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Three Wines for Moldylocks: the Third

As the widow Vanderclamp opened her front doors, the Count held up a bouquet of roses he had recently pilfered from a grave in the West Gate cemetery.  “Margot!” he cooed at her, passionately.

“Oh, Count!” she breathed, a flush rising on her cheeks.

He wagged a finger at her.  “Ah ah ah.” he said.  “What did I request of you?”

“Oh yes, of courseRex. Dear Rex, do come in, do.” she purred.  

“I do need to be simple and common sometimes, just like everyone else.” he explained, stepping inside the vestibule.  She took the roses from him, breathing in deeply their perfume.  “What an exotic aroma.” she marveled, before handing them to a maid to be placed in water.  As the maid walked away, the widow Vanderclamp clutched her by the wrist, pulling her back to whisper: “Take the long way.”  The maid blanched, and rushed off down a hallway.

Margot Vanderclamp turned back to the Count.  “Well, we are alone now, Cou- er, Rex.”

The Count removed his helmet, then tousled his hair with his fingers, before twirling his mustache.  “Yes, sweet Margot, quite alone.  How scandalous.”

She smiled, still flushing.  “Isn’t it just?  Perhaps I should retire upstairs to slip into something more comfortable.”

“Comfort is paramount in a tragic world such as this.”

The widow bit her bottom lip, then ran heavily up the stairs to the second floor of the mansion.  

Bologna smiled, then turned and moved toward the door of the nearby study.  He slowly turned the latch and poked his head inside the room, eyes immediately darting to the wine rack against the far wall.  

A conspicuously empty slot in the rack caused his stomach to drop, his mouth hanging open.  “Oh damn.” he whispered to himself, then stepped back out into the foyer.

“Margot dear…” he called up the staircase.

“Yes, Rex my love?” she called back from upstairs.

“I was thinking that we might pop open that silly bottle of 1811 Chateau d’Yquem today, what think you of that? What what?” he called up, wincing in optimistic anticipation.

“Oh no!” she called out.  “I donated it to the church!”

‘You WHAT?!” he called out, momentarily losing his cool.

“Yes!  You spoke so fondly of it the last time you were here, I thought to myself that it would be a kingly donation to the church, and certainly put me in the Builder’s favor… do you think that was a bad idea?” her voice echoed down the stairs.

The Count swooned slightly, leaning against a nearby wall.  “My dear Margot…” he called out.  “I do believe I am coming down with something… I feel quite faint.”

“Faint!” she cried out, rushing to the stairs, a feathered boa draped around her shoulders.  “Oh no, Rex!  No… oh dear me, oh no… that won’t do, oh my dear fellow, poor Rex…” she rushed down the stairs, running her jewel-encrusted fingers through his hair.  

“Yes, I think… I think I may be having a stroke…” he mumbled, moving away from her and picking up his helmet from the end table it sat on.  

“A stroke!” she cried.  “I shall call for Dr Jekyll at once.”

“No no.  No need.  I am royal, we have our own medical staff.”  He moved toward the door.

“Oh of course.  Of course you do.  Here… a kiss before you go.” she said, lips puckered.  

He placed his fingertip onto her mouth.  “No, how do we know this stroke isn’t contagious, hm?” he asked.  Her eyes popped open.

“I shall return posthaste.” he said, then rushed off into the snow, cursing under his breath.  His time was running short.


to be continued…


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  1. Nyanka Jinx Nyanka Jinx February 5, 2016

    A stroke is a symptom, not a disease. You cannot catch a stroke from someone who is having one.

    Moreover, a man experiencing a stroke would be slurring and could feel one side of his body become weak and numb. He certianly wouldn’t be able to speak so clearly and run off so easily.

    – Dr. Henry Jekyll

    • Herodotus Tripe Herodotus Tripe February 6, 2016

      Psst—a stroke is not a symptom, it is a disease, Doctor.

    • Count Bologna Count Bologna February 6, 2016

      You obviously know nothing about royal medicine.

  2. Lady Moldylocks Lady Moldylocks February 6, 2016

    Lady Moldylocks fingered the top right corner of the stiff linen stationary, staring into the raised imprinted amulet at the top of the page.  She wondered if the bit of yellow encircling the family crest was pure gold leaf.   “They will be here by next week, and will expect a dinner to the level to which we entertained in England.  I will have to travel north to purchase the fresh beef myself, but the wine!  The Count had better hurry up and deliver something impressive!”    Feeling slightly nauseated at the prospect of assigning so important an errand to a person she barely knew, she reached into her deep skirt pocket and felt around for her cold metal flask.  

  3. Count Bologna Count Bologna February 7, 2016



    The Count knocked snow off his boots, just inside the front door of the Essex House, as the young chambermaid Pepper exited Lady Moldylocks’ office behind the front desk. 

    A sudden memory of the tour he had been given on his first day flashed through the Count’s mind, and voila, a new plan was instantly hatched. 

    “Ahoy there, young miss!” he called out, nodding to the young woman. “Paprika, was it not?” 


    Was it? You should consider changing it to Paprika, it gives an air of the exotic. Pepper is a common condiment, whilst Paprika is a spice.”  he winked at the girl. 

    She stared at the Count. 

    “At any rate,” he said, after an uncomfortable silence.  “Since you are already in Lady Moldylocks’ office, perhaps you could assist me in fetching my didgeridoo?” 

    She blinked.  “Your… what? 

    “My didgeridoo, it is an Australian musical instrument.” 

    “Oh, like a ukelele?” she asked. 

    “Mmmm, similar, and yet almost completely different.” 

    “Hm,” Pepper said, frowning slightly.  “Maybe you had better come help me find it.”  

    “A clever idea.” he said, smiling as he accompanied the girl into the office of Lady Moldylocks.  Pepper walked inside, looking around.  The Count spied the wine rack on the far wall, and crept toward it.  “It may be in her desk, perhaps you ought to check, though, I doubt she would wish me to rummage through it, hm?” 

    “You are very honest, sir.” Pepper said, then unlocked the top drawer and began to look through it.   

    “As honest as the grave.” he said, then leaned over and began to scan the labels.  Braunsonhaus Grato 1815; Chateau La Bonneville 1845, Perdecio Bonno La Brique-Toaste 1798, Chateau Aqua-Velva 1790; all fine vintages.  The Count looked up at Pepper.  “Be careful now, you know how delicate fine instruments can be…”  he pulled a bottle of the Perdicio from the rack, then slipped it quickly inside his coat, clutching it beneath his arm. 

    “I really don’t see anything that looks like an instrument… what do diggy-doos look like?” 

    The Count crept up behind the girl.  “Oh, about nine feet long, rather long, intricately carved.  You would certainly know it when you see it.” 

    Pepper jumped slightly, and looked to the Count.  “Oh, I don’t think she has anything like that in here, sir… I would have certainly noticed it.” 

    “Of course.” he said, nodding.  “Of course you would, don’t let me trouble you a moment longer.”  he slipped around Pepper, and out the door.  As he trotted up the steps of the hotel, and into his room, he placed the last bottle beside the other two.   

    Finally.” he sighed, then sat down in front of his hookah.  Time to relax.

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