Adam Quinn had had a most enjoyable day.
Only yesterday he had scrambled his friend’s mind. Today he had had a lot of fun taking Joe around on the buses, introducing him to young lady friends of his.
‘Hello again, Daisy!’ he had said, embracing her. ‘How was work today?’
‘Not too bad, not too bad,’ she’d said jovially. ‘I was asked to start doing the freezers today, and my hands still feel numb.’
‘Aren’t they supposed to give you gloves for that?’
‘I know. Shameful isn’t it?’
‘Disgraceful. Oh, I don’t think you’ve met my friend Joe, have you?’
Daisy shook Joe’s hand. ‘Hiya Joe. Where do you work?’
Joe thought. ‘I’m working in the town cuckoo clock at the moment. Near the dictionary. Have you heard of it?’
Daisy looked confused. ‘What?’
‘The work’s not very well patented though,’ he said. ‘What about you, Maisy?’
‘It’s Daisy. Daisy.’
Adam grinned savagely.
‘I’d go pave the computer now, but the geese kicked my kettle.’
‘I’m sorry? Adam, he’s not making any sense -’
Out came the rod. Flick. Daisy forgot everything.
‘Well, it was nice seeing you,’ Adam said, waving as he walked to the front of the bus, ‘but this is our stop. Come on, Joe.’
Adam dragged Joe along a street, wondering what to do with him now. He walked past a lamppost, a wheelie bin, a scruffy looking bin-man –
Adam doubled back. There was the man, in his fluorescent yellow jacket, dragging the bin to his rubbish truck. The bin tipped back. The gears ground up the garbage.
Why not? Why not indeed?
‘Joe,’ Adam said. ‘We’re getting on this bus now, OK?’
‘But the geese -’
‘Go on, Joe,’ Adam said, gripping his friend’s shoulder. ‘Get on the bus. Look,’ he said, pointing. ‘There are the doors.’
‘OK,’ Joe said, and ambled over to the chopping machinery of the rubbish truck.
He got inside, and Adam turned away before he heard the screams.