Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

 

I have been nominated for this Sunshine Blogger award by the lovely Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess and we call can do with a bit of sunshine at this time of year (except you Southern Hemisphere inhabitants or those closer to the equator). 🙂

Click on Beckie’s post here:

Sunshine Blogger Award

 

About Sunshine Blogger Award:
It is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

The Rules:

a. Nominate 11 people and notify them via comment.
b. Ask them new 11 questions.
c. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
d. Display the award logo on your blog post.
e. Answer the 11 questions asked

 

Beckie’s Questions:

1. Do you search for difficult words in your writing? like I do. I have to search for meaning.

No, I do not look up difficult words to use in my writing. I use words that I commonly use in speech.

2. What do you prefer tea or coffee? For any specific flavour, please mention the same.

I detest coffee but I drink tea, properly made in a teapot. The tea I tend to have is Assam which isn’t a flavour of tea, tea is a leaf from the Camellia Sinensis plant and Assam is a region in India which grows it. Tea takes on characteristics depending on where it is grown and Assam tea is known for its strong malty taste. I take my tea with milk but no sugar.
3. Most of the time, I am found writing while walking to and fro in my room, on my phone’s notepad. Do you like writing on phones or tablets or laptops?

No

4. Where would you like to live, if not the current country?

I couldn’t imagine living anywhere other than England. Despite the weather and the overcrowding, I don’t think I could call anywhere else home.

5. How many books do you have in your own library?

Too many to count, so more than four.

6. Have you participated in any protests for any social cause? Which one and why?

No

7. A motivating line of your own, if this was an award given to you on stage.

Thank you to everyone who considers me worthy of this award. You’re all fabulous, Thank you and keep reading my blog. 🙂

8. What genre do you prefer in movies?

I prefer movies or films that transcend genres. The best films have elements of both humour and tragedy. I do have a soft spot for musicals.

9. Are you a bathroom singer?

I sing in the shower and in the living room and also when driving my car. This time of year I sing a lot of Christmas Carols.

10. How do you spend your Sunday?

Cleaning out the chickens, a bit of housework and then a long soak in the bath ready for Monday.

11. Do you like watching TV? What do you prefer watching?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, I find most TV programmes at the moment extremely banal, but I do enjoy a documentary or an old sitcom, like Blackadder (if you don’t know what Blackadder is, you need to look it up).

 

So my Nominees:

We could all do with a bit of sunshine at the moment, so consider yourself nominated.

 

Questions for my nominees:

  1. What will you be eating on the 25th of December?
  2. Will you be making any New Year Resolutions?
  3. Where do you hope to be in 12 months time?
  4. If you could invite someone round to spend Christmas with you, who would it be?
  5. What do you think is the best way to bring unity to the world?
  6. What smell makes you feel at home?
  7. Can you play a musical instrument?
  8. Are you likely to see snow over the Christmas period?
  9. Do you like Turkey (The bird)?
  10. Is there a song or a piece of music that you like to listen to at this time of year?
  11. What is the best Present you’ve ever had?

 

So there you go, I hope you enjoy your Christmas and have lots of Sunshine too.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/fabulous/#like-1979

A Murder Mystery – Epilogue

 

Last year I tried my hand at writing an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. The main character was Lady Audrey Patterson, who was my ‘Miss Marple’. You can read the start of this particular story here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/a-new-partnership-a-story-with-some-familiar-faces/

When I wrote the ending (linked below) I always intended to write an epilogue to tie up loose ends. This is the Epilogue.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/everything-stops-for-tea-murder-mystery-grand-finale/

 

Her nephew lay on the cold kitchen floor completely knocked unconscious. Mrs Buscombe, the cook still held the large frying pan in her hand and a look of pure acrimony on her face.

“He was the one that Killed my Elsie! I knew it as soon as he tried to run through here.”

Four tall policemen came into the kitchen followed by her guests still looking confused.

As the police carried her nephew’s unconscious body away, Lord Halifax spoke.

“I Still don’t understand why he killed Claudia? Were they lovers?”

“No, Claudia liked to flirt with the young men, but they didn’t really mean anything to her. I think his motives were more financial than sexual. Charles, you see, liked to borrow money, I think she indulged him, just like I did because he was young and handsome and full of life. I think she decided to stop giving him money, maybe she threatened to tell you about it. That’s what caused him to act, I think.”

“Oh, I see, all her loveliness and vivaciousness snuffed out for mere cash.”

Lady Patterson shook her head, to someone as wealthy as Lord Halifax, he could never understand the desperate lengths some people would go to acquire more money. Unfortunately, her nephew was one of those people to whom morals were less important than the meeting of his own desires.

Continue reading A Murder Mystery – Epilogue

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part One

As you may know, I am currently taking a break, but wanted to share some of my earliest posts with you, that you may have missed. 

This story was the last one I wrote for my Creative Writing course and I published it on my block on the 29th of March. It became part of a series and one day I intend to write some more. 

All the best 🙂 

 

This is part one of a longer story. I will keep writing and upload sections of about 800 words. 

Please let me know what you think.

 

Chapter One: Estuary Summer

The tide was out. There’d be no fishing for now. We sat down and began mending our nets, basking in the warm sun. The sky was as clear as a crystal blue lake with barely a wisp of lacy white. Rivulets trickled through the mud to join up with the main body of water which had retreated across the bay. The stagnant stench of mud was overpowering and yet strangely familiar and comforting. He had smelt this smell every summer of his life, for as long as he remembered. Whenever the tide was out and he helped his grandfather get ready for his next fishing trip.

He could see, on the other side of the now diminished river, the white buildings that made up the Casa of the richest family in the area. He saw their jetty sticking out into the water and walking on it, he saw her. Her dark hair was flowing in the wind that also stirred the hem of her pristine white dress woven with bright red ribbons that also entwined her hair. She was the same age as him and they had gone to the same school, but he had always admired her from afar. She probably wouldn’t want to talk to the son of a fish merchant, the grandson of a fisherman. He was far beneath her. His heart didn’t appreciate these social intricacies, however.

“Here lad, keep your eye on your work or that net will unravel on you and catch you no fish. What’s got your attention then eh? Oh, I see, setting your net for too grand a catch. Look, my boy, you’re too young for that sort of thing, barely out of school. Learn yourself a trade and work hard at it. When you’ve got something to call your own, some money in your pocket, then you can think about women. You’ll need someone who can work beside you, keep house or keep shop. Not a fancy thing that looks pretty but is no use to anyone when the catch comes in. You hear me, Pablo?”

“Yes Belo, A boy can dream though can’t he?”

“You can dream or you can mend nets. Now is the time to mend nets. You can dream later.”

