Friday, December 16, 2005


Shy thought quickly – there was only one thing for it…

Taking a very large breath Shy opened his mouth and gulped. With an almighty PLOP he swallowed the Diamond Studded Pie. “You may have blown up my friends…” he remarked crisply. “But you won’t blow up this Motherfurking Yeti!” Just to be sure Shy removed all the other pielets from his ears, head, arm pits and various other furry orifices – the fake and the genuine and he swallowed those too. Ed Alexander watched agog. “What do you think of that, buggerlugs?” he grinned triumphantly.

“You’ll still be blown up…” said Ed, beginning to back off. “All you’ve done is muffled the blow – which is good for me – but won’t stop your insides being spread to the high heavens…”

Shy smiled again. “I don’t think so, you know… My stomach is pretty impressive – it’d take a lot more than a few little bombs to blow something as tough as that up…” he gave a sudden loud belch. “Ohh… Nasty… One of the smaller pielets I think… Acidy – but I’m ok - still standing I think you’ll find…” he burped again. “Oh! Unpleasant – yet inevitable…” A pause. Another burp and another.

“Keep them coming…” sighed Shy. “I’m sorry…” he paused. “How greedy of me – I should have shared… Maybe you’d like a pielet…” he took one last pielet from his fur. “Maybe you’d like a quick snack?” Shy took a step towards Ed. “Well? It’d be impolite not to accept… Open wide…”

Edward backed off – but walked straight into the wall – there was nowhere else to run…

Meanwhile, back downstairs Kim was trying to find a way out. The Pavilion was full of Police by now – but she hadn’t made her presence known. She’d lost track of where Ed was and was keen not to run into any of the Police gangs armed with tear gas. So far, they’d only managed to round up Hunt and the other security guards – though she knew that at least one, if not more of the thieves had already left the building and had probably been blown up, somewhere in the grounds. “This reminds me of my time in the Girl Guides!” she sighed and shuddered at the thought of how awful the uniform had been.

Kim sighed and took a quick look at her reflection in a mirror – she hated having to dress like this and brushing a layer of dust off her glamorous Security outfit she quickly removed her piercings and goth wig and slipped into something more casual. She felt a lot more at home in saggy tracksuit bottoms, horn-rimmed, thick lensed glasses that seemed to almost entirely swallow her formerly attractive green eyes. Popping on her favourite strait jacket and a dowdy bobble hat concealing her dirty blonde hair beneath. She was ready to go. It was her usual weekend wear and she felt much better for having changed. Briefcase in hand she took a lighter from her pocket and in less than 30 seconds had made herself a handy Molotov cocktail, setting fire to all the curtains in the lower gallery room. Throwing another across the room it exploded against the wall and began to burn. It was diversion enough for her to get away unseen… The brief case was heavy and she really couldn’t risk getting caught…

Back upstairs on the balcony, Shy was cross that Ed wasn’t cowering more. As much as he wanted to push the pielet down the man’s throat he was in danger of them both blowing up should this last pie be one of the boobie-trapped ones – it wasn’t worth waiting to see just to get an apology. “I thought you were going to share your pielets…” Ed taunted unexpectedly. “Or have you had second thoughts?”

Shy pushed Ed to the patio and instead swallowed the pielet himself. “No second thoughts – I’m just rather selfish…” he declared and then burped – just in time as the eighth and final pielet, along with a couple of others already inside his stomach did their explosive business. “Ah – nearly done now!” he smiled, beginning to feel a little worse for wear. “I’m coping rather well!” There came two more small explosions and the second one sent him staggering backwards – over on his furry behind and then one last rumble which knocked him back upright again. Before Ed could react Shy was upon him; pinning him to the ground. “You called me Yeti earlier – you know who I am then! You know why I’m here!”

He’d expected to see some fear in his eyes, but Ed Alexander remained quite composed. “Of course! I must say I’m not quite sure why you teamed up with those other two losers, very generous, but you’re more talented than either of them! It’s a shame they’ve dragged you down to their level… I respect your historical motives, Yeti – it’s a bit like a family reunion – you almost deserve to keep them!”

Anger burnt in Shy’s eyes and for a moment he could barely speak. “You’re a slick tongued grandson of a mayor aren’t you… But I’m a useless criminal and I know it! I’ve gotten my two friends involved in all this just because I had some stupid fantasy that I wanted to be Bonnie and Clyde and now I… Well, no – to be fair – YOU have gone and killed them! You’re as much the criminal as me! Actually, no – you’re the only real criminal here – you’re pretty much a psychopath!” Ed Alexander continued to stare back at him – apparently oblivious to the large weight of Yeti resting on him. “Should I hand you over to the law, strap you to an explosive or swallow you whole and see how much you like that?”

“I’d never fit inside your stomach – not even with the size of your belly!”

“You wanna try me?” Shy’s paws were tightening around Ed’s neck. “I’m sure I could find room for you – or if I can’t then I’m sure I could take a fair few bites and then keep the rest for later!” By now, Ed’s composure was slipping a little – he had to make this sound good – the Police were close now. “YOU KILLED MY FRIENDS…” Shy said dispassionately. “NOW I KILL YOU!” With that he picked Ed up and held him above his mouth, but to Shy’s dismay Ed was still smiling and Shy thought he was going to have to try and eat the man when suddenly Ed having seen Shy’s sharp teeth in the moonlight and with one final choking laugh he passed out. “Now I know how David Banner feels…” muttered Shy. “Boy, did he make me mad – if I was the Hulk I’d be a bright shade of green by now…” Throwing Ed’s limp body over his shoulder he stared out across the gardens in search of some sign of his friends, but there was none. “I’m not finished with you…” Shy decided – intent on getting some declaration of guilt from the man before he left Brighton. Hopping over the balcony wall, he dropped clumsily from hanging basket to basket and hurried across the garden in search of Ceri and Becky.

“Where are you going…” called a voice. “If you go that way you’re bound to get arrested…”

Shy turned – hoping for a second it was Becky, but it was Kim Travers. “Don’t try and stop me leaving here!” he growled. “I’m a Yeti in a very bad mood and I’d advise you not to mess with me…”

Kim said nothing. Smoke floated across the lawn as all around them Police and Firemen ran around in total confusion. “I’m really not your enemy!” she said and Shy noticed that she looked quite different than before. “Okay – I’m sure you’re aware that I’ve worked with Ed – but I’m far from being in league with him… If you’d been listening you’d have heard me trying to offer you help outta here!”

Shy was confused. “But you were in the Pavilion, the bombs, my friends – your boss killed them!”

“I very much doubt that!” reassured Kim. “The explosives were dummies… They make a lot of noise and smoke but they don’t kill! I swapped all the real ones that Ed set up!” Shy looked disappointed and Kim had noticed. “Hey, what’s up with you – what exactly did you do with the pies you stole?”

“They’re in my stomach…” Shy replied. “I kind of thought I’d been all heroic by swallowing them…”

“The fact you thought they were real bombs and you did that makes you pretty special, Shy…” Kim replied. “Listen, at least you’re safe and haven’t got your guts scattered from one side of the garden to the other! You’ll just have to be a bit careful when you pass the Pies, sweetie! Although… Well, you’ll see… You didn’t think your stomach could withstand real explosions did you? Still – you’re pretty hardy – even dummy explosives will give you a bad case of indigestion and you seem fine, so far…” Kim paused and took a quick look at the unconscious Ed flopped out over Shy’s shoulder. “Listen, would you like to come with me? Bring the hostages – I haven’t even started with him yet!”

“My pleasure…” nodded Shy, trying not to inhale the smoke which still wafted across the gardens. “I don’t understand at all, mind! But you do seem to be the only friendly person out here tonight!”

“Pretty much!” she agreed. “Anyway, you’re not meant to understand! Just follow me furry chops!”

Kim had promised to lead him to safety and sure enough she did just that…

Sometime later, at the end of Brighton Pier – Kim having picked the lock so they could gain access – the Pier having closed some while before. Stopping only long enough for Shy to break into the Dr Who Exhibition and set up a special Yeti display they reconvened at the very end of the mile long Pier – just long enough to tie Edward Alexander upside down and to dangle him into the sea covered in fish bait. “What are you trying to catch, Kim?” asked Shy as they dunked Edward into the murky waters for another few minutes. “Shall we speak to him yet, Miss Travers or leave him awhile?”

“Leave him awhile…” replied Kim. “You do know that my name isn’t Kim or Travers don’t you?”
“Well no… I hadn’t thought much about it – I hardly know you – we only seem to have been joined in a common goal rather unexpectedly this evening… What is your name then?”

“I couldn’t possibly say…” replied Kim cryptically. “If I told you I’d have to kill myself…”

“Oh… Right… Interested twist there…” nodded Shy earnestly. “So… What now… Are we dipping Alexander into the sea to make him beg our forgiveness – so he won’t turn us into the Police…”

“No dear!” smiled Kim. “He wouldn’t dare – we’re only doing this for a bit of fun because he deserves it… Believe me - he deserves it… He’s pissed off a fair few people over the years… Just think of me as one of those nutjobs that escapes from an asylum to seek to avenge his crimes! I also have a total crush on furry ex librarian Yeti’s – though I know I have no chance with you whatsoever!”

“Oh right… Okay… Well, I’m very flattered…” Shy replied, still trying to catch up with all this new information. It had been a long night. “I presume you’re referring to something other than his antics tonight…” Kim nodded. “…but you couldn’t possibly tell me because you’d have to kill yourself…”

“No… I’d have to kill my family…” she explained, cosying up to a rather perplexed looking Shy. “Golly Yeti – you’re so nice and warm – I wish I could keep you as a pet…” She took off her bobble hat for a second and ruffled her dusty blonde hair against his fur. “Or maybe I could be your pet?”

“Oh well!” Shy paused and looked embarrassed. “I do sometimes take on people as sidekicks, but in your case you seem to have your own plans and missions – you’re very independent and it suits you!” he added, just to make sure she knew he respected her. “By the way, may I just say how good you were earlier – at picking the lock and changing the explosives and… I won’t even ask what you’ve got in that brief case or you’ll just have to go and kill all your pets or the postman or something…”

Kim grinned and flipped open the case. “Nah… Quite happy to show you what I’ve got… It’s actually for you…” Inside the brief case was The Diamond Studded Pies and the eight pielets. “I’ve been keeping them safe for you… Don’t worry – I’ve taken a few trinkets for myself…”

“These are the REAL Pies?” Shy asked – dumbstruck. “But what about the ones of display? Fakes?” she nodded. “But… That means I was about to replace fake pies with more fake pies and – I could have just thrown them all over the balcony rather than swallowing them to make sure I still had them!”

“Yeah, pretty much – but you weren’t to know that were you?” It was a fair point. “There’s something else in the case for you… All the surveillance tapes from the extra cameras that Eddie had set up… I don’t suppose any of you knew about those – but they were there… Anyway – they don’t exist any more so you needn’t worry… Just don’t tell anyone about the fire I started! There was some evidence of my own involvement I needed to get rid of too – so it’s not just me being all kind hearted!”

By now Shy was feeling quite taken aback and all he could say was. “Shall I check on Alexander? Make sure he’s not escaped?” Kim smiled and nodded and so with all his might he pulled the rather damp and unhappy looking (but now conscious) ex-detective up from where he’d hung, some few inches above the water below. “How’s he looking?” Shy asked Kim. “Has he learnt his lesson?”

