The following tale is the fourth in a series about the misadventure of a talented, Shakespearian actor. This chapter is in response to a flash fiction challenge and can stand by itself. Links to chapters 1-3 can be found in the “Related” section at the end of this post.
About an hour ago, Shakespearian actor, Edward Crimwell, arrived at Crimwell Castle in his SUV–cleverly packed with assorted luggage and baskets of sundries–to take up occupancy as the owner of the castle–a gamble he naïvely believed he could win. The castle’s long-time tenant and book editor, Kathryn Wallace Meath, was allowed to stay on once Edward met Kathryn’s enticingly lovely daughter, Anwen. Kathryn worked from an office suite in the castle, occasionally occupied by her staff of two: Rutherford Nist and Alice Gittings. Anwen, having returned from university, would be joining her mother’s editorial staff. Then, there was another occupant of Crimwell Castle–Kathryn’s irritating Siamese cat, Chaucer, who exhibited a marked distaste for Edward. The feeling was mutual.
An hour passed and Edward was sitting in the SUV, fuming as expressively as only a stage actor could fume. No one had answered the door. He tried the door bell, the huge metal knocker and even yelled at the entrance security camera, like some common street urchin (but only for a short time so as not to strain his voice, which was his livelihood). Either no one was home, contrary to yesterday’s arrangements, and he, inconveniently without a key–though he was sure Kathryn would not be so discourteous–or Kathryn and staff were mad-dashing about the castle, making last-minute touches to Edward’s suite. Edward called Sonya.The Estate Agent apologized piteously, promising to be there within the hour after taking her dog, Isolde, to the pet surgery to have its ears examined. Edward protested but Sonya was firm in her duty to her beloved charge. And so, Edward waited. He was never very good at waiting.
Fishing through his wallet, Edward found the business card of that frumpy, Royal Historian, Agatha Humphreys, who had sought him out backstage after an eventful production of Hamlet, in which Edward played the title role. It was the Humphreys woman who informed him of the Crimwell noble line and handed him a bill for tax and interest owed on Crimwell Castle going back some 500 years to the reign of Henry VIII. It cost Edward only 7,259 pounds sterling to obtain the Royal deed. The thought of his fraud did not enter into his mind until after the “deed” was done.
The Humphreys woman unexpectedly answered first ring. He thought that odd–odder still when a crimson Porsche instantly appeared alongside him with that dreadful creature, Chaucer–scratching the windscreen in a frenzy that only a cat can perform so convincingly. Indeed, he thought it a poor decision that Sonya would even allow the beast on the Italian leather. Edward hastily exited the SUV–striding around to the Porsche’s driver’s side–ready to blame Sonya for Kathryn’s obvious impropriety. The door opened and a pair of luscious, long legs, gracefully appeared–attached to a divinely attractive woman, with long, flaxen hair. She resembled Anwen, but was it she? Edward was visibly confused, which is not too difficult for an actor to evoke. When she spoke, he knew her at once….
Quelle surprise! A mystery is afoot! Won’t you join us next time for the conclusion of our little tale?
Flash Fiction Challenge #50 at Thain in Vain
Prompt: About an hour ago.
Word Count: 495
Special thanks to Ms Thain for hosting FFC. Only 2 more left and an entire year will have passed. I missed a few due to surgery but I have returned to finish with my dear friend, Eilidh.