Maria and Luigina stood at the ground floor level, looking at the concrete stairs that led either down to the familiar pumping room or up to the roof. The sisters looked up the stairs, then they looked at one another, then the stairs again.
“Why does it always come down to us to save the day?” Luigina said.
“Because we’re plumbers,” Maria said, her jaw set like a rock, a determined gleam in her eye. “We knew what the job was when we took it.”
“Honestly, I thought that ‘protect time and space’ element of plumbing was overstated.” Luigina said. “Might have thought twice about joining the family business if I’d known.”
“So why did you become a plumber?”
“Casual sex with lonely househusbands.”
“How’s that working out for you?”
“Well, we’re plumbers of space and time, regardless of why we joined,” Maria said. “And it’s time to seal the joints!”
Luigina sighed, but pulled herself upright and closed her eyes. With one hand, she mimed turning a pipewrench.
“Flow, water, flow,” she intoned. “Flow through metal and stone.”
“Flow, water, flow,” Maria answered, miming using a plunger. “Flow through clay and plastic.”
“Blocks and leaks begone,” they said together. “Hair and rust be cursed.”
“Streaks and slotches, clogs and stripes,
“Vanish forever down well-found pipes!
“Plumb with fire, plumb with air
“Then dig through earth, put sewers there.
“Fix with mallet, fix with wrench,
“Banish e’er the putrid stench.
“Seventy dollars for call out!” Maria intoned.
“Double time for Saturdays!” Luigina replied.
They stood for a moment in silent reflection before opening their eyes.
“Right,” Maria said. “Now let’s go defeat Dr Frightmarestein.”
“By jumping on her head?”
“By jumping on her head.”
The sisters went bounding up the stairs. The roof door was shut and locked, presumably as part of the overall lockdown on the Park. A second door, labelled ‘plant room’ stood slightly ajar.
“When is a door not a door?” Maria asked.
Lenore raised a mallet and knocked the door off its hinges. “Now,” she said.
“Dr Frightmarestein!” Maria called into the humid darkness of the plant room. “We’re calling you out!”
A deep chuckle was the only response.