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  1. #1
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default A Bháis



    Index:

    Chapter 1 - Ar dTús
    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three

    Chapter 2 - In Adharca A Chéile
    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three

    Chapter 3 -An Fiosrúchán
    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three

    Chapter 4 -Freagairt na Ceiste
    The Penultimate Part
    The Ultimate Part - The Final Chapter


    *******





    "Darren, wake up! Wake up!" I woke to the sound of my younger sister Nina roaring outside my door. "Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!"

    "OK, I'm up! I'm up." My eyes felt heavy and everything was blurred, and still my tormentor roared.

    'Wake up!" I had enough. I kicked the blankets off and staggered to the door. Grasping the frame for balance I wrenched the door open and found Nina, hands on her hips, tapping her foot.

    "Look ... I'm up, happy?" Before she could open her little mouth, I slammed the door in her face. She can be so annoying.

    "Breakfast is ready, Grumpig butt!" I shook my head. I heard her storm down the stairs, bumping into someone on the way. My head felt light and my eyes were held shut by small groans of sand.

    I went to the small ensuite attached to my room. My feet felt warm as the under floor heating kicked in, the cool, white marble tiles losing their bitter edge. I took a warm shower and brushed my teeth. I wrapped a towel around my waist and returned to my room. With the small grains of sandy, sleep washed from my eyes I could see properly and I noticed a small mound of brown fur curled up on my bed.

    "Eevee, wake up." I tapped her fluffy tail. She didn't move. I tapped her again a little harder, and a better reaction ensued. She jumped and fell off the bed, dragging the sheets with her. A smile broke across my face. Eevee was my partner Pokémon. Every person in the middle and upper classes had a partner Pokémon, but only one.

    "Come on! Rise and shine!" I grabbed a pair of old, black jeans and a tight, black T-shirt. I put on my favourite black and white shoes and left for breakfast.

    "Eeeeevee!" A mound of brown and cream fur followed me out the door, weaving from side-to-side, dazed by fatigue. As we came down the stairs, preparations for tonight’s party were in full swing. The cook was checking ingredients in the foyer, servants were juggling craved fruit and vegetables and my older sister Cassandra was orchestrating every movement. Cassandra was trying to decide on which colours to use and was arguing with Paulina, the Head of Staff and one of my best friends. Cassandra looked up when I reached the bottom of the stairs.

    "Well Darren, how are you this fine morning?" She smiled her perfect smile. Imagine a statue of Aphrodite or Artemis and give it life, the result is Cassandra. Only four years separated us, she was twenty and I was sixteen.

    "I'm fine, Cass. How are you Paulina?" I looked down into her grey eyes. Paulina was a great deal shorter than me, and I always had to look down on her. It made me feel guilty.

    "I'm fine Master Lockridge." She smiled at me before grabbing me wrist, directing me towards the dining room. "Miss Lockridge, both colours are beautiful. Whichever one you choose, it will look fabulous." She dragged me off, leaving a flattered and persuaded Cassandra behind us.

    She pushed open the large, heavy, silver doors of the dining room and we went inside. The room looked great. Craved fruit and vegetables stuffed with candles lit the room. Paper silhouettes of Pokémon decorated the table, chairs and walls. Extra orange and black candles scattered around gave the room an eerie yet comforting feel.

    Gathered around the table were the family, excluding Cassandra. I must admit we look like a very odd bunch, and tensions and arguments wait just beneath the surface. Sitting in the Lords chair was my father, Damien Callous Lockridge. I looked nothing like him. He was tall with brown cropped hair and his eyes demanded respect and attention as they were a dull, creepy blue. His spectacles sat on the bridge of his nose as he read the daily paper.

    Sitting next to my father was my step-mother, Adele Eveerwith. Every time I see her my lips curl and I feel absolute hatred towards her. Adele is a very refined, eloquent and exquisite lady, but away from the radar of my father her true colours show. Sitting to the left of Adele was Nina and across from her was Adaimh Militigh, my father’s accountant and lawyer.

    My father looked up from his paper, "How are you?" It took my mind a few seconds to understand. At first I was going to give a stupid response of, "I'd like pancakes for breakfast!", but I thought against it. Eventually, "I'm fine," found its way out as I sat next to Militigh as one of the servants placed a plate of four pancakes and a large cup of MooMoo Milk in front of me.

    Pauline separated the mail between us. Most letters went to dad - bills or cheques. Adele and Militigh got another bunch. Some were left for Cassandra, mostly acting and singing achievements and awards, and finally Nina got a few congratulating her on winning ribbons and trophies in horse racing and show jumping.

    I rarely got letters, and when I did they weren't good. People loved Cassandra and Nina but disliked me. That's one of the reasons I dyed my hair.

    Today though a letter as placed right next to my plate, a dark, navy envelope with yellow, gothic font saying, 'Master Lockridge, Mainear an Ghrianán, Cathair an Ghrianán, Conso.' Everything was written in ancient Consosian, a very rare form of language. Without hesitation, I ripped open the envelope, sending navy pieces of paper flying into people’s food. Crisp paper revealed itself with black, gothic font,

    'Master Darren Lockridge, I am writing to tell you of my arrival in Solar City for your fathers annual Ghost Party. I will be arriving by boat at seven o'clock in the morning and will be hopefully at your door at eleven o'clock on the 31st.

    Your Godfather,
    Vernon P. Curtain.'

    My heart skipped a beat. I looked at the name again. Shit! My godfather was coming to the Ghost Party. I should be happy, but... Adele and my godfather share a complicated past. To put it simply, they hate each other. My godfather had left for another region after my father and mother got divorced. Within six months Adele had fallen in love, (Yuck! Can't say that with a straight face!) and married my father. Therefore my mother's brother, aka Vernon Curtain, was shunned.

    Yeah, that bit might be important. Vernon Curtain is my mother's brother.

    If Adele finds out there will be pandemonium. Eevee jumped up on my lap and read the letter. I felt a tremor run down her spine. I closed the letter and put it under my spoon.

    My dad and Adele were staring at me. Both wore looks that said, 'What's written in the letter'. I looked away and kept eating my pancakes.

    Nina stood, "I have to tend to my horse. I'll be back in time for lunch. I have my phone. No need to tell me be careful." She left, leaving me alone with my step-mother and father, both stunned once again by Nina's abrupt nature.

    I slipped Eevee a piece of pancake and she swallowed it without hesitation. An awkward silence descended on the table. I could feel Adele's cold, unloving glare and I looked back to make sure the letter was still there. Oh Shit!

    All that was under my spoon was black tablecloth. I panicked. Where is it? I spun round in my chair. My eyes were wide open. I picked up the plate. No letter. Eevee tensed. I saw the air simmer. Shit!

    Behind Adele, holding the letter, Gardevoir appeared. Smiling maliciously in my direction she handed Adele the letter. Gardevoir was Adele's sadistic partner Pokémon. Adele opened the letter and began to read. Her expression changed drastically - but she always had a horrible face.

    She turned to my dad, "Honey, guess who's visiting for the party?" She looked back at me, her eyes shooting daggers.

    My dad was still chewing and reading, "Who?"

    Adele ripped the letter to shreds, "Vernon Curtain!" She spat the words out of her mouth as if they were poison. Gardevoir sat behind Adele. My heart raced.

    My dad simply kept chewing. Ultimately he said, "I know darling. I was the one who invited him."

    My mouth fell open and so did Adele's. My dad had invited my step-mother's worst enemy to the Ghost Party. My face did the complete opposite to Adele's - it lit up. I cracked a smile and shook Eevee vigorously.

    "Damien Lockridge, why in the name of all that is good in the world would you invite that slimy ..." My father interrupted her before she got out of hand.

    He looked more serious now and stared directly at Adele, "I want him to be here. Plus, it's good for Darren; he hasn't seen Curtain since the divorce."

    "And for good reason!" Adele said.

    "Still, I believe Curtain will have an influence on him." He looked over at me, "The bad-boy look doesn't suit you Darren." Worry was marbled in his voice and his eyes had lost that serious look.

    "Ok." I said. After the divorce and my godfather leaving I became a rebel, black clothes, black hair and a different attitude. I know straight away he thought Curtain would knock some sense into me. I hoped so too. Just not literally knocking it into me. I couldn't even remember wha.......

    SMASH! Adele's palms smacked the table hard, "Darren! Leave! Now! Leave!" Eevee leapt and scurried out the doors. I followed quickly after exchanging a compassionate glance with my father. He had invited Curtain for me. He'd faced Adele for me. I never felt closer to him, since the divorce.

    Leaving the room: a hundred questions burned in my mind; a hundred emotions boiling inside me; and a hundred things I had to fix erupted from my conscience.
    Last edited by Heartz; 6th August 2012 at 09:18 AM.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    I apologize for the delay net of this section of the story. Junior Cert exams make my life a living hell!! Anyway, hope you enjoy the second piece

    *


    I closed the door behind me and saw that Cassandra was still ordering - which wasn't much of a surprise - servants around. People dashed around hanging decorations, organizing food and asking for help or advice from Cassandra. I made my way over to Cass.

    "Hey, Cass, can I talk to you for a second?"

    She turned on her heels and began walking, quickly, towards a small alcove behind the stairs, "Walk with me."

    I followed her towards the stairs. "What's up?" she said. She twisted her hair annyoed.

    "Well...," I began, before beginning interupted swiftly by my sister.

    "The short version please. I'm extremely busy, y'know!"

    I took two deep breaths, "Well, at breakfast I found out that Vernon Curtain is coming to the Ghost Party tonight. Adele started shouting and told me to get out. Dad invited him. Can you believe that?" I pulled air into my lungs. Cass stood stunned, one strand of hair twirled around her finger.

    "I didn't catch anything you said after Vernon Curtain." she look puzzled. She cocked her head to one side. "Did you say Curtain's coming today?"

    I nodded, "Yeah! He'll be here later. Adele was very pleased."

    "Sarcasm! What a fabulous gift!" She tapped my shoulders, "Look who's comin' "

    I turned around. I saw Adele leaving the dining room at great pace. Her scowl was menacing and she was cussing to herself. My father stood in the doorway, his eyes following Adele climb the stairs. Adele's cusses flowed down from the first floor and my father's eyes met mine. He looked sad, his eyes heavy and tired without the protection of his glasses. I felt guilt rise up into my throat. He averted his eyes from my gaze and followed Adele up the stairs.

    It turned back to Cassandra who was watching inquisitively. "So when is Vernon arriving?" Her eyes gazed over my shoulder.

    "He said he'd be here before midday. I haven't seen him for eight years. Dad wants him to have an influence on me. I don't even remember what he looks like or what his voice sounds like."

    Cass pulled me into a hug. "You'll be fine. I'll see you later. Call me if you need anything" I let her leave me alone under the stairs. We used to play hide' n' seek when we were younger. The alcove was the starting point. I left the foyer and returned to me room.

    *


    "Master Darren? Master Darren? Please wake! Mr Curtain has arrived."

    My eyelids flicked, oscillating between closed and open. My head was balanced on my hands. I must have drifted off to sleep. I dont remember when though?

    I woke with a jolt, fully awake. Did I hear that Vernon had arrived. Eevee was already stretching at end of the bed when I got up. She looked dazed - again - but soon shook it off. I tore my T-shirt. I ran to the wardrobe. What to wear? I grabbed the most colourful item of clothing - a green, checkered shirt with a grey, dendroid pattern on the back. At least it wasn't black.

    I wrenched the door from its hinges and startled Buttons, knocking him to the floor. Buttons was a young servant in the manor. He wasn't much younger than me - maybe fifteen. He was a gentle person with a very sensitive and halcyon nature. His skin was paler then mine and his ashen hair hung limply around his prominent features.

    "Oh Arceus! I am sorry Buttons!" I scramble to pull him up and apologize.

    "No Master Darren, it was all my fault. Mr Curtain has arrived."

    "Sorry again Buttons!" I ran past him and sped down the stairs with youthful abandon. A small crowd had gather in the foyer. Servants and kitchen staff enveloped a small group of people; Adele, Cassandra, Nina, Militigh and my dad. The doors of the manor where wide open and two small black and yellow suitcases stood at either side. I finally reached the last step of the stairs.

    I pushed, shoved and elbowed my way into the center group, rearranging my shirt as dad called out, "Mr Curtain! Welcome back to Solar Manor!"

    I looked up. There he was. Eight years later. Would he recognize me?
    Last edited by Heartz; 31st January 2012 at 04:44 PM.

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  3. #3
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    Part three of my story is ready! Prepare for a lot of dialogue; some simple and some tricky!

