Dusty, covered with a shroud, it sat there alone, but not forgotten. Everyone wanted it, craved it, and lusted for it. It was not fame, fortune, or money. It was not even chocolate, or tacos. This particular speculum was shrouded for very good reason, and to queue the not so shadowy foreshadowing, it was about to be even less prone to oblivion.
Amy Anderpaulous had a mission. It was not an ordinary mission, because Amy Anderpaulous was not ordinary. She was quite extraordinary. From her very straight and curly hair, to her very small and sizable feet, her entire character was ineffable, so please kind reader, do not ask for an accounting of Amy Anderpaulous, and just concentrate on the mission that was currently wrinkling her incredibly smooth brow. Amy was no stranger to shadowy speculums, having been in search of them for the majority of her adult life. She had entered into the family business, and searching for nebulous artifacts was her “bread and butter,” so to speak.
Amy’s small but sizable feet moved ever so softly, ever so quietly over the crunchy leaf strewn walk that led to her employer’s rather ostentatious and particularly gothic, and garish, mansion. Grasping the huge brass doorknocker, she made her presence known, and when the excessively stereotypical butler opened the door to inquire as to who was present, she swept around his obsequiously hunched form, her daintily shod trotter click clacking along the marble floors. “Lucille!” she shouted, noisily calling with her carefully quiet voice.
Her answer came from the bowels of the cavernous dining room, “You know you are not to call me Lucille, Anderpaulous.” Amy ignored the censure in Mrs. Grimhelde’s voice, and ignored the quaking in her stalwart heart, “The Recherché. I have located it.”
Mrs. Grimhelde could barely contain her cackle of joy, “My speculum! The jewel to my collection! Where is it, and why do you not have it with you, you wretched clodpoll?”
Amy, ill concealing the distaste in her respective tone for the hideous crone, could barely choke out the words she knew she had to reveal, “The Recherché, the very speculum you seek, is not as easily procured as you would wish. It is has a very determined guard, the likes of which I have never seen. And they are all diverse in talent, which has given me little luck in acquiring an item of such rare obscurity.” She paused to show Mrs. Grimhelde a large contusion on the upper ulna region of her left arm, “There is a particularly vicious one who is deft with his axe. I was lucky to come away with my arm intact.”
Her employer snarled at her, “Get my speculum for me! I do not care the cost, not even for that of your measly arm.”
Amy, turning on a smart heel, stalked from the room, throwing open the double doors and nearly toppling the butler who happened to be stationed at the door with an empty glass in hand. He tottered after her, still hunched at the waist, “Miss! Miss!” Amy stopped at the heavy oaken entry door and turned to look at him with one suspiciously “on fleek” eyebrow raised in query. His tremulous voice squeaked out, “I know of the guards of whom you speak, and they have one major deficiency that will gain you entrance. But I hesitate to tell you.”
Grasping the butler with her softly firm phalanges, she demanded an answer.
He quaked as he revealed a secret so devastating, that had Grimhelde been party to it, not only Amy’s measly arm would be at risk, but also rapidly beating heart in her amply compact chest. Leaving the door wide open as she staggered from the gaudy mansion, her sizably small feet now shuffled in a gracefully clumsy fashion. She knew what she had to do.
Hours later, Amy Anderpaulous arrived at a deceptively small ranch style home located in a wooded subdivision 244 miles northeast of the heretofore-unnamed large city inhabited by her employer. In her right hand, she carried a small red bow, and in her left, a small covered box. She did not stealthily steal to the entry, or the window. She timidly and boldly walked to the door and pressed the doorbell. The door was flung open by her axe wielding nemesis, an older man with wildly tufted gray hair. He raised the axe to her, “You come for more, you stinking private eye!”
Amy simply handed him the red bow and the box, then stood and stared him with her sharply myopic eyes until he opened the box. Grunting, he took her by the arm and dragged her into the 1970’s ranch, not caring that she bumped into a man who was avidly licking the entry door window. “I know what you’re here for, and it’s about time.”
Handing her the back the box and bow, he led her to the cellar. They descended the long, narrow, dusty, and dank stairway to what appeared to be a mineshaft. Taking a turn at a darkened opening, they walked along until Amy could hear the sound of whistling and the clanking of tool on stone.
There, whistling and working were five more guards. Though short in stature, they were barrel of chest and quite strong.
“Ask her who she is, and what she’s a-doin’ here!”
One guard, wearing a particularly heavy duty set of carbide lamps said, “Ah, yes. Now what are you, and who are you doin’ here?”
She held up the bow, and then lifted the lid of the box. The carbide lamps waggled with his eyebrows, while another of the guards laughed inappropriately loudly. “Well, haven’t you been an abstruse puzzle all of these years? We’ve been waiting for you!” The six guards all curtsied prettily and then in single file led Amy to a small adit. There it was: the Recherché. She went to it and in a confidently unsure motion, swept the shroud from the speculum. The room suddenly filled with a flash flashiness, which could only be described as flashy. A green face topped with a red turban appeared in the glass, intoning the words, “Meka leka hi meka hiney ho. Who do you seek?” Knowing that she had no wishes, or desires, save to destroy the Recherché, Amy wished for the genie to go into the box, thus rendering the Recherché, though rare and exotic, quite obscure. Now safe, from Mrs. Grimhelde’s secret agenda, one might say that Amy lived quite happily ever after.
And the genie in the box, you ask? The guard who was partial to the taste of windows, gave up glass, donned a gray suit, and with his friend, Jambi, found fame and fortune by building a playhouse on a stage at the Roxy.