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A Message For Junie Ginsburg

Emerson Lighthouse sat hunched over the scratched and scarred wooden table squinting through the dim light at the note he was scribbling. He turned the dulled nub of a pencil every which way trying to find an edge… scratching out his missive, although brief, was proving to be quite a challenge.
He was just finishing the closing salutations when the representative from the local postal service arrived. He was a small man adorned in the bright and baggy satin attire favoured by the literate class of this culture.
“I have found the very bird you were asking for Mr. Lighthouse.” The man’s accent was so strong that Emerson was barely able to understand him. “Have the scrolls you wish to send been prepared?” He asked placing the cage on the floor.
“I finished the second one just this moment.” said Emerson, his jaw dropping in shock at the sight of the pigeon the man had just pulled from the cage. He had never seen a bird so large and round. It looked like a feathered football.
“Wonderful, pass them to me if you would please.”
“That bird…” Emerson paused mid-sentence, his mouth still open, as he shook his head in disbelief.
“Yes?”
“… is the fastest you have?” he finally managed to finish.
“The fattest pigeon, yes.”
“There seems to have been some misunderstanding. I said fast not fat.”
“That’s right, here is the bird for you.”
Emerson was about to say something then thought better of it. He glanced again at the note he had just finished. It read:

Dear Miss Ginsburg, I was hoping to be back in New Babbage to celebrate your 5th Rez Day next Friday but it would appear I am to be unexpectedly detained abroad on some foreign business. I wish you all the best. Sincerely, Emerson Lighthouse.

Satisfied that it was sufficiently legible he inserted it into the tube and addressed it to Miss Ginsburg. The second tube was addressed to Lauren Lighthouse and marked urgent and confidential. Emerson handed them to the small, brightly dressed man and watched as he attached one scroll to each leg of the pigeon. He seemed to be having difficulty securing them in place.
“I don’t believe I have ever seen a pigeon with such swollen ankles before.” remarked Emerson wryly.
“Eh?” the foreign man grunted, continuing to struggle with the second tube.
At least Tepic will be happy with this one, Emerson thought, I just hope he delivers the scrolls before dinner. A meal like that would likely put anyone to sleep with a loosened belt and a contented belly.
“It will be dispatched to my agent in New Babbage at once sir.” The man said as the second tube was secured to the pigeon’s leg.
“Thank you.’’ said Emerson reaching through the prison bars and dropping the last of his silver into the man’s perfectly manicured hand.

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin August 4, 2011

    The stone whistled through the air, and in an expanding cloud of feathers the bird dropped neatly onto the top of the Palisade Wall. It’s small assassin approached happily, looked down, and let out an annoyed exclamation.

    “Oh bu.. bother!”

    He lifted the bird, to examine the cylinders attached to it’s legs, reading the carefully penned names on each. Seeing the one marked urgent and confidential, he knew what he had to do, and holding the bird too himself, he hurried off, composing the words he would have to say…

    “Errr… i found this bird miss, seems ter have had an accident, it’s got a message fer you, an another one i got to take, so can i have im back after you taken yer message please Miss….”

    That would do for the first message, but just how was he to keep posesion of his dinner on delivering the second, now that was a puzzle……

  2. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg August 4, 2011

    “Hm. This is an interesting development.” 

    Junie regarded the dead pigeon Tepic held out to her much the way one would look at a rotted cabbage. “It has a message, you say?”

    Tepic maneuvered the bird so that the leg with a cylinder addressed to her was pointed upward. She pursed her lips in a crooked expression and untied the little tube from the pigeon’s curled foot.  After extracting the note, she pulled a penny from her pocket and pressed it into Tepic’s hand.  He rushed off, shouting back over his shoulder.

    “I’ll be seeing ya’s! I got ter get this other one passed along!”

    Unrolling the slip of parchment, Junie scanned quickly to the signature.  Mr. Lighthouse?  Why would he be writing?  They had only recently become acquainted.

    “Dear Miss Ginsburg…” the message began.  As she read through it, a smile grew across her face.  What a considerate fellow! she thought. Imagine, going to the trouble of sending a note from wherever he was just to convey his regrets.

    Junie decided to pay a visit later to Mrs. Lighthouse, to express what a delightful husband she had and inquire as to his favorite confection. She would send it along upon his return in thanks for his thoughtfulness.

    She rolled up the note, placed it in her pocket and pointed the handgun she had been holding out toward the sea.

    “Pull!” she shouted.

    Sky, who had been crouching nearby the entire time, pulled a lever on the contraption sitting next to them that in turn sent a china cup hurtling up into the sky. Junie took careful aim and fired.

    They stood on the end of the old bridge on the west side of the city. How Tepic had managed to find them was a mystery to Junie, but she understood the urchins to have an uncanny feel for the city. She chewed on a cigar and squinted, then smiled upon seeing a small puff of porcelain dust drifting down toward the water.

    “D’ya get it?” Sky asked.

    “Yep,” said Junie. She turned to to her friend and held out the Blissetesque Revolver.

    “I do believe it is your turn.”

     

    • Sky Melnik Sky Melnik August 4, 2011

      Sky bobbed a nod and gave an encouraging grin to Junie, straightening up and finding her stance but leaving her pistol in its holster.

      “So, who was the letter from…if I may?” she said before giving a belated, “Pull!”

      “It was Mr. Lighthouse. He was expressing his regrets that he cannot attend my party,” Junie explained as she bowed and pulled the lever down quickly thrice.

      In a flash, Sky whipped out her Smith and Wesson from its resting place and successfully hit all three targets in a melody of shattering china. Satisfied with the outcome, Sky inspected her weapon and returned it to the holster.

      She turned her gaze back to Junie, “Huh. That’s too bad. I wonder where he ended up going…” Sky looked slightly concerned, not a typical expression for her.

      Junie shook her head, “There was no indication of where the message came from. Surely when he spoke of Bump he was joking, correct? Hopefully he journeyed to Armada or elsewhere.”

      Sky shrugged and gave a wide smile in an outward attempt to be optimistic, “We can hope!” She bit her lip, inwardly reciting the town motto.

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