butler led me into the sitting room of the Gluttonlumps' mansion,
and after standing there for an indeterminate amount of time,
the Lady of the house finally made her entry.
seated," she stated simply. I sat and waited.
son," she said, "is different. Much different from anyone
you have ever known and needs to be treated with, shall we say,
understand that, Mum, and agree wholeheartedly. He struck me that
way from the first. That's way I like him. He's unique, decidedly
different, definitely moody and has an oral fixation where he
brushes his teeth ten times a day."
I know. Poor dear has so few teeth anyway, I don't know why he
be his fine upbringing, Mum," I replied demurely, as I smoothed
my skirt over my knees.
know so little about him," she said, glancing around the
room nervously. "He has other
traits that need to be
addressed before I'll be comfortable with you being around him."
traits? Goodness, whatever might they be?"
one thing he, and for what reason I'll never know, likes to spend
his time in the horrible little shack behind the stables. It used
to be the gardener's years ago, but after his untimely death in
that strange accident, Henrick insisted that he be allowed to
use it as his own. He fancies himself a writer. A horror writer,
no less, and some of the stories he's done, well, frankly, they
scare me to death."
he's a good writer, I take it?"
she exclaimed, "far from it. It's what he writes about that
scares me. The many evil ways that he devises to do away with
the people that displease him, that ridicule his work or, heaven
forbid, make fun of him."
he have any friends?"
the years he's had a few, but they never seem to last very long
once they discover his true nature. One of them, a writer named
Georgepat, made the mistake of using him as a character in one
of his stories once and the poor fellow hasn't been heard from
one knows for sure, but the police suspected Henrick from the
very first. They were never able to prove anything, though, and
the matter was dropped."
can only imagine what that poor fellow went through," I said,
dabbing a tear from my eye.
of course not. I don't care about him. I was speaking of poor
Henrick. How could they think such a thing of him?"
Gluttonlump stood and walked to the wet bar, poured a drink from
a crystal decanter and then drank it in one swallow.
me," she said, wiping off her chin with the back of her hand
and walked out of the room.
led me around the side of the mansion and towards the stables,
where several groomsmen were exercising the Gluttonlumps' line
of champion horses. I was going to ask about them, but she dismissed
my words with a casual wave of her hand and walked past the stables
a small thicket of brambles and under several old, gnarled trees
was a small, dilapidated shack that appeared to be abandoned.
There were cracks and open spaces between all the boards and the
windows were grimy with dirt and grease. The front door was closed
and a wooden toggle kept it shut tight.
this where he spends his time?" I asked. "Is he here
no, he's not here, and if he were, I wouldn't be here showing
you what I'm about to."
is he?" I asked, as she lifted the toggle and swung the door
to see if he can find a publisher that's far enough down on his
luck and might be willing to buy a story or two, I'd imagine.
I really don't care to know all that he does or where he goes.
We don't communicate often and when the rare instance occurs,
I'm usually met with a sullen, stony look."
think he looks wonderful," I whispered, as I stood in the
doorway of his shack, "handsome in his own unique way, of
course, but wonderful just the same."
sure that you'll change your mind about that, Miss, very, very
do you mean by tha" I tried to ask, as a hand pushed
me hard in the small of my back and I was thrown to the filthy
door slammed shut and I heard the toggle fall into place. I could
hear through the many cracks in the wall and had no trouble understanding
her when she went to the corner of the shack and called to her
Oh Henrick, Mummy's brought you your favorite meal again."
opened my eyes wide as the realization struck home, but it was
be a good boy and come out from hiding and give Mummy a big hug,
she said with her arms thrown wide. It's not every day that
you can eat this well."