I was upstairs in the cafe at Bestgo's with a small cappichino, and a teaspoon, when I became aware that two young men around late 20's to early 30's were gesturing and shouting towards me.
The light was on them, so I momentarily sat up and took a slow cautious look. One was tall and the other was shorter, the shorter one had cut his hair shorter almost yet not quite razor cut. Both were blondes. Both reasonably slim, both well built, both healthy. I was uncertain, did the light mean that the sun was behind them as they sat there? Or was it more sinister, were they priests on a secret mission from G and lit up with love, or were they near to death? I've seen people before lit up like that, with their skin illuminated from the inside.
"Lady Tennison?" bawled one sticking his head out to see past number two.
"Nah, Lady Trevillion!" squalked the one, half turning in his seat. They laughed as they lunged about, as if their bodies were not in sequence with the resident brain.
I drew my thoughts together and decided to ignore it, they were obviously below me. I only really react well to good manners. Having decided on a calm happy exterior. I began to lick the top of the cappichino off the spoon. They watched: fascinated. Then annoyed as the penny dropped. Uncertain of whether I was having fun at their expense, they got anxious, unhinged. So after a few minutes, they got up to go.
"Can't be, can she?" said one seriously.
"Well if she is, she isn't after that," replied number two. "Never seen anyone behave like a six year old."
I struggled to keep my face dead pan.
They loped past me, all angles, and went off downstairs.
A few seconds later the dulcet tones of Mrs retail (or was it her sister) drifted upstairs at full belch, "Did you kill her?"
"No," said one nervously, "Why should we kill her..."
"Have you seen her?" she demanded furiously, "She's getting slim, and our men will fall in love again... I can't stand it! and I have paid!"
"Look," he said, "She can't help it... We tried to talk to her... We don't want to kill..."
"Not very hard, you shouted names at her, it's no wonder she wouldn't. I wouldn't have either..." said someone else.
"She's nearly sixty," said another voice, "Can't you all leave her alone..."
"She's not!" number one said astonished.
Mrs retail drew in her breath over her overextended front teeth, which she clamped bitterly over the under jaw and chewed on her chin. It was time for her twice yearly filing down, but rhe Dentist had gone on holiday. "You said you'd do it!" she complianed loudly.
I giggled, finished the last of the coffee, and fled the cafe... who were these 'killers' who everyone knew?
i told Kitty and Phyliss all about it at work later on. How weird it was.
Phyliss looked anxiously at me, and Kitty was amused.
"When was it exactly?" Phyliss enquired, "There's been a lot of weird people about."
"Last saturday," I told her, "In daylight, middle of the day stuff..."
"There not from the BDSM crowd are they? Some of them sell people bit by bit...."
"Don't they have to be related to do that?" asked Kitty. She was coming out of her shell abit now. She sometimes picked up stuff we hadn't.
"I read somewhere that some of them sell their own bits first, then it's anyone they can get pushed down into a submission. With or without their permission..." I paused for breath, "I'm an nhs donor and have asked my relations to make sure that only some things are donated."
Kitty nodded gravely, "I put my name down for that too. I have a relation who needs a kidney."
Phyliss remarked, "You two are morbid, I want to be cremated whole... Nothing gets taken out!"
Kitty suddenly got to her feet, "You don't think they were after finding out who you were before they sold you off?"
"No, at least not at the time. You mean I might have been worth more?"
Phyliss said softly, "Someone was outside the flat the other night demanding a peice of someone's skin."
"No, at least I hope not, there are some girls who go out to the road nearby, and either one of them or one near to them, was screaming out that they'd paid for this tiny bit of skin. It was quite horrible, she wants a new clitoris."
"My God!" said Kitty. She went quite pale.
"You want to come stay at my house for a few days?" I asked quietly. "I have a spare room."
"Yes," she said promptly, "Yes please, at least that would give me a break."
That night, Phyliss brought a suitcase round and moved into the spare room. It was quiet and overlooked the front of the house. If you looked out of the window you could see the top of the front door porch if you bent over enough.
At just before four am, she was up and so was I. Outside a town crier seemed to be shouting his news. We looked at each other, and then smelling toast, I opened the window. The noise immediately reduced with the toast stink. Outside it was as quiet as could be...
"What do you think is going on?" she asked me softly.
"Sounds like they were practising an award ceremony." I said carefully, "With all the kill you stuff thats gone on, makes me wonder if I'm worth more dead."
"They've got some strange people in that group," she vouchsafed bitterly, "I know some of them. There's news on the grapevine that someone has been doing international prizes for psychic stuff, without permission from their guinea pigs, and wants to pick up."
"Gosh!" I found that my brain wasn't working in synchromacity with my actions yet. Long speech was still highly unlikely. "I thought it was really about that prize I might have won for poetry. For 'Deja Vu'."
"Tell me," she said sitting down and handing out coffee. "I want to know."
