Cry Baby

“They call it a cry baby because it's distracting Mr Mok, not because it actually sounds like a baby.” The dwarfs voice travelled ahead of him into the hot afternoon air.

“Well that is stupid name for it if you ask me.” Mok grumbled as he stepped down and out into the blazing sunlight. His Stetson set low over his eyes for shade.

“And hark, the vast throngs who are not in fact asking you.” Bolak had opted for a neat black flat cap to cover his bald pate and wore a pair of round dark glasses to shield his eyes.

As his feet crunched into the dry soil he spied Riley sat out front ready to usher in new business and fresh credits. Bolak affixed his most winning smile and walked over, Mr Mok in tow.

“Good day Lieutenant.” Bolak came to a halt a few paces away, “I have some small business up at the munitions factory and will require some cargo space for goods onwards to Beumonde. Should weigh in at around half a tonne all told. Needless to say we intend to remain aboard for a while longer at the rate we agreed with your good Captain.”

[Tag Riley]

“Erm it would appear we have company.” Mr Mok sounded on the verge of hysterics and when Bolak turned it was all he could do not to burst out laughing himself. It was only the look on Haddies face that stopped him.

The girl had crept out of the cargo bay behind them and stood there squinting in the sunlight. She was still dressed in her sleeping clothes and for some reason was daubed from head to toe in red and yellow paint. No. Not paint. Was that ketchup and mustard? The smell as it wafted over in the warm air answered the question.

Haddie stood looking at Riley, half scared half defiant. Through the smudges of red and yellow that covered her face dried tear tracks ran down her cheeks and onto her neck. Her hair was a tangled mass of condiments.

“Oh my.” Bolak said in a low voice to Riley, “I will be about my business, we can settle the particulars over supper.” And with that the two men took their leave and Haddie shuffled forward to stand next to Riley in silence.

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