I stood behind the tree, hands in my pocket, collar pulled up high. Would I ever get used to these miserable Earth winters? I doubted it. I’d asked for my next assignment to be somewhere warmer but my request had gone unheeded.
I looked across at the white car where my next victim sat. James Peterson – a lowly civil servant who regularly took to his car at lunchtime to eat his chicken paste sandwiches and drink lukewarm coffee from a flask.
James was a loner. No friends. No family. The ideal host.
You’ll find a hook in the drawer, dear and there’s a small pot of chain linking on the top. This being your first day I want you to crochet me something small and simple, just to give me an idea of your skill level. Some of the apprentices they send me are awful. I had one last week who couldn’t tell a darning needle from a soup ladle. I had to send her back to the kitchens. But you look as if you’ve got more about you. Another two years and we’ll have you knitting full sets of chain mail.
“Don’t think so George. I’ve had a quick peek up above and there was quite a frost last night. Looks like winter is on its way. You know how the cold gets into these decaying bones of mine. So I thought we’d stay in, make the most of this warm soil left over from those hot summer days we’ve had this year. Might go out tonight.”
“That would be nice love. We could sit on the bench the kids had dedicated to us and watch the stars. Just like we did when we were alive.”
It was while we were clearing out Grandma’s house that I came across her old shoes. Mum had always told me that, in her younger days, Gran had been quite a tearaway. The locals had called her the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.
To me she was just a sweet old lady, who smelled a little of old mothballs and lavender soap. I smiled, as I remembered sitting on her lap, listening to her tales of strange lands and winged monkeys.
My thoughts were interrupted when mum shouted, “Dorothy, dear, have you finished in there? It’s time we were going.”