The Day The Tin Foil Hats Broke – Revealing the truth.

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I thought it was time for another outing for this poem I wrote a while back 🙂 

 

 

 

It was something that I’d come to dread

That every thought within my head

would burst from my mouth, as it spoke,

the day the tin foil hats broke.

 

My Uncle said “What is it son?”

For I had turned quite pale and wan,

my face was screwed up really tight

while my thoughts were picked up by satellite.

 

“My tin foil hat has broken!” I cried

My Uncle just looked smug and sighed

“Well, Nephew I wouldn’t worry a jot,

with your brain, it’s not going to reveal a lot”.

 

I had a longing for something that

would keep my thoughts under my hat

My tangled mind, tortured and petty

had spilled its contents like boiling spaghetti.

 

A tangled jungle of vine and fern,

revealed that I had failed to learn,

my head was empty of meaningful things

but I knew by heart the Lord of the Rings.

 

Like a boiled egg, my mind was bare

without any useful facts in there,

My Uncle said “Now you have a mission

“you should become a politician”

 

But still I worried, how could that fly?

When I couldn’t ever tell a lie.

but thankfully, and rather shocking,

a new foil hat was in my Christmas Stocking.

 

This poem was written for A Guy Called Blokes Challenge, see here:

What’s My Story Then #3

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/rdp-saturday-egg/

https://swimmersweek.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/satelite/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/longing/

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/three-things-challenge-pl65/

Today’s prompt: nephew, fern, spaghetti

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/worry/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genre Challenge – An Angel among Devils – Part Two

A Year ago I wrote a short story for the Haunted Wordsmiths Genre Challenge called An Angel Among Devils, see the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/an-angel-among-devils-a-short-story/

I reposted this post this morning and so I thought I would share some more with you. So, here is part two.

 

Chapter Two:

After telling him to follow, the ugly brute walked towards what appeared to be a plain wall, decorated with the same muck the rest of the walls seemed to be coated in.

Inspector Tanner glanced back towards the main bar, no one was looking their way, but he knew that though everyone appeared ambivalent, it was deliberate. They were all looking towards where the smartly dressed guy had gone, running out the front door, they now pointedly ignored him and you could cut the atmosphere with a blunt vibroblade.

“Are you coming or what? If you want to stay and get yourself killed, that’s fine by me. I’ll deal with whoever they get to fill your shoes.”

The man with the snake tattoo looked back at him and where there had been plain, gut splattered wall before, there was now an open door.

Inspector Tanner stood up and followed the man through the door and into a dingy back alley.

The man then pressed something in his pocket and the door was replaced again by a solid wall.

“Look, who are you?” Inspector Tanner asked.

“We can’t talk now. That other guy, he’s gone to fetch his gang, we have to be as far away from here as possible. Follow me and keep your head down. I know a safe place.”

You didn’t get far in his line of work without developing an instinct to know who to trust, well he had to admit, his instinct had let him down by approaching the wrong guy earlier, but now he was sure, in order to get out here with his life, he had to follow this man, regardless of how he looked, but it still felt like he being rash.

After taking so many twists and turns along the dark back alleys of the most dangerous district in town, they finally came to a halt in front of another concrete wall.

Again, the man pressed something in his pocket and a blue light flashed down the side of the wall and it twisted to form an opening.

“Quick, in here,” he said.

Ducking through the doorway, Inspector Tanner found himself in a kitchen, pots and pans hang on hooks from a metal rack suspended from the ceiling and a delicious smell of cooking filled the air along with the steam.

Almost hidden, he noticed a woman standing in the corner stirring a large pot with a wooden spoon.

The big man sat down at a metal table and grinned, baring his mouth of gold fillings and missing teeth.

“Now we can talk. Sit” he said pointing to a chair opposite him.

As inspector Tanner took his seat, the woman walked over and ran a gentle hand against the ugly man’s face, a look of adoration in her eyes, made him gasp with surprise.

‘What could such a beautiful lady see in this brute?’ The inspector thought.

Instead, he asked the same question he had asked earlier, “Who are you?”

“I am the man you were supposed to meet, the one who has been passing information to you for the past two years.”

“You’re ‘Fallen Angel’? You can’t be, surely?” The inspector responded sceptically.

