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glass, Darkly


 

 

Through a Glass , Darkly.

 

 

 

The sun shone brightly through the windows of the office of Bucket and Bucket as an elderly and distinguished-looking Englishwoman placed a large manuscript firmly on the desk of the man in charge of the Historical Fiction section of the world famous publishing house

 

He gestured her to sit down

 

The as-yet unpublished novelist spun a barlottti bean on its end as she outlined the plot of the manuscript on the table to the young but already balding literary agent before her

 

“There’s  this Wiccan in 15th Century Italy who strikes up an unusual friendship with a monk in – er – a monastery. They both use – er – herbs to – er – cure things – yes – palsy , leprosy , the pox ! That kind of thing . They develop a Mutual Respect , See each Other’s Point Of View , Swap recipes for poultices , burn incense , cleanse crystals , Stand Up for Justice , that kind of thing – oh – and he saves her from being burned as a witch by hiding her in a closet – its full of Authentic Detail , I’ve done a lot of research – foxglove , feverfew – er – borage “

 

 

The young man looked intrigued , the barlotti bean glowed slightly  and the amber eyed woman knew she had her man in a vice-like grip

 

 

“ you don’t “ she continued in her comfortable Home Counties voice ,so reminiscent of car pools , Waitrose , the WI and parish Bring and Buy stalls “ think this plot is in any way trite , hackneyed

or in anyway lacking in originality or interest  - or what we shall call , for want of a better word , pzzaz ....?

 

 

“no no “ he protested  “certainly not - I think it is splendid ! -  just the ticket ! -  top notch ! – plenty of pzazz – cant wait to read it – large cheque – sign here “ as he quickly wrote out a contract and pushed it across the desk toward her

 

 

The author peered at him as if examining a rabbit caught in the headlights before driving straight over it
 and ignored the pen he was offering her

 

 

“Quadruple” she breathed huskily

 

 

“Absoloutely “ he echoed “ quadruple indeed ! “ as he added a nought

 

 

A scratching noise came from her handbag ,  Raphael was restless

plus he was upside down and unable to right himself , a situation that always caused him heartburn

 

 

She reached into the bag and righted him and he purred

If a terrapin can be said to purr

 

 

And she took the fountain pen and signed her name with a flourish

 

Petronella Flamel   An excellent name , she mused , for a best selling author

she could already see it in large embossed golden lettering on piles of chunky books at branches of WH Smith thoughout the land

“ Phillipa Gregory  - move over  “ she muttered “ the Time for Tudors is gone , it is the Season of the Witch ! “

 

 

 

 

A dark shadowed figure followed her as she left the office and stepped out into Soho square

 

Tall dark and handsome , she recognised the figure of Ierobino Sangreal and so she might !

For she had known him though many life times under many names and in many different apearances ,

and on at least one occasion , a different species , but she always knew him by the eyes which were brown ,deep and strangely luminous.

 

 

Her own being amber and with horizontal pupils like those of a goat , not that this was noticeable behind her delicate lavender tinted and gold rimmed spectacles

 

 

“Howd it go in thurr ? he whispered huskily in an unplaceable accent that seemed to come from somewhere between Balinderry and Babylon

 

“Did you go with the barlotti  ? “

 

 

“ they worked a treat “ said the amber eyed crone “ but it was the viper’s tongue that really clinched the deal , and now my friend we must scarper , begone , vamoose  before he comes around and reads the first page and I want to get the cheque lodged before that happens – so , my friend  – to the bank ! “

 

 

And so the three conspirators set off into the dark , looking for all the world like a priest , an elderly parishioner and a small turtle

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                     to be continued .....                            
                                                                                                  Anita Greg 2011

 

 

 

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