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The Mini (dragons are forever, jelly beans, practice makes perfect, asparagus, spelling bee)
This is part of of an ongoing story.
A blind seer has a vision about a young man coming to harm from an old man living in a tower. To try to avert this fate, she anonymously pays for him to take a holiday somewhere far away. The young man arrives at the holiday town and sees an interesting tower, which he plans to investigate. The seer has a nightmare which she believes is connected to the young man's fate and resolves to go after him. She gets to the holiday town and realises this is the very place the tower is located. She gets lost trying to locate it and bumps into the young man on his way there. The seer soon discovers that this is the very man from her vision, she and asks him to accompany her to where they can have a quiet talk. His phone rings, interrupting the conversation. As he completes his call, a car comes around the corner too fast and he pushes the seer out of its path, only to be struck himself. The driver of the car turns out to be the old man from the seer's vision. The young man awakens in hospital with no memories of what has happened. Next day...
The seer speaks...
I awoke this morning with a bit of a queasy tummy – I knew that ‘cream of asparagus’ soup the hotel served me last night tasted odd. A glass of water seems to have settled things down though. At breakfast, I think there must have been a family with young children seated near me. At least, I assume the high, piping voice chanting “dragons are forever! Jelly beans! Jelly beans!” over and over was that of a child. I remember when I was about nine, I entered a spelling bee and, because my father had told me practice makes perfect, I went about the place chanting the spellings of the words I thought we would be tested on, it must have been infuriating for everyone else in the house. I shall go to the hospital again today to see the young man. I hope his sister gets here soon – they must have contacted her, surely? Mr Fitzpatrick had to go to the police station yesterday evening to show them his documents or something. I hope they don’t charge him: I’m sure what happened was just an accident – was this the danger I foresaw? It had to be. Surely nothing worse could happen now?
The 10-Worder (oh, my aching bones, Spring has sprung, solitude, spearmint, platitudes, cardboard box, chimney, yogurt, shattered, flagrant)
New to Harold? The summary is here.
The sky overhead was a merciless blue with just the occasional wisp of yoghurt-coloured cloud.
“Oh, my aching bones!” groaned Mercury, clambering up into the sunlight once more. The ladder leading down to Box’s lair had been long and steep. “I don’t want to have to do that again in a hurry, It’s like climbing up a giant’s chimney.”
“I suppose living in a place like that is one way to ensure a certain amount of peaceful solitude.” Said Othello, “I can’t imagine he gets many people dropping in – unless they fall in the hole.”
The others laughed.
“It’s interesting you should say that, Agent,” said Teatime, “Because I had the distinct impression that someone else was there but keeping out of sight, in one of the side rooms perhaps.”
“If I was associating with a nut job like Box, I’d been keeping out of sight too!” laughed Prada, “What makes you think someone was there?”
“There was a faint smell of spearmint in the air, like chewing gum or toothpaste or some such” replied the little monkey. “And Reverend Box was not the source of it – more’s the pity.”
“Well, the man’s allowed to have friends over – or down – I suppose we should say.” Said Mercury.
“Anyway, let’s get back to the ranch and check out this Agent Iris fellow.”
“That was pretty neat!” grinned Harold as they headed back to the car.
“I have my uses, old sock,” replied Teatime smugly, “I have my uses.”
“Nothing!” said Othello, slapping the table next to his keyboard, “Not a trace of any Agent Iris anywhere in the OGS system. Either Box lied to us or his memory’s gone the way of his sanity. ” He rubbed his eyes. “I‘ll call him and check the name.” He punched numbers into a nearby desk phone, listened for a while and then left a message, asking Box to call and confirm the name of the Agent he had worked with on project Dynamo.
“Well that’s all we can do for now, I think", said Mercury
"Yeah," agreed Othello, "Let’s hope he comes through with the name and with that shipping receipt. Oh, thanks!” This last was directed to Agent Moon who had just placed a fresh coffee on the table in front of him. The young agent smiled.
“You looked like you needed it. Tough case, huh?”
“Yeah,” sighed Othello, “One step forward, two steps sideways.”
“I’m sure you’ll crack it,” Moon paused, “Can I ask you something?”
“Sure, go ahead.” Moon perched on the edge of the desk and lowered his voice.
“That demon that’s hanging around here, how long is it going to be around?”
Othello shrugged, “Till we solve the case, I suppose. Look, if it bothers you, I can get you a transfer till it’s gone.”
“Oh, no, nothing like that!” protested Moon, “It’s kind of interesting actually. Did you know it likes music?”
“I did not.” Othello frowned, “Have you been talking to it?”
“Well, yes, actually,” admitted Moon, “When I delivered the pizza last night, we got to talking.”
“Well, if you take my advice,” said Othello, “Don’t interact with it – it can’t be trusted and will do its best to deceive, disarm and ultimately ensnare you.”
“I’ll be careful.” Promised Moon.
-0-0-0-India wandered into the break room and was irritated to see Harold and Prada sitting at one of the tables, sipping coffee and chatting - for all the world like normal people. Yes, yes, Othello had said that Prada was just probably pretending to befriend the Fallen, to see if it knew more than it was telling, but still, such flagrant fraternisation was immensely galling to witness and no amount of platitudes about who was fooling whom would change that.
Annoyed by the situation, and annoyed at herself for being annoyed, she swilled her own coffee mug under the tap and banged it down on the stainless steel drainer with a little more force than was necessary. To her chagrin, it shattered and pieces flew everywhere.
Prada and Harold stopped talking and looked over at her in surprise.
“Everything all right?” asked Prada.
“Fine!” India snapped. She began angrily picking up pieces of crockery and dropping them into an old cardboard box.
“But that was your favourite mug!” Prada hurried over and began to help. She picked up the largest piece. The motto “Spring has sprung!” in bright pink lettering was still just about readable – the mug had been a promotional item for India’s favourite uncle’s flower shop. India took it off her and dropped it into the box with the other pieces.
“I was getting tired of it anyway,” she lied.
Harold got up and slipped out of the room. He had an idea.