‘Look, matey,’ Diamonde said as he placed two different cans of beer on the circular coffee table, his being the non-alcoholic one, ‘get some of this down your neck. It’ll help you make sense of what I have to impart.’
‘The only parting I’m interested in,’ responded Mower as he raised the open can to his lips, ‘is for you to part with several grand for my strange phenomenon.’
‘Look, matey, let’s cut the crap. Your strange phenomenon was planted so you’d contact us. We thought it appropriate to provide you with the opportunity to see just how everything kicks off, as you have been involved with so many of the following stages but not, funnily enough, the initial one.’
‘Do you know what,’ Glen replied, shaking his head and sporting an incredulous smirk, ‘I could swear you’re speaking in English but I don’t understand a bloody thing you are saying.’
Diamonde simply nodded then arose from his seat with the air of self confidence Mower always associated with him then audaciously turned on his TV without deeming it necessary to obtain permission to do so. The screen burst into life displaying tennis from Wimbledon as English hope Miles Steppings did battle with the number eight seed on centre court. The Brit was one set up.
‘It’s become obvious that what I have is extremely valuable to someone,’ Glen said. ‘Maybe an eccentric millionaire who collects stranger phenomena than appears in the actual magazine dedicated to it?’
‘Excellent play there from the Englishman,’ the commentator hollered above the cacophony of patriotic fervour emanating from the Wimbledon crowd and Glen Mower viewed this as validation to hold out for more money and sat back contentedly.
‘You don’t get it, do you?’ Kai responded. ‘I have told you, we planted your strange phenomenon. It’s an original photographic plate showing a pigeon in a team picture of The Old Carthusians in 1881, where previously that picture has been pigeonless. We bought that for five grand to silence the client who brought it to our attention. It’s what alerted us to the fact Nelson’s position in history was under threat as the pigeon was no longer defecating in Trafalgar Square as there was no longer a statue there in that year hence the bird’s decision to instead turn up at The Old Carthusians home ground in Godalming.’
‘I’m not with you?’ Glen said, as his companion served again into the court of uncertainty.
‘What If I was to tell you, as a history man yourself, that it changes. It shifts like the sands depending upon who is meddling at the beach with the old bucket and spade,’ he announced before partaking further from his can.’
‘I’d say you were nuts,’ came the unequivocal reply.
‘Oh how I wish for the sake of humanity I were,’ Kai said looking up towards the Gods which Glen hoped caught his attention more than the large cracks in the artex ceiling. ‘How I forlornly wish the means to travel into the past hadn’t been discovered then given exclusively to rich buffoons to potentially cock it up.’
‘Why do they cock it up?’
‘Because they can. Why did man land on the Moon, for Christ’s sake. Because it’s there!’
‘But surely if such a thing is invented there’d be safeguards?’
‘Oh!’ he mockingly replied. ‘Just like the Titanic, the voyaging marvel of its age, took safeguards with installing enough lifeboats.’
It wasn’t lost upon the bewildered Glen Mower that Kai Diamonde had come without warning upon him like the infamous iceberg that sunk the Titanic and now seemed set upon throwing him into the deep without anything to cling to.’