The Inklings: Chapter 28

Despite being woken a couple times during the night – first by a slightly drunk Ark returning home for dinner and then later by the baby crying – D’arby woke up feeling refreshed.

The air was humid and smelt of a mixture of some unfamiliar kind of plant plus a little bit of mould, but D’arby still found it fresh.

When D’arby got out of bed he was shocked to find that he’d been attacked during the night. He was covered in blood, and so were the bed sheets. He didn’t feel any pain though. Then he found a swollen leech amongst the sheets and realized what had happened. He must have picked up the leech on the walk back from the workshop. He gathered up the sheets and went to look for a bucket to soak them in.

Andrew was up and about but Jinabu and the baby were asleep. Andrew had also been attacked. He was sitting in the sun with a pair of tweezers, bending over and looking at his stomach. “I have a tick” said Andrew as soon as he saw D’arby.

“I had a leech” replied D’arby, and showed Andrew the sheets and a bite on his ankle.

“I really don’t like this place!” complained Andrew. His voice sounded whiney. D’arby hoped that Andrew wouldn’t start crying.

When Andrew and D’arby had both dealt with their parasites they started making breakfast. D’arby offered to make the coffee but Andrew, who had heard about D’arby’s coffee from Jinabu, insisted on doing that himself and asked D’arby if he would make some scrambled eggs.

D’arby agreed, and rummaged around looking for a frying pan, oil, eggs and powdered milk while keeping one eye on Andrew so he could see how he was going to make the coffee.

Andrew looked hopefully through Ark’s kitchen equipment for the coffee plunger, but it had gone. “Maybe Ark has got his plunger” commented Andrew. “How am I going to make the coffee without one? I should have bought a tin of instant coffee!” said Andrew.

“I’ll do it then” said D’arby, “You make the eggs, and, can you make up a bit of extra milk up for the coffee too?”

And so D’arby took the coffee and a saucepan and got to work, leaving Andrew to read the instructions on the tin of milk powder. Andrew’s hopes for a nice breakfast were not high. He had hoped that D’arby would make some nice fluffy eggs. Andrew loved scrambled eggs but wasn’t any good at making them. At least I have my chocolate for later, thought Andrew. And then he realized that he hadn’t seen the chocolate that morning. “Where’s my chocolate gone?” moaned Andrew as he looked around. “Do you think Ark took that as well as the plunger?”

Ark chose that moment to appear. He was carrying his coffee plunger, which he put down loudly on the kitchen bench. “I think it should be alright for a man to use his own friggin coffee plunger without being accused of stealing chocolate. The bush rats probably took it.”

D’arby couldn’t help laughing. He thought Ark must have been joking about the bush rats.

“No, I’m serious!” said Ark. “The bush rats do like chocolate.”

Andrew wanted to start moaning about hating the place again, but instead he managed to squeeze out a “Sorry.” to Ark. Then he went back to mixing up some milk.

Ark obviously couldn’t wait for Andrew to leave his house. Andrew couldn’t wait to leave either, but he wasn’t going to go until Jinabu came with him. Ark invited D’arby down to the workshop after breakfast, then took a towel and left.

In the end, D’arby made the coffee and the eggs and some toast, while Andrew went looking around the house for his chocolate. Andrew returned about ten minutes later carrying an unwrapped misshapen piece of chocolate. He showed D’arby the tooth marks around the edges with a mixture of disgust and wonder. “Do you think it would be safe to eat the middle if I trim all the chewed bits off?” asked Andrew.

As Andrew carefully removed the contaminated portion of his chocolate bar, D’arby served the breakfast and coffee. D’arby made sure that Andrew wasn’t looking and then dropped two little pills into Andrew’s coffee and gave it a good stir.

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