Boots 18

Inside the high, razor-wired walls of the Hell’sBat’s ClubRoom yard the air was thick with grease and the smoke of several substances and the smell of another day spent searching with no finding. Tempers were short, the mood was foul, nerves were frayed. The sausages on the barbie were burning, no-one was eating, everyone was drinking. Their leader was in full rant about the intelligence of the membership.

Then DingBat* remembered he’d forgotten something. He’d been distracted at the time. It hadn’t seemed important then. Now he remembered. Now he thought perhaps it might be. Important.

“Moll gave me this,” he said, fishing a folded piece of paper out of his jacket pocket and handing it to BadBoy. It had a drawing on it. And in spite of the crinkles and the artistic licence of a three year old it looked remarkably like a unicorn. “You know Moll? Works at the creche in the Museum?” DingBat continued, in answer to BadBoy’s raised eyebrow. “She said one of the kids drew it. Said he kept going on about a monster on the roof that ate his muffin.”

Here’s what happened about seven hours earlier, on the rooftop of the Museum:

Eric’s charging full-bore towards the roof-top door, thinking there are muffins on the other side.

Eleanor is running after him, hoping that Mike and muffins are on the other side of that door.

Eric gets to the door first, just as it opens. Comes to a sudden stop.

Eleanor gets there a couple of seconds later.

And indeed there is a muffin but instead of Mike, there’s a small boy with a chocolate-smeared face.

Boy and unicorn stare at each other.

A shrill voice is coming up the stairwell, calling: “Bobby?! Get back down here this minute!!”

Eleanor puts a finger to her lips and pulls the door shut. When she looks at Eric, he is munching, little dribbles of chocolate** trickling down his chin.


part 1


*Hell’sBats, the short and the long:
DingBat = Bat’s Mad Bat from Hell
BadBoy = Bat’s Avenging Demon of Death and Destruction (and current leader)

**It’s a well-known fact that chocolate is toxic to many creatures – a small bar can kill a small dog at 40 paces – but unicorns, as you know, are magical creatures, endowed with the power to neutralise every known poison in the Universe.

Boots 18

Alenka Co

Stonebow, Australia

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