“Unfortunately, I rather doubt it…” sighed Kim. “I think you’d better leave me too it, Shy… I’ve got some scores to settle and a few words I need to say to him in private…”

Eddie Alexander was looking panicked now. “No! No – please don’t leave me! I don’t deserve this! She’s insane… She’ll kill me, do you hear Shy… She’ll murder me in c,c,cold b,b,blood…”

“Will you really?” Shy turned to Kim – but Kim wasn’t giving anything away. “I’m sorry Ed – but if it hadn’t have been for Kim then both my friends and my stomach would have been blown away by your explosives!” Ed didn’t realise what he meant at first – and it occurred to Shy that he still thought he’d killed them and that Shy had actually swallowed the real explosives. “It was a lucky escape we had there – thanks to Kim! Who am I to deny her, her pleasures? I can’t dictate to this young lady what she does and doesn’t do and quite frankly I have no interest nor incentive to try and free you from your bonds… I’m heading off now to find my friends and I’ll leave Kim to do whatever she has to…”

“No! NOOOO!” Edward was obviously very distraught – but Shy was finding the sound of his voice extremely irritating. He tore a strip off his jacket and quickly tied it around Edward Alexander’s mouth. “They we go… A handy and stylish gag to keep him quiet whilst you lecture him, Kim…”

Kim smiled and broad and generous grin. “Thank you so much, Shy… It’s been most pleasant meeting you – I do hope we bump into each other in less challenging an environment next time…”

“Me too…” Shy replied and shook her hand warmly. “Have fun with Mr Alexander… Dunk him under just once or twice more for me, won’t you… Long dunks, mind… At least a minute each!”

“Oh I shall…” nodded Kim and trifle too enthusiastically and Shy took this as a good point to make his departure. He was beginning to think that Kim really was as insane as her strait jacket implied. “Take care furry man…” she called as he took the brief case that she’d brought for him and began to make his way back down the pier to the beach. “Good luck with passing those pies…”

“I’ll need it…” Shy muttered to himself, already beginning to feel a little uncomfortable and silly for having swallowed all the fake pies – giving Kim a parting way as he headed on his way.

Having bid farewell to Kim, he found himself a 24 hour café to sit in and watched as things calmed down around the Pavilions. The fire seemed to be out and the Police passed him by in the street at least twice on his way to an early morning chemist and never stopped to even ask for his autograph. Having chewed on a rather large Rennie for a couple of hours and having finally got all the fake Diamond Pies out of his system it was with rather less surprise than they expected that he found both Ceri and Becky looking very weary and slightly dishevelled, sitting on the stones by the West Pier at just after dawn that day. “You’re alive then… Thank Furs for that!” was all he could think of to say.

“We’re doing okay…” grinned Becky. “Got caught in the blast and covered in earth – but nothing that won’t come out in the wash… Glad to see you got out okay – we didn’t know what to do…”

“Cheers! I was a bit worried for all of us for a while there – but you did the right thing!” Shy admitted and explained how he’d witnessed the explosions and only just managed to get out of the building.

“They weren’t real bombs – probably dummies I reckon…” explained Ceri and Shy nodded. He didn’t bother to tell them much of Kim’s story in the end. He told them how he’d swallowed the pies and confronted Alexander – pointed out where Eddie was now safely secured from the bungy rope but said nothing about it being Kim’s idea. “So you’ve got the pies?” asked Ceri. “That’s marvellous…”

Shy could have been gloaty about it, but knowing that Kim had a been a large part of his success what with the cameras being fixed and Ed being dangled he didn’t want to overdo his part in the victory – if you could call it that. Something about the whole evening still felt a bit of a shambles. “Shall we just sit here and watch Ed Alexander bounce up and down from the rope until the Police arrest him?” he suggested. Then go for some breakfast?” Becky was still uncertain about whether the ex-copper had any evidence on them. “Don’t worry!” Shy explained. “I had a word with him - I’m pretty certain he won’t say anything… There’s no proof we were ever at the Pavilion – I errr – I made sure of it… We pretty much got all we came for – well I did and if you want you can take the pielets for your display!”

“You don’t want them after all that!?” exclaimed Becky indignantly.

“Not really… I did think about giving them to my fortune telling friend Fatima the Fantabulous, she’s the nearest I have to family these days – but on the other hand I’d be just as happy if you had them…”

Shy knew full well that Ceri and Becky weren’t exactly going to be raring to invite him back for another case so he decided to step in and end any possible uncertainty. “I must say…” he continued. “It’s been good fun all this – one way or another – but I don’t think I’d want to do it again…”

Shy noticed that Becky visibly brightened on hearing that, but wasn’t offended. Having left the beach, they had managed to shower and change in local facilities and were eating brunch at the Regency tearooms. “You’ll be missed – but it’s nice we can discuss stuff with you now…” she smiled. “I we must definitely arrange for you to come and see the Cave display once the shelves are up…”

“I’d like that…” nodded Shy affectionately. “I like your t-shirts by the way…” he continued, totally changing the subject as a very unsubtle way of hinting how kind he’d been at lending his dischevelled friends a spare shirt or two. Ceri grinned as he tucked into his breakfast. His was yellow with red lettering which declared “THE GOODIES” on one side and “…ANYWHERE, ANYTIME…” on the back. “It’s very you – I was going to give it to you for your birthday – but you’d better have it earlier! That said, I’d be careful who reads the bit on the back or you might get mobbed!” Shy laughed.

“Yours is very understated…” Ceri acknowledged. Shy’s t-shirt just read “SLAPPER” on one side and “STUD” on the other. “Depends on your mood I suppose…”

“Most definitely…” Shy agreed. “I like Becky’s t-shirt best – I gave it her especially... It’s from Simon’s World Tour of Swindon 1979 and quite a collectors piece – it’s from the first Yeti stage tour of Grease! I etched all the programmes out personally using the juice of 100 tins of Noodle Doodles!”

Becky smiled widely – she seemed quite attached to Shy’s gift. “On one side there was a photo of Simon Yeti in some kind of disco outfit printed on a mauve t-shirt and on the back the words “YETI – YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT…” were displayed in a fetching crème lettering. “I like it very much…” she nodded. “I wish I’d seen that production – I’m sure it would have been marvellous!”

“Oh it was…” Shy smiled. “Simon was the Olivia Newton John role and Windsor Davies did the John Travolta part – inspired casting by me, even if I do say so myself…”

“Unforgettable…” agreed Ceri. “Now listen here - even though we lost most of the stuff we took from the Pavilions we do have SOME good news – something to add of our own…” he explained, reaching for a file that seemed to contain a lot of interesting documentation. “We came back to the Regency Hotel and found our way into Eddie’s room – I think you’ll find it all quite fascinating… We’ll be keeping the list of stolen material and there are invoices and letters and allsorts that seems to infer he had selling his silence to criminals in exchange for evidence of their crimes going missing or being destroyed. That and it would seem that he rather liked to buy cut price goods to give to family and loved ones at Christmas…” Shy shook his head in wonder. “There are a few corrupt people we might well be paying visits to – so that all these valuables are at least in semi-honest hands!”

“So you did hit paydirt!” grinned Shy. “I’m so glad. So – what else are you planning after this?”

Ceri wasn’t sure what to say, but Becky had a definite opinion. “We’re going to have to look into some competitors… Someone is attempting to move onto our patch – not Raffles types like us but a couple of Super villains who have been getting in the way…” Shy raised an eyebrow. “I know it sounds mad – but they are out there… These ones are rather ludicrously known as Percy – Lord of Rock and he has a sidekick who calls himself James Destiny – Hive Master… Just don’t ask!”

Shy pulled an exasperated face. “What about Super Heroes?” he said. “Surely for every Super Villain there’s a Super Hero – won’t that cause you bother? In case they decide you’re causing bother too?”

“Exactly why we’re worried…” explained Ceri reluctantly. “There are also two Super Heroes called Christanos and Mole Boy who are already in on the action… They’re getting dangerously close to our neck of the woods – it could make things difficult for all of us more old fashioned thieves…”

“Just remember…” Shy began. “That for enough money I might even be lured out of retirement to help you, should it come to that! I do have my very own special Super powers after all!” Shy paused – his powers seemed to have thankfully returned now and Shy had even managed to avoid mentioning to his friends that he’d nearly jeopardised everything by having lost them before. “Just a minute…” he said suddenly. “Didn’t you say there was something I might be interested in, in those files?”

Becky took a ring bound document from the file and handed it over. “Take a look! There are loads of references to Simon in it! Apparently one of the criminals Ed mixed with had showbiz connections and was flogging some of Simon’s old awards!” Shy nodded sadly – Shy’s accountants had ripped off his estate after his disappearance. “It also says that the dealer claimed to be selling Simon’s time travel device, with references to your mate Danbear having made bids for items listed on the catalogue as being – ahead of their time, let’s say!” Shy took the folder and flicked through it. “There’s mention of items of future technology crash landing near Oxford! You might want to take a look!”

Shy nodded. “My friend Dean lives up near there – nice fella – bit cheeky – maybe he can put me up! I should ring Joolz too!” Ceri and Becky nodded vaguely, Shy had found a group photo of himself with Danbear . “How very odd… I don’t remember this being taken…” he said. “Or who on earth took it!”

“Listen!” Ceri said, interrupting his thoughts as they finished their breakfasts. “If you need dropping off in Oxford we’ll give you a lift – are you going to call this Dean guy and see if he can put you up?”

“Just did - telepathically!” Ceri winced instinctively, Shy just grinned. “Are you sure I can’t drive?”

“No!” snapped Bex. “Really, no thanks! Not even your Super Yeti powers can make us agree to that!”

“Really?” Shy chuckled. “Fair play, though I’d never resort to that… You could do me one favour though…” Ceri looked curious, Becky slightly alarmed. “Oh, it’s perfectly safe…” he assured them. “I just wanted to keep hold of the pies for a while – I’ll give them back, but I do think it would be nice to let Fatima have them for a bit… She lost a lot of possessions in a landslide when a giant moved in next door – she thinks it was probably the actual giant from Jack and the beanstalk! Those shiny Diamond Studded Pies would be just perfect in her vegetable patch – glinting away to scare away the crows…”

“Now who’s making things up…” muttered Becky. “He’s getting his own back…”

Shy was rather indignant. “Becky – I can assure you that it’s most definitely the truth…” he assured them with a laugh – and then paused thoughtfully as they headed from the tearooms to their car. “Although isn’t it funny how everyone has a different version of what the truth really is, darlings…”

Ceri smiled. It hadn’t been such a bad adventure after all. Shy was squatting down on his haunches, admiring his appearance in the side door mirror. “Look at you…” he laughed, pleased that Shy brighter again. “You’re so vain these days, you’re getting more and more like Simon everyday…”

Shy shivered – Ceri had made a good point. “It’s almost as if he’s taken me over – like some sort of possession – ever since I hit my head!” Could it be true? Shy was quiet almost all the way to Oxford. The thought haunted him. Could it be possible? Was he somehow becoming the spitting image of his old mentor – and if so – where exactly did the future lie? He suddenly had a very nasty image of Kim Travers in her strait jacket. “That will never happen…” he assured himself. “I would rather die first…”


Ed Alexander was arrested that day for the theft of valuable from Brighton Pavilion and also charged with arson, causing malicious damage to a historical building and illegal bungy jumping off Brighton Pier. When questioned he told police stories of thieving Yetis and criminal librarians – of Goths who wore strait jackets and of love for Wonder Woman and how his mother ruled his life with her infernal budgies. “I’m very sorry…” Sighed Dr Mex Nephur – the tall and rather curiously handsome Mexican medic who’d been brought him to give a statement on his state of mind. “But none or very little of any of this makes any sense at all… There’s no sign of anyone matching his descriptions and the force said he never had a female colleague that he was working with at the time of his dismissal. I don’t know what to say really… I’m afraid he might be severely disturbed! He was found trying to write a poison pen letter to someone this morning – all it said was YOUR HISTORY, spelt wrongly – he’d chopped up today’s copy of The Daily Rag and was attempting to stick it to the page with Marmite… He was very cross when the letter was taken away – he told me his time would come… Most disturbing!””