The man the unbuttoned the front of his denim shirt and displayed another tattoo painted over his bulging chest muscles of a figure, with horns coming out of a head bowed, and two wings spread either side of him. It was a contrast to the brightly coloured snake tattoo on his arm, this was painted in pale colours that seemed to shimmer in the dingy light of the steamy kitchen, strangely understated.

“This is the Fallen Angel,” He said grinning. “It is who some of us worship here in Hells Campus. Well, those of us who want a better life for ourselves and our people. The Fallen Angel is a symbol of redemption for us. That no matter how bad our crimes, we can put them in the past and work towards something better.”

The Lady brought over a bowl of soup and placed it on the table, again that look of deep love crossed her face. She had large brown eyes, set wide and slightly tilted, her dark chestnut hair covered the left side of her face and then nearly reached her slim waist. Her dress was plain and dark with a touch of black lace around the collar. Her lips were full and bright red but seemed at purse into a petulant scowl when she caught the Inspector looking at her.

The man calling himself Fallen Angel must have also seen him, because he said: “This is Marita, she is my wife.”

Changing the subject, Inspector Tanner asked about the other man, the smartly dressed one who he’d mistakenly thought was his informant.

“He is known as the Accountant. He likes to count things, a toe, an ear, that sort of thing, usually when he is cutting them off his victims. He is not a nice man. Even here, in a district where most people have had to do unpleasant things to survive, he stands out as evil.”

Marita pulled back the hair to expose a scar where her left ear should have been. It spoke far more than words would have done.

Inspector Tanner kept the shock he’d felt out of his voice and calmly asked, “And he works for the Armstrong Gang who’s been responsible for the recent murders?”

“The Armstrong gang are small fry, they are yesterday’s men. It’s true they used to run things down here, but that was before another group came along, bringing with them a new religion. I said some of us worshipped the Fallen Angel. Well, some believe that we have nothing left but to embrace the darkness. this new gang Diablo De La Muerte, they worship Santa Muerte, the lord of murder and death.”

“I did not realise that religion was to blame for all the recent killing,” Inspector Tanner said.

“Hasn’t religion been behind most of the killing in History?” The man responded. He had a look of a religious zealot himself. A look of Marvellous ecstasy in his eyes. This man was as much a fundamentalist as the people he opposed. However, he seemed like the lesser of two evils in this case.

“Tell me everything” Inspector Tanner said, pulling out his recording crystal.

 

***

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/April/2019 

 

This story also contains the following Word Prompts:

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/rdp-friday-rash/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/marvelous/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/your-daily-word-prompt-worship-april-26-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Lady

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/three-things-challenge-pl71/

Today’s prompt: accountant, toe, lace

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/understated/

FOWC with Fandango — Ambivalent

 

 

 

 

 

The Neglected Wife – A Ballad of a dangerous woman.

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/three-things-challenge-pl145/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/tear/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/rdp-thursday-sham/

This story was inspired by the Word Prompts above.

boat-sea-sky-water-163574.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

They were on a sailing vessel, named the barracuda,

Heading slowly westwards towards the island of Bermuda,

When she gave a final wave and she’d shed a final tear,

As she watched her husband drowning and then finally disappear.

So their married life together had just been an awful sham,

And he hadn’t really cared for her and she’d not cared a damn,

No more mind-games or quiet nights by lonely gaslight,

She’d hoped he’d simply leave but instead he stayed to fight,

Now she was truly wealthy and she simply cried for joy,

Free to spend all his money and to find a handsome boy,

Just then she heard another vessel pull up beside her own,

A very nice man jumped aboard with a strong and muscly tone.

Oh, dear, they were the coastguard, and they’d witnessed everything!

They’ve rescued her darling husband now she’d rot in old Sing-Sing.

copyright: Kristian Fogarty 09/August/2019

What do you See? – A forgotten birthday

blue-present_300

This poem was written for Helene Vaillant’s ‘What do you See?’ challenge. Click on the link below to see her post:

What do you See? May 28/2019

 

He was feeling rather sad and low,

And sorry with his lot,

Because although it was his birthday,

His friends, they’d all forgot.

He kicked his bedroom door ajar,

And banged upon his drum,

despite this being his special day,

he sulked and sucked his thumb.

He stalked about in a dreadful mood,

Like a scorpion with a sting,

He shouted at the postman when,

He failed to deliver anything.

