As the door to the ice cream parlor burst open, I briefly considered the naked intern on the table in front of me and guessed that the agreement was probably off. The bargain was this: I could either keep the secret of Uncle Dio’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream or I could die.
But seeing as I was right in the midst of snatching Selene, Miskatonic intern and latest ‘bride” from her place on the sacrificial altar/ice cream counter, I figure I’d moved into the “or die” portion. Well then, I was going down swing. I reached down into the ice cream tray, grabbed my weapon and nailed the Great God Pan right in one weird goat eye with a double dip of Rocky Road.
He was not amused.
This problem was the intersection of two of my longstanding problems. One, I can’t help but fall ass long into trouble. Two, I’m a sucker for a pretty smile. Selene had the kind of lo side grin that made my heart (and, possibly, parts south) stand up and take notice.
In my defense, she wasn’t JUST cute. She was a grad student at Misk U. and she already had two degrees, one in some kind of agriculture, the other business. Her grad studentry focused around, not surprisingly, agribusiness.
Uncle D’s isn’t agribusiness in the same sense that the massive conglomerates that provide most of the food in the country are, but I guess the growth of the company from a family farm to a chain with more than two hundred locations and a presence in many of your fancier grocery stores was worth looking into for Selene’s masters thesis.
Me, I was just the nightwatchman. I was looking for something nice and relaxing after the thing with the Thing on the coast. All I had to do was make sure that nobody tried to bust in, and seeing as no one had ever tried, this looked like an easy job. I’d even get time to catch up on my reading.
Except, of course, for the cat. I have a soft spot for cats, and this cat, the cat who walks through secure security perimeters, was a big fluffy bruiser with a chewed up ear and a snaggle tooth. He came ambling up to the secure office one night, completely non plussed by the locked doors, motion detectors and chainlinks fences. I still don’t know how he got inside. He jumped right up on my desk where I was definitely dozed off, set his broad butt down and said.
Not a meower, but that was fine by me. I gave him half my lunch and he curled and slept the rest of the night. He showed up every night a little after I got disappearing or sleeping as it suited him and going wherever the hell he damn well pleased. If it weren’t for the piles of cat hair I had to clean up every night, I might have thought I was imagining him.I wasn’t the only person getting visited by The Cat.