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#630988 - 10/28/06 09:38 PM It was a dark and stormy night.
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It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled out of the north like a bereaved banshee, roaring over the moor, funnelling its fuming ferocity down the valley toward the opulent manor.

The gale twisted bits of flotsam, flora and fauna into the frigid air, creating a clammering cacaphony of wretched debris hurling headlong into the walls of the estate as if on some suicidal mission to find refuge.

Inside the manor Percilla pouted. Thurgood and Eason had undoubtedly cancelled their visit, since her butler had informed her earlier that the bridge had been washed out due to the storm.

The only other route was a narrow, twisted trail through the moors of which she was told no sane person would dare venture at night, much less in this weather. And they could be such cowards at times, she thought, for she so looked forward to a rousing game of whisk. Oh, bother. Nothing left to do but get tiddly.

She poured the sherry herself, as she had dismissed the servants early. Pressing her voluptuous lower lip to the edge of the glass, she took a long sip of the amber liquid while giving a blank stare toward the immense fireplace.

Percilla watched impassively as the flames flickered fluidly, like dozens of Dante’s dancing denizens, pirouetting upwards to a silent symphony.

She signed, placed the goblet on the table, which now was adorned with a baby's bottom of crimson on the lip of the leaded crystal.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door . . . . . . .

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#630989 - 10/28/06 10:03 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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and the captain said to the mate, "It was a dark and stormy night"....

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#630990 - 10/29/06 06:06 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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They HAD made it. Maybe the bridge wasn't as bad as her butler had feared.

Across the room, Viking, the sleek, hungry cat, stretched his long black paws out along the cushions of the black leather couch. Some times, she thought, I can't even see him there.

Viking's ear's had perked up when he heard her speak of a writing thread on freerepublic. Lost in thought, Viking was startled by the knock....

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#630991 - 10/30/06 04:03 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Edgar. Uncle Edgar? Could it be - him?!? Percilla's memories came flashing back to her, of the tales told to her by her terrified governess: the quality almost like a boogeyman, when naughty children would be told that "Uncle Edgar would get you." But Percilla never quite understood the fear behind the voices. She always asked to be told of the adventurer, the traveler, the man with no lasting home, those parts of the story that they all glossed over.
"Uncle Edgar? Why, of course I remember stories about him, but how do I know it's you? I mean, honestly, after all..."

Edgar laughed again. "Yes, Raymond's suspicion again. How would it be, if I told you I only met you once in your entire life? When you were eleven years of age? Your father, and your mother, Chelsea, oh, they tried and tried to prevent me, but I wanted to see you, and see you I did! And remember, now, dear grown-up niece of mine, how we talked in the gazebo behind this very house? How you hated your governess, Mrs. Keenewick, when she wouldn't tell you much about me? Do you remember?"

Percilla most certainly did. An afternoon over fifteen years past, long before the demise of both her parents, and her assumption of the manor and the estate. An uncle, a mystery and a phantom, who told her his story...

"The ships, and the castles, and the mountains," Percilla said, "and all the places you saw on adventure..."

"Ye-eess, Cilla, you DO remember," Edgar replied softly. "Not only a traveler, but a hunter, as well. Do you remember what it is, that I told you I hunted? Do you! Or should I refresh your memory?"

"No, that's not necessary..."

"Because you were afraid, weren't you, Cilla?" Edgar hissed. "And you called for old Keenewick, and your mother came, too, and forbade me to come back here again. Oh, your mother protected you, and your father, like a lioness she did. I knew better than to cross her in her own den, that day. And you listened at the drawing room door, didn't you, lilttle scamp that you are. What did you hear, eh?"

Percilla answered, her voice no longer patrician, but small, frightened. "Papa said your business didn't concern me, but you said it did - you said that 'if the blood ever awoke, you'd return, and take up the family order'. I never forgot that." She stared at Edgar, searching for answers of dread. "What did you mean? Mama and Papa forbade me to ask about the 'family order'. What did they mean? And about 'the blood awakening?'"

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#630992 - 10/30/06 04:04 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Edgar gave a sinister smile, his facial lines confirming his desire.

Though her spirit was weakened by the sudden rush of nefarious memories, she managed a meager whisper, “Locket? Order? I don’t know what you mean.”

“Yes you do,” Edgar hissed,” in a way that made her blue blood run cold. “Now please give me the locket.”

Oh, this was going much, much too fast. Her mind flashed to Thurgood and Eason, hoping beyond hope that they would suddenly appear, the duel Dandies as she had on countless times teasingly called them, with their perfumed continence, manner and speak, two who would pluck her from this nightmare and bring her back to her sheltered existence as she had known since her privileged birth.

Eason’s abrupt “ahem” broke her gossamer wishes.

“The locket,” he said, with impatience in his gravely voice. “Now.”

