azombiewrites: (Midsomer Murders)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: A Toast of Midsomer
Fandom: Midsomer Murders
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Crack!fic (I think), AU.
Rating: PG
Main Characters: DCI John Barnaby and DS Ben Jones and a couple of OMC's.
Disclaimers: A Bentley productions for ITV. Created and based on the books by Caroline Graham.
Spoilers: Set during season 14.
Author's Notes: I had a short dream. Unfortunately, the muse was awake at the time and decided he wanted to write it, so blame him not me.
Chapter Word Count: 5,111
Total Word Count: 17,936
Status: Complete

Summary: DCI John Barnaby and DS Ben Jones are drawn into a world where murder doesn't exist. At least not until Meredith Bernstein was found dead in her front garden with a knife in her chest. With the help of a psychic, a chef and a battery operated toaster, Barnaby and Jones try to solve a case that may be the first of many.






A Toast of Midsomer

Chapter Three


Jones opened his eyes . . .

A wooden floor beneath him, a battered body in front of him . . .

He struggled to find his way through sluggish thoughts to remember what had happened. A hard fight, his thoughts lost, wandering beyond his reach. He closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh, a soft sound created. Not enough time to dwell . . . instinct tickled at the back of his mind, telling him he was in danger, memory making a heated disagreement. He couldn’t remember what happened. He wasn’t sure of his location. He wasn’t certain he was alone.

He opened his eyes, the room in front of him familiar . . .

He stared at the body laying in death in the middle of the room . . . an image flashed in his mind, bright and sharp, drifting out of his reach when he tried to bring it into focus. It floated on the edge of his consciousness, just out of his grasp, an irritating feeling the result. Mind lost, his thoughts continued to wander, he could settle on only one thing . . .

He needed to move, he knew and understood that much. He shifted his body, testing for further pain and injury . . . his head ached, a heavy weight of pain splitting the side of his skull. A dull pain in his side and hip . . . the return of memory so quick, a sudden onslaught of images, it left him breathless.

Another world . . . it had been so unbelievable, his mind insistent he was dreaming . . . not a nightmare, the existence of another world too real. Images fell into place, a connecting puzzle revealed, the last piece still missing.

He had to move . . .

Strength lacking, it was a difficult thing to do. He pushed up onto his elbows, his forearms, head hanging low . . . a nauseating attack of vertigo keeping him in place. Closed his eyes and breathed through his nose, deep breaths, an attempt to calm the side effects of a head injury, a blow to the head the only explanation for his current situation; still unable to grasp the who, the how or the why.

He had to move.

Forcing his body upright, Jones fought to keep his balance, body tilting to the left, the vertigo too heavy. Eyes searching, he needed some sort of support, a crutch to hold his weight. His gaze found the desk at the edge of the room. Resorting to crawling on his hands and knees, Jones made his way to the desk, every movement slow and methodical. Reaching the desk, he gripped its edge and pulled himself up onto unsteady feet . . .

It took everything he had not to throw up, stomach rebelling, forcing bile into this throat. He swallowed down the nausea. The pain in his skull increased; a sharp, pounding ache he found hard to bear. He leaned forward, forearms on the desk, head falling down, forehead resting on the desk. . . he could feel the saliva filling his mouth. A long, deep, slow breath. It didn’t help, his headache still increasing. He wanted to fall back, allow his body to collapse . . .

He felt the danger, an uncomfortable feeling crawling along his spine . . .

Soft footsteps echoed through the room . . . the sound of shoes scraping against the floor . . . the footsteps too light to be Barnaby. Instinct correct in its warning, Jones lifted his head, his upper body and turned to face the room. The dizziness a weight too heavy to carry, his knees buckled, not what he wanted, his body becoming vulnerable to the oncoming threat. He fell back to the floor, lower body crumbling, his legs curling toward his body, upper body finding a resting place against the desk, the furniture supporting his weight, keeping his head and shoulders off the floor . . .

She stepped into the room . . .

He frowned in confusion. She was the same woman and yet . . . certain she was the woman who had driven past; sure, she was the woman who had hit him with her car; confident she was the woman they had followed into the empty cottage . . . but she looked different, her face softer, her hair longer, brushing against her shoulders, the colors she wore were lighter.

He couldn’t be sure if she were from this world or the other. Familiarity still nagging, he knew he’d seen her before that moment in front of Harry Secombe’s home. Knew if he remembered, everything would fall into place. He sighed, a heavy breath of frustration.