    *


    My godfather stood in the doorway. A man who I barely knew. He was tall and well-built with neat, cropped, blond hair. His eyes, a dark grey, were soft and kind. He was dressed in a black shirt and black pair jean sand held a long, elegant cane in his right hand.

    He smiled and reached out to my father, shaking his hand with gusto, "Lord Lockridge, pleasure to see you once more."

    My father shook his head. "Call me Damien, Vernon. It's good to see you again. We must talk later, I have so much to you."

    They exchanged a few more words before my father began introducing the rest of the small group - starting with Adele.

    "May I introduce you to my wife. Adele meet Mr Curtain." Adele grunted but still shook Vernon's hand, disgust written on her face. She was a very odious person.

    "Hello Vernon." The greeting was spat out like poison.

    "Lady Lockridge." Vernon bowed his head.

    "You will address me as Miss!"

    "Ok," Vernon withdrew, "Miss Eveerwith."

    Adele stood up straight, her back straightening and her chest pointing out. "Miss Lockridge! Don't get it wrong again Mr. Curtain."

    "Adele, you either choose Lady Lockridge or Miss Eveerwith? You cannot weave them together." I bit down on my lip. Cassandra and I were struggling to contain our laughter. Dad was even smirking against his wife.

    "How dare you! I am the Lady of this manor! You're nothing but an irrelevant fool!"

    "Don't start a war of words with me Adele as I have a higher intelligence and sharper tongue!"

    Adele turned on her heels, her face scrunched and scarlet, and rushed up the staircase. My father turned his face away from the stairs, not wanting to take sides, and ushered Vernon on to Militigh.

    "Pleasure to meet you Mr. Curtain. My name is Adaimh Militigh and I'm Lord Lockridge's secretary and solicitor." Militigh shook Vernon's hand vigorously.

    "Hello Mr. Militigh. I assume you are also in charge of internal affairs?" Vernon's smile altered. Militigh's brow furrowed and he looked to my father for support. I wondered what 'internal affairs' were going on and how Vernon knew about them.

    "Vernon, internal affairs are my problem." My father said, quick to change the discussion.

    "Of course. Moving on." Vernon flicked his cane and stood before Cassandra.

    "Cassandra, you look so elegant. Big difference from your tomboy youth." He pulled Cassandra into a hug.

    "Vernon, it's great.. to see you again." She sounded teary, and I noticed small droplets forming in the corners of her eyes. She released Vernon and drew his attention to Nina. "This is my younger sister, Nina this is uncle Vernon." Vernon knelt down and shook Nina's hand.

    "It is a great pleasure to see you. Last time I was here you were younger then twelve months. Your father has told me so much about you."

    "Sorry, but he hasn't told me anything about you." Nina was abrupt as always.

    "Oh, we'll have to get together later and discuss the past few years and our interests."

    "Sure." Cassandra and Nina excused themselves and left with the rest of the cooks and servants. That just left me and my dad in the foyer. Vernon smiled. I ran to him and pulled him into a hug.

    "Hi Darren." Vernon squeezed me back during the hug, and I felt a sudden urge of happiness rush through me. We broke apart after a few moments and my father excused himself.

    "It's great to see you again Darren." Vernon said, his smile returning.

    "It's good to see you too after all this time." I felt a niggling at my left leg. Eevee was tapping my leg. I looked down, drawing Vernon's attention. Eevee ran up my back and rested on my shoulders.

    "Ah, you chose a partner Pokémon. Eevee is a fabulous Pokémon, isn't it?" Eevee's tail brushed against my neck. I could tell she was delighted with the attention.

    "She certainly is!" I rubbed her delicate fur and she rubbed her head against my hand.

    "So Darren, is there someplace we can talk?"

    I choked back some tears, "Yeah! We can go up to my room." Rivulets of tears flowed down my cheeks. Eevee noticed and brushed much of the liquid away. Vernon agreed and told me he'd follow me up in a few minutes. I told him how to get to my room and ran up the stairs.

    Not long after reorganising my room Vernon arrived with a black, elegant Pokémon with golden circles visible on the raven fur. It's eyes were rusty-brown and shone in the light of the room. Eevee gazed at the inky Pokémon.

    "Is that your Pokémon?" I couldn't take my eyes off the Pokémon. Vernon patted it's head.

    "Yeah. This is Umbreon, my partner. He happens to be an evolved form of Eevee." I watched Umbreon walk into my room and climb onto my bed. Eevee looked jealous and astonished.

    "Umbreon, your manners? Get off the bed!" Vernon came into the room, closing the door behind him. Umbreon wasn't happy but he jumped off the bed.

    We spent hours talking. I learnt loads about his present life; he was a teacher of the universal language and the regional language, Conosian - which explained the cover of the letter - and at the moment was on mid-term break. He hoped to moved closer to us in the future. He was interested in politics, reading and Pokémon battles. Vernon also learned about me and my sisters. He seemed very interested in Adele and Militigh.

    Eevee had pulled the bed sheets around her and had fallen asleep by the time Vernon was leaving to get ready for the Ghost Party.

    "I'll see you later." I opened the door.

    "Of course. I better get my best outfit ready for tonight."

    "Vernon you do know it's ... sort of ... fancy dress?"

    "I do. I'll see you later!" He tapped his cane off the floor and left with Umbreon. I turned around and closed the door. I better get ready.... And look my best ... No black this year!
    Last edited by Heartz; 24th June 2012 at 02:41 PM.

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  4. #4
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    Here's the Chapter! Any comments or request would be great and gratefully accepted :^]



    "Doctor Power, welcome to Solar Manor. Please follow me to the dining room." My father was busy greeting and introducing guests in the foyer. He had just introduced the last one - Dr Power and his wife. Nina had once described Dr Power as a frail, wiry man with fleeting hair and failing eyesight, whose diagnoses always included the 'flu' and 'mumps'. It was Mrs Power who really cured and cared for people, Dr Power had just the formality of a title. Dad showed them to the dining hall and returned shortly. Vernon Curtain was the last to arrive. He took his time coming into the foyer, Umbreon walking gracefully beside him. Vernon was dressed in a black, sleek, double-breasted suit with golden bands and circles that glowed like Umbreon's fur.

    "I love your outfit Darren." Vernon said. I smirked. Eevee pulled and fixed the leg of my jeans. I was happy with my brown jeans and cream shirt, with another arborescent pattern on the back.*

    "Thanks. You look good yourself." I picked Eevee up and placed her on my shoulder. Dad tapped Vernon's shoulder also and asked me to give them a few minutes.

    "Darre,n carry on to the dinning hall. I need to talk to your uncle for a bit." His face was steel and serious. I understood.

    "Internal affairs?" I asked. That caught them off guard. They looked shocked and surprised, "I heard you mentioning it this morning."

    "Good. There's no wall over your eyes. I'll be there in a second." Vernon said, asking my dad to show the way. Eevee's eyes followed Umbreon with curiosity, as he followed Vernon. I kept my eyes on them, climbing the stairs, as I opened the dining hall door. I lost sight of them as they went into dad's study room.

    The hall looked great: Cassandra did a good job. The eerie, carved berries and the antediluvian, filigree sculptures enveloped tables and guest. Ten large tables were scattered, deliberately, around the room. Guest mingled and talked with friends, family or the occasional stranger. Noise echoed around the room, which didn't appeal to Eevee. She buried her head into my neck for protection. I pushed gently against her, showing my agreement and support. Cassandra and Nina were sitting by the door with Adele, Militigh and a man in a flamboyant military outfit. The man's cropped hair and strong demeanor gave away his identity - Chief Inspector Fort of the Solar City Guards.*

    Nina saw me and came over. She looked impressive, all dolled up. She wore a cream dress with red, fiery accessories that highlighted her personality and attitude. She mouthed, 'Help Me!'.

    "What's wrong?" I asked, placing Eevee on the ground.

    "What's not wrong! Adele is hanging off that jerk, Fort. She's all lovey-dovey with him. Can I leave? Please?"*

    "You know how much dad loves this time of the year. Your stuck here with the rest of us."

    "Great! I'm stuck with elders, like Power, and jerks, like Fort. This is just great!" We stayed by the door chatting. She huffed and puffed until Vernon and dad arrived. They were followed by two Pokémon - Umbreon and dad's Vaporeon. Vernon stood next to us smiling, as dad sat next to Adele. Adele was laughing boisterously with Fort. She noticed dad and grabbed his arm, pulling him off balance.

    "Darling, Fort is going to be sitting with us for dinner. He has the most wonderful story." Her voice charmed people and she hung off my father's arm - a flirting, acting siren.*

    "Oh Darling, I think I'm going to be sick!" Nina twisted and exaggerated Adele's movements. I burst out laughing, drawing unwanted attention to us.

    Adele motioned toward Vernon,"Oh, where will Vernon sit?" She played the game perfectly, making every action seem natural. I knew what she was doing. She was moving Vernon as far away as possible from everyone.*

    Vernon looked at Fort, his eyes unblinking and steely, "Well Fort, you're still alive?" Silence feel upon the room. Every eye upon Vernon. He was steeled, both hands resting on his cane. Umbreon sat beside him gazing at the crowd of people.*

    Fort turned, a malicious smile forming on his lips. "Vernon, my old colleague, I'm very much alive and loving my job. Did you find work?"*

    Vernon's jawline tightened, "Yes and I didn't need my daddy to buy the position for me. How is your father - The Trainer of Defense?"

    "He's fine!"*

    "Adele enjoy listening to his stories. I'll find myself another seat," Vernon smirk turned vicious, "But make sure to not listen very carefully to Fort's stories. If you delve deep enough, you find there's no truth behind them. Not one grain." Vernon nodded his head and found himself a chair. Nina ran down after him. Cassandra stood and excused herself from the tables company.

    "Shall we?" She linked my arm, and guided me towards Vernon's table. Nina was already commenting on Vernon's words. Cassandra and I toke our seats across from them. Eevee sat next to Umbreon, eyeing the older Pokémon.

    "That was really cool! You really showed him." Nina was smiling from ear to ear.

    "Thanks Nina."*

    "Actually," Nina leaned in towards Vernon, "After the Ghost Performance there's usually a few Pokémon Battles. Why don't you take him on? I'd love to see that smirk wiped from his face!"

    "Nina!" Cassandra pulled Nina back into her seat, "It's Vernon's choice. Don't influence him."

    Nina looked upset, "I wasn't. I just..."

    "It's an option, and I'll consider wiping that smirk off his face." Vernon winked at Nina. A simple gesture that made Nina smile.*

    We spent all dinner talking. The meal was served and we discussed guests staying at the manor that night: Dr Power and his wife, Michelle; an elegant, woman called Persephone Rouge; the Deputy Lord of Solar and his son, Rhone; and Fort.

    I had a great time that evening. It was great spending time with Vernon - he was so ... cool! After eight years I felt Cassandra, Nina and I were coming together. I felt whole, for once, not out of place or sync. I wished that we could spends eons together - talking, chatting and laughing. Everything seem brilliant at that time. I wanted to eat slower, drag out the meal, and drink slower to relish the experience. But 'ní bhíonn in son rud ach seal' and all good things come to an end.

    It was then that dad called us outside for the Ghost Performance, a spectical and extravagance of power and wealth. All the guest abandoned their remaining drinks or food and trudged outside into the cold. Women fumbled with pied jackets and coats. Men laughed at the idea of wearing protection against the eolian weather. I huddled close to Nina and Cassandra with Vernon standing over us. It was cold. I felt my fingers numb and Eevee nested between my legs from warmth. I picked her up and held her tight as the Performace began.

    Four Chandelures flickered in the center of the yard, their lights ominously changing colours and size. They danced and maneuvered around each other in a hectic, yet captivating, way. From the tips of their lights miniature balls of energy glowed - red, blue, green, and yellow. They coloured auras eliminated several Froslass's danced underneath. Their body's glistened under the beautiful colours. The air around the Froslass's froze and crystal ice hung around them in a virga of unusual features. The virga coalesced and pulsated glowing different colours, redolent of the auras above. Several other Ghost Pokémon descended upon the scene and everything turned crazy. Flashing shadows of cyclopean creatures danced and grew while elemental bursts lit the darkening sky. Claws, tentacles and hands ripped across the yard, dragging auras and will'o'wisps behind them. Crackling noises and thunder claps roared to life as Gengars and Dusknoirs summoned electricity from the surrounding air. The guest mumbles and whispers showed their astonishment and awe at such an amazing display of Ghost Pokémon.*

    Finally two Jellicents, one male and one female, came to the center. They bowed their crowned heads and began to dance. An eerie waltz played in the background as powder rain began to fall. The rain was delicate and fragile. Women in the crowd, including Adele, struggled with gamps and umbrellas. The spectacle drew to a delightful end as all Ghost Pokémon joined in the dance before asking their last bows. I heard Vernon saying 'it was an amazing display of the abilities of Ghost Pokémon and their prowess'. I agreed. But not everyone was of the same opinion.*

    "I hate Ghost Pokémon. They're Dark types with a more sinister twist on them." The voice rang out over the crowd, "Oh Vernon, I didn't mean to offend! It's just that Dark types are weak and meaningless, with very little prospects and advantages. I'd rather have a fighter on my team."*

    "Suit yourself." Vernon looked down at Umbreon, a signal to leave. They both began climbing the steps of the manor.

