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   Chapter 12 No.12

The Time Saving Agency By Christina Engela Characters: 5820

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:02

"Sure." He said. "I'm game. What did you have in mind?"

Scrooby took something out of his pocket that looked a bit like a mobile phone. It blinked and flashed a bit and made a soft little beeping noise. He was still about to ask what it was when the room seemed to spin like crazy and then dissolve around him. A few minutes later, when Peggy-Ann walked into her empty office, still fuming, she wondered how the hell they'd got out without her noticing.

* * *

Johannes Albrecht, of Albrecht's Takeaways in Lupini Street in Atro City had had a rough day. Business had started to pick up again after that morning's shoplifting incident. Tidying up a bit and reopening had cost him a few hours. Time is money the old idiom went, and Albrecht believed in it – well, about as much as he believed in anything that boosted his profit. Just like that gimmick where people charged 5 credits and 99 cents rather than 6 credits on the dot just to trick people into thinking it was really any cheaper. It worked though – but probably not as much as reliability and consistency. People in the downtown business area liked their hot-dogs and cold-cats to be done just right, the way he'd always made them, the way his a'Mamma showed him, back in the old country (New Excelsior Colony). In fact it was with misgivings that he saw a large number of his customers (and potential customers) hastily leaving the area just as a strange looking fellow lurched over toward his premises, forcing his way through the queue up to the serving hatch.

Not surprisingly, Albrecht was a little nervous after the mornings events, but something about this particular character seemed just a tad out of place. It wasn't the disjointed look in his eyes, or the funny h

t, in less than three seconds and stood there, steaming, dripping sugar, and foam from his lips, eyes tightly closed. There was a brief chorus of "ooh's" and "ah's" from the spellbound crowd.

Albrecht silently backed away and waited, staring at the teaspoon (which was now hanging pendulum-like from the man's left nostril). He should stiffen and fall over any second now… He thought. Here it comes…here it comes!

Suddenly, Xyl jerked and dropped the cup. It went cling as it shattered on the cobbles. There was an explosion of bright blue light as violent energy rocked his small shop. A pewter napkin holder burst into flame, melted – collapsing, sizzling into the countertop. Albrecht got a shock from the handrail he was holding onto. Albrecht's own hair was standing on end now from the static electricity, which made it seem he had an Afro. This light show wasn't normal, not even for Hot Stuff Blend! Hot Stuff Blend was meant to be enjoyed slowly. People who drank Hot Stuff Blend like that were supposed to go stiff and just fall over. This man was still standing, and despite rocking back and forth slightly... He – well, he was still standing!

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