He knew his grandfather, or Belo, as h always called him, wasn’t really annoyed with him, he was just a bit tetchy when he’d rather be out catching fish.

They went on mending their nets until the tide started to turn, after an hour of sitting in the warm sunshine. He felt the wind get stronger too. A fresh salty air straight from the sea.

They got their small fishing boat ready, the Conchita, or little shell, his Grandfather had called it. It was only big enough for the four of them, his Grandfather, his Uncle Miguel, his cousin Matias and himself, ‘little Pablo’.

One of the other fisherman, Old Diego, called out to them.

“Hey, Rodrigo, you’re not going out this afternoon are you? Can’t you smell the storm coming? You won’t catch me going out today, not for all the fish in the bay.”

“Diego, you’re nothing but an old woman! We’ll be out and back before any storm hits and we’ll have the catch of the day and you’ll have nothing to eat but your sandals.”

My Grandfather called back. Uncle Miguel laughed and wiped a tear from his eye. My Grandfather was a local character, he liked making people laugh. Old Diego wasn’t laughing though, he was just shaking his head.

They were just out of sight of the headland when the weather started to change. The rolling waves of the sea started to get white tops on them and the sky, so clear earlier, contained those wispy clouds that told of the storm coming swiftly in. Just like Old Diego had predicted. They hadn’t even had time to catch any fish yet.

“Belo, can we go back. I don’t like the look of that sky coming.”

“Yes, little Pablo. I was sure we’d have enough time, but I admit I was wrong. Let’s get the nets in and head for home.”

They all started hauling in the nets, just a few mackerel to show for the risk they had taken. Then Mother Nature decided she was not going to wait for them. The storm hit suddenly and hard. The purple clouds that had been on the horizon only minutes before now covered the sky. The thunder roared and the sea behaved like a thousand demons were writhing and wrestling just beneath the surface as all hell broke loose.

The last thing he remembered was Uncle Miguel looking grip on the rope holding the boom and it swinging around, knocking him on the head and off the boat into the churning sea. Then nothing but blackness.

 

Slowly, he opened his eyes. He was lying in a soft bed. A candle just gave enough light to show the young woman leaning over to touch his forehead. He smelt her perfume, spicy and intoxicating. Bewildered, he asked “Where am I? What happened?”

Softly, she replied. “Just lie there, don’t move. You’re safe now.”

 

End of Part One…….

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 29/March/2018

This was the first part of my story that just happened to contain the word Rivulet, which is the word of the day. If you liked this story please have a look on my blog to see the following parts.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rivulet/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/agnostic/comment-page-1/#comment-3996

Death of a Notable – Murder Mystery. AN EPILOGUE.

EPILOGUE

Mrs Audrey Patterson reclined deep in thought in her simply furnished living room. The dark solid parquet floor was covered with a Persian rug in colours of blue and green. The large padded sofa was upholstered in a dark green material, that matched the velvet curtains on the bay window that was letting in the light of the afternoon sun. It was her favourite place to come and read a book or have a good think. A well-worn copy of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express lay abandoned for the time being on the sofa next to her as she stretched out. Curled up beside her was her black and white tomcat, Sherlock. Audrey Patterson was gently stroking her cat and looking off into the far-off distance. Anyone who knew her would know her to be loquacious in the extreme. She only stopped talking during those rare moments when she was sleeping, eating or thinking. She kept going over and over in her head about the events that had happened the week before. The death of that young scientist, Dr Lancaster, still loomed largely in her mind. Of course, she had been spoken to by those rather intimidating young men. They had always been polite, but they still had an air of menace about them and the way they managed to force their way into the house still made her shiver. They had used all of those nice phrases, ‘a patriotic love of one’s own country’ and ‘a sense of national pride at carrying out an important duty’. It had all boiled down to one thing. She was to keep her mouth shut, or else. They had suggested that her husbands career as a top scientist working for the government, would be in jeopardy if she didn’t agree to their proposal. He had worked so hard to attain his current position, and to provide this lovely house and lifestyle, she couldn’t put that in danger. She loved him too much to bring him any harm. So, she had agreed. She wasn’t at all happy about it though. Justice mattered to her too much to be put so easily aside. The more she thought about it, the more she thought that ‘His Majesty’s secret service’ had missed something. Something vitally important.

Continue reading Death of a Notable – Murder Mystery. AN EPILOGUE.

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

This is a part of a longer story that I have been writing over the last few weeks. 

See here for the last part of the story, which also contains links to all the others, if you want to read more:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-four/

Part Five

The next day Pablo woke early. The sun was just coming up over the horizon, its light slowly ebbing into the dark night sky, hiding all its stars and turning it blue and getting brighter and brighter towards the east.

He put a small pack together, a change of clothes and a few simple belongings, he didn’t own much. He also put on the silver St Christopher charm necklace that his mother had given him. He didn’t usually wear it as the memories of his mother filled him with that longing for her touch that would never come. It was a charm to protect travellers and he was going with his Uncle Carlos to the City of Valencia. Likely, he would need its protection now.

Continue reading The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Four

This is part of a longer story I am currently writing and have been posting in sections of around 800 words (this part is a bit longer).

For those of you who have been following the story, I hope you like this latest addition.

If you would like to read it from the beginning I have posted links to the other sections below:

Part One:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-one/

Part Two:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-two/

Part Three:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-three/

Part Four

He could hear his Aunt Anna-Maria, his Father and his Uncle Carlos talking downstairs.

His Uncle Carlos was saying.

“Look he isn’t a boy any longer, he’s fifteen and he needs to learn a trade. I could take him back to Valencia with me. I need someone I can trust to help me, someone who knows the ways of the sea.”

“Go with you, what do you actually do in the big city eh Carlos? You’ve never really told us have you? I bet it isn’t an honest living.” His Father shouted.

Uncle Carlos returned fire.

“Oh and where has an honest living got you then? Still living in this shack, in the same town? Why do you stay here? It won’t bring her back you know?”

He then heard the door bang as his Father stormed out. He saw him through the window walking up the hill towards his fish shop. He doubted his father’s customers would be getting a friendly service this afternoon.

He heard his Aunt speaking below.

“You should not have said that to him Carlos. You know he has never gotten over losing Christina. Now he has lost his father too, the two people he really loved. You shouldn’t throw it in his face. He is a good man”.

“Is he, Anna-Maria? He has never shown much goodness to me, or his son?”

“Keep your voice down Carlos. You and he always fought like cat and dog growing up. What have you ever done to earn his affection? As for that poor little lad, he has done nothing wrong, but in his Fathers eyes…” His Aunt stopped speaking. She was crying softly.