    My father gestured at Fort, "Please! We had a lovely evening." His words fell on deaf ears.

    "Of course! Run Vernon! Run! You did the same when I won the position! You ran away! Poor Eevee was so weak! So puny!"*

    My jaw tensed. The comment on Eevee made me mad. No body disrespected my Pokémon - or any other Eevee. Fort wore that malicious smile of his, dark and cruel. His shoulder hunched and his back bent - a modern day demon.*

    "Come and fight me?" Fort asked, "Or are you scared of defeat ... again!"

    Vernon turned and threw his cane to me, "Hold this. Nina keep a close eye on that smirk. I'm going to wipe it off that face," He stood across from Fort, about a battle-field between them, "Are you ready Umbreon?" Umbreon growled and glowed in agreement.

    "That's more like it! Let the games begin!" Fort roared.
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    Last edited by Heartz; 12th July 2012 at 05:19 AM.

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  5. #5
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    Hey, part two of chapter two is up! A heated battle awaits in this part! Hope you enjoy!

    *



    "Let the games begin! Conkledurr, let's relive past glories!" Fort pointed towards the steps of the manor. Everyone oscillated between Umbreon and Conkledurr, summing up the differences. Conkledurr was a cyclopean Pokémon - large muscle rippled under old, crinkled brown-paper like skin - pillars of concrete were grasped in his hands. Conkledurr trudged down the steps, a scowl engraved on his stolid face. The clear sound of stone on stone echoed as he drew closer to Umbreon. Vernon didn't look worried - and I wished I shared his enthusiasm.

    "Dad," Cassandra roared, "Stop this!" Cassandra was trying to hold a screaming and energetic Nina back, who was ready to fight Fort herself.

    My father walked over to us, placing his hand on Cassandra's shoulder, "Cassandra, have more faith in Curtain," Dad addressed the guests, "Let us finish this night with the glory of a battle!"

    A lady in a red, flowing dress stood to my right. The faint and delicate aroma of her perfume enveloped me as she came closer. Her long, braided, sinopia hair brushed Eevee, who was on my shoulder. Eevee looked disgusted by the invading lady and pretended to sneeze into her hair. The lady turned quickly and apologized for 'agitating' Eevee. I immediately recognized her as Persephone Rouge. Our eyes were drawn back to the battle by the arrival of Conkledurr.

    Fort said, "Ready to lose Curtain?" His tone had an evil after sting, the poisonous pain after the vicious bite. I made me shudder, his voice. It was icy and cold, intent on beating Curtain. Vernon didn't seem phased by the nasty comments. A simple smile on his lips.

    "Ladies go first Curtain!"

    "By all means, Lady Fort, make the first move." Vernon gave a small bow. Fort left a grunt of disgust escape from his mouth but rushed into the battle.

    "Conkledurr, Mach Punch!" Fort roared, "Get in close and break that Umbreon!" Conkledurr raised one of the pillars up, pointing it towards Umbreon, who sat unbothered by the cyclopean Hercules.

    "Conk Durr!" Then with lightning speed Conkledurr drove forward, his legs spring-boarding him onwards. The base of the pillar slicing through the air, tendrils of charged ozone fluttering behind.*

    "You were always the same, hiding behind defensive tricks!" Fort hissed.

    "Oh well! A good defense is better than a good offense. Umbreon Double Team!" Vernon called. Umbreon gracefully closed the distance between it Conkledurr. It growled.

    "Um Um Breon!" The rings on it's fur glowed a whitish-grey and multiplied. The rings formed around Conkledurr, situated at each hour of the clock. The rings took the form of Umbreon, each glowing in the same way. They moved simultaneously and I lost the 'real' Umbreon amongst the twelve identical creatures.

    Fort was scanning each copy quickly, his head bobbing back and forth, "Conkledurr smash them with Superpower! We'll find it!"

    "Durr Conkle!" Conkledurr hit the ground with his pillars in agreement. Each hit made the earth tremble, growing in magnitude with the passing seconds. Umbreon stopped moving and so did the copies, shaking violently.

    The yard begin to break, crevasses forming between the weakened stones and cobbles. Conkledurr continued smashing his pillars off the ground, as energy spilled out from the crevasses. Liquid power exploded from the earth, erupting underneath the copies of Umbreon. The energy ignited their bodies and the copies disintegrated: one by one. Suddenly a cry was heard. The 'real' Umbreon was thrown into the air. Smoking Umbreon returned to the ground, smoldering red. Vernon looked upset and he called out to Umbreon.

    Fort shouted, "Conkledurr, finish it now! Dynamic Punch!" Conkledurr placed his pillars under his arms and cracked his knuckles. Both hands glowed a dark brown and Conkledurr charged a weakened Umbreon.

    Vernon was screaming out: "Umbreon, release your toxin before using Moonlight to avoid the attack!" I didn't understand why Umbreon looked so tired. Curtain accepted this battle without much hesitation and seemed so confident. I didn't make sense that Umbreon, after one attack, was on the verge of defeat.

    "Umbreon Bre" Umbreon roared and glowed a dazzling lily-white. He reared back on his hunches and all his fur glistened. Conkledurr was drawing ever closer. Umbreon's glistening coat shone brighter and brighter; redolent of the moon above us all. Conkledurr threw his punch, slicing the air before him. I felt my stomach twist and turn. Many guests screamed and I found myself turning away from the battle. My eyes stung from the blinding light. I heard roars from Fort reduced to whimpers. The gunshot noise of an impact resonated around the yard. We all turned to see the outcome. Butterfrees fluttered in my stomach as the dust settled.

    Curtain stood with his hands in his pockets, turned away from the battle. He smiled towards the manor gate. Fort coughed over the dust and roared at Curtain:

    "What are you smiling at? Conkledurr just thrashed your puny Umbreon! There's nothing left! He was always so weak! Just like you! A weak Trainer and a weak person!" His tone was malicious with a hint of madness; the want of glory and victory was driving his madness. I felt Eevee tense on my shoulder and Cassandra was still turned from the battle. Vernon's cane felt heavy in my hand.

    "I believe your Conkledurr is suffering more than my Umbreon. He looks a sickly shade of 'purple', doesn't he? Mauve? Maybe?" Everyone watched Conkledurr. He was shaking slightly and his neck pulsated and spasms broke out across his body. The pillars grinded and scraped the ground as that 'shade of purple' spread across his body.

    Persephone Rouge clapped her hands: "Umbreon poisoned Conkledure! Fabulous! Fabulous!" She clapped again, drawing attention to her. I wondered how Umbreon had poisoned Conkledurr, escaped the attack and still be hidden. I looked at Persephone. Maybe she might know - so I asked embarrassed and innocent.

    "Ah, Umbreon has a wonderful ability," She explained, "It can produce a toxin in it's sweat that can be released during battle. Vernon used the covering light of the Moonlight recovery move to daze Conkledurr, causing Conkledurr to miss and let Umbreon - fully healed - slip the toxin onto Conkledurr." She made it sound so simple.

    Vernon ordered: "Umbreon, Double Team! We'll finish this game!" From a section of the yard Umbreon chimed his agreement, the voices multiplying as copies formed. Conkledurr was now fully purple and his body entered a spasmodic fit.

    "Conkledurr, get ready! Show them you're a real fighter! Smash Umbreon with Hammer Arm when it gets closer!" Conkledurr looked to be in pain but readyed itself. A sudden burst of wind blow across the yard. An eolian misfortune. The sound of paws echoed across the yard. Eevee gazed at the manor gate, sensing something. I followed her gazed and saw Umbreons running towards Conkledurr under the cover of the darkening night.

    "Umbreon get closer to Conkledurr!" Curtain said. I immediately understood why Vernon was gazing at the gate. Umbreon closed in on Conkledurr. The distance became a mere meter. Conkledurr raised his pillars. The first Umbreon came into range of Conkledurr's raised wrecking machine. Conkledurr lashed out - crushing Umbreon beneath the pillar. The copy disintegrated.

    Vernon said: "Umbreon, now use Giga Impact!" As Conkledurr struggled to regain control of his pillar, the 'real' Umbreon appeared below him. Umbreon glowed a new colour - a fiery, red streaked with striking white. The colours swirled around Umbreon before he crashed into Conkledurr. Conkledurr was sent flying, flinging dust and his pillars into the air. Conkledurr settled on a small grassy area. He had fainted and every muscle was limp. Umbreon was once again sitting by Vernon, looking a little tired, but maintained his usual grace.

    The crowd erupted. Claps and wails echoed into the night. People roared and screamed to be heard and talked about the 'amazing feat of combat'. The hectic chaos of excitement blurred everything. My dad began to usher them all back inside:

    "A marvelous end to a marvelous evening. Lets all go inside and enjoy each others company one last time. Shall we? Please follow me?" People either went home or went back to the manor. Only ten people were left at the manor - everyone we had named.

    I noticed Adele was with Fort. They were talking - probably about revenge. Fort's eyes were bloodshot and puffed out. He looked nothing like the man we saw at the dinner table - he had been reduced to a begging man. Vernon made his way over to us, a confident smile on his face.

    "Well Nina," Vernon said, "Is that smile gone?"

    "YEAH! You wiped the stables with him!" Nina was delighted. She was jumping and moving - never standing still. Cassandra congratulated Vernon before being called by Dad. Cassandra brought Nina with her, trying to bring her back down from her high.

    I gave Vernon back his cane, "That was really, really, really cool! That poisoning trick was amazing!" Eevee poked Vernon in agreement. She looked so small and young next to Umbreon, who towered over her.

    "Thank you. I need someway to weaken that brute force and Umbreon's poison did the trick," He pointed towards the manor, "Shall we?" We left the yard. Never did we look back at Adele or Fort. I assumed they would follow us, but I didn't see them for the rest of the evening - only Persephone, the Deputy Lord, the Powers and Dad were in the small living room. It was the only room on the ground floor not decorated. The walls were bare white and the minimalistic furniture and decor made the room seem bigger then it actually was. Cassandra and Nina had gone to bed, leaving me and Vernon to talk. We chatted about my life - How I was tutored at home by skilled teachers; How I only did six subjects, excluding Consonian; And how my activities outside of the manor were limited. Curtain also touched on friendship, which ended quickly, and spent a majority of the time talking about Pokémon battles and Eevee's evolutions. I slipped into a deep sleep sometime that evening as Vernon got himself a glass of water.

    *


    I checked the clock at midnight. I was in my bed when I woke. I was dazed and felt light-headed. Eevee was snugly wrapped in the blankets and woke when I moved - she was a very light sleeper. I turned on the lamp next to my bed and found a note on the locker. I took me a while to read the letters - sleep draining my concentration.

    The note read:

    Darren, you fell asleep downstairs. Your dad and I brought you up - we didn't want to leave where you were.

    Ó mise le meas, Vernon Curtain.


    That explained the forgetfulness of the last few hours. My mouth was dry and my tongue scrapped my palette like sandpaper. I knew Paulina kept water at the end of the stairs for late night refreshments and decided on quenching my need. I slipped out of bed, almost dragging Eevee with me, which didn't appeal to her, and put on a jumper. I opened my door and closed it with the outmost quietness, praying not to wake anyone. I turned in the direction of the stairs when my heart jumped.

    Persephone Rouge was walking towards me: "Good evening Master Darren - it's a bit late to be up?" Her hand were behind her back and she cocked her head like Cassandra, smiling at me. Her eyes had a certain ice about them and her smile wasn't as friendly as earlier.

    "I was just getting a drink," I said, "What about you?" I thought that might be a little rude but I asked anyway.

