Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas at Scarhelldeath Hall – epilogue

December 17, 2014

Epilogue

‘I had the whole thing sussed quite early on,’ I assured Noddy and his son later on, as we sat in his study, toasting crumpets in front of a roaring fire; Noddy and I sipping whisky, Noddy Minor enjoying a mug of cocoa (into which, yes, I admit, I had surreptitiously splashed a nip of whisky).

‘I briefly toyed with the idea that McPortillo was behind the whole thing, but a quick chat with the pink-kilted groundsman soon assured me he was oblivious to it all.’ I still wasn’t convinced that he hadn’t accepted the shilling from the ghastly women for help somewhere along the line, but sadly nowadays we can’t accuse without proof in this wretched politically correct world we live in.

The past few hours had been a hive of frenzy. The culprits were, as I suspected, my ex-wife Abigail and her lover, the soi-disant witch Pam. The local Plod had been called – and an ambulance – and we all helped to haul the wretched Pam out from under the debris. The silly woman was lucky she hadn’t been killed in the plummet from the ceiling, but apart from a few broken bones, concussion, severe scratches, a perforated eardrum, a dislocated hip and a splinter in her eye, she was unhurt.

Abigail was hysterical – I think I actually preferred her as the implacable human tank of a Matron – and it took a couple of slaps before she could calm down and explain the plot to us. And, I am afraid to say, it was partially my fault.

A while back, the pair of them had asked me to look after the dogs while they hunted for a house in which to set up a retreat for sapphic witches. I’d refused, pointing out I was taking the high road to Bonnie Scotland for my trip to Scarhelldeath Hall. The dratted pair must have squirreled themselves way in my library at the Rectory – my old home which I had been forced to bequeath to my ex-wife – done some research and concocted this dastardly plan to frighten poor old Noddy into flogging the Hall to them for a pittance. Obviously, Pam’s previous life as a magician’s assistant helped her stage all the little son et lumiere which had so astounded everybody. Except for Old Stirling who swiftly saw through the whole sorry masquerade.

When I’d telephoned Cilla the previous night I had asked her to rummage around in Noddy’s family history, and it transpired that there was no proof whatsoever that his papa had dipped his wick illicitly, and even less evidence that ‘Dorcas’ was his half-sister – or even an accredited matron! In fact, there was no verification she even existed.

The ex-trouble-&-strife had been led away from Scarhelldeath Hall in handcuffs (yes, there had a been a twitch downstairs, not that she and I had ever indulged in anything other than ‘lights-off obligation rumpy,’ all due to her latent inclinations as opposed to any deficiency in my expertise in the trousers-off department ).

The ghastly Pam had been carted off in an ambulance with a muffled cry from beneath the bandages of ‘And we would’ve got away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling pensioners!’

I’m not sure what they’ll be charged with. Harassment? Fraud? Impersonating a ghost without a licence? I merely hope that Abigail sees through the malignity of the odious Pam and finds a nice sexy lady to settle down with. And lets me watch.

And so I prepared to take my leave of Scarhelldeath Hall. The boys had all left for their hols, as had the surviving staff. Noddies Major and Minor invited me to stay for the Yuletide festivities, and while I was tempted, I am of an age where the comfort of my own bed, central heating and a decent bar being in the vicinity is more important than family and friends. A draughty, damp pile Scarhelldeath Hall may be a adequate for young children, but not for grand old gentlemen of letters! Besides, if the ex-wife gets banged up in chokey, then I may reclaim ownership of The Old Rectory – and the dogs, Rommel, Lucan and Aspinall – again.

Before I buggered off, I imparted simple words of advice to Noddy Minor on the thorny subject of Bullying, and they amounted to this – ‘No-one else matters except you! As long as you get what you want , that’s all that counts! And if someone’s in your way, then propel them out of it! The good Bully makes the victim realise that they are Boss with as little effort as possible. Although a little violence now and then is not to be sniffed at.’

And I think that is wise counsel we should take to heart in all aspects of our lives.

Yuletide felicitations!

