The first option was the safest for himself, but it was argumentative whether it would bring results. The second option was more personally risky, but would give him a better chance of finding out more about what was going on – oh, and maybe of rescuing the amiable dullard as well. Well, there was nothing for it, he decided to take a gamble and see if anybody wanted a nice, cute, pet monkey.
Loathing himself for what he was about to do, Teatime ventured out from behind the sofa and attempted to look like something that even the Disney Channel would reject as being too gooey. He minced his way to the centre of the floor, where Garcia and/or Thompson would be sure to see him. Garcia spotted him first.
“Where’d he come from?”
“Who?” Thompson had been gazing out into the back garden and had his back to the room, his dump truck sized body blocking out a fair portion of daylight.
“The monkey here,”
Thompson turned around in time to see a small grey-furred monkey, clad in waistcoat and tiny bowler hat capering and simpering on the charcoal-coloured carpet.
“Must be a pet. Don’t let it distract you.”
India and the others could only look on helplessly. Garcia had ordered them all to sit on the floor with their backs against the wall, and had sternly warned against any talking. What on earth was the monkey-thing up to?
“Aw, he’s not doing any harm,” said Garcia, “Are ya, little fella?”
Upon being addressed directly, Teatime cocked his head to one side and assumed his most hopeful expression. This might just work…
“Ha!” laughed Garcia, “It’s like he understands what I’m saying.”
“Cut it out, Garcia, we’re working here.” Thompson aimed a grumpy half-hearted kick at Teatime, more to scare him than anything else. Seeing he was not likely to make any further headway, the little monkey scuttled over to where the OGS agents were sitting, insinuating himself between India and Prada.
What was it the humans said when they were nervous? I’ve got fireflies in my digestive system? No, it was more earthy than that. Oh, yeah, that was it: butterflies in my stomach! Harold did not have a stomach as such, but he was certainly a little nervous about what his immediate fate would be. Much more powerful demons and angels than he had been made to vanish into thin air somehow, and now it looked as though he might be next.
Well, Teatime wasn’t here to help now, so he’d have to shift for himself if he was going to get out of this in one piece. He had been prodded at gunpoint into the back of the UPS truck where another fake UPS person was waiting. He supposed he could have made a run for it then – it wasn’t as if they could have killed him, but there were the humans and Teatime to consider. Some demon he was, worrying about the safety of mortals. He could imagine what his father would say about that – the words would be sharp and at considerable volume.
There were no windows in the back of the truck so Harold had no idea where they were headed. The vehicle rattled along, swaying around corners and lurching to a stop at the occasional traffic light. Harold applied his attention to the plastic cable tie securing his wrists and began to cause the plastic to soften. Carefully does it, he warned himself, the humans must believe the tie was still intact. When he had finished, a few bumpy minutes later, he knew the cable tie would offer no more resistance when pulled apart than chocolate to a hot knife. Now he just had to await the right moment.
Garcia looked at his watch. “OK. We’re done here, let’s go.” He stood up and, followed by Thompson, walked out of the room. The agents heard the front door slam, followed shortly after by the sound of a car engine starting up and driving away.
The agents looked at one another.
“Well that was weird,” said Prada, clambering to her feet. “I thought we were at least going to be killed or something, not just ignored for an hour.”
“Oh, Gee, you want me to call them back?” said India sarcastically.
“OK, people, focus.” Said Mercury, “First, we need to get untied. Mr Teatime, could you possibly assist us?”
“I’m not sure I can, old bean,” said the monkey, hopping up onto the table. “I think your human knives and scissors will be too big for me to wield.” He waved his tiny black hands.
“Well, could you not, you know, gnaw the plastic or something?” This was Prada.
“Gnaw the plastic?” Teatime was scandalised, “Gnaw the plastic? Like some common animal?”
“Very well,” he sighed, “But I’m only doing one of you then that one can free the others. Now, who’s it to be?” Honestly, he thought disgustedly, they’d never have asked a human to do such a demeaning thing.