Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Curse: Part Ten

The degenerate aristocrat fell back, as the Green Man moved out of the shadows, his movement slow and threatening. The man gibbered in fear as the bringer of vengeance advanced on him.

"Robin Fitz-Carew," the Green Man's voice filled the cellar. "You have tried to destroy innocent life. You blamed Lord Ambrose Vaughan for your failure, your profligacy - you have no-one to blame but yourself!"

"No!" FitzCarew screamed, "I will have my revenge, I..."

"Your revenge?" the Green Man spoke mockingly. "No wrong has been done to you, yet you arranged to poison Lord Ambrose Vaughan - you lured Lady Sylvia Vaughan here so that you could slay her! You wamted to make that family pay for the fact that they bought the home your family had built! The home you sold so that you could feed your lusts!"

"But you can't kill me." The man smiled desperately. "I know you, Green Man. "You only kill where life has been destroyed!"

"And the poion you had administered to Lord Ambrose would have killed him." The Green Man drew his gun. "Would have killed him if I had not located the poison and given him the antidote. You meant to kill."

The Green Man's gun was lowered at the head of FitzCarew. The finger of the emerald avenger tightened on the trigger. FitzCarew passed out, as the hammer struck home.

And nothing happened. The Green Man holstered hyis gun, as he moved over to unchain the two girls. Lady Sylvia was crying with relief, while Ms. Madison just looked at the Green Man.

"How did you find it?" the blonde asked, eyes wide. "I mean..."

"This isn't just a madman's revenge," the Green Man told her soberly. "I'll explain once we get back to London."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Curse: Nine

Lady Sylvia came to in a dank cellar, chained to the wall by the side of a still unconscious Ms. Madison. She groaned, looking at bare walls. The chains cut into her wrists, and she could barely see in the gloom.

"So, you're awake." A cultured but cruel voice spoke through the silence of the cellar. "It was so nice of you to come."

"Who are you?" Lady Sylvia shook her head. "What are you doing?"

The man in the darkness sighed, then laughed mockingly. The young aristocrat felt her flesh crawl. There was something utterly evil in the speaker.

"You have to ask me that?" the man snarled back. "After what your family did to me, robbing me of my inheritance?"

"Robbing?" Lady Sylvia drew back. "My brother paid for the house - it was on the market! If he hadn't bought it, then the house would have been demolished!"

"Silence!" the man struck her across the face. Lady Sylvia felt a ring slash her face, hot blood rolling down her cheek. "I will not listen to you, witch! With your drowning at Southend, the curse of Mainstone will be fulfilled!"

"If there is a curse of Mainstone, Robin FitzCarew," a new voice spoke, low and controlled. A voice Lady Sylvia recognised all too well. "Then it is you on which it will fall."
"Who...?" The man in the gloom turned, "...how...?"
"You sold your birthright then squandered the fortune you were paid." The Green Man remained in the shadows. "Now you want to destroy the man who bought that house. You have destroyed, Robin FitzCarew. Now destruction will catch up with you."

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Curse: Part Eight

Ms. Madison stepped out of Southend Victoria Station by the side of Lady Sylvia. The two exquisitely dressed blondes looked around them, a little worried by the bright lights and brashness of the seaside resort. Lady Sylvia dodged a couple of scantily clad teenagers, who giggled, clearly a little the worse for alcohol.

"Why are we here?" she demanded anxiously.

"To get to the bottom of this curse thing!" Lady Sylvia flagged down a taxi, the driver of which was only too happy to pick up two people who would not be sick all over the back of his cab. "This is where the last Fitzcarew of Mainstone lives now! The man my brother bought the house off!"

The two girls climbed into the back of the taxi, Lady Sylvia giving an address to the driver. He apparently knew it, for he drove away from the town centre at speed. The girls settled down on the back seat, looking one to another.

"The family had let the house remain empty for years," Lady Sylvia explained. "They couldn't afford to keep it up, so they had to sell at last. Ambrose bought it, out-bidding a demolition expert. But Robin FitzCarew squandered most of the money gambling, now he lives in a bungalow here. I..."
Lady Sylvia's eyes widened, as she saw a white cloud rising from the floor. She tried to cover her mouth, but darkness soon claimed her. As she passed out, she could hear the driver laughing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Curse: Part Seven

"Mainstone," Lady Sylvia explained earnestly, "isn't a Vaughan family property. My family come from Cheshire, we were originally Welsh, 'Vaughan' is an English version of the Welsh 'Fychan.' My brother bought this house to save it from being demolished. The family who rebuilt it as a gothic fantasy had owned it since the Middle Ages."

Ms. Madison smiled gently at her friend's words.

"And how long ago was that?" she asked curiously.
"Ten years or so ago," the brunette noted. "I remember coming here from Cheltenham when I was very young."
"So," Ms. Madison smiled sweetly, "we can reasonably assume that this isn't an attack on your family after all. I mean, what idiot's going to invent a curse that can be proved not to belong to your family by simply checking the land registry. So, why invent a curse on the house?"
"That's easy," Lady Sylvia nodded. "In order to empty the house. The only question is, why would someone do that? And I know just the person to answer that - ever been to Southend-on-Sea, Lynette?"

