|A Not-So-Secret Club (300w)|
In a dark, damp, moss-covered tunnel, a figure hurried along, footsteps squelching. It knew where to go, which turnings to take, as if the way was signposted. Occasionally, through little drainage grates, moonbeams illuminated this figure, revealing, for just a second, a wispy hooded cloak, zipping by.
A dead end. A door to the right. The figure, a bit out of breath, approached the door, and, with its right foot, kicked what sounded like a big toolbox.
“Who’s there?” asked a voice, muffled behind the door.
“Who put that there?” hissed the figure. “It’s me. Let me in. I think I’ve broken something.”
“What’s the password, Me?” asked the voice, nervously.
“Come on, Neil, open up.”
“Who’s Neil?” said Neil, unconvincingly. Then, in a frantic whisper: “We shouldn’t be using our proper names, Jerry. Get it together, man.”
“If you don’t let me in, you’ll be banished from the club. How’s that for getting it together, man?”
Silence. The door in the dark creaked open, creating a crack of light, which became a bright doorway, with a Neil-shaped silhouette in the middle. “Sorry,” said Neil, moving aside.
Jerry hobbled inside, hung his cloak on top of another one, made a mental note to add peg space to the secret agenda, and struggled with his right boot. “Blast,” he said, “must be swollen.”
“I can help you,” said Neil, brandishing a shoe-horn. “There we go.”
“Good lad,” said Jerry. “What’s with the toolbox?”
“Well,” said Neil, sheepishly, “I – you see - you were late, right? And, well, I grew a bit tired, and fancied a snooze, and thought, I need a warning for if the city guard comes snooping…”
“Right,” said Jerry.
Then: a muffled crash.
“Like that?” said Jerry.
“Are we expecting anyone else?” asked Neil.