    Persephone shook her hair: "Oh I had to use the bathroom. I will see tomorrow for breakfast." She smiled again and walked away, moving quickly. As she left I saw a flash of metallic silver - something metal in her back hand. I shook myself and thought nothing more of it. I descended the stairs, got my drink and went back to bed, unaware that this night was going to be my worst.
    Last edited by Heartz; 12th July 2012 at 05:20 AM.

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  6. #6
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    Hey guys - next part is up! Short but crucial to the overall plot! Hope you enjoy

    *



    It seemed to be the middle of the night when I was woken by Curtain. He shook me frantically and I slowly opened my eyes and looked upon him. He held a candle in his hand, and the look of distress and worry on his face brought me to my senses faster than earlier that night.*

    "What's wrong!" I asked. I sat up in the bed, my thoughts everywhere and my mind fuzzy. Vernon bit on his lower lip.

    Vernon said: "Didn't you hear the shot? Something is seriously wrong next door!" Eevee climbed up on the bed, burying her head into my chest. *Tears trickled down her face in tiny rivulets.*

    I grabbed Eevee and sprang out of bed. I pulled on my jumper and followed Vernon out the door. Persephone was there, beside Mrs Power who held Nina and Cassandra in a hug. The Deputy Lord and his son were there too, banging on the door, and Dr Power was slowly coming up the stairs, being pushed out of the way by an aggressive Fort.*

    Fort charged up, rattling the door handle: "Lord Lockridge? Open the door! Lord Lockridge?" There was no reply. I pulled Eevee close to my chest, my beating heart causing me to choke. Vernon had one arm wrapped around me, holding me tight. I felt protected even though I felt fear and sadness develop deep down in me.

    Fort had called Conkledurr, who was coming up the stairs. Conkledurr looked tired and worn from his earlier battle. I could hear Nina crying and the comforting voice of Cassandra trying to soothe her. Tears pricked my eyes as Conkledurr threw his weight at the door. It resisted Conkledurr. He strained against the solid wood, but at last it gave beneath his weight, and with a resounding crash, fell down.

    Fort and the Deputy Lord filed in. Everyone held their breath. Fort re-emerged from the dark room, his face grave and fierce. He beckoned to Dr Power and caught Vernon's eye.*

    I felt it then. That sudden burst of emotion. Vernon lifted me up and half-dragged me down the stairs. He called to Mrs Power, who brought Nina and Cassandra with her. Rhone, the Deputy Lord's son, followed as well.

    Tears ran down my face. My stomach felt heavy and my heart imploded. From the depths of my core I knew something was wrong. My screams coupled with those of Nina, who younger than anyone else felt the intense impact of the ordeal, and scarred the manor for years to come.

    The room seemed to swim and everything went dark as roars bellowed from the upstairs gallery. Words like 'shot', 'blood' and 'dead' swam around my head. My eyes totally failed as a wave of nausea passed over me. I felt two hands grab me from behind and I dropped Eevee from my grip. I felt a chair underneath me. The cool, harsh wood. My father's chair. That only fueled the emotional attack and I wretched again. I felt cold and shivers ran down my spine. Several people stood over me. I was unaware even to the sound of the police arriving. My world had shut down.

    *


    The hours following that event left me in a zombie-like daze. I felt empty. Alone. I was alone. In my room. Nobody. Nobody.

    Vernon was the only one who came to check on me. His face had lost it's complexion and now looked white and worried. His eyes were full of pain and he bit his lower lip again.*

    Vernon sat by the bed, looking deep into my soul: "Do you know?" He asked. His voice, unlike his visuals, was steeled. I gazed into his eyes.*

    "Not all the details," I turned away. I hadn't realized Eevee had fallen asleep on my lap. She was snoring loudly - purring and emitting gentle sounds as she exhaled. "What happened?"

    Vernon sat down next to me. His cane balancing by his knee. He wrapped his arm around me - drawing back that feeling of protection. "Darren," He said, his voice struggling to hide his true emotions, "Your dad is ... dead. Late last night ..." He stopped. "No, I can't tell you."

    "Vernon I need to know." Having him here strengthened me. I felt an urge to delve deeper than just 'your dad is dead'.*

    Vernon toke a deep breath, "Last night Fort believes your father .. shot .. himself." the last part was barely audible. Emotion swelled up inside me. Tears, tiny droplets, trickled down my cheeks. I pressed my head against him - like Eevee does to me - longing for comfort. He pulled me in tighter and ruffled my hair.

    I opened my mouth, "Fort .. believes.. what do you.." I couldn't finish the sentence.

    "I believe something different."*

    This filled me with a renewed hope. My father had no reason to kill himself, that I knew - but how many people wanted him dead? This rekindled my spirit - lifting me. I felt the tears stop. I brushed away what ever residue was left. I said: "You think someone killed him?" I dare not look at him for fear he say no.*

    "Yes. I do." Vernon answered, "I believe there's more to this."

    I squeezed Vernon tight. I finally released and began to stand. Vernon smiled. I smiled too. "We're gonna find out!"*

    Vernon stood up quickly: "We're? No Darren, Inspector Fort is going to find out. Besides how would I find out. I can't help him."*

    "No, but we can. You told me you studied law. You ran for Solar City's Inspector position. Fort might have gotten it, but that doesn't mean he was the better candidate," A new fire burned within me, my years and sadness pressed deep down by this sudden drive, "Come on! We both need to find out what really happened.." Vernon raised his hand, interrupting my flow.

    "No Darren. This isn't my job. I'm not doing that," He smiled again, "But I'm glad to see you're a little bit better than before I came in." He ruffled my hair again and opened my bedroom door. He left me on my own again. I replayed the conversation - summing up outcomes and possibilities.*

    I sprang from my seated position and ran after him. Eevee woke in my arms. She yawned loudly as I ran down the stairs. Vernon was talking to Fort, who was signing papers and documents.

    "Vernon, it's over," Fort said, "I'm closing this case. The foolish Lord simply shot himself and that's that.." Before he could continue Vernon smacked him with his cane. Fort howled in pain, jumping around on one foot. A smile masked the hurt I felt. His words stung.

    "Master Darren is standing directly behind me and you mention his father in such a cruel and foul manner. You are the fool, Fort. Never had any control of you tongue or emotions - which everybody saw last night. I'm telling you to re-open this case and look deeper then the surface. You might find something!"

    "Vernon I'm signing this document that officially closes everything! I'm the Inspector - not you! I have spoken to Dr Power and he agrees with my theory. The man died because of a bullet to the head - get over it!"*

    "Did you council with Mrs Power?"

    "No! Why would I 'council' with that woman!"

    "Did you interview everyone?"

    "No! Only those who needed to be 'interviewed'! Get out of my way!" Fort pushed past Vernon, but Vernon dragged him back.

    "Listen hear," Vernon was only millimeters from Fort's face, "If you don't look into this case, I will. Don't force me!" Fort threw Vernon's hand away.

    "You can't ..."

    "Oh , I can. I studied at the same college as you, I passed with more marks than you, and I did more than you. I can investigate if I get consent from a family member and someone above you in stature" Vernon smirked. Fort pupils dilated and I saw his neck twitch, "which I have; Master Darren has given me consent and asked me to delve deeper into matter and; I ask you, is he above you in stature?"

    Fort went red in the face. His eyes darted from side to side as his fists tightened around the documents: "Fine!" He roared, making Eevee jump in my arms, "But you shall not find anything!" He retreated rapidly and ran up the stairs.*

    I looked at Vernon, still masking my emotions - I'd bottle them till next time I could vent. I was sixteen anyway, old enough to make my own discissions: "So.. are we gonna to find out more?"

    Vernon turned on his heels, sharply calling for Umbreon: "Unfortunely, my cards have been dealt," He said, a hint of a smile on his face, "and I must play this deadly game to 'find out more'. Let's begin!"

    Read the Final Chapter of A Bháis
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  7. #7
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    Here we go once again - Chapter 3 An Fiosrúchán



    "So we're looking into this?" I asked.

    "Yes," Vernon said, climbing the stairs. Umbreon was running up behind me, his paws making gentle noises as them came in contact with the floor. "Wait! What do you mean 'we'? I'm looking in to this - even if I was forced. You're, unfortunately, not!"

    "But, I'm the one who gave consent - whatever that means," I said rushing after Vernon, *"Also it'll keep me occupied during the coming weeks."

    "Weeks? No Darren. This hopefully will be over within days! Besides, this is suicide or even murder - if I'm right - and that domain is no place for teenagers of any age."

    "Curtain, please? Look, I need to keep my mind at work. Otherwise I'll brake down! Trying to solve this will lead to a better way in dealing with it, because I'll know all I need to know! If it's murder, like you say, then we can understand this better if I know everything. We won't question ourselves about what lead to suicide. Please?"

    "Darren this is real. This isn't fun and games! I understand your looking for solace in something - but this isn't it. This death is inhuman. Looking into it will only cause you pain.."

    "But you can't stop me - that's the point! I want a part in this! To lessen the pain and occupy my mind!" Eevee struggled in my arms - I was squeezing her hard. My face was steeled.

    Vernon's face relaxed, accepting he couldn't stop me: "Alright, but I can't stop people from saying cruel things Darren. Things that could hurt you. Truths and lies about your father will spread. You'll be in the firing line too - that's what I'm worried about!"*

    "I'll be fine. I promise," I smiled, excitement and nervousness interweaving themselves together in my stomach. My heart was racing fast. A small pain coursed through me - a pain where no tears or anger follow. It was an internal, nervous pain. I felt my body contract, my muscles tightening. Eevee gave a small bleat before jumping to the floor, gasping for air. "Sorry Eevee!" I immediately knelt down to apologize.*

    "OK, let's get started then." Vernon began walking up the stairs again, muttering to himself. We reached the gallery when Vernon stopped. He looked at the two police guarding my father's room door. They both were dressed in horrendous luminous yellow and red suits with hats. They looked like ex-clowns. I heard Vernon mutter something about the 'Trainer of Defense' and his 'outrageous policies'. I got ready to continue moving but Vernon wasn't going anywhere.

    "What's wrong?" I asked.*

    Vernon said: "Darren, I would like to see your father's room again, but, those guards are Fort's men, they won't let me in." His gaze never moving from the guards.

    I understood, because of Fort and Vernon's rivalry and last night's performance they wouldn't let him anywhere near the room. I didn't get why he needed to go in, but I trusted him. The emotional overload drove me on and I walked straight towards the room, with an sense of power.

    The guards stopped me when I reached for the handle. An older man, on right, grabbed my hand: "This isn't a place for kids! Beat it!" He said, in a high-pitched, squeaky voice that was reminiscent of his ridiculous costume. A younger man, around twenty, was standing to the left and looked shocked. Eevee sat beside me, her tail sweeping from left to right.

    "I don't believe you know who I am?" I asked. My voice sounded stronger, more in control. I sounded like Curtain did earlier. I sounded confident.

    "No! I don't! But I do know you need to leave, so once again I say, beat it!" He reached his hands into his pockets and I saw a blue, ball attached to his belt. The younger man tried to interupt the argument.

    "Em.. Master Darren Lockridge, please let me get the door for.. eh.. you?" He looked pale: a sickly, worried shade. The older man withdrew instantly.

    "By Arceus's Flute, sir, please forgive my actions?" He bowed his head, "I was only following orders from Inspector Fort." His furrowed brow lost it's tightened grip. His eyes widened, gazing at me, lost.

    "That's fine. Vernon, come on." I pushed on the handle and opened the door. The musky smell of my dad's room coupled with the lingering, mellow smell of the previous night brought a lump to my throat. The room looked dark, the curtains still closed. I assumed that everything had been left as it was for investigation purposes - that's what CSI Kanto did anyway. *I was closely followed by Curtain, Eevee and Umbreon. Vernon went straight to the lights and examined the switch before turning them on. I stayed by the door, closing it behind me.

    The bed was in disarray, with the sheets and blanket scattered on the floor, and sections of fabric still hanging off the corners. I looked down and saw black, muddy footsteps visible on the carpet. I feared moving - not because of bringing back memories. I feared ruining any evidence. Vernon noticed me staring at the prints and beckoned me to move:

    "Come on. Have a look around. You wanted to part of this, right?" His hands moved over the walls, knocking and tapping, "Umbreon, I want you to look for any unusual spillage on pillows or cushions."

    I slowly walked to the ensuite attached to my father's room, unaware of Vernon's voice. The room was all white and everything looked in order: dad's dressing gown was hanging from the back of the door; the towels were neatly folded and stored; and my dad's 'manly potions and lotions' were on the large, marble shelf next to the bath. I left the ensuite and went back to dad's room. Vernon was scanning the floor. He looked up when I came in.

