Chapter 7 – Rendezvous la Pouf!
by Paul du Preez
Through December and January I’ll be serializing this YA novella. Enjoy! (Its available in stores right now – scroll down to the ‘announcements’ panel for retailer links.)
It took me ages to write and record this stuff: what would really help me is some feedback. Thanks in advance.
The previous night, while Jordan slept, Sean had hunted: had tracked a vulnerable account, stalked it, hacked it, stolen the owners identity.
Then, at 2 a.m. he logged on to CovenantTheStars, went to the crop circle thread.
Just three words though: ‘Wait your fate.’
And no secure channel for him to contact them.
They didn’t understand; no way could they have understood what he had been trying to tell them.
Sean began to type, finding words. Not carelessly, just…in a hurry: ‘The real meaning, like VERY IMPORTANT, of crop circles is that A intelligence is close. I have sensed it. A Super Intelligence, like from beyond. So intelligent it’s been pretending not to be here. Like, concealing itself. That’s why we never noticed. It could rob a bank and no one would notice. It could break into a bank vault…’
Sean stopped, read what he had written. Worried that the bank robbery stuff might be a bit obvious to outsiders – to net-Hounds, and Domestic Security. He began to select and backspace.
Sodding awkward, a virtual mouse on a virtual screen.
He gave up.
Sod them anyway! and began typing again, ‘…break into a bank vault of human ideas and no one would ever notice. That’s why we must make friends with them. The intelligence from beyond the stars.’
Evil, he congratulated himself. And gingerly, careful not to accidentally delete his message, he prodded the virtual ‘post’ button and his text twisted, spiralling away from him to infinity.
A minute later he checked the site, obsessing.
Yeah, there it was…
He watched it.
Sean got to bed late, about 5 a.m. Tossed and turned. Eventually fell into a glutinous doze, and woke at noon, feeling like a jellied eel: slimy, pungent and trapped.
He checked the site.
No reply yet.
Went to the corner shop to get away from his room, and his carping mom. Took his coffee and bun to Abney Park Cemetery where he paced between crumbling and lichened angels, crosses, and headstones.
Gloomy décor, butthe sun was shining brightly and tall, leafy trees rustled in a gentle breeze.
Must be Good for my soul. Or something, thought Sean, grudgingly.
A message ping!
Only sodding Liam. A delayed message at that – been all round the houses since…10.37 a.m. But… Well, who’d of thought it? The prank, pranked. Sean smiled sourly, thinking evil of Grumpet. Bastard! Then he thought of Jordan: Sprat’s gonna be too big for his boots now. Need putting down… The image of a mop-haired poodle came to mind, and he chuckled poisonously. Yeah, like a sick dog. Get my flash-drive back first though.
He was leaning back against a sun-dappled gravestone, grinning – never, for even a moment, thinking that, having succeeded against all odds, the ‘prank’ might bear investigation – when the message he’d been waiting for came through. ‘Hackney Ice Pick, Friday 13, Starts at eight. Don’t be late. Meanwhile, take a pill and chill. Whatever you do, don’t call us; we’ll call you.’
He couldn’t breathe for a moment. Then gulped down air. Like Champaign: it bubbled in his veins till, cork-popping, it spurted: “Whoooooooo!”
Sean whooped, and whooped again, not caring who heard; awkwardly he tried a dance move.
Destiny was on track!
He strode the cemetery.
Then, after another coffee, calmer, and pleased with himself, he sauntered home. Turning into his road, he saw Jordan throwing bits of gravel at his bedroom window.
“Oi! Sprat! What you doing?”
Jordan jumped. “Your mom said you were out.”
“Well? I was too. You think she’s lying?”
A few minutes earlier, Jordan had flown up the steps and rapped on the door. Hard.
Sean’s mom opened. “Oh! Sorry Mrs Davidson,” he apologised, “I’m looking for Sean.”
“Not Liam?” She raised an eyebrow. “Sean…dunno. Shop maybe.” She made a show of inspecting the door. “Left a mark on the paintwork did you?” There wasn’t a mark. “I’ll tell him you was here.” She shut the door in his face.
Wasn’t sure if he believed her.
Began throwing gravel at Sean’s window.
Jumped right out of his skin when Sean came up behind.
“No. I never thought your mom…” he began. Then, remembering his grievance; his determination to speak up: “Blud, thought you’d come down to the school – ask what happened.” Jordan tried to keep his voice under control.
“I already know, sprat. Liam told me.”
“Yeah? Well you owe me. I didn’t give you up. And Grumpet only made a pass at me in his office. Put his hand in my hair.”
“Like I…” began Sean, but then: “Jordan…with the pouf hairstyle. Ooh-la-la. Did it feel good?”
Jordan instantly regretted including that bit of information. “Sod off… Reckon you can get me into the Ice Pick, Friday night?”
“What? Past your bedtime. Besides, I already gave you Sabrina.”
Yeah! Sabrina – the oh-so personal virtual assistant. Jordan’s memory lingered: he had been making her acquaintance the night before. She’s bad! She’s choongalunga. But… “Jemima says she’s got to go.”
“Jemima? Your girlfriend?” Sean arched his eyebrows.
“My cyber-nanny. Jemima. I need a black app, or something – to stash Sabrina where Jemima can’t get her: she wants to do a net-initialization.”
Sean laughed. It started as an ‘evil scientist’ laugh – one produced under strictly controlled conditions – but mutated unstoppably into a belly laugh and from there into leg-slapping, wheezing and tear-wiping.
“Ooh, hoo, hoo, Jordan. That’s good! I ought to help you out just for that. But… No.” Sean flashed a saccharine-sweet smile: “You’re in over your sweet little tadpole head.”
And, sidestepping, he swaggered by, leaving Jordan to sputter and shout: “You promised! You promised to get me into the Ice Pick.”
Tyrannosaur – freepngimg.com
Cowboy – needpix.com
Curly-headed boy – pikist.com
Blue glass grid – needpix.com
Disclaimer, Copyright and Permissions
Will & Jordan: Cyberhunt is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents are the product of Paul du Preez’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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