Terry and Ted chapters  1,2 & 3

On the first and third Mondays of the month, I meet with a group of companion writers in Partick Library, Dumbarton Road Glasgow. Before we leave each one of us suggests a word that should be incorporated into a new text for the next meeting. I have decided to use some of these words in this year’s compulsory KerinsNaumov International Translation Competition text. The vocabulary chosen is from three different meetings and you will enjoy a real challenge. It was also a challenge for me as a writer to give you, as readers and students of interpretation and translation, something tough and fair. 
Each of the three chapters will have the compulsory words highlighted in bold, italic script at the chapter heading. The story is called Terry and Ted 
Michael Kerins July 3rd 2018 

Terry and Ted
Chapter 1
 Unfamiliar, engagement, nuts, time, retreat, twilight, sugar.

There was NOTHING unfamiliar about the very familiar octagonal box of Terry’s Twilight Mint Chocolates. Sitting in the taxi, he traced the outline in the carrier bag and smiled.   He took one to every social engagement, an icebreaker and genuine taste of luxury for under three quid.  His name was Terry and he always made the same little joke about these being his chocolates from his factory.  A few people thought he was eccentric, several more thought he was nuts but in truth he was neither. He was a psychopath, a psychopath, who took his time. He planned every nuance of his crimes, and the police never caught him and in seven years, he had never been questioned let alone suspected. 
The Police didn't seem to realise it was the same person who carried out such a wide range of crimes. 
The meticulous detail with which he crossed out clues in the newspaper crossword puzzles as he solved them showed such attention to detail as would bewilder an ordinary person. Then again, Terry was no ordinary person. He alone was the only one whose Christian name matched such an elegant product. Terry was a man who marked time methodically. Every square on his wall calendar was crossed off in magenta ink just before he went up to bed. Another day over he’d smile, and then he’d take his teddy up to bed. They wore matching pyjamas and Ted even had little velvet slippers to match Terry’s. 
At breakfast, on the third Saturday of every month, he carefully stacked six sugar cubes in a little sculpture, a kind of rostrum like at the Olympics.  Three cubes on the bottom row followed by two on the middle row and the last cube on the very top, in perfect symmetry.  Then he would march two fingers across the table and mount the platform playing make believe trumpet music with his mouth. DOOO – DOOO – DOOO the theme from Star Wars – The Imperial March also known as (Darth Vader's Theme). His fingers had military precision as they marched and climbed. Ted watched the whole thing and was pleased.  
Then Terry would reveal the next installment of his criminal intent. It may be either a new plan, or the display of a trophy from a previous crime scene, perhaps a re-working due to unforeseen circumstances of a future endeavour.
Today - he revealed a new plan. 
The murder of the young blonde girl with the long Modigliani neckline, she was a trainee hairdresser and he saw her from the café where he sat in the same seat and ordered the same snack every second day. 
He told Ted about her and how the people in the café, the staff and customers didn’t understand him the way Ted did. 
Vice versa said Ted in their secret silent language. 
Ted agreed that her perfect, flawless neck should be wrung and that it should also be broken. Ted did not like her earrings. 
Plans were forming inside Terry’s head, 
Although he hadn’t shared anything with Ted, not yet. Then again, Terry didn’t know what Ted was thinking. 

Chapter 2
Forgetful, Silly, Deer or Dear, Parabola, Slowcoach, Foil, Mug, Chinese, Olive, Happy.

It was about two weeks later, the day before the Chinese New-year when Terry joked.
“What is Chinese for Hogman’ay, Ted?”
Terry laughed …
Ted did not. Ted was serious.
Ted spoke in secret to Terry. He pointed out how forgetful he could be and in a false modesty he shared that he, Ted, was also prone to a lapse of memory. 
“We are both busy schemers!” whispered Ted. 
“However” – he paused a long pause and 
Terry knew it was his turn to speak, and the plan was slowly unveiled.  
“ Oh dear Ted, - Please don’t think of me as recalcitrant or that I have been a silly, scatter-brained, slowcoach. Far from it, I have been thinking about Miss Modigliani in the café. I have even, in my mind’s eye, seen her after the event. She will be number eight.”
Terry wandered languidly over to the desk drawer and brought out a length of new very subtle, soft, silky rope. 
He had tied and retied and re-retied a series of knots in the middle until he had it set in perfect symmetry. Then he explained parabola to Ted and the importance, if not the necessity, for a plane curve.
Ted was happy as he listened intently and he quickly understood mirror symmetry and that the U-shape remained regardless of the orientation. Ted was shown diagrams.
Then, once again, Terry marched two fingers across the table and mounted the dais, playing make-believe trumpet music with his mouth. DOOO – DOOO – DOOO  as his elegant, slightly military, fingers marched and climbed. Ted watched the whole thing and was pleased.  
Terry proclaimed (“It remains a parabola even when it is differently oriented”). 
He continued 
“It fits any of several superficially different mathematical descriptions, which can all be proved to define exactly the same curves. ”
He took Ted with him and used Ted to gain her trust asking Miss Modigliani to hold Ted for a moment. Ted was thrilled to be in at the kill. Ted agreed that the snap of her neck was elegant and as they left no clues, perfect. 
Ted noted that she had three earrings in one ear and none in the other. The piercings were asymmetrical and an abomination to the two pals. Terry took one earring as a trophy and also to make the ear more symmetrical. 
After dinner – they discussed the kill and her absurd fashion sense.  Both of them admired her neck, but hated the asymetry of her earrings.
They sat together in their matching pyjamas and dressing gowns. Terry saw that Ted taken off one of his slippers, so Terry obliged and did the same. One on – one off, they were not just a pair, they were a perfect, symmetrical pair. Terry unwrapped and shared some foil wrapped dark chocolates. He sipped at a mug of thick whipped drinking chocolate, with six tiny marshmallows floating on the top. He used a miniature sword made of garish olive green plastic to line up the marshmallows in the beaker.
They settled down to watch the news – 
LATER – just a little later.                            
They both knew that their work would be a headline feature on that flagship local TV programme. 

Chapter 3

Skin or skinny, palindrome, lucid, weather, refugees, cormorant, port.
The national news did not cover the murder at all, however all three of the local channels were about to do more than justice to Terry and Ted’s escapades. 
But first.
The endless reports of refugees who always seemed to set sail for Europe in the roughest of weather conditions. Twenty-two drowned trying to reach the shore. It was first thought that they had been victims of an air crash, however it was discovered that they had been offloaded from a fishing vessel off the coast of Argyll. Their flimsy, inflatable kayak, bearing a cormorant trademark  had not been sea worthy enough to ensure safety for the fifteen men three women and four children, all of whom perished. The on the spot reporter explained how they were probably loaded onto a fishing boat in a small Moroccan port, or perhaps transferred at sea and brought up the west coast of Ireland and then set adrift.  The final shot of the washed up plastic kayak with the wounded cormorant vessel summed up yet another avoidable tragedy.
Terry said he liked the word kayak, because palindromes have such pleasing symmetry. 
The murder of Miss Modigliani was next up on the news and the event was to be read by Terry’s favourite newscaster, Anna Lerrel. Anna was lucid, she explained herself clearly and was easy to understand. 
Terry liked her skin tones, the golden hue on this skinny roving reporter was to his mind very, very pleasing. He did admire thin women and he loved her wide generous mouth. He liked the symmetry of her name, both her Christian name Anna and her surname Lerrel are palindromes.  
Ted liked her too,
And Ted decided he’d have to keep her for himself, even if it meant getting rid of Terry.
Michael Kerins © 2018