Go back to previous chapter


By Sarah Hapgood

A stormy Christmas passed, with high winds moaning around the Town House. Although Glynis was pleased to have them there, it was a melancholy trip down memory lane for the Indigo-ites. The house was too stuffed full of memories, and it was painful to experience the pall of gloom which hung over the town like a dark blanket.

“This town is finished”, said Glynis, when Adam took her some breakfast in bed one lunchtime, during the limbo period between Christmas and New Year “I know that sounds harsh, but it is. It’s hard to see how it can come back from this. I’m sorry. I know it’s hard for you seeing it like this”.

“The downside to living a long time”, said Adam, peering out at the grimy, decaying buildings on the other side of the road “Sometimes you don’t see things change for the better. That’s been true far too much in recent years”.

“I’ve got some more bad news, I’m afraid”, said Glynis.

Adam went over to sit on the edge of her bed. In her own home, Glynis was able to appear as herself, and she displayed more of the voluptuous beauty Adam remembered from their days on the waterfront. In public she tried to make herself look almost elderly, by donning glasses and braiding back her hair.

“I was chatting to one of the patients late last night”, she said “He’s a traveller too. An old man. I did a bit of discreet quizzing of him about certain areas. I didn’t give anything away about you. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that your old area of Snow Lake has become deeply troubled too. The area is rife with a bunch of vigilante women who have set out to get revenge on the male sex for the massacre of the women all those years ago”.

“Not the Cyanide Sisters by any chance?” said Adam “That’s what we used to call them”.

“You’ve come up against them before?”

“Not really. We sort of used to respect each other’s territory, to coin a phrase”.

“Well anyway I thought I’d better warn you”, said Glynis “Though why they should attack you lot I don’t know”.

“Perhaps they’re not discriminatory”, said Adam “Perhaps they blame all men equally, as the men did when they … oh what an ugly world this is at times. It’s going to be a while before we get back to anything civilised at the rate we’re going at, so who knows what will happen in that time”.

He left Glynis to get dressed in peace, and wandered back down through the house. Since coming to Toondor Lanpin Tamaz had been plagued by nightmares, in which he was tormented by Angel. Kieran suspected Angel was hell-bent on causing mischief this way, and ordered that Tamaz was not to be left alone at any time. He was moved to the sofa in the living-room, where he held court in a queenly fashion. Occasionally bardin would come in, stare at him pointedly for a moment, and then leave again. He said he did this to make sure that Tamaz didn’t get too used to everyone dancing attendance on him. Tamaz couldn’t care less what Bardin thought. He was gradually recovering his equilibrium after the psychic draining he had incurred, as a result of the adventure up at the Big House.

“Hello Freaky”, said Adam “Has Bardin been in for his hourly glare yet?”

“Him?” Tamaz snorted, eating chocolates “He can glare all he likes. I am laid-up and that’s all there is to it”.

Adam chuckled and opened the French windows, to where Joby and Kieran were sitting on the patio, overlooking the tangled and sodden back garden.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard this town so quiet before”, said Joby, when Adam appeared.

“You just get weird random noises occasionally”, said Kieran “We can’t make them out”.

“Spooky as fuck”, said Joby.

A strange sound, like rusty machinery grinding together, broke out overhead, as if it was coming from the clouds.

“Normally I would say it was an industrial noise”, said Adam “But there is no industry left in Toondor Lanpin”.

“Bugger all machinery either”, said Joby.

The noise ended as abruptly as it had begun.

“It keeps doing that”, said Joby.

“Sounds like something in the atmosphere”, said Adam.

“I’m feeling restless”, said Joby “Time we were on the move back to Hannah’s. They must be wondering what’s happened”.

Glynis put up no protest about accompanying them away from the town. She said she couldn’t bear to resume her old life, living alone, watching the town decay and die around her, and at the same time constantly having to watch that she didn’t draw undue attention to her own youthful appearance.

“I would have gone by now”, she said “But I couldn’t face the thought of travelling by myself in this crazy world”.

“If you come with us, we can eventually take you back to the City”, said Bengo “You can be reunited with your children”.

“Shouldn’t you run that past Bardin first?” asked Glynis.

“Nah”, said Bengo “He’ll do as he’s told”.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License.

Go forward to next chapter

Return to Sarah Hapgood's Strange Tales and Strange Places web site