    "Come on - walk man! This room has had police, Fort, Dr Power and others leave their marks on the floor. No prints are revelant at this stage." He bent down, balancing on his heels. I joined him, checking the floor for his interest. Easily I found it.

    A small part of the carpet next to the bed was stained. The stain was small but gleamed a brilliant red. I looked up to see if it was on any of the sheets or bed linen. When no stain was visible I turned to Curtain:

    "So.. is this important?" I asked.*

    He looked up at me, smiling: "Yeah. What do you think it is?"

    "Eh.. I'd say it's," I took one more look at the stain - it had a purplish tinge to it, "Wine. Is it wine?"

    "Maybe," Vernon got up and picked up Eevee, stopping her from nibbling on dad's last dessert, which looked unappetizing, balancing on the bedside locker. "If it's red wine, what does it tell is about his killer?" Vernon's eyes remained on the plate.*

    "He drank wine," I said unenthusiastically.

    "Yes. Now if I remember correctly your father didn't drink red wine? Now if your father didn't drink wine then why is this stain in his room?" He passed Eevee to me. Eevee looked upset. I grabbed her tight and pulled her close. "What would your dad be doing with wine here? My guess is he either brought someone up who drank wine or he brought it himself for unknown reasons. The first option is the more likely - therefore the list of suspects becomes very small," I was shocked all that came from a little stain, "But unfortunately it's not wine: it's blood."

    My heart jumped: "But.. It's purple!" I couldn't believe I was so close to somebodies spilt blood - my father's spilt blood!*

    "Yeah, it's drying so it has a purplish hue. Bit morbid isn't it?" I was staring down at the small, genetic pool. Eevee was trying to get my attention, biting down on my arm. I heard Umbreon calling out and released a fidgeting Eevee. She landed on all fours and ran over to Umbreon.

    "Did you find something Umbreon?" Vernon asked, trying to take his eyes off the plate. I followed him over to Umbreon who was sitting next to an adjoining door. The door connected dad's room to his study was closed and a key shone in the lock. Umbreon was indicating a small pillow by his feet. It was a yellow pillow with frilly borders and a visible hem. A small, strange stamp-like pattern in the center was wet.

    "Umbreon, this is perfect." Vernon said, his tone higher and more gleeful. He reached into his pocket and took out his phone - a small, black touch-screen with a silver back and a dendroid pattern engraved on it. He quickly took a picture of the pillow: "Fort will have to open the case. If I'm right." He muttered to himself.

    "If you're right? What? What's so important about that pillow?" I asked. I didn't understand how blood and pillows could convince someone to reopen a case but I somewhere, deep down, trusted him. My head and heart were in conflict. My head said Fort, no matter how thick, would have noticed the stains and my heart said Vernon was right. I joined with my heart during that mixed up time.*

    Vernon did some brightening and contrasting work on the picture he took, before talking: "Darren, I will say 'If I'm right' many times because I hold my cards very close to my chest in this game. But bare with me. Tonight's autopsy will hopefully prove me right - and I'll have all my aces to play with. The first job is getting this case reopened and then, I'll play with other cards - including those stains!"
    Last edited by Heartz; 28th June 2012 at 10:36 AM.

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  8. #8
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    I'M BACK!! Exams are finally over and I can now focus on finishing this story! Here Part Two of Chapter Three. Don't forget to rate and comment - anything and everything will be appreciated!

    *


    I left the room and didn't see Vernon for the rest of the night. Paulina said he had taken a car into Solar City and hadn't returned yet. I thought he would be back for dinner, but there was no word of him. An ominous silence hung around the dinner table and it's guests. Exotic food was eaten without a single word mentioned. I felt Fort's eyes bore into my head. His dark, eyes watching my every move.

    I didn't mind his gaze. It didn't bother me. Cassandra sat to my right, biting her lips between morsels. Rhone Gather sat to my left, his broad shoulders and muscular build occupying must of my eating space. His face was hidden by his golden hair, but I saw his eyes flash looks at Cassandra.

    After dinner I went to my room, to avoid confrontation with either Adele or Fort. My dad's study was still guarded by those luminous police-men. The younger man smiled nervously in my direction and nodded his head. I nodded back, before going into my room.

    The spare bed which Vernon slept in was still there. Both beds were neatly and meticulously made with new sheets and crisp, white linen. Eevee was sitting on my bed, curled up, with her tail wrapped around her. I spent the rest of the night reading and reviewing the day events. Twice I woke during the night in a cold sweat and cried for lengthy periods. I knew it was better to cry now then tomorrow, so I let the tears fall.

    I woke early the next morning and slid out of bed. I pulled a light-blue, hoodie over my head and left my room. I went down the stairs, yawning loudly. As I came around, and began to slowly wake, I saw Vernon staring at the stained glass above the main door. Umbreon was sitting beside him, his coat glossy and shiny in the early, morning sun. Vernon began talking as I came closer:

    "The architecture of this building dates back to the eleventh century. Did you know, it's your family who have occupied it all these years." His eyes followed the strange border that ran along the ceiling.

    "Is that so?" I rubbed my eyes. The borders interwove together around me.

    "Your great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was Lord Tiberius Claudius Locridg, who restored this manor after Na Tinte Ollmhóra burned it to the ground. His father, Lord Caligula Locridg, had gambled and spent almost all his money by the time of his death. Lord Tiberius brought Solar City back from the brink."

    Much of this went over my head. I couldn't pronounce or remember the names of the former Lords of Solar. In hindsight, I cut Vernon short and asked what he had done for the evening.

    "I went to the hospital to get some 'results'!" He said.

    "The autopsy!" I blurted, suddenly wide awake.

    Vernon nodded his head slowly: "I can now definitely say he was murdered and Fort will never know."

    "What d'you mean?" If Vernon knew of the autopsy, then Fort would too. But Fort didn't go to the hospital? S maybe he didn't?

    "I kinda stole the only copy of the results." His voice was steeled again, but his eyes were wild with burning fires.

    "You robbed them!"

    "I didn't rob them. I simply took them after asking to see them. Even the hospital doesn't know! Well, as I said, I kinda stole them."

    "That's..." I felt excited. The idea of taking the papers kindled a fire within me. "That's cool! So, what's next?"

    Vernon stuffed his hands into his pockets and shrugged his shoulders: "What's to do at eight in the morning?" His humorous tone and smiling face made us both burst out laughing.

    "Good point. What will we do later? Will the Will be read?"

    "The reading of the Will is either tonight or tomorrow morning - depending on Militigh's attitude! In the mean time we'll need to start investigated properly. Many guests need to be interviewed. Ready for a long day?"

    "Let's do this!"

    We spent the rest of the morning organizing the small drawing room and making it into a makeshift interviewing room. A small brown table with two chairs on either side was placed in the middle the room. Two notepads were placed on the investigators side of the table, alongside several, poised pens of multiple colours. I dragged a tall lamp over and closed the curtains, wanting to secure our privacy.

    When we were finished, around ten o'clock, Vernon decided to bring in the first witness for 'interrogation': "We'll need to find an usher to bring the guests here. Any suggestions?"

    I mouthed several people - Paulina, Cassandra, Nina, Buttons. BUTTONS!

    "Buttons! Buttons would be perfect. He knows where everybody is. Will I ask him?"

    "If you think he'll do it, ask away." I nodded my head and pushed down the gold door handle, on the verge of leaving, when Vernon called:

    "Tell him to bring Adele first. But don't let him tell her it's us whose investigating." A glint of excitement flashed in both our eyes. Adele won't know it's us until she arrives. Will she buckle once she sees us, or will she be as cold and machinating as every.

    ***


    It took me ages to find Buttons. He had himself cooped up in a small alcove at the back of the servants quarters. He was lying on an old blanket, which stunk from continual use. He must've been very uncomfortable. It wasn't until then that I realized his living conditions.

    Buttons is around my age, maybe a year or two younger. When he was six both his parents died in a mining accident in the coal mines on the outskirts of Solar City. My father knew Buttons' parents well and offered to care for the boy. Unfortunately nobody expected Adele to transform from Miss Innocent to Mrs Wicked Stepmother right after the marriage. Buttons was given two options - leave or work! I realize now she ruined not only my life and my family's life, but Buttons' too.

    "Buttons?" I slowly eased my hand out and shook him gently. His eyes flung open. He grabbed my wrist. He dragged his legs out of the bed and wobbled a little. He released my wrist, gaining his composure. "I have a job for you," I said.

    His eyelids flickered open and shut. His eyes were hazy and distant, as if he was still dreaming: "Of course Master Darren." His polite manner sugarcoated the bitter edge of being disturbed. I felt bad waking him.

    "Buttons, just call me Darren and ... I'm real sorry for waking you." My apology must've made an impression because Buttons smiled and indicated the door. "What do you want me to do?" He asked.

    I explained to him that we needed to interview the guests and we wanted him to bring the guests in one-by-one.Vernon wanted to start with Adele. I asked again if he'd mind doing this, still guilty. I specifically mention not to tell Adele it's Vernon whose behind the interviews. I thank him again and leave for the drawing room.

    ***


    On returning to the drawing I found Vernon making tea. Two white cups and a matching tea set was laid out on the counter. He was pouring himself a cup when I entered.

    "Darren, did you find him. Is Buttons up for the job?" He didn't turn around. He kept pouring and preparing his tea.

    "He's on his way with Adele now, I think." I closed the door and walked over to him.

    "Great! Want a cup? Paulina brought chocolate biscuits as well?"

    "Sure!"

    Vernon made the tea and we both sat at the table. I noticed that Vernon had two brown folders on the table in front of him. I always wondered how an investigation like this would take place. My curiosity got the better of me eventually, and when there was no sign of Adele, I decided to ask him about it.

    I drained the final sup of tea and turned to Vernon: "What are you gonna ask her?" I wasn't expecting to get a straight answer so I didn't have high hopes. Vernon clearly had his own methodology.

    "Good question - now you're thinking like a proper investigator!" He smirked. His cup of tea was almost finished and he swirled the remaining liquid round and round, "An investigation is like a game of 'Twenty Questions' or 'Guess Who'. You have to ask the simple questions at the beginning and the harder ones later. We have to find out how and why this event took place. We have to ask what she was doing, where she was, and why she was there. We need to look at any alibi she may have. After the questioning our job doesn't finish though. We need to cross-examine her version of events with the stories of the other witnesses. It can be a long and lengthy process..."

    Just as Vernon was drawing to a close Buttons knocked on the door and poked his head in: "Adele is here. Are you ready?"

    "Send her in Buttons," Vernon whispered, flashing both of us a smile. He flipped open his notepad and opened one of his folders. He then stood up and I quickly joined him. I caught a glimpse of the contents of the folder - a blank sheet divided up with boxes and grids. Another one of Vernon's strange methods.

    The door flew open as Adele came into the room. The door handle collided with the wall and caused a small dent. Adele stormed into the room roaring and screaming, "Fort, you better have a damn good reason for disturbing me this early. I thought we........" She froze.

    Vernon raised his hand and wiggled his fingers: "Good morning Adele. How are you this fine day? Are you not happy to see us?"

    Adele looked directly at Vernon. Her eyes didn't blink and her back was straight. "It is with great satisfaction that I reply 'yes'. Goodbye!" Adele picked up on the mocking tone in Vernon's voice. She turned and reached for the door, but Umbreon and Eevee were blocking her path. Umbreon gave out a low growl that illustrated clearly that she was to stay.

    Vernon pushed his chair back, "Adele I only have a few questions for you. Would you please take a seat?" He pulled out her chair and tapped the cushioned top.

    "You have no right to ask me anything! I am the Lady of this Manor and of Solar! I have given my account to Fort and am trying to organize my husband's funeral!" She snapped, yet she edged herself towards the chair.

    "Actually he does have permission to ask you questions," My tone was flat but riddled with sarcasm. I called Eevee in with a small whistle. She climbed up on the counter and gazed at Adele, who for once was not happy with all the attention. I closed the door after Umbreon followed Eevee in, "Any detective or inspector can investigate this case when given consent by a family member."

    "I gave no such consent!"

    "No, you didn't. But I did. So would you please take a seat."

    Adele stomped to the chair and grabbed it from Vernon's hands: "Hurry on Vernon. I have things to organize and I am not giving up my time to cooperate in stupid investigations like this. Fort is filing his report today and you already know what happened here!" Her voice was cold and shallow. She meant every word.

