Fox Lane

…some work in progress from the Cazique of Poyais story…

They wandered a very short way before reaching 11 Fox Lane. Noemi had seen the original lease and remembered that much about the property now seemingly in their possession. The building was not impressive by any description. It was built of some stone whose colour was long forgotten in favour of a dirty London grime. It resembled a greyish sort of black which made the black door that much harder to fully make out. There it was though. It was not adorned with a number plate, but the fact that it was surrounded by 9, 10, 12 and 13 gave it away.

“This is it?” Queried Emma sceptically, “is it a flat in this building.”

“That is a good question, to which my brother will have the answer.”

“Do you think he’s ok?”

“Well, he’s being spoken about while he’s standing right there, so I’m not too hopeful. Let’s see if this will help him though.”

Noemi patted her brother gently on his back before giving him a proper smack and shouting, “Snap out of it Jose. Show us the deed.”

He wasn’t nearly as quick to react as Noemi had hoped. After a few more moments of blank staring he refocused slightly on the building in front of him and gave a small hint of a smile. He thought that maybe a place so awful really could be handed over. He reached into his sack and pulled out the leather bound deeds, shuffling them like a sparse deck of cards before picking the correct one.

Unfurling it, they all began examining it together. Legal documents were hard even for lawyers to read so they stood there for a time all pondering it in silence.

“I don’t think it’s the whole house,” Jose said in flat tone.

That much was obvious by the denotation “11c” in the name of the property, but Emma and Noemi let him have that particular tiny victory. It wasn’t any real victory. You might call it a step in the right direction. There was not much else they could discern from the deeds. There was a start date, some terms, obligations of the lessor and the lessee. Nothing that made much of any sense.

“Let’s just walk up and see if anyone is in the other flats. Maybe the landowner lives in one of the other flats of at least their caretaker,” Emma ventured.

“Can we just walk in?”

“There will certainly be a bell or some such which we’ll have to pull on. There may not even be anyone in.”

The three walked up the steps looking less than fresh faced and carrying a musk that could have easily mistaken them for vagrants if it wasn’t for the tidiness of their dress. Having been amongst it for a time, they were all quite unawares of this fact.

Emma saw a bell but not marks to suggest whether it was for 11a, 11b or 11c, so she pulled it anyway, “hopefully someone answers and can give us more information.”

As they waited for a short moment at the door, Noemi wondered how her brother had originally pictured this all going. Or how she even had.

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