“Pegs?” Harold couldn't imagine Jasfoup hanging from a peg. How would that work, exactly? “You'd better take something to keep him in, then. Something that hides him from view. What about your duffel bag? Or your cycling rucksack?”
“Da-ad.” Lucy huffed in annoyance. “No-one's going to steal him. He's just a toy.”
“Just a toy?” It was almost as if the world stopped for a second. Harold remembered all the time he'd spent with Jasfoup, all the years they'd been together, all the adventures they'd had. There was the trip down the Amazon where they'd fought the pygmies and escaped with the fabled Jewel of Africa; the trek across the desert where they'd convinced the tribe of Nodluddites to relinquish one of their greatest treasures for the good of all mankind and the time they'd fought three seraphs who had been convinced that killing off nephilim was the way to save the earth from a second flood. Was it all for nothing? It felt like the time he'd read Calvin and Hobbs as an adult and realised that all the adventures had been a child's imagination and Hobbs was just a stuffed animal.
Harold held out his hand. Lucy unbuttoned her coat again and reluctantly pulled Jasfoup out. She handed the stuffed toy to him. Jasfoup smelled of medicated shampoo and toothpaste and the indefinable scent of his daughter. He inhaled. Was that a whiff of brimstone or the bit of felt that had got singed when Lucy left him too close to the stove top? He couldn't tell anymore.