It was more of an undesired coincidence than a strange phenomenon. That was Glen Mower’s first thought when he realised the journalist approaching his door was Kai Diamonde, a light-fingered former acquaintance he’d last seen when he’d been expelled from his Classics course at Uni four years earlier. As if suddenly much of his optimism had been itself pilfered he drew himself further back from the front window and instinctively tightened the fitbit around his wrist. Diamonde strode confidently up the path to the door in faded jeans in desperate need of a belt to address the subsidence at the waist and a grey Che Guevara T-shirt that looked out of kilter with conservative Maidstone.
‘Is that Strange Phenomena UK?’ Mower enquired through the door in response to a crisp tap upon it. He was stalling for time to ascertain if there was anything he needed to bolt to the floor before opening up.
‘No,’ Diamonde replied. ‘It’s Everyday Occurence UK, between us we’ve cornered the market. Actually, mate, it’s me, your old buddy at the trough, Kai. I work for Strange Phenomena UK, now.’
‘Oh, just give me some time to put the hamster in his cage before I open the door.’
‘I’ve never heard it called that before!’
Glen groaned. His unwelcome visitor hadn’t appeared to have lost any of the cheeky ways that had set him apart from all his other acquaintances, well that and the thick walls of the prison he landed himself behind for a deserved spell of confinement. Having bought himself time, of the non custodial variety, Mower set about concealing his strange phenomenon under a loose floorboard in the lounge.
The magazine hack greeted the door’s opening with a sardonic smile that the homeowner blanked. He had no desire to reacquaint so didn’t exchange pleasantries. He was only prepared to engage with him now as he was the gateway to the thousand pounds the periodical would pay if his strange phenomenon made it into their magazine. He was confident it would as it was a humdinger. He just needed to put to one side the justifiable prejudices he harboured against the reporter they’d sent. Maybe it was the sort of coincidental thing Strange Phenomena UK were renowned for?
‘How long have you been with Strange Phenomena UK?’ Mower asked.
‘Since before I knew you, Hover.’ Diamonde replied, drawing another sigh as the householder was reminded of his old nickname.
‘Only, I never seen you linked with any of the articles in the copy I read?’
‘Ah,’ Kai answered, flicking at the long blonde fringe at odds with the rest of his close cropped hair as if paying homage to the eighties pop scene. ‘You’re making the mistake of thinking your story will appear in Strange Phenomena UK and you’ll get a grand. When I’m here to tell you it won’t and you’ll instead get five thousand quid!’ It seemed that the erstwhile pilferer had now robbed Glen Mower of his breath, for he was momentarily struck dumb.