SAUCE text image


a Tentacle Tales short story from beyond the world of The Rising Tentacle.

It was Monday and Dan Armstrong was about to start two night shifts as an orderly at Mingsport Hospital. Dan didn’t like nights but nor did he loathe them, they were just nights, an upset to the circadian rhythms he had gotten used to over the years. He just took them as they came and got through them. The last few evenings had been mild, not so muggy now and a waxing moon started to claim its domain. Birds could be seen skittering across the, sky calling at nothing in particular. Dan pulled the door to his apartment block closed and set off to walk the few minutes to the hospital, his white uniform jacket packaged in his customary brown paper & string. At the cross roads, at the end of his street, a large billboard, erected last year was sporting a new poster, brightly coloured and announcing


The Colonel’s SAUCE

You’d be a sucker not to!

There was something intrusive about it, ‘I might not want to try it! In fact I don’t. I am quite happy with my Brown Sauce!’ thought Dan. The billboard did however keep him thinking about The Colonel’s SAUCE, right up to the hospital steps.

Inside the hospital the lights were still up, it wasn’t quite late enough to plunge the place into night-mode lighting. There was still the odd murmur of sound from patients and attendant staff. Dan went and got changed into his white jacket and returned to wait in the staff room for the handover of patients from one shift to the other. Here, people were readying themselves for the night ahead. The nights were typically quiet, occasionally there would be an emergency but that was the exception rather than the rule. Staff would have had varying degrees of sleep throughout the day prior to the shift but this was Dan’s first night and he had managed a good few hours sleep and felt well. Others clearly had not been so lucky. In the quiet time before the Superintendent came to give handover, Dan let his mind drift and found himself thinking about when he had hurt his hand investigating the mad doctor in the warehouse, over on the East side of Mingsport. It started to ache. He had fallen and cut his left hand in the uneven ground by the old warehouses off Sutter. He remembered getting black mud on his hands and thought nothing of it but he couldn’t help thinking now that some kind of contaminant had entered the wound. Although it had now fully healed, it always ached when he thought about it. He was pulled from this reverie when the Superintendent arrived.

It was a quiet night. The initial flurry of work in the run up to Midnight; giving medication, settling patient’s down for the night, cleaning what needed cleaning passed uneventfully as it always did. It was then that the drag of night exerted its pull. It was like some huge, dark planetary object near a small, bright star, stopping it from shooting into the oblivion of the heavens. Minutes passed like hours and hours passed like days. The silence was punctuated only by coughs, snoring and random shouts from strange dreams of the sleeping patients. At three-thirty in the morning, the will to live was at its weakest and the tendency for eyelids to close at its strongest. That was when the ambulance bell was heard, quiet at first, ever increasing until it was a shrill abrasion of the senses. Dan stood first, followed by everyone else. They made their way to the entrance to greet the rude awakening. The cool breeze of morning felt welcome and whisked away thoughts of sleep. The patient was a poor unfortunate lady who had been vomiting most of the night and looked as if that deaths door had been knocked upon and it had been opened and the patient had been welcomed in. Doctor Thompson was on that night and he spent time examining the patient and trying to ascertain if she had eaten anything ‘different or ‘out of the ordinary’ to her normal diet. She managed to indicate negatively between bouts of retching, her stomach contents being emptied long before arrival at the hospital. She was put into a bed, given an anti-emetic and re-hydrated and seemed to settle somewhat.

Things quietened and slowed but the flurry of activity had been welcomed. The small star had managed to pull away from the orbit of the large planetary object and was happily heading for the end of its shift. With about half an hour left before the morning staff arrived, everyone heard what everyone did not want to hear – the ambulance bell. Last reserves were called upon and found wanting but Dan carried on without them, willing his legs to make the now long walk to the hospital entrance. A yawning nurse joined him.
The ambulance driver jumped down from the cab and announced ‘another!’.
From the back of the ambulance doors was helped another retching patient, male this time. The ambulance driver followed the others inside after getting a a bag of the patient’s belongings out of the back of the ambulance. The doctor went through the routine of examination and taking a history. The patient’s bag, a holdall was on the floor, next to the bed where the ambulance driver had left it and Dan noticed a bottle poking out of the zipper. He bent down and picked it out.
‘I see the patient was fond of this new sauce’ he said holding it for all to see, ‘what with carrying it around in his bag and most of it gone’.
The bottle was near empty. ‘I brought that as the patient was clutching it when we found him’ said the ambulance driver. ‘Thought it might have been significant’ he finished.
‘Were this patient and the previous one from the same area?’ asked Dr Thompson.
‘No, opposite sides of town as a matter of fact’ said the other ambulance man.
‘Then it is most likely to be food related rather than an outbreak. Unless it is a large outbreak’ said Dr Thompson thinking out loud as much as anything.
‘It must be a rich sauce’ said Dan. He smelled the ornate bottle, it was sweet as well as pungent. Not unpleasant but not overly engaging to Dan’s palette. The patient was settled in, in much the same way as the previous patient, the morning shift had arrived and Dan’s long night was coming to a close.