In her right hand, she held a small club . . . that explained how and who. The why still elusive.

She moved further into the room, her gaze watching him, travelling the length of his body. He shivered in response, uncomfortable with her scrutiny. She stepped over the body lying on the floor, her ignorance of death warning him of what she was capable. He couldn’t help but notice when she tightened her grip on the club, an indication she was preparing herself to use it . . .

Heels scraping against the floor, Jones made every effort to get up. Aching head encumbered with vertigo, his body weak, he struggled to gain his feet, to gain some sort of control over the woman standing in front of him. He lost traction, shoes slipping on the floor, body falling back down, finding his previous position . . . on the floor, back against the desk.

Surprise and confusion filled him when she sat down on the floor in front of him. She sat cross-legged, her long dress covering her legs, providing dignity. She leaned forward, within reach, and rested her elbows on her knees; the small club visible at all times . . . a threat . . . a warning given.

“Ask me a question,” she said.

His confusion grew. His silence unwelcomed.

She moved slowly, in no rush. Leaning even closer, she tapped the club against his left ankle, a soft touch. Her silent explanation was enough for Jones, his mind taking the hint. He asked the first thing that came to mind, the most obvious question, words tumbling out of his mouth . . .

“Who are you?”

“Elizabeth Kensington.”

The name was unfamiliar.

“Ask me another.”

He frowned, his mind playing tricks on him, head injury creating a bizarre situation. Instead of silencing him, deleting a witness who could recognise her and now give her a name, she was telling him to ask her questions. She wanted to talk, was willing to give information that may incriminate her. This was crazy enough to convince him that she wasn’t from this world. He took a moment to think, deciding to ask a question he knew she wouldn’t expect.

“How do you travel from your world to this one?”

She smiled, satisfied with his question. “The cottage I led you into, there’s a doorway to this world. It allows me to travel back and forth at my leisure.”

Barnaby.

“You injected my boss with something,” said Jones. “What was it?”

“We don’t need company.”

Anger tore through him, her words giving him the wrong impression. “What did you do to him?”

“I injected him with a combination of caffeine and sodium benzoate.”

He couldn’t wrap his head around it, mind too confused to understand the meaning behind her words; it made his head hurt, the ache increasing, the pain pounding inside his skull. He wanted to ask her to explain but refused to voice his question, unwilling to appear stupid in front of her.

Expression on his face giving him away, she said, “It will keep him awake and in the other world.”

“Why do you want him to stay awake?”

“Three’s a crowd.”

Confirmation she wasn’t from this world. She was a nutter. Just like Clyde. Just like Agnes.

He looked away, time to think, to gather his thoughts. It wasn’t easy, head injury still controlling his thoughts. Barnaby couldn’t fall asleep. His body would take hours to work the drugs through its system. He was on his own, his boss stuck in another world. How did Clyde intend to send them back once they’d solved the case? He would have to stop eating the toast but how long would it take . . . Did she know about Clyde and his conductor for . . . he couldn’t bring himself to think it, the entire situation so absurd. Another thought occurred to him . . . if the same thought struck Barnaby . . . consciousness taken away from him by any means, Barnaby would come back to this world.

“How did you find your way into the other world?” said Elizabeth.

Jones returned her stare, his voice silent, his face expressionless; a question he was unwilling to answer. He couldn’t reveal Clyde and his ability. Couldn’t give her reason to go back. Asked another question instead.

“How did you know knocking me unconscious would bring me back here?”

“I asked a question first.”

She was playing a game he wasn’t willing to partake.

“The same way you got me here,” said Jones. “I fell unconscious and woke up somewhere else.”

Elizabeth frowned, not convinced. “You don’t have the ability yet. You didn’t find the door, you would have said if you did.”

Jones silently cursed. She had given him an explanation he could use, mind not at full capacity, something so obvious falling through his grasp.

“How did you travel from this world to the other?”

“I don’t know,” said Jones. “I wasn’t a willing participant.”

Elizabeth stood up and began to pace in front of Jones, her anger and frustration showing. “Who were the two men with you?”

“Tour guides.”

