Amber Wakes Dublin – A James Joyce Reference Story
Amber Hiccums had had a great fall and winter in Paris and New York, and now spring was here in Ireland and she jumped out of the car to do some recon with her dear friends Harmie and Armie, Dublin’s dearest couple. The harmonious Claribel Euphony was, by everyone’s reckoning, the greatest gentleman in Dublin. Some took him equally in length and width, and his wife, Armonium Laribel Phonieux, the most sinuous, continuous, indirect and plural of women. There were problems in Dublin. Before Amber could unpack or even lower her ever-opening neck, Armie took her by the hand. “ We’re going for a walk on the river, darling, and I’ll tell you about it. We’ve had a serious robbery around here. A gang of four, perhaps more, have stolen the priceless Viscount Scepter and other treasures from the museum. We fear thieves will drop the most precious stone, the famous Morken Diamond, as it would be recognized anywhere and therefore probably not cut into smaller gems. In any case, it would take a better knife blade than they have to make it.
-Oh rocks! Here are some blueprints, let’s skip some stones. You know, it seems likely that there is talk of unusual events. Maybe we can hear some gossip if we go for a walk in the park.
And so they climbed this and that path, stopping to sit back and forth on benches occupied by charlatans, some well dressed and others in rags. Several suspicious men and women passed by, glancing quickly at the stranger and then lowering their heads.
“ Amber Hiccums, everyone thinks you’re a spy. Now that I think about it, they are right. Don’t get too close to those bramble bushes, you shouldn’t peel off your fur. We don’t hear much here, it’s not worth the delay, come on.
Armonium Laribel Phonieux pushed Amber onto a tram and they headed to the Flowertown Bazaar.
“ This is the happiest bazaar I’ve ever been to, Armie, it has it all! I must get something for Raoul while I’m here.
-Look at the clay and you’re about to step on that potted ash tree.
–Sorry! Tell me, look at that candlemaker’s booth over there. There is a small cloud of wick smoke hanging over it.
– That’s where we go Ambo, here, let me introduce you to our most nosy operative, Icarious Uplump Stately.
“ Aieeayoh you scared me with your fucking wild dog. What happened to him?
– Wow, you sound like one of those mermaids during the war. Ol ‘Bunk stuck his nose in the wrong pub, got a box of dog biscuits thrown at him. Pleased to meet you. Armie told you the plan?
-It’s not like that you would notice, I’m a …
– No, no, we can’t talk here. I’ve already sold a few candles, so I’ll close the store for now and meet you two at noon for the time ball. Bring Harmie and I’ll gather the rest.
Noon found them all huddled in a circle drawing diagrams in the sand and receiving homework. Amber and Armie were sent to Kidneyzod village because large expenses had been detected there.
At 23 Enkeedoo Street, by the Gilgamishemishe Fountain, they found a gigantic curio sale. A mother and her brood, and actually all her neighbors bought assorted treats, rosevean bead necklaces, cheap poetry books, Garry Owen Ballad CDs. Oh the noise, the noise was enough to wake the dead.
UPS! a boy almost knocked me down. Bite my bunions!
Amber recognized the warm human plumpness of a man who showed his money with so much to do. It was Harmonious Claribel Euphony, her friend who had left the meeting to go to Dalkey where it was believed that some of the stolen loot had been seen.
“ So Harmie, you belong on our research site and why are you wasting your cash?
“ Shh … Cash will eliminate them. Go. Go, go, I was hoping not to find you.
“ Okay, okay, I’m history, don’t blame me. Ppecmshdepoaufw! Don’t forget to flush. Act like you’re trying to get over a nightmare.
Amber caught up with Armonium and the two headed to the brownstone bookstore to show Icarious and his colleague Mr. Nolanetti what they hadn’t discovered.
Before they could reach the door, a one-armed fisherman with crazy eyes led them aside and led them to a narrow path between two buildings. He growled menacingly.
– You better come with me if you want to save a life, you know? In this way.
Behind the bookstore there was a square ditch to let the river run in case of high tide. Above that was a bridge to a courtyard with what appeared to be a storage shed. The fisherman pushed aside some moving rocks, opened the rickety door, and waved his remaining hand for them to enter. Amber tugged at her neck. He could barely see a tunnel, wet and closed. They tiptoed for a block and entered a cave-like room with a burning fire and several men sitting with their pipes like smoke.
“ Here they are, tell them the story.
-Hee Haw, you must be Amber, Armonium I know. Sit down ladies, the tea water is boiling. Here comes each a cup, and now the story. Less than two hours ago, one of our agents hiding behind a lamppost in the park, spied on a group of two young women and three soldiers whispering paranoidly. He looked casually and asked if someone had a match maybe. Well, you should have heard all the fancy excuses they came up with about why, where, and how, and no one asked them what to do, right? So upset were they that they grabbed a hostage, a wandering little chew that chewed neither a chocolate bar nor a lollipop, but only a little potato, so harmless it was. It so happens that the girl is the daughter of Martha Pandybat herself, the very secretary and keeper of the keys to our tiny museum. Then we got a letter saying that we could get Martha’s girl back if we sent a courier with a sack of money to 1132 Seashell St. right there, at the foot of the castle, right at 7pm.
He explained everything clearly and showed them the note. Amber was not known to rapscallions, so she was cast as the lady of the bag, with the idea that she would not pose a threat to them. Whoever had that thought was more than one arm missing, but that was the decision and she left, with the invincible Armie following her at some distance.
“How come Armie Eagle Eye is so far behind and how did I get into this mess, anyway?”
Seven in the afternoon was close. Amber came to the appointment with her bag and her collar turned up. This scheme was not entirely well thought out. What was I supposed to do now? A tall, dark figure emerged from the shadows as the music of the zither hummed through the trees: dum da dum, da dummm, da dummmm. The person ran forward, grabbed Amber’s bag, and ran like the wind. Armie chased after him and knocked him down just as he was about to glide towards the train station. Amber and another member of the group who had been lurking nearby, teamed up with Armie to stop the malefactor. A third man stopped behind. Fifteen minutes of intense questioning did not reveal the whereabouts of Martha Pandybat’s son and the loot.
Amber took off in the opposite direction, while the others wondered how to rescue Martha Pandybat’s daughter and the treasures. She knew what she was doing. About an hour later, Amber returned and woke up her friends and the rest of Dublin with a thunderous scream in the street.
-What was that terrible noise here on a Thursday?
– I just needed to get their attention and I thought that touching, touching, touching would not be enough. I came back to tell you that it was all a sham, the robbery, the kidnapping and the ransom demands. Martha Pandybat herself is the leader of this group of players.
–Impossible! Martha could never be a criminal.
–She is not. None of these citizens is a true criminal. Everything was created by the museum and the insurance company. The plan was to make the public believe that the scepter and other items were gone and that the replicas were in place on display. That way, the real thieves would have no more interest in stealing them. This case is closed.
-But Amber Hiccums, everyone thought …, no one could have … how …?
I saw it in his eyes as we questioned him, so I went back, stormed into the museum room, and searched the filing cabinets. I ripped a letter that explains everything. They were only paying the ransom for themselves and the boy was never in danger. The police may have a word or two to say about the scheme, but our work is done.
Ámbar smoothed her neck always up,
-Armie, Harmie, it has been a great pleasure celebrating together the resolution of this little mystery and now the summer has come and I am going to see Raoul, so bestially goodbye. I will see you in my dream dreams. I hate long goodbyes, yeah yeah yeah Yes bye.