Thorns – Part 19

When Elwin eventually arrived at the café in his condominium building later that afternoon Kylie had drifted off to sleep, her head resting in her arms on the table. Elwin cautiously sat down but bumped his knee on the table leg waking the sleeper. Kylie jerked upright her face contorted from much crying she stared at Elwin for a few moments before she managed to speak.

“Elwin! You came! I thought you had forgotten me, here is your lunch,” she passed him the sandwich which was now soggy. Elwin didn’t complain, but thanked her quietly for the sandwich and for waiting for him. Wearily he started to eat the sandwich. Kylie watched him and slowly it occurred to her how dirty and soot covered he was. Although Elwin often worked in the coal mines he didn’t typically look this bad. She inquired and he related to her the incident with the Kellite engineer. He did so in flat even tones betraying no anger.

“I have listened to you telling me of the Kellite engineer and how he treated you. I can tell that you are not angry, but allow me to say that I feel angry. I do not know why because this engineer was one of our betters and one shouldn’t question them. Yet all the same part of me burns with fury that he should do this to you.”

Elwin felt too uneasy to make eye contact with her so he continued to focus on the remains of his soggy sandwich. He felt a sense of confusion: on one hand he was pleased that she was angry, on the other hand he felt angry with her for speaking ill of a Kellite. It scared him think that perhaps the treatment he had received was somehow unjust. If the Kellite engineer had been unjust then many other threads threatened to come loose from Elwin’s mental fabric. He did not know why, but it still felt somewhat important to keep those threads safe, and so he pushed the idea aside and focused again on the sandwich. Besides, the thorn in his chest hurt less when he avoided thinking about such things. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 19”

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Thorns – Part 18

Kylie arrived back at the condominium for lunch and found herself a bench at a table. The waiter took down her order and was surprised that she was ordering two lunches. She explained that she was waiting for a friend. The waiter grinned obscenely and made a sexually suggestive motion with his hand. On any other day Kylie would have giggled at this but today she felt different. She stared blankly at the waiter not responding at all to his lewd gesture. He didn’t notice her lack of reaction, and informed her that the two lunches would take about an hour to prepare. Kylie nodded, that was about right. Service was typically this slow and that’s why she ordered the lunch she promise Elwin before he had even arrived.

Making her way to a free table she tried to read the Paradise Times, a weekly newspaper produced for circulation amongst the Delforians, but found herself distracted. Looking up from the newspaper she spotted Edith at her usual table working feverishly away sorting through documents. Kylie found herself staring at her crown of blonde hair neatly tied up. Edith noticed her looking and stopped what she was doing to glare at her. Kylie didn’t notice she just kept staring fixated on the intricacy of her hairdo. Edith grumbled, tried briefly to get back to her work, but decided to get up and walk over to Kylie who was still in a trance.

“Excuse me,” grumbled Edith.

Kylie looked up at her blankly, a soft, ‘yes’ passed Kylie’s lips in acknowledgement.

“I noticed that you’ve been staring at me. Is there something you would like to tell me?” Continue reading “Thorns – Part 18”

The Horror of Humhyde – Part 5

Otto shook his head dismissively. Randall fixed his attention on the big man.

“Do you have a problem with my plan, Otto?”

Otto cocked his head to the side smiling casually, then swinging it back about to face Randall his expression had transformed to one of abject fury.

“Yes, sir I have a problem, do you have any idea how much work we villagers have to do just to put food on our tables and to survive the winter? Yet you come here and cause a scare telling everyone about some unseen threat to them and demand we do as we are told. Heinrich here got lost in the woods because he believed your tales; there are no monsters out there. But yet you want a motte and bailey, well that’s just great, because I’m the woodsman here and you basically want me working all day every day to get the timber for such a work. Will I get any payment for it? Will I get any thanks? What about these other folk? They have more important work to do. Why should we do what you want us to do?”

Randall maintained a steely gaze at Otto throughout this entire outburst. He looked on as though completely unaffected by the torrent of extreme emotion that had just been poured forth. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 5”

The Monk – Part 5

Oriana was caught unprepared by detective Peterson’s question. Although he had not said Kent’s name yet, she assumed they had to have been referring to him. Who else fitted the description of being a suspicious person? The two men were waiting for her answer, but she maintained the appearance of being surprised into silence longer than she needed to be so as to give herself enough time wonder: had Kent actually done something so wrong that it warranted a police investigation? True, he was an eccentric man, but he seemed gentle and harmless enough, in fact he had said he helped to catch some criminals. If he had helped the police to catch a gang of thieves courageously in the past, surely he can’t truly be a bad person?

Peterson grew impatient with Oriana’s deliberate silence which she had played out a little too long. He repeated the question, “Have you been in contact with anyone suspicious?”

Oriana slowly nodded, “Yes, I think I might have.”

“Might have?”

“Well, I met a strange man, called Kent, yesterday, but…” she trailed off. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 5”