September 10, 2014 at 3:55 am #116EricKeymaster
(And her struggles with editorial and cleaning staff anarchy)
July 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm #4648
“Beetroot, you mean?” asked Roberto. “I thought you liked that shade of lippy! “
“I am not talking about lunch, you fool! And don’t ever call me a hippy again. It brings back such awful recollections of my fourth husband, Buzz Peaceleaf.”
“Rude tart,” said Finnley.
“What did you say, Finnley?”
“I asked if you’d like to take a look at the food cart.” Finnley smile benignly. “Olexa has been hiding it under her kitchen towel.”July 12, 2019 at 6:09 pm #4651
“Take a look at the nude old fart? Godfrey’s not cavorting about naked again, is he? Go and cover him up quickly, before anyone sees him. That kitchen towel won’t be big enough, you better get a sheet.”
“He’s not going to let me cover him up though is he, Liz?” Finnley replied. “You know what he’s like when he gets these urges!” Finnley was about to clarify that she hadn’t said Godfrey was prancing about the place naked anyway, but was rendered speechless when Liz replied.
“You’re right,” admitted Liz, reluctantly. Then she had an idea. “Tell him it’s a toga for the Romans party.”
“What Romans party?” asked Roberto, popping his head in the French windows. “I’ve always wanted to dress up as a Roman slave.”
“You mean mostly naked? Give him that kitchen towel Finnley to use as a loin cloth.” Turning back to the strapping gardener, she said, “Show me your costume, young man!”
“But Liz” Finnley started to say that there was no Romans party really, that it was just a ruse to cover up Godfrey, (who the reader if not the writer will remember wasn’t naked in the first place) and what was she doing getting the gardener to strip… and then she decided to just say “Oh never mind” and make a hasty retreat, mumbling something about dishes to wash.July 14, 2019 at 6:17 am #4660
“We all have, Liz,” he said. “To my great shame.”
“Yes, indeed. Well, we need to do better and give her the great admiration and reverance she is due. I have a writer’s meeting this morning, and if it weren’t for Finnley haranguing me, I would not have completed my assignment and I would have been a laughing stock. She saved me, Godfrey.”
“It was nothing,” said Finnley.July 14, 2019 at 10:14 am #4663
The plants seemed even more alive since Roberto had put on his new loincloth. The gardener’s joy was communicative and spreading rapidly. It had been a revelation to him, a newly found freedom and discovery of his sculptural body. Not that the gardener himself was aware of what was happening, but he enjoyed the effects of this new uniform. Knowing that it would lead to another great party was an even greater incentive for him to show it around.
He always fancied himself as a healer of souls through his expertise of gardening, and seeing how his newly found joy in his work seemed to have awaken the desire of his landlady to get out more was a step in this direction.
The poor woman was always staying inside, except for the big occasional parties, wearing pink night gowns. The house was too big and dark compared to the huge garden at her disposal.
Roberto had been watering the begonias, and he also had been thinking. He thought Mistress Liz needed a man. He remembered he had kept the name card of that inspector with a fruity name. Inspector Melon. He could invite him to the Roman party and organise a little incident to have them alone for some time.
What a marvellous idea, he thought with his latin accent.
He went on watering the gardenias. He might be dressed up as a slave, but he had put himself in charge of the organisation of the Roman party. He would send the invitations and order the necessary props and costumes. It would be the perfect occasion also to find someone for Godfrey and Finnley.
Although it should remain a surprise.July 14, 2019 at 1:06 pm #4664July 15, 2019 at 9:08 am #4670
Walter Melon knew there was something fishy about this invitation. Or maybe that was only the scent of homemade manure lingering on the Bristol board.
In his line of work, you couldn’t be careful enough. And his last visit to the Liz Manor had had its fair share of fishiness, stockings notwithstanding.
The invitation and the signature were obviously fake, even if the counterfeiter had taken some pain at imitating the shaky signature of the Dame of the place. But the lack of typos were a dead give-away.
I need your help to solve a tantalizing mystery in my latest novel, please come to my party Inspector. You’ll only need wear a towel, and bring your sharpest tools. I mean, your brains.
Sincerely yours, Elizabeth Mary TattlerJuly 15, 2019 at 10:13 am #4671
“For the love of Flove, will everyone put some clothes on,” muttered Finnley.
To set a good example, she put on a her best grey overcoat—which only had a few ever-so-small moth holes—and a pair of woolly socks pulled up to her knees.
“There are far too many naked bodies covered only in towels and togas for comfort in this thread,” she said, shaking vigorously and thinking how pretty the dust looked as it floated around her. “And I for one intend to take a stand.”
“Indeed!” agreed Godfrey. “it’s a health and safety issue for one thing. I’m concerned Liz might have one of her turns, the amount of time she spends peeping through the curtain at Roberto. She looks quite flushed.”July 17, 2019 at 8:58 am #4688
“It is a rather peculiar mystery indeed, don’t you think.” Liz leaned suggestively towards the Inspector. He had insisted to keep his trench-coat on, which for some reason she was finding incredibly alluring. It reminded her of all the fun she had in the past, playing her favourite character, Becky in tarty nun’s outfit. She made a mental note for the next costumed party.