He pulled away from the blow, his body slow to move, head injury slowing him down. His left side stiff, the muscles contracting, tight, he lifted his arm to ward off the attack. The club struck his left forearm, the pain snapping through his elbow up into his shoulder. He followed through with his right arm, an attempt to close his fingers around her wrist, to gain control of the situation. Failed, his fingers clumsy, her movement too quick for his sluggish mind to follow. It left him open . . .

She swung a second time, Jones catching sight of the club in his peripheral. He tried to move, the desk behind him a hindrance. A heavy strike, the club slamming against the side of his face. He felt his skin give way, could feel the blood trickle down his cheek. The taste of blood filled his mouth; he’d bitten his tongue. Vertigo pulsed through him, momentum from the blow knocking him off his arse, upper body falling to the floor, head bouncing off the floorboards. A deep breath. He closed his eyes . . .

“Hey!”

Opened his eyes. Realised he must have blacked out for a few seconds, possibly minutes. He tried to focus his gaze, found it too difficult . . . two head injuries in one day taking their toll. Tried to lift his head, the effort too much, his head too heavy, a concussion created. The choice taken away from him, he stayed where he was, on the floor, the situation he was in screaming vulnerability; he didn’t have the strength, his body unwilling and unable to protect and defend himself. A woman had taken him down.

He blinked, gaze focusing enough for him to see what was in front of him. She had returned to her position on the floor, sitting cross-legged in front of him. The club swung from her fingers, the continuous movement nauseating.

“Ask me a question,” said Elizabeth.

What the hell.

“Come on, I know how this works.”

Jones frowned. “How what works?”

“This,” said Elizabeth, waving her left hand at Jones. “The big reveal.”

His frown grew.

She began to move, speaking as she stood up. “Did I pick the wrong police officer to hear my confession? Maybe I should go back and get the other guy.”

“No!” Jones reached toward her.

She pushed his hand away and sat back down. “Then ask me a question.”

Elizabeth Kensington wanted to confess. He could do that, listen to her words. He may not remember them later, concussion wrecking havoc with short-term memory. If he asked enough questions, he could buy Barnaby more time. Just don’t ask anything stupid; another hit with that small club and he might not wake up for days.

“Why do you want to confess?”

“Why not.”

She wasn’t going to make it easy.

He had to think, difficult as it was. Another thought struck him. A ludicrous thought but the way things were going, he had no doubt what he was thinking was actually happening.

“You think this is Agatha Christie,” said Jones. “That I’m going to deduce what you did and why you did it before revealing that you did it.”

It was possible he’d just made an idiot out of himself.

“Exactly,” said Elizabeth. “I’ve read enough murder mystery novels back home and watched enough of them here. I know how this works. So . . . deduce.”

“You do realise, I’m a detective sergeant,” said Jones, knowing exactly how it works in the movies and television shows.

She looked disappointed. “Oh. Not a detective chief inspector then?”

“No.”

“And the man with you?”

Oh hell, he’d put his foot in it.

“You killed Gary Potter,” said Jones, pointing toward the body on the floor, an attempt at distraction.

“Yes. Now tell me why.”

“It’s hard to think when you’re lying on the floor with a concussion . . .”

Wrong thing to say.

Elizabeth dropped the club, her body reaching forward. Small hands gripped his shoulders, pulling him upright into a sitting position, pushing him back against the desk. She let go, hovered in case he needed extra support. He didn’t. She moved back to her previous position and waited.

Body and skull separating, it felt like his head was still resting on the floor, an unnatural feeling, a sensation of floating. The dizziness was out of control, the nausea not far behind. He closed his eyes, held his breath, tried to wait it out . . .

A soft tap against his foot, she was trying to gain his attention. She would have to wait. It took too long for everything to settle, the vertigo and nausea slow to dissipate. Finally feeling safe, Jones opened his eyes, blinked his vision into focus. She was still sitting in front of him, patience of a saint . . . for now.

“Are you ready to continue,” said Elizabeth.

Buy more time.

“A reveal usually has a bigger crowd . . . more than one suspect,” said Jones.

Elizabeth looked away, cheeks red with embarrassment. “I don’t know anyone else. Don’t know anyone to invite . . .”

“It’s not a party.”

“There’s three of us,” said Elizabeth. “That’ll have to be enough.”

Three. Oh. He looked at the cadaver on the floor. Frowned. Something occurred to him, something he should have thought of earlier, thought process too slow . . . where were the SOCO’s. If they had left the scene, why was the body still here? What the hell was going on?