    "Certainly, but I cared too much for Lord Lockridge to not get a second opinion. Even if it is only my own. Shall we begin straight away?" She nodded. Vernon and I took our seats and the investigation began.*

    "Tell me Adele, where were you on the night in question?" Vernon asked. He filled in one box on the sheet with the question and waited eagerly for his reply.

    "This is ludicrous! I was here! In the manor!" Adele snapped. "In my bedroom to be specific! As I told Fort, I was in my own room from the time we departed last night to the early hours of yesterday morning!" She retorted.

    Vernon cleared his throat and leaned in: "You were in your room all night?"

    "Yes, all night! I wasn't informed of the suicide till after sunrise!"

    "But Adele surely you would've heard the gunshot?"

    "I didn't hear it Vernon. I sleep very deeply during the night. I take medicine to help! I suffer from a very weak strand of insomnia!"

    Vernon leaned back in his chair. He stroked his chin. I couldn't make heads or tails of this - Adele never heard the gunshots because she was in a very deep medical, induced sleep?*She took a sedative every night? She didn't know about her own 'husband's' death until the next day?

    "What medicine do you take?"

    "Helintin's QB3-40! Secobarbital! Ask any doctor - ask Maxwell Power! They'll tell you this medicine would have been strong enough to block out all forms of noise! I wouldn't have heard a gunshot right next to me!"

    "You right. You didn't hear it." Vernon closed his folder and stood up again. Adele's eyes followed him to the door. He opened it. Was he letting her go? What happened to lengthy and long processes?

    "Could you send me down the box belonging to your medicine? I want to clarify your statement. Apart from that, you're free to go."*

    "Fine! Goodbye Vernon! I hope you realize soon the stupidness of this 'investigation'." She put a sarcastic and sadistic twist on 'investigation', before rushing out the door. Buttons came into the room shortly afterwards.

    I got up and walked over: "Vernon is that it? She got off very easily."

    "She had nothing to do with it. We can't go any further with her till we ask Doctor Power about her medication," He turned to Buttons, "Would you call Dr Power and his wife please Buttons. Tell them of this investigation and tell them it shouldn't take long."

    "Of course." Buttons left and closed the door behind him.

    "Is it really possible that she didn't hear anything? That she slept through it all?" I asked.

    Vernon shrugged and picked up his cup and went to refill it: "That's what Dr Power will need to tell us. If Adele is taking medicine Maxwell would known about it and in what doses she takes it. Also the Powers were sleeping on the same floor as us, they might have heard something?" He said, nibbling on biscuit and dunking it into his tea.

    "And they were also outside dad's room earlier than us." I pointed out.

    Vernon smiled: "And Dr Power pronounced Lord Lockridge dead on the basis of suicide?"
    Last edited by Heartz; 24th June 2012 at 02:42 PM.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    This is the final part of the third chapter! Hope you guys enjoy the final pieces of this investigation!

    *



    It wasn't long before Buttons returned with Dr Power and his wife, Michelle. By the time they had arrived Vernon and I had finished our tea and also finished the biscuits. Dr Maxwell and Michelle were quieter and calmer compared to Adele. They took their seats and Vernon offered them each a cup of newly, brewed tea. Michelle was happy to have some sort of refreshment and gladly accepted. I told Vernon that I would make the tea for Michelle and he could begin the investigation.

    "Can you tell me where you were when the gunshots were heard?" Vernon asked.

    "We were in bed," Maxwell said, looking at his wife. His eyes had dark circles around them and it was obvious he had been crying, "We didn't leave our room until we heard the shots."

    "Michelle were you the first to arrive at the scene?"

    "No. Lord Gather and his son were already there. They told us the door was locked before rushing off to find help. It wasn't long before Fort, Militigh and others began arriving. You were the last to arrive. Everyone was there, except Adele, who was still in her room." She tapped her husband's hand and looked over at me. I handed her her cup of tea and offered both of them some biscuits. Maxwell took two and Michelle refused.

    I took my seat next to Vernon as he wrote into his folder: "I commend you on your memory Mrs. Power. Those details will be very useful," Vernon said. Michelle nodded her acknowledgment, "Dr Power does Adele take any medication?"

    Dr Power was stunned. He looked back and forth from Vernon to Michelle, "Yes. She does. She takes a sedative every night and also takes daily vitamins."

    "Do you know the name of the sedative she takes?"

    "Yes. It's Helintin's QB3-40, I think. It contains secobarbital which is the sedative aspect of the medicine."

    "Would this medication be strong enough to keep her asleep through the whole evening - even through the gunshots and screaming?"

    "Yes. Yes, it would."

    "Thank you very much Dr Power," Vernon smiled. He turned to me and leant towards me. He placed his hand in front of his face and whispered, "That proves Adele's alibi. She didn't have anything to do with the killing. And neither did the Powers."

    "How do you know that?" I asked. I unfortunately understood Adele's case but I must've missed something with Dr Power and Michelle.

    "Call it Vernon's intuition." He said with a laugh. I bit down on my lower lip, stifling any laughter. Maxwell Power was still looking at everyone, hoping for some understand, while Michelle just smiled. Vernon straightened again and pulled a small, folded piece of paper from his folder. It had a grey seal on the back and the writing looked official. Vernon slid the paper across the table towards Dr Power.

    "Can I trust you with a piece of information that must not leave these four walls?" Vernon asked quietly. Dr Power nodded slowly, unraveling his hand form his wife's grasp and reaching for the piece of paper. He unfold the paper and began reading. Suddenly his eyes opened wide and he looked up at Vernon. Vernon wore a deadpan look and gave nothing away.

    "Is this... Is this the autopsy.. Result?" Dr Power kept reading. He mouthed words and phrases before passing it to his wife, "May I?" She asked. Vernon nodded and turned to Dr Power.

    "Obviously this remains between us. I don't know how many people have copies of these results."

    "No one," Dr Power replied. He shook his head wildly, "Fort told me at breakfast that the hospital was going to send out the results within the next week. How did you get them?"

    Michelle suddenly laughed loudly and passed the papers to Vernon: "Max do you remember when we were at Academus?" Dr Power nodded, "Remember when Miss Forge refused to give anyone their results and we broke into her office along with my brother. And we found that she hadn't bothered to correct them?"

    "Of course I remember that..." Dr Power paused. He turned to face Vernon, who smirked and shrugged, "You stole them!"

    "Well I borrowed without telling them." Vernon slipped the paper back into his folder. I wished I had seen the paper. I wanted to know what killed my father. But I knew Vernon would've shown me if they were very important.

    "So you know what killed my father?" I asked. Curiosity becoming too much to handle. I did want to know what happened.

    "Yes," Michelle said. She slapped Dr Power lovingly on the arm, "I told you. It couldn't have been suicide."

    "Why? Why not?" I leaned in suddenly. Did she know something? What had she seen before anybody else?

    "Well, I told Max and Fort that suicide was not the cause of death because the positioning of the body was wrong. His body hadn't fallen, it was put there," I slumped back into my chair. Vernon mentioned the body yesterday as well.*

    "Anything else Michelle?" Vernon asked. His face gave everything away now. He was clearly delighted.

    "Yes," My body jerked forward again, "There was too little blood on the floor. For someone who had apparently died of a gunshot to the head, there was very little blood. There should have been... more blood in the room."*

    "Thank you! Thank you! That is all I need!" Vernon beamed. He clapped his hands and got up to open the door. Michelle took her husband by the hand and guided him towards the door. He looked old, frail and feeble next to his wife. Vernon exchanged some quick, whispered words with them. Buttons came in as the Powers left. Vernon was smiling from ear to ear. He clapped his hands again, before coming and shaking my shoulders.*

    "That's brilliant! Fort can't deny that it was murder now! We have both factual and anecdotal evidence! Yes!" Vernon seemed so happy and to be honest it was infectious. Buttons and I were smiling with him. But one thing lay heavily on my mind?

    "Vernon, what's so important about the amount of blood in the room?" I asked quickly, the words flying from my mouth. Vernon's smile disappeared. His brow furrowed and he dug his hand into his pocket.

    "Didn't you figure that part out?" He countered. His pulled his phone from his pocket and started opening files and folders. Finally finding what he wanted, he handed me the phone, "Look at that photo and tell me what you see?"

    I took the phone. On the screen was the altered photo of my dad's room. On the floor was the small pool of purplish blood - which I firstly mistook as wine. I gazed at the photo. Too little blood is what Mrs Power said. What does that mean?

    I looked up as the door closed. Buttons had left. He'd probably gone to find another guest. I turned to Vernon: "I don't see it." Eevee jumped onto my shoulder and gazed down at the photo.

    "Imagine," Vernon began, "That someone has thrown a dart at a ballon full of coloured dye. It pops! Sending the dye all over the room. Now if someone took another ballon and filled it with dye and drove the dart into it - which one would cause the bigger spill?"*

    "The first one." I replied confidently, "But that has...." Then it hit me. I looked down at the photo. "So the amount of blood in this photo, tells us what?" I queried while handing the phone back. Vernon face steeled as he took the phone - all remnants of his happiness gone.

    "It tells us that the shot was fired after Lord Lockridge was killed." My jaw dropped. I fell into my chair, holding onto the handles for support, "Lockridge was already dead and someone tried to fake his suicide."

    I saw my hand shaking on the chair handle. My stomach turned and my whole body didn't feel right. My mouth was dry and my eyes felt heavy. Vernon placed his hand on my shoulder while Eevee jumped up on my lap. "So.. He really was killed?"

    "Yes. And we have proof to prove it."

    I just sat there till Buttons came back. My head muddled and my hands shaking. Eevee rested on my lap and just stayed there. Vernon was writing in his folder when Buttons arrived: "Lord Gather and his son are here. Are you ready?" Both Vernon and Buttons looked at me. I nodded and pulled my chair closer to the table. When Buttons left Vernon pulled me towards him and whispered: "Go along with what I say." I looked at him and he winked, just as Gather came in.

    "Mr Curtain! Pleasure to see you," Gather beamed, "I thought I'd have to deal with Inspector Fort." He vigorously shook Vernon's hand before taking his seat. Rhone Gather followed behind his father and smiled in my direction. He shook Vernon's hand also before sitting.

    "Well, Lord Gather, I won't keep you long." Vernon said.

    "Certainly!"*

    "We know that you were the first to arrive at the door of Lord Lockridge's room when the gunshots went off. By any chance were you out of bed before hand?"

    "Yes! I had to go to the bathroom, unfortunately. I was returning to my room when I heard the shots. I ran to Lockridge's door, only to find it locked, and was joined shortly be my son. It really is an awful tragedy."*

    "It is," Vernon agreed, "Lord Gather by any chance did you hear anything while you were up?"*

    Gather's closed his eyes for a second and a look of deep contemplation spread across his face, "I heard some news in the west wing. A little further down from Lord Lockridge's room. Towards Master Darren's room." Gather smiled at me when he mentioned my name.*

    "Thank you Lord Gather. I have only one final question," Vernon closed the folder and leant in towards Gather, "Who becomes Lord of Solar as Lockridge is dead?"

    Gather burst out laughing. He tapped the table with his hand, "Vernon I hope your not assuming that I killed Lord Lockridge. I believe young Master Darren will become Lord of Solar when he comes of age. Until then Lockridge's wife shall maintain the position. It don't get anything from this." I knew this already. I understood that one day I'd become Lord of Solar, but Vernon's face was still very cold.

    "I know that - but you become Lord Protector! You're granted limited power over internal affairs and the power to veto and remove laws and bills!" Vernon snapped.

    Gather's face turned red. The laughing stopped and the smile vanished. He stared into Vernon's eyes. Rhone slouched in his chair. Seeing a well built, twenty-year old man slouch is normally not a good sign.

    "I didn't kill Lord Lockridge!" Gather roared.*

    "I believe you had the most to gain!" Vernon retorted. Both men suddenly stood up. Lord Gather sent his chair crashing to the ground in the process, "You would've made a small fortune as Lord Protector! Much more than now! That screams motive to me?"

    "Mr Curtain do not anger me! I had nothing to do with Lockridge's death! We were great friends! And you have no evidence to prove I had any part in this!" Gather was wildly shaking his fists in the air. Both men looked very angry. It could've been fisticuffs at dawn. I joined Rhone and began slouching down below the table, Eevee cowering at my feet.

    "I am leaving now Vernon! Try to find anything on me!" Gather screamed as he rushed out the door. His thundering footsteps on the stairs and landing could be heard from the drawing room. We even heard voices and slamming of doors.