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Curse: Part Six

Ms. Madison and Lady Sylvia ducked, the blonde pulling a pistol from her bag. Her little gun barked like a spaniel, and a man fell from the top of the stairs with a cry, rather like an indian getting shot in an old western. However, he was dead by the time he hit the ground, and did not land on anything as soft as a crash mat.

"And now it's time for a few answers!" Ms. Madison took the innkeeper by the throat. "And' don't tell me you don't know!"

"They forced their way in!" the man gibbered in fear, "made me look after them, told me none of the other guests was allowed to see them. When they left, they left a man behind, said people might come..."

"And they were right," Ms. Madison snarled. "Where did they go?"

"I don't know!" the innkeeper screamed, "really, I don't. They said they were leaving for secure quarters, I..."

"Come." Ms. Madison swept out of the inn, Lady Sylvia scurrying after her.

She leapt back into the car, followed by Lady Sylvia. They drove back to the towers of Mainstone.

"Cursed?" Ms. Madison turned to address her friend. "Or is someone attacking your family?"

"This isn't my family home," Lady Sylvia noted grimly.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Curse: Part Five

The old innkeeper looked suspiciously at the lovely form of Ms. Madison, as the blonde preened in the mirror by the stairs, then back at Lady Sylvia.

"I'm sorry, Miss," he shook his head, "I don't know anything about the couple you asked about. They paid in advance and left no forwarding address. They didn't seem local..."

"And do I seem local?" Lady Sylvia leaned over the front desk."

"You're Lord Ambrose Vaughan's sister," the innkeeper smiled. "I suppose you are, Miss. Your friend is from London, isn't she?"

"Okay," Lady Sylvia shrugged. "So you do know. Can I take a look at their room?"

"You're Lord Ambrose's sister," the Innkeeper bowed to her. "He owns the freehold of this place, so I suppose I can let you do that. Is your friend coming too?"

"Of course," Ms. Madison smiled, hand going into her bag. Lady Sylvia knew she had just put her hand on her gun.

When a bullet shot overhead, shattering the mirror, the young aristocrat understood why she had been looking so intently in the mirror.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Curse: Part Four

The white sports carpulled up outside the dark, towering bulk of Mainstone Castle. A number of footmen stepped out of the house, removing a couple of suitcases from the boot. Lady Sylvia ran to the door, breathless with anticipation, heels scrunching on the gravel of the drive.

The driver's door opened, and Ms. Madison stepped out, elegant and lovely in a stylish white suit, an orchid at her shoulder adding a dash of colour to her appearance. And, of course, she was very careful to show off her legs as she stepped out of her car, smiling sweetly at her friend, before taking a look at the gothic mansion.

"I came as soon as I could," she explained. "I was staying with Sir Richard Arcos when the Savoy forwarded my call to you. What's this about some curse?"

"Ambrose is suffering from a mystery illness," Lady Sylvia sighed. "He seems to think there's some curse on him and on the house. I overheard some people discussing it."

"And you want me to help you solve the mystery?" Ms. Madison nodded sympathetically. "Where do we start?"
"We start with the pub where I overheard the people," Lady Sylvia declared with feeling. "Get back in the car, Lynette - we're going places."
"I've got my gun," the blonde added with a smile. "And after what you did up north, I'm guessing you've got yours." She slid back into the car, Lady Sylvia running round to the passenger seat.
"And the Green Man?" the brunette asked.
"He'll know," Ms. Madison reassured her.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Announcement: The Interruption in Service

The Green Man offers his apology for the interruption in service. The reason for the long pause in posting is due to the fact that the Green Man was busy tracking down a false company promoter to his County House in Surrey and visiting dark vengeance on him.
After a battle with armed mercenaries, the Green Man burned the crook's house down before his eyes. After that, the man was hanged from a tree in his park.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Curse: Part Three

Lord Ambrose Vaughan's face was pale and drawn, glistening with perspiration. He seemed to be struggling to remain upright, as he leaned on the bannisters of the great staircase. Lady Sylvia had seen her brother ill before, but never like this.

"What's up?" she asked him breathlessly, "you..."

"It all started after you went away on that extended holiday. After that castle collapsed." Lord Ambrose shook his head. "A man came here, a scholar, researching the history of Mainstone. In the library, he found an ancient book, which said the site had been cursed when a gypsy encampment was moved to make way for the house.
"I laughed at it at first, of course, but then strange things started to happen. Cows were found dead in the park, a horse was found dead in the stables - and that's really odd, because I don't keep horses in the stables - and then I fell ill. The doctors have no idea what it is, they haven't been able to identify the symptoms or anything."

"I can guess what it is," Lady Sylvia sighed. "Thismorning, I overheard some people talking about the curse as if it was in their control. I'd be willing to bet all this that the 'curse' is some sort of plant."

"But...but why?" Lord Ambrose looked confused. "What could anyone possibly get out of this curse?"
"I'll find out..." Lady Sylvia's eyes narrowed. "I'll just need a friend to help me. And the Green Man."