The briefcase closed slowly, the pages inside crinkling and crackling like a winter fire, peeping out of their cage like they wanted to let the world know what the dark, threatening black ink on their pages said.
A hand pushed them gingerly back in, touching them as little as possible, as if it knew that with only a spark they could set the world on fire.
Mr. Semmes paused, his hand still on the briefcase, and stood looking absentmindedly at the bitten cookie on the refreshment plate that lay on the paper and dust crowded desk.
He closed his eyes and thought for a moment.
Was it really that easy to get away with such colossal crime?
How is it that in less than the space of time it takes to finish a good old fashioned homemade cookie, everything can change?
Mr. Semmes found a back exit out of the WAS building, pulled his coat closer, and borrowed a light bender from his Executive Protection Agent, who said in reply to a startled question from Mr. Semmes, “I sent it home an hour ago, sir. My Winton blur detected a DGR device on it. Evidence points to the substitute limousine never making it. You have our apologies, sir. A walk seems quite safe, though it will be a long one, sir.”
Mr. Semmes felt all in a moment that it was too awful to live like this.
“We’ll walk to the yellow house on 24th St. then,” he remarked, in a depressed voice. “It’s only a few blocks away. Unfrequented streets too, is it good?”
The EPA nodded.
A few days ago, Mr. Semmes would have wound his way along the streets carelessly; would have never glanced backwards; would have never asked his Executive Protection Agent to pace up a bit; would have never been afraid of the dark.
Tonight, the very air had subtly changed; he knew he was being followed, somehow, someway, he knew harm was coming fast, and swift, and sure, and would find him at last.
Continue reading It was all Pumpkin’s Fault: Prologue