George Dingham, keeper of the Hum, had heard whispers of an irritating girl from above ground. There wasn’t a lot George didn’t know about even though for the most part he lived pretty much in isolation from others below ground.
It was he knew important to be away from the others as the Hum had to be kept in pristine order as it was the barometer of the below ground.
As long as the Hum was humming all was good. Should it begin to squeal then there was most cause for concern, but it should it screech then it was all hands on deck as something totally untoward was happening, like heavy rain above ground was flooding the below ground, and the flood strategy was to be enacted.
This morning George went about his usual morning tasks of checking the Hum and making sure it was operating as expected.
Most days his work was pretty much hum drum, but he knew from years of experience that the Hum could detect a change long before it was obvious to others. This morning he did notice an air of agitation about the Hum, it wasn’t it’s usual self and wondered if the news of the pesky girl was more concerning than he first thought.
Visitors were rare in his part of the below ground, but George had a sense he was about to receive one.
This was born out when a knock on his door awoke him and placed his normal relaxed self on high alert. Visitors usually meant one thing, trouble.
At the door, he found Junker and beside him a small girl wearing a cap that said JUNK!
Goodness thought George she looks trouble without hearing her say anything.
“Good morning Junker,” said George clearing his throat for speech was something he didn’t engage in very often, and he found his throat needed urgent clearing for him to do so.
“Morning George, this is my junk, and she wants to return to the above ground. I said the only way was to come see you,” said a hesitant Junker.
“She’s trouble isn’t she,” said George getting straight to the point.
“Yes,” replied Junker, “with a capital T.”
“Nothing compatible about her is there?” asked George looking Alice-Mary up and down.
“Sadly no,” replied a forlorn Junker, “I had such expectations.”
“It happens,” said George, “Poor choice all round I’d say.” His comments didn’t do anything to improve Junker’s mood, but it did fire up Alice-Mary.
“How dare you refer to me as a poor choice. I’ll have you know I am an intelligent girl, I read, I write, and I have opinions, just ask my mother,” announced the by now fired up Alice-Mary.
“I can see all that,” said George growing irritated that he was being challenged, “but the issue is you won’t ever fit in, so something has to be done.”
“He’s right,” said Junker, “something has to be done and as I told you no one likes having to confront the Hum.”
By this time in their conversation the Hum was starting to hit more of a shrill than a hum, a sign it was getting agitated.
“As you can see the Hum is aware of you Miss Junk and now you’ll have to come with me and accept what it determines. It’s procedure from now, so there’s no point in arguing. So if you’d follow me?
Alice-Mary looked at Junker who looked at her and intimated with his eyes that she follow George.
“It’s the only way,” said Junker as he led the way.
* Part 3 can be found here: https://summerstommy.com/2019/01/13/alice-mary-and-the-rabbit-part-3-junk/