In a fit of hurtful rage,

he presented an ultimatum

in a letter, he sat down and wrote,

I wouldn’t dare recite it out verbatim.

It clearly showed how out of sorts

And neglected he really felt,

Oh! what truly miserable hand

It was that fate had dealt.

And as the day had nearly closed

he entered the dining room,

and there, beside a papaya

he hadn’t wanted to consume,

he saw a birthday present,

wrapped up and tied with bows.

He heaved and sighed and then he cried

The tears ran down his nose.

Then jumping out of the shadows,

His friends sang out three cheers

And then quite prompt, they did applaud

Nearly deafening his ears.

It made him feel quite bashful

And filled with deep remorse,

He had doubted they

would remember his day,

When they clearly had, of course.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 31/May/2019

I have included the following word prompts:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/three-things-challenge-pl106/

Today’s prompt: scorpion, drum, papaya

FOWC with Fandango — Verbatim

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/rdp-friday-prompt/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/your-daily-word-prompt-bashful-may-31-2019/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/applaud/

 

50 Word Thursdays # 20 – The Hidden Vault

This story was written for The 50 Word Thursday Challenge. This week hosted by The Haunted Wordsmith, click on the link below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/50-word-thursday-20/

The picture prompt is above and the words to include are:

I always want to frighten them more.

SHIRLEY JACKSON, WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE

 

The Castle on the shores of Lake Geneva looked like such a peaceful place. It was a welcome sight to visitors to the area. That was their first impression. It was never their last.

The Countess was a lady who appeared both beautiful and charming, though age had diminished some of her outward glamour. Her once cascading blonde locks were now heavily tinged with white and fine lines like a spider’s web surrounded those still intensely blue eyes.

I remember the day I arrived at her court. She was surrounded by servants, old and bent, in brown raggedy clothes. This only made the sumptuousness of her silk gown stand out more starkly.

I remember too how she coaxed me to follow her down to the deep vault beneath the castle.

Too late did I see the splash of fresh blood on the walls. The device designed to remove a thumb from a helpless victim.

I remember turning to her and seeing her laugh and say I always want to frighten them more.”

Who she was referring to, I never really understood.

She continued to speak, as her black-clad servants strapped me down to a stone table,

“I hope you have more fortitude than my last guest. He only lasted one night.”

I asked her, the terror in my voice as clear as a scream “How can you do these wicked things?”

She replied, “Life has been an excellent teacher.”

Then it had begun and now I am forever bound here.

 

[250 Words]

 

I have also included the following prompts:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/three-things-challenge-pl91/

Today’s prompt: Geneva, thumb, teacher

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/vault/

FOWC with Fandango — Welcome

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/your-daily-word-prompt-fortitude-may-16-2019/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/rdp-wednesday-splash/

Twittering Tales – Hidden Legacy

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood at Pexels.com

 

They found the letters to her lawyer in the old station wagon, in a battered chocolate tin shaped like a carousel.

Covered in dust and cobwebs after the extensive search of the house and yard, he sat down to read them.

His wife called out “Did the old bat say where the Money is?”

[279 Characters]

 

This story was written for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales Challenge, Click to the link below to see her post. Why not have a go at this great challenge?

Twittering Tales #134 – 30 April 2019e

 

I have also incorporated the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/money/

FOWC with Fandango — Wagon

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/three-things-challenge-pl75/

Today’s prompt: lawyer, carousel, chocolate

Once Upon A Blog Crime – Death Comes Syncopated

Chief Inspector Rory has asked me to write a blog post about a crime.

See his post here:

Once Upon A Blog Crime ……..

The Crime is to involve the following bloggers:

Perp 1

Cheryl of The Bag Lady

Perp 2

Clare of Dreams and Adventures of Cosy Cottage

Perp 3

Carol Anne of Therapy Bits

Perp 4

Cyranny of Cyranny’s Cove

Perp 5

Sandman Jazz

 

So here is my tale:

Arriving back from his Easter Break was always tough. You just had time to relax and forget about work, when before you knew it you were back in the office staring at the computer screen. Inspector Kristian had made the most of the beautiful weather they’d had and taken a trip to the seaside. There was something about sitting on a windy beach and eating sandwiches with real sand in them, that really made him feel happy. Dipping his toes in the sea and seeing how long he could keep them there before frostbite set in was a fun game too.

