Frankie felt sorry for Officer Bing. Sort of, but not really. She laughed as she sniffed the air. Dang, still stinks in here. She noticed something on her carpet and bent to look. It looked like a tiny bell, cats wore on their collars. Hmmm... Nothing was surprising anymore.
So she thought...
"Good morning, darlin'!" waved Mr. Crock. "Ready for Gobbler Day? I know, I know, a PETA follower. I'm a pita fan, myself. Loads of lamb and beef and... aaaahhhhhh."
"Morning, Mr. Crock. Anything special you'd like me to do today?" Frankie ignored the jibe about her being a vegetarian. It was a hard thing to be, coming from the land of beer and brats. She usually kept her opinions to herself about that. She smiled because she had some wonderful recipes to share with her guests come Turkey Day. She didn't expect to change any one's mind, but she at least hoped they could enjoy the meal without the actual dark and light meat.
"No, no. Same old, same old. Poe has been acting weird, though. Maybe you can take him home with you tonight? He's probably just wanting some company. I'm going out for a bit, darlin'. Jess will be in soon. Have a good day!"
Frankie checked on the animals and made sure they had plenty of water and food. She would clean their mess later. She was about to go in the back when she heard the front door chimes ....
That man! The man who had been in previously, with the missing ear, and the other one, who was the same one, with the metal walker. He was here, again!
Frankie watched him from behind the bunny hutch as he began to look across the counter and pick up some papers. He was about to leave when Frankie ran to the front before he could get to the door.
"Hi. How can I help you," she smiled as she looked very closely at the man, who was now dressed like Sherlock Holmes. She noticed he scratched himself quite a bit (all that wool) and his large mustache was off center.
His eyes grew wide, like a deer in head lights.
"Aaar, that will not be necessary, lassie. I will come back when the proprietor is in. Good day."
He had the worst accent. it was an English, Scottish, British concoction only Brad Pitt could screw up more.
"I can help you, sir." Frankie moved in closer as 'Holmes' kept moving back ,farther into the shop. "What is you pleasure? A bird? A bunny? Kibble for a gerbil, perhaps? Holmes kept backing up until he fell into the koi pond. As gold and yellow fish jumped about, looking for food, Frankie grabbed onto Holmes and pulled.
"Oh, dear. Oh, dear. I shall be late. I'll come another time." And with that, Holmes squished-squooshed out the door. Frankie was about to follow him when he came back and deposited a yellow koi into the pond. He slipped and ran out the front door, chimes clinking against the window.
Puzzled? Yes. But, now Frankie knew who the man of three faces was. Even more of a puzzler. Why was he coming in disguise?
Frankie knocked on the metal box before she lifted the lid. Sean was sitting in the orange velvet chair, reading out loud 'The Princess Bride' to Sarah.
"Frankie. So glad you could stop by. I see you prefer the dumb-waiter to the dummy at the door? Sorry. That was cruel of me, but there is so much you don't know about your boss, Crock. He was Dr. Demint's right hand man. He expects to become the new master of the Demento Mansion. He can have it as far..."
He stopped and moved towards the bed to wipe Sarah's eyes and apply chap-stic to her dry lips.
"Sorry. It's just I rarely have anyone to talk to who can respond. I don't like to talk negatively in front of Sarah, anyway. How are you, Frankie? I heard about Officer Bing. Has he become unglued, yet?"
Frankie smiled and sat on the make-up table's small cushioned stool. "He came unglued years ago. Maybe they can put him back together, again. Seems like such a rotten thing to do, though. Even to Bobby Lee. Anyway, enough of him. I love 'The Princess Bride.' Would you mind if i read for awhile?"
Sean handed her the book and motioned for her to take his chair, as he sat next to Sarah and braided her hair.
"Inconceivable,!" started Frankie. She narrated into the night, and never wanted to stop. She felt safe, here.
Finally it was time to get some sleep. She hugged Sean a goodnight and took the dumb- waiter down to the tunnels. She didn't want to risk running into Mr. Crock. She was frightened by him now. She now knew where he went when not at the shop. As she thought about Mr. Crock and the odd man, she heard a soft shuffling behind her. The only thing she had on her was a flashlight. She wondered if Lily Bean was roaming the tunnels this late at night. Then she could smell the thing and knew it wasn't Lily Bean who was following her.
"What do you want? I have a weapon!" She listened as the shuffling sound grew closer. 'Dammit,' she thought. I should have brought a weapon. Just as she was about to turn to another tunnel, something flew over her head. It was a paper airplane. Frankie picked it up as she ran towards her basement door. She could hear heavy breathing getting closer but made it to her door and slammed it with a bang. As she stood against the door, waiting for the butterflies to settle, she opened the airplane note.
U and Me. One of us will go byah. Soooooooonnnnnnn.
Frankie and Westley ( not Leslie)
"As you wish."
"I didn't wish for anything."
"I am at your beck and call. I will protect and save you from the odd man."
"I'm not afraid of the odd man. Howsabout you keep an eye out for the six fingered man.?"
"Not my part. You look nothing like Buttercup." May I call you, Buttercup?"
"Call me, weary. I don't have anymore strength to figure out these Manoomin games."
"No worries, Weary. Fairy Tales always end happily."
"Oh, tell that to Cinderella's stepsisters, who cut off their toes..."
"As you wish, Weary."
Poe squawked as the sun rose on the horizon.
"Look out below!"