Saturday 28 June 2014


My Garden (by pgene


I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree.
For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday sen’night.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

~ by Amy Lowell

For an angel (by DJLAKTEO


Sunday 22 June 2014

Remember Me

Autumn Rose (by Tailgun2009

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine

~ by Pablo Neruda

For Shelli.

mist .... (by BaxiaArt


The Prophet

“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit." ~ Kahlil Gibran

Sunset IV... (by Erylum

On Pain 

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your 
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand 
in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of 
your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you 
have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your 

Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals 
your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence 
and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender
hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been 
fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with 
His own sacred tears

~ by Kahlil Gibran ('The Prophet')

Kahlil Gibran (by Varonael

Friday 20 June 2014

Hell To Pay

"Talk of the Devil, and see his horns."

English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases complied by William Carew Hazlitt

Then Satan answered the Lord, and said , Doth Job fear God for nought?

Job 1:9 (King James Version)

Card XV - “The Devil” (Deviant Moon Tarot deck)

Talk Of The Devil

Damascus, Syria

It was another hot late afternoon in Damascus.

A group of swarthy boys were sitting on an old Persian rug in their accustomed place on a rooftop.

Omar Al-Hamsi was holding court as the other boys encircled him and listened intently.

Al-Hamsi was like an oracle.

He was an inveterate story teller and his young listeners were fascinated and spellbound by his tales.

The young boy was already growing tall with a bushy mane of black curly hair and onyx black eyes.

Omar Al-Hamsi was the oldest of the group at eleven years of age.

Then there was ten year old Yasir Karim who was a studious little boy with wavy black hair, hazel eyes and a pair of spectacles perched on his little nose.

Wadi Hakim who was also ten years old, a lively little boy with curly brown hair and bright green eyes.

There was Nadir Darzi who was eight years old.

He was a quiet and soulful boy with curly black hair and brown eyes.

And finally there was Misbah Darzi who was seven years old and the brother of Nadir - he was shy and reserved, and had wavy black hair and black eyes.

Every afternoon the little group gathered on the rooftop of Hakim's house to listen to Omar Al-Hamsi's stories.

It was like the Arabian Nights.

And all the boys were slightly in awe of Al-Hamsi's captivating tales of good and evil, morality and retribution.

Omar Al-Hamsi had the soul of a poet.

And a golden tongue that dripped honey.

The industrious storyteller swore fervently on the soul of his grandfather that his stories were not made up but true.

Al-Hamsi could make any falsehood sound true.

A career in politics stretched out before him.

But this afternoon was different.

Because Omar Al-Hamsi was telling a particularly dark story about a rarely seen hermit who lived on the edge of town.

The young story teller had captured the imaginations of his listeners once again and they were staring at him with wide eyed wonder.

"There is a reason why old Abu is rarely seen in the daylight!" Omar Al-Hamsi informed them all dramatically "Because he is the father of lies!"

There was an audible gasp among his little audience.

An icy chill ran down their spines.

They were fascinated and horrified at once.

This was not the usual tale that Al-Hamsi told them.

It was much darker.

There was suspense in the air.

"Abu is the Devil!" Al-Hamsi declared melodramatically.

Misbah's hand flew to his mouth.

There were several uneasy moments of silence as the young audience attempted to process the shocking pronouncement.

Abu Kader was a mysterious older man who lived alone.

Nobody knew much about him.

He was said to be a Maronite but nobody was really sure.

Abu Kader had lived out in the Syrian desert for years and was said to be insane.

He was rarely seen in public, if at all.

And nobody ventured near his abode.

The awkward silence was suddenly broken by Wadi Hakim's loud and reverberating laugh.

"That can't be true!" He exclaimed "My father saw Abu in the market three days ago!"

None of the boys had ever seen Abu Kader.

He was more of a shadowy legend to them.

Wadi Hakim laughed again.

Yasir Karim slowly shook his head at Omar Al-Hamsi.

"This is a crazy story!" Karim declared.

"All because old Abu is a madman!" Hakim added disdainfully "It does'nt mean he is the Devil!"

Al-Hamsi was narked by the treacherous incredulity of Wadi Hakim and he shot him an angry look.

"Wadi is right!" Nadir Darzi interjected "You shouldn't talk like that about Abu because he is a follower of the prophet Jesus! It's a sin!"

The other boys nodded.

"But it's true!" Omar cried "And his demons are in the form of the black Rottweilers that he keeps outside!"

"I am afraid of dogs!" Misbah shuddered.

"I heard about a church that is plagued by demons in the form of black dogs!" Nadir said in a tremulous voice.

Everyone had a supernatural tale to tell in the region.

It was the Middle East after all.

The seat of all the major religions and faiths.

"You should stop this nonsense right away, Omar!" Yasir Karim declared firmly "It's scaring everybody!"

Unperturbed by all the dissension, Al-Hamsi continued.

"It's all very true!" He persisted "And they say that any child who enters his house never emerges into the daylight! The Devil takes them back to hell with him!"

"This is too much now!" Wadi Hakim cried as he leapt to his feet "I'm going home!"

"And you can't prove it either!" Yasir Karim exclaimed.

"Come on Misbah, let's go home it will be dark soon!" Nadir Darzi informed his little brother.

But Omar Al-Hamsi was not defeated just yet.

"I can prove everything!" He suddenly informed them in resonant voice.

They looked back at him with a mixture of astonishment and trepidation.

"If you come with me tomorrow, I will take you to Abu's house!" Al-Hamsi added earnestly.

The Desert Dream (by eternalillusionist
The boys looked apprehensively at each other.

They were distrustful of Omar but intrigued.

It was surly Wadi Hakim who spoke up first.

"I'll do it!" Hakim cried "Tomorrow you will be humiliated!"

Slowly all the boys nodded.

But secretly they were all terrified.

The Devil in Syria?

They had to see this for real.

"Allah will protect us!" Nadir Darzi declared.

"Then you have nothing to fear!" Omar Al-Hamsi replied with a knowing smile.

That night the boys slept fitfully.

It was due in part to the heat but it was also due to their mounting terror.

Dawn arrived too fast.

The boys all met outside Omar Al-Hamsi's house after morning prayers.

They were about to embark on a momentous journey and there was safety in numbers.

And they were scared out of their wits.

Little Misbah was clinging to his brother.

He had taken his fathers worry beads with them.

"Allahu Akbar!" Nadir Darzi muttered over and over again as the little group began their journey.

It was already blisteringly hot.

Omar Al-Hamsi was leading them confidently through the town with his head held high.

Only he knew if he were telling the truth or not.

He was keeper of the secret.

Wadi Hakim had been unable to credit Al-Hamsi's story.

It sounded far too fanciful to him.

And Hakim was just as afraid as the others - although he was a lot better at hiding it.

"We will all laugh about this later!" Wadi declared.

But the others were not so sure.

They were in no mood for mirth.

And they had no time to take in the sights of beautiful Damascus.

Time was evaporating before them in the glare of the sun.

Finally they reached the house of Abu Kader.

It looked deserted and woebegone.

A dilapidated bungalow on a stretch of barren land.

It was hard to believe that anyone actually lived there at all.

Finally it was becoming all too real.

The boys were frozen to the spot.

Secretly fighting the urge to run away.

"Allahu Akbar!" Nadir repeated again.

"I'm scared!" Misbah declared in a shaky voice as he clutched his brothers hand.

"Don't be afraid!" Nadir cried "Allah is with us!"

But they were all petrified.

It felt as if they were standing on the edge of the world.

And looking into the abyss.

This was no dream.

This was really happening to them.

"Who is going to knock on the door?" Omar Al-Hamsi demanded firmly.

So far he had shown little emotion.

But even his bravado was beginning to fade.

His little brave flag was already wilting in the hot Syrian sun.

It had evaporated before the horror they were all facing.

Nobody uttered a word.

Suddenly some dogs barked.

And all the boys (including Omar Al-Hamsi) jumped.

"Let's get out of here!" Yasir Karim exclaimed and rounded on his heels.

A couple of the boys turned to join him.

"I'm not going anywhere!" Wadi Hakim cried "We've come all this way! I'm going to do this!"

The sight of a cowering Omar Al-Hamsi had sufficiently revived the boy's swagger.

Wadi Hakim marched towards the big door as the others sheepishly followed him.

Before he could think about he was doing, he began pounding loudly on the door.

The other boys were standing a little way off now and clinging to each other in terror.

There was no reply.

Everything was deathly quiet.

No birds could be heard singing in the sky.

They were standing on the cusp of Hades.

Several moments of cold silence followed.

Wadi Hakim turned to the others.

"It's all been a big hoax!" Hakim informed them.

Suddenly the front door flew open and everybody jumped sharply.

A swarthy and skeletal man dressed in an old black kaftan was standing commandingly in the doorway.

Abu Kader looked unkempt and dishevelled and he had long straggly grey hair and a scruffy grey beard.

He had piercing black eyes and a weather beaten face.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me!" Abu Kader bellowed in a resounding voice.

Suddenly a large black raven squawked loudly from a spindly tree above them.

The Child Must Die

The London Maternity Centre, London

Victoria Havers was lying in her hospital room.

She had stopped screaming hours ago.

Havers had been given powerful sedatives and she was drifting in and out of consciousness.

She could barely make out the blurred faces of doctors and nurses surreptitiously inspecting her and talking in hushed tones.

