Friday, 18 May 2018

Wot Oh Old Boy! The mystery deepens.



I got to my room in the North Wing of this stately mansion. The wind was howling outside and I could hear the shutters of a nearby window shaking as if they were to come off their hinges. It was raining heavily outside. Just a swell, I thought. I would hate it if it rained heavily inside. Especially since I did not bring my umbrella with me. Every so often one could hear the distant thunder followed by a flash of lightning brightening up the dark skies. This is because in these parts of the country sound travels faster than light.

(Read the last sentence again and think about this for a while whilst I get to my room).

The ominous atmosphere of the place reminded me of ghost stories one often hears about stately homes just like this one. They always start with a dark and stormy night with thunder and lightning. I must admit that I was more than a little frightened as I got up the stairs. My knees were knocking. I had butterflies in my stomach and their knees were knocking too. My goose pimples had goose pimples of their own. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up and ready to escape at the nearest threat. Can't mention any other hairs right now because I was too eager to get to my room.

With trembling hands I turned the key in the lock and opened the door which creaked noisily as it revealed my room. I switched on the lights and got in quickly shutting the door behind me. Someone had already brought my suitcase and left it by my bed.

I can't explain why I felt that way. Suddenly, as I came up the stairs I had a premonition that something bad was going to happen. The loss of the backgammon disc was only a start.

I quickly got changed and hid under the covers in my bed. Like the rest of the house this room was luxuriously appointed. The furniture looked genuinely antique and must have cost a fortune. The bed, the side table, the dressing table with its huge art deco mirror, the bedside light, everything here had been well chosen to match each other and was certainly of great value. 

On the wall there was a large original oil painting of some knight in medieval armour with his visor up and his eyes staring at me menacingly. It reminded me of those paintings you see in spooky films where there is someone hiding behind the wall and watching you through the eyes of the portrait. 

I wondered if there had been someone there watching me undress and putting on my pink pyjamas. The only reason I had pink pyjamas is because they were 10% cheaper than any others in the shop; and no one watching me through that painting should insinuate anything else.

It was now about thirty-seven minutes past midnight. As I tried to frighten myself to sleep there was a knock at my door. My heart stopped beating in my chest and dropped down to hide behind my stomach which was churning like a butter machine.

A voice from behind the door whispered loud enough for me to hear, "Hello Monsieur Carro ... Open up. It is me Claudia Armoff. I have something to show you!"

Obviously the amorous woman had designs on the hapless detective and had mistaken my room for his. I pretended to be asleep and did not respond.

She knocked again, "Please open the door Hair-Cool. You will not regret it."

I got out of bed, stood behind the door and pretended to snore very loudly so she would go away. But to no avail. She continued knocking. For some unknown reason ... I do such odd things when I am in a panic ... I started singing "La Donna e Mobile" from Verdi's Opera Rigoletto. The more she knocked the louder I sang:

"La donna e mobile qual piuma al vento,
muta d'accento e di pensiero.
Sempre un amabile leggiadro viso,
in pianto o in riso, e menzognero.
La donna e mobil qual piuma al vento,
muta d'acc...ento e di pensier, e di pensier,
e... e di pensier."

Which roughly translated means, "woman is fickle, she changes her thoughts, words and voice, like a feather in the wind." 

Maybe it was my subconscious getting me to sing her this song. I don't know. But after a while Claudia Armoff must have got the message because she stopped knocking at my door and went away.

I went back to bed and tried to get some sleep. I must have been very tired because I fell asleep almost straightaway.

The following morning I was wakened suddenly by the loud noise of a commotion outside my room. People were knocking at my door and shouting, "Open up Hair-Cool ... Come out quick. There has been something serious happened and we need you to investigate ..."

I opened the door in my pyjamas.

(I know what you are thinking. Why did I have a door in my pyjamas? This joke has already been tried by Groucho Marx many years ago. It was good then. So let's not repeat it now).

I opened the door still wearing my pink pyjamas. They were all there to witness my night attire. Sir Ivor Status and his wife Eva, Varicose Vain, Claudia Armoff, Walter Dumnote, and even the staff Hugo Snob, Matilda Curtsy, Sheila Flirt, as well as the gardener Ernest Deadwood and the chauffeur Otter Gas.

"What are you doing in Hair-Cool Carro's room?" asked Sir Ivor, "by Jove man, what have you done with him?"

"I am not in his room, I am in my room ..." I stuttered confusingly.

"Has he spent the night here with you?" asked Walter Dumnote living up to his name.

"I am envious ..." said the gay chauffeur Otter Gas.

"Of course not," I protested holding tight to my pyjama trousers, "I spent the night alone. I always do. Ask my wife."

"Is she here?" asked the butler Hugo Snob, "I was not aware she had been invited."

"She hasn't. I was saying that she can vouch for me that ... oh forget it. I have not seen Hair-Cool since last night in the library," I protested again getting a little angry.

"Why are you wearing pink pyjamas?" asked Lady Eva, "they suit you. Keeps you in touch with your feminine side!"

I did not answer. It was then that Sheila Flirt came to my rescue.

"Actually Sir," she told my host, "this is not Monsieur Carro's room. His room is in the South Wing. Next to Miss Maple Syrup's room!"

"My apologies old boy," said Sir Ivor, "we'll leave you to get dressed and we'll meet in the dining room in nineteen minutes. Jolly good. What?"

And with this, they all left.



  1. Good story! Thanks for your visit on my blog. Have a great weekend, Valerie

  2. It's great to see you visiting me, Valerie-Jael. Thank you. Please call again.

    God bless.

  3. I'm not surprised it was a stormy night and I can just picture you in your pink pajamas. : )

    1. It's always a stormy night in frightening horror stories, Happyone. Please do not infer anything by the colour of my pyjamas.

      God bless.

  4. I am enjoying how this story is unfolding... and picturing those pink PJs!

    1. I'm enjoying it too, Terri, although to be honest, I don't know how it's unfolding either. It's weird in that I have never written like this before. I am writing without knowing what I will be writing next.

      God bless.

  5. When you mentioned the pink PJs, all that came to mind were the ones I have. Lol! Great story, Victor, and I'm so looking forward to the next installment.

    1. The pink PJs I was wearing had little yellow flowers, Martha.

      As I mentioned to Terri above, this is a novel way of writing for me. I have no plans at all on what to write. I self-impose a two days target to write the next episode not knowing what to write. So far, ideas suddenly come to mind from nowhere, it seems, on the next installment. So I write them down quickly. I hope this continues.

      Meanwhile, I am grateful for the encouragement I receive from my readers, and their enjoyment.

      God bless.

  6. Hey, I've heard it said it takes a Real Man to wear pink. LOL! I'm loving this image of the fireplace. So olde world!

    1. Thank you, Mevely. The PJs were 10% cheaper in the shops.

      It was a lovely fire place. Every room had a similar one.

      God bless.

  7. Very interesting developments, Victor. Writing on the fly can be very entertaining and your story definitely is. What will happen next is... :)
    Enjoy the weekend, my friend.

    1. Thank you Bill. I hope I can keep up with this impromtu writing.

      Wishing you all the best. Happy weekend.

      God bless.



God bless you.