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Delivering a Message – and playing for ghosts!

Tepic walked up in front of Miss Bookworm’s new house, and after checking to see there was no one about, started playing his flute quietly. It was not long before he felt a change in the air, indicating one of the ghosts had arrived. He finished the music, then cleared his throat.

“i knows yer there, an i gots a message fer Miss Book, but it’s secret sos i’m askin yer to give it to her. That big bloke, Mr Theodore, as blew up her house is back.”
The boy shivered as the air grew colder…
“he ain’t a bad sort, he were..” the boy paused to remember the words he had heard for this sort of situation “actin under the dress.”
This didn’t seem quite right, but… he guessed Miss Book would understand.
“Anyhow, that PJ is huntin him, an he wants to tell Miss Book all he knows, so will she please see him an promise not ter hurt him or nuffin? He says the Man in Blue is dead, so we don’t need worry bout him no more, but the bloke has got himself some more clockwork men, an we do need ter worry bout them….”
He was beginning to realise this message passing business was not as easy as it looked..
“So, if Miss Book wants ter talk with Mr Theodore, she’s ter hang a green cloth out the window, an he’ll know it’s safe ter come by… reckon that’s all, want me ter play another tune?”
The air grew slightly less cold, which he took as a yes, so placed his flute to his lips and played, before wandering off on the important tasks of a small urchin.

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  1. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs February 11, 2014

    Bookworm leaned against her desk as Mac and Sofie wavered into her view.  “What news?” she asked.

    “Tepic was here earlier,” Sofie said.  “He said that Theodore is back.”

    “Theo–Theodore?” Bookworm yelped, jerking up to her feet.  “I knew the form of that man outside was familiar!  He’s one of PJ’s men!”  She was ready to rush out of her office, but Mac held up a hand.

    “Bookworm, wait,” the ghost said.  “Tepic seems to know the man–said he wasn’t really a bad sort.  That he was, and I quote, ‘acting under the dress.'”

    “Under the…” Bookworm stared at the two ghosts for a moment, then burst into laughter, leaning back again on her desk. “That’s Tepic, all right,” she finally managed to say.

    Mac and Sofie exchanged grins, glad they’d been able to diffuse the tension–for the moment, at least.  “The good news is, Theodore wants to meet with you, and tell you all he knows about PJ,” Sofie said, “so long as you don’t hurt him.”

    Bookworm snorted.  “From what I’ve seen, there’s very little that can hurt him.  I’ll probably still want to arrest him, but… well, we’ll see.”

    “Don’t blame ya,” Mac muttered.  “He said to hang a green cloth in the window when it’s safe for him to come by.”

    She nodded.  “So what’s the bad news?”

    The ghosts glanced at each other.  “Theodore also says that PJ is hunting him,” Mac finally replied.  “And that PJ has gotten hold of more clockwork men.”

    “Wonderful.”  Bookworm sighed, closing her eyes.  After a moment, she opened her eyes and pushed herself upright.  She clattered downstairs, snatched up a green scarf that was hanging on a hook by the door, and hurried back up to the office.  Opening the top of the window a crack, she tucked a bit of the scarf into the gap, then closed it again, letting the rest of the scarf hang down.

    “No time like the present,” she mused, then fixed the two ghosts with a sober stare.  “Please give me plenty of warning that he’s coming, and make sure he’s alone,” she ordered briskly.  “I’d rather Mariah didn’t see him just now.  And please keep a close watch to make sure no one–human or clockwork–is about when he comes.”

    “Right.”  Mac nodded, and the two of them faded from view.

  2. Eloise Winchester Eloise Winchester February 12, 2014

    “…actin under the dress.” ((I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard! And I think I finally got all the tea off the screen XD))

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