Victoria could see her husband through the partially open door.

Gavin Havers was talking conspiratorially to Dr Anthony Michaels.

The older man smiled and put an affectionate hand on the younger man's shoulder.

"Traitors" Victoria Havers muttered.

She was an attractive brunette with vivid blue eyes and an abundant mane of dark brown hair.

Victoria Astley had briefly been a singer with some success before opening the popular Charly boutique in London.

Then she met Gavin Havers by chance on a train.

They were sharing the same carriage and got into conversation.

Gavin Havers was very persistent and love quickly blossomed between them.

He was tall and good looking with wavy brown hair and emerald green eyes.

Havers was charming and intelligent and whisked Victoria Astley off her feet.

Marriage quickly followed even though it was evident from the start that it did so without the blessing of Gavin's mother Cecilia.

Cecilia Denby had come from a well heeled Berkshire family.

Her marriage to the world famous scientist Edward Havers had been a respectable match and had produced one son.


But a sudden freak accident had left Cecilia a widow at just forty and Victoria believed that it was then that her character became warped.

The arrogant matriarch had been well provided for by her husband, but without another man in the house she soon began to rely on her son for everything.

She was domineering and demanding.

Victoria Havers hated her.

Cecilia had always been the third person in their marriage.

And Victoria wished her dead.

Now she lay utterly exhausted in a hospital bed.

It had been a particularly long and gruelling delivery.

But at last it was all over.

The thing was out of her.

And a new nightmare was just beginning ...

Victoria Havers had been overcome by such an overwhelming dread that she had been unable to leave the house for weeks.

She had become consumed by such inexplicable feelings of fear that her horizons had become narrower and narrower.

fear (by blackcocktail
Her pretty little boutique was closed for the foreseeable future as she retreated into a twilight world.

It was a bleak and forbidding existence.

And sometimes she sought relief in tears.

Victoria Havers was caught up in a maelstrom of powerful emotions.

She had fallen into a deep and dark pit from which she did not believe she would ever emerge.

Havers retreated further and further into herself and refused to see anyone or take in any visitors.

Most expectant mothers are filled with incandescent delight and positive expectation.

But not Victoria Havers.

From the moment she discovered she was pregnant, she had fallen into a profound depression.

It was both sudden and shocking.

She pathologically despised the fetus growing in her womb.

If she could, she would have had it aborted.

She would have destroyed it in her womb.

But it was too late.

It was living inside her and feeding off her.

A hideous dark thing sapping the life out of her.

And blocking out the light.

Victoria Havers did not have a history of clinical depression or mental illness.

And she had hardly ever been ill. 

Her deterioration had been a gradual process.

It had crept upon her and caught her out.

Gavin Havers had done everything he could to make his wife comfortable.

He was an extremely successful pathologist and he and his wife lived well both in England and in New York where they had a plush apartment.

The couple had moved to their summer cottage in Berkshire for the duration of the pregnancy.

But nothing seemed to assuage the wretched woman's melancholia.

As the weeks progressed, Victoria Havers became more and more paranoid.

She was convinced that her husband and her mother-in-law were conspiring against her.

There was a vendetta against her and everyone seemed to be behaving oddly towards her.

As if they all knew something she did not.

Victoria Havers mustered up the courage to go into town one day.

But she felt like a total stranger with an alien growing in her womb.

Victoria Havers was now acutely sensitised and the pavement seemed to be heaving beneath her feet.

There was thunder in the street and every noise seemed to go right through her.

She felt threatened and intimidated by all the people rushing past her.

Victoria Havers was filled with an impending sense of doom.

And she could not explain why.

Suddenly the clock tower chimed loudly and a flock of crows squawked loudly overhead.

And a terrified Victoria Havers turned on her heels and ran sobbing home.

That night she was informed by phone that one of her oldest friends had committed suicide.

The news was shocking and unexpected.

Gavin tried his best to soothe his wife.

But he was unable to comfort her.

And Victoria Havers believed that she had taken a turn for the worse.

Her husband considered putting his wife in a convalescence home.

"It will only be for the duration of the pregnancy!" Gavin assured her one night "You need to be in the right environment. And the child ... is important"

"I'm not going mad!" Victoria pleaded with him "Why wont anyone listen to me?"

She could just make out the form of her mother-in-law at the door of their bedroom.

Victoria hated Cecilia Havers.

And she suspected that the feeling was mutual.

Cecilia Havers was inclined to be condescending towards Victoria.

The snobbish woman's contempt for her son's wife had always been thinly veiled.

It was obvious that Cecilia Havers believed her son could do better.

He was a leading pathologist and Victoria owned a little boutique on the King's Road.

It was patently clear that Cecilia Havers believed that Victoria was little more than a gold digger with her finely manicured claws in her son.

And now her daughter-in-law was being hysterical.

The disdain was very apparent.

Gavin Havers doted upon his mother.

They had a strong bond and Victoria always felt excluded.

Cecilia had bought him up virtually single handed since her husband had died in a freak skiing accident when Gavin was still a toddler.

And she mercilessly manipulated him.

But just lately, Cecilia Havers had thawed towards her daughter-in-law and the metamorphosis was very bizarre.

It was just another peculiar twist in the tale.

"Dr Shelley says your experiences are normal during pregnancy!" Gavin Havers soothed "They are just fancies!"

Victoria sorely wanted to believe her husband.

But he was no longer the man she had married.

And all her entreaties seemed to be falling upon deaf ears, as a mounting sense of foreboding intensified.

Victoria Havers was desperate for solace.

And she began to frantically reach out for help.

A desperate need for spiritual food was growing inside her.

So she began fervently reading the Bible and any spiritual text she could find.

God does not punish us.

Victoria Havers carefully put the book down.

We punish ourselves with guilt and shame.

For a brief shining moment, the pain stopped.

The old Catholic church suddenly entered her head.

She didn't know why but she felt a little better.

St Matthew's Catholic Church was calling to her.

The following day Victoria Havers made her way to town.

She was still badly frightened.

Yet she knew somehow that she would be safe in a church.

Nothing could harm her there.

And she had developed an overwhelming desire to purge herself of sin and to seek redemption on hallowed ground.

God would surely forgive her for her unbelief. 

She recounted the Lord's Prayer as she walked purposefully towards the church.

"Our Father who art in heaven ..."

Nothing could hurt her now.

"... hallowed be thy Name ...."

Because she was being protected.

... thy kingdom come ...

And she was coming out of the darkness into the light.

... thy will be done ....

All the pain and anguish would soon be gone.

... on earth as it is in heaven ...

All Victoria Havers had to do was believe.

... give us this day our daily bread...

She had to have faith.

... and forgive us our trespasses ...

She had to trust that God would deliver her.

... as we forgive them that trespass against us ...

Because there was a purpose to everything.

... and lead us not into temptation ...

Everything would make sense soon.

... but deliver us from the Evil One ...

At last she was standing outside the old church.

Victoria Havers was a lapsed Catholic and as far as she was aware, her husband had always been an avowed atheist.

He was a cool headed pragmatist who had always dismissed religious belief as neurosis.

But something had vastly changed.

Just lately, the virulent atheist had acquired an interest in the occult and the supernatural.

He had begun spending time with unfamiliar people and a year ago he had even visited an excavation site in Egypt.

"It's amazing!" Gavin informed Victoria excitedly when he returned "The care the ancient Egyptians took over their passage to the after life! And the tombs were astounding!"

He was looking at his wife with flashing green eyes.

Something had happened in Egypt.

Something had happened in the darkness underground.

And Gavin Havers had been transformed.

It was all cloak and dagger now.

There were weekends spent at "alternative" retreats in far flung places.

Victoria Havers had attended a few of them with Gavin and her detestable mother-in-law.

But she had felt unnerved by it all and completely alienated.

The peculiar participants were very enthusiastic towards Victoria and she felt very self conscious as she engaged in practices she did not understand.

There were odd summoning rituals and breath work and Gavin Havers threw himself wholeheartedly into it.

Victoria was astounded by the change in her husband.

Once upon at time he hated anything to do with religious faith and had dismissed it out of hand.

Gavin Havers had always been the first person to denounce a believer.

And now here he was - deeply engrossed in supernatural activity with a fierce intensity that frightened his wife.

It was incredible.

As the weeks progressed, Gavin Havers became more and more preoccupied with his occult groups and ever more secretive.

At first Victoria thought her husband was having an affair.

Then she realized that something altogether odder was happening and that her husband was undergoing a major metamorphosis.

The realization horrified her.

And Victoria Havers did not like who her husband had become.

She no longer recognized the man sleeping beside her in their big oak bed.

It was not the Gavin Havers she had married six years before.

But that was then.

Victoria Havers entered the old Catholic church as waves of relief ran through her.

... but deliver us from the Evil One ...

But as she stood in the aisle she was suddenly overcome with revulsion.

A priest appeared at the altar.

your hospital bed (by emo-cuddle-bear
But his face was inhuman and contorted.

He was a demon.

And suddenly there was blood everywhere.

It was gushing out of Christ's wounds on the enormous crucifix above the altar.

Blood was streaming out of the eyes of a weeping Virgin Mary at his feet.

An enormous pool of blood had appeared in the aisle and it was moving towards her.


"We drink his blood ... and eat his flesh"

Victoria Havers through back her head and gave vent to a guttural cry of desolation.

"I am damned!" She screamed.

And she wanted to tear out her eyes.

