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A Hallowe’en Night to Forget

Martin was puzzled.  Mister Pembry was usually a lot more enthusiastic at breakfast.  Today, he hardly ate a thing.  He looked like someone who had just come from a funeral, but nobody had died.  Well, nobody that Martin knew.  Not recently.

“You OK Mistuh Pembry?  Ya look kinda down in the dumps.”

Josiah Pembry’s jaw tightened, and between clenched teeth he muttered “I’m fine,” as he noisily placed his teacup in it’s saucer and stood to leave.

Martin looked to his uncle MacKnight, who only shook his head as Pembry left the room.  “Let him go, Martin.  Josiah has had a bad week.”

“A bad week?”  Martin was stilled puzzled.  “We been real busy at the shop, what wif Hallowe’en ’n’ all.  How’s that bad?”

MacKnight looked to the door to ensure that Pembry was completely out of hearing range.  “He had some Hallowe’en plans that didn’t quite work out, that’s all.”

Martin wrinkled his forehead.  “He had plans for Hallowe’en?  But he was with us at the shop, givin’ toys to the urchins who came for Tricks or Treats.”

MacKnight smiled and sighed.  “Yes, yes he was, wasn’t he?  But those toys didn’t have quite the effect he was expecting.”

MacKnight put his toast on his plate and leaned back in his chair.  “Do you remember what we were giving the children for Hallowe’en this year?”

“Yeah, sure.”  Martin scratched his head.  “We had pumpkin masks that played some silly music wot you put inta them, an’ we had some mechanical man costumes so’s they could pretend to take over the City, tellin’ the mayor he oughta surrenduh and stuff.”

MacKnight smiled.  “And Mister Pembry worked on the mechanical man outfits, didn’t he?”

“Yeah, I told you ‘bout that.  He said they needed somephin’ special to make ‘em more excitin’.  I still don’ really trust that guy, Unka Mac, so I had ta tell you he was doin’ somephin’.”

“You did right, Martin.  I looked at those mechanical outfits to see what he thought would be so exciting.  I’m very glad I did.”

MacKnight leaned forward, peering at Martin over the top of his glasses.  “He had installed a device in each one that would have allowed him to control each mechanical outfit remotely.  He was going to have those children attack City Hall.”

“And it would have worked, too!”  MacKnight and Martin both jumped to hear Pembry’s voice from the doorway.  “You had to ruin my plans again, didn’t you?”

MacKnight shook his head.  “This is a nice town, Josiah, a good town.  You don’t need to overthrow the government here.  Mayor Tenk is doing a better job than you ever could.”

“Ha!” exclaimed Pembry.  “That imbecile!  He couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag, especially if there was a broken clock in there with him.  He has no clue what to do with power.  Look at this City!  We could rule the entire region!  We could build a new empire!  But he’s worried about park benches and trolleys!”

MacKnight continued to shake his head.  “Poor Pembry.  Still trying to take over the company and prove that an orphan can run things just as well as anyone else.”

“Better than anyone else!” 

“But you lost your chance at Stillman and Company, so you have to take over the City-State of New Babbage instead.”

“Yes!  Am I the only one who sees potential here?”  Pembry was pacing between the door and the table.  “Underby and Mornington might have some inkling, but they’re as inept as that fool Tenk.  Someone has to do something!  And I could have done so much, if you hadn’t disabled my controller mechanism.  I could have had an army of mechanical men storming City Hall, courtesy of those foolish children and their strange Hallowe’en rituals.  No one would even have noticed anything was happening until I had already taken control!”

“But you didn’t take control, did you, Josiah?”  MacKnight said quietly.  “And no one even noticed anything unusual was happening.  Until it didn’t.  It was just another New Babbage Hallowe’en celebration.”

“And it’s all your fault!” Pembry shouted.

“Poor thing!  You failed to take control again because one loyal citizen thought to check up on you.”

“Two!” Martin raised his hand.  “I helped, too.”

“If you’re going to wrest control of this city from our mayor, Josiah, you will need to get your schemes past people like us first,” MacKnight announced, once again picking up his breakfast toast.

“Duly noted!” Pembry slammed the door on his way out.

Martin frowned.  “I don’t like the sound o’ that.”

“Neither do I,” MacKnight assented. “Neither do I.”




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  1. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse November 18, 2013

    Do those mechanical man costumes for the kids that you were giving out come in a double extra large? Could you also send the remote that makes me do things against my will? Don’t ask.

    • Mumsy Abigail Mumsy Abigail November 19, 2013

      Careful, someone might finally make you serve drinks at that pub of yours.

      Well done, Mr. Culdesac and Martin, for foiling such a dastardly plot. The last thing we need is an army of mechanical urchins all hopped up on Halloween sugar – they are quite irritating enough as it is.

  2. Nathan Adored Nathan Adored December 14, 2013

    Hmmmmmm….. wonder if those mechanical pumkin things could be repurposed to defend us against the fish-people.

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