Lola motioned for everyone to hold hands whilst she said a “Password” but Bunty thought she was covering up in front of Padraig who was dubious about magic, or “technology” as Lola had taken to calling it particularly information technology, going on about “super highways” and “wi-fi” -it sounded like a good old fashioned incantation to her-as she often had dreams about times gone by and saw her and Lola wearing ever so nice long black dresses and getting terribly damp by being ducked in ponds or stuck with pins.
There was the obligatory flash of light, some smoke, which turned out to be Lola and then…
Bunty was ever so glad to not be the servant and found herself in a very tight corset but wearing this time a lovely silk affair. It was obviously tea time and she was seated in front of a roaring fire with a table laden with dainty sandwiches and lots of lovely tea and cake.
“Heaven!” she exclaimed.
“Damn!” cried Lola, she was at least smoking a cigarette, but she was also corseted but wearing black widow’s weeds and a veil, which was smouldering.
A douse of water soon stopped this and she glared at a rather nattily dressed Padraig who rather resembled, in costume at least, one of the Romantic Poets.
He quickly produced a packet of Lola’s favourite French cigarettes so her glower subside as she inhaled and blew smoke furiously out of her flared nostrils.
“It’s simply not period-I don’t even think they had tailor made cigarettes in the Victorian era-and why are you got up like Lord Byron? I mean it suits you and all but.. Oh God it’s the bloody Brontes again isn’t it? Who is it this time? We’ve done Emily, oh it’s Anne-thank goodness! We can get rid of Dorking-Arthur dies in the end!” said Lola.
“As long as I’m not Arthur” said Padraig.
“No, he’s always the violent patriarch-I expect I’ll be under threat at some point and you’ll have to rescue me-it’s never like that in real life-I always end up rescuing myself or Bunty comes along, or an army of badgers, or a school of porpoises.” said Lola.
“Porpoises?” said Padraig.
“Yes.” said Lola, nodding her head very seriously, “they were awfully obliging.”
Bunty had a large brass bell sitting next to her and she picked it up and giggled as she rang it not knowing what to expect.
In came a strange little fat man in a butlers uniform came in punching the air shouting “Round one!” and hitting out at an imaginary opponent.
“Oh he must once have been a Boxer and now he’s lost it!” said Bunty without any sympathy.
“Stop doing that and fetch me cake!” she yelled.
Lola took a grip of her skirts and walked up and down the corridor of the crumbling Elizabethan mansion smoking the seemingly endless supply of Gitanes. Once she had ripped off the veil and dried out she looked rather fetching.
“Padraig, this is it, you have to help me restore all genres and realities and get rid of Dorking once and for all into the bargain! What is it about the Gothic genre why is it all crumbling mansions, why is it always cold?” asked Lola.
“I think this is more steampunk, ” said Padraig.