A Different Problem

You can read the story from the beginning here. While there are references to characters that have appeared in previous stories. You don’t need to know about those characters to enjoy this instalment.

“So how are you coping with this?” Noah asked as he escorted Mina through the arched tunnel that was the new short cut between the library and the café annexe.

Mina wrinkled her nose. “Working with the candles is chaotic. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming but sometimes it’s fun.” She grinned happily up at him. “But I’m getting caught up in the arguments between Kadogan and Miss Marianne and while that’s entertaining, I’m not getting much done.”

“Didn’t she throw a steel wax melting jug at him?” Noah asked.

Mia nodded. “He ducked so it got dented and then she burst into tears and flounced off. I think that they’re flirting.”

“Seriously?” Noah shifted the box of books in his arms. Lady Freydis had been very clear that he needed books for the chaotic research. “Whatever happened to just going for a drink?”

“Elfen have their own ways,” Mina said. “And with them both being obsessed with candles, it gives them something to bond over. And at least it takes the attention away from Martin.”

Noah nodded and then stopped at the arch between the annexe and the main shop. Mrs Tuesday was furious.

“You march in here, throwing accusations around, giving out orders like lord of creation, when you’re nothing but a snotty nosed, jumped up, piece of…”

“I can take it from here,” Fiona said, walking past Mrs Tuesday and glaring at the stranger.

Noah assessed the scene. A stranger was ignoring Mrs Tuesday’s glare and looking around. It was still an hour before opening and while he knew in theory that Lady Freydis and Mrs Tuesday weren’t the helpless ladies that they appeared to be, Fiona was definitely vulnerable. He pushed himself between Fiona and the stranger. He didn’t want this man to think that the ladies were an easy target. “What’s going on?”

“This is Sir Craig,” Mrs Tuesday spat. “A Knight Templar and scum of the earth.”

“This man is being difficult,” Lady Freydis said. “And he says that he’s from the government this time.”

“We’ve been through this before,” Fiona said. “We have all the permits for the new candle business…”

“And possibly soap,” Lady Freydis added.

“Everything will be done in accordance with the rules and regulations,” Fiona added.

“There is concern about you running these establishments while being understaffed,” Sir Craig said. “I’ve come across a few complaints from people about your attitude to shoplifters.” He gazed straight at Noah. “And if there aren’t enough bodies in the shop then shoplifting is more likely to happen.” He looked at Lady Freydis. “And more chance of someone accidentally wandering into the Fairy realm without anyone realising. I’ve had a few words with Dave and I’m not happy about how you added this extra room.”

“You leave Dave alone!” Mrs Tuesday snarled. “He’s a good lad that can do without your interference.”

“I know that you’re running short staffed, especially now that Jasmine has moved to Leeds,” Sir Craig said. “And I know that even with your new colleague, Mina, the brownies have their hands full working for Kadogan and Miss Marianne. You usually call on Adele, but she’s got caught up in her family business and Elaine is rushed off her feet keeping up with Dave. Half of the werewolf pack that would help out got drafted to help out that ongoing issue in Otley and the brownies are always booked up.” He sighed. “I want to help. I’m not here to cause trouble.”

Mrs Tuesday snorted. “That makes a change.”

Sir Craig cast a wary glance at her. “As you know, sometimes the Knights Templar get fixated on one type of non-normal. It can lead to complications.” He looked around, unafraid but guarded. “If we could have a regular placement here for our Squires who are training, it could help give them a more rounded look.”

Mrs Tuesday narrowed her eyes. “Are you trying to stop another incident like Jason.”

Sir Craig looks straight at Mrs Tuesday. “Sir Jason was my comrade and like a brother to me. We got things wrong. You may not believe me, but I’m glad that he’s getting his best life.”

“I’ll have to discuss this with Steve and Kadogan,” Fiona said. “I’m not sure that some of our clients would appreciate having Knights Templar on the premises.”

“I’m not sure if some of your knights will be happy washing up and stocking shelves,” Mrs Tuesday said.

“You’re short of staff and have a limited number of people who could work here.” Sir Craig said. “Who else is going to apply?”

The bell on the door rang and everyone instinctively turned towards the sound. “I’ll apply,” Umbran said.

This post was written in response to Writing Prompt Number 17

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