Satan’s Claws Are Coming To Town chapter 5 – the conclusion

Chapter 5

Mere moments later, I had done all that Wimpybar had instructed me to, but I was still perplexed. Who was my devilish nemesis? Who wished me consigned to a hellish oblivion? Surely it couldn’t be…?

We had yet to re-join our fellow guests in the lounge. Wimpybar was holding up a green-faced Mrs Petty.

‘We must return to the party,’ said Wimpybar.

I glanced at the wretched Mrs Petty. Her eyes were glazed, and she was barely aware of her surroundings. ‘But tell me, Wimpybar…’

‘Oh, do call me Greenford,’ he pleaded.

‘We’re not children, Wimpybar,’ I said firmly. ‘If you didn’t curse me, who did?’

He stared at me in amazement. ‘Have you really not worked it out?’

‘I wouldn’t be asking you if I had!’

A smile cracked his face. Charmingly, he looked less evil when he smiled. Perhaps he wasn’t the villain after all. ‘You’ll find out soon enough.  But you must do exactly as I tell you.  No quibbles.  Understand?’

I nodded.

We returned to the Lounge. Servants had already mopped up the mess, not just that caused by Mrs Petty, but the fake blood used in the children’s little show.  One would hardly know that anything had happened. The children had been packed off somewhere; bed, home, the hospital, I knew not where, and I couldn’t waste my thoughts on trivialities like that.

A game of charades was in action. Miss Lemon was acting out – I learned later – Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag. Dr Petty had such a look of intense concentration on his face as he watched her that he failed to notice the reappearance of his drained wife.  The others glanced up and even Miss Lemon ceased acting out the words ‘Kit bag’ in mid-mime.

My head was in a whirl. I couldn’t believe what Wimpybar had just told me, but I knew that if this bizarre situation was true than I had only moments left to live. After all I had nothing to lose by trying. If it was all nonsense, then no harm would be done. If it was true, however, the wretched rotter who had cursed me would face his own ghastly doom. And good bloody riddance!

‘Crackers, everybody!’ shrieked Lady Fistula as Spambot staggered in, clutching a tray laden with the explosive novelties. I knew exactly which one to pick.

I took a deep breath and approache d my target. ‘Goosey, old chap,’ I said, trying to keep the tremble out of my voice. ‘Pull my cracker!’

Without even thinking, he took the other end of my proffered cracker and before he could change his mind I started to tug. He jerked back, my cracker erupted and the contents spilled out. Goosey caught them in his hand.

‘Well-played, sir!’ I cried, unsure yet whether to feel relieved by Goosey’s firm yank on my cracker.

Goosey rummaged in the cracker and retrieved a purple paper hat which he instantly placed on top of his head.

‘How do I look?’ he giggled.

‘Like a naked purple Bishop,’ I told him.

Instantly, Wimpybar was at my side. ‘Oh, do tell us the joke, Reverend.’

Goosey looked in the cracker again and drew out a paper item. ‘Oh, I hope the joke is good’un. I can use it in my next sermon.’ He unfolded the paper, and his chubby face darkened. He looked up at me, his eyes ablaze with fear – and anger.

‘You… you… bounder, Sausage.’

It was the parchment. On Wimpybar’s instructions, I had inserted the parchment in the cracker which I had then weakened so that my opponent would win.

He glanced at the clock.


‘No!’ he screamed. ‘My plan was perfect!’

Flecks of froth formed at the side of his mouth. He thrust the parchment at me. ‘Take it back! I insist you take it back!’

I retreated and put my hands firmly behind my back.

‘But why did you want The Viscount dead?’ asked Wimpybar.

‘Look at him,’ Goosey sneered. ‘So handsome, so dashing, so well-endowed, so rich, so popular, so aristocratic…’

‘Yes, I know,’ I said, ‘But why do you hate me that much?’

‘You made the war hell for me,’ the owl-faced villain snarled.

‘The Germans did that, surely?’ said Miss Lemon, astutely.

‘He,’ he said, pointing at me, ‘humiliated me every day. Mocking me. I can’t help being portly, yet I was shamed daily. Made to run errands in the nude…’

‘Oh yes?’ said Sir Dickie and Lady Fistula simultaneously.

‘You weren’t made to run errands in the nude,’ I corrected him. ‘It was merely suggested for humorous reasons that…’

‘Called stupid names in front of the lower orders,’ continued Goosey. ‘Owl-face, Lard-arse, Wobbly-tits…

‘Goosey,’ I added, probably unhelpfully.

‘My plan should’ve worked,’ frothed Goosey, his left eye twitching, his teeth grinding. I noticed with distaste he was almost tumescent in his rage although, sadly, it made very little difference. ‘The runes should’ve doomed you. And just in case I conjured up the gargoyles…’

‘I saved the Viscount from those hellish monstrosities,’ said Wimpybar.

‘Oh, was that you in the scarf?’ I asked him. ‘I did wonder.’

‘The ritual of the frenzied children was supposed to whip up even more Infernal forces, until that silly woman,’ he gestured at Mrs Petty, ‘ruined it with her spewing.’

To everyone’s astonishment, Mrs Petty fell to her knees and kissed Goosey’s feet. ‘Forgive me, Master!’ she pleaded.

Even Goosey had the grace to look a bit embarrassed. ‘The Pettys were my disciples,’ he explained.