“So would you definitely say he was mad?” asked the officer in charge. “Next you’re going to tell me that his mother’s been dead twenty years and that in fact he lives on his own…”

“Not quite…” replied Dr Nephur. “He does live with his mother – but she claims they haven’t kept Budgerigars for about fifteen years… Oh – and one other thing… The colleague he mentioned – you said her name was Kim didn’t you? Kim Travers?” The office in charge nodded. “Very interesting…” sighed Mex dubiously. “Because according to his mother, her son was a very inventive child – he used to claim he had a twin brother named Henry and what is more he had an invisible friend… You won’t believe it – but apparently the name of the invisible friend was – most intriguingly – Kim Travers…”



Friday, December 09, 2005


Ceri looked at his watch and then down at his Palm-pilot which had up on the screen a small plan of the electricity and alarm systems in the Pavilion. “What’s keeping him – the alarms are still on - it’s after seven – he was supposed to let us in by now…” he grumbled – looking very uncomfortable, as he and Becky lurked outside in the Pavilion Gardens. “Come on Shy – get your act together…”

“Yeah, well don’t hope for too many miracles, honey…” replied Becky, somewhat unhelpfully. “After all, remind me who it was who thought it was such a good idea to have the Yeti let us in, in the first place… Why not me… Why not you… Why not someone who’d done it before – it made no sense…”

Ceri blushed. “Are you saying he did one of his stares at me… Dammit! He did, didn’t he…”

Becky gave him a gentle hug. “Don’t worry hon. Not only you to you – he got through me too! Well, let’s just sit back and wait and see what happens… This is his show – let’s see how he deals with it…”

Ceri wasn’t so sure he could remain so distant. “We have to help him… If something goes wrong…”

“You’re optimistic!” Becky sighed. “Look, we’ll do what we can – but he’s deliberately over-ruled us here! If he’s careful and if we’re clever we’ll pull this off! But if he does something REALLY, I mean REALLY, REALLY stupid then I dunno! I’m not sure if we can help him if he gets himself arrested!”

“No, don’t even think it, Becks… Let’s leave some hope aside that he’s going to be okay…”

“Well, we’re not turning ourselves in… Not because of this… It’s bad enough that some stupid ex-copper’s after us – let alone throwing it all away for that fool of a Yeti… I’m sorry – but NO!”

“Of course not!” Ceri paused crossly – something was happening on the Palm-Pilot screen. “Hey! Do you see that – the power on all the internal alarms has dropped right back – it’s gone to neutral - he’s done it! We should just be able to trip the lock and get right into the Music Room and out again before anyone’s even noticed… Leaving the door for his furriness to follow us out once he’s finished…”

“Wonders will never cease…” smiled Becky and nodded – indicating where they needed to go next.

Watching them from one of the windows was Kim Travers. “Make sure they get in, Kim… Most probably one of them will smuggle their way in during the day… Whichever one it is - we’ll get them!” Edward Alexander had ordered her. “However, they’ll be expecting their companion to let them in, most probably and if we want to catch the lot of them we’ve got to make them think the plan is working and nab them at the very last minute – red handed… So make sure you switch off the alarms – to make them think things are all going well… Do you understand!” Kim Travers was no fool…

“Oh well…” Kim sighed as she watched Ceri and Becky breaking into the Music Room on the floor below her. “They’re in now, alright… You’ve getting everything you deserved… All of you…”

Meanwhile, downstairs, the couple were already overly curious about how easy things seemed to be coming together. “Shall we start removing things? Shall I try and find the safe?” Ceri whispered to Bex. “I know we had specific things in mind – but I’m beginning to feel a bit edgy about this already!”

“You and me both, hon…” Becky agreed. “Listen – pretty much all the stuff here belonged to that crook Fulton – I’ve read all up on him… Nasty piece of work… If he wasn’t stealing it from Yetis, he was blackmailing closeted gay couples who were trying to settle down here or swindling business men… Most of this stuff is stolen or replica one way or another… Just grab what you can get…”

“What about you? Where are you going?”

“Just to check on the Yeti! Hurry up, just get a bag or two and then go for the car – I won’t be a mo!”

“But Becky!!” There was no use shouting though, she was already gone and there was no stopping a Becky with a mission in mind. “Take care, won’t you…” he muttered – as much to himself as to Bex.
Ceri reached out gently – resting his hand upon a carriage clock that had once belonged (he’d checked) to Miss Isle of Wight 1902. No alarms… With a reassured deep breath of relief he placed the clock at the bottom of his rucksack, wrapping it hastily in bubble wrap for safety. “Good old Shy…” he smiled and then began to search around the room for more previously stolen goodies…

Meanwhile upstairs, Shy still had his eyes closed – wishing not to be caught – but with no time to slip away into one of the Gallery rooms for safety. “DON’T SEE ME… PLEASE DON’T SEE ME – I’M INVISIBLE!!!” He could tell, by now – that Edward Alexander and the second guard had reached the top of the stairs and were presumably very close and yet they had still not seen him…

“One of them will be around here somewhere…” Ed Alexander was saying to his second in command. “Go and catch up with the second Unit – they’ll be making cups of cocoa in the Adelaide tea room if I’m not very much mistaken… I did try to explain to you all that this isn’t just another night on patrol – tonight’s the night this place is going to get broken into – that’s pretty much a certainty…”

“Yeah – whatever you say - but you didn’t want to call in the Police, did you? If it hadn’t been for your mate being our boss you’d never had gotten in here in the first place…” Shy smiled, this was good to know. “See – we don’t get paid any overtime for all this extra patrolling you’re making us do and now it’s time for my next tea break… You and the wife come and join us, if you like, mate!”

“Hunt! Don’t walk away from me like that – I haven’t finished with you…”

“Don’t shout!” cried Hunt, almost brushing against Shy on his way to the tea room. “Don’t shout – you’ll scare the burglars! Bloody ex-coppers, think they still run the place – you won’t get a badge this time mate!” Shy heard Hunt mutter as he headed down the corridor in search of refreshment.

Ed Alexander wasn’t happy – it didn’t take Shy’s telepathy to tell that, he could feel the rage radiating off of the man. “You bunch of idiots…” he spat. “I’ll see you’re all fired for this…” But Shy could sense he knew he didn’t have the power to do that – even if he did know the Head of the Security team (another ex-cop) and had managed to blag his way into patrolling the Pavilion that night.

“He’s trying to arrange it all himself…” mused Shy as Ed begun to flash his torch around the North Gallery, before deciding which room to try next. “Trying to steal all the glory – that’s his biggest mistake yet…” But suddenly Shy realised that the torch was flashing at him – lingering on him too and what’s more he’d almost forgotten the danger he was in. Ed was coming his way and what’s more Shy had a peculiar and unstoppable need to sneeze… “Now you’re done for… PLEASE DON’T SEE ME…” he willed – but deep down he knew there was no power left in his Yeti body. His time was up.

Downstairs, not so very far away, in the Hall below, Becky had reached the Security Offices, careful not to bump into any Security Guards on Patrol. There were definitely more around than normal, but that was partly to be expected! Outside the door to the office stood a woman who Becky vaguely recognised, but not sign of Shy Yeti at all. Whatsmore – from what she could see – the video monitors were still functioning which was definitely bad news indeed. “This isn’t right… What exactly’s going on here…” she wondered to herself, concerned that someone would see either Ceri or herself on the camera. “They’ve invited us into the parlour and we’ve come running… So where’s the Spider? And where, for that matter – is the Yeti?”

Suddenly, the woman’s walkie talkie crackled into life. “No sign as yet, Kim…” said a voice that was drowned out by static. “Give them another few minutes then turn the alarms back on… They’ll set them off as they leave and we can round them all up and present them with a flourish to the local Constabulary…” It was Edward Alexander, she was sure of it – lost somewhere in the building in search of Shy. And the woman… Kim… One of his colleagues – a helper – a spy…
“From the Service Station, of course…” recalled Becky. “Shit – I knew that Yeti would never have the chance to cut the wires…” she turned back into the shadows whilst Kim had her back turned and almost ran full pelt back to the Music Room and Gallery to warn Ceri of exactly what was going on.

Back upstairs, Shy still had his paws crossed. “DON’T SEE ME…”he wished and almost said it aloud.

“I can’t see a bloody thing in here…” said Ed Alexander and for a moment Shy froze and thought he was actually addressing him. “Where are they? They’ll not get away – even if they do get away they’ll not get away with it…” Shy gave a metaphorical breath of relief – too risky to give an actual one. It was obvious to him now that Ed couldn’t see him at all and yet he wasn’t making a lot of sense – perhaps he was ill as well as short sighted. “What an ugly gnu…” muttered Ed, giving Shy a quick glance. “Why do hunters think it’s so clever to stick their trophies on the wall like that…” he tapped Shy on the head. “This one’s got a solid skull and smells awful… It shouldn’t be allowed – chuck it in the litter I say – I’m sure that wasn’t one of my Grandfathers… Maybe I will stop for a cup of coffee after all…” he finished and with that also disappeared in the direction of the Adelaide tea room.

“A GNU!!” exclaimed Shy once he was sure he was on his own. “A Gnu of all things – I AM NOT A GNU! He needs his head read – let alone anything else… Good grief!” He was still in a state of panic and was busy trundling off toward the Queen Victoria suite when he remembered that not only had he left his walkie talkie in the Yellow Bow room, but that he wasn’t sure whether he was still supposed to be turning off the alarm and letting Becky and Ceri in. “Too late for all that… They’ve probably buggered off – I’ll just check my watch…” Bex had given him a new watch especially for the evening – one which would indicate whether an area was still alarmed. “Nope…” Shy noted having scanned the room ahead. “All the alarms are off so they’ve either found there own way in or everything’s broken…” he wondered again for a second whether the cameras were still on – once again that had been his job – but he already had his eyes on something centrepiece in the display cabinet in the room before him. “Who cares if they see me – what’ll they make of seeing a great big yeti on their monitor screens – I can always say it was Simon Yeti and not me – how would they tell the difference…” he giggled. “Anyway – these pies belong to my family – their rightfully mine and I’d box the ears of anyone who said otherwise… Bastards…” There before him were the Diamond Studded Pies and all the little pielets… “Come to daddy…” grinned Shy and crossed the room towards them.

Downstairs, Ceri had nearly finished all that he wanted to take from the Gallery room just as Becky came hurrying back in. “We’ve got to leave now… It wasn’t Shy who turned off the alarms – it was them – they’ve let us walk straight inside…”

Ceri nearly dropped the bag he was carrying. “So why haven’t they just rounded us up already? Where’s Shy? What about the cameras?”

“Still running I expect – I’m going to see to it and to see to Shy if I can find him… They’ve probably not picked us up yet because that idiot of an ex-copper is organising this with that girlfriend of his – she was at the service station watching us the other day – goth girl – she’s here now, helping Ed Alexander… Take anything you’ve got and just go – I’ve got to make sure that the surveillance cameras are seen too – make sure the tapes are destroyed…”

“But I’m not leaving you…” Ceri persisted. “Let’s fight ‘em to the death together…”

“Nice irony, but listen, honey! Take the bag and go! I won’t be long and I promise I won’t be long…”

“You won’t seduce any security guards in exchange for letting you go if they do catch you?”