To hear Sir Desmond at work go tohttp://www.whatnoise.co.uk

Read my memoirs THE DEVIL TALKS THE HINDMOST

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SATAN BABY a Satanic Chiller For Yuletide

December 21, 2012

SATAN BABY
A Satanic Chiller For Yuletide
By Sir Desmond Stirling

Chapter 1

Charles, Viscomte de Bourbon a Bisquit, gentleman, adventurer, patriot and Englishman – despite his Gallic title – stood back to admire his handiwork.
‘On with the lights,’ he instructed his shaven-headed man, Staunchpole, once his loyal and brutal sergeant in the trenches, now his equally steadfast and no less brutal factotum.
Staunchpole flicked a switch, and the Christmas Tree lit up very gaily, reminding Charles of a tart he had once known – or was it twice? – in Bruges.
‘Well done, Staunchpole!’ said Charles. ‘It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.’
This year, Charles had decided to celebrate Christmas at his family home, the 17th century Hazel Court, just outside the little Hampshire village of Hinchcliffe’s Combover. He usually fled to sunnier climes, but what with Europe rumbling with beastliness, thanks to the wretched Hun, he suspected this could be the last peacetime Yuletide for some years.
So he had decided to open up his country seat to his closest friends. His young nephew Simon Tubular-Wells would be here, along with – Charles sniffed with disapproval – his latest girlfriend, Lady Selena Topographic–Ocean. She was a good prospective wife for Simon, sound family, wealthy, good breeding stock, but Simon was too young to be thinking of marriage. He still had oats to sow and, with a war imminent, Johnny Foreigner to kill before he needed to settle down with a wife and start spawning.
In a fit of seasonal benevolence Charles had even invited his ex-wife, Marjorie, to join them. She’d been jilted at the altar by her latest beau, a cove in oil, wealthy, but black as your hat, who’d seen the light and scarpered. Charles couldn’t blame him, but he’d also suffered a twinge of sympathy for the old harridan, particularly as she was Simon’s aunt.
Besides, she usually behaved herself in front of her nephew and was less likely to wrap her legs around the nearest male. However, apart from Simon, the only males present would be Charles himself, Staunchpole (who’d had his manhood partially shot off by the Bosch at Wipers), and the Reverend Savile-Smith, once he’d torn himself away from the Home for Wayward Boys of which he was the patron. The Vicar had promised to bring along some of the boys if they might be required, but Charles had assured him that Hazel Court had ample staff.
Charles took another satisfied look at the Christmas Tree which filled the atrium of Hazel Court. All he needed to do now was place the Christmas presents under the tree, get Staunchpole to pour him a large whisky, and, while awaiting the influx of house-guests, start to enjoy the Yuletide season!

Charles glanced at himself admiringly in the mirror, marvelled at his fine looks for a man of his age, straightened his cravat, and set off downstairs for pre-dinner aperitifs. His guests had arrived earlier, safe and soound. Simon and Lady Selena had driven down in his nephew’s brand new and nippy Austin Mitchell.
Marjorie had phoned from the station demanding to be fetched: unlike her to travel by so common a transport as train, so her purse must be uncommonly tight.
Staunchpole had mulled some wine, not just for his guests, but in preparation for any passing mummers or carol singers. Christmas Eve was the only time he allowed the villagers to approach the front door without having the dogs set on them so the locals relished the chance to walk up the main drive and peer, saucer-eyed, into the hallway and see a lifestyle they could never hope to achieve themselves.
If anything, the Christmas tree looked prettier than ever. Charles stared at it, entranced by the twinkling lights, as childhood memories of being in this very spot arose from the depths of his mind; 8 year old Charles eager to unwrap the enticing parcels lurking around the base. Would there be toy soldiers? A puppy? A gun? Perhaps his first manservant?
He was shaken from his reverie by Staunchpole’s voice.
‘What is it, Staunchpole?’
‘Staunchpole bowed. ‘There is an old gypsy woman outside, Sir, with a donkey. She’s asking for water and shelter.’
Charles sighed. The poor were such a nuisance, particularly at Xmas. But he didn’t want a donkey dying on his land over the holiday, nor an irate Gypsy.
‘Let her use the old barn down by Old Nick’s Moob. But make sure she stays away from the house.’
As Staunchpole walked to the front door to give the instructions, Charles caught a glimpse of the old Romany. She was a shrivelled, walnut-faced thing, swathed in shawls, stoop-backed and seemingly dwarfed by the skeletal donkey she held by a string. But as she glanced up, Charles shuddered. Her eyes blazed at him, radiating the sort of contempt for her betters that frankly deserved a horse-whipping. But there was also something seemed eerily familiar about her.
Charles dragged his eyes away, took a slug of mulled wine, and, determined not to let an old crone spoil the evening, strode in to the drawing room to join his guests.

