The home of Mrs Featheringay was used to the intrusion of many a man.
It was not one of “those houses”. A house of ill repute.
It was in fact a house for wandering gentlemen who found themselves between bouts of fortune.
From travelling salesmen, to lost souls they all past through the doors of Mrs Featheringay and her warm welcome of a cup of tea and a quiet room of their own where they could weep in silent solitude.
Some visitors were made of sterner stuff. One such man went by the name of Lemiwell Jones.
Lemiwell Jones was not a weeper. He was a doer. A man made of manly stuff. Strong, thoughtful and determined were the three words that described him best.
That was the thing Mrs Featheringay noticed the most. Big manly hands like Mr Featheringay had before he …. Well, that’s another story for another time.
Lemiwell Jones had a personal l history that was one of many a mystery (rhyming always makes things better) but while his future offered a glimmer of hope to all in the town of Stockdale, his present state was one of concern to the lady of the house, as we are about to discover.
Whilst sat surrounded by a mountain of paperwork, Lemiwell Jones scribbled furiously at his notes, attempting to write the most amazing speech of his new career as a potential local politician.
He had spent the past week knocking on doors, canvasing, hoping to drum up support for his campaign.
Shaking hands and listening to people was a big part of the job and it was something Lemiwell was rather good at.
He had the kind of face that put people at ease and a stature that conveyed confidence and honour and in no way made him look weak, ill and pasty, like most other Stockdalians.
The large grey cloud that hung over the town ensured that all who lived there received just under the recommended amount of natural light required to look “healthy”.
Clammy, dull flesh was the fashion in this town.
Mrs Featheringay walked through from the kitchen carrying a pot of tea and a tin of biscuits that were reserved for paying guests only.
“Here we go deary..” she chirped careful not to spill the tea pot. “A nice pot of tea to….What the fu…”
Her blushes were spared by the convenient cough of Mr Jones, who had good manners running through his veins.
“Ah.. yes. Sorry Mrs F. I’ll have all this cleared up in a moment.”
Mrs Featheringay composed herself and sat the tea tray on a corner of the table, trying her best not to topple over one of the many piles of paper.
“What’s all this then?” she spluttered, upset that her collection of doilies and place mats with printed pictures of cats and river scenes had been replaced with what looked like an OCD sufferers recycling collection.
“It’s flyers and posters for Henry to deliver around town.” Confessed Lemiwell. “He should have been here 15 minutes ago to collect them. I don’t know where he is.” He offered as an apology.
With serendipitous crash and fall, the very Henry in question came bounding through the front door and fell in an unceremonious heap in front of Mrs Featheringays slippers, just as she was wearing them.
“Henry HUT!” snapped Mrs F. “What I have I told you about running? You’re not Insane Bolt you know…” Said barked.
It took a lot for Mrs Featheringay to get upset, but things were getting out of hand recently.
Ever since she was introduced to the secret society that had tasked itself from keeping the citizens of Stockdale safe from unknown terrors, there seemed to be more un-paying guests wearing out her hallway mat than paying guests.
Mr Featherinay would never had stood for it.
Henry got to his knees and pushed himself upright.
His plump face was red cheeked and his streaming from running in the cold November air.
“I’m…. I’m sorry…. Mrs F….bu….. but I had to tell you….” He wheezed and panted.
Lemiwell stood up from the table and turned to face Henry.
“What is it boy?” He asked, resisting the urge to follow it with
“Did Timmy fall down the well?” as this was no laughing matter – he could tell.
Henry gulped at the air as if it were made from chocolate.
“Sit down lad… come on.” Mrs Featheringay cupped Henry’s arm and sat him down on one of the dining room chairs.
“What’s the matter?”
Henry composed himself and said, “There was a large man checking out the house.”
“What sort of man?” Lemiwell said, quite alarmed.
“Well… large. He was making notes in a notebook and …” his voice trailed.
“What is it?” Said Mrs Featheringay, who although guilty of it herself, was not a fan of half finished sentences.
“His coat had writing on it…like a logo or something.”
Lemiwell frowned worriedly. “What did it say Henry?”
“Something like… TW something something…”
“TWWBM?” He asked.
“Yea, that’s it. How did you know?” Henry asked.
At this point of the conversation Professor Procto walked in the room from his part time lodgings upstairs.
“I believe I can answer that.” He proclaimed.
All eyes turned the super scientist.
Lemiwell jumped in first and said “It’s Malevolent isn’t it? He’s back.”
The Professor nodded.
“Indeed. My Brother has returned to Stockdale.”
Silence shoved itself into every nook and cranny as that last statement was processed by all in the room.
“I don’t believe it!” gasped Henry who was determined to kick start his ill-fated catchphrase.
To be continued.......