The Chief poked his head around the side of his cubicle wall, plastered with pictures of his pet chickens, and jovially said “Did you enjoy the beach? Well if you’re yearning for the sea, you’ll enjoy this next assignment then.”

“No rest for the wicked,” thought Kristian to himself.

He grabbed his coat and ran out of the door in a hurry.

It took quite a while to get to the scene of the crime. He had to drive down to the coast, which took about thirty minutes but then had to wait for a ferry to take him over to Crab Island.

The island was a popular spot for holidays, with two beaches one on the sheltered side that had a family holiday park on it, complete with caravans and a swimming pool. The other beach was a bit wilder, facing the open sea. This was a popular nudist beach in the height of summer, but this time of year, there was a chilly wind that was not at all kind to exposed areas.

He was surprised that anyone would be around that part of the island to wind up dead at all.

Finally, he arrived at the Cove to be greeted by a local constable, Constable Carruthers.

“The Body’s down here, Sir, on the beach.”

“Was it a suicide, Constable?”

“Well, it could have been, but I’d say it was more likely Murder. It’s a nasty sight, Sir, Brace yourself”.

They had to carefully negotiate their way down the steep path and the narrow concrete steps to the secluded Cyranny’s Cove and there on the beach lay the naked body of a man, half buried in the sand. A Tenor saxophone lay discarded by his feet and a plastic bag was tied around his head.

From the deep gouges made in the sand by his feet and the sand under his fingernails, it was clear that the man had put up a struggle.

Combing the beach, the Inspector found an empty pizza box, A box of matches and a revolver.

Above the beach was a Café called the Cornucopia and a small cosy looking cottage. There were several pairs of footsteps crossing the sand that must have been made fairly recently. The tide came in almost to the cliff edge and would have wiped out any footsteps made more than six hours ago.

“Constable who lives in these buildings?”

Constable Carruthers looked up from removing the plastic bag from the victim’s head.

“The café’s only open in season from the beginning of May to the end of September. The owner lives in the village on the other side of the island. Cosy Cottage is lived in by a lovely lady who moved here for some peace and quiet about a year ago. She keeps to herself mostly.”

“While forensics come and take the body away, we’ll best go and ask the lady some questions.”

The forensics team were coming down the narrow steps, Inspector Kristian walked over to take one last look at the victim’s body, before the autopsy. The face was grossly swollen and purple from blood and a terrible welt was around its neck where the bag had been tied on tightly.

“Nasty” though the Inspector.

Knocking on the door of Cosy Cottage, it wasn’t long before a lady answered it, wearing a loose-fitting fisherman’s smock embroidered with flowers and a daisy in her hair.

She introduced herself as Clare and invited them into her front parlour that overlooked the sea. The sound of the waves gently bumping onto the beach was very calming and relaxing. The room was decorated with seashells and pieces of driftwood tied with string. Inspector Kristian enjoyed folk art and commented favourably on them.

“Oh, I made them myself. It’s part of my therapy. It’s why I came here. I’m sorry to say, I had a bit of a mental breakdown a few years ago. The noise of the city would get on my nerves and I’m a very light sleeper, I need silence and calm about me. That is what my Therapist, Carol Anne of Therapy bits, recommended for me. Total rest and relaxation by the beach.”

“I see, Clare. Could you please help us with our enquiry? A man has been found dead on the beach outside, did you hear anything?”

“Oh, no, I’m afraid I didn’t hear a thing. I slept like a log last night. I had some chamomile tea and that always makes me sleep deeply.”

The Inspector had a good knowledge of herbs himself, he often suffered from anxiety attacks brought on by the sight of so many gruesome bodies. He took St Johns Wort and also occasionally Chamomile to help him sleep. However, as he looked around the cottage, he found several herbs but no chamomile at all.

“Excuse me, Clare, but clearly your bed has not been slept in, and there is no chamomile here. You already said you were a light sleeper and so I can’t believe that a man could be murdered outside your front door and you didn’t hear a thing.”

A change came over Clare’s lovely face. It became twisted and she twitched awkwardly. Suddenly she burst out “I HATE JAZZ! I HATE IT!” She shouted.