Victoria Havers was an abomination.

She pelted sobbing out of the church.

Her life was now an endless pit of despair.

... but deliver us from the Evil One ...

That night she overheard her hateful mother-in-law talking consiprationally to her son from the other room.

Victoria was standing behind the partially open living room door and listening to every word they were saying.

"She really should be in a convalescence home!" Cecilia urged her son "This child is an extremely important one! I don't need to remind you!"

"I know mother!" Gavin answered her sharply "But it's almost over now! Soon the child will be home with us and everything will change!"

"Indeed it will!" Cecilia Havers replied knowingly "The whole world is waiting for this child!"

Victoria Havers felt a chill run down her spine.

She looked down at her inflated belly.

She was carrying a monster in her womb.

Victoria would not allow them to send her to a "convalescence home" somewhere out in the back of beyond where she would be at the mercy of other freaks.

She was convinced that the baby in her womb was not a human child.

And the belief filled her with unimaginable terror.

A dark thing was growing inside her and it was already polluting the life around her.

It had nearly killed her coming out.

The agony had been unbearable.

Victoria Havers had almost screamed the whole hospital down.

She had never known such excruciating pain.

Now they had taken it away.

It was somewhere in the hospital now ...

The nurse had behaved as if she were holding a precious jewel.

Even then Victoria had thought it strange.

How silent the newborn had been.

"It's a healthy little boy!" Nurse Rigby informed her brightly.

Then she held up the mute baby to her.

And Victoria Havers fought the urge to scream again.

It was an ugly and scrawny little thing caked in blood.

A demon from the mouth of hell.

"Our son!" Gavin Havers declared jubilantly as he sat on the hospital bed and held his wife's trembling hand.

Victoria turned her back to the child.

Dr Anthony Michaels was looking triumphantly on.

"Don't be like that Mrs Havers!" He declared "Soon you will rejoice like the rest of us!"

There was an odd expression on his aged face.

He motioned to the nurse to give her more sedatives.

Victoria Havers began vigorously shaking her head.

"Come, come now!" Nurse Rigby chided her mildly "We won't have any more nonsense now! Soon everything will be just fine!"

Silent tears streamed down Victoria's face.

Her husband and Dr Michaels quietly left the room as the distraught woman swallowed another sour tasting cocktail with water.

The monster was among them now.

Victoria Havers would have to get away soon or she would become like the others.

That was when she noticed Gavin and Dr Michaels.

They were talking in hushed tones and smiling.

And there was an obvious connection between them.

The doctor suddenly put a reassuring hand on Gavin's shoulder.

They were all in it together.

"Traitors!" Victoria Havers muttered.

Shadowy figures passed in and out of her room.

Demons disguised as doctors and nurses.

For a split second she swore she saw Cecilia Havers.

The wicked woman looked down at her.

Victoria Havers would have to act soon.

She smiled darkly.

... but deliver us from the Evil One ...

Suddenly everything made perfect sense.

Victoria Havers would have to kill the newborn first

Then she would have to kill her husband.

And when she was done, she would have to murder Cecilia Havers.

There now.

Victoria Havers was feeling a lot better already ...

Alone (by mirabiliaimages


Saturday 14 June 2014

Viva Cyprus

First Sunset of 2014 -7 - (by ioanniscleary


When the poem utters the big word 
all the weapons will hush at once 
the word that's the voice of 
the spilled blood and the cry of suffering 
the word that's uttered by the chorus of the dead 
and by the exiled crowd of history. 

It will be whispered by the flower 
the weeping cloud in the sky 
the rapturous waves of the sea 
and the childred who do not want 
to join the army. 

That day, a new love will emerge 
from the foams of the sea 
that is distinct in nationality. 

War will die of shame 
as the silence starts taking revenge from history 
and the magic words 
will kiss the wind of love. 

If being disloyal to the half 
will bring me the whole native land 
your nationalism will be a cuckold's egg 
I shall betray you 
even with your bloody armies after me 
I shall make love with all the enemies 
I shall betray you 
on all the continents of this earth. 

When the poem utters the big word 
all the deals and negotiations 
will come to an end with nothing left to say 
all the mediators will be unemployed. 

The history will surrender 
under that big word which carries 
the stars and the rivers 
the endless love making of all times the sounds, the rain, and the seas. 

When the big word 
will be uttered by the poem 
either all the poets will be executed 
or peace will descend on earth. 

~ by Nese Yasin

One Cyprus.

The gate (by decklansheur


Friday 13 June 2014

La Marquise de Merteuil

"You'll find the shame is like the pain, you only feel it once." ~ Marquise de Merteuil


What you call happiness is nothing but a tumult in the 
mind, a tempest of passion, frightful to behold even for 
the spectator on the shore

(Ce que vous appelez le bonheur, n'est qu'un tumulte des 

sens, un orage des passions dont le spectacle est 
effrayant, même à le regarder du rivage)

Marquise de Merteuil

"Well, I had no choice, did I? I'm a woman. Women are obliged to be far more skillful than men. You can ruin our reputation and our life with a few well-chosen words. So, of course, I had to invent not only myself, but ways of escape no one has ever thought of before. And I've succeeded because I've known I was always born to dominate your sex and avenge my own... When I came out into society, I was 15. I already knew that the role I was condemned to, namely to keep quiet and do what I was told, gave me the perfect opportunity to listen and observe. Not to what people told me, which naturally was of no interest, but to whatever it was they were trying to hide. I practiced detachment. I learned how to look cheerful while under the table I stuck a fork into the back of my hand. I became a virtuoso of deceit. It wasn't pleasure I was after, it was knowledge. I consulted the strictest moralists to learn how to appear, philosophers to find out what to think, and novelists to see what I could get away with. And in the end, I distilled everything to one wonderfully simple principle: win or die...If I want a man, I have him. If he wants to tell, he finds that he can't. That's the whole story."

Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont

...pleasure, which is undeniably the sole motive force behind the union of the sexes, is nevertheless not enough to form a bond between them...even if it is preceded by desire which impels, it is succeeded by disgust which repels. This is a law of nature which only love can change

(Le plaisir, qui est bien en effet l'unique mobile de la réunion des deux sexes, ne suffit pourtant pas pour former une liaison entre eux..., s'il est précédé du désir qui rapproche, il n'est pas moins suivi du dégoût qui repousse. C'est une loi de la nature, que l'amour seul peut changer.)

Marquise de Merteuil

Vicomte de Valmont: You see, I have no intentions of breaking down her prejudices. I want her to believe in God and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the pleasure of watching her betray everything that is most important to her. Surely you can understand that. I thought betrayal was your favorite word. 

Marquise de Merteuil: No, no..."cruelty." I always think that has a nobler ring to it.


Wednesday 11 June 2014

Little Tree

Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift
Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.

Death by Rainer Maria Rilke

How did it go so fast
You'll say as we are looking back
and then we'll understand
we held gold dust
in our

~ Gold Dust by Tori Amos

roses for the dead (by emonightfox

The School Yard

I step off the train.

And I step back in time.

To my old home town.

Many things have changed.

Many things have remained the same.

There is comfort in familiarity.

And a tug at the heart.

I walk the same streets I once knew so well.

And on through the shrouded park with its tall oak tress and lake.

Once a oasis of calm in the storm.

I pause to drink in the scene.

The park is secluded.

Only birds circle overhead.

I take a breath.

Then I walk out into the road that leads to you.

A fork in the road takes me to your old house.

And I stand outside.

Emotions jostle for my attention.

The years fall away and I am looking at the house as it once was.

And imagine you running out to meet me.

But that was yesterday.

I follow the path I once knew so well.

Right past your favourite place.

The little tree on the hill.

The place where we dared to dream.

And then onto the old comprehensive school.

It is as it was.

With its grand façade and large school yard.

The old refectory and art block are where they were.

I stand by the gates as joy and sorrow grip my soul.

And I am pulled back.

The years evaporate.

I close my eyes.

When I open them again, the school yard is full of children again.

They are running and playing.

Children like the birds of the sky.

Talking animatedly and laughing even louder.

So many youthful, glowing faces full of life.

Then I see you.

You are standing in the blue duffel coat we bought together.

A solitary figure.

My heart leaps.

Joy vibrates through my being at the sight of you.

I call out to you, over and over again.

You slowly turn to me and I run to you.

My heart is so full of love I fear it will burst.

My heart is so full of pain I fear it will break if I lose you again.

All I want to do is hold you and never let you go.

To make it all go away.

You look so small and fragile as I race to you.

And finally I hold you with all the tenderness in my being.

I sob loudly.

But you tell me not to cry.

You are free now.

I spin you round and round.

Until it feels like we are flying through the sky.

Then I open my eyes again and everything has vanished.

And I am keeling before your grave.

You were still a child when you passed.

Still so innocent in your ways.

You went back to where you came from.

And now I cling to my memories.

Grateful that you stayed with us for a spell.

Now I yearn for someone to hold me.

Will you?

Will you hold me and let me lie in your arms?

Little tree.

into the light (by CatchMe-22


Sunday 8 June 2014

Love To Love You Baby

He marked the page with a match
and fell asleep in mid-kiss,
while I, a queen bee
in a disturbed hive, stay up and buzz:
half a kingdom for a honey drop,
half a lifetime for a tender word!
His face, half turned.
Half past midnight. Half past one.