Simon stood by the hearth, the flickering fire reflecting in his dazzling blue eyes, his still-boyish skin tanned from a recent visit to South Africa where he played cricket with the natives and sold armaments to the government. His broad shoulders, slender waist and firm buttocks suited evening wear, and, as always, Charles felt a stirring of pride deep down inside whenever he saw his nephew.
Marjorie lay on the sofa like a slut, her shoes discarded, her hair not what it should be, an inch of ash teetering at the end of her cigarette. She had eschewed the proffered mulled wine for a tumbler of brandy. As always Charles marvelled at the thought that he had been capable of intimacy with her.
Of Lady Selena there was no sign, but young ladies did seem to spend a lot of their time at toilet these days.
‘Yuletide felicitations, Uncle Charles!’ yelled Simon, who then greeted his uncle with a hug which took Charles back, but didn’t altogether displease him, although he would have had flogged any other man who tried it.
‘Where’s the delightful Lady Selena?’ asked Charles.
Marjorie muttered something which Charles didn’t catch (probably the first time someone didn’t catch something off Marjorie, he thought to himself).
‘She is taking her time,’ exclaimed Simon. ‘Ladies, eh? I’ll chivvy her along.’ And he bounded out of the door.
Charles dutifully bent down and kissed Marjorie who proffered her over-rouged cheek.
‘Glad you could make it, Marjorie,’ Charles lied.
To his horror, Marjorie replied by starting to sob. ‘Oh Charles, why do you men treat me so abominably. I loved him, I really did, and not just for his money although there was a frightful lot of it. He was so handsome and for the first time I thought I’d met a man who really made me feel like a woman…’
Charles ignored the implied insult to himself and told Marjorie to pull herself together.
Inexplicably, she cried even more.
Fortunately, before Charles had to try and comfort her further, Simon, rushed back into the room.
‘Lady Selena!’ he huffed. ‘She’s gone!’
Chares took charge. ‘Gone? What do you mean? Perhaps she is powdering her nose?’
‘But she never does that,’ explained Simon. ‘Her bedroom window is open and there’s signs of a struggle.’
From outside in the garden a scream rent the air.
‘Lady Selena!’ gasped Simon.
Charles and Simon rushed out into the cold winter night. Snow was beginning to sprinkle down from the sky. God’s dandruff, someone had once called it, Charles vaguely recalled.
A small group of young carol singers were marching up their drive, each clutching a lantern. The tune they sang was familiar, but Charles was shocked by the words. Not the usual beautiful lyrics celebrating our Saviour’s birth, but an twisted, evil libretto about ‘shepherd’s washing their cocks with shite.’ Charles was about to berate the carol singers, even administer a sound spanking to a selected boy, but then he looked at their drooling mouths and their blank eyes, and realised that they were not in control of themselves.
‘Look, Uncle!’ Simon screamed, unnecessarily hysterically. The darling lad was pointing towards Old Nick’s Moob, the lumpy hillock a quarter of a mile away, purported in local legend to be where Lucifer himself had given suckle to the evil witches who infested the county in the olden days.
An old barn belonging to the estate sat atop Old Nick’s Moob, and it was lit up dazzlingly bright, almost as though it were daylight. Charles shielded his eyes from the glare, trying to see from where the light was emanating.
In the sky above the barn was a cluster of stars. But this wasn’t a natural cosmic phenomenon, nor was it a sight of breath-taking beauty. For a start, the stars glowed an evil dirty scarlet, a colour Charles always associated with whore-houses in the grimier parts of London’s wicked East End. But also the stars were clustering together to form the shape of a chap’s member, drooping sadly downwards (as Charles gathered happened to men who didn’t keep themselves virile with exercise and regular consumption of red meat), pointing directly at the barn.
‘The gypsy!’ Charles exclaimed, recalling the plea for sanctuary from the old crone with the malevolent eyes earlier. ‘A poorly donkey, my arse!’
Charles looked around to see where Simon was. The big-hearted boy was dishing out sixpences to the carol singers, who were now singing something about a ‘ponce’ in Royal David’s City
‘Come on, lad,’ shouted his uncle. ‘No time for that now.’
Charles grabbed Simon by his arm, firmly muscled from years of pulling through, and dragged him away from the house and the carol singers and towards the barn atop Old Nick’s Moob.
‘But what about Aunt Marjorie?’ Simon gasped.
‘Staunchpole will look after her,’ Charles replied, impatiently. They had more important things to worry about than his drunken ex-wife.