Becky shook her head. “No – I’ll leave that to you – cheers for the vote of confidence – now get out!”

Ceri nodded. Collected his equipment he hurried towards the door – careful to check that no-one was waiting for him outside. Relieved he was safe, Becky hurried back to the Security Office, but on her arrival and to her amazement she found the room totally empty. She could hear movement upstairs – but there was no sign of Kim the Goth, Ed Alexander or anyone else for that matter. “Ok!” she sighed. “This has got to be a trap… But traps are you’re speciality!” A while back she’d escaped being eaten by a trip-wired Venus flytrap by hanging from the ceiling by her iPod earphones. She’d only gotten away by smashing the green house window and decapitating the poor plant with the shattered glass.
Creeping cautiously into the room she was relieved that nothing untoward occurred – at least not immediately. Making sure that her gloves were tightly on and that there was no chance of leaving any finger prints she set to work on the surveillance material first. Making sure that all tapes for the day were, not only wiped but that the machine was short circuited and all tapes unspooled. Within 30 seconds it was done and the tape destroyed within the bins with some hastily applied acid that she always kept on her person for emergencies. Useful for occasions such as these or sometimes for more brutal punishment when adversaries required their clothes dissolving! (Never their faces, mind-that just wasn’t playing the game) The cameras themselves continued to work (but not for very much longer) but Becky took the opportunity to check out a few of the cameras. First she noted that Ceri was well on his way to escaping to safety and the location where their car was stashed. Next she located the tea rooms, where most of the guards, including the Kim and Edward Alexander were taking a break (Eddie was restless though! She wouldn’t be left alone for very much longer, she suspected! Best to hurry!) Finally, having scanned some of the empty upstairs rooms she found Shy – busy in the Queen Victoria Apartment about to steal the Diamond Studded Pie…

Something wasn’t right… The alarms were still switched off – all the guards were taking tea…

“Shy…” she raised her minature walkie talkie to her ear – it was only meant to be used in emergencies – but this seemed like exactly the right time. “Shy… Wait… Don’t take the pies yet… There’s something wrong here…” On the screen Shy didn’t seem to hear her. “Shy?” It was then she realised that he no longer had his walkie talkie. Was there a tannoy? Should she risk using it even if there was? Could she get up the stairs in time to warn him? But warn him of what? She wasn’t even sure what the problem was – but something was setting the alarm bells ringing… THE ALARM BELLS!?!

Quickly Becky took out her palm pilot… The answer was there, clear before her. Although all the dials here stated the alarms were switched off – the Palm said different – the Palm said…

Upstairs in the Queen Victoria Rooms, Shy reached out and took the Diamond Pies and Pielets…

Suddenly, all around the building the alarms were ringing… Shutters were closing… It was too late – too late for Becky to do anything! Up on the screens she could see that the tea room was suddenly quite empty – china cups scattered – there were already feet hurrying down the stairs… There was no time to hide – only to run! Within seconds the Police would be arriving… She had to get out to be with Ceri and hope that somehow Shy would find his way too! Becky picked herself up and ran – back the way she’d come – hoping there was still a way out the way she’d come in… There were footsteps close behind her – but they were hurrying to the Security Office first – not yet after her – she was too quick for them. “Please let me get out of here…” she prayed to herself – as much as she was worried for herself she still felt guilty about leaving Shy. “Please don’t let there be shutters over the windows!”

As it happened there were shutters over most of the windows, but Ceri had already thought of that. He wasn’t known as fingers for nothing. Before leaving he’d unscrewed the hinges of the doors that they’d broken in through and left the remains of the door standing sideways – sticking into the Gallery room and halfout side. The shutters had come down and hit the wood – and were still trying to lift and drop – unsuccessfully. The door lying sideways provided Becky with an easy space to slip through – down underneath and out into the night.

“Search all the rooms…” Edward Alexander was screaming. “Travers – you take downstairs – I’ll do another sweep of upstairs… They can’t all have gotten out… The Pielets are gone…”

“There’s stuff missing down here…” Kim reported. “One of the shutters is damaged – someone’s escaped, but hopefully the Police will catch them! Oh – and the security room’s been totally trashed!”

Eddie swore – he’d hoped the Police wouldn’t get involved until he was already successfully wrapping things up… It was almost like the “good old days” – only not quite as crap and with less failure… But if the Police realised he’d known that something was going to happen and had deliberately not informed them then he could almost be an accessory to the fact. As usual things hadn’t quite gone to plan – but it wasn’t quite as bad as it looked – even though, for now it would appear some of the valuables had left the building. “Don’t worry about the security room… There are backup tapes and further cameras not linked to that room… They’ve not gotten away with this as easily as they think… Come on – at least one of them has still got to be in here somewhere – there’s no way they all got out – it’s less than three minutes since the pies were stolen and the alarm was triggered… One of them’s going to be hiding here really close…”

In many ways, Ed Alexander was right. Shy was very close. Eddie was standing right by the window in the Victorian apartment and Shy was just the other side of the glass. If it wasn’t for the shutter that had come slamming down, nearly trapping his fur then Shy would have been seen immediately. As it was he was standing on the edge of a window sill – hanging over a drop – trying to inch his way along the wall in an effort to reach the balcony that adjoined the tea rooms – with all the pies and pielets crammed into his mouth, his ears and a couple under his arm pits. He’d never had a chance to replace them with the forgeries and in fact they were all now muddled up and would take goodness knows how long to separate into false and genuine artifacts. But that was the least of his problems right now!

“Not much further…” Shy reminded himself. “Only a few more steps and you’ll be on the balcony…” Either that or he’d fall – probably ending up – and ending his furry life on a rather lethal and sharp looking range of bamboo stalks. Either that or be arrested by the Police… “Maybe I’ll fancy one of them and not mind being arrested…” he thought, hopefully. “…Or maybe my powers will pop back and I can talk my way out of things… Maybe if I manage not to choke on one of these pielets…”

Not so very far away at all. Becky had finally caught up with Ceri in the undergrowth surrounding the Pavilion. There were Police on their way, but they were making very strange noises – at least there cars were. “What on earth is that noise? What’s wrong with the Police cars – they sound drunk?”

She didn’t expect Ceri to have the answer – but actually he did. Infact he was grinning. “Good old Shy - that’s his work… I forgot all about it… When he was out on the town earlier apparently he turned up at the Police Station, donning one of his lunatic disguises – the one with the tassels or something and said he was doing Bob-a-job or charity sponsorship or SOMETHING and could he wash the Police cars… Believe it or not they said yes and he put sugar in their engines whilst he was at it!”

Becky shook her head. “I really underestimated that Yeti…” she admitted. “What the hell are we going to do now… We can’t go back in there – but I’m not at all sure we haven’t left some other trace of our visit… I destroyed the tapes – but it was just too easy… They must have had other cameras up!”

“Were you wearing your mask?” asked Ceri as they watched a couple of the Police cars bump into each other with a screech. Becky nodded. “So was I most of the time – all they’ll see is Shy and I don’t suppose they’ll quite know what to make of him… Sure, Brighton used to have a big Yeti population but you won’t find that written about much in the City history books… We’ve got to get him out though – let me think for a minute…”

But Becky was looking alarmed. “What’s that noise?” she said coldly – but it was as if she already knew. “It’s coming from your bag… Did you steal a clock?” she was pulling open the sacking. “I know that sound… Shit! Shit! Shit! All these things have been boobie trapped…” she was shaking the bags open across the grass. “Oh God Ceri… The bastard’s gone and put explosives over everything…”

Back at the Pavilion, over looking the gardens, Shy had made it to the balcony and was even about to try and climb down the wall by swinging athletically down a series of descending hanging baskets. But it was then he heard the voices of his friends. Fumbling around in his fur he drew out his trusty binoculars and focused on the far gardens. Not the side where the Police seemed to be having trouble getting their cars in – there was total chaos in that corner – but over the other side in the shadows. Flicking the infra-red switch Shy could clearly see Ceri and Becky – and they seemed to be panicking about something. He was about to try and communicate with them telepathically when…


“Guys…” croaked Shy inwardly – nearly choking on the pies. “Guys no…”
“Oh dear.” Said a voice behind him. “Things do appear to have gone with a bang…” It was Edward Alexander and he was standing alone on the balcony behind him. “Don’t speak…” he said. “I can see you have your mouth full… But not for much longer!” Shy still had some of the pielets in his mouth – there was a ticking noise in his head. “It’ll all be over soon Mr. Yeti… You’re about to get your head blown off… Sweet dreams!”

The ticking was getting louder, but Shy couldn’t even scream properly...

Find out what happens in the last episode of this exciting adventure and also the last episode to be posted before the new year...

It's all go down in Brighton next friday - 17th December 2005...


Friday, December 02, 2005


There was much to be done next day, before the recce, at which point Shy would conceal himself until after the Pavillion closed. Ceri set about coordinating key exit points, locating safes to be broken into and role playing emergency escape scenarios, whilst Becky tested, synchronized and packed all phones, watches and tools. Shy meanwhile, went shopping for cheap clothes in Primark and then made sand castles, having had a large pile of sand delivered to the stony beach opposite Regency Square.

“At least he’s out of the way…” sighed Becky. “He can’t cause too much additional trouble, surely…” They had all asked for their breakfasts to be delivered to their rooms, to avoid seeing Ed Alexander – and Shy had been strictly forbidden to speak to the man again. “Why exactly are we getting into this - despite the fact that we know this guy is from the Police…” Becky asked Ceri to remind her.

“Not the real Police…” grinned Ceri – the excitement had rather been going to his head, after he’d been researching on his laptop all morning. “This one is particularly stupid… He was sacked after our little performance in Birmingham a while back – seems he’s set up as a Private Eye but is spending a lot of his time on our tail – with another former colleague who was also recently sacked…”

“It said all that on the Net?” exclaimed Becky incredulously.

“Pretty much… And we’re on his home turf… Guess who he’s related to – only that old Town Mayor who conned Shy’s relatives back in the early 1900s… And no – I’m not having you on…”

Becky shook her head. “So despite all the supposed winding up of Alexander that Shy did yesterday, we’re still going ahead with all this – this is the insanest insane thing I’ve heard ever, darling…”

“But as I said… This Edward Alexander bloke isn’t exactly in the good books of the Police – it might be fun to play a few more games with him. To be honest I don’t like the fact that he’s been trying to cause us all problems – you know – sniffing around about at home on the look out for our treasures… Thank goodness we transferred all the rest of the stuff from the house to the caves before we left…”

“You don’t think he’d have arranged for somebody to break in, do you?”

“No but he’ll never find it now…” just then there came a knock at the door. “Hello? Who’s that?”

“Musclebound paint-stripper as ordered, Sir – in polka dot as you specified…”

Becky grimaced. “What’s he done now – stolen one of the Mardi Gras floats as a get-a-way car and backed it into the pier and sunk it… Let yourself in Shy, the door’s unlocked…”

“I heard that!” declared Shy a tad miffed. “I want you to know that the destruction of the West Pier was all Simon’s fault – not mine! He came to switch on the Christmas lights in ’76 or was it ’77 and everyone got drunk and – well, water conducts… Did you know they had a Dr Who exhibition here by the way? They never asked for any of Simon’s old costume’s… It’s all new stuff – I’m quite upset…”

“You get more and more like him every day!” said Ceri quite honestly, but Shy took it as a compliment. “Are you ok, mate? You look tired, do you wanna take a quick nap before we head out?”