“I’m sorry Anna, forgive me. I didn’t mean to make you cry. Not you, the last one in the family that talks to me.”

“No, it is about Pablo that I cry. He was only little when he got a fever. It was before Dr. Lopez moved here. You had to pay for the Doctor then and we had no money. Christina nursed Pablo through his illness, only then she got it herself and died. That is why Roberto is like this. He blames the boy and now he sees the boy as taking away his Father too.”

“But Pablo didn’t take the boat out, Father did, you know how reckless he could be sometimes.”

“Yes but Pablo was on board. Roberto now thinks he is bad luck. I hope I can change his mind, because Little Pablo has suffered enough, they both need each other.”

The shock of what he had heard was like a punch in the face. He gathered all his strength. A lump formed in his throat, composed of all the hurt he had kept inside all this time and he swallowed it, like swallowing a melon whole. Now he knew why his father had always been so distant.

He thought to himself “So he was bad luck was he? I have had enough of this. It is time I did something and made something of myself.”

Slowly he went downstairs.

Aunt Anna-Maria was sitting at the kitchen table. Her dark brown eyes still had tears in them. Uncle Carlos stood behind her with his hand on her shoulder. They looked up when they realised he was standing there. His Uncle Carlos looked much like his father and Uncle Miguel but he wore his dark hair slicked back with some kind of oil and also had a thin moustache. His eyes held things back. Most people he knew, you could see their thoughts clearly in their eyes but Uncle Carlos had learned to hide his thoughts. He supposed that was necessary in the big city. He knew the city had more sharks in it that the whole of the ocean. Not the kind that swam, but sharks none the less.

“I want to go with you, Uncle. I don’t want to stay here anymore. You are right; I am fifteen and need to learn a trade. When you leave, I will go with you.”

“Fine, my boy, I am leaving in the morning, come and meet me at the tavern after breakfast.”

Aunt Anna-Maria spoke, her voice cracking from the emotions she was trying to deal with. After all, it was her Father too who had died in the storm.

“Pablo, no wait! I can change your Father’s mind, he doesn’t really want you to go; he needs you. I need you. We need each other.”

“I love you dearly, you have been like a mother to me but I can’t stay here any longer with a Father who doesn’t care for me. I need to be my own man now. I will go with Uncle Carlos in the morning.”

Pablo went back to his room and found some paper, pen and ink to write a letter. He wrote:

“Dearest Margarita,

I am writing this to tell you I am leaving to go to Valencia with my Uncle. I am going to learn his trade and become rich.

My heart is heavy to leave here, not because I will miss my father, I know he will shed no tears for me, but because I am leaving you.

If you feel the same for me, do not be sad. Know that one day I will return for you.

Yours Ever

Pablo.”

He took the long walk up to the big white casa and delivered the letter to the large housekeeper. He didn’t want to see Margarita; it would have made leaving too hard.

The housekeeper took the letter and put it in the pocket of her apron. She then folded her strong arms under her large bosom and watched him walk away with a strange look in her eyes.

End of Part Four.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/April/2018

 

A Dead Man Walking – A Collaborative Story

This story is a collaborative effort. A total of 10 different bloggers worked on this, myself included. Each person added their own spin on the story. The result is something quite unique. 

Thank you to Denny McBride and Em for coming up with the idea and organising it.

Thank you Liz Charnes for designing the cover picture.

I hope you enjoy this story and please check out the blogs listed below:

 

Denny McBride, https://theceaselessreaderwrites.wordpress.com/

Jo Frei, https://eclecticexclamations.guru/

Liz Charnes, https://lizcharnes.com/

Melisa Lewis, https://fingerstosky.blog/

Kara Bernard, https://bernardsbookblog.wordpress.com

T. Shaw, https://tshawwriter.wordpress.com/

The Britchy One, https://bitchininthekitchen.org/

Rachel Ann, https://fitfulfearfulphantasmal.wordpress.com/

Em, http://earthlybrain.com/

 

Part 1 by Denny McBride, https://theceaselessreaderwrites.wordpress.com/

Darla Nyte plugged her PalmPal into her car’s navport and set her office as the destination.  The car drove, and she half-heard the radio report of the mysterious death of the young heir to the Bond family business fortune while she observed the faces of other riders as they passed.  Most were lined with worry or concern.  Darla smiled, pleased with her own good fortune.

America had endured a long, difficult recovery following 20 years of the disastrous Great Again wars and the resulting Trumpocalypse that finally prompted the Joint Chiefs to forcefully remove the ancient, senile President from the Oval Office handcuffed to his hospital bed.  Darla was one of the MPs escorting the removal detail.  She had been appalled by the corpulent, ranting despot as he raged, apopleptic and foaming at the mouth, unwilling or unable to accept his ignominious end.

While the country worked to heal and recover, Darla had remained in the Army.  When her final term of enlistment was up, she had enough money saved to buy a small apartment and an even smaller office in the city, where she achieved her dream of opening the Nyte Detective Agency.

She parked and took the stairs 5 floors up to her lobby.  Her assistant, Steve, greeted her.  “You’ve got a doozy of a case in there today, Boss.”  She sat down behind her desk and was struck by the strange pair across from her.  The older man wore a white lab coat with a name tag identifying him as a coroner, and the extremely handsome younger man was uncommonly pale.  He stood and extended his hand.  Darla stood and shook with him.  His hand was dry but shockingly cold.  “I’m Franklin Bond,” he said, “and I want you to figure out who killed me.”

Part 2 by Jo Frei, https://eclecticexclamations.guru/

Darla covered her surprise by taking a sip of the coffee that Steve had left for her.  She made a face at the awful taste.  She was going to have to teach him how to make a better cup of joe. Sighing to herself, she lifted her gaze to Franklin. “It would seem to me that if you are dead, you would be your own best witness,” she said.

Franklin gifted her with a beatific smile.  Her breath caught in her throat.  He was completely not her type, but he made her heart skip a beat.  “I assure you that I am quite dead,” Franklin said.  “I brought Dr. Dawson here to testify to that fact.”

Dr. Dawson, looking a bit shell-shocked, said, “By every scientific test we ran, he is dead.”  He handed her a signed death certificate.  “Thank you, Dr. Dawson, I think you can leave now,” Franklin said.  Dr. Dawson, looking much relieved, headed out the door.

“So, Ms. Nyte, now that I have assured you that I am indeed dead, will you help me find my murderer?”

