Hubris McLeod – Part 3

I’d stumbled upon the NBUO quite early on in my career as a civil servant. I spent years checking a continuous stream of expense reports from numerous minor departments, and the only ones that stood out were those filed by NBUO. Their expenses were uniquely absurd, they were the only department to put in a petrol bill of over $1 million. It was charges like this that drew my eye.

 

As bored as I was with expense reports I took it upon myself to do a bit of digging on these NBUO guys. From what I could find the department consisted of only 2 agents, and no-one had anything nice to say about them. Those that had actually heard of the guys told me some weird stories about them, weird occult things that were just too bizarre to be true. This didn’t dissuade me from my little investigation however.

 

Eventually I found someone who had actually had regular dealings with the NBUO agents for a time. It was him that successfully persuaded me to call off my investigation. He told me about one of their cases, a guy claiming to be a warlock or sorcerer. This guy had been murdering young girls as part of his sadistic “rituals” to fuel his “magic”. The NBUO guys tracked him down, cut his hands off, crushed his nuts with a sledgehammer, poked his eyes out with a Swiss Army Knife, and set him alight. All that with no repercussions from their superiors, not even a letter. I didn’t want to get noticed by guys like that.

 

Seems they’ve noticed me now. I turned the card over in my hand a few times. It had that crispness that only freshly printed cards have, and I had no doubt that they had printed this card especially for me.

 

I pocketed the card and headed up to my apartment. The door was ajar when I reached it and I could hear the TV cackling from inside. I strolled in stupidly to find Carly happily sat on my couch and watching a children’s channel. She seemed to be enjoying herself so I didn’t interrupt her. I slouched off to my room, wondering exactly how long I would have to put up with this dozy goth squatting in my apartment. I threw the pile of rotting filth off my underused bed and perched myself on the end to think things through.

 

I would have to go back to Carly’s house in the morning, I needed to see more of that unusual aura. I’d take a weapon this time, I wasn’t about to get myself brained from behind again. I rifled through my bedside cabinet for my (illegal) firearm. I had meant to get a proper permit, but by the time I had finished going through the ridiculous citizenship exam I couldn’t be bothered to sort out all the paperwork. It was a lot easier to just buy one out of the back of a van in the bad part of town, cheaper too. Of course the gun would be useless if I let the guy sneak up on me again, but it was a better plan than going in unarmed.

 

I fell back on my bed and my head suddenly remembered that it was supposed to be hurting. I swore and rolled onto my side, flicking a mouldy cracker off my pillow as I did so. Carly was giggling quite loudly in the lounge now and it was doing nothing to help my new headache. I really needed to get this case sorted out soon and get her back into her maggot ridden goth palace. I was beginning to worry that I may end up enjoying having her around, and I didn’t think I was quite ready to put up with her Misery induced rages for a prolonged period. I angrily stormed over to slam my door and caught a glimpse of her, bathed in the light of the TV. She looked so cute sat there, her face locked into a childish grin as she bounced up and down excitedly. I was just like watching a kid watch TV.

 

I slowly walked over and sat next to her on the couch. She smiled at me and put her head on my shoulder. I ruffled her hair and let myself relax into the softness of the couch, glancing only briefly at the sickeningly bright cartoon blaring from my television. I fell asleep.

 

A rat nudged me awake at about 7 am the following morning. Carly was slumped against me fast asleep so I did my best not to wake her as I got up from the sofa, covering her with the least dirty blanket I could find, as all good gentlemen do in such situations. The TV was belching out static again, one of the sky vermin was probably perched on the satellite dish again. I gently crept into my bedroom and changed my clothes into something slightly more respectable. I had been wearing the same clothes for 2 weeks now so I replaced my yellowing shirt with a crisp white(ish) new one, a slightly crumpled tie, and an arguably cleaner pair of trousers. I loaded my gun and jammed it into my trouser pocket, right next to the keys for my burnt out car.

 

I fished out the G-Men’s business card again, staring at the number embossed on it. I had no intention of calling these guys but it didn’t hurt to have them as a back up plan. After all they couldn’t be that bad with the phone number 555-ECKS-FILES. They had to have at least some humanity left.

 

Fully prepared for my return trip to the house I made my way to the front door. I took one last look at the girl asleep on my couch. I could feel my idealism rising within me. First I was going to get her house back, then I would get her off the drugs, then I would marry her. Simple as that.

 

I closed the door behind me as I left and made my way back to the park, to Carly’s house.

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