Callum dipped a finger in his drink and stirred it, his digits finding the little pieces of coconut and slowly crystallising them to ice as his other hand played idly with the fire. Curious news in the paper again today, he mused as he sucked his finger clean, his moustache flaking with frost at the contact.
His eyes narrowed suddenly and he flicked the cooker off and scanned the page, picking out the odd configuration of adverts amongst the articles. That made three. Three times in the five days he had bought the paper, one every other day. And how many before that? How many times before had it been repeated? There was no way of telling without a lot of digging, and Callum had no time for that now.
Quickly he crossed to the study, a small room made tiny by the sheer amount of clutter stacked and strewn around the large chestnut desk in the centre. Callum swept aside the remnants of his last project, the brass metal tubes clanking as they rolled about, and pulled out a local map, laying it across the table. With infinite care, he laid the newspaper page over it and with a pin, marked out each of the adverts. Then he pulled out Monday and Wednesday’s editions from a nearby stack, spilling it across the floor in the process, and did the same.
When he pulled the papers away he had his answer, clear as day. It was almost an afterthought to pull on his long blue trench coat, and his hands found the latch on the furnace far too easily. His fist gripped a hot coal, feeling the heat sink into the pit of his stomach, the roiling nauseated feel of its need to escape, before the euphoria of release as his other hand slowly passed over his face, the mask freezing his visage.
He stepped towards the door and lifted his hat from the peg; as it settled on his head he felt himself settle into his skin. Somewhere, a child needed saving.
Somewhere, someone needed Dark Blue.