“Carol Anne, my therapist, said I had to have complete peace and quiet and that man came down to the beach every night to play his blasted Saxophone. I couldn’t stand it any longer. I asked him quite nicely to stop. I even took him out some cigarettes and my novelty lighter in the shape of a revolver. He smoked the cigarettes then laughed in my face. He just kept playing that Jazz music. I just snapped. I found a plastic bag that had washed up on the beach and I sneaked up on him while he played Take Five. It was mental cruelty!”

Inspector Kristian and Constable Carruthers read Clare her rights and took her into custody.

The inspector shook his head, he couldn’t help but feel sorry for Clare. Here was another brutal crime caused by Jazz.

Who is the victim?

Sandman Jazz

https://sandmanjazz.wordpress.com/

Who is the murderer?

Clare of dreams and adventures of cosy cottage

https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/

Who is the location?

Cyranny of Cyranny’s Cove

https://cyranny.com/

Who is the murder weapon?

Cheryl of The Bag Lady

https://rugby843.blog/

Who is the motive?

Carol Anne of Therapy Bits

https://therapybits.com/

 

I hope that no one has taken any offence by this story. 🙂

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/yearning/comment-page-1/#comment-22377

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/rdp-thursday-cornucopia/

FOWC with Fandango — Hurry

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/your-daily-word-prompt-negotiate-april-25-2019/

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/three-things-challenge-pl70/

Today’s prompt: pizza, daisy, revolver

 

What do you see – A Daredevil in Flight

40

This poem was written for Helene Vaillant’s What do you see challenge:

What do you See? April 2, 2019

 

He’d had a prescient feeling

When his application had gone in.

The excitement sent him reeling

And made his head feel in a spin.

 

When the phone call came

To say he’d won the competition

He pretended all the same

That he hadn’t had a premonition.

 

The booked time was at midnight

The weather had been rather warm

It wasn’t a great time for his maiden flight

Particularly in a thunderstorm.

 

But regardless of the weather,

He put on his favourite sweatshirt

And carried his lucky eagle feather.

And prayed that no-one else gets hurt.

 

As the lightning struck across the sky

You’d think no one would have flown that day,

But he was a daredevil and that was why

He shouted, “Cast-off and Chocks Away!”

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 04/April/2019

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/three-things-challenge-pl49/

Today’s prompt: midnight, sweatshirt, application

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/daredevil/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/rdp-thursday-cast-off-cast-off/comment-page-1/#comment-11723

FOWC with Fandango — Prescient

 

 

A Foolish Murder Mystery – A Poem written for the Genre Challenge.

 

This poem was written for the Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Challenge.

Todays Genre is: Locked Room — a mystery in which the crime is apparently committed under impossible circumstances (but eventually elicits a rational explanation).

I have also included the following Word Prompts:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/three-things-challenge-pl46/

Today’s prompt: gizmo, champion, parrot

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/down/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/rdp-monday-fool/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/your-daily-word-prompt-fool-april-1-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Fool

Which was made easier because three chose the same word: FOOL.

 

A Foolish Murder Mystery

 

The room was locked

That was for sure,

and so, I charged

and broke down the door.

The body lay

Against the fender,

The wound was bloody,

Red and tender.

Who could have killed

This dear old man?

He was all alone

And so, I began

To search for clues

To find the truth,

I became a champion,

I became the sleuth.

I searched around

Both high and low

And then I found

A strange gizmo.

I picked it up

Then heard a squawk

I saw a Parrot

That began to talk.

“Who’s a fool? You’re a fool!

It clearly said

Then I saw the blood

From the old man’s head.

My fingerprints

Were now upon

The object that was

The murder weapon.

I realised late

Why the Parrot exclaimed.

I was a fool

And I’d been framed.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 01/April/2019

scarlet macaw
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Letters from India – A multiple word prompt story.

brown ganesha figurine
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

This story was written for Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Challenge:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/genre-writing-challenge-25/

Today’s Genre is Epistolary Fiction
(stories constructed as a series of letters exchanged between characters)

I have also included the following word prompts:

Word of the Day: Mea Culpa

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/mea-culpa/#like-1164

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Weasel

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/rdp-thursday-weasel/

Your Daily Word Prompt: Talisman

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/your-daily-word-prompt-talisman-march-28-2019/

FOWC with Fandango: Amicable

FOWC with Fandango — Amicable

Three Things Challenge: salon, mystery, elephant

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/three-things-challenge-pl42/

 

Letters from India

It was several months after they had parted that she received his first letter.