“Hmm! Nah, I think I’ll be okay!” decided Shy. “Before you ask, I’ve not seen that failed excuse for an ex-cop anywhere! So maybe he’s gone and given up or something! It’s a bit disappointing really!”

“I really doubt it!” exclaimed Becky as she finished checking the wire cutting equipment in their tool packs. “But I agree with Ceri – take a lie down before you change into your gear – remember – just a light coat over all your black gear for later – so you don’t look too odd! Nothing which lights up or plays the National Anthem at full blast! Just plain black…” she continued, not making eye contact but being very sarcastic. “You need to be ready when we leave – whereas we’ll nip back here to change before returning after dark, when you’ll be letting us in!” Shy nodded to show he remembered.

Ceri tried to be helpful but only ended making matters worse. “Maybe if you fancy a bit of colour you could follow Bex’s trick of using a bit of colour to enhance your fur… Becky's hair is dark brown, but it's dyed to enhance that and the dye has a slight rich red aspect to it, which I thought might appeal?”

Shy gave them both a cool look. “So nothing sparkly then – nothing with any style or panache?”

“No…” chipped in Becky. “No glitter, tinsel or body paint – just a spec of fur dye if you must…”

“Fur dye?!” exclaimed Shy a trifle disgustedly. “With my complexion and hair density ratios? I don’t think so! And if you’re trying to suggest that I’m going grey? I’ll have you know that this dusty silver brown is my natural colour and I intend to keep it that way! I’ll be just fine as I am, thanks!”

Ceri was trying to smooth Shy’s temper. This wasn’t the right way for the team to be relating just before a big crime. “So you kept yourself to yourself this morning – no sign of Alexander and no sign of any other Police… You’ve not worn yourself out?”

“No, honestly!” Ceri’s concern had calmed him. “Might be coming down with a bit of a cold – but I’m ok! I may have overdone things a little the other night! Maybe I will take those 40 winks, afterall!”

“You’ll probably need to get the sand out of your fur!” Ceri suggested, and Shy nodded in agreement.

“Yes… Good point…” he too had noticed the sandy trail he was leaving. “All my little sandcastle got washed away - but I did a marvelous job – all sorts of shapes – turtles – dinosaurs! One was a lifesize, giant lemon meringe pie, I had to stop myself from eating that it – it looked so real!” Ceri laughed, Becky just shook her head sadly. “I’ll go get ready… Oh, I nearly forgot… I also did a couple of other chores when I was in town – including getting these made…” He placed a large felt bag on the table and indicated that they look. “See – I’m not just a furry face after all! I’ll want them back later, mind!”

The bedroom door slammed and Ceri and Becky looked at one another. For a moment they said nothing as Ceri reached out and took the bag. Carefully he threaded back the drawstring and looked inside. “These are good – fake but well made… Here – he’s right Bex – he’s not just a furry face…”

Becky took the bag. Inside was a one large diamond encrusted pie and a number of other small pielets. Replicas of course – but like he’d just said. They were decent ones. “Good old Shy…” grinned Bex with a whistle. “I knew he could do it if he tried harder… We may even make a thief of him yet!”

Meanwhile elsewhere, Ed Alexander was preparing for the night ahead. He was still keeping a room on at the Regency but had needed to pop home to get his outfit for later. “It’s tonight, Kim!” he boomed triumphantly down the phone, having followed Shy around town that morning dressed as a giant Bassett hound. “He never even noticed!” Ed chortled. “I made a discovery!” he added. “I’d mistaken him for a man in a bear suit, but in fact we’re dealing with the ancient enemy – he’s a Yeti! A formidable opponent! Anyway, he was up to something earlier, I saw him heading for a jewelers! Yeti don’t wear necklaces – I know my Yeti social codes of conduct! He was up to no good!”

“Oh okay…” replied Kim distractedly – busy as she greedily devoured a luke warm Pot Noodle. “I’ll get my hair done earlier if you need me to – do you want me looking glam or secretive?”

“A bit of both perhaps – just incase the journalists want to take our photos when we pull off the greatest crime bust in history…” Ed decided. “Make sure you get to Pavillions by six, alright?”

“Oh, all right then… I’ll see ya later – I hope this costume still fits! Will we be getting a take out?”

“Yes – Chinese probably!” he assured her. “Now hurry - and make sure you bring your deadliest gun!”

“Alright then Eddie… See you later!” Edward mumbled an agreement and then put down the receiver.

“The time is near…” he muttered to himself and felt vaguely aroused from having just used the word bust in a sentence and turned back to his desk which was decorated with Wonder Woman novelty wallpaper. Linda Carter’s smiling Wonder Woman face grinning down at him. “If only I could wear an outfit as well as you, Diana Prince – you are my inspiration – you, French and Saunders and Shakespears Sister…” There were pictures all around the room of all of them. “No no…” he continued – as if listening to some bizarre conversation going on with himself. “Please don’t make me choose… All I know is that with the eternal triangle of your lucky forces I shall vanquish these criminals once and for all – Diana, Dawn, Siobhan, Jennifer and Marcella you are my strength above all…”

Somewhere downstairs Mother was calling. “Don’t shout so loud Edward – you woke the budgies!”
He had been shouting, he now realised. “I’m sorry Mother…” he bellowed back, even louder. “But I happen to be solving a crime up here and I’m seeking strength from Diana Prince…”

“You were sacked Edward – don’t be so silly – I know what you do up there! I’ve seen your posters!”

Ed slammed his bedroom door, with his hand firmly placed over his ears. “You couldn’t be further from the truth, lady!” he said to himself. “You’re nothing more than a dirty birdy! At least I’m capable of decent detective powers – unlike you… Unlike you…” Ed stared and gaped in awe at the figure that stood before him in the mirror. “You look fantastic tonight, quite fantastic!” he told himself.

Edward cut a rather strange looking fellow in the reflection, to be honest. He was very tall and a very vain man, somewhere between 6ft 3 and 4 in his early 30s. His hair was dark brown and retained the page boy cut of his teenage years but he’d recently started to dye it because his side burns were rapidly going grey and he was in constant fear that his hair would thin. He’d had his moments of being quite popular in bars, but refused to be seen out wearing glasses. Contact lens were too much trouble and he only forgot to take them out. This tended to mean that he’d spent about twenty minutes chatting up pillars or elderly cleaners went he went out clubbing, having mistaken them for someone more his age and sexual preference. The irony was that for many years he had worked in both forensics and surveillance – a lot of that work he had also done sans specs – determined that he’d look his best and bluffing his way through his work. “My short sightedness was not a factor in my failure to apprehend the Library criminals…” he had maintained, although this was of course the principal reason that he had failed. “Well – I won’t fail again…” he muttered to himself. He had his costume at the ready and revenge was in his heart. “This is the last time any of you make a fool out of me!” he declared.

Maybe. Maybe… Afterall, stranger things have often occurred around events involving Yeti…

Shy Yeti bit into an apple and nearly choked – the recce had gone pretty well until now…

Arriving just before Four, they’d spent the last fifty minutes exploring the former Palace of George IV. Through the Kings Apartments to The Music Room and their adjoining quarters, down the Long Gallery and through the Saloon and Banqueting Hall into The Great Kitchen where they now stood. “The Kitchen was one of the first areas to be completed as part of John Nash’s reconstruction between 1815 and 1822…” Becky read as Ceri walked ahead taking in the sheer size of the room. “A high lantern ceiling, fitted with twelve sash windows gave the spacious interior a light and airy feel…” She smiled. “I wonder if John Nash would have approved of Changing Rooms?”

Ceri was distracted. Shy seemed totally oblivious and more interested in the fake food on the table, whilst Becky was getting caught up in the history of the building. All very well – but there was a job to be done. The Pies that Shy were after were kept in the Queen Victoria Apartments upstairs, whilst what he and Becky were after was on the ground floor. But all in all he was beginning to feel that they were going to have to rush things before the Pavillions closed at 5.15. “We’ve got to find Shy a hiding place, Becky, sure – it’s nice in here, but it’s possibly the least useful room for us to spend time in…”
Before Becky had a chance to reply there came an “OUCH!” and a bit of a coughing fit from Shy and the two of them spun around. Luckily they were they were pretty much on their own except for a couple of tourists who were examining a stuffed swan which was arranged along with the other fake food on the kitchen tables. “What’s the problem Yeti? You sound like you’re about to choke…”

“This is a real apple! Who put that here on display?” Shy fumed as he spat out the bits rather messily over a dummy dressed in period costume. “Who put a real apple in the bowl of plastic fruit…”

“But it’s not for eating!” exclaimed Becky. “Oh my God, he’s quite literally gobbled the whole bowl!”
“I didn’t eat the bowl…” Shy insisted and brought it out from under his fur. “I was just stealing that!
So what if it’s fake fruit… The wax banana’s were rather fine…” Shy sulked. “…and the plastic pears were perfection! But the real one – ikkk – someone’s having a laugh! Disgusting behaviour!!!” he was regarding the two tourists suspiciously. “They’ve got their eye on that stuffed swan – I was going to nick that for my tea whilst I’m in hiding… I THINK YOU’LL FIND THAT’S MINE!!” he said and raised his voice, causing the couple to skiddaddle and leaving them alone in the kitchen.

“NO! NO! NO!” Ceri had Shy by the scruff of the fur. “You’re going to stand out like a sore thumb if you start stealing things in front of the surveillance cameras…” he indicated the one on the wall. “Act naturally, Yeti… I know we’re going to destroy all today’s tapes so we’re don’t even appear on any footage – but still – if someone spots you eating plastic fruit…” he paused – his hand had come up against something odd. “What’s that I’m touching, Yeti… What are you hiding in your fur…”

“Plastic chickens from the table over there – I just wanna little snack, Ceri –don’t begrudge me that – I’m going to have to wait a good couple of hours before I disable the alarm…” Shy was feeling quite tired by now and was tempted to take a quick snooze once he got into hiding, though Becky had told him quite firmly that he mustn’t sleep or he’d give himself away with his snoring. “Okay… I won’t steal anything else… I’ll just memorize everything you told me about the alarms…”

“Please don’t forget Shy… It’s really important that you turn them off whilst the security guards are patrolling…” explained Becky for about the fifth time that day. “Look you two – shall we get on?”

Ceri nodded and with that they continued – back round through the Banquet Hall and galleries towards the staircase that allowed access to the upstairs apartments, where Queen Victoria last had rooms back in the mid 1840s. Having passed along the corridor which the guidebook described as the Adelaide Corridor, they entered the North Gallery and then crossed into the area signed up as the Yellow Bow Rooms. They’d not been up there many minutes when suddenly a voice came through on a hallway speaker which gave them news they hadn’t expected to come quite so soon. “PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE EXIT – THE PAVILLION WILL BE CLOSING IN FIVE MINUTES!”

Becky turned. “Where’s Shy?” All the other visitors were filing towards the stairs, but sure enough there was no obvious sign of him until Ceri spotted him on the bed, trying to get under the satin sheets.

“These sheets are all stitched together – you can’t get underneath them… Looks like I’m going to have to lie down here and pretend to be a rug after all…” Shy called over at them. “You two get out of here and I’ll see you later!” Shy was off of the bed and sure enough was now trying to arrange himself casually by the hearth before closing his eyes. “Go on guys hurry! Everything’s yaytastic here - I’ll be okay and I promise not to snore! I’ll get somewhere better as soon as everyone’s gone! Alright?”