Darla tilted her head and looked hard at Franklin.  “Before I agree to accept your case, I will need to hear more,” she said.  “First you must to agree to this,” Franklin replied, pushing his PalmPal across her desk.  She looked down and saw what appeared to be a standard non-disclosure agreement.  After reading it, she had the AI notarize it with her thumbprint and retinal scan, then handed it back.  Her PalmPal chirped to let her know that it had her copy and that it had been filed.

Franklin sat back looking satisfied.  “I am cursed with being a draugr until our family heirloom is recovered and returned to my family,” he told her.

Part 3 by Liz Charnes, https://lizcharnes.com/

A draugr?  That’s a new one.  Darla sat, careful to remain professional.  No need to vex the crazy.  “What do you remember?”

Franklin ran a hand through his thick blonde hair, frustration marring his handsome face.  “I don’t know.  It’s all a blur.  The last thing I remember is dinner the night I died.  It was at my Uncle Jeff’s home with him, his new wife Alina, my sister Ingrid, and her husband Malcolm.”  He grimaced.  “It was bad.  Ingrid and Alina were at each other’s throats.”  He paused.  “I’m sorry.  That’s probably not relevant.”

It wasn’t, but it made for some lucrative gossip she could sell later.  One good thing that came of the Trumpocalypse was the demise of NDAs.  These days only fools thought non-disclosure agreements had any power.  “Why doesn’t your sister like your uncle’s wife?”

“Alina was a strip… Uh, exotic dancer.”  He chuckled.  “Jeff’s got a thing for exotic dancers.”

“Don’t we all?”  Darla winked, then swallowed a burp.  Damned acid reflux.  Where are my Rolaids?  “Anything else you remember?”

Franklin shook his head.  “Other than the fighting, no.  I was tired, so I went to the summer house.  When I awoke, the room was dark, and I was dead.”

“That’s it?”  The Rolaids were hiding under her calendar.  She took two, then two more just in case.  “You died in your sleep?”

He nodded.  “Pretty much.  Oh!” He snapped his fingers.  “And the Spear of Destiny was missing!”

Oh, for God’s sake.  Darla felt a headache coming on.  “You’re saying that your family has the Spear of Destiny?  The Spear that supposedly…”

“… killed Jesus Christ, yes, my family has…er, had, the Spear of Destiny,” Franklin finished. “My great-grandfather brought it back after World War II.”

Darla stood.  “Frank, you need a therapist, not a P.I.  I can’t help you.”

Part 4 by Kristian Fogarty, https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com

“You must help me, Ms. Nyte.  I’d hoped you would do so voluntarily, but I took a precaution in case you wouldn’t.”  He smirked, “How was your coffee?”

Darla felt a cold feeling in her stomach, a feeling of dread, as she caught the threat in his question.  “What did you put in my coffee, you freak?!”

“Nothing that will harm you permanently, dear, there’s no need to call me names.  Have I not suffered enough?  It’s not easy being dead, you know?  I have a dose of the antidote to the potion, and I will give it to you if you help me.  Please find out who murdered me and help me retrieve the Spear of Destiny.  Then I can rest.”

“I don’t seem to have much choice, now, do I?  I think we should start at your uncle’s home, the scene of the crime.  By the way, how did your uncle and the others react when you woke up dead?”

“I don’t know.  No one else was there.”

“Tell me more about your uncle, his wife, your sister, and her husband.  They are after all the chief suspects here.”

“Uncle Jeff has always been an eccentric, but then, most of us are in our family.  You don’t become guardians of a holy relic without it affecting you.  Alina is a tramp on the make, nothing more.  I believe Ingrid, who’s ten years older than I am, rather resents me, the heir, but I don’t think she would have murdered me.  Her husband Malcolm has always been … distant.  I never knew what went on in his head.”

“Well, let’s get back to your uncle’s and start looking around.  What is that stuff you put in my coffee going to do to me exactly?”

Part 5 by Melisa Lewis, https://fingerstosky.blog/

“It’s a hallucinogenic.  Ancient Mayans supposedly used it to see the future.  Some people say it opens your mind to unimaginable possibilities.”  Franklin stood, ignoring the perplexed and worried look on Darla’s face.  “Will you drive?  The law doesn’t look kindly on deceased drivers.”

Darla nodded and gathered her belongings as quickly as possible, her mind counting down the minutes until she might start hallucinating.

On the ride over, Darla was increasingly uncomfortable, noticing her breath was the only sound between the two of them.  They arrived at a large stone mansion surrounded by wrought iron gates.  Security cameras swiveled about and turned toward the car as they drove up to the intercom.  Franklin reached over her and placed his forefinger on a scanner.  Darla arched her head back to stay out of his way.  She noticed he smelled like sandalwood and citrus.  She quickly reminded herself that the shoulder that grazed her chin was cold because he was dead, not because of the weather.

The gates creaked open, and they drove just a few feet inside when a tall man with a fur coat and skinny blue jeans held up his hand to stop them.  His thinning hair was greased back, and he wore a gold ring on every finger.

Franklin stuck his head out the window and hollered, “Uncle Jeff! Is something the matter?”

“You’re not welcome here, Franklin!  You are a thief!  I’m filing a police report!  Stay back now, don’t come any closer!”  Uncle Jeff remained planted with his hands out in front of him. Darla checked Franklin’s expression, unsure if she was starting to hallucinate or if she really did see a smirk as he lowered his head back into the car.

Part 6 by Kara Bernard, https://bernardsbookblog.wordpress.com

Her gaze drifted back to Franklin’s uncle.  Darla leaned out of her window and directed the mass of fur blocking the driveway.  “Mister Bond… Do you mind if I call you Jeff?”

“You get away from here, you hear me?  I’m warning you, Franklin!”  The rings on Jeff’s fingers clinked as his hands shook, the sound crashing like thunder in Darla’s ears.  She winced as she stepped out of the car. Her thoughts went … fuzzy.

She took a step forward.  “Look, Jeff, I need you to step aside.  My name’s Nyte, and I’m here to – oh, god. Oh, god!”  Darla sank to her knees, eyes wide, as the rotting corpse of an animal slithered its way out of Jeff’s fur coat.  Matted fur dripped off its skin like oil.  A slimy tongue smeared itself between black, jagged teeth.  A sound like bones on metal pierced the air as the creature fell to the ground and began dragging itself toward Darla.

A collision of sounds – screams, claws on gravel, dragging limbs – forced its way under her skin. She covered her ears and shut her eyes before an ice-cold slab of flesh gripped her arm.  Darla cried out, tried to pull away, and then … nothing.

She woke to the smell of cinnamon.  Slowly opening her eyes, she saw Franklin kneeling beside the couch she found herself on.  He held a steaming cup of tea up to her.

“Welcome to my humble abode.”  He smiled.  “Well, Uncle Jeff’s humble abode.”

