It took Hans an hour just to find the exit to the car park, and then another two before they were back at Avysmere. In accordance with Jane’s wishes he dropped her off here in preparation for her evening attempt to scale the castle walls.
He was now driving the car back into the courtyard, he would have been handing the keys back in a few minutes if Jane hadn’t decided to hire the car for another two weeks herself. Hans felt pretty glad about that as there looked to be some bad weather setting in and he’d be glad to not have to spend it all riding around getting soaked thoroughly on his bike, or more to the point he’d be glad it wouldn’t risk the chance of rusting.
He parked the car; he had one more thing to do before he started getting on with cooking dinner. The guy in the back of the car, whoever he was, had just begun coming round. Hans began to wonder why he hadn’t just left him there, then realised he was just far too curious. He remembered the incident when he used to work in that factory back home and he’d pressed this big green button just to find out what it did. It had been the fire alarm override, and the whole building was evacuated; he’d been fired on the spot.
The man was clearly confused. He was dazed too, but confusion was asserting itself for a change, sick of always having ‘dazed and’ always stuck before it. This time it was going to stand on its own two legs and break off the chains of marriage to that neglectful word. ‘Dazed’ was useless, it never washed up and always took all the covers in bed.
He snapped out of it, and realised he was sat in a car; he decided to stay there as it was the most comfortable place he’d been in a while, and besides no-one ever wants to get up when they’ve got a hangover. Then he noticed that Hans was stood over him, “Who on Earth are you?” he asked.
“Hans Little’s the name. It looked like you wanted to talk to me earlier?”
“No, I just wanted money to get pissed up again, I can’t cope otherwise.”
“Oh, fair enough then. Who on Earth are you then?”
“Ted Periwinkle, last survivor of Dunnuffin,” he introduced himself grandly.
Hans was taken aback, he hadn’t realised Periwinkle was a last name; he’d always thought it sounded too silly. Not even a work of fiction would dare include it. Then he remembered the rest of what Ted had told him. “Where is Dunnuffin by the way?”
“Erm... somewhere I suppose, in the sea, all I remember was that I got called away one night on a plumbing job and when I went back the whole of Dunnuffin village had fallen into the sea.”
“Bloody ‘ell,” exclaimed Hans “Well you’re welcome to stay here instead of living on the streets,” said Hans. He’d suddenly become peculiarly charitable of late, Hans supposed it was just his way of coping with the vast sum of money he’d acquired.
“Cheers, it’ll be nice to be warm for a change,” replied Ted.
Hans hid a grimace; much as he liked the guy he didn’t half smell of rotten cabbage.