“Shy…” Ceri tried to shake him awake again. “You’ve got to find yourself somewhere better now…” but Becky had given him a sharp dig in the ribs as the guide from the next door room came striding through looking official. “Oh… Err… I’m sure mother has a rug like that…” he adlibbed foolishly.

“Don’t touch the exhibits, Sir!” snapped the guide. “I’m afraid we’re closing now… Please leave!”

“Just going!” exclaimed Becky, giving one last look back at Shy – she was certain he gave her a wink – as they hurried towards the exit. “Just take care…” she thought very hard, just incase Shy was trying to read her mind. “Take care and don’t take any stupid chances…”

Almost two hours had passed, when Shy suddenly opened his eyes and sat up with a snort. He was in exactly the same place as he’d curled once the Pavilion had closed and sure enough he had done exactly what he’d said he never would. He’d been asleep. “Well, at least I didn’t snore…” he muttered guiltily. “Or at least if I did no-one heard…” he smirked for a second, imagining the guides crowding round him – alarmed that their prize rug was suddenly gurgling and drooling and dreaming of pies. However this didn’t seem to have happened at all. “I don’t recall dreaming of anything…” he muttered and stood up. His legs felt very weak and he tottered around and nearly collapsed on the bed. “Hmm!” he sighed. “Don’t feel well at all – too many wax chickens and now I’m bloated… Stupid Yeti…”

Still, he didn’t feel so bad that he couldn’t continue and collecting his equipment from under the bed he made his way across the room and down a short flight of steps into another exhibition area. As Ceri had assured him, most of the doors were left open, due to the sheer amount of time it would take everyday if every door in the Pavillion had to be closed and locked at the end of the working day…

“It’s the exhibitions themselves that are alarmed – the exhibitions and the windows to prevent break-ins… There are two security guards in the building and they patrol the rooms once an hour – one in a clockwise rotation – one anti clockwise. Another reason all the internal doors are left open…”

Sure enough Ceri was correct. Shy checked his watch and saw that the first shift was probably soon about to start. It was now he needed to make his way to the Security room and deactivate the alarms – also to make sure that any security videos were obtained. All that and then he’d be able to let Ceri and Becky into the building. “All’s well…” thought Shy telepathically. “Am progressing as planned…” Suddenly his head was filled with pain and he tottered on his paws at the top of the main staircase. “Crikey… What was that…” he gasped – before realising exactly what was going on. It was his powers – they were low, in fact they were almost non-existent – and the pain in his head was the pain of telepathic messages bouncing back undelivered. “Flip! I knew it! Damn! I knew something was wrong – why didn’t I say something? It’s all your own fault too – stupid Yeti showoff!”All that mucking about in Castleton had drained his powers and he’d been so busy since arriving in Brighton that there had been no time to replenish them. “Well, crack on and just get on with things – there’s nothing for it now – power or no power – you’re in this mess and you’ve got to get yourself out of it!”

“Who is that?” Shy realised right at that moment that he’d spoken the last few words aloud. Suddenly there was the flash of torch light up the staircase and a figure started up the stairs. “Who is it?”

Shy stepped back, but was surprised to see not just one guard but two. “If there’s only two guards on duty then they’ll patrol alone – but there’s a possibility they’ll be more guards tonight, if Ed Alexander plans to stick a few tricks up his sleeve…” Ceri had warned him. “They might even leave someone on guard in the Security office full time – so you must be extra careful and you might have to use some of that Yeti magic to put a few of them asleep so we can get in and out unseen…”

Of course that wasn’t going to be possible now. Shy backed off into the shadows of the North Gallery as another halo of torchlight almost found him – not just from the stairs but also from along the Adelaide Corridor. There were either a whole fleet of guards in tonight or Shy had rather unfortunately emerged exactly at the point where the two units crossed. He could already see the first pair on the stairs – one of them was Ed Alexander in a Security Guard uniform a few of sizes too small. “Don’t see me… Please don’t see me!” willed Shy, although he knew he had no strength left. “Don’t see me! DON’T SEE ME… PLEASE DON’T SEE ME…” The guards – led by Ed Alexander moved closer!


Friday, November 25, 2005


Next morning, Shy got to sit back and enjoy the ride, next day, as they set off. Ceri had lent Shy some disks and told him to sit quietly and watch them on his portable dvd. “I’ve packed all our British 1930s crime movies and my boxset of Raffles which we used as our inspiration when we first met. Just to top it off there’s an episode of The Goodies with Joan Sims called “Come Dancing” which you might enjoy! The suits are good – 1940s style, but don’t get any funny ideas! We won’t be dressed like that!”

Shy said nothing – he’d been scoffing the chocolate from Matlock Bath and now felt sick. He had his own ideas for what he wanted to wear – but decided to keep quiet for now. Ceri’s mention of Joan Sims reminded him of when he and Simon had been chased off the set of Carry On Taxidermist, after Simon had accidentally eaten all the food that had been set up for the cast’s lunch, for his mid-morning snack. Joan Sims had been particularly cross and had refused to take Simon’s calls after that. (Kenneth Williams, however, had found it all rather hilarious!) Anyway, Shy said nothing. They’d sat up so late the night before making plans that he now felt quite exhausted. The plans were as follows:

Main Item to be stolen:



The Pavillion, Brighton.


These pies originally belonged in the Yeti family but were stolen, in 1905 by Harrison Fulton who was Mayor of Brighton and a nemesis of Shy’s Grandfather, Walt. Fulton was very anti-Yeti and declared the City a NO FUR ZONE. However, he had always admired the Yeti’s pies – which originated from 12th Century Old Sarum and agreed to allow Shy’s family peaceful co-existence, if they handed them over. Sadly, when Walt did so Fulton went back on his agreement once the goods had been secured. Later, when the law was revoked Shy’s family had no proof that the pies had ever belonged to them.


Arrive in Brighton. Stay in B&B over night. Do recce of Pavillion following day – Shy remain inside after closure of museum, later disable alarm so that Ceri and Becky can break in. (Ceri and Becky also have items in mind to steal, pillaged by the former Mayor – but they will also try and help Shy…)

It was a good plan. And with Shy’s skills there was no reason anything should go wrong. Stopping in a service station just outside Brighton, whilst tucking into an All Day Breakfast he attempted to get into his new role, but was still a little unsure as to what type of criminal he was meant to be, having seen so many films over the last 24 hours. (The night before he’d even watched The Godfather on fast forward but had gotten scared by the odd facial hair and occasional random murder on display.) “So how did you two get to realising you were both into stealing stuff, then?” Shy wanted to know more about their criminal lives, as he knocked back his fifth cup of coffee. “Was it before you got together or after…”
“Before we met…” they replied, almost in unison and then Ceri added. “Though not by much! But what’s so good is that now we’re together we compliment one another. Becky’s primarily a cat burglar with limited cracksman capabilities, whilst that’s exactly my strength! We’re really a perfect match!”

“Please, spare me any comments about stealing each others hearts or I might just be sick!” Shy sighed.

Becky glared, but said nothing. Ceri was more patient. “You see, I’d been put in charge of finding out who had been stealing pens, rulers and post it notes from our Library. It was becoming quite an issue!”

“That was me!” cut in Becky. “I melted them down to make splints for injured budgies! As for Ceri, well, it wasn’t long before I cottoned on that he was conning students out of their cannabis plants!”

Shy smiled. “I suppose you simply wanted to appreciate the plants for what they were – saving your students from mindless addiction and from spending all their grant money on drugs…”

“No!” laughed Ceri. “We smoked it and gave it to our friends – but we used the plant pots to rehouse love sick guinea pigs and set them up in a community free from sarcasm… It’s a very good cause!”

Shy grinned, unsure whether to believe them. “So you became suspicious of one another - and then?”

“Then when we started dating and went away together for our first romantic weekend, we both clashed when it came to stealing the towels and the soap and the dressing gowns - and then it clicked that we were really on the same wavelength and after that there was no stopping us!” continued Becky. “We started competing to steal for each other – each time stealing a gift more lavish or outrageous…”

“But it had to stop…” explained Ceri. “One day I stole the whole of the contents of London Zoo and Bex had bagged me Nelson’s Column and Marble Arch… There was just no room to store it all…”

“Right.” nodded Shy, expecting one of them to giggle or give themselves away – but neither did.

“It was getting silly…” Becky continued. “People were noticing that these things were missing and yes, there were storage issues - so we had to rethink… So, we decided to team up and only steal from people who either deserved it, owned stolen goods or who stole themselves! Like this Harrison Fulton guy we were reading up about last night – the one who stole your family pies – he was a really nasty piece of work and it’s about time we redistributed his wealth – even if it is 100 years after the event!”

Shy had noticed that one of the cashier girls, a goth with spikey green hair whose name was Kim, was cleaning tables but was also trying to listen in. Shy downed a final mug of coffee and with a quick nod they ambled back to the car. “So, were you up to this the whole time we were at Uni then, fella?”

“No, not at all…” explained Ceri. “It was after I was in hospital, about 3 years back, now. I’d had a past life regression to see if that would help my problems and it turned out that in a former life I had been a notorious lesbian gangster, the Black Country ration book robber known as Fingers L’Clapp. Pruella L’Clapp had terrorised the area with her band of shop girls back in the late 1940s. It was fascinating researching it all, you know. Pru used to give most of the food she stole to cats who’d been separated from their owners and she’d died from unspecified tin opener wounds in about 1953. A bit of an Anti-hero apparently! So, she was my real inspiration to be honest and with the possibility that I was her reincarnation I nicknamed myself Fingers and begun to live a life of crime in my spare time!”

“Okay…” Shy was still waiting for them to laugh. “You’re telling me the truth, right – like really…”

“Oh yes!” exclaimed Becky as Ceri drove. “I was known as Madame Becky, Queen of the Underworld and had been well taught by a family friend who robbed rich families on Christmas Eve dressed as Santa. Anyway, I was quite well regarded until the day SNEAKTHIEF MONTHLY decided to print an interview with me. They only went and miss-spelt my alias as Becky, Queen of the Underwear and you guessed it - the name stuck! I was a laughing stock! No one took me seriously after that! I’d semi-retired by the time I met Ceri – resorting to an occasional raid of the stationery cupboard at work!

Shy was a little short of patience now. “You’ve having me on! Most of all this just sounds ludicrous!”

“Not feeling telepathic today?” Becky teased. Ceri winced. “Believe what you like, Shy! I don’t care!”

Shy snapped shut the portable Dvd. “Oh whatever!” he sighed. “Tell me lies – tell me sweet little lies – I’m too tired to work you out now – I want to conserve my energy for later!” Even Ceri laughed this time, but something wasn’t right. Shy was completely exhausted, but as they drove on he said nothing.

Once in Brighton they checked into The Grande Hotel, just off Regency Square and made a quick recce of the outside of the Pavillions, before dusk. Everything was spot on and the opening and closing times, exit points and staff movements were as expected. “I’m really rather looking forward to this…” Shy grinned as they took a pleasant table outside at the Regency Restaurant, across the road from the abandoned West Pier. “The hotel’s very nice too – but I never thought we’d get out of there, earlier…” exclaimed Shy, once they had ordered. “When I was waiting for you two in reception, this fat old guy kept chatting to me – I think he was looking for a holiday buddy or something – he seemed lonely…”

“You can’t risk getting to know anyone around here, Shy!” Ceri warned him. “We’re in for one night and gone as soon as we’re done! We need to be as anonymous as possible, so nobody remembers us!”

“Of course! I realize that and that’s why I see now that you were right about dressing up discreetly and why I’ve decided that you’re also in the right about the dark suits as opposed to what I had in mind!”

