we meet sooner? And what was that all about me finding a job and slumming it when we could have been as snug as bugs here all the time?"
So many questions, thought Teatime, as he wracked his brains for a quick answer. He had not been completely candid with Harold about the latter's purpose on Earth. Oh, yes, it was true he was here to assist Teatime in a way, but (and there really was no way this could be sugar-coated) he was here because his father considered him completely expendable.
The original plan had been for Teatime to follow and observe Harold covertly to see if his naive bumbling about on the Brightside would attract the attentions of whoever (or whatever) was making demons disappear. When, after a few weeks, this hadn't happened, Teatime had decided to make himself known to Harold and encourage him to be a bit more proactive to see if that would do the trick. It was still early days on that one, and the run-in with OGS hadn't helped matters. He had to admit, though, a charismatic "human" would probably be useful in the investigation for the reasons he had told Harold earlier, so if the plan didn't work out it didn't really matter, and if it did, well... Having never once come close to drowning in the milk of human kindness, Teatime was not the most soft-hearted of creatures, but even so, he couldn't really bring himself to tell Harold that he had been basically set up as bait.
"I was busy with other matters, old sock," he prevaricated, "Took a while to sort things out, but I came as quickly as I could."
"But why didn't you tell me straight away that all this stuff was going on?" persisted Harold,
"Er, well, I wanted to see what you were like for a bit first." replied Teatime, wishing the demon would just let it go. "Getting to know someone is a bit like prospecting for gold: not to be rushed into without a proper survey, as it were."
Harold shrugged and was silent for some time after that, but Teatime could see that he was not altogether satisfied by the answers he'd been given. Perhaps he wasn't as big a duffer as Teatime had previously thought.
"Right, well, anyway," declared Teatime brightly, "I think it's time we packed our luggage and made a move. I think we should go and take a look at the crime scene, so to speak. What say we go and have a look around Baron Samedi's?"