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Ben the Slashed and the Poisoned Chocolate
She'd convinced herself that Ben had been murdered. And by a poisoned Hershey's bar. I asked her who Ben was. She pointed to her mangled friend on the park bench.
"He's my boyfriend." she said, matter-of-factly.
I gave the girl a handkerchief to wipe the brown goo off her mouth.
"Looks more like he was attacked by a wild stoat to me." I noted.
"Naw," she said. "He's always been like that."
"And you still keep him around?"
She gave me a shocked expression.
"Of course!" she said. "I've know him all my LIFE!"
"Isn't he starting to smell?"
"A bit." She shrugged. "But I'm used to it."
"So how come the chocolate didn't kill you?" I asked.
"I've spent lots of years building up a resistance to most poisons." she said."You have to be careful in my job."
"And what job would that be, then?"
"Pirate catcher!" she announced, proudly.
"I thought all the pirates were dead."
"They are. And it's because of me! They're still a few in the waters between England and Denmark, but I'm afraid they'll have to catch themselves now." She gave her friend a melancholy look. "I'm useless without my partner."
"Is there no hope of bringing him back?" I asked.
"How? He's not going to grow some new intestines!"
"He might," I said. "With a little help from a trained Summoner."
I took out my wizarding wand(cleverly disguised as a number two pencil), and held it theatrically.
"By the order of Merlin," I said, in the deep tones of my wise forefathers. "I call the back from beyond the chocolate, Ben!"
My pencil tapped Ben's nose with a flourish.
There was a pause of silence.
"He looks better than he ever has!" she said, tears springing to her eyes. "Thanks, mister!"
"Any time." I said, congenially.
She looked up, and grabbed Ben by the hand.
"THERE she is!" she said, hopping down from the bench. "Thanks again, mister!"
I watched the six year old run to her mother, dragging her torn teddy bear behind her, and speculated how I was going to explain to my boss why I was late.