The two men ran towards the hillock, but were only about halfway there when a noise stopped them in their tracks. Was it… sleigh bells?
Both men stared around, but could see nothing. Then they heard the crack of a whip, followed by a deep rumbling laugh, a sickening gurgle like a lavatory trying to flush away the evidence of a particularly nauseating crime.
‘Ho… ho… ho…!’
The sound came from above them. It was joined by the noise of hoof-beats and the hoarse sniffling of animals. The sleigh bells got louder too, but not a pretty tinkling noise, more the sound of a barefoot man trampling inside a bucket of broken glass.
And from the sky there swooped a sleigh pulled by the most evil-looking creatures Charles had ever seen. Reindeer, but not the endearing chaps seen on most Christmas cards. These beasts had fur like slimy black leather, foam-drenched fangs protruding from their cruel mouths, steam erupting from glowing scarlet noses, and their antlers were twisted into the shape of upside-down crucifixes. Manure erupted from their hind-end in a never-ending stream, akin to the oratory from a trade union leader. The stench was unbearable, like being in a poor person’s house.
The sleigh dive-bombed our heroes, only narrowly missing their heads. They both fell to the ground as heavy presents landed all around them and exploded, accompanied by fetid reindeer droppings.
‘Ho… ho… ho…!’ came the mournful hollow laughter. Charles thought it the most dismal noise he had ever heard.
He caught his first glimpse of the pilot of the sleigh. Father Christmas! But not the lovable, fat be-whiskered present-giver of legend. No, this creature was a pop-eyed, sozzle-nosed, whisky-breathed, puce-complexioned mockery, like a drunken actor pretending to be a Father Christmas in a department store. On Oxford Street, probably.
‘Come, Himmler and Bastard, Noncer and Poncer, Attlee, Vomit, Stupid, and Bitch!’ shouted the bearded red-cloaked monstrosity, his rancid halitosis eye-watering even from above.
‘It’s Father Christmas, Uncle,’ Simon yelled.
Charles stood up and shook his fist at the sleigh.
‘I defy you,’ he shouted. ‘There is no such thing as Father Christmas!’
The sleigh turned to make another attack.
‘Impossible,’ breathed Charles. ‘I defied it’s existence, it should just vanish.’ He tried again.
‘We don’t believe in Father Christmas!’ he bellowed once more.
The sleigh continued its downward trajectory.
‘WE DON’T BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS!’
Simon tugged at his uncle’s elbow. ‘Actually, Uncle, I do,’
Charles stared uncomprehendingly at his nephew. How could this be? Simon was a grown man. Had no-one ever explained…
He grabbed his nephew by the shoulders and gazed right into his baby-blue eyes.
Now, listen, Simon,’ he said, ‘This is the hardest thing I have ever said to you, but it’s the truth. There is no Father Christmas!’
Simon’s lower lip quivered.
‘But… but… but…?’
‘No buts,’ his uncle replied, brusquely. ‘It was your parents all along. The fairy bike, the cricket bat, the clockwork Hitler… all bought from Gamages and not the North Pole.’
Simon collapsed to his knees, An anguished wail started somewhere deep inside him and then erupted, a primal Krakatoa of a collapsed childhood.
As Simon sobbed pitifully, Charles looked up in the sky. The evil sleigh was evaporating fast, the last remaining glimpse was of the warped Father Christmas shaking its fist at the men on the ground.
Then with a final rattle of the sleigh bells, it popped out of existence.
All was calm, all was bright.
Charles hauled Simon back up onto his knees. ‘Sorry, lad, but you had to find out some time.’
Simon looked at his uncle with red-stained eyes. ‘I will never ever trust another grown-up ever again.’
‘That’s the most important lesson you will ever learn.’ Charles thumped Simon on the back. ‘Now let’s rescue Lady Selena.’

