Jack And The Marigolds

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Jack Sr. arrives home, takes his shoes off and places them next to a stack of four azure-colored storage boxes. He then goes to the kitchen, takes a burgundy-colored bowl of leftover pudding out from the fridge and screams for Jack. 

Jack (screams back from the living room): I am watching TV! What do you need me for?

Jack Sr. (comes to the living room): Your teacher rang my office today. The phone conversation was extremely…

Jack (interrupts): Was the conversation about how I am doing in school? Because I am doing great. It really is the truth. You better…

Jack Sr. (interrupts): You are? I am glad to hear that. But I do not want to talk to you about that. I want to talk to you about something else.

Jack: And what was that you wanted to talk to me about?

Jack Sr.: Your teacher wants you to play for your school’s football team. For the last few weeks, your coach watched you play when he was training your seniors at lacrosse. Then yesterday, he decided you will be a good addition to the team.

Jack (gapes): I can play for ‘The Marigolds’? They have won more than one hundred cups.

Jack Sr. (eats the pudding): I read that in the prospectus your school mailed me this year.

Jack: Well, um, I better go share the important news with Hot Dog! I know she will be happy when she learns I will be playing for our school’s football team…she is, after all, my friend!

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The Test Results

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Fiona Ward has handed out the results of a Literature test to her ‘Year 1’ students. A few of her students give her apples to show their gratitude in receiving good marks (in the test); most of them, however, are having a very bad day, because of their scores.

Moo: How much did you score?
Hot Dog: I scored 99. You?
Moo: Congratulations! I, uh, only scored 41. My father is going to kill me when he finds out!
Jack: Don’t tell him. I scored 49 and I don’t plan on telling my father about it.
Hot Dog: But…won’t both of your fathers find out later?
Jack: How? Just tell me how will Jack Sr. find out later?
Hot Dog: Won’t he come to talk to your teachers during the parent-teacher conference? They might inform him then you had failed your test.
Jack: Oh! I had forgotten about that conference thing.
Hot Dog: By the way, did you tell Jack Sr. about your performances in the other tests this year?
Jack: No. I have been hiding them all.
Moo (laughs): Well, I definitely don’t feel like telling my father about my result. I think I will just tell him the teacher is a liar on the day of the conference.
Jack: And will he believe you?
Moo: He should. He should believe me. He is, after all, my father! Only the worst fathers in this giant world believe the teacher instead of their own baby!

The Suspicion

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Whale and Mr. Brown are eating a corn-colored packet of mini strawberry cakes in Whale’s garden. Occasionally, some of their neighbors wave at them when they come out of their houses.

Mr. Brown: For a very long time I have suspected Ashley exaggerates about the money she makes every year from her catering business.

Whale (excited): I also feel she does that. There can’t be more than a handful of parties every year in her neighborhood.

Mr. Brown: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Whale: No! I am my mother’s only child. Have you always gotten along with Ashley?

Mr. Brown: No! I used to hate her when I was a child.

Whale: Why?

Mr. Brown: I never liked the type of person she was. She was so different from me, and when I was growing up, I had never known anybody like this person who used to live in the same house as I used to.

Whale: You never met anybody like your sister in the school you used to go to?

Mr. Brown: No. But I had met many children who were very different from me. I remember this boy – he used to sit next to me during geography lessons – would take a red coloring pencil and highlight every single paragraph in his book.

The Story Of How Ashley Became A Caterer

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Whale is sitting in his garden with Mr. Brown. They are digging into an oversized brown packet of parmesan-flavored chips and chatting.

Mr. Brown: I had told Ashley a few years back to stop partying all the time and find a job as a cook. But she told me then she did not want to. You know, our parents were extremely mad at her because of that; they had felt she was not behaving like a grownup.

Whale: Oh dear! Was Ashley upset with your parents for that?

Mr. Brown: She was upset with them for a very long time because of their behavior. She had told me their behavior was convincing her she should never work.

Whale: How did Ashley become a caterer?

Mr. Brown: Ashley had made many friends in Surrey when she had moved there to study a culinary course which, by the way, she almost did not pass because of her incessant partying. One night, she got the idea to cook for some of her friends at the parties they would throw for their kids; they were her neighbors as well. She started like that and then…

Whale (interrupts): She opened her own business for them?

Mr. Brown: Yes! After she opened her catering business, she started serving party food to those people at first. Then after many years, her business started doing so great, most people in her neighborhood began requesting her to supply food at their parties.

The Hotel Room

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Blau is inside her hotel room (with Snowball). The room has a small window with a view of snow-covered valleys. Inside the room, there is a wooden desk, an amber-colored chair, a small black fridge, a retro television, a bed (with two pillows, one bed sheet and one duvet; all the materials are baby blue in color) and a black wardrobe.

Blau (drawing the curtains): I’m glad we got a view of…uh, why is that man punching a woman?

Snowball:…maybe he is trying to steal her money.

Blau: No, it seems like he knows her. The woman is punching him back now; previously, she was holding him.

Snowball: Blau, draw the curtains…we don’t want to look like we saw that.

Blau: Alright! What a rowdy pair!

Snowball: Look, the bellboy has left a tray of chocolates and muffins on the bed.

Blau (opens the fridge): I saw that when we entered the room. There are some packets of salty chips here you can eat.

Snowball: What else is there?

Blau: Bottles of wine, brown packets of pork sandwiches, a plastic bowl of green salad, packets of chicken soup and vanilla ice cream. I think all that food should keep us well fed until breakfast.

The Foyer

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The walls of the foyer (of Markov Hotel) are beige in color; some abstract paintings hang on the walls. The foyer has only one window (with a view of snow-covered valleys) and Blau is sitting next to it; she has placed Snowball on her lap. Underneath her feet, is a charcoal-colored carpet which stretches all the way to a golden elevator. The foyer also has four more armchairs and three ottomans. They are all occupied by people; Blau can see that a very noisy family has occupied a majority of them.

Blau: After I’m done paying for my room tomorrow, I want to go to a local railway office to inquire about why my life was put in danger when I had boarded a Russian train in Germany.

Snowball: You must shop for some clothes first.

Blau: I will do that after my visit to the railway office. First, I want to find out who tried to kill me and why.

Snowball: Did word leak that you were trying to solve a murder case and also save a kidnapped princess?

Blau: I think so. I think bad people connected to the cases got very frightened.

Snowball: And so tried to kill you?

Blau: Yeah, because they don’t want to be caught for what they did. I mean, they would be exiled to death to African grasslands if they got caught; those grasslands are home to packs of vicious lions.

Markov Hotel

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Blau is standing inside the foyer of Markov Hotel and holding a phone. She has rung her bank to request it to mail an ATM card to the hotel’s address.

Blau: That’s fine! Over a week is just fine! Thank you!

Blau keeps the phone and discusses with the hotel manager about her options for paying for a room at the hotel. After discussing for over fifteen minutes, the manager gives her the keys to a room and tells her to wait at the foyer because a housekeeper needs to make fresh flower and food arrangements in the room first.

Snowball: How did you pay for the room?

Blau: I told the manager I will pay after I have managed to transfer some money from Germany from an ATM machine nearby. He then told me that Markov Hotel is a very prominent local hotel and so a payment for a room can be directly from a bank account in any good bank in Germany.

Snowball (interrupts): So it’s fine if you pay for it later?

Blau: Yeah but it can’t be any later than eleven o’clock in the morning tomorrow!

Snowball: Oh! So where should we wait?

Blau: There…at the vacant armchair right next to the window.