She had been annoyed at his sudden departure. They had been engaged to be married and yet he had developed a sudden passion to travel and see the world. Outwardly, it had been an amicable parting, but inside she still seethed with feelings of rejection.

She lounged on the silk tasselled settee in her salon and gazed at the photograph of her ex-fiancé.

Arthur was dressed smartly in a dark suit, looking every bit the Victorian gentleman. Under his nose, he sported a large bushy moustache that he was most proud of. She thought it looked like a stuffed weasel. Despite that, he was from noble stock, his father was a Baronet and his uncle was Bishop of Leeds. A good match for the youngest daughter of a silk merchant. Her family had money, but they lacked social status and a marriage to the son of a Baronet was just what they needed. She did rather like him, despite the weasely moustache. Until, of course, he became gripped with his insatiable desire to visit India.

Queen Victoria had just been crowned Empress of India and this had sparked an explosion of interest in all things Indian. To her, India was just where her father imported his silks from, but to many people, it had become an exotic land of adventure.

The letter began rather formally, as was fit and proper.

“My Dear Miss Florence,

I hope this letter finds you well and recovered from our last little contretemps. I know you did not understand my compulsion to visit India, but I hope you will forgive my mea culpa. This land is indeed a land of colour and vibrancy. The smells and odours that assault the nostrils in every street are totally different from anything you could experience in England.

I have now made it as far as Bombay, which is a bustling city but almost every other face you see in the street is an English one. I want to see the real India, not this rather Anglified version.

I have been speaking to several people who have promised to take me to see some authentic Indian culture. They are going to hire a caravan that will be travelling to some of the more remote villages.

The caravan is made up of Elephants! I can’t wait to have my first ride on an Elephant.

I keep your handkerchief, the one you hand embroidered for me with my initials, next to my heart. It is my talisman. With it, I have no fear. I know that I will one day return to you.

I hope that when I do, you will have forgiven me for leaving and consent again to become my wife.

With Sincere Regards

Arthur Worthington. “

 

He had given his address as the Bombay Star Hotel and so she decided to write back. Looking at the date of his letter, it had taken three weeks to reach her. “So much for modern Victorian efficiency!” She thought to herself.

Picking up her pen she began to write.

 

“My Dear Arthur,

Why, I was very surprised to have received your letter and the words of affection that you had expressed in it. I had been given to understand that you were not happy at the prospect of marrying me and as such wanted to get as far away from me as possible.

It is with that understanding in mind that I have begun seeing Freddy Armitage, who, I am sure you remember is a man of the most steady and reliable nature.

However, if you should decide to return before I have entered into any firm relationship with Freddy, I will, of course, consider your proposal.

I would not be at all disappointed to hear again from you. It is interesting to hear of your adventures and I would very much like to know that you have gotten your fascination of that country out of your system and have decided to return home.

Yours Sincerely,

Miss Florence Clegg”

 

She walked to the post box and posted her letter. Coincidentally, Freddy Armitage walked past and nodded to her. He had just begun walking out with her Sister Isabel. She blushed to think of the liberties she had taken with his name, in her letter. She hoped her sister would never find out.

Nearly two months passed before she heard anything more. The house was in a great upheaval planning for Isabel and Freddy’s wedding in the front Parlour in a fortnight’s time.

 

She took the bulky letter from the tray in the hall and ran upstairs to her salon to read it.

She did not recognise the writing on the envelope.

 

She began to read.

“Dear Miss Florence Clegg.

 

I hope you do not mind my taking this liberty of writing to you concerning a great mystery.

Our patrols recently found this handkerchief and a letter from you, both of which I have enclosed.

I would not distress you by describing in too much detail, the circumstances with which these items were discovered, but I regret to inform you that the bearer of these is now, deceased.

I would be grateful if you could let me know the details of his next of kin, to which I will in future write to spare you any further distress.

Yours Sincerely,

Captain George Pengelly-Jones.”

 

Grasping the handkerchief in her hands, it was only when she cried out his name, “Arthur” and began sobbing inconsolably that she realised that she had loved him very much.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/March/2019