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  1. #1
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    Default Chapter 24 - 4pm

    TWENTY FOUR

    “How much is a lot?” I asked as Miles Saragh-Jayne looked at me with pound signs in his eyes. If I wanted The Memo – the single most important telehistorical document in the universe – I was going to have to break the bank to get it. “A thousand pounds?” I offered.

    “Dennis” he scoffed.

    “Ng. Could we cut the familiarity and stick to Mr Brent? I need to be concentrating during these negotiations and your addressing me like that will impede my ability to cut a good deal.”

    “Whatever you say, Dennis.”

    “Ng. Now you’re toying with me. I can tell. You want me to say something stupid like two thousand pounds.”

    “I want you to say something incredibly, mind bogglingly, brain shatteringly stupid like a million pounds” he replied.

    My legs buckled and I dropped to the floor like Manning’s knickers whenever a photographer offered her a Dalek to lean on in the 1970s. People flocked around me to offer help and support. Mainly with the sharp end of their feet and rather too much force but you can’t expect subtly from people who wear nylon. One particularly sharp accidental kick to the ribs roused me and I sprang to my feet.

    “Have you run mad?” I demanded. “I’m not giving a million pounds to a con artist yet again. Once bitten, twice shy” I told him.

    “It’s up to you. I know of at least one other interested party who’d give me a good chunk of change for that ridiculous piece of paper.”

    He pointed over to Francois Devine who was sampling the buffet food eagerly and with stealth.

    “You wouldn’t.”

    “Of course I would. I want a lot of money for that bit of paper that I own and I’m going to get it.”

    I considered his words carefully and at length. There was nothing else for it. A bond that my late Uncle Gaylord had taken out some years earlier had matured and although I was saving it to buy the entire “Tardis” console set when the new television series is officially cancelled in 2014 (which it will be if my mole can be believed which he can – he’s shown me dated paperwork from 2004 advising new producer Davies not to even consider casting Smith as Moffat had first dibs on him) but what is a mere warehouse full of knobs and levers compared with The Memo?

    “Seven hundred and ninety six thousand pounds” I offered, trying to confuse him with unexpected numbers.

    “Call it eight hundred thousand and we’ve got a deal.”

    “Splendid” I beamed.

    “Plus two hundred thousand administrative surcharge, postage, packing, insurance and delivery admin fee.”

    “That’s monstrous.”

    “Oh Francois” he pretended to call. I bit my lip quite badly and nodded in agreement. One cheque – written with the heaviest heart you’ll ever see until Francois Devine finally keels over and is featured on Inside Nature’s Giants – later and Miles Saragh-Jayne placed the still sealed Memo into my trembling hands.

    “What do you have there?” asked Francois Devine. He made me jump so violently that I almost sent The Memo flying into the throng of fund raisers and hangers on who were now only there for what was left of the buffet after Francois Devine had filled all the special pockets in his utility trousers.”

    “NOTHING” I bellowed and, with a roar – of passion rather than laughter – charging from my throat, I raced past him and out into the night.

    “WHAT?” bellowed Francois Devine once I was clear of the party. Evidently he’d just found out from Saragh-Jayne that I had taken ownership of The Memo. I felt the ground shake as he took after me in hot pursuit.

    “Lift, Dennis Brent?” called Melba, for once not an unwelcome presence, and he pulled up alongside me in his Fiat Gash.

    “Yes please, Melba” I panted. I reached for the handle but he sped forwards.

    “I can’t believe you still fall for that after six spiffing years” he chuckled alone. “Must be going – see you again, Dennis Brent.”

    Melba and his stupid, stupid little car drove off into the wilds of Bendaton leaving me with nowhere to run and a fat man with surprising stamina behind me. He’d been in training for his run to France for almost a week and probably had the edge over me even though you wouldn’t think it to look at us. I had literally no means of escape. Or so I thought. A miracle with orange livery and smelly people on board pulled up in front of me and I grabbed this “bus” sith both hands. They really are convenient if squalid things, buses. I’d heard tell of them and may even have catalogued a few during my brief transport spotting phase of teenage rebellion but had never actually been on one. Certainly not since school where I have vague memories of “Botty” Banger hanging me out of the window by my tie or attaching me to the back bumper by a rope and telling the driver not to listen to my screams of agony. I think, looking back and despite my scepticism at self-help mumbo jumbo, those incidents may have been partly responsible for my mental blocks. The bus pulled away just as Francois Devine realised where I was. He waved an angry fist at me but it was too late. Or would’ve been too late had the bus not gone a longer way round than Francois Devine did in the man cruiser and thus negated my advantage.

    That left a simple foot race from the bus stop at the end of the drive verses a sprint from the man cruiser’s garage. I had the advantage of surprise since I knew I was heading for my bullet proof greenhouse but Francois Devine didn’t. He’d have to use what remained of his intelligence to try and work it out. It was obvious really – the bullet proof greenhouse would let him see me open and read the memo while not letting him in to see even a fragment of its telehistorical goodness.

    I locked, double locked and triple locked the door and waited for him to find me. At first I’d wanted to open The Memo in secret but now I knew I could have an audience and not be at risk I relished it. Finally he pressed his angry, blobby face against the glass and begged to be let in. That was my cue to cut open the wax seal and read the sacred words within. I was utterly amazed at what I saw. I read it again just to make sure. And a third time. Then I memorised it for posterity, took out a match and set light to the most important and expensive piece of paper in the entire history of telehistorical research. It burned quickly and efficiently. Francois Devine’s face collapsed in a pool of astonishment and agony. I beamed at him. I’ve defeated him many times for I am unquestionably the better man but this time my victory was complete. I and I alone knew the secret and I would take it to my grave.

    THE END~!
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lissa View Post
    TWENTY FOUR

    I locked, double locked and triple locked the door and waited for him to find me. At first I’d wanted to open The Memo in secret but now I knew I could have an audience and not be at risk I relished it. Finally he pressed his angry, blobby face against the glass and begged to be let in. That was my cue to cut open the wax seal and read the sacred words within. I was utterly amazed at what I saw. I read it again just to make sure. And a third time. Then I memorised it for posterity, took out a match and set light to the most important and expensive piece of paper in the entire history of telehistorical research. It burned quickly and efficiently. Francois Devine’s face collapsed in a pool of astonishment and agony. I beamed at him. I’ve defeated him many times for I am unquestionably the better man but this time my victory was complete. I and I alone knew the secret and I would take it to my grave.

    THE END~!
    Is this the human condition called madness ?
    Bazinga !

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