Lady Fistula was shocked. ‘You brought acolytes to my house for Christmas lunch?’ she accused him. ‘You told me they were devout nudists. Look at her, her charlies have never seen the light of day.’

Sir Dickie’s moustache flared up. ‘I’ll have you struck off, you bounder!’ he told Dr Petty.

‘It was her,’ said Dr Petty, gesturing at his prostrate wife with one hand, cupping his orchestras with the other. ‘She had a bit of a thing for the Vicar. I had no say in the matter. I didn’t want to come. Removing one’s underpants in public, it’s not decent.’

‘You utter weed!’ exclaimed Lady Fistula.

‘That level of modesty won’t stand you in good stead as either a nudist or a Satanist,‘ said Wimpybar, wryly.

‘Or a bally doctor,’ I chipped in.

‘It’s all failed,’ said Goosey, sadly. His shoulders slumped lower than his nipples. ‘And now I am doomed.’

I felt a bit sorry for him. ‘Can’t you, I don’t know, absolve yourself of the curse?’

He shook his stout and bespectacled head.

‘You sold your soul to the Devil?’ asked Wimpybar in horror.

‘I hope you kept the receipt,’ said Miss Lemon.

The clock struck five.

Goosey’s eyes saucered and he said in a forlorn voice, ‘Oh cripes!’

Miss Lemon waved her hand in front of her nose. ‘Brimstone!’ she said in disgust.

‘No, that was me,’ said Goosey, his teeth chattering. ‘I must get out of here.’

‘There’s nowhere to run,’ warned Wimpybar.

Goosey didn’t heed him, and, booting Mrs Petty away from his feet, ran from the lounge, yours truly  hot-footed after him. Judging by the sounds, in his panic he wasn’t looking where he was going. I found Spambot the butler on his back, legs waving in the air, unable, turtle-like, to get to his feet again.

I reached the vestibule which looked as though a hurricane had blasted through it. I surmised that Goosey had crashed into the crucifix, knocked it over, ricocheted into the suit of armour, knocked that over as well. The swastika was missing too.

I dashed out into the snow, my bare feet baulking at the frosty ground. The weather outside was frightful and I hated going out in the snow. The icy wind whipped viciously around the short-&-curlies. Taking a leaf out of Dr Petty’s book, I cupped the old meat-&-two-veg, not from modesty, but to prevent frostbite. I stared around, blinded by the snowy tumult. There was no sign of Goosey. He wouldn’t last long in these conditions, although, to be honest, he had a better coating of blubber than I did.

The icy tornado grew to a crescendo. My ears were assaulted by a frightful racket, like the foulest carol singers shrieking in agony…

And then all was calm, all was bright.

The snow ceased. There was no sign of Goosey

First thing I noticed was that the snowmen had vanished. All that were left were little mounds of snow topped with discarded hats and scarves.

Then I spotted Goosey. He was lying in the snow, face down, his prominent rump thrust into the air, already crusted with a permafrost, the swastika flag wrapped around his left ankle. I approached him.

‘Goosey?’ I called. ‘Are you alright?’ No reply. ‘Goosey?’

But as I neared him, I espied with horror that he was already blue, his lifeless eyes, goggling behind ice-encrusted spectacles. The final horror though was that every orifice was stuffed with carrots…


And, that young Simon, is how yours truly began his esteemed career as a vanquisher of the evil forces which have besieged this benighted world.’

‘Crikey!’ replied Simon. Not quite the admiring response I had desired, but words weren’t his strong point.

But what happened after you found Goosey?’ Simon asked. 

‘I went back inside, frozen to the marrow. I narrowly avoided chilblains on the clockweights by jumping into a hot bath, aided by those two charming maids – Polynesian I later learned – and then we continued with our Christmas celebrations.

‘The local Plod later removed Goosey’s body. We didn’t want to sully his reputation with gossip of devilry, so we told everyone he’d got frightfully drunk, gone outside to indulge in some self-abuse with carrots and fallen asleep in the snow and died of hypothermia. No one quibbled.’

Henceforth, under the tutelage of both Dr Greenford Wimpybar and Miss Diabeticia Lemon, I learned all that was necessary to confront the armies of darkness. And thanks to the darling Sir Dickie and Lady Fistula Whizzer-Chips I embraced the joys of nudism and have exposed myself all over the world.

‘What happened to the Pettys?’

‘Last heard he was atoning for his sins by treating the poor somewhere ghastly in the East End while also campaigning to make nudity illegal, the ridiculous man. She fell in with a bad crowd and ended up as a drug-addled stripper. Banged up in chokey, Holloway, I think.’

But whose obituary reminded you of all this, Uncle?’

‘Ah yes, it seems poor old Wimpybar has fallen off his perch. A blessed relief to be sure. He’d not been the same since our encounter with the Loch Ness Monster a few Christmases ago. But that’s another story…’

‘Next Christmas, Uncle?’

‘If you’ve been a good lad and done your duty by King and country and slaughteted some of our enemies, then yes...’

‘Merry Christmas, Uncle Charles!’

‘And a happy new year, Simon!’





To hear Sir Desmond at work, go to


Tags: ChristmasChristmas ghost storyghostshorrorschooldaysstirlingwheatley


One Response to “Satan’s Claws Are Coming To Town chapter 5 – the conclusion”

  1. Satan’s Claws Are Coming To Town chapter 4 | The Gospel According to Sir Desmond Stirling Says:

    […] To be concluded…. […]

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