100 Words A Day by Hydrargentium

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

Tag: Vagabond

“Those aren’t bugs. They’re rats.” Vagabond shook his head.

“Rats?” Squeezeplay squinted hard at the squirming mass. “Where’d they find rats so tiny?”

Vagabond sighed.

“They’re not tiny. They’re plain-old, ordinary, disease-infested rats. Norway rats, most likely.”

“I ain’t ever seen plain-old rats that small before, V.”

Vagabond tilted his head, clearly trying to find the right way to explain. He leaned back to sit on his heels, and dropped a hand onto Squeezeplay’s shoulder.

“You know how when things are farther away, they look smaller? Remember that time I took you to the Eiffel Tower, and all the cars looked so small?”

“Yeah, sure I do.”

“Right. Well, the rats only look small, because they’re far away- ah, now you’ve got it.”

Vagabond smiled at the look of realization dawning on the other man’s face.

“So they’re just…,” Squeezeplay mused. “Geez, that’s one deep hole.”

“Exactly.”

“So, how we gettin’ down there?”

Vagabond forced his smile to stay in place.

“I can teleport, Squeeze.”

Squeezeplay shrugged. “Okay, so what are we waitin’ for? Let’s go.”

Vagabond’s smile turned grim.

“That’s where you come in, my friend. I don’t like rats.”

“You want me to go down with you?”

“No. Well, yes. But first, I want you to get rid of the rats.”

Squeezeplay squinted down the hole.

“Yeah, I can do that. But it’s gonna be messy.”

“Dead rats don’t bother me, Squeeze.”

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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.”