Part two can be read here
Part three starts right now!
Chapter three: Three Little Words
"I don't believe it" Henry should have said at the end of the last chapter but, for reasons that shall not be discussed here - he didn't.
"I've been dragged away from my breakfast, led on a merry chase around town and now sat in a room full of strangers and smoke being told I'm not allowed to talk about a secret I don't know anything about." Henry tried his best to not hyperventilate.
"Can somebody PLEASE just tell me what is going on....now."
Lemiwell looked at Mrs Featheringay. They exchanged a silent nod and sat Henry down.
"Professor Procto?" said Mrs Featheringay. "Would you kindly open a window."
The man who had ran down the stairs after the afore mentioned billowing smoke entered the room and pushed open the small window at the back of the room.
The thick grey cloud of unusual vapour quickly dissipated and the four of them sat together while Mrs Featheringay poured the tea.
Lemiwell was the first to speak.
"Years ago, Henry, a group of individuals came together to in order to help create a better place of mankind. Three of those people are in this room now."
Henry stared at each of them in turn. A small old lady in a knitted cardigan, A tall man with round rimmed glasses that hid his eyes and the unimaginably average Lemiwell Jones, the man who set Henry on his mad morning.
"One of our mandates is to keep people safe.... from themselves." He continued.
Henry tried to interrupt. "But what does...." He started.
Mrs Featheringay continued in place of Lemiwell. "There are certain pieces of knowledge that would scar the human psyche, dearie, and we ..." she nodded to the others round the table. "We HAVE to keep people safe for their own good. One of those pieces of information are in that envelope Mr Jones gave you."
Henry frowned and realised he was holding onto the brown envelope very tightly.
The strange man known as Procto spoke next. "Open it." was all he said. It seemed to Henry to be a half dare - half demand.
Henry tore open the envelope.
"Inside is a piece of paper." Said Lemiwell. "On that piece of paper are three words that, when read, will change your life forever. A truth that has been in plain sight for decades but never noticed by anyone."
"If you chose to read it you should know that you can not tell anyone else. As much as you would want to... and you WILL want to. You must never EVER tell another sole"
"And you can can never UN-KNOW it either." Offered the Professor as a matter of fact.
Mrs Featheringay took over.
"We have been following your exploits for some time now and realised that you were getting close to the truth Henry dear. Only those who can find the information for themselves are brought into our circle. We believe that you can be trusted with this information. We want to help you Henry and we think that, in time, you can help us too."
Her sweet toothless smile made Henry think of sterilised milk and home made fruit cake.
Henry dipped his finger inside the envelope and carefully slid out a piece of paper.
Everybody held their breath.
"You can't tell anybody Henry" Whispered Lemiwell Jones. "This is our secret."
Henry read the piece of paper......
"Ronnie Corbetts Nostril?" He said. "RONNIE bloody CORBETTS NOSTRIL?!?!?!?"
"Yea." said the Professor leaning in to have a look. "It's really weird isn't it. Nobody knows why it's like that, but it is."
"RONNIE CORBETTS BLOODY STUPID NOSTRIL???" Continued Henry.
Lemiwell moved in and put his arm around Henry in order to calm him down.
"Henry. This may seem trivial to you now. But 2 maybe 3 hours from now, those three words will pop into your head. You will wonder why you never noticed it before. Then you will start to question everything. What else am I not aware of - you will think. Before long you will be unable to perform simple tasks because all you can think of is Ronnie Corbetts Nostril."
Henry sat back and let the information swim through his brain.
Lemiwell continued. "Imagine somebody else stumbling across this.... how would they react?"
"They... they'd freak out." Henry began to understand.
"Exactly." smiled Lemiwell. "This is just a small part of a much bigger picture Henry. You have taken the first step. Together we shall all journey together. There is much to learn Henry and much to do. We are Mankinds only hope. Welcome... to GROUP 8-10."
Mrs Featheringay picked up Henrys plate and said. "Eat your sausages dear... you're going to need your strength."
And with that first glorious bite of processed 'meat' Henry began a brand new journey with an understanding that some truths must be kept a secret.