Leaving the hospital early in the morning and heading for sleep when most people are getting up to start their day is a strange reversal of order. Diurnal suicide is how Dan liked to think of it. He walked back in the cushioned daze of the shift-worker, he knew the way and could travel there in his mind’s eye so semi-comatose was no problem. The key fitted into the door lock (so he knew he hadn’t come to the wrong apartment, by mistake). He made straight for bed after summary ablutions and fell into the sleep of the just (that is, ‘just about asleep’. Any noise could wake him).

Dan awoke naturally after a good, uninterrupted sleep and was pleased. There had been times when he hadn’t slept well at all and the ensuing night had been painful, to say the least. He made some ‘breakfast’ and read a bit of a book he had been wrestling with on and off for the past two weeks. This was the dead time, before a night shift but not enough time to really do much. He readied himself and then set off for the hospital. Upon arrival, staff were busy, flashing here and there with a professional haste, nothing untoward, just a late admission. Dan sat looking up at the high windows in the staff room. Light still filtered in although the sun was falling, casting only a faint pale pink glow across the sky. Handover came and went and Dan was soon in the rhythm of another night shift.

In the hushed tones of the night, punctuated only by the occasional cough the hours drifted like becalmed boats on the sea of time. Dan was just in the process of fetching a cup of coffee that had been simmering on the gas stove in the staff room when the familiar ring of the ambulance bell sounded. ‘Damn’ he thought, quickly swallowed down a mouthful of warm, strong coffee, wiped a splash that had spilled onto his white jacket, across the top left breast pocket and went out to greet the arrival.

The ambulance approached, the increasing clamour of its bell ripping through the quiet of the midnight blue sky. It sped into the grounds of the hospital and braked fiercely, crunching the gravel and pulling up just short of Dan, as he stood waiting on the steps of the hospital entrance. A thump from the inside of the ambulance followed by a shout heralded the flinging open of its back doors whereby the ambulanceman that had been travelling with the patient in the back almost fell out! He was wrestling with what was presumably the patient. Dan rushed forward to help, closely followed by another nurse. The patient was dishevelled but the thing that took Dan’s attention was what the patient was clutching in his right hand. It was a bottle of sauce, not just any bottle but the same bottle of sauce that he had found in the bag of the patient from the previous night. The distinctive yellow and red label was unmistakable. Results of any analysis of the sauce bottle from last night’s admission would not yet be in so it was important to keep it in case of any link. The patient was somehow manoeuvred into the hospital and once on the familiar front ward in the new West Wing, became a little more manageable. The sauce bottle had dropped to the floor but did not break even though it was glass. Dan bent down and picked it up, he didn’t want the doctor slipping on it as he busily examined the patient. Dan examined the bottle. The gaudy label showed it was The Colonel’s Sauce, the same one he had seen advertised on the way into work these past two evenings. More importantly it had an address of the manufacturing plant. It was here, in Mingsport; The Works, Valens Street, Mingsport. He placed the bottle on a bench at the side, by the window and addressed his attention to the patient. She was mumbling to herself, her head turning from side to side and her eyes, though mostly closed would wrench wide open and stare, intermittently. Doctor ? eventually sedated her as she was becoming more agitated and that helped her settle. Dan washed his hands thoroughly, just in case he had transferred any of the sauce from the bottle accidentally. There was no doubt in his mind that a toxicology was at work here.

The night passed off without further incident however the patient who had been admitted did require further sedation after showing signs of increasing madness. All was quiet as the shift came to an end, save for patients rhythmic breathing, the occasional cough and footsteps of the coming and going of nurses.