    Vernon slumped in his chair too. His face was red and he was balancing his head in his hands. I looked over at Rhone, who slowly began to readjust in his chair. 'Abandoned' he mouthed to me. I smiled. Rhone was always kind-hearted to others.*

    "Vernon?" Rhone whispered. Vernon's head shot up. His face had lost it's serious edge, but under the surface you could see he was angry. "Can I make a confession?" Rhone asked.

    "A confession?" Vernon repeated. He was very interested now - as was I!

    "Yeah," Rhone began rubbing the back of his neck, "I was the person, my dad heard, in the west wing."

    Vernon nodded: "I know."*

    Rhone jumped, "How! I.. I... We kept it secret?"

    "Secret?" I asked.*

    Vernon shook his head, "Rhone went to see Cassandra two nights ago."

    My jaw dropped again. Rhone was seeing Cassandra. Rhone slouched in his chair again. I started shaking my head: torn between being shocked at how they kept their relationship secret and being happy for my sister.

    "Please.. Don't tell my dad.." Rhone murmured. Vernon mimed locking his lips and nodded as well, my face beaming.*

    "Rhone can you tell me anything else?" Vernon asked.

    "Yeah. I saw Persephone Rouge leaving her room at around twenty to twelve. She said she was going to the bathroom."*

    Vernon thanked Rhone before escorting him to the door. He shook Rhone's hand before saying goodbye. He whispered something to Buttons as he came back into the drawing room. He smiled over at me and raised his hand. A familiar high-five gesture. I slapped his hand before getting ready to ask a few questions of my own.

    "You happy then?"

    "Delighted." He said.

    "So, let me guess, that argument with Gather was your ploy. Get him angry in hope he'd let something slip?"

    "Bingo!" Vernon replied, "Gather is normally very tight lipped and I can see he has a motive to killing Lockridge. But I also needed him to leave without Rhone. Which he wouldn't have done if he wasn't angry,"

    "Ahh, that makes sense."

    "Now, I have one final job for you."

    "Sure. What is it?"

    "Go ask your sister about Rhone's alibi."

    That took me by complete surprise: "What! You don't trust him?"*

    "I trust him. But I want Cassandra to clarify his alibi."

    "O.K. But I'm telling you he's got nothing to do with it." I pushed my chair back and picked up Eevee.*

    "We'll see."

    I walked towards the door and grabbed the handle. Twisting the metal handle downwards I remembered Persephone Rouge: "What about.." I began, but Vernon was still ahead of me.

    "She's on her way now. I'll question her."

    "O.K. Just ask her one thing."*

    Vernon's brow furrowed again: "What?"

    "Ask her what see had in her hand when she saw me on the landing." I said as I closed the door behind me.

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  10. #10
    Registered User Heartz's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Bháis

    Here's the penultimate chapter of A Bháis! We're reaching the end! Hope you guys enjoy the chapter :^]



    "Who is is?" Cassandra shouted from her side of the door. I could tell she was angry at being disturbed because I could hear her hair dryer roaring.

    "It's me!" I screamed. The hair dryer came to an abrupt stop. I heard footsteps on the opposite side of the door. The lock disengaged and Cassandra opened the door.

    "What's up?" She asked. I simply pushed past her and jumped on the edge of her bed, "What are you doing?"

    "Is it true?" I sputtered.

    "What?"

    "You and Rhone!" I blurted out. Cassandra's eyes opened wide and she slowly put down the brush she held on her desk.

    "How did.." She struggled to say anything.

    I tapped the bed beside me: "He told me and Vernon when we interviewed him. How long has this been going on for?"

    "Not long," Cassandra taking the place next to me, "It started, maybe, two months ago?"

    "And?"

    "And what?"

    "Do you like him? Is he the one?" Me and Cassandra always talked this way openly to each other. We had a certain bond - however strange. Cassandra would fall in love and then repeat everything to me. Cassandra would later fall out of love and we'd have to hate whoever the 'dumper' or 'dumpee' was.

    "I'm not sure. But I really like him. He's kind, and sweet, and intelligent. He makes me laugh and smile. And his abs! Did you see his abs?"

    "Way too much info!" I said, tapping her on the shoulder. We both burst out laughing.

    "Yeah, I think he's the guy Darren."

    "Well, I have to ask you something then," The atmosphere suddenly was darker. Cassandra cocked her head and her brow furrowed just like Vernon's, "Was he with you the night dad died?"

    Cassandra put her hands over her face and her breathing became ragged: "Yeah. Why?"

    "Vernon needed to check his alibi." I rubbed her back slowly, "I don't think he trusted Rhone as much as we do."

    "No, no, no!" Cassandra said. She shook herself and started pacing the room frantically, "Vernon thinks he might've killed dad."

    "Cass no.."

    "He does! Vernon thinks that dad would've disapproved of Rhone and Rhone killed him to make sure that we could be together. Oh.."*

    "Cassandra!" I snapped. She looked at me. Tears filled her eyes and she came over for a hug, "If Rhone was with you he couldn't have done it. O.K.?"

    I handed her a tissue and she dried her eyes. "Thanks Darren."

    "That's O.K."

    Just then there was a loud knock at the door. I smiled at Cassandra before opening the door. Buttons stood on the other side.

    "Darren, Vernon wants you and Cassandra down stairs now. Militigh is asking everyone to come to the main hall."

    "O.K." I knew what this meant. Buttons nodded and gave a small bow towards Cassandra before leaving. I told her to get dress quickly. I told I'd explain on the way to the hall. I picked up Eevee, left the room and guarded the door. A few minutes later Cassandra emerged.

    "What's going on Darren?"

    "Militigh is gonna read the Will now." I said rushing down the stairs.

    "Now!"

    "Apparently!"

    When we arrived at the hall Militigh and Vernon were standing by the door. Vernon nodded to me and Cassandra.

    "Are you reading the Will now Mr. Militigh?" Cassandra asked with all her grace and composure regained.

    "Yes Lady Cassandra. If ye would be so kind as to take your seats by your mother?"

    We nodded and made our way to the top of the hall. A small brown lectern was placed in front of everyone, obviously where Militigh would read the Will. The hall was full of people. Every guest, every servant and every friend of my father's was here. I took my seat with Vernon to my left and Cassandra to my right. Further right was Nina and Adele.

    I looked back when I heard the heavy doors of the hall closing. I placed Eevee under my chair as Militigh took his position by the lectern and revealed a small, brown envelope from a pocket inside his jacket. He gently opened up the letter and and laid the contents out on the lectern.

    "Goodevening everybody and may I welcome you all here today. This," He said holding a white sheet aloft, "is the last Will and Testimony of Lord Damien Simon Lockridge. All words printed here are the words of Lord Lockridge and all of his testimonies and trusts come into play on this day."

    He opened the folded sheet and began to read: "I Lord Damien Simon Lockridge leave the following to the workers, who served at Solar Manor: each will receive two thousand Poké and will be guaranteed employment under the new Lord of Solar. To my good friend and college Dr Maxwell Power I leave a trust of six thousand Poké, as a token of my appreciation. To my beautiful daughter Nina I leave a trust of sixteen thousand Poké to be used to cover college expanses and education. I also leave a further two thousand Poké to be used in what ever way that pleases her."

    Nina smiled down at me and Cassandra. She mouthed 'I have two thousand Poké! I'm rich!"

    "To my eldest child and gracious daughter Cassandra I leave a trust of sixteen thousand Poké to be used to cover college expanses and education. I also leave a further two thousand Poké to be used in what ever way that pleases her."

    Cassandra beamed down at Nina, 'I'm rich too!"

    "in my absence my wife, shall be Lady of Solar until such a time as Darren is old enough to receive the position. He will be then pronounced as Lord Darren Lockridge of Solar and will choose his own Deputy-Lord and shall rule the Manor till death or passing the title to his next of kin."

    Cassandra grabbed my arm and shook it vigorously, clearly excited about the idea of me becoming Lord of Solar. I smiled back, enjoying the thought.

    "Finally I ask Lord Gather to remain as Deputy-Lord of Solar until Darren becomes Lord of this city. Afterwards you may draw on a trust of four thousand Poké."

    The room fell quiet as Militigh finished the the remaining lawful pieces of the Will. I heard a grumble somewhere behind me and felt Eevee pressing against my leg. A sudden crash of chairs echoed around the quiet room. Nina gave a small yelp and Vernon was standing already.

    "You... You... You did something," Gather roared, "You changed that Will somehow! I witnessed Lord Lockridge's Will and I... I saw the final paragraphs about me! That wasn't what Lord Lockridge wrote!"

    "Lord Gather, that is Lord Lockridge's Will. I lead no hand on it! And furthermore you will not address the Lady of Solar in this manner!" Adele snapped back.

    Lord Gather's face was red and his breathing ragged. He tried to put sentences together but was failing to utter anything than a few words. I reached down and grabbed Eevee, who buried herself in my chest. Vernon took him by the arm while Rhone grabbed his father's other arm. They escorted him out of the hall. Gather's mumbled tone could still be heard even after he left the hall.

    "Yikes! Gather's real anger!' Nina said sarcastically, "He mustn't have liked the Will?"

    "No." My mind flashes back to when Gather got mad early. How Vernon made him anger so he'd forget about Rhone. How Vernon tried to get information from him by making him cross. Had Gather just left something slip? Was he expecting more from the Will?

    "What's up?" Cassandra asked. She pulled out a chair for me. I sat down and put Eevee on my lap. Eevee gazed up at me, her head bent back, and a puzzled look on her face.

    "Vernon made Gather really angry earlier, so he'd drop his guard and hopefully let some information slip," I said.*

    "So you think he might've left something slip now?" Cassandra asked, "That he really was expecting more from the Will and that would be his driving motive to killing dad."

    "Yeah. That's what I'm thinking! The Will said that Gather would remain as Deputy-Lord! It doesn't mention becoming Lord Protector! What if..."

    Cassandra wrapped her hands around mine and looked me in the eyes: "That's not for us to decide. Vernon said he'd figure it out and he will. Try not to get too worked up about it."

    I nodded slowly. Cassandra was right. Vernon knew what he was doing - no matter how strange his methods were: "You're right. Sorry, it's just the last few days have been whirlwinds. I don't know where to look, what to think, or who to trust."

    "I know, over the last few days I've been up and down. I've had highs and lows. But somehow I'm not so overwhelmed by this," Cassandra admitted, "It's like dad dies and everything is torn apart. But then there's Rhone, whose filled that gap - sorta? D'you understand?"

    "Yeah, I do," Cassandra words rang true with me. I felt the same way, but I never understood how to explain it, "Dad's gone but Vernon's here. It's like... Strange."

    "I know! Someone's bound to be looking out for us? Right?"*

    My moment with Cassandra was shattered suddenly by Nina abruptly bashing her hands against the table: "Stop being such pessimists! Let's look on the brighter side! What will I spend two thousand Poké on?"*

    Cassandra and I burst out laughing. Nina looked confused as to why we were laughing. We spent a while debating what Nina's money should be spent on: new stables for Ponyta and a whole new wardrobe was discussed. The discussion came to an end when Militigh arrived with a brown envelope.

    "Master Darren, may I give this to you?" Militigh asked, placing the brown envelope on the table in front of me.

    I took the envelope off the table: "What is it?"

    "I'm not sure," Militigh said, "It was left on my desk by your father the day he died. He left a letter for me saying that it was to b given to you on his death."

    "Thanks Adaimh." Militigh nodded his head and took his leave. I slipped my fingers under the flap of the envelope and broke the seal. Inside the envelope was a torn piece of paper. I pulled the paper out, intrigued. Written on the paper was a single sentence: You will be Lord

    I passed the letter to Cassandra: "What's up with this?" Cassandra flipped the paper over and over in her fingers.

    "I don't know. What's the point in telling you this? We all knew that one day you'd become Lord of Solar?" Cassandra wondered, as she handed back the paper.

    "Maybe you should show it to Vernon?" Nina piped up.

    "Yeah! I will!" I said, jumping from my seat, "I'll see you guys later!" I stuffed the paper in my pocket and grabbed Eevee from the floor. I rushed into the foyer and found Vernon speaking to Rhone.

    "Vernon! Vernon!" I roared, running over, "Look at this!"

    "What's wrong! Slow down!" Vernon said, raising his hands to stop me from running into him.

    I handed him the piece of paper from my pocket: "Read this!"

    Vernon read the phrase over and over, mouthing the words. Repeating Cassandra's words Vernon asked: "Why would your father tell you this?"

    Suddenly Vernon's mouth opened and his eyes flashed wide, "Unless..."

    "Unless what?" I asked quickly.

