Secondary Phase - Episode Ten
Pyrodæmon had just been explaining the finer points of the concept of his plan not working meaning no baked goods for Lluchmoor, when he was distracted by a loud splashing sound as some sort of large object collided with the otherwise calm surface of the water. He turned to see what it was, but there was nothing there. He stared at the lake for a few seconds, and then decided that he was bored and reasoned that it was probably nothing.
'So you see, I can't help you get an unending supply of hot buttered scones if you don't help me work out what went wrong.'
'Okay, I see. I suppose I should help you anyway, since you're my brothOWWWW!'
Pyrodæmon was starting to wonder if Lluchmoor had finally lost it when he too received a rather nasty pecking at ankle level. Cedric was giving it all he had and was now frantically quacking and hissing at the pair of demonic characters who had begun to run around in circles trying to work out what on earth was going on. Neither of them could see their attacker, and so Cedric was free to continue with his revenge. Trying to do something to halt the endless barrage, Lluchmoor ended up setting fire to Pyrodæmon and the two were forced to flee into the lake at top speed.
John sipped slowly at his cup of tea, feeling a little better for finally taking time to relax and stop worrying about things. He took a bite out of the chocolate chip cookie he'd bought with it and began to chew it slowly, his mind going over how glad he was that nothing stressful way currently happening. Emily had other things on her mind.
'Do you ever wonder where they're all going?'
'All these people — where do you think they're all going?'
'I'm not sure, really. Tunbridge Wells? Dover? Never been that way myself.'
'No, I mean, where do you think they're going with their lives? How many of them do you think actually know who they are and what they want to do with their lives?'
'Oh. Not too sure about that one either. I'm really not the right person to be asking.'
"Why not? As far as I can tell we're both just like everyone else out there in that crowd."
'Not really — I've never been going anywhere in life. I had a go at it once, but I just ended up back where I started.'
Emily noticed that John was looking a little upset, so she left the subject for the moment and asked him about his triple chocolate cookie. John replied that it was just about keeping him sane for now and offered Emily a piece. She turned down the small lump of biscuit, pointing out that she wasn't going to try and steal any of his sanity, a remark which thankfully brought the bare beginnings of a smile to John's tired face.
'What was that?'
'I don't know, but it was almost as painful as being set on fire.'
'Oh — sorry about that. It's just I couldn't tell what to aim at — there wasn't anything there!"
'Of course there was, you fool. You just couldn't see it. It sounded quite a lot like a duck. Hmmm...'
'Just be quiet. I'm trying to think.'
For the next fifteen minutes, Pyrodæmon and Lluchmoor stood in the cold, murky water, the silence only being broken by the noise of it starting to rain. The bemused look on Lluchmoor's face slowly changed from curious to impatient and had reached downright bored by the time Pyro suddenly decided it was time to wade back to the shore again.
Cedric was feeling quite chuffed with himself and had celebrated by waddling around for a while and pecking the ground a little to see if there was anything of interest there. Eventually he got bored and decided to go and have a look at the strange contraption that the two putrid things had brought with them. It was big, yellow and rather horrifically ugly, and Cedric decided that it suited them perfectly. Curious, he flew up onto the back of the tow truck and sat on the shelf where a car would have been, except for the fact that original owner had been incinerated before he could put one there. The view was quite good from up here and Cedric thought the big ugly yellow thing was actually pretty nifty. Having come to this conclusion, he sat there for a while, wondering what the funny-smelling stuff he was sitting in was. He took a deep breath to try and work out what he was and thought about how interesting the smell was before promptly falling asleep with his head tucked under his wing.
It was about at this point that two putrid men clambered into their not-so-putrid-but-still-not-exactly-pretty vehicle, which started off on its way back towards London. Cedric was too busy dreaming about breadcrumbs to get motion sickness, so he remained completely unaware of what was going on until the vehicle had stopped again. As Lluchmoor hopped out of the cab and ran off to find somewhere with a toilet he could use, he thoughtlessly slammed the door, causing Cedric to wake up and start panicking. That funny-smelling stuff had made him feel quite woozy and had become stuck to his wings. He managed to half-waddle and half-stagger over to the edge of the tow truck's shelf, then did a sort of tumbling somersault down onto the ground. Confused, he slowly waddled across the car park and into the warmth of Harpenden Station.
Once Emily had finished explaining why she had stalked John, they finished their drinks and started off towards the tube. John said he just needed a minute to get some cash out of the hole in the wall and wandered over to wait in the short queue. Emily stood to one side when John finally got to use the machine and politely averted her eyes as he typed in his pin number. She was just about to ask jokingly whether he was down to his last can of beans when John buckled at the knees and passed out for the second time that day. She looked at the screen to see that his balance had miraculously become a positive five-figure sum and, without really thinking, withdrew a tenner for the unconscious John and then retrieved his card and moved him out of the way. John came to a few moments later with a shocked look upon his face.
'You know, most of the time I've known you you've been unconscious...'
'It's not my fault — I've got chronically low blood pressure and, to be honest, I'm not coping too well with this whole situation.'
'I'd never have noticed.' Emily had gone from looking bemused to grinning again — what a week this was proving to be.