Dan awoke after a restless day, tossing and turning in the day’s heat to his last of three nights. He wasn’t overly tired but would be glad to get this ‘three’ out of the way. He recovered from nights fairly quickly and was lucky in that he didn’t require an inordinate amount of sleep to function. He walked to work past the sentinel poster and got to thinking about how the patient’s who had been admitted were fairing. Upon arriving at the hospital drive and entering its portal, Dan sensed it had been a busy day.
‘I hope your night’s better than our day’s been!’ shouted a colleague before disappearing into the sluice.
‘Ah, well. The shift hasn’t started yet’ he thought to himself.

It transpired that several patients had been admitted with increasing degrees of what could only be described as insanity. Self harm, fighting and random attacks, even a case of attempted cannibalism! Dan took this with a pinch of salt as exaggeration was not uncommon in such circumstances. Several patients had been admitted as victims of attacks by ‘crazed’ people. There was one saving grace though, any admissions in the night would have to be diverted to another hospital. They were full!

The night did turn out to be better than the day staff’s day. Dan busied himself with the chores of the night. He managed to see most of the patients who had been admitted in one form or another. Several patients were just in overnight for observation with minor injuries and required little more than a glass of water of a second blanket. He did however attend one patient who was quite ill and noted a similar bottle of sauce to the previous night, in amongst the patient’s belongings. Mere coincidence? There had to be a link.

There was a sickly air to the hospital as Dan left and he was glad to breathe the fresh air of morning. He trudged home, oblivious to most things around him but his mind was set upon what he would do once he had awoken, later in the day.

Dan only required a few hours sleep after the last night and although more wouldn’t have gone amiss, he couldn’t justify wasting ‘off time’. He made a drink of coffee and ate some light breakfast-cum-lunch-stroke-dinner and after a wash, felt ready to face what was left of the afternoon. He left the apartment and made straight for the Deli on the corner of the next street to purchase a bottle of the sauce. He had no intention of spreading it on any of his food, anytime soon. He did however, intend for someone to take responsibility for a potentially disastrous public health outbreak.
‘Could I have a bottle of ‘The Colonel’s Sauce’ please?’ he had decided to go straight to the shop owner rather than perusing the shelves.
‘I’m sorry, were all out. A real good seller, that one. Can’t say I’ve tried it myself but folks around here can’t get enough of it. Local, as I’ve heard. I’m after another delivery in the morning. Drop by then’ said the shopkeeper in one breath. Dan left the store and its aroma of meats and pickles and other un-placeable smells empty-handed, much to the chagrin of the owner. Outside, he racked his brains to try and remember the address from the bottle the ambulanceman had thoughtfully brought in with the patient to the hospital. He had wanted to check it out in detail, he had made up his mind to go straight to the source.

Dan took a cab across town toward the North-east and was dropped at the road that crossed the top of the one he was looking for. He walked down Valens Street on the left hand side and as he approached The Works which stood across from him, he was cast in shadow. The whole street was in shadow from the factory and other buildings and there was a chill, at odds with the afternoon. He had never been to this part of town before, he had had no recourse to visit here and probably never would again. It was a run down area but one which still supported business and life, in all its forms. There was an ill feeling to the place, this street. Steam vented from some chimney hidden from view, punctuating the utter stillness of the street. A low rumble of working machinery started. A sickly smell invaded Dan’s lungs. It was initially unpleasant but almost at once a pull seemed to make him want to like it. Goosebumps had raised on both his arms and a shiver ran up his spine. A door banged and Dan saw a worker stood watching him from the entrance to the factory, across the road. Even from this distance, Dan could see the palour of the night-worker. It was evident in his eyes, underneath them, in his sallow complexion and just in the way the man stood. He empathised with him to some extent. He raised his right arm in acknowledgement accompanied by his head and eyebrows but the man just stood, with a zombied stare, any attempt at communication blocked. Dan turned and walked back the way he came. Once out in the sun, he immediately warmed and it was as if where he had just visited was all a dream. He made his way out, across the main road where he had been dropped by the cab earlier and across town. There seemed no way of hailing a cab from here and he felt the walk would do him good. He eventually made his way to a more civilised part of town where people nodded courteously and smiled. This was the Mingsport he knew. He headed into the centre of town turning left, just short of the street leading to the harbourside and made straight for the large municipal building on the right hand side of the street; the Police Station. He climbed the steps thinking how remarkably like entering the hospital the experience was. Probably the same architect he surmised. Definitely the same stone.

