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The Challenge : use these three lines in a story


By: Tee


Rating:  G

Summary:  Response to "The Three in One Challenge" at ATSB.

Thanks to PK who does so much – so often. My gratitude.

The usual disclaimer that I know I'm infringing on someone else's copy right, but I mean no harm.


The Challenge: use these three lines in a story.

"It was just here, and now I can't find it."
"I told you we should have. . ."
One look and he knew. .


The Result:




One look and he knew this wasn't an ordinary party.  He slipped inside the door and stood next to the wall, just watching the assembled crowd.  He'd never seen anything like it before.  He stood, shaking his head, as if that would clear his vision of the dozens, maybe hundreds, of clowns milling about the elegant convention room.


"I told you we should have found out what the "Charlie Awards" were," he hissed to his companion who had just joined him.


"How the devil are we going to mingle here?"


Face shook his head and took a deep breath.  With a quick look to be sure he wasn't observed, he snatched two napkins off a nearby table and draped one over his forearm.  "Where there's a will, there's a way."  Handing the second one to Hannibal, he set off into the crowd, pretending he was a waiter.


They'd come here for a reason, a reason which seemed vaguely silly in light of the convention, but they were on the trail of a man who was supposed to be using his company "Calliope Enterprises"  as a front to launder money.  Face had had his suspicions up front, and now Hannibal had to agree. He was beginning to think this was more like a divorce gone haywire, with the wife using the team to get dirt on her husband.  No wonder the police hadn't taken the case.  A man in a rubber nose and size 47 shoes just wasn't the type to work for the Mafia. 


The two men separated and did what they were hired to do, eavesdropping on conversations, and at one point, Hannibal even talked to the man face to…well, painted face. It didn't take long for the Colonel to realize this clown was just that – a clown.  The poor man just didn't have the smarts to launder money.


Tired of listening in on conversations that involved juggling, balloon animals, and squeaky toys, the Colonel went in search of his Lieutenant.  He found his second in close proximity to a pair of twins in red curly wigs, tutus, and red high-top sneakers. Their black and white checked ties did nothing to hide their well-endowed chests.  "Quit clowning around, let's get out of here."


Face nodded, but gave a quick Groucho Marx eyebrow waggle to the girls. "Why don't we come up and see you some time – we can bring our own etchings." 


The wit was lost on the girls, but the charm wasn't. "Let me give you my phone number. Let me get a pen," the girl on the left said.


She reached into her pocket and began to empty the contents into Face's waiting hands.  Scarves, paper flowers, balloons, socks, keys, bottle tops, the pocket seemed to be endless. "It was just here, and now I can't find it." She started to search another pocket. This one held stuffed animals, cotton balls, rubber bands, and a harmonica. Face put the contents on a table, as she started on the next pocket.


Hannibal just shook his head and leaned over his companion's shoulder. "Just tell him.  He has a great head for numbers."


"Oh?" She blinked up at him, and Hannibal knew at that moment she'd never been able to remember anything more complicated than her high school locker combination. She rattled off the number, and Face repeated it once as he handed back her box of gumdrops.  "You'll call, won't you?"


"Sure." Face gave her a smile and kissed the back of her hot pink glove.


"Groovy – I've never dated a waiter before."


"Me neither," her gum-chewing twin said with a giggle.


"I'll call you tomorrow." Face felt a nudge in the elbow. Not sure if it was meant to hurry him along, or to remind him of the other man's presence, he hastily added, "We'll make it a double. My friend's never dated a clown."


The girls giggled and waved as the two men left through the kitchen. They stopped just outside the kitchen door so Hannibal could light a cheroot.  "At least the evening wasn't a total waste."  He flipped his lighter closed and jammed it in his pocket.


Face gave a grin. "Yeah, I got the girls' phone number, and I bet they won't mind fooling around in the back seat of a car."


"And the best part," Hannibal said, as he led the way across the parking lot, "is I made sixty bucks in tips." He grinned. "Don't you love it when a plan comes together?"



The End


The Three in One Challenge at ATSB

By Tee

Silliness by Tee



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