Hugh McPearson and the Agreement Gas Added£0.99
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(A short story of 9414 words)

Hugh McPearson and the Agreement Gas

by Steve Way

In his fifth inconsequential adventure at the request of the Prime Minister our hero attempts to save the nation by uncovering the heinous villain behind the production of Agreement Gas, which very dangerously makes everyone agree with each other! In the course of his adventure he becomes the first ostrich to fly - downwards to go upwards as well as upwards - disguises himself as a corner flag and becomes one of the first ever to sit in a spell. To find out more... read the story! How simple could it be!

Hello reader. I guess you've never heard of a Ten of Spades Detective before, or even an ostrich detective. You've probably only heard of Ace Detectives, like my annoyingly brilliant brother, who confusingly is also called Hugh. I call myself a Ten of Spades Detective because I take on the jobs the Ace Detectives leave behind... or can't be bothered with. Luckily occasionally I’m helped out by my unofficial side-kick Gary Apparently and by the use of my brilliant and original disguises… Well I thought I looked like an almond slice that time anyway… The jobs I've had have led me into a few unusual situations. Let me tell you about one of them.

Wednesday 10:32 a.m.

I was thinking it was about time I redecorated my office, it was beginning to look a bit shabby. I was wondering what different colour to paint it. I was trying to work out whether if I changed the colour of my office, my office would like me to be a different colour as well. How could I ask it? Would it want me to use paint as well or clothes dye? I was just beginning to get very worried and upset about not knowing the answers to these important questions when the phone rang.

"Ring, ring," it rang as it always did when it rang. As I answered the phone I wondered if you could get a phone which went "Rang, rang," when it ringed.

"Hello," said the telephone. "It's the Prime Minister here."

"CLONK!" I said. Well I didn't exactly say "CLONK!"… that was the sound I made as I fell over. You’ll probably be amazed to learn that the Prime Minister didn't phone me up every day so I was a bit surprised. Actually he'd never ever phoned me up before so I was a LOT surprised.

"Are you sure?" I asked stupidly, as I was still in a state of shock.

"Well, I'm pretty sure," replied the Prime Minister, a little tersely. "I live at number 10 Downing Street and work at the Houses of Parliament."

The Prime Minister sounded tired and irritable. I imagined being Prime Minister involved you being tired and irritable quite a bit but I couldn't believe I'd asked such a stupid question. I was determined to say something appropriately profound and sensible as soon as I could, to reflect the privilege of being called by the Prime Minister but I was still confounded and disorientated by this unexpected call.

"Thank you for calling the Hugh McPearson Detective Agency. How can I help you, Sir or Madam?” I replied nervously and as you can see even more stupidly. “I think it's great what you've done for the carpet industry by the way." I added hoping I'd slipped in a suitably sensible comment that masked my nervous slip up.

"The carpet industry has gone to the wall," replied the Prime Minister sounding even more weary and aggravated. I couldn't understand why – that sounded very clever. If people put carpets on their walls it could save the industry. I wondered whether to put this proposal to the PM… I decided not to…

"Anyway, the reason I've called you is because the country needs your help," continued the Prime Minister.

"Certainly, sir," I said saluting, even though the Prime Minister couldn't see me salute. "How can I help?"

"Well something very odd is happening in parliament… Everyone is agreeing with each other."

"That certainly sounded unusual, I thought politicians disagreed with everything other politicians said, even ‘good morning’."

"Of course at the moment it makes my job a lot easier,” continued the PM. "Usually I can't get a thing done without everyone else disagreeing with me. But for one thing it's nothing like as much fun not arguing with everyone else about everything; more importantly though I'm worried that one of the daft MP’s, of which there are plenty in parliament, will make a crazy suggestion and everyone will agree with it."

I could understand what he meant. The MP’s from the Purple Party wanted everything to be painted purple, cars, houses, pavements and even cats. What if everyone in parliament agreed with them? It occurred to me that my office would look nice in purple – but not if the whole world were purple as well!...

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