In an open clearing, the reporter known as ‘Scoop’ got out the biplane drone from the back of his truck. He’d got hold of it a while back, but never really had chance to use it properly. He’d fitted it with a camera and even though he’d promised that he would never use it to sneak pictures of the local celebrities – again – it had helped the police with certain enquiries that they hadn’t realised they were investigating until the pictures appeared in the police mailbox. But this time, he would be using it to make news headlines.
He could already see the banner on the first page: “KILLER GIANT RABBITS?” with the strapline ‘once the carrots are gone, will they come for us?”
He’d even got the photocopier out from the back of the office; now that everything was on that confounded website there was little need for a newspaper and reporters were no longer the life to the news. Now, towns could share the same news – so much of what was read about in this town was news from Heartlake.
With final checks completed, the biplane took to the air.
Down on the ground, Shawn was following his own set of clues. His Scouting had taught him how to track animals – looking for broken twigs and bent grass would show the direction along with the occaisional footprint. Admittedly it was a lot easier when you were tracking something that was twice the size you were, but it was good practice. Then Shawn stopped….
Back in the Station House, Torch was feeling hungry.
“It’s Friday!” he cried “Fish and Chip night! Who’s with me?”
Before anyone could respond, Shawn burst into the Station House.
“Torch! Chief! I’ve found the rabbits!”
“They’re on the edge of town… and…”
Torch looked at Shawn. He wanted to go, but there was the fish and chips…
“Shawn, phone your mum; tell her that we’re going to have fish and chips and then we’ll take you home after. But what we’ll do before we take you home is follow up on your clue.”
Constable Lodge coughed politely.
“What is it about these fish and chips?” he asked.
“Well”, replied Torch, “the queue will be quite long as these are very popular. You know the monastery that is on the outskirts of town; the one that took a vow of silence and shut their doors to the world about 200 hundred years ago? Well, it’s been under new management for the last year.”
“I don’t think that’s totally true.”
“No – I mean that the chief abbot passed away and the new Abbot is more progressive; that and they realised that they needed to put a new roof on the abbey.”
“So what did they do?”
“Well, they started to send out specialists to help in the community and get money that way. They were very careful not to send too many at once… just in case they decided to not come back. They sent out their specialist gardeners, brewers, mechanics…and cooks.”
“I think I see…”
“So for a short time only…. they’ve sent out their Fish Friar and their Chip Monk!”
“I’ve got a bad haddock now” said the Chief.
“It’s ok, he’s only codding” replied Constable Lodge.
It’s another fence. At least, I think it is. It could be a bar, or it could be a heated seat…