Archive | November 27, 2018

Thimbleful Thursday: Enigma

It came out over coffee, the way many things do.

In the Bureau of Enigmas, there was an entire department devoted to Mapping, and yet the seven of them rarely consulted.  Each would pick a phenomenon – or, more often, be assigned one – and would map out its trends.

This was not, despite the name, soley geographic mapping, but tracking over time and over demographic notes.

The Bureau covered such a large span of enigmas – cryptids and their wake at one end, the Tiny Ones at the other end – that there was always some trend that needed documenting, some break in reality that needed following and studying so that, if the study itself did not heal it (and in 45.6% of the time, it did), those that were tasked with dealing with such things could do their job equipped with the most information possible. Forewarned is forearmed, the saying went, and in the Bureau of Enigmas, forearmed often meant the difference between life and death.

Still, despite the work, there were always coffee breaks.  And when three Mappers happened to be sipping dark, fresh coffee with the slight taste of the Other-Sphere, they did as all people did, whatever the papers or oaths or soul-binding contacts suggested, and they chatted.

Today they were chatting about three things with no pattern, a plague, a spate of madness, and a serial killer.  None of them appeared to be settling into anything regular.  None of them were predictable, and predictable was important.

Until one mentioned Chicago and the other two stared.

Twenty minutes later, coffee forgotten, they had put their three maps together.  There, in Chicago, there was their nexus.  And from there-

“There’s a method,” one of them breathed.

“It’s madness,” another one muttered.  But most of what they did was madness.

“But it’s a shape,” the third agreed.  “There’s a pattern to the madness.”

They rang an intern to tell Field.  They had their Enigma.

 


Written To Oct. 25th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt, although not really in the wordcount. 

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Community Service

Originally posted on Patreon in November 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

 After The Fairy Road and Planting Some Good on my blog and The Cats’ Ways  on Patreon.

 🏞️

The storm had come through the city in a rush and left much the same way, like the sort of relative you never really wanted to have staying in your house, leaving everything a disaster zone behind it.

There were branches down on every street; there were power lines down all over the place.  Work was closed.  The city was closed.

And Whitney was in the park.  It seemed,  if she’d been asked – which she hadn’t – like the thing to do; you cleaned up.  Her apartment building had power – slightly erratic, but better than nothing – so she’d cooked everything that might go bad and brought it all, stacked in her biggest coolers with warming pads, to the park with her.

She shared with the couple homeless folk who refused to go anywhere else.  She shared with the policeman who was doing his best to walk a beat; she shared, of course, with the cats and with the Cat.  She shared with the line workers, even though she knew that they didn’t mind the overtime.

In between sharing food, she moved branches and detritus.  She picked up someone’s schoolwork – Tyler Halpert – and put it in a neat stack under one of the little roofed areas, along with the newspaper, the paperwork from the insurance office, and some sort of mail that came in a red envelope with hearts drawn on it.

When she looked back, there was a ghost sitting on it.  She smiled at the ghost; he smiled at her.  They both went on with their days.

Whitney thought nothing of it when she saw the policeman talking on his radio.  That was his job, after all.  She was much more surprised when three vans pulled up. Continue reading

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