Monday, March 19, 2007

The Law of the Green Man: Part One

Sir Harold Rait, industrialist and statesman, looked out across the lawn of his mansion, one hand on his broad walnut desk. Life, he thought, was good. He was wealthy, possessed of a thriving company and recently appointed Government Emissary to the World Disarmament Conference. And his under-the-counter business was doing even better.

His 'phone rang, and Sir Harold picked it up.

"Rait," he announced in clipped tones.

"Mr. Rait," a female voice came down the line, "this is Julia, calling from Pudding Norton Provident. We received a call today saying you were dead."
"That's insane!" Rait cried, "how...?"
"Anyone can make a call," the girl told him. "But there was an error in the date she gave. It was a week from today. In the future."
"Just a prank," Rait dismissed it, before hanging up curtly. Moments later, the 'phone rang again. Sir Harold picked it up impatiently.
"Rait," he announced once more.
"Harold Rait, blackmailer and murderer," a harsh male voice cut through the air. "Next time, do not cancel the instruction. In a week's time, you will be dead."

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