Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Florence Apocalypse: Chapter One Addenda
Caliban McSlaughter, winced as he lowered himself gingerly into his marble plunge bath. He did everything gingerly, always had, for he had been covered in reddish hair since he was born. The midwife had let slip a disparaging remark about Ourangutans, and the Menagerie whose beasts had notoriously run riot on Innocence Island nine months before.
His father had her horsewhipped of course, but everyone 'knew' that his mother had been ravished by a great ape nevertheless - the only point of discussion in the village remained whether the ape in question was a relatively innocent if priapic former inhabitant of Borneo or Laird Bogle McSlaughter, the Warlock o' the Glens.
At seventy though, Caliban had to admit to himself that he was more grey than ginger. And no wonder the worry of bringing up those thrice troublesome children of his would turn a Black Cat grey.
The report from Madame Mab's was on his desk, under the handy paperweight of a dead vicar's skull. (Not quite so oxymoronic as you might think, he had once pinned a live vicar to his desk by the ears, but had found it hard to slide papers in and out under the squirming prelate's hair, and blood had got on the legal documents in all the wrong places.)
It wasn't that they didn't want to do wrong - there was nothing fundementally good about them, he reassured himself, and it wasn't that Madame Mab's wasn't a highly regarded establishment in Evil Scholastic Circles, but somehow the pitiless regieme of sly cruelty, intense competativeness and backstabbing that had proved to be so powerful a driver of Scottish Witchcraft since the Weird Sister's Memorial Behest of 1057 (5063 in the Witch Calendar), had failed Mary, Anne...and the other one, in ways he could hardly understand.
When he got out of the bath he was going to have to do something about it.
He had an inkling of an idea, but it was a drastic one, and based on little more than a folktale, but Caliban McSlaughter knew well how much truth there could be in gossip and village tattle. He had after all the prehensile feet to prove it.
If he was going to see his children right, he'd have to bring in the Apocalypse. Florence Apocalypse: Hell's Bottom Nanny. (Hell as you may have gathered rates people downwards towards Lucifer, not upwards towards God, hence also the School Lowerarch competition at Madam Mabs).