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666 Great Junction Street

Part 14

After quaffing a fair quantity of Talisker and finally succumbing to the confectionery enchantment they call Tunnock's tea cakes, Seraphama felt intoxicated enough to take up Sylvester Rambling's kind offer of a tour round Leith.

As they wobbled down the stairs of 666 Great Junction Street, Seraphema signalled to Sylvester to be quiet as she lurched towards flat GF2 and pressed her ear up against the door.

'Ssssh,' she whispered. 'There's definitely something scurrying around in there.'

Sylvester leaned over to listen. 'Hmm,' he said. 'Scuttling, I would say. Or possibly scampering.'

'How rare,' said Seraphema.

Suddenly, the noises stopped. Seraphema froze, thinking their whispering had alerted the mysterious resident to their presence. She felt a strange tickling inside her ear which she only just realised was pressed directly over the flat's peephole. Quickly, she jerked her head away from the door, noticing there was no glass in the peephole and something spindly poking through it which quickly retracted as she jumped back, clutching her ear and scratching vigorously.

'Eww, eww. What was that?' she squeaked.

Sylvester looked intrigued. 'It appeared to be a tendril of some kind. Let me see your ear.'

He peered into Seraphema's lughole which appeared unharmed. 'It's a little red, but other than that I …oh…' Sylvester jumped as the tendril-like object shot out the peephole again to tickle his own ear. He instinctively made a grab for the thing but it immediately shot back inside.

Scratching his ear, he asked Seraphema to have a look inside it.

'It's a little, er, brown,' she said.

Sylvester blushed. He was a stranger to cotton buds and hadn't had his ears syringed for at least a year.

'Um, quite,' he stammered. 'But is there anything unusual in there?'

'Well, I couldn't really say,' said Seraphema. 'Not having looked in your ears before. Should I be looking for anything in particular?'

'Oh, never mind,' huffed Sylvester. 'This is ridiculous.' He banged on the door. 'Come on. We know you're in there,' he yelled.

All was quiet in GF2.

'Open the letterbox,' said Seraphema. 'Do you think that wise?' said Sylvester. 'Who knows what organism may pop out from there.'

'Maybe we should call the police,' suggested Seraphema, gently massaging her earlobe.

'And say what? There are tendrils on the loose? Our ears have been tickled? God knows the Leith police are dismissive enough without us giving them extra cause to ridicule us.'

He pondered a moment. 'Wait a minute. Stand over there.'

Seraphema backed away while Sylvester stood with his back to the wall next to the door. He reached out slowly towards the letterbox, taking care to stretch his right arm as far as it could extend in order to create as much space as possible between his body and the door.

Then, with one eye keeping watch on the peephole, he attempted to slowly raise the flap of the letterbox with the very tip of his little finger.

Seraphema gasped.

Next Week: The Wildest Critters Live in the City



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