Festival daily novel
Festival daily novel
DAISY'S phone vibrated. The whispered voice cut through her post-coma haar like a Caesarean knife. Rory watched, worried. She could not act on the phone call. But Rory could. Would he? For her? She had to ask the impossible. Her mother had to be stopped.
AXEL Yellow Horse gazed out across the Marina Café through a fug of cream-and-vanilla-scented vapour. The woman he'd been tracking for three years was in the back room with one of her minions, and he knew, from the bug he'd planted in her desk drawer, that she was too busy plotting her latest dastardly enterprise to have noticed him.
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"DAISY, can you hear me?" The voice was distant and foggy. "Nurse, I think she's coming round from the coma!"
"WHAT do you mean you let him go?" Jean stared at the two policemen.
COUNCILLOR Jean Anderson took another bite from her cheese savoury bap and shuffled out from Greggs into the rain.
"PORK Chopped in Princes Street" ran The Scotsman's headline. This was enough to ensure a full house for the Trots of Tut. Descriptions of Rasher's bloody end had caught the imagination of the city's youth. Within two hours, an internet cult was born. Impatient for the show to begin, the audience chanted "huffle, puffle, oink!" A few waved bloodied stumps of trotters, like holy relics.
EVEN as the words "I'm looking for a pig" came out and floated towards the ears of the smirking policeman, Jean was already preparing her follow-up statement. "I'm Jean Anderson," she said, "Councillor for Culture, and by the powers invested in me by the Lothian Borough Council, I demand to see the pig which you've just brought in for questioning."
WHEN Rory turned to scream that he didn't have a clue, never mind a leaflet, he realised this particular comedian was a cop. Or two cops.
The sight of a man dressed up as a pig running along the Royal Mile chasing an actual pig was nothing new for the Fringe-weary inhabitants of Edinburgh.
RORY had never been attracted to ginger partners, but the Tamworth was a pig of exceptional beauty - a long, lean 600lb porker. The architect began to feel a little inadequate in his pale pink costume with its squiggly tail.
IN THE metal darkness Jean Anderson fought awake.
REHEARSING in the open air seemed unusual, but at least Simon had picked a secluded spot. "Oink," said Rory, tentatively. "Oink." Simon sighed, "Roger, I'm not feeling porcine here."
RORY emerged into the sunlit street. Cameron was making his way through the crowds to a badly parked white minibus that was blocking a bus stop on the opposite side of the road. Daisy was following him carelessly, her eyes on the ground, apparently convinced that the cars would take the trouble to miss her. Which they did.
"No. NO. NO!"
JEAN stood up, brushed herself clean with a handkerchief, and hid her excitement. She adored a good excuse to jab her index finger in annoyance at strange men, and this one, apparently naked underneath his coat apart from huge colourful shoes and red bowler hat reading "Kick Me", deserved special attention. She had been assaulted by a man in make-up, with the most rudimentary of weapons; if the news ever got out her colleagues would never take her seriously again.
A SHORT distance across town, Jean Anderson sat on a Lothian bus studying the Su Doku that had caused her to miss her stop.
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