Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blasted Past: Part Thirteen

Ms. Madison followed the girl in leather into a broad courtyard, and found herself looking at a little house that someone had created out of the ruins of the ancient fortress. She smiled, as the girl opened the door for her, hanging on the door, looking back at her, a lovely smile on her beautiful face.

"Hungry, Lynette?" she asked, blue eyes sparkling. "I know I could eat a horse. Do you know what the food's like in nursing homes?" She made a face. "Of course, it's not the first time I've found myself in a sanatorium." Entering the house, she flopped down on a sofa.

"No." Ms. Madison looked sternly at the little blonde in leather.

"What?" the girl arched one elegant eyebrow.
"You can't be her," the English girl walked over to the window, looking out at the greensward of the ancient courtyard. "The Green Man met Sparrowhawk about a decade ago. The way he speaks about her, it's like she was older than him, more experienced. You can't be more than about twenty-five."
"Really? she girl in leather leaned forward in her seat. "And how did you become such a great judge of age?"
"Working for the Green Man." Ms. Madison glared at the pretty girl in the mask. "I had to learn to recognise friends - and foes. The picture the Green Man showed me looked exactly like you. Since then ten years have passed. Do you seriously expect me to believe that you haven't aged in ten years?"

"Not really," Sparrowhawk laughed. "No-one else does. But you have to believe that I don't wish you any harm. If I am an impostor, it's in a good cause."

Ms. Madison turned back to the American girl.
"The ends justify the means?" She sighed. "Look, if you are Sparrowhawk, then tell me this - who is the Green Man?"
"Your boss," Sparrowhawk laughed, "you just said..."
"I mean, under the mask." The English girl's tone hardened. "If you are Sparrowhawk, you ought to know that. That's why you were kidnapped, after all..."
Sparrowhawk burst out laughing.
"I don't know!" she declared, tears of mirth gleaming in her eyes, "that's what made what those bad guys were doing so priceless! I don't know any more than they did. Why whould I know?"
"Because the Green Man recognised her without her mask," Ms. Madison spoke sternly. "He said that, when he saw Sparrowhawk almost killed, ten years ago, he saw her face, and then he knew why she wore the mask - he knew her face."
"But he had never met her." A new voice - a man's voice - came from the door. Ms. Madison turned with a start.

No comments: