Paternoster Tales: Chapter 6


Hadn’t I told you that we can fly?

It’s not so much that we can, it’s more that we do. We fly. It’s much faster than walking.

Agatha saw Lucretia flying. And she stopped stamping her wellingtons.

Lucretia’s once beautiful face was so close to Agatha’s face that Agatha nearly fell over backwards. Which is not surprising. Lucretia’s skin is paper thin and wrinkled into lines like the ripples on a sandy beach. It’s about the same colour as sand too. Her lips are the colour of a ripe plum and her eyes are the deep blue of an ocean with a furious glint in them that drags her back to her youthful days of gossip and intrigue and dark love and poison.

Lucretia wasn’t a terribly good human. She isn’t a terribly good … whatever we are. But now her plots are usually more innocent. And when they’re not exactly innocent, they are certainly less murderous. Yes … Lucretia was BAD!

On that damp Monday morning, the Lucretia that Agatha saw was grinning. She looked down her long nose at the little girl and sniffed. Her eyebrows were raised into two sharp, upturned, interrogating Vs like a pair of crows about to rise up from her forehead. She parted her lips to speak. But Agatha, perhaps afraid of what she might say, put her finger to her mouth and whispered ‘Shh!’

I think it is not unreasonable to suggest that Lucretia had never been Shushed before. It was her turn to look startled. But no expression ever lingers long on Lucretia’s face. She banished it quickly and what appeared was a sudden recognition of fellowship and respect. I saw it. And I should have known then, that this pairing would be unpredictable, fiery, frenetic and enormous fun. Can I call a three year old a badass chick? I know Lucretia is one. But Agatha – so sweet on the outside; with a bad, bad girl-with-attitude inside.

I was mesmerised and a little bit excited. I’ll happily admit that I was also a tiny bit afraid.

Okay … perhaps not so tiny. Perhaps quite considerably afraid. Worried about what would happen next.

Remember I mentioned ping pong and pigeons and breakfasts? Well, what happened next, involved all three. It couldn’t have happened at all, if pigeons weren’t so stupid; they’re not the brightest bears in the fish pond are they?

What? … bears in fish ponds? … Bears, as in nature’s natural, fur-coat-wearing fishermen and fish ponds, as in stuffed full of bear dinner. And pigeons as in not the brightest bears; the ones that … well – just get wet. And stay hungry. ‘Bears in fishponds?’ No? Okay, maybe it’s one of mine. It works for herons too, but with herons it’s boring – too visually static. No splashing. No paws and water and teeth. Paternoster says I have to stop. Again. And get back to what happened.

Hmmm, I’ll tell you tomorrow …



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