Welcome to my ongoing web serial which I am currently posting as part of #fridayflash and #tuesdayserial. These are both excellent flash fiction communities located here in blog world and over on twitter. If you are new to the series and would like to see where it all began, there is a chapter list here. Hope you enjoy reading, and please leave comments with your feedback. They have been known to make it into the story!
The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange
(In which Ms Pinky finds green is not her colour)
Ms Pinky flicked a small feather duster over her artfully arranged collection of vintage Malibu Barbies and purred with pride; this was the first time she had been left in charge of the employment exchange and she wanted to make a good job of it.
Fiona was at the Norwegian Embassy trying to track down Alice who had now been out of contact for over a week, whilst Neil was out finding stabling for the exchange’s newly acquired, unemployed reindeer. Fiona’s hastily written instructions concerning that morning’s clients had been gobbled up unread by Ms Pinky along with her extra-large blueberry breakfast muffin, so the monster was somewhat unprepared for the dishevelled looking gentleman who now shuffled into the office.
‘Welcome to the Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange, my name is Ms Pinky and it will be my pleasure to assist you this morning.’ Ms Pinky wrinkled her three nostrils together in displeasure as she watched the old man shake leaves and bits of bark from his shabby jacket. ‘Long journey, was it?’
‘Not really,’ said the gentleman, ‘I’ve been staying at the YMCA, only until I can find a job of course.’
‘Naturally,’ said Ms Pinky plucking a twig from the front seat of Barbie’s Corvette, ‘please take a seat and fill this form in.’
Ms Pinky tutted as he made a start.
‘No, no, no, you’ll have to do better than that.’
Ms Pinky read out from his application form.
‘Name: “Green Man”, I mean, that’s like me putting down “Pink Monster” isn’t it? Imagine!’
‘But that’s my name,’ protested the gentleman, ‘I am a Green Man.’
‘I’m sorry,’ said Ms Pinky, stepping from behind her desk, ‘could you leave please, we don’t tolerate time wasters here. Goodbye.’
The Green Man walked slowly to the door, moving to the side as Fiona rushed down into the Exchange.
‘How are things?’ she panted.
‘Well, I wasn’t expecting the clients to be quite so difficult,’ said Ms Pinky, ‘but otherwise, everything’s fine. Neil is out with the reindeer; that poor boy, I’m sure he’s overworked.’
‘He’ll cope,’ said Fiona, looking nervously up the stairs as the Green Man vanished from view. ‘Anyway, we’ve a bigger problem to deal with.’
‘Yes. The Embassy thinks she may have been kidnapped; her belongings are still at the hotel and no-one’s seen her.’
‘Goodness,’ exclaimed Ms Pinky, eyes wide with excitement, ‘do you think the werewolf got her?’
‘Possibly, but before she disappeared, she discovered that the real Kraken is missing. I’m guessing if we find the Kraken, we find Alice.’ Fiona paused, deep in thought. ‘The Kraken is far too valuable to kill, and my hunch is that whoever needs a giant mythological squid, also needs someone with the ability to communicate with it.’
‘Which,’ said Ms Pinky, ‘means that Alice is probably still alive.’
‘Unless, of course,’ said Ms Pinky, licking her lips, ‘calamari has just become a hot commodity on the international comestibles market.’
Fiona sent her receptionist up for coffee and called Neil telling him to hurry back for an emergency meeting. Ten minutes later he rushed in, almost knocking Ms Pinky’s bucket of latte out of her paws.
‘Sorry Ms Pinky, didn’t scald you did I?’
Ms Pinky lowered her head and fluttered her purple eyelashes.
‘Not at all Neil, I have a very firm grip with these paws. Can I get you a coffee, a sandwich perhaps?’
‘How about a massage? You look stressed.’
Neil eyed Ms Pinky’s claws and hastily backed into Fiona’s office.
‘Perhaps we should get on with the meeting,’ he said, ‘every second counts by the sound of things.’
‘Good, you’re all here,’ said Fiona, I’ve just spoken to Alice’s phone company, her mobile hasn’t been used in days.’
‘And I managed to hack into her e-mail account earlier on,’ said Neil, ‘she hasn’t logged on at all.’
Ms Pinky put her paw into the air and waved it vigorously in front of Fiona.
‘Yes, Ms Pinky?’
‘Well, I took the liberty of calling everyone in Alice’s address book; she’d left it in her desk.’
‘Nothing, I’m afraid. Although I think one of the young men might have been an ex-boyfriend. He sounded lovely.’ Ms Pinky turned to Neil, blushing vermilion. ‘Not as lovely as you though, Neil’
‘Yes, well, thank you Ms Pinky, good work,’ said Fiona, unrolling a large map of the Atlantic, ‘I think our first and most important task is to locate poor Alice. Any ideas?’
‘How about a search plane?’ said Ms Pinky hopefully.
‘The ocean’s just too big,’ said Fiona, ‘it could take forever.’
‘Is Moby still on our books?’ asked Neil, ‘he can cover a lot of sea very quickly.’
Fiona pursed her lips, shaking her head.
‘Mr Dick was poached by a private Australian agency last year.’
‘Oh no!’ sobbed Ms Pinky, ‘how could they?’
‘Not that sort of poached, dear, they offered him more cash.’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Ms Pinky, calming down, ‘because poaching a whale would be a nightmare; you’d never find a pan big enough.’
Suddenly, Fiona leapt up from her chair, knocking over her award from the Mythological Work Ethics Guild.
‘That’s it Ms Pinky. You’ve got it!’
‘Got what? Where? Is it dangerous?’
‘No, you’ve solved our problem!’ Fiona rushed over and planted a kiss on Ms Pinky’s furry face.
‘I don’t follow.’
‘Nor me,’ said Neil.
Fiona removed a ball of pink fluff from her mouth and continued.
‘Ms Pinky, do you still have your recurring nightmare permit?’
‘How does that help us?’ asked Neil
‘Well,’ said Fiona, ‘If Ms Pinky can get into Alice’s nightmare, she might be able to talk to her and find out where she is.’ Fiona took Ms Pinky’s paw. ‘Will you do it?’
Ms Pinky’s eyes glowed orange and a smile spread rapidly across her three rows of serrated teeth.
‘Thank you,’ said Fiona, ‘just promise not to scare Alice too much, won’t you.’
© flyingscribbler 2011