~ He marked the page with a match by Vera Pavlova (translated by Stephen Seymour)

Love is Roses (by circle of fire

"I Feel Love"

Stockport, Greater Manchester

Hayley Moorcroft was wondering what had happened to her Romeo.

Once upon a time her husband had wooed her with holidays to the Algarve and dinners at fancy restaurants.

But now she was lucky if she got a cuddle and a peck on the cheek at half-time.

Hayley Moorfcroft was consoling herself with a box of Cadburys Milk Tray.

As she watched her husband snore on the sofa beside her.

Hayley popped a chocolate fudge into her mouth and shrugged.

"Men!" She muttered sourly.

It was Boxing Day and she had resigned herself to watching Dracula Has Risen From The Grave on the TV before going to bed.

She could always count on a good horror movie to lift her spirits ...

Hayley Moorcroft was a real film buff.

And she had a particular penchant for horror movies.

Hayley never missed a chance to go to the pictures with her best friend.

Nobody enjoyed a visceral horror movie more than she.

In fact, Hayley Moorcroft was the only person she knew who felt sad when the evil nanny Peyton Flanders was killed in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.

Hayley Moorcroft worked in Raj's News.

It was a small newsagent within an estate.

Most people had never actually seen Raj Kumar.

He spent most of his time in India, leaving Hayley Moorcroft behind to man the fort.

Which she did very well.

Raj's News was a well stocked haven for all those residents who were unable to get to Co-Op.

It catered to addicts of every kind and all walks of life.

There were those who needed their celebrity magazine fix and those who were addicted to cheap alcohol.

There were the steady stream of customers who did the Lotto and the customers who bought their cigarettes regularly like clockwork.

Then there were the lonely hearts who only came in for a chat.

Hayley Moorcroft was a friendly Northerner and she ably struck up conversations with her customers from behind the till.

She always marvelled at the people who frequented the shop.

It was like a movie full of fascinating characters.

And they always seemed to be leading a much more interesting life than her.

Such as Laura and Lee Brunwin.

They were childhood sweethearts who had grown up on the estate and had just got married.

And they were so loved up that they made Hayley Moorcroft feel sick.

"My Lee is insatiable!" Laura Brunwin announced as she paid for her Fry's Turkish Delight.

Brunwin was a pale, scrawny woman with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes.

She looked like Carrie White from the Stephen King horror movie Carrie.

For a moment Hayley Moorcroft considered bludgeoning the breathless woman over the head with a packet of McVities HobNobs.

But she thought better of it.

"Why waste a packet of biscuits on that cow?"

"I've married the best lover in the world!" Brunwin sighed.

Suddenly Hayley pictured the gangly and bespectacled Lee Brunwin.

An unlikely lover man.

But Laura Brunwin was certainly glowing.

She winked suggestively at Hayley Moorcroft before disappearing out of the door.

For a few moments the woman silently fumed behind the till.

"Silly bitch!" Hayley Moorcroft finally snarled.

That night Hayley managed a staccato conversation with her husband between mouthfuls of spaghetti bolognese.

Then the couple retired to the sofa to watch Manchester United play Arsenal on the TV.

Later Hayley Moorecroft sat with her arms folded defensively across her chest as her husband snored beside her.

"Last of the great romantics!" Hayley cried.

Jason Moorcroft was short and stocky with brown curly hair, hazel eyes and a tidy goatee.

He was a black cab driver who worked a day or night shift.

The couple met twelve years before when Hayley booked a black cab with her best friend.

Sharon Amery swore blind that that cab journey was meant to be.

Jason Moorcroft was instantly taken with the engaging young Hayley Bristow (formerly of Birmingham) and she in turn was intrigued by his bonhomie.

She was chirpy and cheerful.

Hayley Bristow was a vivacious blonde woman.

She had bright blue eyes and a ready laugh and her sense of humour was infectious.

Bristow had a chirpy and cheerful disposition.

And Jason Moorcroft was instantly smitten.

A spark had been lit.

Three weeks later, Hayley Bristow booked another black cab but this time she was alone.

And the young woman was delighted to see Jason Moorcroft again.

It was the football mad cab driver with the gift of the gab

And soon the couple were talking as if they had known each other for years.

Time just flew past.

And that was how it all began.

Within a year the couple were married.

They honeymooned in the Seychelles and moved into their spacious bungalow in Stockport shortly after.

Everything seemed ideal and they were deliriously in love.

Although they did not have any children, the couple were very happy together.

Jason Moorcroft was a die hard Manchester United fan.

And Hayley even suffered him to take her along to football matches.

A sign of true love.

But things had gone off the boil since then.

Not least because Jason Moorcroft was just too dog tired to do anything any more.

The first flush of love had passed and they had settled into a routine.

Hayley Moorcroft looked into the mirror and sighed.

She still looked exactly the same as she had the day before.

Her breasts hadn't gone south.

Hayley Moorcroft could still be the dazzling blonde who turned heads.

Even if she was more voluptuous these days.

She could still command male attention in Co-Op.

But deep down Hayley Moorcroft knew something was wrong.

She had so much untapped passion.

And her husband wasn't releasing it.

Suddenly Hayley had a burning desire to do something about it.

The following day she met her best friend in the park as usual.

Sharon Amery worked in Boots the chemist and she always bought two cheese and pickle sandwiches and a couple Diet Coke's with her.

Amery was an attractive bi-racial woman with a wonderful mane of Afro hair and warm brown eyes.

She had never known her Nigerian father and had been bought up by her Welsh mother in Leeds.

Sharon Amery had an empathetic personality and always gave good advice.

Hayley Moorcroft had known her since their college days and the two had remained firm friends since then.

They had even shared a small flat together in Walsall before they both moved to Greater Manchester.

Hayley knew that she could say things to Sharon Amery that she could not say to her husband.

Today Moorcroft was bemoaning her fate to her best friend.

"The spark has gone out of our marriage!" Hayley wailed.

The couple were sitting on a park bench and watching a man struggle with his Yorkshire terrier.

"Maybe you both need a break!" Sharon Amery declared "A nice little holiday so you can both get your mojo back!"

Hayley Moorcroft shrugged.

"I feel like I've already been put out to pasture!" She cried miserably.

Suddenly the sun caught Sharon's face and Hayley noticed something undefinable about her.

There was a decided gleam in her eyes and she appeared to be smiling a lot today.

"Hang on a minute!" Hayley said as her eyes narrowed "Somethings changed about you! I can tell by your eyes!"

Sharon Amery blushed brightly and quickly looked away.

"Oh go on, tell me!" Moorcroft urged her.

"Okay, okay ..." Amery answered "Matt and I have decided to renew our vows. We think it's a good time to .."

"Wait a minute!" Hayley Moorcroft interjected "One minute you're at each others throats and the next ... you're renewing your vows? What's happened between these two states?"

Sharon and Matt Amery had a volatile relationship.

They had spent most of their ten year marriage fighting and walking out on each other.

"Things got really bad" Sharon explained "And one day out of desperation, I tried that new shop in town. Just wanted to spice up my love life ..."

Hayley Moorcroft was staring agog at her best friend.

She had almost choked on her Diet Coke.

"I bought a few special things ..." Sharon Amery continued "And now Matt wont leave me alone!"

Then she laughed nervously as Hayley Moorcroft glared at her through a mouthful of cheese and pickle sandwich.

For a few moments Moorcroft considered leaving Greater Manchester.

And joining Scientology.

"The shop is called Exotique" Sharon informed her friend.

Hayley Moorcroft shrugged.

Exotique sounded like a cheap knocking shop.

Like the Thai massage parlour that had been closed the previous year for extracurricular activities.

But Sharon Amery really had been revitalised.

There was no denying that.

And it got Hayley Moorcroft thinking ...

That night the disgruntled woman pushed away her plate of macaroni cheese and looked up at the clock.

Time was crawling along.

Jason was working and wouldn't be home until the small hours of the morning.

And suddenly Hayley Moorcroft felt totally dejected.

So she ran herself a bath and listened to Donna Summer.

"There's got to be more to life than this!" Hayley Moorcroft wailed as I feel Love filled the house

Even her best friend had been swept up on a tidal wave of passion.

Perhaps Exotique was beckoning to her too.

Tomorrow was Saturday.

So Hayley Moorcroft planned her day with military precision.

She would close the shop early and head off to accomplish her tasks.

And Jason would be playing football with his friends.

There would be enough hours in the day for her to achieve her goals.

Which included paying a visit to the shop that sounded like a panacea for all woes.

By the time Jason Moorcroft arrived home in the early hours of the morning, Hayley was already in bed.

He quietly entered the bedroom and undressed.

Then he climbed in beside her and gave her a quick peck on the cheek and rolled over.

Hayley opened her eyes and smiled knowingly to herself.

Sharon Amery's words were ringing through her ears.

"And now Matt wont leave me alone"

Perhaps Exotique really was the answer after all ...

Hayley Moorcroft began the following day full of expectation.

She had a purpose.

Exotique was calling to her.

And she also fortified herself with the knowledge that the sales were on and she could always count on buying a new dress at Debenhams.

There really was a light at the end of the tunnel.

She waved her husband goodbye.

"Let's do this baby!" Hayley Moorcroft cried as she clapped her hands excitedly.

She quickly brushed her hair and applied a slick of red lipstick on.

Then she tugged on her black Whistles wool coat and headed out into the wintry morning.

It was the post-Christmas sales and all the shops were packed with expectant shoppers eager for a good bargain.