Cautiously, the two brave Englishmen approached the barn. Charles didn’t believe the Satanic Santa was the only protection which had been conjured by whoever was responsible for this. He kept a watchful eye out for elements, spells and goat-footed dwarves.
The brightness from the obscene stars above the barn became dazzling, and both men had to shield their eyes. Charles shivered but he didn’t know if it was from anticipation or the cold. The snow was getting thicker too, and neither were wearing hats.
When they arrived at the barn, Charles and Simon each stood stealthily at either side of the door. Charles was about to peer in through the open doorway when a hand grabbed his shoulder.
He suppressed a yell and quickly glanced around.
It was Staunchpole.
‘Staunchpole, you blasted idiot. You nearly made me give away my presence!’
‘Sorry, sir,’ Staunchpole whispered. ‘But Lady Marjorie has disappeared.’
‘You were supposed to be keeping an eye on her,’ Charles admonished his man.
‘I was, sir,’ responded his shame-faced menial. ‘But she seemed to be befuddled as a newt so I thought it would be alright to leave her on the sofa and get on with the stuffing for tomorrow.’
‘Hmm,’ said Charles, not entirely mollified. ‘Let’s hope she’s just staggered somewhere and passed out. Now, you’re here, Staunchpole, you can be useful. Come on!’
The three men crept silently into the barn.
It was an old brick building, thatched, once a tiny cottage for a shepherd, feature-less inside except for an old hearth.
The sight that greeted the men as they stared inside the building filled them with astonishment and revulsion.
Lady Selena lay flat on her back on several bales of hay, gagged, but unconscious, her knees brutally exposed to the elements.
The old Gypsy woman stood over her, a baby in her shrivelled arms. All around, animals indulged in grotesque beastliness, a veritable orgy of awfulness. Sheep lay with chickens, cows with goats, the donkey pleasured itself, while three shepherds indulged in activities with each other that would soon get them booted out of the army, if not the Navy.
Simon couldn’t restrain himself. He marched into the barn, and in a loud voice demanded, ‘Release Lady Selena at once, old crone!’
‘Bally Idiot!’ hissed Charles.
He and Staunchpole glanced at each other and reluctantly followed Simon into the barn too.
The Gypsy cackled with pleasure.
‘And now my nativity is almost complete. The Three Foolish Men!’
‘Who are you, vile harridan!’ asked Charles, ‘And what do you want with Lady Selena?’
The Gypsy stood, somehow seeming taller than she had before.
‘Do you really not recognise me, Sir Charles?’
Charles rubbed his eyes. The Gypsy woman was blurring, her features almost melting, becoming less Romany and more… Oriental.
Charles gasped, his heart almost stopping with the horror at what he now saw.
‘Cunnilinga!’

This gripping yarn is continued in my memoirs

Sir Desmond Stirling’s
THE DEVIL TALKS THE HINDMOST
Now available from Amazon UK
Amazon USA
An eBook for the Kindle from Head Music

© Anthony Keetch 2012

To hear Sir Desmond at work go to www.whatnoise.co.uk