Chapter Thirty Six – Pass

14 Aug

I raised the chair leg and waited as a hand emerged from the tub. To my surprise, there wasn’t a single drop of ink on it. Another hand emerged and gripped the other side of the tub. I stepped back further as I saw the ink rippling again.

Finally, his head emerged. Again, there was no ink on it at all. I blinked a couple of times and tried not to distract myself by thinking about how he’d been able to do this. Slowly, he turned his head towards me and said ‘You’ve found me. Hey, where’s Rosie?’

‘She ran off as soon as I worked out that you were in here. I don’t care what you’re planning, but I don’t want to be a part of it. You tricked me once and I’m, not going to be fooled again. Right, Jules?’ I lowered the chair leg and pointed it at him.

‘Don’t judge her for helping me out here, our goals are the same. Sort of.’ Jules said as he stood up and stepped onto the tarpaulin. Surprisingly, he was wearing a pristine white tracksuit and pale blue jeans. I didn’t know why, but the fact that he wasn’t naked seemed more shocking than if he had been.

He glanced down at his clothes and just said ‘I sprayed myself with the blue ink. It’s invisible if it’s spread thinly enough and it’s totally non-toxic. The only problem is that there isn’t enough of it for anything other than travelling in style.’ He grinned at me.

I glared back at him and said ‘Why did you want me to find you some ink? If you’d crossed back over into my world before you hired me, then you didn’t need it.’

‘No, I didn’t. But I needed to see whether you were any good or not. Think of it as a test. You passed with flying colours.’

I kept pointing the chair leg at him and said: ‘A test? Ok, what was it for? This better be good.’

‘Well, Rosie told me that you’d worked out what was going on here. The multiverse is diseased and it’s immune system is planning to flush all of the toxins into this universe. We plan to stop it.’

‘And you need blue ink for it? Lots of blue ink. Hold on, is this stuff rarer than platinum or something?’ I lowered the chair leg. As pissed off as I was, at least he wasn’t planning anything too evil.

Jules climbed out of the tub and sat on the tarpaulin. I heard a rustling behind me and I raised the chair leg again as I spun round. Rosie stood in the doorway, her arms were full of old papers and notebooks. Obviously, she’d stopped off at The Caffe Noire to get all of her stuff. Well, at least she hadn’t gone to the police or anything like that.

Looking at the ground, she walked past me and sat down next to Jules, he put his arm round her shoulder and they smiled at each other. At least that was one mystery solved and one inevitable disappointment out of the way.

‘Claura, I’m really sorry. We’d planned to tell you about all of this when the time was right, but we needed to be sure that you would be on our side.’ Rosie looked at me and smiled thinly.

I just nodded before dropping the chair leg and sitting next to both of them. We sat in silence for what felt like two hours as Rosie rustled through all of her notes and circled things with a pencil.

When I was just about to get up again, she looked over at me and said: ‘I think I’ve worked out a plan.’

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