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61

Fleeced

Georgette was restless. Blaise had gone off to his butler class, and she was left to twiddle her thumbs until the evening, when shed head over to the party. There was no money for shopping, and she didnt have the energy to do her rounds of the coffee shops.

Life was bleak.

She turned on the television in their little studio and started cleaning up. If only we had gotten those diamonds, she thought. On the counter were the four glass stones that had been in Nats red box. She was about to throw them in the garbage, but something made her pick them up and hold them in her palm.

Sitting back down on the bed, she closed her hand over the stones and started to chant. Not that she was a real chanter. This was a chant she made up. Over the years, shed visited psychics and had a mild interest in enlightenment. She thought that by chanting right now she might get a message about the location of the real diamonds.

Ummmmm, she chanted in a singsong voice, closing her eyes. Ummmmm.

No message so far.

She opened her eyes and stared at the glass stones. Nothing. She shut her eyes even tighter, leaned back and cried, Ummmmmmmmm.

Ummmmm turned to owwwww when she banged her head against the cinderblock wall. Rubbing her bruised cranium, she pulled up the teddy bear that had been with her through thick and thin-lately mostly thin-and gave it a hug.

Buttercup, what are we going to do? She smiled when she thought about how shed told Nat to call her Buttercup. He was a really nice old guy. Better than the one down in Florida who got nasty and called the cops when he caught her taking some jewelry. She hightailed it out of there fast. But Nat was sweet. Just the way he loved those sheep meant he had a good soul.

Georgette held out her teddy bear. He had Dolly and Bah-Bah, and I have you.

The teddy bear stared back at her. It was so old that one of its eyes was gone.

My poor baby. Impulsively, Georgette took one of the round glass stones and stuck it in the eye socket. It looked good! There, thats better. Ill have to get some glue. She started to get up when an image flashed through her mind. She screamed again, but this time it was definitely not a chant.

Dolly and Bah-Bah! she cried, staring at the glass stones in her hand. These are the eyes of Dolly and Bah-Bah! Thats where the diamonds are! She slammed her hand down on the bed, thinking of Nats favorite song, I Only Have Eyes for You. Ewe!

Isnt that just like Nat? She raced for her cell phone and called Blaises. She got his voice mail. Hes probably learning how to change a lightbulb properly, she hissed. When his message ended, she practically spat into the phone. I know where the diamonds are! Call me back before were too late!


| Fleeced | c