Dan tentatively approached the enquiry desk, where the Desk Sergeant was writing and did not look up. He waited patiently for a few seconds that seemed like an eternity. The Desk Sergeant continued writing. Dan cleared his throat, the Sergeant stopped writing and looked at Dan.
‘Hello, I work at the hospital and there have been a recent spate of illnesses. I think they may be related to a bottle of sauce’ said Dan, immediately wishing he hadn’t. He suddenly felt silly, as though he was talking nonsense. The desk Sergeant hadn’t moved and Dan felt uncomfortable. ‘There is a factory, here in Mingsport and the patients had each eaten the sauce. I though some one should know’. The Desk Sergeant finally acknowledged Dan and started to write down some notes.
‘Would that be a bottle like this one? said a voice from behind, in a Southern drawl. Dan turned to face the Sheriff who filled the space he stood in, his black hat, brimming his forehead, a bottle of The Colonel’s Sauce in his right hand. Dan had met the Sheriff before, in a previous encounter and immediately adjusted his expectations downwards.
‘I do admit this bottle is of a weight that could be used to do some damage. Illness, you say. Well, I don’t rightways know about that. People causing trouble, is all’ said the Sheriff.
‘I thought someone should know’ offered Dan wading out of the Everglades, knee high in muddy water with an alligator close on his heels.
‘Well I thank you, Sir’ said the Sheriff as he tapped the sauce bottle against his right thigh. Harold had awkwardly said goodbye and turned to make his way out of the station. He felt the eyes of both the Desk Sergeant and the Sheriff follow him out. ‘Why do I feel like such a troublemaker’ thought Dan. ‘There’s only one thing for it’ he continued, with his one-sided conversation. He made his way home.

At home Dan sat in his favourite chair and read from one of the several books he had on the go. He could never keep to reading just one book at a time. It was a special time, starting the first chapter of a new book and one that he treasured hence he would always have two or three on the go at once. His taste was wide and varied, he liked to think the contrasts kept him ‘on his toes’. Hot coffee smoked from a mug on the table beside his chair. After a little while Dan fell asleep and dozed on and off for a couple of hours. The sun had started to go down and an orange glow suffused the sky and shafts of light broke in through his window. He rose from the chair stretching like a cat would, grabbed a jacket from the hall, picked his key from the hall table and made off, out of the door into the ambient night. At the end of the street he hailed a cab, his choice of destination raised an eyebrow in the cabbie but not much else. He was dropped once again at top of Valens Street where he politely asked the cabbie to wait for him which didn’t warrant an eyebrow being raised. He walked down on the left hand side, much as he had earlier this afternoon. The faint sickly smell pervaded the beautiful evening air but it wasn’t as thick as it had been earlier. All was still and quiet. As he approached the factory from across the road, he half expected the side door to open as it had earlier but it remained shut. He crossed the road. There were no windows at ground level, only the closed white door. Further down, higher up (the building was three stories high) the odd window punctuated the factory facade but each was so grimy that any light (for little made it down this street) would have difficulty illuminating the inside of the building. The door handle stood like a carbuncle, unwelcome to the touch. ‘It will be locked, I shall not be able to get in, the factory will be closed at this time of day’ he said to himself. He reached for the handle. He turned it. It turned. It made a scraping sound with a click at the end of its play and the door swung outwards, easily towards him. It was dark inside, his eyes could ascertain very little beyond the immediate environs of the door. Dan felt alone, irrationally alone, beyond the fact that he had come here by himself. A soul-less, despairing loneliness. The sickly smell however was stronger inside the factory and it seemed to take over the feeling, smother it and offer a kind of solace. He moved forward into the gloom, his eyes adjusting a little, the door closing behind him. A corridor of tall, grey boarding led away, around a corner, to the left but to his right stood metal stairs, rising up into the dark above. It was these stairs he felt compelled to climb. He felt he knew he shouldn’t climb the stairs but knew that he would. He became annoyed with himself, angry almost and before long he was pushing up into the floorspace above. A gantry spread out allowing the viewer to oversee the expanse of factory below which had previously been hidden from view. Some production process had been put in place with the requisite machinery solidly anchored in order. At the near end, directly below Dan’s feet which seemed to dangle in the air, on the metal grated flooring lay boxes in various states of packing. As Dan cast his eyes further away, along the factory machinery, piercing the gloom (his eyes had grown more accustomed to the low light levels now) he saw movement. It was a slow, rhythmic movement. Undulating. He focused and as he did, he suddenly realised what he was seeing. What could only be described as some large mass of muddy, green-grey with tentacles, moving in time to some unheard rhythm, with one large tentacle to the fore. That was not the worst of it, far from it. The large tentacle hung below the mass, for the mass was sat on some dais and at its tip, several people where what appeared to be ‘milking’ it. Some fluid was oozing (slowly, for it was a viscous fluid) into receptacles the people held below it.
So abhorrent was the scene that Dan shouted aghast; ‘God, no!’. The men before the thing stopped and looked up to where Dan was standing. The tentacular arms of the thing slowed in their motion to a halt. One of the men shouted something indistinct, Dan realised he must be able to be seen and then the realisation hit him that he was up on the gantry and the men had started to run towards him. He would have to go down and it didn’t take a master geometrist to calculate that they would both meet, at the door! He looked to his right. The gantry had a walkway leading from it, into the gloom, some weak light was emanating from somewhere in that general direction. The sweet smell that hung thicker in the air, up where he was gave him a headache but he could do nothing but like it. However, panic was cutting through his mind like a surgeon’s blade through tunica adventitia and he had to make a split-second decision; to his right or down the steps. The stairs had it and he pounded faster had he ever thought possible; down. Just before he had turned on the gantry, he saw the thing slide from its dais, down and its eyes caught his. Some light turned on as one of the attendant men lit them. They were the beckoning eyes of death. As he reached the bottom of the metal steps a man in a white coat, flailing a lantern about wildly as he ran stretched forth his right arm. ‘Bang!’ something whizzed past Dan’s left ear. ‘That was a shot!’ he thought to himself. Adrenaline pumped, he leapt at the door, jumped through it as it opened and ran, full pelt up the street. ‘Bang!’ a shot. ‘Bang! Bang!’ two more. He ran weaving left and right, thinking each turn would be his last but somehow he evaded the bullets as they dug into the walls of buildings as he passed. ‘Bang! Bang!’ at least two more. His heart was pounding, his lungs screaming for air, his legs shaky with exertion but still he ran. He rounded the corner, left out of Valens Street as though he was running out of the very mouth of hell. He eased up, his body made him and dared to turn and look back. He had not been followed, he was pleased beyond belief. The sun was just falling below the skyline, the last dying embers of a cosmic fire and it was against this apocalyptic background of one of the most spectacular sunsets that Dan had seen that he stopped, bent his head forward, put his hands on his knees and wretched and vomited.

