Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cleaning out the Cellar

Seventy years of dry air can desiccate a corpse until it resembles an Egyptian mummy. What made it easy to date the one Harold uncovered in his cellar was the Japanese sword, the German Luger and the invitation to the Laverstone Manor Grand Ball, 31st October 1945, in his top pocket. He lifted off the jacket, stiff with age and dried body fluids, and withdrew a wallet. It cracked as he opened it but revealed the identity of the uniformed man as Captain Frank Johnston, a name Harold recognized from his late grandmother’s diaries. The Captain had forced himself upon Sophia Waters many times during the occupancy of the manor by the RAF it was almost a foregone conclusion he had died because of it. From the cuts of a thousand tiny fairy knives, Harold was interested to note.

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