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666 Great Junction Street

Part 18

Meanwhile, on the ground floor at No.666 Great Junction Street, Sylvester Rambling had slammed shut the letter box of GF2 in fright upon hearing the loud crash of Michael Cade's lamp on the street.

'Was that a gunshot?' he asked.

'Never mind about that,' said Seraphema. 'What did you see? What did you see?'

'I saw nothing. But I heard more scuttling. Did you hear scuttling?'

'I heard no scuttling. All I heard was that glass smashing outside and…'

She stopped suddenly and, slightly quaking, pointed to the door of GF2 where a small tendril was weaving its way through the keyhole towards them.

Instinctively, Sylvester grabbed hold of the tentacle-like appendage and tugged hard, balancing himself with one foot pressed up against the wall. The tendril pulled back, yanking Sylvester with it and thumping his body against the door.

Sylvester held tight and tried to pull again. But this time the tendril was ready for him, quickly jerked itself loose from his grip and recoiled into the flat through the keyhole.

For a moment, the two stood aghast, looking in turn at the door and each other. Eventually, Seraphema broke the silence.

'How rare,' she said. 'Perhaps we should alert the authorities now. Are you OK?'

Sylvester looked down at his hands which were covered in a pale yellowish ooze resembling runny custard. He wiped his palms vigorously on his corduroy trousers.

'Eeww,' said Seraphema. 'But maybe you shouldn't wash your hands just yet so we can get this stuff analysed.'

Sylvester looked at her in disbelief. 'Are you crazy, woman? I could be infected by some horrendous lurgi or worse. Who knows what vile spores could be coursing through my veins this very minute? I feel quite queasy and not a little woozy.'

Suddenly, his head jerked upward and swooshed from side to side like a demented meerkat. 'Voices!' he cried. 'I hear voices. And they're…they're…lisping.'

Seraphema, alarmed at Sylvester's sudden upswing in eccentric movement, thought at first that she too had been infected by his erratic delusions until she realised the voices were coming from the street outside.

'It's OK,' she said. 'I can hear them too. It sounds like there is some kind of commotion going on outside.'

'Outside? Outside?' repeated Sylvester. 'Here is where the commotion is happening. If this is not a commotion, then I don't know what is. My hands are yellow, my heart feels weak…My god, I feel like I'm composing verse as we speak…..Aaaaaah.'

Seraphema leaned tentatively towards Sylvester and almost found herself touching his tweed jacket in an automatically compassionate response. She quickly realised the folly of such a move, however, and swiftly withdrew.

Sylvester, meanwhile, had calmed somewhat upon realising that the voices were not in his head but were in fact emanating from a Leith policeman's megaphone. He and Seraphema rushed to the front door leading on to the street just in time to see Clint McMurdo and Michael Cade being carted away.

Next week: The Leith Poleeth.



The Soundtrack