Monday, January 25, 2010

The Return of the Green Man: Part One

The winter was unusually harsh, with snow just before Christmas. And that snow stayed, being renewed in early January by further falls, rendering the lanes around the isolated mansion impassable. Food, however, was not a problem, given the fully stocked freezers. Even so, there were some in the house party who were less than pleased when, a week after New Year's Day, the house was still isolated. There were city types who wanted to be back in the office, and models who would have liked to go off to the South of France. Even their host, the resclusive Robinson Way, was less than happy, after someone decided that this was an emergency and drank a great deal of his best claret. But beggars cannot be choosers, and there was little of the less expensive wine left.

An elegantly-dressed female looked out over the frozen landscape from the warmth of the the house and shuddered, looking at the snow. It had been fun the first few days, but now the sight of it was starting to bore her.

"Is there no way of getting a helipcopter or something out here?" she demanded testilty.

"It can be done, Miss Powell," her companion, a bearded man in a tweed suit who was usually involved in the whisky export business, in spite of his old Etonian accent, replied, "but would you take the risk in this visibility?"

She made a face, and turned back to the fire, where Mr. Way say, a glass of vintage brandy in his hand, watching the flames dance in the grate. He seemed lost in thought, and had missed the conversation. Only the approach of a footman caused him to look up. The man carried a silver tray, on which rested a card. While the young woman looked confused, windering how a card could have been delivered, Way read the card idly.

The glass slipped from his fingers, shattering on the floor. Way rose to his feet, pale and trembling. The guests rushed to attend to him. The young woman saw the card on the tray, on which the milionaire's eyes were fixed. She gasped, reading words which she could scarecely credit.

"Surely this is a joke?" she looked up at him, then back at the card.

"No..." the man shook his head, his voice faltering. "No... no... c... c...can't - dead! The G...G...G...Gr...Green M...M...Man is DEAD!"

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