The stale taste of vomit loitered in his mouth as he walked into the Police Station. He did not know what he must look like, neither did he care. The Desk Sergeant looked up as Dan’s demeanour was more positive this visit.
‘I’ve been shot at!’ said Dan ‘at the factory, on Valens Street! There’s something going on. They’re supposed to be making sauce but some thing!’ he broke off, unable to express any more of what he had seen.
‘Reckon that might be the source of the problem?’ said a familiar voice in its Southern drawl. ‘Gunshots, you say? Gunshots is all I need. Bill, round up Pete and Jake, we’re taking us a ride out to the factory. We got some felons to ketchup on. Heh, Heh.’ and with that, the station seemed to launch into motion. Dan was near exhaustive collapse but was ushered into a police vehicle with the Sheriff and Pete or Jake while a further vehicle took the Desk Sergeant and ‘Pete or Jake’.

The bells of the Police cars rang at slightly differing pitches and time slots, as if sparring, each trying to outdo the other. It seemed like no time at all before they were cornering, at some not inconsiderable speed into Valens Street.
‘You up to this, boy?’ asked the Sheriff, turning from the front seat to face Dan.
‘Oh, yes. Right up my street’.
‘That’s the spirit, son’ and he turned back as the car screeched to a halt, just in front of the door that had been the site of his egress from hell. The second car pulled up short, seconds later with a similar amount of panache. A bullet shattered the car window opposite where Dan sat, spilling shards of glass across the shiny black bonnet of the V8.
‘In the building boys! Stay down, say what’s your name? said the Sheriff, running from the car.
‘Dan!’ shouted Dan, a second shot from high up, rang out of one of the factory windows. He crouched down in the backseat well of the car where he had sat. After the bangs and crashes and return of fire from the Sheriff’s assault, a stillness returned to the street. Dan sat up from his sheltered position and looked out of the car window. He tentatively opened his side of the car door via the lever and the weight of it pulled from his hand, splaying open from the front. He reached and caught the leather strap that was used to pull the door to, just catching it before it swung out of reach. Seeing that no further bullets had hailed his way and that nothing further had happened, he stepped out. Suddenly, an overwhelming fear gripped Dan and a stench, different to the earlier smell from the place emanated from the drain cover in the middle of the street. He couldn’t see anything but he felt he knew something was passing underneath it. The scar on his left hand ached and he rubbed it with his right, subconsciously. The feeling passed and he heard gunshot sounds from inside the factory. ‘I’m an Orderly’ he thought ‘This is about as far from orderly as you can get’. However, without hesitation, he opened the door and entered the small hall, just as Pete or Jake was coming down the steps, from the gantry.
‘There’s two left as far as I can tell. They’re down here’ and he ran down the grey corridor of the ground floor. Dan thought there was little else he could do and so followed.