    "Darren, do something for me," Vernon said, "Organize that everyone gathers in the main hall in an hour. Everyone! Adele, Fort, the Gathers, the Powers, Rouge, Buttons and Paulina! Contact Sergeant Marine and tell him it's time! Tell him to get over to the manor with some guards! Got it?"

    "Yeah," I said, confused about what these instructions entailed, "But.."

    "Just do it!" Vernon shouted, rushing for the front door with Umbreon on his heels.
    Last edited by Heartz; 12th July 2012 at 05:16 AM.

    Read the Final Chapter of A Bháis
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Bháis - The Final Chapter

    Here's the Ulitimate Part of A Bháis - the final chapter! Thanks to all of you who read this story! Hope to write again soon!

    *


    "Thank you, Sergeant Marine, for arriving in such a short space of time!" I reached out my hand and shook the Sergeant's outstretched hand.

    "When I heard it was yourself that called I rushed over. Vernon and I have been friends since college, so, I'm happy to help!" Marine said, signing papers, "Besides I'd do anything to help solve your father's case."

    "Thank you," I said smiling. Marine was a plump, short man with greying hair and grey eyes. His outfit was a bright, pastel blue and gold insignias hung from his shoulders and pockets. He looked odd amongst the police wearing raven black suits, but he fitted in amongst the guards with yellow, luminous costumes.

    Marine had arrived within a few minutes of me contacting the police station in Solar alongside forty policemen. Four armed policemen arrived shortly afterwards. The Manor was now a military base: men dressed in luminous clothes with guns over their shoulders, women with clipboards speaking into earpieces and every type of Pokémon swarmed the foyer. I felt really strange being part of this. Marine and I stood beside the main hall - like generals or fools playing a silly game. Every time Marine got some information it was passed to me and I was consulted on every action and positioning of the police. I made me wonder about my life as Lord of Solar.

    With the help of Buttons and Paulina, I arranged for all the guests to be in the main hall and we were now waiting on the ever-controversial, Mr Vernon Curtain. Vernon had left quickly when I showed him the fragment of paper with 'You will be Lord' written on it. With all the guests sitting in the hall, Vernon was last to arrive. And he was taking his bloody time!

    When he did finally arrive, the sound of his cane on the floor echoed around the hall: "Sorry to keep you waiting Sergeant." Vernon bellowed across to us.

    "I'm used to waiting Vernon," Marine replied, shaking Vernon's hand, "How are you keeping old friend?"

    "I'm good, Sergeant, I'm good," Vernon exchanged a few words with Marine before turning to me, "Darren did you get everyone into the hall?"

    "Yeah, everyone's there," I answered, "They're a little frustrated but at least they're there!"

    "Good," Vernon said, putting his hands on my shoulders, "I need to tell you something first before we go in?"*

    "Yeah, what's up?"

    "Do you want to be there when I reveal your father's killer. You don't have of you don't want? It's only a theory that I have?'," Vernon put an emphasis on the word theory. His tone was warm and compassionate. His eyes looked concerned - concerned about me.

    "I do. I want to be there," I said, "I can't live not knowing what happened to my dad. I want to know."

    Vernon beamed down at me: "I won't stop you. Let's go." He pointed towards the doors and signaled to Marine. Two armed men marched over and stood beside us. Two other men opened the doors and Vernon and I walked in.

    Everyone was sitting around in a circle. I saw Cassandra sitting next to Adele and the Powers. Rouge and the Gathers sat opposite to them and Fort stood, glaring out the window. As the two large doors closed and both men took their positions, everyone turned and looked at us.

    Fort immediately came over: "Curtain I refuse to be here, trapped like a a wild animal! I refuse to watch my men turn on me! If those men don't leave," Fort roared pointing at the armed police by the door, "I leave!"

    Vernon glared into Fort's eyes: "Try it!" Vernon taunted. Fort looked at the guards, grunted, and return to the window. I saw Umbreon sitting beneath the windowsill, growling lowly.

    After taking a seat next to Rouge, the only available seat, Vernon addressed everyone: "Ladies and Gentlemen, as you all know, I came here firstly to be with my godson, Master Darren Lockridge. But unfortunate events have interwoven us into a unfortunate murder case..."

    "It was not murder, Curtain!" Fort screamed, "I am telling you! It's not murder!"

    "Inspector Fort, now it is my turn to speak, keep all your questions till later!" Vernon retorted quickly. Fort immediately recoiled, "As I was saying the death of Lord Lockridge was an unfortunate event that shook everyone here. I was asked by Master Darren to investigate - and so I went straight to Lord Lockridge's room. There I found these puzzling factors: first, too little blood; secondly, the body positioned in a strange fashion; and thirdly, a stain on one of the pillows near the window."

    "To take the first pieces of information first. Using them I can affirmatively say that Lord Lockridge was murdered. Isn't that right Mrs Power?" A stir of excitement and horror spread across the room. Mrs Power looked horrified, "Mrs Power told me why it couldn't have been suicide." Mrs Power left out a sigh of relief and I saw her squeezing Dr Power's hand tightly.

    "Mrs Power confirmed that the amount of blood and the positioning of the body, proved that someone faked his suicide. This also coincides with the results of the autopsy - which confirmed he was murdered!"

    "But the autopsy results aren't ready yet?" Adele queried.

    "Well, I borrowed the only copy, so they told you they weren't ready!" Vernon finally admitted. He looked at one of the guards, who brought forward a brown folder. Vernon tossed the folder to Adele: "They're the autopsy results!"

    "The autopsy confirms he was murdered - but doesn't reveal the method. So we turn to the stain found in Lord Lockridge's room. One pillow, found next to the window, had a wet patch in the middle of it. So, we can conclude that Lord Lockridge was smothered and died of suffocation."

    "Suddenly the case takes on a whole new life. Looking around at those gathered here today, one would say that Lord Gather, Rhone Gather or Inspector Fort would be the only ones with the strength to overcome Lord Lockridge? Correct, Ladies? But, what if Lord Lockridge was unconscious?"

    Another stir of excitement spread around the room: "But, Lord Lockridge couldn't have been unconscious? Could he?" Cassandra asked, her face white.

    "Not under normal circumstances," Vernon admitted, "however if he was drugged?"

    Everyone gasped! Drugged? Who'd drug Lord Lockridge? Who could've drugged Lord Lockridge?

    "Lady Adele didn't know till the morning after, that her husband had died because every night she takes a sedative - secobarbital - sometimes called the red drug. Right, Miss Rouge?"

    Rouge face was steeled and wore a deadpan expression: "That is correct."

    "Yes, it is because you also take secobarbital and first advised it Lady Adele many years ago. But then your relationship turned sour." Vernon looked straight at me and mouthed 'There's your answer'. I understood straight away. Rouge must've had her own case of secobarbital the night of the murder and that's what I saw in her hand.

    "So, secobarbital is clearly available here in the Manor. The murderer could've easily stolen some secobarbital from either Lady Eveerwith or Miss Rouge, drugged Lord Lockridge and then smothered him, before firing a shot to ensure it looks like a suicide."

    "However, so far we can't conclude who killed Lord Lockridge, only the method. Therefore I couldn't arrive at a conclusion without more evidence. And tonight, on the night the Will is read, I found the missing link."

    Vernon reached into his pocket and pulled out two crumpled pieces of paper. He unfolded them and held them high in the air.

    I leaned forward on my chair. What had Vernon found when he was away?*

    "Lord Lockridge left a message for Master Darren alongside his Will," Vernon said revealing the ripped piece of paper with the handwriting on it. "'You will be Lord'. Here the message ends. The writer must've been interrupted, or the recipient ripped the whole letter. Because, why would Lord Lockridge tell Master Darren this? Master Darren knows he will become Lord of Solar when he comes of age."

    "It's because of that idea, I decided to investigate a hunch of mine. I went to get a sample of someone's handwriting and found them to be the same." Vernon said waving the papers.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you your murderer..." Vernon roared.

    "You git! I'll kill you for this!"

    A chair was overturned. Screams filled the room. A quick movement on Vernon's part sent his assailant crashing to the ground, Vernon's cane clattering against the assailant's knees. A metal object bounced off the floor.

    "The murderer, Ladies and Gentlemen, Inspector Lawrence Fort!" said Vernon with vigor.

    Everyone gazed at Fort, lying on the floor, struggling beneath Umbreon to reach the gun that he had lost. Fort roared and screamed, whilst the armed guards removed the weapon from the room and handcuffed him.*

    Cassandra came over to me as Fort was being restrained. She grabbed my hand and I saw tears rolling down her face. She looked really upset over the situation.

    Vernon watched Fort intently as he struggled. Adele stood beside him. She looked tired and tearful: "What would drive Inspector Fort to do such a thing? He was very close to my late husband?"

    "Many things can twist a man's arm," Vernon replied without looking at her, "Alcohol and other substances can taint the mind, jealousy and revenge can spur a man to vicious acts, and love is the most potent corrupter of them all."

    "What ever do you mean?" Adele sputtered.

    "Well, it's not Inspector's Fort handwriting?" Vernon snapped showing Adele the pieces the papers.

    Adele face steeled and she glared at Vernon: "How?"

    "When I realized that Lord Lockridge was murdered I knew that he must've been under the influence of some substance, otherwise we would've heard a struggle from his room. So, I looked for sedatives, but didn't find any. It was then you told me about your prescribed secobarbital - and suddenly everything seemed clearer! I understood the method."

    "I pieced together your relationship with Inspector Fort when I saw both of you talking quietly the morning of the murder. Inspector Fort was so adamant that Lord Lockridge committed suicide, that it became obvious he was covering something up."

    "Your note to Inspector Fort was the final nail in this case's coffin. Lord Gather was furious after the reading of the Will. After everything that had happened he wasn't named Lord Protector by Lord Lockridge - which means that you could've named your own Lord Protector!"

    "Somehow this note found it's way, ripped and shredded, to Lord Lockridge, who realized that something was wrong. He made sure Master Darren would get the note by putting it with his Will."

    "Well, Vernon, you must be thinking your very clever?" Adele shrugged, an evil smirk on her face, "Well, I'm not finished! Gardevoir!"

    Gardevoir appeared suddenly behind Vernon. With a wave of her hands Vernon went crashing into the wall. Umbreon roared and charged Gardevoir, toxins surrounding its's body. Gardevoir closed it's eyes and created many multicolored leaves, before firing them at Umbreon. Umbreon whimpered in pain and retreated slightly.

    "You monster!" someone cried out, "You horrible, thoughtless monster!"

    Cassandra was walking towards Adele screaming. Tears were flooding down her face. Adele just laughed and pointed at Cassandra. Gardevoir raised her arms again.

    "No!" I roared.

    Gardevoir abruptly fell to ground. A loud band was heard and everyone dropped to the floor. When I looked up I saw Sergeant Marine standing over a limp Gardevoir, a huge Pokémon sitting on her chest.

    Marine was helping Vernon to his feet, as everyone got up, stunned by the hours events.

    "Mr Curtain, shall I arrest Lady Eveerwith for accessory-to-murder and assault of a citizen?" Marine questioned.

    Vernon nodded, balancing himself on his cane and against the wall: "I think so."


    ****************************************



    "How are you doing?" Vernon asked.

    "I'm good. How's your arm?" I replied, pointing at the sling he now wore.

    "Fine," Vernon smiled, swinging his arm round, "It's only a small fracture. It should be back to normal within a few weeks."

    Vernon sat down next to me. After Sergeant Marine had arrested both Adele and Fort, and has Aggron had dealt with Gardevoir, I had went to the garden to relax.

    But it's hard to relax after you find your father's murderer, be told your stepmother had planned it all, watch your uncle be fired against a wall and witness a giant, metallic bowling ball plow into a Gardevoir-shaped pin.

    "You know what this means, right?" Vernon asked, his tone much lower.

    "What?"

    "Now Adele has been arrested, you immediately become Lord of Solar."

    I slumped back into the grass. Another thing I didn't really need to contemplate right now.

    "This means your life is going to start all over again. You get the chance to write your name into the history books. Be the best Lord Solar has ever seen." Vernon said.

    "Yeah, I guess your right." A huge weight lifting from my shoulders. I would be Lord of Solar. I imagined attending all the functions, openings and tournaments my father attended. With a bit of help I could do all of that, and maybe more.

    I pushed myself up slightly: "I'm looking forward to being Lord now, Vernon. Lord Darren Lockridge of Solar!"

    Read the Final Chapter of A Bháis
    My thanks to Blazaking and Blue Dragon for my banners


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