Monday, April 21, 2008

Blasted Past: Part Twelve

The blonde bombshell landed the little boat on a gently sloping beach, leaping out into the surf. Ms. Madison did the same, helping manhandle the boat onto the beach. She followed the intense girl in the mask, as she hurried up the beach, towards woodland.

"Where...where are we going?" Ms. Madison not unnaturally asked, "and who are you?"

"I told you, didn't I?" the girl did not turn around, "I'm Sparrowhawk. What about you?"

"Lynette Madison," the Gren Man's secretary replied, still not sure what to believe. "They told me you were..."

"They forgot to tell me," the girl in leather laughed. "Still, ten years locked away inside my mind. It's not a pretty though, Lynette - you don't mind if I call you Lynette, do you? - You can call me Hawkie, all my friends do."

Ms. Madison did not have a ready reply, as the girl in leather led her up the beach, ascending rock-cut steps at the cliff edge. Ms. Madison followed gingerly, very aware of her bare feet. The path was clear and litter-free, although there was no sign telling people that the route was private property. She was still unsure about this girl in leather, this mix of menace and frivolity. Could she really be Sparrowhawk?

The woods quickly hid all sight of the beach from view, only the gentle rolling of the waves remining Ms. Madison that they were close to the sea. A few overgrown bridges told her that this landscape had once belonged to an estate. At any moment she expected to see a mansion through the trees.

What she in fact saw was what looked like a dilapidated castle, glazed windows showing that the place was still inhabited. Sparrowhawk paused, looking back to her new associate.

"St. Peter Park," she told Ms. Madison, "my home. I think I can manage to make us supper. Would you like to join me? That way we can discuss things."
It was with the greatest of trepidation that Ms. Madison accopanied the girl dressed as Sparrowhawk to theancient mansion.

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