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   Chapter 18 No.18

The Time Saving Agency By Christina Engela Characters: 5935

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:02

"Hmm. And purse snatchers!" Mei giggled.

"Most of them look very surprised."

"I wonder why." She grinned at him.

"I thought you'd left months ago – weren't you on holiday?"

"I found a nice guy, been here ever since." She said as they walked away together. "I'm still trying to get him to leave this crazy planet with me!"

"See?" Said Fred. "I told you you'd find one eventually. So who is he?"

"His name's Gary Beck. He's a bounty hunter."

"Beck the Badfeller?" Said Fred, clearly impressed. "He's famous, you lucky fish! They say he's so good he could find the missing day in a leap year!"

Fred leaned towards her and said in a conspiratorial manner: "Is he any good?"

She gave him a bubbly giggle that told him all he wanted to know. Mei was at ease with Fred and they were chatting away now, oblivious to the stares and puzzled looks they were receiving from the crowd. Just another day – another plain, ordinary nice day.

* * *

A shabby-looking bookshelf leaned against a door jamb in the dilapidated lounge of a small house belonging to the only quantum physicist to ever come near Deanna. At least, the only one to ever come this far – and not leave in a great hurry to recheck their calculations somewhere else. Pieces of mismatched and used furniture were arranged haphazardly in an attempt to balance harmony with space.

The shelf was stacked with old technical and scientific journals and books on chemistry and genetics, some of them slightly singed around the edges. One of them was the coveted "Quantum Mechanics For Beginners", which was a glossy and was highly sought after in certain circles. Dog-eared issues of Popular Quantum Mechanics were piled up on top. The uppermost magazine cover, stained by substances unknown, procla

y. The neighbors liked him mainly because he never borrowed tools or sugar from them, or had rowdy parties. In the time he'd lived there he'd only ever blown the garage up once while testing a new theory involving hydrogen fuel-cells and antimatter. He would normally just wave and smile on the rare occasions they would see him, arriving or leaving home. Sometimes he would mumble a 'good morning', before retreating inside to the relative safety of his house lab.

There was only one thing he ever really detested and that was the smell of smoke. It usually meant something was about to boil over, melt, blow up, or defy the rules of Quantum Physics – and for some unknown reason, he could smell it now. His nose twitched with irritation. Looking round, he saw no apparent source of the phenomenon. The lounge windows were closed (forgot to open them) and the front door too, was closed. It was said the smell of smoke could be an indication of an impending stroke, but he felt fine. Yawning, he decided it was time for a break, a stale biscuit and a cup of tea. The atomic particles would carry on vibrating by themselves without his supervision. He doddered off to the kitchen.

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