Once passed the left turn, the short corridor terminated at a door which was ajar. A shot rang out, echoing in the cavernous space of the factory. Whether or not it was from one of the policemen or the ‘workers’, Dan did not know. Never having been around guns before, Dan had less fear than was probably sensible and so he put his head around the door. A bullet thudded into the doorframe, just above his head, this was closely followed by a scream and a thud. One of the last two workers had just been shot, the other immediately gave himself up.

Outside, the worker who was alive was helped into the police car and taken away.
‘What the hell just happened here?’ Dan asked the Sheriff, he was exasperated with the stress and realisation of what the last couple of hours had just put him through.
‘My Mammy made a sauce and fiercely guarded the secret of its ingredients but not as fiercely as these boys, I swear!’ said the Sheriff and he almost smiled. The sheriff then beckoned Dan to follow him back into the factory. The Sheriff took out a red and white patterned hankerchief and lifted it to his mouth and tied it behind his head. He encouraged Dan to do the same so Dan took out a clean white hankerchief and held it to his mouth and nose. He followed the Sheriff into the factory. They approached the dias where the thing had sat but it was no longer there. It was some ten feet above the floor of the building and below to the left side, was a large hole with a grille over it. The grille had spaces wide enough for a man to fit between but if a man had been between them, he must have been covered in slime and filth and putrefaction for that is what littered the path. A container lay broken to the side and another stood upright next to it, full of a milk-like substance. Even through the hankerchief Dan held to his mouth and nose he could still smell its intoxicating madness; horrible yet compelling, soothing but abhorrent,
‘What did you see here?’ asked the Sheriff. Even through the muffle of his hankerchief, his strong Southern accent played out.
‘There was a, ‘thing’. It sat up there’ Dan pointed to the dais. The enormity of the structure was evident from this angle, when he had looked from the gantry earlier, he had not appreciated the size of the thing.
‘This ‘thing’, where d’you s’pose it went?’ he asked in his slow Southern way.
‘It will have gone down, through the grille’ said Dan.
‘Most likely’ replied the Sheriff. ‘And where d’you s’pose ‘down’ is?’ he continued.
‘Into – the – sewer!’ the sheer weight of what Dan was saying crashing in on him at the very moment the words left his lips. The Sheriff started to walk back to the door, the loud knock of his boots echoing from the factory floor. Dan turned, looking at the machinery of production that lay still and cold in the gloom.
‘What was it all for?’ he called out to the Sheriff’s back which was receding methodically away from him.
‘Folks need something to put on their food. Got more than they bargained for’ the Sheriff replied and left the factory via the door. Dan turned to take one last look at the place before he left, he certainly wouldn’t be coming back of his own volition. He suddenly felt the despairing loneliness he had felt earlier but worse, he felt he was being watched. He made his way quickly to the door and left.

Out in the night he was glad to breathe in lung fulls of air un-tainted by the factory. He would be given a lift back to the station by the Sheriff, it was the least he could do.
The Sheriff called to Bill or Pete (he still hadn’t been able to distinguish who was who) and just said ‘lock it up, real good now’.

The next morning Dan rose and could scarcely believe, that what had taken place yesterday had, in actual fact, taken place. He decided to go out for breakfast at a local diner, two blocks away from where he lived.

At the cross-roads, at the end of the street the billboard caught his attention. The poster for The Colonel’s SAUCE that he had passed on his way to work each shift was no longer there. It had been replaced with the large smiling face of a businessman and read

Upset Stomach?


Runny’s Peptic Tablets

You’ll never need the toilet again!

He walked on to the diner. Long before he reached it, he had decided he was not having sauce!

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