Part 57 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”. Nothing much to add today, I just wanted to post the next episode.
I’m not sure about today’s quiz question. The answer seems somehow familiar, but I don’t know if that makes it any easier. Mind you, I think the name is ace.
OK, the quiz question out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opener known as Part One.
The troublesome recap has now settled into its new home. You can find the recap here!
Now read on...
In a break from normal practice, Jones sat in the back of the Zephyr with Johnson while Brown sat in the front with Smithy who drove.
After fastening his seat belt, Jones positioned himself so he could easily glare at Johnson. Johnson shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“Good morning, luvvies!” The Sat-Nav greeted them as Smithy gunned the engine into life. “Where to, my little bundles of angel fluff?”
“Turn that bloody thing off!” Jones shouted from the back seat without ever losing the intensity of the glare at Johnson.
“Temper, temper!” The Sat-Nav responded as Brown poked around it. “Oooo, you have cold hands and that tickles!”
Brown admitted defeat, turned to Jones and gave a shrug. Jones swore under his breath.
Gunning the engine in the Zephyr, Smithy accelerated between a llama carriage and a group of elderly men with a small handcart laden with cauliflowers. A chimney sweep on bicycle, with his brushes slung over his shoulder briefly blocked Smithy’s path. The sweeps eyes opened wide before violently swerving onto the pavement, scattering pedestrians. The bicycle collided with post box, sending the sweep over the handlebars and into the white canvas awning of a butcher’s shop. The sweep bounced from the awing, performed a passable somersault before deftly landing on his feet on the pavement.
Looking in his wing mirror, Smithy gave a chuckle at the comedic sweep-shaped sooty splodge on the butcher’s awning.
During the entire incident, Jones’s gaze never left Johnson.
“Guv, I’m sorry.” Johnson shook his head and looked down into his lap. “I know what I did was wrong, but.... well... at the time it seemed right.”
“Seemed right?” Jones spoke quietly, yet his eyes flashed.
“It’s difficult to explain.” Johnson scratched his head without lifting his gaze. “Everything you said in the briefing, I know that is right and proper. I’ve always known, I wouldn’t have joined the police if I didn’t believe that.”
“It’s like those memory problems, Guv.” Smithy cut in from the front. “You know, like we talked about yesterday.”
“Yeah, I suppose it is kind of.” Johnson looked up at the back of Smithy’s head. “You sort of find yourself puzzled by something, you try to work out why, but it sort of... hurts.”
“I know what he means.” Brown spun round from the front passenger seat. “You suddenly find yourself confronted with something, you try to remember what to do, then things pop into your head that don’t seem right, but if you try and question it, it kind of hurts until you accept it.”
“Exactly!” Johnson sat up and waved a hand towards Brown. “When I got that report, I wanted to jump up and shout, but something held me back. I got confused and then the foreigner thing cut in.”
Jones stroked his moustache and considered the conversation for a moment.
“Would you look at that? There’s a sale on at Embroidery World!” the Sat-Nav cut in, but was ignored.
“Just like the Garden Gnomes.” Smithy muttered from the front seat, gripping the steering wheel a little tighter.
“Garden Gnomes?” Jones blurted out before realising his mistake, closing his eyes and shaking his head.
“It was my wife’s idea. Let’s turn the front garden into a Gnome Sanctuary she said.” Smithy leaned forward in the driver’s seat, his knuckles starting to turn white as he gripped the wheel. “I hate the bloody things and wanted to say no, but for some reason, I couldn’t. It hurt. So I agreed. Now I seem to spend all my free time installing rockeries and ponds in the front garden. I can’t go near a garden centre anymore because when I do, I end up buying another bloody gnome!”
“I would just love to give you directions to a garden centre.” The Sat-Nav chimed happily.
“SHUT UP!” The four detectives shouted in unison.
“Doesn’t it happen to you, Guv?” Brown asked.
“Well...” Jones took a deep breath and let it out slowly and noisily. “I seem to have gaps in my memory, but not the pains. I find that with a little self control I can handle...”
Jones let the sentence drift off, before running a hand through is hair and swearing under his breath.
“What the hell is going on here, lads?” Jones implored. “Why is everything so... odd?”