Professor Hawking.


Branwell had his heart set on a ramshackle Tudor manor was being sold for a pittance; his mother had often pointed out the menacing hulk on the hill and had commented on how romantic it looked and that she could just imagine Heathcliff living there.

He had more than enough money to buy both the house and the land and he drove a hard bargain, cutting in to the estate agent’s commission and arranging to have the house dismantled and rebuilt on his new plot.

The house had stood for many years and was known locally as Wathering Hikes, for no particular reason that anyone could now remember but it was said to be an evil abode.

Bunty and Lola went sight-seeing on the elevated railway that served Liverpool’s docks, Lola happily wolf whistling sailors and dockers, shocking them with filthy language whilst Bunty took pictures with her trusty box brownie.

They avoided the museum and the button silo and went to buy hats in Lewis’s department store and Coopers. They had a lovely luncheon in the tea rooms and had a fine time sneering at the provincial ladies.

They bought post cards and sent them to Mrs Damson, who was in hospital, and to Branwell, as well as an arch one to the triplets who were in prison.

They asked for their parcels to be delivered to the hotel and went to change for dinner.

Lola lay on a chaise longue smoking a cigarette in a long black ebony holder leafing through New York Vogue, deciding on which of the next season’s fashions she liked whilst sipping black market champagne.

Bunty was so excited that she didn’t think that she could face dinner-but Lola had said that complete starvation would make her saggy so she decided to at least have a chop or two. She sipped her Pimms as she swirled about in her new Dior cocktail dress patting her neatly coiffed hair which had been styled with great effort into a French pleat which had tamed her normally frizzy auburn hair.

“What a wonder that young boy Herbert is!” she exclaimed.

But all the while a time bomb was ticking in the shape of Bunty’s bowls and an exotic insect that slept in dormancy for many years until its destructive force was unleashed.

The handsome young Dr “Hawking” sat at the main bar in the hotel sipping a twelve-year-old malt, feeling very pleased with himself, until two ladies of his acquaintance walked into the room, turning many heads in their French finery.

He felt a spasm go through his left side as he caught the eye of Lola who gave him a seductive wink before clicking her gloved fingers at a waiter.

Branwell sat and brooded; he decided that he would use his green fingers not for good, but for evil, and set about designing a hellish garden filled with poisonous plants with noxious smells.

The “treatment” that Bingo had started all those years ago after he had lost his memory was finally working.

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