Encouraged by the familiar smell of coffee and the warmth of the cup holding it, I took it into my hands and sat down. "I had an email saying I won this prize, I showed it to more proffessional poets and they said it was scam. I thought it was too. you get such a lot of scam... all saying you win this and that...
Then Deja Vu starting on the Doctor's sites, I was ill and my computer died, and took ages to get a new one. Now I can't find the ticket.... It was ages ago, maybe 2003, and no mention of the poetry competition with the email..."
"Rough, if thats the case - I wonder if all the razzamatazz ... if they're Romanies or Irish Travellors who try and trick you out of everything you've got... part of their tradition to be better than anyone else. If the cental core is: then it's no wonder that everyone else gets such a rough deal."
"Whatever it is; they want to be Kitty more than anything, and are committed to carrying on stealing, lying and making death threats. To me too, now."
"Wonder what it is you've got. With me they were after talent."
We drank our coffee in the sudden silence. Afterwards we got out two pokers and opened the front door and went to have a look.
There was a sudden scurry, and a voice said, "She nearly saw us!"
A laughing other rang in with, "Most people sceam when they see us..."
I nearly smiled, was I hearing the little people?
"Where did they go?" wailed Phyliss behind me.
"I think it was just a recording somewhere," I didn't want to mention little people, I'd seen them for the first time in Lowestoft. I couldn't explain them. They were neither good or bad, as far as I knew. Only that they existed, and that they knew about the psychic world.
"Are they Irish?" she said quietly, "Only someone in the building claimed one of the people upstairs was an Irish pickpocket..."
"I don't think you'd want one in your pocket," I said with a smile. "I've no idea what nationality the little peope are..." I was in deep thought, that made the lighted up blondes the Lords and Ladies; now that made them likely killers, and that wasn't a happy thought.
Later the next day I called around Kitty's to have a cup of tea before setting off home. She put her finger to her lips for silence as I followed her back through the house into the bedroom.
"Here," she said softly, "Listen to this...."
We sat on the bed, and waited for the fun to begin.
Voices came and went,
"Last time tonight."
"Really, got fed up has he?"
"Have we got everything?"
"She never knew anything did she...." There was the sound of laughter.
"I've tried to record it on the dictaphone and I can't get it to save the sounds...." Kitty said quietly. She was red about the eyes.
"You don't look well," I observed, "Are they still bothering you day andt night?"
"Yes," she admitted, "Last night they said they were drippng lime through the ceiling."
"Horrible," I said, I didn't know what to say, these people just didn't know when to stop.
"The man who comes round shouting my name out, in his sports car, he looks like the early pictures in T. P.'s books, the discworld ones...."
"What does he want?"I
"I dunno," she said miserably, "If you go out, he speeds away, and I'm not running after him. People are getting so annoyed, they've told him where I am. So if he hasn't come to the door, and rang the bell in all the years of bullying.... It's a scam of some sort..."
I nodded wishing I could be of more help to her. How had I got involved with the other side.
"What do they say about what he wants?"o
"Publisher's war, or someone wants to make a film out of one of my books, or its just about that prize, or it's just plain bullying.... Or the insurance scam... something really nasty in cthis!"
i stood up, involentary smoothing out the wrinkles in my leopard print leggings, which I halve wish I hadn't bought. They were a little on the looser syide. It was nasty, all the endless scams in order to put one over someone. What were they a fter? Some will or other, they keep on insisting on a relationship with her...?
"Are you related to anyone here Kitty?"
"No, I was fostered or lookafter by some of the Romany families and some ofthe army families because my Grandfather had to go work. He worked with the Romanies. Some of them were horrible, they wanted me to change my name. And I refused."
"Do you think it might be one of them?" It was worth a thought.
"Well if it is, I haven't ever talked to them for years. Some were cruel. If this is that one... I really don't want to know them. They sometimes sound like the ones they called the most evil family in the United Kingdom. They were supposed to pay cruelity money, nothing came of it."
"And now tonight they are after something else, and it's another scam since someone has told them what to do exactly each time.... "
"A case of theives....".
"Not exactly," she said slowly, "I was fostered by so-called nice poeple too! Sir Oiver was good to me, yet his family weren't. they tried to antmake me change my last name forcibly. And one of the wills said I had to do something for my country before i could inherit. It might have been that one and yet, none of them is a friend to me... or ever was."
"Do they ever come around and talk to you face to face?"
"Never, they just ike to overlook,and say things that arn't recordable... I expect to others thay preesent a sweet innocent face, and say that they are willing be friendly and have told me everything.... e which of course - they aren't and don't. I wouldn't like to see or talk to them now. Too horrible..."
"Do they say anything else?"
"Oh just they are trying to do TP for writing about them... like the Hagatha girl tried when she tried to do Agathe Cristies rights..."
"Not nice to know..." I said, "Do you want to join the party at my place, I've got a spare room for you too."
"Do you mean it?" she asked.
"Yes, come along. You're welcome. Gives a break."
"Are there wills they would know of? Perhaps kept?" I asked.
"Yes one about Gloucester," she said glumly, "Although I never expected it to happen."