Becky shot Ceri a look. “What’s all this about?” she enquired dubiously - almost half reluctant to ask.

“It’s okay…” Ceri reassured her. “Shy took some polaroids of a few outfits he fancied trying…” he nodded to the Yeti to hand them over as they waited for their meals. “Don’t worry – he won’t be wearing any of these now… We had a little chat back at the hotel and we’re sorted… Are you ok?”

Becky was open mouthed. “Shy… You didn’t really… I mean… Are these fish nets? You’d never have gotten away with that? And the bright pink nuns outfit! I mean – you were joking, right? In this one you’re just wearing one very large pair of flares – so large you can barely see your face!”

“The ultimate disguise therefore! I just thought it’d be nice to be original – to make a statement – to have my own style or costume like Super heroes do!” Shy replied guiltily. “These were all things Simon had lost in storage – I always fancied trying them on and I rather thought now was the time…”

“If you were going to become a catwalk model it might have been the look…” Becky told him. “But as it is you’re preparing to break into a building after closing time… Lime green hot pants and nipple tassels is hardly practical for that sort of thing. This is burglary sweetheart – not Top of the Pops…”

Shy nodded. “I realise that now! I’m sorry you saw them – please don’t let it put you off your dinner!”

“HOLIDAY SNAPS?” cried a voice suddenly and out of nowhere a rather large gentleman in lycra had planted himself down in the spare chair on their table. “Mind if I have a seat, Benny old boy? I was just passing by – on my way to the cinema but I just couldn’t resist coming over to say howdo…”

Shy tucked the photos hurriedly into his fur and blushing continued. “Bjorn – Agnetha… This is Alexander Something-or-other from our hotel. He’s here for the World Tiddlywinks Championship!”

Alexander grinned and adjusted his tanktop. He had a rather uncomfortable look on his face. “Poor Benny was telling me about how his wife is here for the Sea Spas! How is Annie? Is she any better?” Shy nodded embarrassedly. “Is she sleeping? It must be nice for her to have her Doctors here 24-7!”

“I was – err – saying that I’d paid for the best Swedish surgeons to help my – err wife…” croaked Shy. “I really ought to go and see if she’s okay in a minute actually, Alexander… I hope your film’s good!”

“I’m sure it will be… It’s about Herring…” said Alex and then suddenly blurted out. “It’s a crime…”

“What do you mean?” Ceri and Becky stopped staring angrily at Shy and turned to face Alex instead.

“It’s a crime that this sort of thing can’t be cured on the NHS! Leprosy is so painful – my poor darling grandmama nearly caught that from years as a School dinner lady! Who’d have thought it would happen after Eurovision – the irony of life, my dears…” he was up from his seat. “Good on you for paying for expert help, Benny – though I’m surprised you had to sell your body to make the money! See you later – nice to meet you – love to Annie!” By now all the diners were staring at them.

“I said I was a magistrate – not a prostitute…” muttered Shy, before he met with the gazes of his friends. “I’m sorry – I just thought I’d better make up a cover story – I said I had an ill wife and that you were her medics… What could be simpler… Perhaps I should have just said we were on holiday!”

“Maybe…” snapped Bex. “But he seems to think we’re ABBA and that one of us has caught leprosy!”

“Rare Norwegian leprosy…” Shy corrected him. “It’s not as serious as real leprosy – it only makes your nose and your ears drop off – I told him it’s the same as what Michael Jackson used to have…”

Becky was shaking with rage – so Ceri spoke for them both. “What did you think you were playing at, Shy? How come he thinks we’re ABBA? You only had five minutes with the guy – you managed to say so much! I’m sorry Shy – that’s it – we’re going home! Neither of us are willing to risk going to the Pavillions now…” Ceri lowered his voice. “Everything is ruined – we should have known better than to mix Yeti’s and crime – we were mad! Most of Brighton has heard that man talking about us…”

“I’m sorry…” apologised Shy. “But it’s not as if any of it were true… I mean – as long as the original members of ABBA don’t find out that we’ve been posing as them to disguise our true identities… I suppose it could happen – but well… Listen – I really didn’t mean to spoil anything – the guy’s an idiot – he’s only interested in Tiddlywinks – not how many diamond studded pies I intend to steal…”

Becky had stopped shaking now and seemed thoughtful instead. “He looked familiar…” she said suddenly. “I think there’s more to it than he’s idiotic persona – it was an act – he’s a clever one!”

Ceri looked confused. “An act? What do you mean he looked familiar…” he demanded incredulously.

“She’s right too!” agreed Shy, recovering a little. “I was suspicious from the moment I spoke to him!”

Becky looked dubious. “He was in Castleton yesterday, he was with that builder that Shy kissed – the one who didn’t speak! He was in disguise today! They’ve been following us - they’re Police, hon!”

“I think so too…” agreed Shy. “I rather reckon that they’re after you two…”

“Then we’re definitely going home…” decided Ceri. “This is a nightmare.”

Shy laid a paw on both their arms. “Not at all! This just makes it even more of a challenge – we’re more than a match for them! They may be Police – but I don’t reckon they’ve got a brain cell between them! We can still do this! Get away with it and leave them with egg on their faces! Are you still in?”

Ceri and Becky looked unsure – but then they nodded. “Ok!” they replied. “On your fur be it though!”

Meanwhile, closeby Edward Alexander was squeezing himself awkwardly into a small van which had once been used for the sale of icecream. “Bloody fat suit! I want to take it off, but I can’t find the zip!”

“Let me have a look…” said his Assistant, former WPC Kim Travers – a lady, who Shy, Becky or Ceri would most probably have recognised as the nosey goth from the service station. Kim had recently lost her job after being caught Sellotaping her bosses to the ceiling after a disagreement over sexist remarks, made by her I might add. “Did you get anything?” she asked slightly lethargically.

Edward Alexander shook his head crossly. “They’re maintaining that they’re Swedish or something – but it’s definitely them… This time we’re going to get them Kim – this time we’ll catch them…”

Ex-WPC Travers looked uncertain. “Can’t we call the real Police for some help? For back up?”

“After what they did to me, Kim! No way – I’m freelance now! Solving this could mean claiming a reward off all the people those two have stolen from – or if we can locate their stash we could sell it and retire. I’ve vowed for the last six months that I’d nail them. Ever since they stole the Sutton Park Chalice and got away with it! I lost my job because they said I bungled the case – well, in a way I did… I tried to frame them last time and it all back fired on me… I need more evidence…”

“So this is just one of their many crimes…” confirmed Kim. “You want to catch them red handed?”

“Exactly! No matter if they’ve got help this time from their friend in the bear suit, but that’s not going to stop us! This time we’re on my home ground – there’s only one reason they’re here! They’ll be after something from the Pavillion – they were hanging around there earlier. As it happens, most of what’s in there used to belong to my Great Grandfather, Harrison Fulton. I’m going to make sure that none of it leaves this town! They’ve walked into our trap, Kim and they’re going to get their just desserts! They could even end up dead! This is a dangerous business to be in! We both know that!”

Kim nodded. “I suppose so – in extreme circumstances if a gun’s involved! I suppose it can happen…”

Ed Alexander grinned. “Oh yes… “ he replied greedily. “You can be pretty sure of that, my dear…”




Wednesday, November 23, 2005






Wednesday, November 09, 2005


“Oh my God!” grinned Shy suddenly, after a moment’s consideration. “Are you telling me that you’re some kind of super-thieves? That you steal stuff? Real stuff and everything! Like actual criminals!”

Becky swung in through the window. “That’s about the extent of it! But I assure you, it’s no game!”

“I do apologise!” corrected Shy. “So, you’re Bonnie and Clyde only no-one’s made a film about you?”

“Yet!” replied Ceri crisply and with a wide Cheshire Cat smile. “Anyway we see each other more like two 1930s Raffles types. Theft as a hobby from those who deserve it, as a sort of eccentric pastime!”

“Yes, that figures! It’s a good look too, if you can pull it off – which, I may add, I’m sure you do!” Shy shook his fur in disbelief. It wasn’t that he disapproved, but had been taken by surprise. “By all the furry saints, you’re quite something, guys! I’m fascinated! Who’d have thought it of librarians!!”

“So, why the sudden interest?” Becky hadn’t taken so well to his former comment – now she was fully into the room she seemed intent on moving Shy as far from the boxes and the trinkets, as possible.

“It’s hardly a SUDDEN interest!” corrected Shy. “I’ve only just found out about it – it’s a new interest – a sort of growing excitement that you and one of my oldest friends have an exciting secret life!”

“Yeah… Well, you won’t get a chance to spoil it either, Yeti. They’ll be no calling the Police!”

Now Shy was quite offended and let it show. “BECKY!!! How could you say such a thing? Who sort of grass do you take me for? So, you live your lives like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief? That doesn’t mean that I’m some sort of dull, down to earth bore who’ll disapprove and try to turn you in! My head would sue my brain before I tried a stunt like that! I envy you! I know we’ve not met many times, Bex – but surely Ceri’s told you what I’m like? Come on mate, surely – don’t just stand there – back me up – tell her! I’m on the verge of being mortally wounded here! Me? Call the rozzers? I wouldn’t even consider it and you should jolly well take back your accusation before I cry!”

Becky was blushing – infact they all were – it had been a rather embarrassing performance on Shy’s part, to be honest. All the same she genuinely seemed sorry to have misjudged him. “I didn’t mean it, Shy – I got carried away – I never meant it like that – I just totally jumped to the wrong conclusion!”

Ceri stepped in to try and mediate further. “It’s okay darling – he understands! But, Shy - you can see why Bex might have thought you’d try and get the Police involved… Or at least be initially concerned about it! He wouldn’t though, Bex - he’s not that sort of Yeti! Anyway, he’s a friend from way back!”

Becky was blushing. “I’m really sorry, Shy! You have to be SO careful! I had my crime head on – I overreacted!” She paused as if to see if she needed to say more. “Can I stop groveling now, please?”

Shy grinned his usual furry grin. “Quite understand!” he confirmed. “You’re completely forgiven!”

“Shall we just forget you ever saw anything, Shy…” Ceri asked reluctantly. “Leave it at that…”

“Oh no!” interrupted the Yeti suddenly. “We mustn’t do that! No! I’m interested – really I am! I want to see your stash! Come on – tell me everything – how much have you got hidden away here in all!?”
“It’s not just in here, actually!” admitted Ceri, pleased and relieved that his friend was taking all this so enthusiastically. “We’ve got loads more hidden away in a secret cavern down at the Devil’s Arse!”

“I meant to ask you about that! I saw it on a box earlier! Do I want to know – it sounds rather rude!?”

Ceri raised his eyebrows. “Trust you, Shy! You and your double entendre fixation! Carry On has much to answer for…” Shy looked disappointed. “I assure you – other than the name – it’s not at all rude!”

“It’s a large series of caves!” Becky cut in, beginning to relax. She was dressed all in black, Shy noted. She wore dark trousers, Converse trainers, Polo neck sweater, a fetching black beret, under which her shoulder length brown hair was tucked and a little black mask to top it off. Archetypical cat burglar, if you will! “We’ve got access down to the caverns!” she added. “This house is built right over them!”

“Did you get what you went for?” Ceri asked, helping Bex with her rucksack. “I can’t believe I forgot to ask before! All I could think about was you getting home safe! I just hate when you go out solo!”

“I know, baby!” Becky smiled and gave him a kiss for his concern, hugging his arm affectionately and finally letting her true excitement show. “Yes! I got it all! The necklace AND the silver bracelet!”