Hayley Moorcroft was feeling enervated and headed straight for Mona's Hair Salon to get her hair trimmed and highlighted.

Thirty minutes later and she was feeling confident as she caught a glimpse of her new look in a shop window.

Hayley was a new woman.

The world was her oyster.

But as she stood in the middle of the bustling town a determined Hayley Moorcroft suddenly crumbled.

She had lost her nerve.

Hayley felt foolish and self conscious.

She quickly retreated to Betty's Tea Shop for a coffee.

"Who am I kidding?" She wailed as she looked dejectedly around the elegant abode.

Everyone seemed so happy and animated.

As if they did not have a care in the world.

Suddenly Hayley noticed a young couple kissing beside a potted spider plant and she almost threw up her hands.

She was feeling deflated now but she mustered enough bravado to make her way to Debenhams where she bought herself a pretty black Betty Jackson shift dress.

Now Hayley felt a little more confident with her new find and her hairdo.

Her mood had improved but she was still chiding herself for not having the courage to visit Exotique.

The winds had picked up considerably by the time she stepped out of the department store into the street and it looked like it was going to rain.

"Coward!" Hayley Moorcroft berated herself.

She contemplated going home.

It was getting colder and she wanted to curl up on the sofa with a good book.

Then suddenly something inside her snapped.

"I've come this far!" Hayley declared "I'm not going to give up now!"

She was on a mission.

And before Hayley could argue with herself she headed purposefully in the direction of Exotique.

But she almost walked past it.

The sacrosanct shop was right at the end of town and was unimpressive to say the least.

It looked rather lugubrious with blackened out windows and the name of the shop in flashing red lights.

"Have I taken leave of my senses?" Hayley Moorcroft cried as she stood outside the shabby looking shop.

Two Dozen Roses (by YuriPanda
Exotique looked like a rather unpalatable sex shop.

"I'm not that desperate!" Moorcroft declared as she quickly turned on her heels.

But Sharon clearly had been.

Hayley had a lot more self respect than that ...

Suddenly a voice called out to her.

"Where you 'goin?"

Hayley Moorcroft froze and turned around slowly.

Perhaps it was the faux Americanisms that had annoyed her.

But she turned to see where the voice had come from.

Standing in the doorway of the tatty shop was a lanky youth with a cigarette in his hand.

It was Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

"Come on back!" The young man called out to her.

He was very tall and thin.

Shaggy had small brown eyes, sandy coloured hair and a wispy little beard.

And now he was grinning at her with his long face.

Hayley noticed that he was wearing a yellow t-shirt with the slogan Weed is Good emblazoned across it.

She rolled her eyes.

He must be a stoner.

"Come on lady!" The gangling youth beckoned to her "You look like you good do with spicing up your sex life!"

Hayley Moorcroft felt instantly affronted.

How dare Shaggy be so rude to her?

"I beg your pardon?" Hayley exclaimed indignantly "I'll have you know that I've had more sex than you've had hot dinners!"

Shaggy took a lazy puff on his cigarette.

"Yeah! Sure you have!" He replied with a smirk.

That was it.

The writing was on the wall.

Hayley Moorcroft was officially a sexually frustrated old bag.

There was no use in fighting it any more.

If this scraggy youth could see it then the whole world probably could.

Shaggy from Scooby-Doo had won.

"Okay ... I surrender!" Hayley Moorcroft declared as she followed the young man into Exotique.

She was already beginning to rue the day she had ever heard of the shop.

Several moments later and Hayley was standing in the middle of Exotique and staring in awe at the scene around her.

The bizarre shop was absolutely packed with shoppers.

And Hayley Moorcroft had never seen so much sexual paraphernalia in all her life.

Wall to wall shelves were groaning under the sheer weight of countless sex films, sex magazines and all manner of accoutrement's.

Sex toys lurched out at her from every corner and there were rails full of skimpy underwear that made Hayley Moorcroft blush.

It was an Aladdin's cave of erotic delights ...

As Hayley Moorcroft looked around her, her mouth suddenly dropped open when she noticed the film being shown on a huge screen on the far wall. 

A couple were energetically consummating their lust and none of the shoppers appeared to be batting an eyelid.

"This is a perverts paradise!" Hayley Moorcroft declared disdainfully.

She was completely out of her depth there.

"Don't mock it!" A voice suddenly declared in a decidedly Eastern European accent.

Moorcroft was poised to flee.

But instead she turned to see a Goth girl standing behind her in a low cut black dress which left little to the imagination.

She was pale and pretty with long jet black hair and studs in her nose and eye brows.

Her lips were blood red and there was a small tattoo of a black widow spider on her neck.

She looked like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

"Stone the crows! Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed.

She'd seen it all now.

Shaggy and Elvira.

A right pair.

Sharon Amery really did have some explaining to do.

"You look like you could do with spicing up your sex life!" Elvira informed Hayley knowingly.

Then she threw back her head and laughed a thrill laugh.

Hayley Moorcroft rolled her eyes.

Suddenly a sofa and a bag of cheese and onion potato chips seemed really enticing ...

Then she noticed a woman scuttling past with her head bowed.

"Lucinda?" Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed with incredulity.

It was the local GP's wife.

The woman looked sheepishly behind her before vanishing out of the door.

Moorcroft slowly shook her head.

"They all come here!" Shaggy informed her with a wry smirk.

Hayley Moorcroft was mortified.

But as she struggled to process that piece of information she became fixated with all the metal on the mysterious Elvira's face.

"Doesn't all ... that hurt?" Hayley Moorcroft asked her as she pointed to the piercings.

"Not at all!" The Goth girl announced brightly.

Then she poked out her tongue to reveal two shiny silver studs.

Hayley Moorcroft recoiled in horror.

Elvira threw back her head and laughed again.

Her two white breasts looked as if they were about to explode out of her gown.

"It enhances the oral pleasure ..." Elvira explained with a smile.

"Yes okay!" Hayley quickly interjected "Too much information!"

Perhaps the Mistress of the Dark practised her oral skills on Shaggy ...

"You are uptight aren't you?" Elvira informed her facetiously.

"Just call me an old maid!" Hayley Moocroft retorted sharply.

And as the despondent woman began to inwardly bewail her fate, she suddenly noticed that Elvira and Shaggy were staring intensely at her.

Hayley felt completely self conscious now and all she wanted to do now was flee.

"I think I should leave!" She informed Shaggy and Elvira.

Sharon Amery had better have a good explanation for this.

Sending her to a weird sex shop like that ...

But as Hayley Moorcroft turned to head out of the door, Elvira suddenly caught her arm.

"I have something that will help you!" The Goth girl informed her mysteriously.

There was a strange gleam in her eyes.

She grabbed a small bottle from the counter and placed it into Hayley's hand.

"I think this will help solve your issues!" Elvira added with an impish smile.

Hayley Moorcroft held up the small amber coloured bottle.

It appeared to be perfume.

And it was called L'Amour.

"It has a distinctive aroma!" Shaggy explained "It will soon spice things up for you and your man! If you know what I mean!"

Elvira and Shaggy were grinning broadly at the awestruck woman.

Hayley knew exactly what he meant.

She suddenly wondered if they had tried it too ...

"Perhaps I'll stay a little longer ..." Hayley Moorcroft finally said.

Maybe Shaggy and Elvira could show her some tricks ...

One hour later and a rejuvenated Hayley Moorcroft walked out of the shop with a bag full of Exotique items.

There was a spring in her step and she felt as if she were walking on air.

"Let the loving begin!" Hayley Moorcroft declared as she floated home.

Back at the house, she held up the small bottle of perfume to the light.

It was an elixir of delights.

And it had an unusual scent which she couldn't place.

Hayley Moorcroft winced as she sniffed it.

It was very potent.

A rich and spicy scent with accents of sandalwood and ambergris and something else.

"Stone the crows!" Hayley exclaimed.

The intoxicating perfume had made her feel rather odd.

Then Hayley looked up at the clock.

It was six o'clock.

Jason would be home shortly and she wanted to be ready for him.

She smiled knowingly to herself as she contemplated the night ahead.

Hayley Moorcroft was determined to seduce her husband.

And she was eagerly anticipating his ardent reciprocation.

They were going to rekindle the love light in their marriage.

So Hayley Moorcroft flung a steak and kidney pie in the oven and some oven chips under the grill and ran herself a bath.

Then she carefully laid out a skimpy red negligee on the bed.

One of her many finds at Exotique.

It was very daring for her.

Usually Hayley was a lot more discerning in her choice of attire.

But she hoped the sexy get up would be like a red rag to a bull.

Desperate times called for desperate measures.

Hayley put Donna Summer on and swayed to the disco sounds.

Then she lit some scented candles and poured Sensual Moves bath oil into the running water.

Hayley Moorcroft was in the mood for love.

And her Lancelot would soon be home ...

Two Hours And Thirty-Five Minutes Later

Hayley Moorcroft had nodded off at the dinner table in a silk kimono.

She awoke with a jerk.

The steak and kidney pie and chips were all cold.

It was dark outside.

She blew out the candles.

"So long for all that romance!" Hayley Moorcroft declared miserably.

She managed a bitter laugh at her predicament.

Hayley had sprayed herself with copious amounts of L'Amour perfume and now she felt silly and self conscious again.

"Who am I kidding?" She wailed.

Inwardly she cursed Shaggy and Elvira.

She knew it was all too good to be true.

