A something that might be a something or a nothing. We shall see.
I awoke lying on the grass soaked to the skin and the rain falling on my face. Eyes opening slowly I stared up into a starless night sky and on the horizon lightning crackled and fizzed lighting up the clouds.
…I had expected to drift off into nothing, so you can imagine my surprise when it turned out that the afterlife would turn out to be an experience that, whilst not the Hell the door knocking Christians assured me I was destined for, was never the less turning out to be a pretty awful state of affairs.
As I lay on the floor I think of her again, the face of a woman both kind and gentle and she reminds me that it is good to be brave, but it is also good to be careful and that if you are careful then you will not get into situations that require you to be brave.
The more she spoke the more I found myself growing impatient, she seemed intent on labouring the point and my concern was for Plumduff and O’Rourke and not for the dramatics she quite obviously enjoyed
As we left the hustle of the main through fare behind and headed back to the office my mind turned to Plumduff and O’Rourke. It had been hours now since they disappeared into the portal behind Thrumhall and I felt helpless to do anything about it.
Its actually looking like I might finish this…who’d have thought.
“Keep an eye on her Armitage” Plumduff said as O’Rourke laid Eldin on the bed. “She’s going to be a little feisty when she wakes up I expect. Elizabeth, give the boy a hand will you.”
For the second time I found myself back in Plumduff’s office wondering whether I might be able to get a new pair of shoes. McCann handed me a drink and Plumduff paced back and force behind her desk.
Compton’s office was somewhat bigger than Plumduff’s, lined on two opposite sides with similar creaking bookshelves. If lacked the ornate fireplace of Margaret’s and on the walls not covered with books were displayed a collection of thick framed maps and sketches which I took to be some sort of representation of the In-Between.
Armitage sat motionless as Thrumhall’s men got to their feet, hands on their pistols. McCann stirred and Plumduff put a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s see how this works out” she cautioned.
Passing out through the heavy wooden doors they were back on the outskirts of the city Plumduff and Armitage had first visited in search of Periscope. Night had fallen and the streets blazed with neon in pinks, yellows and blues. Stars burned bright in the sky above and twin moons hung heavy in the sky like a pair of watching eyes.
There are points in your life when things become too much and you simply have to insist that enough is enough and you will no longer play along and be buffeted and tossed by the universe. For me, this was one of those moments.
“Why did you bring him?” Gravita snapped. “Now were going to have to finish him off.” She took out her wand and the tip began to glow red as she pointed it at me where I lay.
“Watch out” Plumduff shouted as the creatures threw themselves through the air crashing into O’Rourke and McCann as they burst into the room
During my time short in the fracture I had already witnessed so many truly amazing sights, but the Galloping Gadzooks were not one of those. A ramshackle bunch as I had ever seen, and who’s place here in the Fracture I couldn’t help but question.
With the taste of blood in her mouth Plumduff opened her eyes and licked her lips. Her mouth was dry and her head was pounding.
The roar of a dozen cannons split the eerie silence, thunderous volley after volley whistling overhead as smoke drifted across the battlefield. The long lines of French infantry shuffled nervously, muskets loaded and bayonets fixed waiting for their orders as the guns, with their superior range, pounded the Prussian lines.
Despite her diminutive stature Plumduff punched well above her weight, and as she gave me a shove and shouted “Run boy, back to the courtyard” she launched herself at the witches.
Of all the things that I had so far seen the sight before me was right up there with the most curious. I had expected witches of the traditional earthly type but these were very much something else.
Time to deal with Henry methinks or I will never get this thing finished…
The prompt dictates where I go. Today it was ‘Witchy Warts’
Part ten in the ongoing tale of Armitage and Plumduff.