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MacGuffin

The crate is encrusted with angry stickers; the bits of original labelling that MacGuffin can read say “Ap it r in.” Its presence in his office is an engineered marvel, given that its bulk is a good two feet wider than the door in any direction. Its footprint is also larger than the available floorspace when his desk is in place, which is perhaps why someone has thoughtfully moved said desk onto the window-washer’s platform creaking back and forth outside.

“Beagle,” he says, “have I won or lost some sort of contest?”

His secretary, with utter absorption, files his nails.

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