Hayley had gone to elaborate lengths to make herself attractive and she had spent a small fortune at the Clinique counter in Debenhams.

Now all she wanted to do was wipe all the make-up off and slip into her tracksuit.

The spark had gone out of it.

That was when she heard the front door slam shut.

It was Jason.

Hayley Moorcroft no longer felt like a sex kitten.

She just felt like a fat and frumpy maid.

And she quickly consoled herself with the knowledge that she would soon be enjoying a new box of Cadburys Milk Tray and an episode of Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital.

Before she could make a move, Jason Moorcroft suddenly entered the room.

Hayley was slightly bemused by his dramatic entrance but she just shrugged.

"Nice match, were it love?" She asked him.

But there was something different about her husband tonight.

Little fires were burning in his eyes.

Hayley's mouth dropped open.

"Come here you sexy mama!" Jason Moorcroft growled

Hayley's eyes had opened wide.

"Jason?" She managed.

Jason Moorcroft was wild eyed and panting heavily.

She had never seen him so hot and bothered before.

He was like a ravenous animal.

And he was about to devour her.

Jason grabbed her forcefully and kissed her passionately on the mouth.

The blood rushed to Hayley's head and she was sure she could see stars.

"Stone the crows!" She gasped when he finally released her.

Hayley Moorcroft's boat had just sailed in.

A big grin had spread across Jason's face.

Hayley quickly crossed herself.

"Thank you God"

Before she knew it Jason had grabbed hold of her hand and was tugging her up the stairs and into the bedroom.

It felt like he was dragging her to his cave ...

And Hayley Moorcroft was quivering with anticipation.

She could picture Shaggy and Elvira smiling knowingly at her as Jason flung her onto the bed.

A wave of excitement raced through her.

Within five minutes Jason was completely naked.

And with just a gesture he whipped off Hayley's kimono and scanty red negligee.

"Please be gentle with me!" She purred as she looked up at Jason from the bed.

He was like a tiger about to strike.

And Hayley was loving every minute of it.

The couple were soon revelling in acts of unbridled passion as they consummated their desire.

But as Hayley Moorcroft was transported, she suddenly noticed the unmistakable aroma of a familiar scent.

And she could smell it all over her husband.

"L'Amour!" Hayley Moorcroft gasped as Jason entered her.

The spell had suddenly been broken ...

One Month Later

Hayley Moorcroft was sitting beside her husband on the sofa.

She had recognized the glint in his eyes.

Jason was looking at her expectantly.

And now Hayley was pretending to be asleep.

It was all she could do to keep him off her.

Jason Moorcroft had been transformed into an insatiable sex machine.

He wanted it all the time now.

And Hayley could barely walk for days afterwards.

He was filthy.

Sex had become Jason Moorcroft's new mandate.

And it was Hayley fending him off now.

The novelty of her husband's renewed passion had already worn off.

Now she was the one who wanted her undisturbed sleep at night.

And she fervently cursed Shaggy and Elvira.

They were to blame.

They had seduced her husband with their wiles.

Now an entire bathroom cabinet was full of L'Amour perfume bottles.

And there was no escaping Exotique.

Hayley Moorcroft wanted the old Jason back.

The negligent, snoring and dependable Jason.

Not this horny Casanova who wouldn't leave her alone.

And her best friend was hardly being sympathetic.

Sharon Amery believed that Hayley Moorcroft should be grateful she was "getting it now".

That was hardly a very helpful attitude.

Hayley was "getting it now".

But she just didn't want "it" any more.

So the conflicted woman decided to spend a rainy day with a couple of her closest friends.

Betty's Tea Shop was a safe haven.

Linda Dunlop and Leanne Packer.

Dunlop was a perky blonde woman who worked in Superdrug.

And Packer was a chatty brunette who worked in Meena's Beauty Salon.

Hayley Moorcroft was bemoaning her lot over a cappuccino.

"Now Jason wants sex all the time!" She wailed "He wants it non-stop!"

The two other woman nodded sympathetically.

"And he won't take no for an answer!" Hayley added with dismay.

"My Terry is exactly the same as Jason!" Leanne Packer declared dramatically "He's like an octopus! Won't leave me alone!"

"And my Mick too!" Linda Dunlop chipped in "He's obsessed with sex. What is the world coming to!"

Then the two women laughed nervously together and quickly looked away.

Suddenly Hayley Moorcroft paused.

She carefully set her coffee cup down.

It was like déjà vu.

And it was as if she were with Sharon Amery in the park again on that fateful day.

"Wait a bloody minute!" Hayley Moorcroft cried as she spied the guilty expressions on her friends faces.

They were both hiding something.

And Moorcroft had a fair idea what it was.

Before the women could protest, she quickly grabbed their handbags and emptied the contents onto the coffee table.

The usual items clattered out.

And as an intense Hayley Moorcroft riffled through lipsticks, compacts, pens, diaries, receipts and scrunched up pieces of paper -  she found what she was looking for at last.

Two little amber coloured bottles.

Hayley Moorcroft held them up to the light.

"Traitors!" She sneered venomously.

Both women were hanging their heads in shame and shifting uncomfortably in their chairs.

Hayley Moorcroft slowly shook her head.

"Who can I trust!" She hissed.

That was when Hayley noticed it.

It was absolutely everywhere.

Suddenly Hayley Moorcroft was sniffing the air like a puppy.

It was unmistakable.

And now she was wondering how it could possibly have escaped her.

Poisoned (by GreyFairie
The entire coffee shop reeked of it.

It reeked of L'Amour perfume.

"All of them!" Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed dramatically.

She looked around her and realised that every single person in Betty's Tea Shop had doused themselves in L'Amour perfume.

For a brief moment Hayley Moorcroft felt she was like Rosemary Woodhouse in Rosemary's Baby.

She was surrounded by treacherous devil worshippers.

But this was Betty's Tea Shop in Stockport and not The Dakota in Manhattan.

And Hayley Moorcroft was surrounded by sex maniacs instead.

She let out a weary sigh.

Then she noticed a couple sitting several tables away.

It was Lee and Laura Brunwin.

They were staring into each others eyes and sharing a chocolate éclair together.

"No! Please no!" Hayley Moorcroft wailed.

It was too horrible to watch.

Then another couple suddenly caught her eye in a far corner of the room.

They were smiling knowingly at her.

It was Shaggy and Elvira.

They gave a little wave at her.

"Stone the crows!" Hayley Moorcroft exclaimed.

Then she grabbed one of the perfume bottles from the table and began spraying herself with it.

"If you can't beat them, join them!" She added.

The Love Darts Of Eros

Tarquin Windsor had spent three weeks in Leeds at a business conference.

He was a high flying city boy.

Windsor managed The Imperial Bank in London.

It was a highly prestigious bank which numbered the rich elite including Arab sheik's and minor royalty among its clients.

Tarquin Windsor was tall and athletic and had preppy boy good looks.

He had wavy blond hair, steely blue eyes and keen features.

Windsor lived the life of the privileged set and was a keen scuba diver with his own boat.

The dashing man was regarded as something of a catch but he had never been engaged or come close to being married.

Tarquin Windsor was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had been bought up with his twin brother Fabian in a rambling Surrey stately home which resided amid hundreds of acres of land.

Not many children could attest to being served by liveried servants or could choose anything they liked at Hamleys toy store in London.

But Tarqun and Fabian Windsor could.

They were both sent to Gordonstoun and they later attended Eton together.

But Tarquin Windsor was always regarded as the brighter star and he excelled at everything.

He lived in an exclusive penthouse in Chelsea and was always seen at the right parties with the right people.

Tarquin Windsor had the knack.

He was able to charm the birds out of the trees.

And although he was dazzlingly handsome and successful - he remained resolutely single.

Now he was in Leeds at the end of a successful conference where he had held sway.

The Jug and Trumpet public house was a far cry from his usual haunts.

It was hardly The Groucho.

The Jug and Trumpet was a threadbare old pub full of character.

It had a low ceiling and a roaring fire and was packed with local people.

Tarquin Windsor's friends and associates had long since made their way back to the hotel.

They were far too embarrassed to be seen in such a low brow venue.

So they left Tarquin Windsor to enjoy his Campari and soda alone and to ponder his surroundings.

It was as if he had landed on another planet and was looking at alien life forms.

The people around him were certainly a far cry from the well heeled men and débutantes that he usually hung out with.

There were far too many fake logos and tattoos in sight.

But Tarquin Windsor felt a sense of relief to be mixing with the hoi polloi tonight.

It certainly made a change from all those plummy voiced investors.

Tarquin sipped his drink and looked languidly around the busy pub.

He was musing on what a humdrum life might be like.

Suddenly a loud female laugh caught his attention.

And he was shaken out of his reverie.

As he skimmed the pub in the direction of the laugh, Tarquin Windsor suddenly stopped dead in his tracks.

It was as if the scales had fallen from his eyes.

He was no longer a jaded high flier.

Tarquin Windsor had been transformed into a love puppy.

Eros had fired a love dart straight to his heart.

The world had stopped spinning on its axis.

All he could see was her.

She was sitting a little way off with her friends.

A thin young woman with a head full of peroxide blonde extensions and a mahogany tan.

Tarquin Windsor had never seen anyone like her before.

He stared in wide eyed awe at the young woman.

She was talking animatedly with her three other friends and drinking a pint of Carlsberg.

