“Tabbycats!” he cursed. Movement within the shop caught his eye and he looked up. The pensioners were out of their seats and creeping slowly toward him, their arms raised and fingers pointing, like wrinkled monsters from a budget horror film. Unnerved by their behaviour, Tarquin backed toward the door. He turned to leave, but the doorknob wouldn’t budge. He pulled back the curtain on the door and there was his uncle, standing outside, holding the doorknob and leering at him. Tarquin tried to force the door, but his uncle held it tight.
Tarquin opened his eyes and looked up into a quartet of smiling faces.
“Uncle Jules!” he exclaimed, recognising the ruddy, jovial face of the man he last met two years ago wearing a bear suit in the Steeple Snoring Tea Rooms. Today, Jules Rigsworth wore a curly black wig streaked with yellow highlights that swayed precariously, attached to his head like a swarm of angry bees. Resting on top of the wig was a very small, plumed hat. Around his neck was the largest Elizabethan ruff Tarquin had ever seen, and his signature goatee was dyed bright orange. Wrapped tightly around his shoulders was a crimson cloak; Dracula had gone all Shakespearian.