Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked

Sparrowhawk leapt out of the car, closely followed by Ms. Madison. This time, they had followed the drive that had once led up to the great doors of Tollholme Priory. Now, all they saw was the shattered remains of the entrance front. Ms. Madison strained to keep up, as thegirl in leather shot across the drive, towards a now-overgrown porch. She had not spoken since they had left Greyminster, and her intensity frightened the Green Man's secretary. She knew that the blonde bombshell had spent time in a mental hospital, and apparently hadn't been all that stable before that. Here, in the ruins of a house she claimed to have visited fifty years ago, who knew what might be going through her head?

"Hey!" she exclaimed at last, "what's going on? Why here?"
"Because the end is near."
The voice of the Green Man caused Ms. Madison to start. Not that it should have, she reflected. After all, he was known for turning up in the most odd places. Still, here and now...

"I thought you'd get the hint." Hawkie smiled at him, striking a pose.

"And I never thought you'd give up." The Green Man nodded. "Now that they're facing exposure, I think they'll return to the old sanctuary, don't you?"
"But why?" Ms. Madison shook her head. "They have to know that you're onto them. Why risk it all by coming here?"
"Why did the monks build here?" The Green Man looked out over the windswept plain around the ruins, gaunt and deserted, now that the grounds were gone, the gardens overgrown, ponds choked with weeds. "This was the site of an early Christian mission, Lynette. And many of those missions were built on the sites of pagan rituals. They meet here because they belive that mystical energies flow through this place."
"Now they know Lord Ambrose will fight against all they can throw at him," Hawkie spoke savagely, "they'll seek even diabolic power to stop him."
"But it will do them no good." The Green Man smiled grimly. "Load your pistol, Ms. Madison. Tonight this ends."

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