Friday, June 27, 2014

The Lobster Quadrille

 Chapter 9: The Lobster Quadrille
(Secret Love Affair - Alice in Wonderland Parody) 

In the early hours of the morning as the sky was turning purple, a dark figure in a hooded jacket and skinny jeans walked along the cement embankment of the Han River. Pink streaked the sky and reflected in shimmering blue water. Overhead street lights lit the bridge, where a few vehicles were crossing, although lights along the embankment path had turned off. The figure found a place where a slanted buttress met tiered cement blocks and sat down on the edge.

Taking off her backpack, she set it on the ground, lowered herself to the step, and pulled the zipper. A flash of light caught a laptop as it slid quietly down the buttress and disappeared into the water with hardly a splash, followed a moment later by a matching tablet. She zipped up her pack, looked casually around, and stood up.

“Look here, look here, what is this?” demanded a voice behind her. It was Kang, flanked by four policemen.

“This is cheap of you, Kang!” she cried.

“Penal Code 241, Dumping in the Han River,” intoned the Three of Clubs.

“You know how hard it is to dredge?” the Five of Spades demanded. “That thing is only eight feet deep!”

“You'll have to come along,” added Three.

Quite a crowd collected at the police station; the duchess got a call and came to enjoy the show. A few others were there, including Seon-jae. He tried out an excuse on the officers. “It wasn't dumping. She had a lobster trap.”

“We didn't see any lobster trap.”

“Maybe it came loose and floated off.”

“You can only catch carp and eel in the Han.”

“That's what people eat,” Hye-won put in eagerly, “but we weren't going to eat these. Haven't you ever heard of a lobster quadrille?”

“You form a line along the shore,” Seon-jae explained, (“Two lines,” put in Hye-won) “and advance twice, with a lobster as a partner. Throw them out to sea-”

“Swim after them and turn a somersault in the sea!”

“Change lobsters again, and come back to land.”

“You can do it without lobsters, but it is a very pretty dance,” ended Hye-won.

“All right, all right, enough of that stuff.” The lizard indicated Seon-jae. “Tell me truthfully regarding him. Are you perhaps in league with the griffin?”

“I'm not certain what you mean,” Hye-won replied, not looking up.

“Are you two inciting him to go overseas?”

“We never banded together.” He picked up a file and threw it, making her yelp.

“There, there, there. Please be quiet,” said the Three of Clubs. “Mr. Kang, please describe in detail what you saw.”

“Wait, whether I directly saw it or not is not important here!”

“Are you saying this has nothing to do with the illegal dumping of waste from a chocolate factory?”

“Chocolate factory?” asked Seon-jae, startled.

“Here, one moment please,” Hye-won interjected. “Can I call a lawyer?”

“Sure, go ahead,” said Three. She stood up to walk out, but the lizard grabbed her arm and jerked her back into her chair.

“Do it here,” he ordered. “You have an intention to flee!” He handed her the desk phone. She called the Knave of Hearts, and no one objected when she talked to him alone in the hall.

“Will you help me if I hand you over those files you wanted?” she asked him.

“If the queen is on the list of people to investigate, sure,” he returned. They shook hands and he got the charges dropped.

“What's this?” objected the duchess. “They're not going to jail? I thought this would be the end of the Love Affair of the Century.”

That night the lizard was insistent. “Just confess!” he yelled. “Then I will get a villa in Jeju and a lifetime pass for the Namsan cable car!” When she refused, he lashed out in frustration and knocked her cosmetics off the counter.

They didn't know until later that the laptop had been fished out of the river.

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