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The Secret Adventurer's Club Second Adventure (part 16)

 
Joe Spivey's picture
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It took an effort of will to climb the sandstone steps to the shiny black door. Tukiko hoped Silja would be there, it would be less awkward if Silja was there. Silja, it turned out, wasn’t there. The door opened to Tuki’s knock and revealed Kirsten with little Annie peeping out from behind her legs.

“Oh, hello Tukiko. I’m afraid Silja isn’t here. She’s gone somewhere with Uwe.”

Tuki managed a smile that hid her disappointment.

“No, that’s okay. Actually, I was wondering if Joe was in?”

The door opened wide. Annie stayed behind her Kirsten’s legs. She knew Tuki, of course. She had even visited with Silja but Annie only knew Tuki well enough so that staying behind Momma’s was the right thing to do.

Kirsten took in Tuki’s grubby, muddy and bloodstained work clothes.

“Of course. Come in, he’ll be delighted to see you.”

Tuki doubted it. Since the ‘Miss Brown’ thing their relationship had, if anything, become even more strained. But because of what had happened she at least now had an inkling why that was so.

Kirsten, holding Annie’s hand so that the four-year-old didn’t scoot off, led Tukiko through to the lounge.

Joe was sitting on the gold and blue couch examining what looked to be sheets of printer’s proofs. Joe had recently come into possession of a consignment of four dozen original Jack Daniel’s 1ltr whiskey bottles - but sans labels. He had the bottles and he had the rotgut to fill them with, now all he needed were authentic looking labels – hence the proofs.

However, there were two incongruous things about the scene that made Tuki smile. Firstly, no duster. The Spivey bird without its plumage was a rare sight indeed. Secondly, the glasses. The fact that Joe sometimes needed glasses to read, was a secret known only to a few. Tuki had known Joe for years so was in on the secret but still, he looked strange in spectacles. And Joe was incredibly self-conscious about his glasses too. As soon as Tuki entered the room Joe whipped them off and hid them under a sheet of the famous black labels.

Joe didn’t stand up. Joe was a feminist in that respect… apparently. He treated Tukiko to a suspicious stare.

“Tuki.”

“Joe.”

In the second or so that the two exchanged the monosyllabic pleasantries, Kirsten took the opportunity to snatch an antimacassar from the back of her own chair and lay it on the seat of the seat she then offered her visitor. Tuki noticed but didn’t blame her. The floor of a yurt is hard packed earth and… other stuff. Kirsten took her own seat.

“Joe, Tukiko came to see you.”

Joe had anticipated that Tuki was here for Silja and so thought that he could now, after saying hi, pretty much ignore her. Kirsten’s explanation for Tuki’s visit put an end to that. Joe grunted and turned back to his proof sheet.

“What have I done now?”

Tuki bristled. Why was it always like this?

“You know, you say that every time we meet. I mean, every damn time. You haven’t done anything.”

Joe looked at her.

“I’m sorry. You’re right.” He snapped the proof sheet into an upright position as if it were a newspaper and turned back to it.

“So, what haven’t I done then?”

“Joe!”

It was Kirsten. Joe looked at her over the top of the proof sheet. The look of disappointed reproof he was met with tugged at his conscience. He sighed and put the large sheet of miss-spelled labels down next to him. He gave Tuki his full attention.

“Sorry Tuki. Really. What is it you want?”

Kirsten shook her head, but it was probably the best she was going to get from him. She, too, had noticed the lessening cordiality between him and Tukiko. And she, too, also knew the reason why.

Tuki was quite happy to get to the point.

“It’s about Finny.”

Comments

Hyle Troy's picture

((  love the dynamic between Jpe and Kirsten, adding Tuki to the formula only improves :)

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers



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