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#630993 - 10/30/06 04:38 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Percilla's fear and dread, reawakened after all these intervening years by Uncle Edgar's arrival, threatened to come busrting out of her throat in a scream of fright but, before the cry could emerge, it was dampened by something else. Curiosity. Yes, she did remember the stories and the tales, and the single talk that she and Edgar had all those years past. And in the back of her mind, she always wished for the answers. Now, here on a dark and stormy night, her questions could finally be answered, by the only relative left alive who could.
"Mother gave me the locket, Uncle Edgar," she said finally, her voice regaining strength as she spoke, "and it's the most precious thing I have of hers. Will you damage it?"

"Hardly, my dear", Edgar said, "but the locket itself is only sentimental - the true value is the key within. Now, will we see the key, and could we please do so, over by the fireside, and out of this weather?"

Percilla, slowly, allowed the gaunt man inside and over the threshold, and got the impression that by inviting him in, her life would change forever. Edgar crossed the room to the hearth, and basked for a minute in its inviting warmth. Percilla saw that his hair, the same color as her mother's, was wind-tossed and wiry; his skin was reddened from the wind; all having the effect of rough-hewn wood.

"Ah, so much better, thank you, Cilla", Edgar said. "Now then, the locket, and watch closely..."

Percilla produced the locket from around her neck, and handed it over reluctanly, coming closer to watch. Edgar held it to the light for a moment, as if examining it for something. Then, with a curious motion, he twisted the locket with a tiny click, and a hollow space was inside.

The locket lay in Edgar's hand, now in two pieces: the lid had an elaborate etching on the inside, a coat of arms, from first glance. But in the bottom half, lay not a key, but a single pewter peg, almost the size of a nail.

"That? That's a key?" Percilla asked. "It looks nothing like any key I've ever seen."

"Of course not, because you haven't seen many keys, have you?" Edgar snickered. "Not everything is obvious - this might not look like a normal key, but what is a key, but a device to open a lock, and it matches the lock itself, and not your preconcieved views. Your first lesson of many, darling niece!"

"But, it couldn't fit any door in the house, or anywhere!"

"Doors! Keys don't always open doors, either. They open locks, Cilla, and this key fits into a lock which, I daresay, hasn't turned since I left this manor. But tonight, it surely shall."

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#630994 - 10/30/06 04:38 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
CubDave Offline
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X - I don't know what the heck is going on, but this thread is so unlike you. Keep it up, and you will never be able to chastise any BOLer again for spending time in the Cooler!

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#630995 - 10/30/06 05:28 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Well, his avator is interesting.

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#630996 - 10/30/06 08:22 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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And with that, Edgar wielded his arm skyward like a war hammer and smashed his fist on the edge of the fireplace mantel.

Percilla gave a squealed scream of fright as pieces of stone hurled to the ground, exposing a small recess.

Edgar thrust his now bloodied hand into the hole and pulled out a small wooden box.

“Ah-Hah,” he shouted maniacally, ejaculating spittle into the air, “the key to the evasive puzzle is finally within my grasp!”
Edgar whirled around like a top, confronting Percilla with his stare. “And if you,” he bellowed, his voice suddenly filled with the passion of madness, “utter even one word of this, I- I-,”
His eyes rolled like an doomed animal in the clutches of a vicious predator. Edgar dropped the box, and seizing his chest, collapsed on the polished floor.

Percilla stood transfixed in horror as Edgar twitched in spasmodic gestures like a being possessed.
Then, aghast, she transfixed on this abomination of an Uncle as he, with a compressed motion, pulled himself up.

“I am,” he croaked, “done. so - close”
Then within his death throes, he gasped, “Are you - Cilla - as adept - at solving - puzzles as - are you are - creating them?”

The sudden lifeless body of Edgar fell to the floor with a dull thud.

Pricilla did as one who had been borne of high privilege and station would naturally do in these sort of matters. She screamed. And she continued to scream until the frantic footsteps of servants from downstairs echoed throughout the manor.

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#630997 - 10/30/06 07:14 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Quote:

X - I don't know what the heck is going on, but this thread is so unlike you. Keep it up, and you will never be able to chastise any BOLer again for spending time in the Cooler!




By the way, SVP CubDave - your post got me to thinking about you, so I've changed my avatar to depict where you spend your time. Based on your post, it sort of sounds like you are constipated today!

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#630998 - 10/30/06 09:28 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Thanks - I do some of my best creative thinking there, X.

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#630999 - 10/31/06 12:28 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
Becka Marr Offline
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Click here to continue this story.
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To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~Elbert Hubbard

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#631000 - 10/31/06 12:38 AM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Further South than I wanna be.
Cubby, X is doing what he does best, cut and paste.
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Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

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#631001 - 10/31/06 03:44 PM Re: It was a dark and stormy night.
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Quote:

Cubby, X is doing what he does best, cut and paste.




And I'm damn good at it, Buckwheat. You have a problem with that? Talk to the hand, also try to lose some weight!

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