Saturday, May 17, 2008
Harold wasn’t unduly worried when the lights went off at Alexandrian Gold. He sent Devious to check the fusebox, assuming that most faults caused an electrical surge. That’s what fuses were for, after all. Better a fuse blown than a slow painful death, his mother always said.*
He was a little more worried when the lights came on again and went off less than a second later. Fuses cost thruppence each and it was a waster of money. He sent Delirious to find the fault.
Five minutes later the lights came back on and stayed on. Delirious returned with a tiny humanoid corpse in his hand. “here’s your problem,” he said. “You had a gremlin in your alarm system.”
“Oh dear,” said Harold. “How did he die?”
“He shorted the system,” said the imp. “He wasn’t tall enough to reach the off switch.”
“…than a slow, painful death” was something she was happy to append to most such statements. It must be pointed out that Ada didn’t always say this. Perhaps once or twice a week at best, the remainder being normal conversation and asking Harold when he was going to give her grandchildren.**
**He’d given her one, once, but since it belonged to her neighbour, Mrs. Lawrence, she’d made him give it back.