Have we really reached chapter ten already? It would seem so. This week in my web serial, the staff of the Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange begin to form their rescue plan. Will they find Alice before the werewolf gets bored with her? What has happened to the Kraken? And just who will turn Ms Pinky’s eye this week? Read on to find out….If you like what you read, you may wish to go back to the start: please click here for a complete chapter listing. Thanks for reading and, as always, please leave comments. Go on. Be honest!
The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange
(In which Ms Pinky buys a disguise and Fiona rallies the troops)
Ms Pinky was all of a dither. She had slept fitfully after her failure to make contact with Alice inside the kidnapped secretary’s recurring nightmare, and when she finally managed to drop off again, she had suffered her own recurring nightmare; the horror of parading for the Miss Universe judges in a skimpy rhinestone bikini and nine inch heels was still with the monster as she made her way down the steps to the Exchange.
Under one arm she carried a bag containing her recent purchases: a tartan skirt, pastel green twin set and a pair of stout Headmistress shoes; Ms Pinky intended to be fully prepared tonight when she re-entered Alice’s nightmare. Everything depended on her; she’d even switched to a decaf double fat latte this morning to help her sleep.
‘Ah, good morning Ms Pinky,’ said Fiona as the monster entered the Exchange, ‘did you find what you need for tonight?’
‘Yes thank you, Fiona, although the shop assistant didn’t seem sure about it. Come to think of it, the policeman who threw me out wasn’t all that taken with it either; maybe they thought green wasn’t my colour.’
Fiona shuddered to think what had gone on in the department store and tried to put it out of her mind.
‘Talking of green,’ she said hastily, ‘I believe you’ve met The Green Man.’
Ms Pinky hadn’t noticed the earthy smell and rustling of leaves until now, but, sure enough, the dirty old man she had thrown out yesterday was back at the reception desk, filling in another application form.
‘I asked Mr Man to come back after your little misunderstanding.’
Fiona looked pointedly at Ms Pinky, trying desperately to convey her meaning.
‘I can assure you Fiona,’ said Ms Pinky haughtily, ‘there was no misunderstanding on my part.’
‘Nor mine,’ said The Green Man in his thick West Country accent. He rose to shake Ms Pinky’s paw, ‘but as I always says let bygones be bygones. What do you say we start over, my lover?’
Despite herself, Ms Pinky shivered all over as he held her paw. She didn’t even mind that he had knocked over her carefully arranged pyramid of Malibu Barbies.
‘Well, I’m glad you two have made friends,’ said Fiona, ‘we’ll be in touch as soon as anything comes up Mr Man, and thank you again for being so patient with us.’
The Green Man bowed as he made his exit, dropping twigs, bits of mud and what looked suspiciously like an old bird’s nest on the carpet.
‘They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, don’t they,’ said Ms Pinky, carefully placing the nest on her desk, ‘what a lovely gentleman.’
‘Indeed, and one of our oldest and most valued clients. Now then, to business. Are you sure you can get to Alice in time tonight?’
‘Absolutely,’ said Ms Pinky, taking her purchases out of the bag, ‘dressed like one of her nightmare battleaxes I can get into the thick of it much sooner.’ She held up the twin set with a worried look on her face. ‘I hope it fits.’
‘Don’t worry too much about that,’ said Fiona, thinking how even she would have trouble getting the clothes to fit, ‘just concentrate on finding out where Alice has been taken.’
A few minutes later, Neil arrived back from grooming the reindeer at the stables.
‘Morning all,’ he said cheerily, ‘you remember Bertie, don’t you?’
‘Yes,’ said Fiona sharply, ‘the little tyke who wants to put us out of business. The pleasure’s all yours, I’m sure.’
Neil looked wounded.
‘It’s not like that,’ he said, ‘go on Bertie, tell her.’
Bertie pushed his long fringe back over his head and smiled sheepishly at Fiona, all the while keeping an eye on Ms Pinky; their last encounter had been rather unnerving for the civil servant form the Department for Efficiencies and Downsizing.
‘Ms Macalister, I must apologize for my last visit, I had no idea of the strains you are all under at the moment. Neil here has been filling me in with the details, and I’d be thrilled if you would let me help you.’
‘Neil’s been filling you in, has he?’ said Fiona glancing at her blushing colleague, ‘that’s lovely. But I fail to see how you can possibly be of any use to us.’
‘I can keep the Department off your back for a start,’ said Bertie, ‘and I’m not above a little moonlighting; I’ve been giving Neil a hand with the reindeer already.’
‘That’s what the smell is,’ said Ms Pinky, licking her lips.
‘Well, since you’re here, you might as well make yourself useful,’ said Fiona, placing chairs around the reception desk, ‘come on everyone, seats please!’
Fiona waited whilst everyone got settled and Ms Pinky had re-erected her Barbie pyramid.
‘Ok, so although we don’t know where Alice is yet, we can still hazard a guess that she is a long way away, probably at sea and in grave danger. Agreed?’
Ms Pinky and Neil both nodded, whilst Bertie, who was wedged between them, offered a forced smile: he was sure the monster had her paw on his knee.
‘So,’ continued Fiona, ‘we’re going to need help. I’ve drawn up a job advertisement to go out tomorrow. What do you think?’
She placed a large mock up of the ad in the middle of the desk.
“Employment Opportunity for Myths and Monsters.
Start Date: Immediately
Would Suit: Myths and/or Monsters with a Sense of Adventure
Qualifications Required: None
Some experience of the following would be an asset: flying, swimming, fighting and scaring.
Interested parties should apply in person to The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange, London.”
‘It’s perfect,’ said Neil.
‘I agree,’ said Ms Pinky, ‘but don’t you think “Monsters” should come before “Mythical Creatures”?’
Fiona turned to Bertie.
‘What about you?’
‘You haven’t said what the salary is.’
‘Very observant, young man,’ said Fiona, clearing the desk, ‘that’s because there isn’t one.’
© flyingscribbler 2011