Friday 17 September 2010

Lacklustre Weapon

"We have quite a few things to question you about," said the younger man in the suit.

"Yes, we do, Mr." the older man looked down at his notebook, and squinted, "Mr. I.Difficult."

"Who are you?" asked I.

He held up a badge, "I'm DCI Fred Ender, and this," pointing to the younger man, "is DS Dave Smith."

"Oh!" There wasn't much to say to that.

"Would you like to do this here, or down the station?" asked DS Smith.

"Can I decide when you tell me what it is about?" I asked.

"I have a list here in my notebook," DCI Ender turned the book around to reveal a carefully numbered list in small well proportioned handwriting. Each page had roman numerals at the bottom.

I looked at the list:

  • Disappearance of the Eiffel Tower. Later found. In Basingstoke.
  • Nuclear submarine in the Slobbering-under-the-Bed Town Centre ornamental pond. Scared ducks.
  • Street lighting broken in the Town Centre.
  • Parking a genetically modified animal in the wrong timezone.

"Oh dear," I muttered. Hopefully they couldn't read anything into my expression.

I needed an alibi. Quickly. I thought hard. "I was watching TV, " I said.

"For all of these? And we didn't say when they happened?" DS Smith looked unsure.

DCI Ender helped him out, "What did you watch?"

"Oh, I hadn't turned it on. I was just watching it. And eating a curry." Quick think. Think. Must make this sound plausible. "Actually the cat had eaten the curry and was wearing the tin on it's head." Sorted. Very convincing.

Maybe a change of subject would work here, "Have you two been working together long?"

"Two weeks," replied DCI Fred, "They like to pair together odd couples like in the movies. You see I'm the straight-laced and by-the-book family man," he paused for dramatic effect, and possibly breath, "and DS Dangerous Dave here is the devil-may-care maverick whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done shoot-to-kill hard-drinking hard-living womaniser with a death wish."

"Bugger, I thought you were the maverick with the death wish?!" exclaimed the somewhat surprised and newly nicknamed Dangerous Dave.

The two besuited detectives looked at one another with a look that surpassed surprise. I felt somewhat left out. "I don't know anything about these things, but I know a man who almost certainly does. Well, not know, more sort of acquaintance. We've done a little business. Have you got your notepad?"

"Yes," they both said in unison.

I spelled out the name, "I-N-D-I-G-O R-O-T-H. He'll be able to help. Hell, he may even be responsible for these crimes."

"That's odd," said DS Dave, raising an eyebrow.

"It is indeed."

"That's the name of the chap who gave us your name..."

Wednesday 8 September 2010


There we were in the basket of a hot air balloon. Indigo Roth, Eolist Petite and I. Roth was looming up from the basket with his head awfully close to the flames of the burner. Ms Petite didn't have that particular problem as she could barely see over the edge of the basket. I had my hand wrapped around a rope.

I looked down and Ms Petite was busy screwing a holy shit handle to the rim of the basket. This is always a good idea when transport and Indigo were in close proximity.

On the far side of the basket Indigo was steering the balloon with a steering wheel. He felt happier when he was driving. The steering wheel wasn't attached to anything, which made Eolist and I feel happier.

"Where do you think we are?" Eolist asked.

"I've no idea. Slobbering-under-the-Bed kinda disappeared after we went straight through that glowing fog bank," I replied.

"I did try to guide us around it, but it's like this steering wheel isn't attached to anything." Ms Petite and I looked at each other. "It doesn't look like there is much down there."

"Odd, isn't it. We should be over England where there are fifteen pubs and twenty-four curry houses per square mile. I can't see a single one."

It was peaceful floating along in the balloon with the gentle rush of air and creaking of the basket. The peace was occasionally interrupted by the firing of the burner. What was below looked like desert with rolling dunes and the occasional patches of scrubby grass.

Roth was the first to spot something a little odd. "Look!" he said.

"I can't see!" replied Ms Petite, bouncing up and down.

"It's probably just a mirage," said I.

"Nope, definitely not a mirage. Look there's a sign over the door, but I can't make it out from here. Mirages never have signs over the door." He seemed very sure of this.

At this point I felt a pull on the rope I held in my hand. I followed the rope and looked over the side of the basket. On the end of the rope was a very well dressed chap of asian appearance.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Would sir mind pulling me up?"

"Excuse me, but what are you doing there?"

"Hanging on a piece of rope, 40 feet above the ground." He seemed anxious, "Would sir mind pulling me up?" he repeated.

We started pulling the man on the rope up towards the basket. Eventually he was lifted over the rim and into the basket. He paused. Dusted himself off and laid a white napkin over his right arm.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"I would have that would have been evident, sir. I am your waiter for the evening." He handed us a menu each. The menus were each bound in fine brown Italian leather, with the gold lettering spelling out the name of the establishment and the word menu.

"What were you doing on the rope?"

"A good waiter anticipates his customers every wish. I am here to take your orders and show you where to land."

At this point the couldn't-be-a-mirage-with-a-sign-over-the-door came into closer view. All three of us whispered the words, The Euthanasia Curry House.

"What is the big circle with a B in it for? The one next to the big circle with a H in it."

"The B circle is for balloons to land. H is for helicopters."

"What is the barrier with bales of hay and old tires for?"

"In case Indigo drove you here." replied the waiter.


The tale continues at Eolist Petite's Blog with Balloon too and/or while i waited...