“What?”  Still groggy, Darla’s words slurred together.  “Wha’appened?”

“Well, you see, the thing about hallucinogens is, well, they make you hallucinate.  Sorry ‘bout that.”

Darla groaned and reached for the tea.  “Wait, you said we’re inside.  He let us in?”

“Hm.”  The corner of his mouth twisted upward.  “Not exactly.”

 

Part 7 by T. Shaw, https://tshawwriter.wordpress.com/

“What do you mean, ‘not exactly’?”

“Shortly after you stepped out of the car and politely introduced yourself to nice Uncle Jeff, the hallucinations started.  You fell, and my previously unwelcoming uncle was so startled by your altered disposition that he bent down to see if you were alright.  Who knew you’d almost kill the guy?”  Darla’s eyes enlarged as she sprayed Franklin with the gulp of tea she’d been about to swallow.  Franklin reached for his handkerchief and annoyingly dabbed his pale face dry.  Darla would have apologized, but since Franklin was the reason she had lost control of her faculties in the first place, she held back.  “Like I was saying, you fought valiantly.  Unfortunately for Uncle Jeff, he got a little too close.  I’m pretty sure your punch to his throat is what sent you both into darkness, which is why I maintained my place on the sidelines.”

Darla set her cup of tea on a nearby end table that looked a few hundred years old.  “Before becoming a detective, I served in the Army.”  Darla stood up; although still shaky, she was ready to gain momentum in Franklin Bond’s case.  “Is this the same room where you woke up and realized that you were dead?”  Darla began her search before Franklin could respond.

“No, this is the parlor.”

Spying several gaudy antiques, Darla said, “Seems like you and your family really admire objects with a bit of history.”

Franklin smiled.  “Yes, but we most prize the Spear of Destiny.”  After perusing the room with no luck, Darla decided they should visit the kitchen and interview the cooks to determine whether Franklin had been poisoned, but before exiting the room she glanced back at a portrait on the mantelpiece.  The subject’s eyes reminded her of Dr. Dawson’s.

Part 8 by The Britchy One, https://bitchininthekitchen.org/

 

Leaving the room, Darla stumbled and had to lean against the door frame.  “Wait,” she commanded, “you want me to solve your murder, but you’re withholding facts.  Why did your uncle accuse you of theft and threaten to call the police?  That’s not exactly the reaction of someone who thinks you’re dead.”

 

“Ahh, Ms. Nyte,” Franklin chuckled, “here are the shrewd deductions you’re famous for.  It’s true, I have been economical with facts.  I was hoping you would solve my murder without incriminating me.”

 

Darla ground her teeth.  Coherent thought was becoming difficult.  “If you want me to solve this, give me the antidote.  I can’t proceed if I can’t think.”

 

“Very well.  I’ll give you half now, which will abate your symptoms, and the full dose upon revelation of my murderer.  If you take too long, I’ll be stuck as a draugr forever.”

   

He gave Darla a small vial of clear liquid.  She wouldn’t normally take anything without knowing what it was, but she’d never been in a situation like this.  She felt her mind sharpen. “Where were you when you started to feel sleepy?  Were you in this house?  Why did your uncle accuse you of theft?”  She had more questions plus the niggling feeling there was more to Dr. Dawson, but she had to start somewhere.

 

“You’re correct in guessing I wasn’t inside the house.  I was in the summer house near the tennis court.”  “I’ve had a bad run at the casinos lately, and my creditors were pressing for payment,” he whined.  “I’d arranged to sell a couple of treasures that I would’ve inherited anyway.  It wasn’t really theft.”

 

Darla wasn’t surprised at his attitude.  She’d seen his type before.  “Surely you weren’t selling the Spear of Destiny?  Is that why you’re still here?”

Part 9 by Rachel Ann, https://fitfulfearfulphantasmal.wordpress.com/

“Do you know how much the Vatican would pay for it?”  Arms crossed and frowning, Franklin’s façade of victimhood had vanished.  “Anyone would’ve done the same.”

Darla was reminded of the former president thrashing in the Oval Office.  His comb-over had flapped around like a wounded vulture’s wing, its white roots long overdue for a dye job.  “Don’t you know who you’re dealing with!?”  Trump had railed.  “None of you will ever work again! Believe me!”  The Velcro straps had held, but that hadn’t stopped his mouth.  Nyte had to listen to that sewer-pipe overflow as she escorted his gurney to the waiting ambulance.

Why are the rich such egomaniacs?  Darla wondered.  If Bond is a draugr, she thought, it’s due to sheer stubbornness.  Everyone owes a death, but when his came due, he’d been too arrogant to succumb.

“You can’t buy your way out,” Darla said, wrinkling her nose. “And holding me hostage won’t change facts.  Your cologne won’t cover the stench of your decomposition much longer.”  Franklin glared.  “But you were murdered, and the culprit must be brought to justice.”

“Right.  To the summer house then, shall we?”  Franklin gestured.  As they approached, they heard a woman’s screams.  Darla kicked the door in, gun drawn.  A man had a woman pressed against the wall, in flagrante delicto.  Her screams weren’t of fear, but passion.

“Alina…really?” Franklin said. “With the gardener?”

The gardener’s pants slipped down farther than they already were. A metal object fell from his back pocket.

“The Spear!” Franklin yelled. “Thief!”

“What, this?” the gardener said, picking up his pants first then the object.  “This is just a Hori-Hori.”

“What did you call me?” Alina shrieked.

“Not you,” he said, brandishing the Spear of Destiny, “isn’t this a weeding knife?  I need it to weed the rose bushes.”

Darla stared at the gardener.  She felt her mind going fuzzy again.  “Doctor … Doctor Dawson?”

Part 10 by Em, http://earthlybrain.com/

“What doctor?” Alina squeaked.

 

“D-Dawson,” Darla stuttered, pointing a shaky index finger at the gardener.

 

Franklin shook with fury.  “That’s not Dr. Dawson, that’s our son of a bitch of a gardener who’s stealing MY inheritance.  Focus, Nyte!”

 

The gardener stared at Darla, his eyes burning a hole in her skull.  His lips slid into a crooked smirk.  Darla tried to visualize his scheme:  he’d seduced the distressed Alina after dinner, coercing her while Franklin slept in the summer house.  “Let’s bend the rules a bit”, he teased, sensing that Alina ached to be mischievous.  After acquiring the Spear, he had spiked the air purifier with Dragon’s Breath and zombie powder.  Overnight the substances numbed Franklin’s senses, made him pale, ghostly cold, and clouded his perception of reality.

