An Angel among Devils – Chapter one, A Quick Getaway.

I wrote this story about a year ago for a challenge hosted by Teresa Grabs, whose blog was the Haunted Wordsmith.

I thought it was time to share it again. The Word of the Day is Quick

woman with snake on her wrist
Photo by Kuya Yus on Pexels.com

This story was written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Challenge, click on the link below to see the post:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/genre-writing-challenge-april-21/

Today’s genre and image: Crime Thriller/Suspense

 

This was not the kind of place Inspector Tanner usually frequented. In a city renowned for it’s high level of crime, this district was particularly notorious. It was funny how things had changed so dramatically in just over two decades. This area was once a prestigious university but now, crime gangs roamed the campus and the university building itself had long since been burned to the ground. Arson was a common here as thievery. In the centre of the old university grounds was the Black Jack tavern. It was said that you could find out anything there, who murdered who, who had stolen what, for the right price.

Inspector Tanner was dressed as inconspicuously as possible. Rather than his usual smart trench coat and trilby, he now wore a rather shabby afghan coat over a pair of denim jeans. He was here to meet an informant, but not someone he had ever met in person before.

As the inspector pushed open the black painted door, the fumes of smoke emerged in fine tendrils into the clear night air. Not tobacco smoke, the smell was far too pungent for that, not even pipe smoke was that foul. The tavern was not particularly well lit. Electric lights buzzed and flickered from various points around the room, making pools of light that the many bodies standing around seemed to avoid, preferring to linger in the dark recesses and corners instead.

Through the haze, he could see the bar and the barman. The man was tall and thin, with lank dark hair that fell to his shoulders, yet the crown of his head was bare. He wore no shirt, but a black leather vest, unbuttoned showing a hairy chest with more grey in it than it’s original black. His bare arms were covered in tattoos, mainly flaming skulls. He knew of the barman by reputation, they had a file three inches thick on him back at the station. Jack Peel had a record of petty larceny and aggravated assault with intent to cause harm. He used to like collecting ears too, an unpleasant habit that had sent him to prison for twelve years. On his release he had opened this establishment, which had hardly given much assurance that he had decided to go straight, but they had not been able to catch him at anything lately.

He was told to buy a drink and then walk over to the pool table. Grasping the bottle of beer, he wandered over to find two people sitting by the pool table. In one corner, a small, smartly dressed man, in a striped suit and blue tie, with mousy blond hair neatly trimmed. He had black round rimmed spectacles. As he looked in his direction, the man smiled slightly, his eyes remained devoid of emotion. In the other corner sat a large ugly man. His face was covered in small scars, a nose that looked like it had been broken several times sat above a grimacing mouth filled with gold fillings. This man was dressed in denim, head to toe, but his left sleeve appeared to have been ripped away, displaying an arm that was decorated with a snake tattoo that wound around it from his shoulder, with the snakes head, complete with fangs, tattooed on the back of his hand.

The Inspector turned back to the suited man and sat next to him.

The man smiled again and leaned towards him. “Can I help you?” he whispered.

This had to be who he was sent to speak to. “I understand you can tell me about the recent murders in Market Street. Was it the Armstrong gang?”

The man jumped up and practically ran out of the bar.

Suddenly, he felt a tap on his shoulder. The ugly brute of a man was sitting close enough for him to smell his after shave and his foul breath.

“Why did you speak to him for? He’s the man I was going to tell you about. He’s probably gone to tell his boss you’re here now. You had better follow me, if you value your life, quick, out the back way.”

 

I have included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/ugly/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/rdp-sunday-snake/

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/three-things-challenge-pl66/

Today’s prompt: campus, pipe, haze

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/quick/

 

 

An Unlikely Proposal – Poem written for my creative writing class.

For yesterdays creative writing class, I was given the task to write down two random names from a book or a newspaper and given them each a job.

So I wrote down. Carol Austin – A Cabaret Singer and Fred Melrose – a Civil Servant.

Then to write down two different locations.

I wrote down A Mountain and The Jungle.

Then we had to write down some objects. I wrote down:

A wide-brimmed hat

Some sun glasses

A tube of toothpaste

Capri Pants

A Mosquito Net

Then three emotions: I chose Fear; Bravery; Panic.

And an accident: I chose a Snake Bite. 

The exercise was then to write a poem or story using many of these prompts and going from one location to the other.

So without any more introduction, this is the poem that I wrote:

 

So cool, she sat in jungle setting,

with wide-brimmed hat and Capri pants.

Alone, we were, under mosquito netting,

except, of course for a thousand ants.

 

Her name was Carol, her job was singing,

and Boy, did she let out a wail.

It scared the snake that held her, clinging,

it bit her leg and then turned tail.

 

I jumped into action, as was my training,

and shouted loudly for all to hear.

The safari leader came in exclaiming,

“I’ve got the antidote so do not fear.”

 

But all was not so nice and easy,

the antidote had been left behind,

so, bravely, I rowed us down the Zambesi,

like a mighty Tarzan of the modern kind.

 

Panicked with fear and paler than white,

Carol looked up with her face full of dread.

As we moored at the jetty, the doctor in sight,

she said “If I survive this, will you marry me, Fred?”

 

The medicine worked; we were married in June,

It had ended quite well, all being said.

But where shall we go for our honeymoon?

Not to the Jungle, to the Mountains instead.

THE END

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/June/2018

This is my entry for the Elysian Blog Award.

https://blog.unnibabu.com/elysian-blog-awards-honoring-divine-talents/

 

 

 

 

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