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 all the words
The words weren't too bad this week – worst ones were organic and identical
You can go to Raven's Nest for the original rules of the game and some excellent advice.
The Mini (the nature of the beast, identical, charcoal, braggart, vacation)
That old braggart Time is taunting me again, daring me to try to change the fate he's prepared for that young man, but such is the nature of the beast, I suppose, or maybe it's just my own self-doubt. Either way, it's all in the man's own hands now. Maybe he'll make the effort to decipher my message, maybe it's already turning to charcoal on the back of the fire. It has not been given me to see this part. Even if he reads the message, will he take up the offer of a free vacation? If I were in the identical situation, I'm not sure I'd be taking up offers by anonymous Braille-writing strangers. I can but hope.
The 10-worder (love is a many splendoured thing, trucks, inspector, symbols, rising, organic, liberation, costly, smug, naughty)
New to Harold's story? The summary is here
"I look like a streetwalker!" gasped Agent India in dismay, as she surveyed her image in the mirror.
"Oh, nonsense!" soothed Agent Prada, brushing the last few wisps of India's platinum blonde wig into place. She stepped back, a smug look on her own immaculately made-up face. "You look classy, but slightly naughty, which is the effect I was going for. Now, try these shoes on."
India tried to quell her rising feeling of acute embarrassment. She had never worn make-up in her life and Prada had applied plenty of it – at least that's what it felt like – and a blonde wig, for goodness' sake! Now, to India, things like make-up, high-heels, overly-fashionable clothes (her bright red T-Shirt had Liberation!!!! blazoned across it, complete with exclamation marks) were all symbols of a very secular and worldly existence - of which she usually wanted absolutely no part. She had to admit, though, under Prada's skilful hands she had been transformed – even her own mother wouldn't recognise her now, let alone a none-too-bright demon who had only met her a couple of times.
The none-too-bright demon in question, along with his talking monkey, was speeding along the highway in the back of Ray's car once more. The sound of Andy Williams's honeyed tones singing Love is a Many Splendoured Thing floated out of the costly Bose sound system. Harold would have preferred some nice Louis Armstrong, but he had to admit Mr Williams could certainly carry a tune pretty well for a human.
Thinking this, Harold felt a familiar pang of sadness. His own music had been warmly appreciated once upon a time, long ago. His talents had been much in demand back then. That was over for good now though and he'd never get to play for that audience ever again. To think he'd had it all: a purpose to his music and an eternity to play it in. and now it was lost to him forever - and it had been his own stupid fault.
"Take it easy, Ray!" Harold's maudlin reverie was broken by Nicole's sharp voice from the front passenger seat as Ray accelerated past a couple of big semi trucks, "We don't want to get pulled over for speeding like last time."
"Aw relax, woman," Ray grumbled, "It's not like we can't afford the odd speeding ticket now and then, sheesh!"
He did slow the car a little though.
"So how are we going to get into Baron Samedi's?" asked Harold, "Oh wait, I know, we could make out I'm some sort of sanitation inspector or something. How to explain you, though?"
"My dear fellow," replied Teatime somewhat acidly, "in your relatively brief time here, you seem to have managed to fill your head with an alarming amount of television nonsense. We'll go and see how the land lies first, then decide what to do. Sanitation inspector, indeed!"
"Well it works in the movies," shrugged Harold
"But this is real life, old sock." Teatime reminded him.
"Is it?" mused Harold, "Sometimes it feels like a badly-written novel, I mean, where's it all going anyway? Supposing we do find out why demons are disappearing, what then?"
"That, old button, is a very good question." replied Teatime, "And one to which I'm afraid I have no answer. Now, hand me one of those bananas, will you? I need some thinking fuel"
Harold did so. Teatime looked at the little label stuck to the yellow skin and made a face.
"You'd have though Nicole would have bought organic," he grumbled, "These pesticide-ridden things have no flavour whatsoever."
Agent Othello popped his head round the door.
"Target's on the move," he announced, "We have to go now."
India and Prada picked up their bags and trotted (or in India's case, tottered) after him. Those high heels would have to go. Honestly, the things you had to do in the eternal battle against evil!