 

“I am Dr. Dawson,” he’d whispered as Franklin lay in a drugged stupor, “you have been unjustly murdered and robbed of your most precious inheritance.  Seek revenge within 12 hours or forever remain a draugr.  I have retained an apt detective to solve this mystery.  Give her this potion, and she’ll be compliant.”

 

Darla’s vision swiftly evaporated into floating shreds.  The sound of cracking bones on metal reverberated in her ears once again.  She shifted her gaze, and the creature revealed itself anew, hauling a horrid pile of disintegrating flesh and bones.

 

Darla pointed her gun at the repugnant creature and pulled the trigger repeatedly without hesitation.

 

“NOOO!” Alina screamed.

 

Franklin dropped like a stone.

 

Uncle Jeff ran in to the room.  “What’s with all the—“.  The sight of the half-naked Alina, the exposed gardener, and Franklin’s lifeless body in a spreading pool of blood scorched him mad. “MURDERER!”

 

Darla saw only stars, spinning in infinite spirals.

 

Dawson pulled his pants up and sauntered out, simpering as he fondled the Spear in his pocket.

 

The End

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Three

I have been writing a story and posting it in sections of around 800 words. Please see here 

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-one/

for part one

and here for part two

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-two/

This is part three. I hope you enjoy it. 

 

Chapter three – Departing

Later that morning they all walked down to the church. The sun shone down on the town bathing it is its glorious rays and lighting up the white washed buildings with their blue and yellow painted doors and window frames. He thought, ‘strange how often life juxtaposes such beauty with so much sorrow’.

The Church of Santa Maria looked particularly lovely, the stone glistening, practically glowing in the late morning sunshine. The bell in the tower was ringing out and he could see quite a procession of people heading into the church. It seemed almost everyone was going to Belo’s funeral.

They crossed the little bridge over the river into the main town and joined the end of the procession. As they entered the church he could see his family seated at the front, next to the body of his grandfather in his woven basket coffin, like baby Moses in his basket of rushes. Dr. Lopez and Margarita sat at the back of the church and he sat with them, he didn’t want to push through the crowd to reach his family. He felt more comfortable at the back somehow. He watched his father stand up and read a eulogy about fishermen and the sea. His Uncle Miguel was there standing behind him, and next to him was Uncle Carlos. Uncle Carlos was the black sheep of the family and had left home after grandmother died, because he hadn’t seen eye to eye with grandfather. He had only seen him twice before. It was quite a surprise to see him here. He lived a long way away in the big city.

The priest stood up to speak. He felt the tears come again. The pain of his loss was still so raw but he hated crying with so many people around him. A little hand gripped his and he looked down at margarita’s hand holding his, giving him comfort.

After the ceremony people began milling about. He could hear Old Diego saying over and over again to anyone who would listen “Well I told him, you know? I told him not to take his boat out. I told him the storm was coming.” He knew Diego meant no harm, but the braying ass’s words were like a knife to the chest. The tears were choking in his throat.

His family came to gather him in, like the lost sheep. His Father, and his Aunt Anna-Maria, who kept house and had looked after him after his mother had died of a fever. So long ago that he could barely remember her. Uncle Miguel looked less than his usual hearty self, expected under the circumstances.

He felt a firm hand grip his shoulder in a gesture of friendly support. It was Doctor Lopez.

“Well, Senor Ortiz, I deliver your son to you safe and secure. Farewell Pablo and good luck.”

His father spoke, in sombre tones. “Thank you, Doctor, for looking after my son and bringing him back to us. I don’t know how we can repay your kindness.”

“Well, he’s a fine boy; I was pleased to have been of service.”

Dr. Lopez and Margarita left the Church. She flashed him a look with those dark eyes that said it was only goodbye for now.

His father looked down at him with sad brown eyes. His eyes were always sad and brown, for as long as he remembered, but somehow they had become even more so. Sombrely he said.

“Well come along Pablo. We’ve got to bury my Father and then I think it’s time for us to have a little talk.”

Having paid their respects in the church the townsfolk all departed back to their normal lives to leave the family in their grief.

The family proceeded to the graveyard to inter their dearly departed father and grandfather.

The grave was next to his grandmothers. In passing he noticed the name on it. Conchita Maria Alvarez Ortiz. So Belo had named his boat for her. Of course it made sense but he never knew his Grandmothers name, she was always Abuelita to him. He had never visited the grave. He was like most young people, only concerned with the living. He had been quite young still when she had died, seven years ago.

The priest continued his ritual as they slowly lowered the cheap coffin into the ground. They all threw a handful of red earth, still damp from the storm, into the hole and then they slowly went home.

When he got back to their small house he went up the wooden ladder into his small room at the back. He just wanted to be alone for a while with his tears.

End of part three….

Copyright Kristian Fogarty 12/April/2018

 

The Ashcroft Hall Chronicles – Part three

This is part three of a story that I started a couple of days ago. The first part was called The Toad and The Tigress.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/the-toad-and-the-tigress-a-short-story/

Part 2 is here

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/ashcroft-hall-chronicles-the-story-continues/

Chess with a Snake.

It was nearly two weeks before Miss Huntley could arrange a meeting with Cathy Pargeter’s Father. Apparently parliamentary affairs had kept him too busy to meet before this. In a way that was a good indication. If Mr Bernard Pargeter was too busy to discuss why his daughter had been suspended from school, this could indicate that his daughter was rather lower in his priorities than she should be. This could well be the root of the problem. Cathy was exceptionally bright, there was no doubt of that. She had so many good qualities, she could inspire loyalty in others, she had determination and could plan ahead but also take advantage of a new situation. Unfortunately, she was also extremely devious and lacking in any moral compass. In short, she had every skill necessary to become a successful politician. Miss Huntley hoped for something better for her. She was determined, if possible, to make something worthwhile out of Cathy Pargeter.

Miss Huntley knew she was about to embark on a very important meeting and she was prepared to play the game of politics for all it was worth.

Ethel entered the room.

“Headmistress, the Right Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr Bernard Pargeter is here.”

“Thank you, Ethel; show him in please. You know what to do?”

“Yes, Shall I bring in tea?”

“No let’s let him thirst for a bit. I will call you if necessary.”

Ethel left the room and in moments a large man bounced into the room. He was in his early fifties and had a carefully cultivated air of respectability about him. He was dressed in a very smart three-piece suit, Navy blue, with matching waistcoat and gold cufflinks. He extended a hand and Miss Huntley shook it and invited him to sit down.

Miss Huntley fixed Mr Pargeter with her interrogating stare. The effect of her blue eyes was always enlightening. Mr Pargeter stared back, his eyes were similar to those of his daughter, well genetics will tell.

