The In-between – Part 6 of 31

Okay so I’m doing M’s prompts and going to try and do a full month as one long story with no planning. Today it is ‘Crystal clear consolations.’

The instructions are to simply write for ten minutes or so each day and that’s about it.


Crystal clear consolations

Part 1      Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5

 

Stepping through the doorway I found myself in an office.  Seeing the confusion on my face Plumduff beckoned me to take a seat in a stout red leather wing-backed chair.

“Now now boy” she began.  “Less of the gormless expressions if you will, we have things to do and sitting there with your mouth open looking for explanations really will get us nowhere.  There will be time for that later.”

We were in a dimly lit office, tall dark bookcases covered the walls and row upon row of books lined the shelves.  In front of me Plumduff sat behind a broad mahogany desk, a small pile of papers and a pen and ink on one side of it and on the other another pile of books.  Behind her was a wide fireplace where glowing embers crackled and fizzed and above the mantle was a most impressive oil painting of an equally impressive fellow standing legs akimbo and hands on hips against the backdrop of a raging volcano and knee deep in daffodils.

Plumduff noticed me staring at it.

“That’s Charles Crompton” she said, smiling and turning around to look at it herself.  “He established this fine institution four hundred and eighty years ago.  Wonderful fellow, frightfully handsome and all being well you will get to meet him at some point some when.”

Plumduff span back around, pulled out a draw and began to rummage in the desk.  “Now, where is it?” She said.  “It’s here somewhere.”

Her wispy white hair eventually popped up from behind the desk and she placed a small package in front of me. “There you go” she said pushing it across the desk towards me. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied somewhat haphazardly with string.

“I Just…” I tried to speak but Plunduff was having none of it.

“Please, just open it” she said smiling.  “Things will make far more sense once you do.”

As small and frail as she might appear, Margaret Plumduff had the air of a woman with whom you did not trifle.  She folded her hands in her lap and watched as obediently I unwrapped the package in my lap.  Peeling back the string and brown paper it revealed what looked like a small black wallet, an engraved silver ring and a watch.

“Open the wallet” she pressed excitedly.

The leather was soft between my fingers, worn and supple and opening it up revealed a gold coloured badge about the size of a credit card.

“Read it out” she insisted.

I pulled the card from the wallet.  It was surprisingly heavy.

“Badge 1979.  Office of Entropy Agent authorised to carry out all and any duties pertaining to the orderly maintainence of Area 367.”

I slid the card back inside the wallet and looked up, Plumduff clapped her hands excitedly.

“You’re my new partner Armitage, welcome to the Fracture.”