“Some peanuts, Inspector?”
“Good gracious, no. I’m terribly allergic to nuts, but I’m partial to your delicious canapés.”
After a mouthful of tarragon cod pâté with capers, Walter leaned back and a little further from Liz and said “Mmm, delicious. Well, it is indeed quite a good mystery you’ve chosen to write about. All these keys, I love the idea. It sounds out of a spy novel, but I do wonder what are the connections, you see, in most crimes I’ve solved in the past,” he cleared his throat, taking the glass of red wine Finnley had just brought “there is always a good chance the culprit is closer than you know. The skill is always to find the hidden connection.”
“Aaah. I’m so glad you’re saying that Walter, I was telling them the same no later than this morning!”
She took a random ramekin from the coffee table “some peanuts?”.July 22, 2019 at 8:41 am #4706
“You know,” Inspector Melon said, having narrowly missed a peanut threat perniciously placed on top of a carrot cupcake. “I’m most intrigued by that mysterious Management organization that you wrote in your stories. They seemed to steer the plot somewhat efficiently, placing operatives on certain threats…”
“What’s your question Walter?” Liz was getting tipsy on the rosé bubbly, and she frankly had no idea what he was talking about, clutching at the bottle that Finnley was trying to move out of her reach.
“Well, somehow the Management, such fascinating and mysterious organization as it is, seems to have gathered an awful lot of information on this world’s arcane mysteries, and let’s not be shy to say, on some of its evils.”
“And, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d decided a “Blow the lid off” type of covert operation, in order to gather KEY evidences of those evils and release all of them simultaneously so that the evil guys can’t get clued to it in time for an escape.”
“Mmm, of course yes.” Liz replied distractedly, looking at watermelon pièce montée that had just rolled into the room. It had suddenly triggered fond memories of watermelon codpieces she’d written as fashion pieces in one of the novels, that would have been perfect with the theme of the party.
Walter thought deeply… “Then, that would mean the mysterious Uncle Fergus with the Harley Davidson, may be one of such operative, that could have been compromised and sent the keys as a fail-safe… Now, I wonder what secrets these may reveal.”
He looked at Liz who was gorging herself on watermelon chous.
“But of course, you would have thought about all that. I can’t wait to read the rest of it!”
Of course, nothing of the discussion had been missed by the ever careful Finnley. Sliding behind the heavy curtains, she found Godfrey in the kitchen who was looking for the peanut jar.
He greeted her with a non nonplussed look. “Hmm, lovely socks.”
She leaned in conspiratorially: “I think the Inspector knows too much already.”July 22, 2019 at 6:44 pm #4710
The conspiratorial mood changed as Liz noticed the figure clumsily moving behind the curtains.
Turning to the inspector, she said, “My dear Melon, forgive me for the brevity of my comment, but I must ask you to leave. Now, now! No arguing! I’m a busy woman, and I have characters running rampant across the globe, and converging in a most unseemly rushed manner. I simply don’t have time for any more of these delicious trifles, and what’s more, we have an intruder of the unofficial kind. No, you are an official kind, and I must ask you to leave.”July 24, 2019 at 11:59 pm #4716
“Quite all right, my dear Liz,” said Inspector Melon. “I wouldn’t dream of arguing. It’s quality, not quantity of comment which is the crucial element, in my opinion.”July 25, 2019 at 12:02 am #4720July 25, 2019 at 1:54 am #4721July 26, 2019 at 8:53 am #4723
“Isn’t hoarding for rainy days same as flouting the rules?” Godfrey wondered, more to himself than for anybody in particular.
“It’s not technically hoarding if you make it count; and stop arguing, and just eat your damn goober already.”
Considering splitting it in two to make more of it, Godfrey resigned himself to be done with the last arachis hypogaea.
While his brain rushed with endorphins as he was munching on the monkey nut, he realized what Finnley had meant by the Inspector knowing too much.July 29, 2019 at 12:47 pm #4728
Not far from the swimming pool, Roberto was having difficulties separating the two potential lovers he had intended for Finley and Godfrey. Apparently they had loved each others at first sight and had totally forgotten about their other potential soul mates.
This all started to feel like a big disappointment. He attempted to flee unseen but it was too late. The two had seen him and Godfrey was waving at him to come forth.August 1, 2019 at 7:36 pm #4741
The mental mention of locks reminded her confused brain that her characters had gone on a reckless romp through her pages in pursuit of keys. Again! She sighed. Should she just let then run away with themselves, or should she try to rein them in?August 4, 2019 at 8:35 pm #4748August 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm #4749August 4, 2019 at 9:01 pm #4750
“Honestly, back in my day, we managed to dust and sneeze at the same time, and chop the firewood, make the pies, feed the goats, reupholster the chair, write the maps, go to market, write a story, and all before dinner! You just can’t get the characters these days,” and then Liz added, “And I do NOT snarl! I simply never snarl!”.
Liz snorted. “I snort,” she admitted, “Sometimes I snort, that I will admit. But what I really can’t fathom, is why you climbed into bed with me, and with that dreadful snotty nose. I was bound to push you out, what did you expect?”August 4, 2019 at 9:02 pm #4751
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