Who Stole the Zmulobeast? Chapter 3, Scene 6


“Okay, here’s the deal,” said Ursula, as she leaned forward across the table, trying to get everyone’s attention focused on her like she always did when she was on a roll.

“I’ve been doing some checking around. The Organization. We’ve got some contacts. In key places. It’s good to be part of the Organization. So one of these contacts gets wind of what I’m checking into, and comes to find me in my office. Shuts the door. Pulls the blinds. I look at him. Ask him what he thinks he’s doing. That’s when he tells me what I’m about to tell you. So here’s the deal; does the name Boris Greedy mean anything to you?”

Suddenly, Chief sounded like she was about to choke.

“Boris…? Oh no, oh …no…is he…?”

Ursula nodded slowly.

“You betcha. This thing has got Boris Greedy written all over it, and you all know what that means.”

I glanced around the room to see if I was in the minority. I wasn’t. Except for Chief and Ursula, none of the rest of us had the slightest idea who this Greedy guy was or why we should be so worried about him.

“Aheam,” I said. “Like, maybe the two of you got a clue? But uhhh…the rest of us?”

Ursula and Chief exchanged looks, I guess tryin’ to figure out which one should pick up the ball. Didn’t take long for Chief to make the decision.

“Ummm, listen you guys, I’m going to have to make this as brief as I know how. But you need to understand that, well, if Boris Greedy is involved in the kidnapping of the Zmulobeast, then we really do have our work cut out for us. I’m telling you now that going up against him won’t compare to anything else we’ve done before. That isn’t to say we haven’t had some tough challenges in the past, but this could be the biggest one we’ve ever had to tackle. It’s going to take each and every one of you being alert and at your best. I’m assuming I can count on that?”

We all nodded, but I could feel the nervousness in the room like an itch.

“Just who is this guy” I asked.

That got Chief back up out of her  seat and pacing again. It was a few minutes before she started to answer my question, but then Ursula cut her off.

“Boris Greedy? Very dangerous man. Very dangerous. Ruthless. Cold-blooded. Heartless.  Kids? Can’t stand them. Nature? Hates it. Worst enemy the environment ever had. Put him anywhere within five feet of a healthy plant? Plant dies. Plop. Just like that. Never seen anything like it. Loves money, though. Loves what money can buy. Loves what it can make people do. To each other. To someone like Boris, the only purpose money serves is to wreak havoc. Been like that ever since he appeared on the scene.

“That’s Boris Greedy.”

Felt like an hour before anyone said anything. Each one of us contemplatin’ what it was we were up against. And why it had to be us. What kind of chance did we have? I wondered. But then, what chance did that Zmulobeast have if we didn’t at least try to rescue it?

“Folks? Hate to interrupt this nice thoughtful silence we’re all enjoying here, but I gotta go to the dry cleaners. Yeah…the dry cleaners. Pick some uhhh…pick some stuff up. Won’t be long.”

Maria started giving me the arched eyebrow again.

“The dry cleaners? A dog has to go to the dry cleaners? What, you got your leisure suit dirty?”

“Hey, some dogs have taste. Look, I gotta go. Later.”

Before anyone else had a chance to pipe up, I was gone. Sometimes it helps to have four legs, you know? They can really get you movin’ when the need arises.

Time to pay a visit to a friend of mine….

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