“Look Miss Huntley, let’s get down to brass tacks. I’m a busy man and I haven’t got time to waste. You’ve suspended my Daughter from school. What did she do? Forget to do her homework?”

“No, I’m afraid it is rather more serious than that. Very serious. I don’t suspend girls for anything trivial, I can assure you. We are dealing with blackmail, extortion and bullying. Oh, and planning an attack on a teacher.”

“I suppose you are going to expel her then. Just like the last school she went to. This is very embarrassing to me, my reputation. If this gets out, it could lose me votes, and the elections only next year. Right, I will take her away if that’s what you want.”

“No, not so fast. Can you tell me a bit about her home life? What about her Mother?”

“Her Mother died seven years ago. She’d been an invalid for a couple of years, rather made a career out of it. We used to wait on her hand and foot. Cathy, in particular used to like to sit with her and read her the newspapers. It was a bit of a surprise when she suddenly went downhill and died.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. What did she die of?”

“Some kind of gastric trouble. Anyway, I threw myself into my work at the time. I had only just been elected for the first time then so I was very busy.”

“But you remarried. I remember you and your wife coming to parents evening last year.”

“Yes, I married my secretary a couple of years ago. She had been so kind after Virginia died and so helpful in getting me re-elected. We’d grown very close.”

Miss Huntley remembered the current Mrs Pargeter. She was in her thirties and had worn very heavy make-up, a Mink stole and rather cheap perfume. The image fitted the circumstances.

“So how do your current wife and Cathy get on?”

“Well, not very well at all. They keep far away from each other as possible. Cathy keeps to herself.”

“You don’t spend much time with her then?”

“No, it’s awkward with her and Laura not getting on. My wife is jealous.”

“Thank you for telling me this. It paints a picture for me.”

Miss Huntley was, quite frankly, relieved that Cathy’s home life was difficult; it accounted well for her behaviour. Had her home life been stable and loving then that would have indicated a more psychologically disturbed reason and one that Miss Huntley hated dealing with. That Cathy may have been born a Psychopath. The fact this did not now appear to be the case was a huge relief. It did not, however, make the problem less difficult to deal with. A great deal of the problem was sitting in front of her.

“I will be frank with you Mr Pargeter. Your daughter is exceptionally gifted. She is intelligent and persuasive. I don’t want to give up on her. I think if we worked together we can turn her back to the right path.”

“Well, what do you have in mind?”

“I am going to feed her to the lions. Or more accurately, a Tiger. One of my staff is a very forceful lady and called behind her back by the girls, the Tigress. I am going to place your daughter into her care. Further more I want her to be dropped off an hour after school starts and picked up an hour after school ends, so she cannot mix with the other girls. Only for a while, until I am convinced she is cured and fit to mingle. I would suggest that you yourself drop her off in the mornings as much as you can and you spend as much time with her as possible. She needs you in her life and that may well be the most beneficial thing we can do.”

“Well I am very busy, I may be up for a plum role if I get elected with an increased majority. And there’s Laura, she might divorce me, think what that would do to my career?”

“I can assure you that whatever fuss she creates Mrs Pargeter will not divorce you. She knows which side her breads buttered better than that! Your daughter is at stake here. Would you rather I just expelled her?”

“It may be the easiest course. Laura can be quite nasty when she wants to be.”

“Don’t you care for your daughter at all? Don’t you care what your voters will think if they find out you could have prevented her being expelled but you decided to do nothing instead?”

“I care for her, of course I do, but this is all nonsense. How will people hear about it anyway?”

Miss Huntley leaned over the intercom and spoke to her secretary.

“Have you got all that Ethel? Lock the tape away for safe keeping, will you?”

Mr Pargeter sat back in his chair and gave Miss Huntley a new appraised look. It was impressed, it said ‘Bravo’ and ‘Checkmate’ as clearly as any words could.

“I will do what you ask Miss Huntley. I do think it’s time I got reacquainted with Cathy. She takes after me in many ways, perhaps that is what I feared, facing myself. Is there anything else I can do to help?”

“Well, we are always looking for donations to our scholarship fund, I would be most grateful if you could make a contribution. I will be sure to mention it widely if you did.”

“I see, Miss Huntley, that you would have made an excellent politician, an excellent Prime Minister even.”

“Oh no. I have something far more important to do. Thank you for coming to see me.”

They shook hands and the Member of Parliament left the room.

Miss Huntley smiled to herself and looked out of the window at the girls playing in the school field. Her faced glowed, it was practically luminescent. Nothing was more important to her than this.

                             The End.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 10/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luminescent/

 

via Daily Prompt: Luminescent

Ashcroft Hall Chronicles – The Story Continues

Yesterday I wrote a story that I called the Toad and the Tigress. It was a short story about a schoolgirl who was caught doing something naughty. I created the characters of two teachers, one who was very demanding and forceful and the other that was much more rounded and clever. I was kept awake all night by this second character and I decided to write some more about her. Her name is Miss Huntley and she is the headmistress of a rather old-fashioned girls school called Ashcroft Hall. 

Please read my story – The Toad and the Tigress, this story continues where that one left off. https://wp.me/p9J3l0-8f 

After Miss Huntley had retrieved the poor terrified toad and taken it back to its tank in the science lab, she helped Mrs Jameson down from her desk, where she had taken refuge. 

“Never mind Beatrice, we all have our little phobias. Have some tea, with a tot of brandy in it, that should buck you up again.”

“Thank you Headmistress. I hate those slimy things, where did it come from?”

“That was the prank that you thwarted. Cathy Pargeter blackmailed poor Kelly-Anne into placing that toad in Mrs Beacham’s desk. Unfortunately it fell out of her pocket when you were talking to her. I have got to the bottom of it, and now it’s time for some punishment. I’ll depend on you to help me mete it out.”

“So that’s what it was all about. Yes Headmistress you can count on me to come down very hard. “

“I never doubted it Beatrice.”

Returning to her room, Miss Huntley set the next part of her plan into action and summoned Miss Cartwright and Mrs Beacham in to see her.

“Thank you for coming so promptly, I hope it wasn’t too much of a disturbance for your classes.”

Miss Cartwright was tall and willowy with long straight chestnut hair that she left free and untied. She always seemed to be wearing brown. Today, it was a long brown skirt with a white blouse and brown cardigan. She was an excellent teacher though. 

“No trouble at all, I’ve got them reading the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, that’ll keep them going for a while.” Said Miss Cartwright in her usual soft voice.

Mrs Beacham was a round, pink-faced, blond-haired lady encased in a yellow flowery frock. She had the outward appearance of being all pink and fluffy, but she had a solid core. She was more of a disciplinarian that Miss Cartwright, but just as good a teacher.

