100 Words A Day by Hydrargentium

Well, at least 100 words — best served random….

Tag: Triple

“Take whatever you want. Just leave me the bird.”

Triple stood by the window, pulling the curtain back just enough to watch the street. Across the room, Triple had his back to the wall, beside the door, his gun trained on the old lady. Over by the far wall, Triple had slid the small mirror to one side, and was punching the code into the keypad of the small safe he found behind it.

After the green light came on on the safe’s access panel, he turned the handle, and pulled open the steel door. As he did so, the words she’d said had finally sunk in, and he turned to look around the room.

Bookshelves, a comfy chair with a lamp on the side table, a small hutch with a tea set, various knick-knacks, a coat tree and an umbrella stand — it was all the stuff you’d expect to see in some old lady’s reading room. What he didn’t see was a bird.

Relaxing his mind, he let impressions from his other two selves flow in. They were both focused, one keeping watch outside, the other watching the old lady and listening by the door, but neither remembered anything about a bird, either in the room or on the way in.

He was about to ask, and then decided it didn’t matter. He was only there for one thing anyway.

Turning back to the safe, his penlight illuminated its contents. There was the folder he was after. Sitting on top of it, like a pointless paperweight, was a small bronze statue of a songbird. He was pretty sure the eyes were real emeralds.

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In the dim lighting, the Hobnail Pub looked half decent. Unidentifiable relics, rusty tools and bits of machinery, were hung from the dark-painted ceiling, or nailed to the plaster walls. Triple liked this place, with good craft beers and tasty pub-like fare. They had a great burger, and even the fries were decent.

“So I hear Vagabond is back in town.”

Squeezeplay nodded and took another sip of his beer.

Around a mouthful of french fries, Triple asked, “He was in Europe somewhere?”

Another sip. “Yeah, Europe, and then Germany.”

Triple swallowed hard, trying not to choke, then swigged his ale to wash it down.

“Dude. You know Germany is in Europe, right. Europe’s a continent, Germany’s a-”

“Yeah, yeah.” Squeezeplay waved him off. “I never paid attention in Geometry.”

I had misgivings when we took this job. Guarding people’s pets was not our usual engagement — even those of billionaires.

But Triple owed a favour, and the compensation was decidedly above par, so Elvis came to join us in a rented rancher near Phoenix. It was fine, really. None of us hated dogs, and Elvis, while small, was not the yappy type. For a week’s duration, we could handle laying back and dogsitting.

We all agreed that Triple would be the one to take Elvis for walks.

Of course, W.C. Fields rightly insisted, “Never work with children or animals.” The man was smarter than he looked. In our case, though, it wasn’t a problem of being upstaged.

No, it was the unpredictability that countered our precautions. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I returned to the house after a short side-project to find a level of disarray markedly higher than the usual “five guys in a rented house” untidiness. With the furniture in the living room all moved away from the walls, and glimpses in other rooms showing similar rearrangement, it was clear we’d hit a snag.

In the living room, I pinned Triple to the wall with a stare.

“What’s going on?”

Lounging in a chair in the corner, Squeezeplay chuckled.

“Elvis has left the building.”