Treacle and Ink

April 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — adrian @ 11:13 pm

Strange occurrences do seem to abound here at Marsh-Ayre Books. For one thing, for reasons passing human understanding, my watch seems to have started running backwards. I imagined it must simply be a fault, and took it to the menders in my afternoon break. The middle-aged blonde woman behind the counter prised the back off, and looked at it with her eye-piece. Then she began to chuckle.
“Oh I see, very good, April Fool.”
“Um, no? My watch?”
“It’s very clever,”she said, still laughing, “who set you up to this? Was it Terry? Or Denise? This is just her style.”
“I don’t understand,” I said.
She waggled the watch at me.
“This watch,” she mimicked my voice, although I’m sure I don’t sound so much like an upper-class mouse “ ‘oh no I don’t know what to do, it’s started running backwards!’ And you don’t mention that the entire mechanism is reversed? Very funny.”
“I, ummm…” I frown. “Maybe someone’s playing an April Fool on me?”
The woman smiled “you and me both, eh? Good one.”

Jacques, when I asked him, claimed to know nothing about it.
“Why would I,” he shrugged, “do such a foolish thing?”
“For a joke? April Fool?”
“Ah, zis Poisson d’Avril, it is for children! I do not play such games.”
On which, I suppose, one must take his word.

So it remains a mystery. Along with some rather alarming splintered wood along the window frame at the back of the shop. Jacques, of course, knew nothing about this either – he never seems to know anything about anything – but I suspect a burglar was trying their luck. I’m going to get the locksmiths in to fit some extra security to those back windows.

I’ve been writing all evening, and it’s bedtime now, but just before I head up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire, I should let you all know the fruits of some investigation I did this evening on your behalfs. I had received a flurry of emails about a book “Mythological Objects” by Christolina Minaret, which apparently contains some interesting information about black mirrors. Marsh-Ayre has one in his display case, but I don’t have the key for it. However, as I’m about to call in the locksmith anyway I thought it couldn’t do any harm to just force the lock (a nail file, a hammer, and a youth spent sneaking out of school windows at lunchtime were all I needed). Sorry to disappoint you all, but it turned out to be just the jacket of “Mythological Objects” around a plain old hardback of Alice in Wonderland. We’ll have to wait for Marsh-Ayre to return from wherever he’s gone to find out if he really does have a copy after all. I wonder when he’s going to be back, or when we’re going to hear from him. Can’t be long now, surely?

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