“Where is everyone?” said Jones.

“Your forensic team?”

Jones nodded; pain bounced around inside his skull. He closed his eyes, opened them a moment later . . .

Elizabeth leaned forward; her words whispered . . . “This is a dream.”

No.

“The look on your face. No, they left.”

“They wouldn’t leave the body here alone.”

“They think you and your detective chief inspector are still here. They left the body in your capable hands. Or though I’m beginning to question how capable you are.”

“You should catch me on a better day.”

“I caught you today,” said Elizabeth. “Now, get on with it.”

The body bag carriers were late . . .

“I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have to worry. They’re just late. I haven’t killed them. Like your forensic team, they assume you’re keeping the body company.”

He was going to have words with Kate and SOCO’s. Their assumptions leaving him in a bad and dangerous situation. How long until someone arrived to take the body, he didn’t know. It could be minutes. It could be an hour. This was hell and he was right in the middle of it all.

Another thought, everything coming together in bits and pieces.

“The uniformed officer. There should be one outside . . .”

“Still is,” said Elizabeth, raising the club. “But think about it. If you yell out, call for help . . . I’ll kill him when he comes to your rescue.”

He couldn’t take the chance. He didn’t want to be responsible for someone’s death. Memory told him the officer was male, not that it mattered, Elizabeth Kensington taking down one male officer today, obviously capable of taking care of herself; she had nothing to lose.

“You’re slow on the uptake aren’t you,” said Elizabeth.

“Head injury.”

She shifted her body, bum scraping against the floor as she moved closer. “Do you need me to spell it out for you?”

An opportunity to gain extra time. He stayed silent.

“Sooner or later someone is going to arrive to take away the body. Eventually the officer guarding the crime scene is going to get bored and when he gets bored, he’s going to start looking for something to occupy his mind. He might decide that he wants a cuppa. He’ll come inside . . . are you getting it yet? If they come in before the reveal is done, someone is going to die.”

He got it.

This wasn’t going the way it did in books. She had the upper hand. She was in control.

Hang on.

“We were in the other world for hours . . .”

“Time doesn’t move as fast here,” said Elizabeth. “An hour there is only a few minutes here. Weird huh?”

“Very.”

“I spent my first day here and when I went back . . . let’s just say I missed almost a week’s worth of afternoon porn.”

“Really.”

“Now. Get on with it.”

He did.

“You killed Gary Potter out of anger,” said Jones. “You knew him. You’ve known him for a while. He did something to piss you off.”

She waited, her silence forcing him to continue. He gathered his thoughts, coming to a conclusion, everything making sense.

“You were lovers but he broke it off. Decided he didn’t want you anymore.”

The expression on Elizabeth’s face told him he’d gotten it right.

“Your turn,” said Jones.

She frowned.

“If you want to do it the Agatha Christie way, you have to tell me what happened between you and Gary Potter. You go into more detail about the why and the how. It’s a back and forth thing.”

Elizabeth nodded. “I live in the other world. I was visiting . . . it doesn’t really matter how I found the door, I did. I had no family, no friends. I accidently found myself here, in another world, only a few weeks ago. I met Gary. We became friends and then something more. It all happened so quickly. Then he changed his mind. You were right. Gary decided he didn’t want me anymore. I got angry. We argued. I snapped . . .”

Something moved in the shadows behind Elizabeth. Jones lifted his gaze, searching and finding Agnes Otis, his battery operated toaster held out before him, a slice of toast at rest in the toaster. Lowering his gaze, he had to keep Elizabeth occupied, although he didn’t know what a Michelin star chef was capable of doing. He would have to put his trust in Agnes and hope for the best.

So hard to believe, he still had to convince himself this wasn’t a dream.

“. . . by the time I gained control, he was dead.”

“The note you left,” said Jones. “You blamed Potter for what happened.”

“It was his fault he died. I put the blame where it belonged.”

“What about Meredith and Hester? Was it his fault they died?”

“He was culpable. I did it because of him. That’s why I left the same note with their bodies. It was Garry Potter’s fault. He’s the reason they’re dead.”

Agnes moved into the room, his footsteps so quiet . . .

“Why did you kill them?”

“Because they were lonely.”

“How did you know? If you weren’t from that village, how did you know they were in the same situation? No family and no friends.”

“I went to one of Meredith’s Sunday roasts. I heard the gossip. Decided it was best to put them out of their misery.”

