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The Mini (largesse, salad dressing, flying purple people eater, priest, Spanish)
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...
The young man speaks...
It’s funny how, when you’re in hospital, the compass of your world shrinks down to the minutiae of the mundane and you become obsessed with trivial things. For instance, at lunchtime, the hospital’s largesse knew no bounds: two types of salad dressing with my lunch whereas this morning, I couldn’t have a second glass of orange juice. I wish my memories would come back, give me back my life. I feel if I could just shake my head hard enough, the grey wall holding them in would be shattered and my memories would all come tumbling out from behind it. I think in my dreams, some of the memories do try to come back. Last night, I dreamt about the Spanish holiday we went on when I was a kid. In my dream, we were back there and there were churches everywhere and every other person seemed to be either a nun or a priest - although what the flying purple people eater was doing there, I really couldn’t say. Oh, here’s the lady with the sunglasses again. I’m surprised at how much I’m pleased to see her today.
The 10-Worder (salamander, lawyer, prank, flaccid, spurious, angst, flowers, once upon a time, genesis, spark)
New to Harold? The summary is here.
“She won’t thank you, old button.” Said Teatime, “You do know that, don’t you?”
Harold teased a tiny fragment of china into place and concentrated really hard. The fragment became part of the whole. There was no noise, no spark of eldritch blue light or anything, the shard was just suddenly not separate any more. Harold flopped backwards into his chair and let out a breath.
“I know, and I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t started this now,” he said ruefully, “This is tough!”
India’s mug was about half-reassembled – a triumph of gaudy flowers and pink lettering.
“Well it’ll do you good to exercise your abilities once in a while,” replied Teatime, eyeing Harold’s handiwork critically. “Not bad,” he murmured, “Not so much as a crack anywhere. Would have been quicker if you’d used glue though.”
“A true artiste such as myself does not use glue,” Harold said airily.
There came a knock on the door and Moon entered with delicious-smelling takeaway cartons and cans of drink.
“I thought you might like Chinese for a change.” He said, placing the goodies on the table. He caught sight of the half-repaired mug.
“Wow!” he exclaimed, “I didn’t know you could do that! India will be thrilled when she sees it!”
“I rather think not,” said Teatime drily, “My bet is that it will be in the bin before you can say Jack Robinson.”
“Ten dollars says you’re wrong!” declared Moon.
“You’re on.” replied the monkey, sourly eyeing Harold, who was spooning – or chopsticking – strings of steaming flaccid noodles into his mouth at a rate of knots. Becoming aware of the little monkey’s baleful stare, he paused, several noodles still hanging out of his mouth.
“Great Cthulu’s ghost,” sighed Teatime, “A little decorum if you can possibly manage it, dear boy, a little decorum.”
“Sorry,” said Harold, having quickly made the noodles disappear, “I was really, really hungry. Must be all the jigsaw work.”
“Wasted effort, I tell you.” Said Teatime, shaking his head, “That woman hates you with a passion.”
“But I’ve never done anything to her.” Harold reached for a carton of duck in plum sauce.
“Perhaps she’s had a run-in with another demon in the past.” Said Moon, “I could find out for you if you like.”
“How?” asked Harold.
“It’ll be in her files I expect,” replied the young agent.
Harold frowned, “I’m no lawyer but I’m guessing there are rules about poking around in people’s personal information. Anyway, we’d probably find out her animosity was down to some demon misusing an apostrophe or something.”
Moon shrugged, “Heh! A demon with moral angst over accessing someone else secrets, whatever next? Well if you change your mind…” He got up and left the room.
“What an odd little fellow,” said Teatime.
Next morning, Harold, Teatime, Mercury, Prada, Othello and India were gathered once more in the Salamander room.
“So how long do we give Box to come up with this more and more spurious-seeming agent Iris and that shipping receipt?” said Othello.
“I take it he hasn’t called back then.” Said Mercury.
“Nope,” replied Othello ,”And I tried calling him again this morning: no answer.”
“He’d better not be pulling some kind of prank,” said Prada, “Cos if he is..”
“No, no, as mad as he is,” replied Mercury, cutting her off, “He’s not the type. Once upon a time he was one of our very best agents. In the nineties, he virtually single-handedly took down the New Genesis cult, he infiltrated no end of enemy operations, spotted more Fallen than you could wave a stick at.” He trailed off, shaking his head sadly. “He’s not playing games, I’m sure of it.”
“Perhaps we had better pay him another visit,” suggested India. “Maybe the monkey was right, maybe there was someone else with Box and that’s why he can’t or won’t answer us.”
“Well, we don’t have any other leads at the moment,” agreed Mercury, “Let’s go, people!”
From where he was parked some way down the street and across the road from Aunt Aggie’s, Mr Teeth was in an excellent position to observe the small group of people – including one trumpet-playing little punk - come out of the building and climb into a large car. Yes, he could have let Peck and his associates handle this but, truth to tell, he was getting to the point where the PI’s condescending manner was becoming more and more irritating, as good as he was at what he did. Besides, with the club still closed, there wasn’t all that much else for him to do anyway. Mr Teeth waited a few moments then started his engine, easing his nondescript vehicle out into the road after the departing OGS car.