Friday, May 30, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked: Part One

The town of Greyminster, Nottinghamshire, takes its name from the two most notable things about it. First, the rather attractive Early English chuch that stands by the railway station; second, the fact that it is one of the most boring places on earth. The main employer used to be the local coal mine, but after that closed in 1993, the local economy stalled completely, promises of unlimited wealth produced through the manufacture of string vests failing to bear fruit.

As Lady Sylvia Vaughan stepped off the train, she looked up at the lovely church and smiled, glad to be somewhere other than Mainstone Park, and not in immediate danger of her life. She had left Ms. Madison to complete the journey by car, with Sparrowhawk, who remained unhappy at the idea of using public transport. She assumed that there was more to the recovering herione than met the eye, but there was little she could do to find out what that was.

Pausing by the luxuriant flowerbeds outside the station, Lady Sylvia picked a flower and put it in her hair, smiling and full of the joys of spring. A flashbulb popped and Lady Sylvia started with a yelp of surprise, before turning, adopting a fighting stance.

"Lady Sylvia Vaughan?" a man with a notepad and paper approached the dark-haired aristocrat. "Greyminster Telegraph. Are you here to supply glamour to your brother's campaign?"

"Campaign?" Lady Sylvia's jaw dropped. "Whatever are you talking about?"

"The by-election," the reporter shook his head, smiling. "There's no need to be shy, Lady Sylvia, after all, it's in the public domain. Why, the Association announced its choice yesterday. I take it you're on the way to Greyminster Park to join the campaign team?"

"I... I don't even know what you're talking about..." Lady Sylvia turned very red indeed, trembling a little. "I ... I've been away for a long time..."

By this time the man was scribbling away busily, and Lady Sylvia hoped that this wasn't going to appear in the paper. As fast as she could, she hailed a taxi, her mind awhirl.
"Greyminster Park!" she announced nervously.

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