The officer tucked the list, neatly folded, into his breast pocket. He closed the door behind him, with a firm click and he marched purposefully down the gravel path to the motor shed. The gray and white pebbles crackled in rhythm underfoot. The only noise to be heard on the parade ground this afternoon.
He opened the bay doors to the motor shed. And let out a soft low whistle at the sight of his motorcar. He did it every time; it never grew old.
The Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish. Gleaming—liquid black—with sterling silver trim. It was intoxicating to the very eyes. A trick of the light, or did the left headlamp just wink at him? It didn’t matter. The Brigadier winked back. Nudge, nudge.
Inside, surrounded, no wrapped, in black calfskin, he turned the ignition key. The machine ever so slightly rose from the ground, and to purred softly.
He was off—in more ways than one.
Thrust to the back of the seat, the Vanquish pulled him down the narrow county road with such force, speed and grace that beguiled the very bucolic oil painting of a landscape he rocketed across.
Inside the cockpit, “Harrumph!” First stop would be the last on the list. “Solicit favour from distaff for purposes of garment remediation.”
Well, he knew what that meant all right. And he knew right wear to go.
Moments later, the Vanquish glides to a halt. He switches off the ignition, unfastens his safety harness, and pops out of the motor car like Jack the lad at a game of spin the bottle with the highland lasses. Beep! Beep! Blouuuup! He sets the alarm device.
“Ah. Right here we are!”
Before him stands an unremarkable, brick one-story shop set off on either side by two or three more equally unremarkable shops. A faded and chipped plastic sign above reads “Ardmore Center Quick Clean.” The famed officer firmly grabs the knob of the door before him, twists and opens. The shop is empty save for a young indifferent-looking sort of lass who noisily chews and is shouting at a small rectangular object in her right hand.
“Ahh Jayzus Christ, Brad. Hang on a sec. A customer just barged in,” she squawked, and then to me, “Yeah, wha’d ya want?”
“Yes, Quite. I am here to solicit favour from distaff for purposes of garment remediation. You are said distaff, I presume?”
“Huh? I don’t understand a single word ya just said, mister.”
“It’s Brigadier, lass. Brigadier. I am not a mister anything—and I am here to—”
The counter girl slowly put down her cell phone; careful not to disconnect. Really seeing this Brigadier for the first time now, she grew frightened. What the fuck is this guy doing dressed like that? Is he in the army? What the fuck is with that queer beret? This dude ain’t right.
“—collect my regimental wear which has been, hopefully, fully remediated of all offending stain, odour and blemish!”
She was no longer nervous. Now just annoyed.
“Look Captain whoever the fuck you’re supposed to be. I have no idea what you are saying and you are dressed like a whack-job. So, tell me again what the hell you want, and, so help me, if you say anything weird I’m pushing this button my foot is on right now and the cops will be here in two fucking minutes.”
The Brigadier stood mouth agape. Such vile and coarse language from a lass? What the blazes kind of mercantile is this?
“Ahem. Now, see here,” he said firmly buy politely. “I am an officer of the Regiment and I need my CLOTHES, luv. My clothes, are they ready?!”
He was fairly shouting now.
“That’s it, Freak! The fucking cops are ON THE WAY!”
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