The young woman was wearing a tight lime green top, pink mini-skirt and white kinky boots.

She was tall and thin and had large blue eyes and big pouting lips.

Her breasts were large and she tantalisingly crossed and uncrossed her long legs.

To Tarquin Windsor she was a beauty.

He could see nobody else but her.

She was a tanned vision in white kinky boots.

A superannuated temptress.

The young woman noticed his stare and flashed him a grin showing impossibly white teeth.

"She is Aphrodite!" Tarquin Windsor sighed, holding his heart.

Those pretty but vacant débutantes in their flouncy dresses could not hold a candle to her.

This was a real woman.

Within ten minutes she had joined Tarquin Windsor at the bar and had pulled up a stool beside him.

And he was fumbling like an anxious school boy.

Tarquin was used to the uncomplicated débutantes who accompanied him to big social events but this intriguing woman was completely different.

He decided that she was even more beautiful close-up.

She had caterpillar eye brows and pink talons.

And her breasts were so big that they were threatening to burst out of her tight lime green top.

She was all woman.

And now she was sitting beside Tarquin Windsor and grinning broadly at him.

And he was totally tongue tied.

"Saw you looking!" She declared in a broad Yorkshire accent.

Tarquin Windsor blushed violently and quickly looked away.

"I'm sorry!" he said.

"You're alright!" She said brightly "People tend to either look at my tits or my ass!"

Windsor managed a sheepish smile as he attempted to avoid her inflated breasts.

"I'll have a gin and tonic if you're offering!" The young woman added.

Tarquin fell over himself to comply.

And very soon they had fallen into a breezy conversation.

"You're posh aren't you?" The young woman put to him as she sipped her drink.

"You could say that!" He answered.

"My name is Kaylee!" She informed him "Kaylee Scoggins!"

The hot shots eyes lit up.

Even her name had a pleasing lilt to it.

Kaylee Scoggins.

"My name is Tarquin!" He told her "Tarquin Windsor!"

"Blimey!" She retorted loudly "Are you royal or summat? Pleased to meet you Tarker!"

Kaylee Scoggins held out her hand.

And Tarquin Windsor took it gently and kissed it.

She giggled girlishly.

Who was this posh Southerner?

Three Weeks Later

Tarquin Windsor was sitting in his swanky office in the The Imperial Bank.

He was regaling his best friend with stories about the intriguing young woman he had met in Leeds.

Scabius Overbury was listening intently to his best friend.

He was mildly amused by Windsor's entanglement with the decidedly impecunious Yorkshire lass.

Unlike him, Scabius Overbury was happily settled.

He had married the daughter of Lord Cavendish and they lived in an elegant Chelsea flat not far from Tarquin Windsor.

Windsor and Overbury were closer than brothers.

Scabius was tall and athletic with wavy brown hair and striking green eyes.

And although he was classically good looking like Tarquin Windsor, Scabius Overbury was also much less impulsive and more pragmatic than him.

And today Scabius had to admit that he was rather baffled by his best friends latest antics.

The resolutely unavailable Tarquin Windsor was finally in love.

It was totally out of character for him.

And Scabius Overbury was listening with bated breath to his best friend's story.

Tarquin Windsor was just explaining why he had spurned the riotously rich and engaging daughter of Lord Haverly for this Northern creature.

"It's quite a charming tale, don't you think?" Windsor finished with a flourish.

But Scabius Overbury was still trying to get his head around the jettisoning of Lord Haverly's delightful daughter.

Celia Haverly was cultivated and intelligent

A pretty young woman with a winning personality.

Tarquin Windsor and Celia Haverly were a match made in heaven.

But Windsor had rejected her.

"But what about Celia?" A bemused Scabius Overbury protested.

"She pales into significance beside Kaylee!" Tarquin Windsor informed him as he sank back into his leather chair "Celia can't hold a candle to her!"

Overbury's eyes widened.

The more Windsor talked, the more convincing he sounded.

Scabius had to concede that his lovestruck best friend must be serious.

"You have got it bad!" Overbury finally responded as he slowly shook his head.

His best friend was ginning broadly.

"Why have a hamburger when you can have steak at home?" Tarquin Windsor declared.

Scabius Overbury was completely incredulous.

Tarquin Windsor was head over heels in love.

The sky had just fallen in ...

A couple of days later, Tarquin Windsor's dream came true.

Kaylee Scoggins had arrived in London.

She was standing on the doorstep of his luxury flat surrounded by suitcases.

"It's only me!" She announced loudly as she masticated on bubble gum.

Tarquin quickly concluded that Kaylee Scoggins was even more delectable than ever.

She was wearing a mauve halter-neck top and tight blue jeans and her exploding peroxide blonde hair was hidden beneath a baseball cap.

Unable to contain his excitement, the city slicker ushered her in as he wrestled with her suitcases.

Kaylee Scoggins stared in awe at her surroundings.

She had never seen anything like it before.

"Its like summat out of that Pretty Woman" Scoggins gasped.

The flat was opulent and tastefully furnished.

It had all the mod cons and there were expensive paintings on the wall.

"So this is how the other half live!" Kaylee Scoggins exclaimed breathlessly "It's bloody Buckingham Palace in here!"

Tarquin Windsor laughed out loud.

Kaylee was so unaffected.

It made a welcome change to some of the pretentious people he had around him.

He watched with pleasure as the brassy Northerner raced around the flat and squealed with delight at everything she saw.

Kaylee Scoggins kicked off her white high heels and slumped onto the sofa.

"I could get used to this!" She informed Tarquin Windsor bright.

The enterprising man grinned broadly.

That was exactly what he wanted to hear.

It was music to his ears.

One Month Later

Tarquin Windsor was determined to make his lady friend the perfect consort.

So he set about transforming Kaylee Scoggins into the kind of woman he would be proud to display at sumptuous banquets and glittering social events.

After some initial resistance, Scoggins capitulated and quickly become amenable to his tutelage.

Tarquin Windsor had devised an intense curriculum and every evening he gave Kaylee elocution and deportment lessons in the flat.

He stood before her and jotted various sentences on a small black board that Scoggins was meant to repeat several times.

"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane!" Kaylee parroted drolly.

She didn't have a clue what she saying.

"Excellent!" Tarquin declared brightly "I'll make a lady out of you yet!"

 "Screw that!" Scoggins pouted "Can we go to bed now?"

Tarquin Windsor's clear blue eyes lit up.

That was another thing.

Kaylee Scoggins was insatiable.

And they did the kind of things in bed that Tarquin Windsor had only ever dreamt about before.

With Windsor as a teacher, Scoggins gradually began to ditch the garish outfits and she quickly acquired a penchant for shopping at Harrods on Tarquin's credit cards.

She no longer shopped at Primark.

Kaylee Scoggins had cultivated a taste for Prada and Versace outfits and Jimmy Choo heels now.

But she wasn't quite ready yet.

These days the elegant dressing table was more inclined to be groaning under the weight of Cartier trinkets, expensive perfumes and Clarins skin care products.

"I smell like a tarts boudoir now!" Kaylee Scoggins informed her lover one evening "And I've got you to thank for that Tarker!"

Nothing made Tarquin Windsor feel more proud.

"What a woman!" He sighed.

The mission to transform her into a lady was evidently going well.

Out went the skin tight leather get up and skimpy outfits.

In came feminine Chloe dresses and stylish Prada outfits.

Kaylee Scoggins toned down the peroxide blonde hair and tanned look and began to carry herself around with more poise and gravitas.

But she could still fire from the bellow the hip if she wanted to.

Within a couple of weeks, office workers at The Imperial Bank were staring agog from behind their desks at the blonde woman following Tarquin Windsor.

Shortly afterwards she was formally introduced as Windsor's "personal secretary".

The arrival of the striking Yorkshire lass was met with raised eyebrows.

As it soon became clear that she had no secretarial training.

Scabious Overbury was convinced that his best friend had taken leave of his senses.

"Isn't she amazing?" Tarquin Windsor confided to Overbury as they watched Kaylee Scoggins from the elegant glass office.

Scoggins was swearing like a sailor and kicking a photocopying machine.

"Well she certainly has a way with words!" Scabius Overbury remarked dryly.

That night Tarquin Windsor watched as Kaylee Scoggins slept beside him in the big designer bed.

Everything had gone better than he had anticipated.

Only one thing remained.

He would have to introduce this beauty to his family.

The Windsor's lived in a seventy-four bedroom stately home which resided in countless acres of rolling Surrey countryside.

Lord and Lady Windsor were counted as minor royalty by the local gentry.

And they were treated accordingly.

Piers Windsor had inherited an inestimable fortune from the family Spam business.

He owned a boat and several other properties including a luxury apartment in Monaco.

fgm premade background 050 (by FairieGoodMother
Margaret Windsor had been a pretty débutante when she first met Piers Windsor at a summer ball.

As the daughter of Lord Harding, she was wealthy enough to live off a considerable allowance.

Her marriage to the son of Sir Albert Windsor was regarded as a good one.

The couple settled easily into a comfortable lifestyle.

Two boys quickly followed - born within minutes of each other.

Tarquin and Fabian.

Fabian Windsor was the black sheep of the family.

He may have resembled his brother in looks but certainly did not resemble him in temperament.

Fabian was a fast talking rebel who drove a red Ferrari and was never without an attractive model on his arm.

There was an element of danger about him and he was much more thrusting than his brother.

He had no intention of towing the family line or of settling down.