“That wasn’t your decision,” said Jones.

“I knew how they felt. It was a lonely life.”

“You knew how you felt. You didn’t know how they felt. It was assumption on your part. They could have been happy.”

“You call that happy? Hester was practically having an affair with a bicycle. Meredith killed and ate pigeons. They had no family. No friends. That isn’t living. It’s getting by until the day you die.”

Agnes, so close . . .

Elizabeth stood up.

Agnes froze.

Jones held his breath.

She moved closer, standing over Jones. She leaned forward, her right hip against Jones’s shoulder. He shifted his body, testing its ability to do something. Dizziness overwhelmed him. If he did try something, he wouldn’t be able to carry through, not physically capable of doing what was needed or required. He looked toward Agnes. Agnes lifted his toaster above his head, a shower of breadcrumbs falling past his face, drifting down toward the floor.

A piece of paper torn from a notebook, a soft scratching noise. Her task complete, Elizabeth stepped back, her gaze fixed on Jones. She stood in front of him, small club in her right hand, a piece of paper in her left.

He knew what it was. Knew the words written on it.

She held it out toward him. Four words written in black ink.

‘Gary Potter did it.’

“You’re going to kill me too?”

Elizabeth smiled.

“That’s not how it works in the Agatha Christie books,” said Jones.

“I’ve decided I like killing people. Death fills my lonely life.”

She leaned forward. Tucked the notepaper into the pocket of Jones’s coat and stepped back. She raised the club . . .

Jones smiled.

Understanding came quickly.

Elizabeth spun on her heel, turning to face the room. Elizabeth looked at Agnes. Agnes looked at Elizabeth.

Agnes swung the toaster, fifteen-volt battery facing Elizabeth, its edge creating a small dent in Elizabeth’s left temple. She dropped to the floor, the club falling from her fingers. Case solved. Time to go home.

“Toast?” Agnes knelt down in front of Jones and held the toaster toward him.

“Maybe later,” said Jones.

“Fair enough,” said Agnes, placing all his weight on his backside, making himself more comfortable.

“How did you get here?”

“Clyde decided it should work both ways. Used his psychic powers and his transitory conductor to send me here.” He looked around the room. “Wow, everything is so bright.” He looked back at Jones. “Of course, he made me sign a plausible deniability waiver first . . . just in case he blew me up.”

“Did he apologise first . . . in case he blew you up?”

“Sarcasm?”

“No.”

“Bastard.”

“Why didn’t you use the same door she did,” said Jones, looking at Elizabeth.

“She used a door?”

Could he please lose consciousness now?

“Why didn’t he send Barnaby back?”

“It can’t go both ways with someone who has already travelled from one world to another.”

What?

“He can’t just send Inspector Barnaby back. Clyde has to stop eating the toast and once it’s out of his system, Barnaby will just naturally revert back to this world.”

It was too complicated for someone with a concussion.

“How long will that take?”

“Depends on Clyde’s bowels.”

“How about, you go look for the door and go back that way, then you can send inspector Barnaby back.”

“The way you look, I think I should stay right here,” said Agnes.

Jones conceded the point. Maybe Agnes was right.

“Is she dead?”

Jones looked toward Elizabeth Kensington. Her eyes were open, her death immediate.

“Yeah.”

“Michelin star chef . . .”

“Thank you, Agnes,” said Jones. “She was going to kill me.”

“You didn’t put up much of a fight.”

“Concussion.” Why did he have to keep making excuses?

“Some toast might help.”

Jones slumped forward . . .

.
.
.

Dressed down in a pair of jeans and a woolly jumper, Jones sat at the kitchen counter of Barnaby’s home, a plate of buttered toast in front of him; Barnaby’s idea of a joke, the toast meant to cheer up not sour his detective sergeant’s mood.

Barnaby stood on the other side of the counter, cup of tea in hand, watching Jones.

Conversation needed, the silence between them too awkward, Jones uncomfortable, a remembered memory of not feeling welcomed within the Barnaby home eating away at his insides. Any minute now, tired of the company, Jones expected his boss to hustle him out of the front door.

“Must have been hell staying over there for so long,” said Jones.

Barnaby shrugged, sipped at his tea. “Fourteen hours in their world and only one hour in this one. Almost like jet lag.”