“I’ve got my lot onto algebra. Should keep them quiet for a time. What was it you wanted Headmistress?” 

“I have uncovered a little prank that I think has rather a nasty undercurrent. Jessica, you teach Cathy Pargeter, Joan Langley and Alicia Spink don’t you? And Felicity you teach Kelly-Anne Thomas. Tell me your opinion of them please.”

Felicity Cartwright spoke first. “Kelly-Anne is a timid girl, easily lead and highly strung, I can’t imagine her doing something really bad.”

Jessica Beacham continued “Well Joan Langley is like that too. She latches onto more outgoing girls for their protection, she’d be a prime target for bullies. She isn’t as bright as the other two you mentioned. Now Alicia Spink is very forward and outspoken. She has the loudest mouth, often a sign of being less of a thinker. She might be in the thick of trouble but unlikely to be the brains behind it. On the other hand, Cathy Pargeter is one of those brainy people who can plan something, then get others to carry it out.”

“Well you’ve hit the nail on the head with that Jessica. Tell me, why did you put those three in detention?”

“I caught them cheating in a test. They had been passing their answers around to each other, but none of them knew the capital of Turkey, They’d all put down Constantinople, which of course isn’t what we now call that city anyway.”

“Well I am going to make an example of all of them. Joan Langley is going to go into the year below. Her birthday is in August and she is behind anyway. She will see it as a punishment, as intended, but it may be a blessing for her in the long run. I am going to transfer Alicia Spink into your class Felicity, I hope that’s all right with you. Have you got a bright girl that we can give to Jessica? Otherwise she will be down three.”

“Yes Gloria Baker is one of my brightest, she’s already read all of Byron’s poems.”

“She’s one of our scholarship girls isn’t she?”

“Yes her parents work in the biscuit factory, but she is awfully bright.”

“Excellent, think you can give her some stretch Jessica?”

“Definitely, we are starting Keats next term, that will stretch her alright.”

“Very good Ladies. I will be removing Cathy Pargeter altogether. I am going to speak to her father and then, depending on that meeting, either ask her to leave altogether, or give Beatrice Jameson a free hand with her. You can go back to your classes now. Jessica please send those three in to me will you?”

As they turned to leave Miss Huntley asked another question.

“Tell me Jessica, do you like toads?”

“Yes Headmistress I’m rather fond of amphibians in general.”

“So if you opened a draw and one popped out, it wouldn’t faze you?”

“No, not at all. Why?”

“Oh, no reason, off you go.”

About 15 minutes later the unholy trio came into the Headmistresses office. Three chairs had been arranged in front of the desk.

“Please sit down girls, I want to have a word with you.”

The three sat down, Alicia Spink in the middle and flanked by Cathy Pargeter on her right and Joan Langley on her left.

“I just have to speak to my secretary for a minute. Just sit there and think about what you have done and don’t touch anything.”

When Miss Huntley had left the room Alicia Spink immediately spoke up.

“What do you think the old bag knows Cathy? She can’t know about that Toad, can she? We put the frighteners on Kelly-Anne alright, she wouldn’t tell on us surely?”

Cathy replied tersely “Keep your mouth shut Alicia, she can’t know much. If she did tell, it’s her word against ours. Just deny everything. What did you do with the homework book Alicia?”

“It’s still in my locker, shall I dump it somewhere?”

“No, take it home and burn it, that’ll teach the little runt not to mess with us. Now remember keep quiet. Joan, you’re good at turning on the old water works, cry your eyes out if she gets close to the truth.”

In the next room Miss Huntley sat with her secretary listening to the intercom that she had left on. No one ever thought about the intercom. It was one of her most useful tricks. 

Smiling to herself, she turned to speak to her secretary.

“Ethel, take the master key and retrieve that homework book from Alicia Spink’s locker and bring it in to me in, say, about ten minutes, no need to rush.”

Miss Huntley returned to her desk and gave the girls her best stare. Looking at each of them intensely. Neither Joan or Alicia could look her in the eye. It was not always a sign of guilt, but in this case it was. Cathy Pargeter looked back at her undaunted. Her green eyes didn’t blink. That was a worrying indication. It said to Miss Huntley that not only was Cathy Pargeter guilty as hell, she was also completely lacking in guilt or shame. This was a very dangerous young lady. Miss Huntley had dealt with other dangerous young ladies in her time, this was not the first. All will now depend on speaking to the girls father. 

“So what can you tell me about a certain little toad?” Miss Huntley asked calmly.

“Nothing Mam, we don’t know anything about a toad.” Said Alicia, rather unconvincingly, as she appeared to be addressing the floor in front of her.

“Really, nothing at all? What about a homework book? Can you tell me anything about that?” Miss Huntley probed further.

Joan Langley started crying, or at least making the right noises. 

“What are you making those noises for Miss Langley? Is there something you want to tell me?”

“We really don’t know anything about this Miss Huntley and I must protest that you are upsetting poor Joan.” Said Cathy, speaking for the first time.

“I see. That is how we are going to play it? Is it?” Said Miss Huntley, without a break in her façade.

“Miss Huntley, I will speak to my father about this.” Cathy threatened.

The door then opened and in walked Ethel with Kelly-Anne’s homework book and placed it on the desk in front of the Headmistress.

“Thank you Ethel, you may go now.”

“Hey! That was in my locker, you don’t have the right to go into my locker!” Shouted Alicia indignantly.

“Oh but it isn’t your locker Miss Spink, it is the schools locker and I had reason to suspect I would find this in there. You see I know everything; there is absolutely no use in denying it. Miss Spink you will go back to your desk and pack your things you are moving to Miss Cartwright’s class. You will also be staying in at lunchtimes for the remainder of term. Miss Langley, you too will be kept in at lunch, but you will also be repeating the year. Go and report to Miss Henry. I will be writing to your parents to inform them of my decision. You may go now.”

The two girls left the room, in a bit of a rush.

“As for you Miss Pargeter, you mentioned your father, who I am well aware is our Member of Parliament. I will be arranging a meeting with him myself. Until that meeting you will remove yourself from my school. You will remain suspended until I have decided otherwise. Now get out of my sight.”

Miss Huntley did take some pleasure from seeing the colour drain from Cathy Pargeter’s face before she left. She wouldn’t have been human if she didn’t.

“Now comes the most tedious part of the whole thing. I will have to speak to that odious bore, the Right Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr Bernard Pargeter. This job does have its down side.” Sighing to herself, Miss Huntley picked up the telephone to dial and arrange the meeting.

The End. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 09/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rush/

 

via Daily Prompt: Rush