22: To be associated with pleasure, perchance it may offer something good

The lady shifted with uncertainty from one high heel to another. She was distinctively attractive, the cut of her dress was threatening, and her strawberry-blond hair was set off seductively by the sun.

Perhaps her uncertainty was triggered by Cadbury Fife, who had just approached in a tie-less pepperstripe suit and dual cane formation.

Together, they stood on the edge of a small cliff overlooking a beach.

Cadbury: Have we met before?

Lady: I don’t think so?

Cadbury: You seem nervous, as though you are standing on the edge. Perhaps you have committed a crime of some sort, or are positioning for some manner of hanky-panky?

Lady: [Looking out over the cliff] Perhaps I am merely standing on the edge, since that is where you requested to meet.

Gullet: [Stepping forward, seemingly from the shadows or perhaps out of a hole] Madam, this is Cadbury Fife, noted detective at large, and operator of the eponymous detective agency. Detective, this is Phaorette Muharajerin. You have not met before, however it is possible that the lady conducted some personal investigations. On your part, per regular operating procedure, you have not been briefed on this person of interest in our case.

Cadbury: [Looking at Gullet with disdain] Why thank you for that scripted address, I should like to use that in a speech sometime. Now, we are here on business are we not?

Gullet: Yes, we are.

Cadbury: [Still looking at Gullet with disdain] And what is that business exactly?

Phaorette: Yes, I’m confused about that too.

Gullet: This is The Case of The Missing Self… though we may need to rename it, because it turned to be a fairly idiotic name in retrospect… but it essentially involves the disappearance of Mark von Cola, the politician.

Phaorette: Yes, I was acquainted with Mark.

Cadbury: Interesting, but let’s do things in the right order here. How did you first kill him?

Phaorette: If you meant ‘how did I first meet him?’, it was at a rally. He spoke passionately about the rights of the worker, and  how they should be removed, and then he removed my clothing and we had passionate sex in his car.

Cadbury: Well in fact I was wondering how you first killed him, that is to say, killed him for the first time, and I do think you answered that. I would warn you against trying that passion trick of yours on me however, as I am passionless, and also I do not have a car.

Phaorette: Perfectly okay I assure you. I did not kill Mark von Cola, however, what would be my purpose for doing that?

Cadbury: Purpose is the daughter of the mother of desire. [Turning to Gullet] Let’s all sit on buckets shall we?

Gullet produced some buckets and began insisting that Phaorette sat on one. Eventually, after some confusion related to Phaorette having Cadbury’s bucket, they all were seated.

Phaorette: [The wind blowing her hair] Deluxe.

Cadbury: What is your position on international relations?

Phaorette: All relations are okay by me.

Cadbury: Doubtless. So really, why were you  at that rally? I sense that you have no interest in politics. No one does – even the politicians have recently give up the pretense of interest.

Phaorette: I enjoy groups of people, speeches, chants and the shape of hastily erected pulpits. Mark von Cola was a handsome beast, I saw him on the television. [Pausing in brief reverie] And he was certainly a beast to me.

Cadbury: Well, that is nice. Do you like to go to the sports?

Phaorette: The sports?

Cadbury: To see the sports squads dance around the sports park?

Phaorette: I don’t know what you are talking about, but let’s just say ‘no’.

Cadbury: Are you in a song team? Some type of typist club? A group dedicated to discussing discussions?

Being pleasurable to the eye, and a titanic force of ultra-confidence, people were generally inclined to like Cadbury Fife when they first met him. Everyone either enjoys pleasure, or would like to be associated with pleasure, perchance it may offer something good. Then, after some discussion, usually people drifted into a phase where it became clear that something was somewhat amiss, and, depending on their personal predilections, either fell madly in love with Cadbury Fife or began despising him. Later they usually had sex with him, and this typically reinforced their prior disposition.

Phaorette: I have a hair appointment. And my dog is sick. My dog also has a hair appointment. Do you have what you need from me?

Cadbury: [Looking at Gullet] Do dogs get sick? [Gullet nods] Make a note of that.

Gullet appears to take a note - he has been meticulously note taking as usual. It is not clear what his notes are however.

Cadbury: Did he, von Cola, love you?

Phaorette: [Making a bemused face] Of course not. People don’t love people.

They both stood for a moment, wobbling, if not nodding, in the breeze.

Cadbury: We need to go to my car.

 

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