Barnaby had returned safely, after fourteen hours had passed in the other world; Clyde had agreed that if he had eaten brown bread instead of white, his bowels probably would have worked at a more reliable speed, returning Barnaby to his own world much sooner. They weren’t going to complain, only one hour passing in this world. Quick for Jones, a slow burn for Barnaby.

“Still hard to believe it wasn’t a dream.”

Barnaby nodded. They fell silent.

Beside Jones’s stool, Sykes chuffed, a small cough, a dog’s polite hint that he wanted something to eat. Obliging the request, Jones picked up a piece of toast and dropped it on the floor, Sykes grateful; at least someone was.

“How’s your head?”

Gaze on the dog at his feet, Jones said, “Sore.”

Barnaby shifted his stance, his embarrassment obvious. “Sarah’s insistent that you stay the night. Concussion and all that.”

Of course she did.

“No thank you, sir.” He wasn’t going to stay where he wasn’t wanted.

“I’m insistent that you stay the night.”

Jones looked up. Barnaby stared back at him, more confident.

A moment to think about it. His boss wouldn’t be insistent if he didn’t want his sergeant sleeping in the guest room. Giving in, too tired to put up much of an argument, Jones nodded in agreement, grimacing when the pain spiked as a result. “Fourteen hours with Clyde. What was that like?”

Barnaby looked away. “Different.”

“I don’t think Agnes is going to get over taking a life.”

“No but I’ll always be grateful that he did.”

Jones couldn’t read the look on Barnaby’s face, an expression he wasn’t familiar with. He looked away, back down at Sykes, the dog still looking eager for more food. How can something so small eat so much.

“It would have been a mess if she lived,” said Jones.

Another sip of tea. “How’s that?”

“We couldn’t put her on trial for murder. She doesn’t exist here. They couldn’t put her on trial for murder because they wouldn’t know what the hell they were doing.”

“No, they wouldn’t.”

“How did you explain the body . . . the . . .”

“I didn’t. They’re still trying to identify her.”

“They won’t.”

“No, and I’m not going to tell them she comes from another world.”

“She killed Meredith and Hester because they led a lonely life.”

“People have killed for a lot less.”

“Yeah,” said Jones, looking away, gaze staring through the window into the back yard. Grass lush, a lonely pigeon made its way across the lawn searching for food.

“What’s wrong?”

“Am I going to end up like Meredith and Hester?”

“Dead?”

Jones looked back at Barnaby, not sure, if he should reveal what was troubling him, unable to think of much else. Decided to take the chance. “Alone.”

“You’re not alone, Jones.”

“Not far from it. There’s every chance that I can end up like them.”

“You don’t own a bike . . . do you?”

“No.”

“There you go then.”

“That’s supposed to make me feel better, sir.”

“No,” said Barnaby. He put his cup of tea on the counter, leaned forward, elbows supporting his weight. “You’ve got your Gran, other relatives. I’m sure you have friends. And you have us.”

Jones frowned. “Us?”

“Sarah, Sykes . . . me.”

That nearly knocked him off his feet, so often the impression given was that Barnaby wasn’t particularly too keen on him, suffering through Jones’s personality traits, not always suffering in silence. He didn’t know how to answer that. Stayed silent as he tried to accept the offer of friendship.

Minutes passed, Jones still feeling uncomfortable.

“She looked different in this world,” said Jones. “I still can’t remember where I’d seen her before.”

“Does it matter?”

Maybe not.

Jones looked down at the plate of toast, released a long, deep sigh of emotion.

“Ben, look at me.”

At the use of his first name, Jones looked up.

“You have a concussion. It increases your emotions. It can cause you to feel depressed. That’s what’s happening here. That’s all it is. Give yourself a few days, you’ll feel better about things.”

Jones nodded, accepting the words. Barnaby did have a degree in Psychology.

“You were right, Jones,” said Barnaby.

“Right about what, sir.”

“About Gary Potter being the victim. About someone else killing him and putting the blame on Potter. The note. You were right about all of it.”

It didn’t make him feel any better.

“Do you think they’ll do it again?”

Barnaby stood up, took his cup in hand. Another sip. “Think who will do what?”

“Clyde and Agnes. Do you think they’ll pull us back into their world?”

“God, I hope not. Bad enough the first time.”

Jones smiled. “I’m thinking about getting rid of my toaster.”


The End.





Part One | Part Two | Part Three


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