Tepic had been first back to the Vole after the Go-Devil race and was setting up some drinks when Beryl the cat arrived. They had actually done quite well this year, having managed a lap and a half before the machine had veered off course and into a wall. The crash had not been too bad but they had only just managed to get a safe distance before the boiler blew, scattering bits of Go-Devil across the frozen canals. All in all, the lad considered it quite fun and for once the cat seemed to agree.
Sitting drinking the spiced hot chocolate companionably, Beryl started to tell Tepic the dreams the cat had previously experienced were reoccurring. The lad listened as they were hesitantly described. Strange images of the Man in Blue’s employer, a chap called PJ, wolves and other creatures that were not human nor moreux, and of Canergak, the owner of the Asylum.
At this, Tepic chuckled, commenting that the bloke was enough to give anyone nightmares, but his companion remained grave, speaking of how in the dreams there was a feeling something was about to happen, and that Beryl would be trapped, possibly in the Asylum, unable to help.
The fox boy nodded, dreams were difficult, they could be just something you ate, especially if you liberated something from the Gangplank, or they could be augers of the future. He reassured his friend that if the cat went missing, they would mount a search, including the asylum. It turned out that Beryl had not had copies of his keys made while working there, an oversight that Tepic was astonished by, but since he saw locked doors as more or less optional, it wasn’t a problem. Then Beryl asked a question…
“While we were driving on the races today, I thought I saw Theodore, did you see him on the track watching us?”
“errrrr….. nope, i was sort of concentratin…” the lad replied, before continuing, “decent enough chap though, i reckons, if it weren’t fer that bloke in blue”
“Yes, mostly, but he also worked for PJ..” the cat commented, with a worried air.
They nodded together, contemplating the possible return of PJ and the Man in Blue, then Beryl widened the field, reminding Tepic the problem could be with Canergak, or even other enemies the cat had made during his trip to Germany, something he had told the lad very little about. The boy choked on his drink.
“yer made some MORE?!” he exclaimed. It was always a source of astonishment to him just how his friend could manage to find people out to do the cat in wherever he went.
“I haven’t told you what happened in Germany, did I? There were Dobermans, and they were part of my dreams too.”
“Dobermans…”, Tepic shook his head gently, bad news were dogs, generally, from the foxes point of view, and Dobermans were some of the worst, but Beryl was still alive, so it couldn’t be that bad. He continued with a grin “Hope yer tweeked what was left of their tails for em!”
There was a glint in the cat’s eyes as he commented “I did, a bit.”
Beryl rose, having finished the chocolate, and bade Tepic farewell, reminding him to be careful, as they did not know what was coming, and PJ might still be after the boy. Tepic didn’t think there was any real danger to himself, after all, the toffs like PJ tended to take little notice of urchins, and probably would have forgotten him by now. Since the last autumn, a new, more hidden network of bolt holes had been created, so there were places to hide all over the City.
Beryl looked less confident, and made the lad promise to be careful, then left, on whatever urgent business cats have. Sitting at the table, Tepic stared into the now empty depths of his mug, contemplated what had been said, shrugged, and realised he had been left with the washing up…….. again.