“From a bank?” Shy was nearly drooling in awe of what he’d overheard. “What did you rob, Becky?”

“Not a bank…” Becky corrected. “This was a country house near Buxton!” she replied, still seeming a tad reluctant to confide such information to a virtual stranger. “We’ve been after this one for a while!”

Ceri tried to explain. “It was stolen from one family to another back in the early 1900s! It’s the way we choose all our big steals – through research and by selecting items which are well known to have been swiped by errant house maids, bitter mistresses, conniving butlers, sons, daughters or ex-wives… Everything in the spare room or in the caves has a history – a story – and Becky or I know every one!”

Shy was almost clapping his paws together in excitement. “Wow!” he grinned. “By the furry saints, if that isn’t just so darn romantic! How perfect! I’m so proud of you both – using your degrees to such good effect! It’s more than can be said for a lot of us! I love it – I really do! Stealing treasures that have already been stolen and are probably long forgotten too… Is it all out on display somewhere? Do you plan to keep it or sell it on? Melt it down? Put it back even? I’m joking with that last one, mind!”

“We do plan to display it when the store in the caves is completely finished.” Ceri replied. “But it all takes time – we’re neither of us that hot on DIY and it’s taken an age to reopen the passages to the cave as it is! This was a Highwayman’s cottage back in the 1600s, so we’re reviving an old tradition!” he added proudly – now totally full of himself and feeling liberated that he was finally able to discuss his secret hobby with Shy. “I wasn’t sure how you’d take all this, boy – I badly underestimated you!”

“No problem!” Shy reassured him. “To be honest the old me might have rather backed off from it all – and I mean backed off screaming and waving his paws about in panic! I dealt with crooks all day long in the entertainment business and when I worked with Simon Yeti I saw them all the time! But you and Becky are different - just plain, old fashioned anti-heroes – Robin Hood with Library cards!”

“Something like that…” acknowledged Becky finally allowing herself a grin. “You should have seen the trouble caused in Central Library… That was classic… We used our own staff as distractions…”

“Well that makes sense! So, can I see some more of your collection?” asked Shy as they ushered him into the room where he was supposed to have been staying. “I have a plan!” he added. “Something you could steal… Do you need a third person – I want to be your sidekick… What do you reckon?”

For Becky this was taking things that little bit too far. “OH! NO WAY!” she exclaimed and that earlier look of distrust and suspicion had returned. “No way! Ceri, you tell him! There’s no way he’s coming with us on a stake out! Look at him! He’s 7 foot tall and hairy! How’s he supposed to blend in? He’d get his fur caught in the roof-tiles or stuck down a chimney!! We’d be a laughing stock within days!!”

Ceri seemed unsure what to say or whom to speak up for; torn between Becky’s realism and Shy’s sheer excitement for the whole project. “Look Shy! I dunno if this is such a good idea…”

“YOU’RE NUTS!! NUTS!! JUST TELL HIM OUTRIGHT!” Becky insisted – but Ceri was wavering.

“Calm down, hon! I’m just trying to explain!” he turned to Shy. “I don’t know if you’ve got the know how to help us! It’s a technical business this crime stuff… Perhaps you can help out!? Do you drive?”

Shy looked unsure. “I can cycle…” he volunteered a tad reluctantly.
“Right – well maybe you could be the Get-away driver – cyclist – I dunno… Perhaps? I’m sure we could find someway in which you could be useful – even if it was just as a lookout – in disguise!?!”

Shy tried not to look too upset. “Listen people…” he said. “I really don’t want to cause an argument here – but I’d like to reassure you that I do have a few tricks hidden up my furry sleeve that could well be of use! I have Yeti talents that I’d be happy to demonstrate which I think might surprise you…”

“He only wants to help out, Becky… Surely we can, at least, listen to him – and to be honest what could we have done if he had decided to go to the Police? He’s been more than good about all this!”

“I pretty sure she’d have shaved off all my fur and suffocated me with it? You can never tell with girls when they get power - it goes to their heads! The female of the species is more deadly than the Yeti!” he said and then added. “She’d never have done it though – I’m told I have a very hypnotic gaze!”

“PLEASE SHY!! SHUT IT!!” Ceri insisted, Becky looked just about cross enough to physically attack the Yeti, like some mother cat protecting her kittens and even Shy wasn’t sure he hadn’t pushed it too far this time and fear he’d end up with badly ruffled fur at the bottom of the stairs. Shy had grown up fearing strong women like Becky - his Great Auntie Joyce had been another good example, which we may return to at some stage. He’d had a rather odd upbringing as far a girls were concerned. Boy yetis tended not to mix with them, to be honest. Most males went into acting, singing or interpretive dance whilst like in the real world, the girl yetis basically did anything and everything of any importance.

“I’m not happy with this – you know I’m not…” sighed Becky at last. “But if he can prove himself, then maybe I’ll rethink. I have a nasty feeling that if we don’t listen, then he’ll go and rob something just to prove that he can and end up in right sticky mess, which we’ll only have to bale him out of anyway! Hopefully the novelty will soon wear off – or else I might well dig out my fur clippers…”

Shy looked as if he was about to say, “Told you so…” when Ceri gave him a very severe look indeed and Shy decided it best to nod in almost total agreement. “You know… Becky’s right…” he agreed. “I probably would try and do something stupid and end up making a complete tit of myself…”

Ceri looked up in the direction of the ceiling. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a sidekick then! I’d say there won’t be any problem joining us as long as you can prove you’ve got the basic skills required!”

“Amazing!” grinned Shy and this time he did clap his paws. “I’m going to surprise you! I’m quite multi-talented, donchaknow! You just see! These new Yeti powers of mine will blow you away…”

To be perfectly honest, Shy soon became a little bit carried away by his mission to impress. In some ways you might say that what Shy did that day in Castleton was worse than anything Ceri and Becky had previously achieved. I mean, a little bit of good, old fashioned thievery is part of what once made this country great! After all, what would America or Australia have been today had we not nicked it off the locals!? Maybe, not the best ever example, I grant you! But as they had both feared Shy really decided to go and push the boat out when it came to showing off his potential value that evening.

“Follow me!” he declared confidently as he led his friends down the High Street. It was beginning to look like rain and there were a few tourists out with brollies. “Might I borrow that? May I? Thank you – cheerio!!” Ceri and Becky stared on incredulously as Shy shambled along the pavement – quite blatantly plucking umbrellas from apparently willing donors, with nothing more than a smile or a grin.

“What the hell is he doing?” exclaimed Becky. “Why are they letting him just do that…”

“Umm – not sure, Bex – all part of the plan I suppose… Nobody seems to be protesting, at all…”

“Umbrella?” Shy was handing them out and so Ceri and Becky took them as the rain had started to fall much harder, by now. “Anyone fancy a take away?” Shy giggled and without waiting for an answer strode into the nearest fish and chip shop. “Once, twice, three times a large cod and chips, please!”
Ceri and Bex watched as their furry friend practically helped himself to the food and yet the fish and chip lady pretty much let him do so. Not a penny was handed over and there he was again – back on the pavement with their dinners. “Apparently they’re free – to me… I have nice eyes, I’m told!”

“He’s using some sort of influence!” Bex had caught on now. “I knew he was telepathic – but THIS!!”

Ceri looked apologetic. “He wasn’t like that before – he wasn’t like this in University for that matter! Not at all! I think he’s been over-stretching his Yeti powers or something – he mentioned concussion!”

“Not insanity?” queried Becky glibly. “Did he forget to mention that bit! Sorry – am I being mean?”

But Ceri did not reply as Shy was back and as hyperactive as ever. “I fancy a pint!!” he declared as he popped a battered sausage into Ceri’s ear and hesitated to stick another up Becky’s nose. Thinking better of it he handed it to her instead. “Stolen goods – I’m afraid!” But you should know all about that by now! To the pub, then!” Ceri was about to ask him to stop, but Shy was in a world of his own – standing in the middle of the road, he’d already flagged down a Postal van which was passing through to collect the last post of the day. “Hop in the back why don’t you?” Shy hollered and gave a large Yeti grin that showed off his strong teeth. “This good man has kindly offered us a lift to the pub!”

The Postie didn’t seem to mind as they all jumped in. “That’ll be the Yeti hypnosis though!” muttered Becky. “We’d better be careful, honey… What if he tries that on us! He could make us his slaves…”

Ceri shot Shy a worried look. “I’d never dare!” Shy assured them. “Careful!” he added as Bex almost sat upon a parcel marked FRAGILE. The Post van shot off down the road and they all ended up in a pile. “Careful, fella! You really must consider us the most valuable cargo you’ve ever carried!”

“Sorry!!” came the reply, as he applied the brakes again and they all fell over into a pile once more.

“Ohhh!” exclaimed Shy excitedly. “We’re here! The Pub!! All out, please!” beginning to get a little tired by now, they still did as they were told and piled out onto the street outside “THE CURIOUS BEAGLE”. Shy waved on the Postie, french kissed two furry builders and then disappeared inside.

“I’m really sorry!” Ceri apologized to the men. “You were hypnotized! Please don’t punch him or us!”

One of the builders grinned and looked dazed. “He’s a good kisser!” he replied. “I wasn’t hypnotized! I don’t hypnotise, me – can’t speak for my mate here but as far as I know he prefers a real man, too!”

“Oh, okay! Thanks then – bye!” Feeling quite befuddled, Becky and Ceri entered the pub, expecting some all out orgy or smooching contest to have ensued. But instead they were met by total silence.

“Come in – come in…” Shy encouraged. The whole pub sat silent. Nobody moved. “Barman…” he bellowed rudely. “Would you bring us that pint you’re drinking – and your plate eat our fish and chips here on your premises! Hurry along now!” Ceri and Becky stood back and admired Shy’s amazing mind control – as the usually moody landlord did as he was told without even a word of protest.

“Thanks, Geoff…” said Becky, helping herself hungrily – having not eaten since the robbery.

“So am I in then?” asked Shy as he unwrapped his paper parcel. Standing up he walked from silent table to silent table – sipping a bit from one pint, chugging down a half glass of this or that – turning one man’s hat back to front and removing a tasty looking steak and kidney pie from a ladies plate to the sad looking dog who sat alone in the corner. “Never fear!” he added. “I do have some conscience! I’ll errr – buy everyone a round! Not that I have a great deal of dosh, but I’ll have a word with Geoff!”

“Sounds good to me!” muttered one man – it was one of the builders that he’d snogged just recently.

Shy smiled, but then continued. “Come on – the hypnosis is wearing off now - but you have to admit it, I could be useful! I can show you a nice trinket to steal if you take me along! So, am I in? Just the once! I’ll grow bored of the novelty – I’ll let you get back to your routine in peace. Please, guys…” The whole pub waited in silence for the answer. Well, strictly speaking it didn’t because they were mostly all hypnotized, but it sounds more impressive and dramatic if you can picture it. “Guys?!?”

“You’re in, if Becky says you’re in…” replied Ceri. “Bex? You have the final say…”

Silence. All eyes turned to Becky. Then. “Okay…” she sighed. “You’re in – just this once…”

“Cool banana!” grinned Shy. “Now, that is good news! Smashing… Geoff’s round then! Geoff!?”

Almost as he finished speaking the Pub flicked back into life again. Becky closed her eyes as she chewed another mouthful of fish. “I do hope we won’t both be regretting this in a couple of days…” she whispered to Ceri, who tried to look positive. “Shy Yeti…” she exclaimed. “Shy Yeti, my foot…”