And in many ways he was a major disappointment to his conservative parents.

His antics were a constant source of consternation to Lord and Lady Windsor and there was no sign of it abating.

Fabian Windsor was a law unto himself.

Saturday evening arrived quickly and their was flurry of activity at the magisterial stately home of the Windsor family.

A gourmet four-course meal had been prepared and servants were hastily preparing the enormous dining table with silver candelabras and fine dinnerware.

The eventful evening was to be the culmination of months of planning and preparation on the part of Tarquin Windsor.

Ever the perfectionist, he insisted on unveiling his masterpiece at this sumptuous family.

The masterpiece in question just happened to be Kaylee Scoggins.

Lord and Lady Windsor were somewhat reserved in their attitude towards meeting the object of their sons affection.

There was a sense of muted resignation toward the whole affair.

Lady Margaret Windsor had chosen to wear a silver Valentino evening dress and Asprey pavé diamond earrings for the occasion.

She was an attractive older woman who had abundant blonde hair and blue-green eyes.

Lady Windsor was assiduously aware of her status and always strove to emulate it.

She regularly had treatments at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa in Mayfair, had her hair cut at an exclusive salon in Bond Street and only ever shopped at Harrods or Fortnum and Masons.

Lady Margaret Windsor was never seen out of doors without a slick of lipstick on or a cashmere sweater and tweed skirt.

She even had a pampered white poodle named Horatio who only ever ate prime cuts of meat.

Lord Windsor for his part, was rarely seen anywhere without a pipe in his mouth.

He was a tall and broad shouldered older man with wavy brown hair and keen blue eyes.

Lord Windsor forever donned the country casuals look and he had a penchant for  Harris tweed hats and jackets.

He had a good sense of humour and a zest for life and was never happier than when he was on his boat in France.

Sir Piers Windsor was a lot more laid back than his highly strung wife.

And now they were waiting for their son to arrive in their grand drawing room and anticipating the night ahead with some trepidation.

Fabian Windsor was brooding and smoking beside the fire.

He winked at his companion.

Fabian had bought along a pretty model from the Czech-Republic called Nada.

The leggy brunette was wearing an a-line one-shoulder floor-length black chiffon gown and looked bored already.

She gave Fabian a playful growl.

The couple had only met three days ago at a glitzy party in Monaco and had become inseparable since then.

Nada had the kind of diverting looks and lithe body that always kept Fabian Windsor occupied.

She was the sort of decorative foil that was always seen on his arm.

Fabian was dressed in a tuxedo and he looked visibly uncomfortable and was already fidgeting about restlessly in his chair.

He had been summoned by his parents to attend this soiree.

Fabian Windsor had been forced to cut his holiday in Monte Carlo short and he fervently yearned to be anywhere but here.

He and Tarquin had never been close.

Aside from the same parents and a grand start to life - they had little in common.

Now the family had been bought together in an awkward family reunion.

And time was suddenly crawling along.

Two and half hours later and the door to the drawing room suddenly flew open.

A blonde woman marched in closely followed by Tarquin Windsor.

"You must be Lord and Lady Windsor!" Kaylee Scoggins exclaimed loudly as she curtsied.

"Good God!" Sir Piers Windsor cried as his eyes widened.

"I feel like bloody Princess Diana tonight!" Scoggins added as she looked around her grand surroundings.

Lord and Lady Windsor winced.

Nada rolled her eyes.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" Tarquin Windsor announced with a flourish "Let me introduce Kaylee Scoggins to you!"

Lord and Lady Windsor were too mortified to speak.

But Fabian was already grinning from ear to ear.

Nada glared at the upstart with disdain.

"Why don't you take a photograph?" Kaylee Scoggins addressed her sharply "It will last longer!"

Scoggins was wearing a Ruby Ray fully beaded black sequin dress with cut-out back and a pair of black Moschino heels.

Her blonde hair was piled high and she was wearing intricate Tiffany sapphire drop earrings.

"Isn't she amazing?" Tarquin Windsor declared.

Lord and Lady Windsor stared back at their son blankly.

Nada crossed her arms defensively across her chest and wished she was somewhere else.

While Fabian continued to smoke and smile knowingly at the pneumatic blonde guest.

There were several uneasy moments of silence before the elegant butler appeared at the door to the drawing room.

"Dinner is served!" He announced crisply.

Twenty minutes later and the Windsor's and their guests were being served by a fleet of liveried servants in the sumptuous dining room.

"I like soup!" Kaylee Scoggins announced breezily "What is it?"

"Cock-a-leekie!" Lord Windsor informed her.

"Cock-a- what?" Scoggins shot back with a confused expression on her face.

"It's a rustic soup!" Lord Windsor explained.

Kaylee Scoggins looked down at her bowl and back up at the man of the house.

"And you still eat it!" Scoggins exclaimed with a grimace.

Lord Windsor silently conceded defeat.

He was flummoxed by the brassy Yorkshire lass.

The dining room became silent as everyone focused on eating their soup.

"So what do you do?" Lady Windsor finally asked Kaylee Scoggins.

"She works in the office with me!" Tarquin Windsor informed his mother smoothly.

Lady Margaret Windsor almost choked on her cock-a-leekie soup.

"I'm his personal secretary!" Kaylee Scoggins added with a big smile.

Nada covered her mouth with a napkin to stifle her laugh.

"And I'll tell you summat else for nowt!" Scoggins chirped "That office were a right bloody mess before I arrived! Its like the Virgin Mary's conscience now!"

"What is she saying?" Lady Windsor muttered.

"There were some right lazy sods in that place!" Kaylee Scoggins continued "But I soon kicked them into touch!"

"Isn't she something else?" Tarquin Windsor exclaimed with pride.

Fabian was grinning broadly and staring at Kaylee's large breasts.

Nada flashed him a dagger look.

"Are you Scottish?" Lady Windsor asked Scoggins.

"I'm a Yorkshire lass!" Kaylee replied brightly"And I know that Tarker loves me for who I am and not just for my tits and ass!"

Fabian Windsor flashed Kaylee Scoggins a wink.

The rest of the meal passed in a blaze of animated conversation as the uninhibited Northerner held sway.

She was blissfully unaware that most of her audience were avidly waiting for it all to end.

Two Months Later

Tarquin Windsor left The Imperial Bank early so that he could take a detour to Selfridge's to purchase some ingredients for the gourmet meal he was planning.

He had planned everything meticulously.

It was to be an unforgettable evening of fine food and wine.

Rounded off by a heartfelt marriage proposal and an oval ruby engagement ring from Asprey.

Tarquin Windsor was in a state of high excitement and eager anticipation as he pulled up outside his plush flat in his white Maybach Landaulet.

He had allowed Kaylee to leave work early so she could enjoy some beauty treatments at the Mandarin Oriental spa in Hyde Park.

And as he sprang out of the car, he suspected that his lady love would now be curled up on the sofa in her Kenzo amande shawl bathrobe with a tub of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and a spoon.

But as the man entered his plush flat, he was met with complete silence.

The comfortable lounge was empty.

Tarquin Windsor instantly knew something was wrong.

He dropped his shopping bags and began racing feverishly around the flat calling out Kaylee's name.

Every room appeared to be empty.

All the toiletries and cosmetics had vanished from the en suite bathroom.

Finally Tarquin Windsor entered the elegant bedroom and he noticed that Kaylee's suitcases were mising.

The walk-in wardrobe had been thoroughly cleared out and all the designer outfits, accessories and clutch bags were gone.

There was a bitter irony with the über expensive heels.

Kaylee Scoggins had been turning into the Imelda Marcos of the shoe world.

How she'd managed to ship them all out was a mystery to Tarquin Windsor.

Nothing of Scoggins now inhabited the flat.

Yet her potent perfume could still be smelt hanging in the air.

Suddenly Tarquin Windsor stifled the urge to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

He sat on the bed and buried his face in his hands.

Her departure was completely unexpected and he was devastated.

For nearly an hour the conflicted man struggled to comprehend what had happened but it was too much to take in.

But there was a horrible inevitability to it all.

And he could just picture Scabius Overbury shaking his head in mock indignation.

Slowly Tarquin Windsor rose from the big designer bed and headed out into the lounge and slumped onto the sofa.

A bottle of Merlot red suddenly seemed very enticing.

Then he noticed a small white envelope on the marble coffee table.

Tarquin reached over and opened it.

The note was written in the unmistakable scrawl of Kaylee Scoggins.

Dear Tarker,

It's been great but all good things must come to an end.

That's why I've run off with your brother.

He can do things you can't, if you know what I mean.

Remember Nicola?

She liked you and she's single.

Apparently she can go like a rabbit. 

Take care Tarker

Love you,



Tarquin Windsor sat dumbfounded as he finished the note.

The departure of his lover and her shock declaration had left him completely winded.

He hardly noticed that his house phone had been ringing for some time.

It went to voice male and the unmistakable voice of his mother suddenly filled the air.

Hello Tarquin.

This is your mother here.

We've just heard about your Scottish lady friend.

And we are so sorry son.

Although I can't say I'm surprised ...

I know a floozy when I see one. 

Don't be too upset.

Anyway, the reason I am calling you is because your father seemed ... rather taken ... with that dress the floozy was wearing when she came to dinner with you. 

I can't really say I noticed it ... but your father would like the same one for me.

Just wondered if you know where she bought it from ...

Red lips (by luciferoITA