- Poetry Corner (3)
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It was just over an hour since he had watched the Zeppelin descend in a roar of flames and Valentine was sitting, deep in thought, in his favourite armchair. By every calculation the day had been an absolute success; Sturridge had been put out of the game with real ingenuity and, he dared to think, a little style and, as an added bonus, his two followers had all but dispatched themselves. The Explorer’s Club could now go about its business free from unwarranted interference. Continue reading
“We’re lost now, aren’t we?” I said with a sigh.
Ever since we’d exited the square with the inanimate soldiers the buildings seemed to have crowded ever closer together and the paths had narrowed until the apartment block that had been our guide star had been somehow lost from view. Our pace had gradually slowed with each uncertain turn and now we had finally come to a complete halt between a row of overhanging Tudor houses and a crumbling medieval Abbey. Continue reading
I stood with my back pressed up against the wall of the palazzo for a full five minutes before my heart rate returned to something like normal. All the way across the narrow strip of open ground that lay between the trees and the fence I had been tensed for the sound of a shout or even a shot to signify some opposition to our attempted intrusion. But there was nothing, just a gentle breeze rippling through the leaves and the urgent pounding of my overwrought heart. Michael and I made our way through the gap in the fence and into the shadow of the palazzo without incident. Continue reading
They came upon the barracks of the Explorers Club in a clearing in the midst of a dense forest. The site covered a few acres and was encircled by a slender, razor sharp wire fence which glinted dangerously in the sunshine. That these were no ordinary barracks was immediately apparent from a quick survey of the buildings within the wire. Continue reading
“Sturridge?” said the old woman. “No dear, I’m afraid he’s gone.”
“Long gone,” added the old man wistfully.
“Bugger,” I muttered. Continue reading
The chosen location for the peace talks the following morning was the shell of a bombed out house in the Marksville suburbs. Sitting as it did almost directly halfway between the city walls and the Viborg lines it had presumably been selected as a neutral location, though the charred wallpaper still clinging to the shattered walls and the pathetic bits of broken furniture piled up in one corner proclaimed it as anything but. By the time I was escorted by my two burly minders to take my reluctant seat at the conference the principle players were already in place. Continue reading
It was some time after midnight before Michael and I returned to the bar of The Hotel Majestic, still no closer to striking inspiration in terms of finding something to barter for our inter-dimensional travel drive repairs. I was undoubtedly beginning to warm to the idiosyncratic delights of Marksville home-brewed alcohol, and there had certainly been plenty more of it on offer on the way back, but in none of its many textures, tastes or colours could it be said to particularly lend itself to clear thinking. Continue reading