Thursday, July 24, 2008


Tabernacle, Aberystwyth, the chapel that Sparrowhawk was almost killed outside back in 1997, is no more on 4 July, the chapel was set alight by arsonists, and on 11 April, the remains, having been declared unsafe, were demolished. The church had been empty since 2002, when the congregation of 70 ceased using the massive building, which had been constructed for 1800 people. The fourth chapel on the site, it is likely to be the last. The intention was to turn the building into flats. Now both exterior and interior are lost.

The building looked unloved, even in 1997, when it was in use. Entered from a side-street, the chapel presented a starkly classical aspect to the town by the station, from which is was the most obvious building, jutting out into Mill Street. The Green Man would have seen it above everything else, and Sparrowhawk, spotted by the man she had been pursuing for so long, must have headed there in the hope of finding some sort of sanctuary.

Now the chapel is gone, leaving a gaping hole in the town's skyline, probably to be replaced by an anonymous block of flats. A little more of the romance has gone out of the life of this lovely town in Mid-Wales. And, like Sparrowhawk, I suppose that this adds a nother reminder that the past is a place to which we can never return.
In Memoriam, Y Tabernacl, Aberystwyth.

No Rest for the Wicked: Part Thirteen

The shadowy figures crept down the long, dark corridors of Greyminster Park, intent on their terrible mission. Their faces were set like flint, evil in their hearts. As they crept further into the mansion, they muttered arcane spells of protection.

"It is here..." the men paused by a large door. "He is sleeping..."

They tried the door, but it would not open. The men took a step back, one of them taking aim at the lock. His silenced pistol fired, the bullet shattering the lock. They stepped up to the door again, one man leaning on the door, turning the door handle. The door remained stubbornly locked. The man muttered a curse.

"It's bolted." The voice of Sparrowhawk caused the men to turn. The men looked, dumbstruck at the leather-clad figure.
"Who the hell are you?" the man who had tried to open the door raised his gun.
"Scary warrior girl," Sparrowhawk struck out with her whip, tearing the gun from the man's hand. Her boot slammed into the man's jaw, and he slept. "You guys need to realise that I've dealt with slouches like you before. You can pick a lock, but try unbolting a door from the other side."
Another man drew, only to be knocked cold by a blow from Hawkie's gauntleted fist. A short struggled followed, but the men, dependent on their guns, and expecting the element of surprise, were outclassed from the beginning. Sparrowhawks fists and feet seemed to be everywhere at once, knocking the men back against very hard walls.
"Yes," Sparrowhawk struck a pose, leaning on the door frame. "I'm good."

Monday, July 21, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked: Part Twelve

"No." Sparrowhawk looked defiantly at the Green Man. "You don't brush me off like that. We hunt together, even if you don't love me any more." There was more than a trace of bitterness in her voice.

"Look," the Green Man sighed, "I thought you understood. What we had was never more than a promise that was never fulfilled."

"Story of my life," Hawkie laughed bitterly. "Still, at least I can kick a bad guy in the head when life starts geting me down."

The Green Man smiled grimly, looking up at the moon. Full, it bathed the gardens of the house in an unearthly light. It also gave no cover at all for the wicked. And that was just the way things ought to be. Beside him, Hawkie was tensed, ready to spring on the attackers, the whip by her side ready to do some serious injury. Perhaps this young woman was being more than a little obsessive, but there was little the Green Man could do to stop that. Showing the wicked their proper place (six feet under) was a good way of keeping his mind off things.

"There." The Green Man pointed to a shadow that fled across the lawns. Sparrowhawk slipped the whip from her belt, the light in her eyes suggesting that the wicked had something very nasty pending.
As the blond bombshell raced across the lawn, the Green Man slipped back into the shadows.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The interruption in Service

Sir Richard Arcos writes: Discerning and learned readers may have noticed an interruption in service. This is because the Green Man was engaged in helping the wife and I squash a particularly septic pustule by the name of Sir Algebald Belhus, a former chemical factory owner whose appalling safety recod has created a great many widows and orphans. Under cover of an invitation to a conference, he was lured to a remote castle in Suffolk, where he was fed food laced with the toxic residue from his own factories. Since the poison was slow and unpredictable, sadly the Green Man was unable to leave said remote castle until it was obvious that the agonies of death had set in. Having delivered the message of doom to the hapless merchat of death, the Green Man was able to resume his duties in the field of visiting vengeance on the satanists of remotest Greyminster.

No Rest for the Wicked: Part Eleven

The sun was sinking low on the horizon, as Sparrowhawk and the Green Man lingered in the garden. The blonde in leather looked up at the Green Man, her blue eyes wide and fascinated.

"Look..." she laid a gloved hand on his arm, "I...I know it's hard, but to me, that night in the station wasn't a decade ago. It was just the other day."

"You lost that decade," the Green Man shook his head. "And I lost you a decade ago, under the shadow of that old chapel. When you walked back into my life it was out of the past. You have to understand that for the rest of us ten years passed. I've met someone else, and it's serious. We never really got started..."

"Then how can you know I'm not the one?" Sparrowhawk sighed, brushing strands of golden hair out of her face. The setting sun gleamed on her hair, offsetting her mask. "I know how it must seem, my striding back in the way I did. But I can't help it. After all this time, have you really forgotten?"

She leaned close to him, her other hand climbing to his lapel. She raised red lips, her eyes closing langourously. This close, the Green Man could not fail to notice her perfume.

"Sparrowhawk." The Green Man turned away, looking up to the moon that was slowly showing above the trees. "I can't, and you really shouldn't..."
"Sure," she sighed, "but I'm a naughty little Hawkie. Besides, it's not like I've got that much to lose. You want me out of here, don't you?"
"Forty years or so ago," the Green Man nodded, "someone wearing your mask and costume let an evil man get away because they got too involved. I'm not going to let that happen again."
"And you're not gonna get too involved with me, either." Sparrowhawk shook her head, sighing. "Look, I'm in now, so what do we do?"
"We catch the guys who are about to try to kill Lord Ambrose." The Green Man spoke sternly to the blonde in leather. "You take the North wing. I'll take the South."