starring Hypnotic Haylee
written by princess indigo
Goodnight Moon is a fantasy adventure series inspired by Hypnotic Haylee. Combining Her ever burgeoning world with the personal creative work of Her devoted pet princess indigo.
Goodnight Moon: The House on Gordon Square Part One
A large pale wolf’s moon hung over London. The sky was clear and a deep unfettered blue covered the old city. It was a busy night, the warm air bringing throngs of people out from their usual hiding places.
As she often found herself doing these days, Princess Indigo glanced out of the first floor window of her house on Gordon Square to find a black Gothic carriage drawn by two raven black horses parked on the far opposite side of the square.
The solid silver collar around her neck became visible once more and glowed brightly. Telling her it wasn’t just a messenger this time, causing a small burst of fireworks in the centre of the Princess chest.
She showered hurriedly, pulled something black expensive silk and short from her wardrobe. Almost forgetting she whirled round and pulled a long narrow black bag from underneath her bed then stood it by the doorway ready for her imminent departure. Followed by two minutes of agonising indecision about what shoes to wear. She picked a pair of platforms, grabbed the narrow bag, put on some black lipstick and smiled at the reason why as she galloped down the stairs to greet her visitors.
A lot had happened since her first encounter with Goddess Haylee in Brooklyn. Whether it was Milan, Moscow or Madagascar. On a photo shoot, a domination session, or on the way to visit Lisa Doll or the others, whenever the Princess was travelling something would happen. She never knew what, when or for how long.
Sometimes there would just be a footstep in the room next door, a letter H spray painted on a hotel lobby wall. Then some days she would be in an elevator to find Goddess Haylee standing next to her. More often than not she would be in a luxury hotel bed curled up with her duvet, a familiar disembodied voice would fill the room and the collar around her neck would begin to glow in the darkness. Then she would lose herself entirely to the hypnotic, spellbinding voice that filled her mind.
One morning she had awoken, drawn her curtains and to her shock seen a familiar dark figure in the small park opposite her London home. She ran downstairs in her robe and training shoes only to find the figure gone and the word ‘Soon’ carved into the park bench nearest to where the Goddess had been standing. That is how it had begun.
Gordon Square was in the heart of Bloomsbury, one of many Georgian squares in the district, with a park in the centre. Near the British Museum, the ground floors of its building are covered in white, with fake white columns and divisions running along the higher storeys of these old houses. Complete with iron railings, old fashioned street lamps and trees two centuries old.
The Princess had been drawn to bohemian Bloomsbury history via the film Carrington. Rather than the tragic story of Dora Carrington it was Jonathan Pryce’s portrayal of the writer Lytton Strachey that she had fallen in love with. This handsome, acerbic, difficult, relentlessly sarcastic, effeminate man, with his rounded spectacles, huge bushy beard, labyrinth of a brain and caustic wit had been irresistible.
The Princess had immersed herself in the biographies of the Bloomsbury group, and the mutual lovers that were part of Carrington’s and Strachey’s unconventional union. When one of her more wealthy slaves had said he owned a property in Bloomsbury she made him an offer he could’nt refuse.
Only after she had moved in had she discovered that Lytton Strachey had lived at number 51 Gordon Square and from then on she always glanced at the front door affectionately whenever she went by. ‘I once proposed to Virginia Woolf,’ Lytton had famously remarked, ‘I was terrified she was going to say yes.’
At first Goddess Haylee began to appear in Gordon Square at random intervals on Her own. As these fleeting visits continued, the Goddess started to arrive with servants, companions and devotees. All the while the Princess began to fall deeper and deeper under Goddess Haylee’s bewitching spell. Then one bright early frosty morning Goddess Haylee had appeared with Her black carriage, and a full entourage of fifty or sixty acolytes of various description.
Leaving the house as quickly as her shoes would allow, the Princess slammed the door behind her, paused only to run her hand over the bonnet of her purple Rolls Royce and crossed the road walked hurriedly to the wrought iron gates and entered the park.
Goddess Haylee stood there enigmatically waiting for her, as if all of London belonged to Her. Their eyes locked together as the Princess approached and the Goddess smiled deliciously as without a word the flame haired Englishwoman knelt at Her feet.
‘I have missed you, my Goddess.’ the Princess said breathlessly with her head bowed and kissed the feet in front of her.
‘Rise My sweet princess, let Me look at you.’ said the soft seductive voice of the Goddess in the warm evening air, all resplendent in a long gown of lace and silk, Her long black hair shining in the moonlight.
The princess rose, slowly lifted her gaze and looked deep into the glowing green eyes of Goddess Haylee who looked her up and down with a smile.
‘London…’ said Goddess Haylee, ‘so many different faces…an old place and an old heart. It has seen many things.’ said the Goddess suggestively.
‘It is full of old souls.’ replied the princess, her eyes still fixed on those of Goddess Haylee and they held each other’s gaze silently for several minutes without a word.
‘I see you have completed the errand I sent you on.’ Goddess Haylee spoke breaking their mutual reverie, ‘What did it cost you?’
‘A favour.’ replied the princess with a small immodest smile.
‘Explain.’ Goddess Haylee said slowly with a mischievous smile of Her own.
The princess stepped forward and turned her head slightly to the right, shifting her long hair of flame and revealing a love bite on her neck. Goddess Haylee beckoned with Her index finger and the princess drew even closer.
The Goddess reached up, brushed the princess hair over her shoulder, then ran Her fingers slowly over the mark on the princess neck. There was a heavy exhale of pleasure from the princess mouth and her little English heart hammered in her chest as Goddess Haylee slowly and deliberately repeated the movement in a circular motion.
Goddess Haylee closed Her eyes and reached into the princess mind. Glimpsing a palace in a city far far away, deep in an ancient forest. A regal bedchamber and a Queen divested of her usual finery, her mouth at the princess neck, two sets of wings trembling and a regal voice saying a name the Goddess did not recognise.
‘The Queen of the Fae…’ said Goddess Haylee with a heavy breath of Her own, Her fingers widening their touch reaching up to the most sensitive part of the princess neck causing the silver collar around it to become hot, ‘She said a name I have not heard you called before.’
‘I have known her in her different guises since I began my journey. Before I was even the princess…’ whispered the princess barely able to get the words out. ‘When Your name was mentioned she gave a quite particular smile.’
‘I’m sure she did.’ said Goddess Haylee with a particular smile of Her own and kissed the princess hard on the centre of her neck, showing no mercy to Her quarry.
At last Goddess Haylee let Her possession go and she fell into Her arms, her eyes firmly shut, a helpless English girl whose heart was gone. There they stood for quite a time, Goddess Haylee gently rocking the princess in Her arms, savouring the moment and the weight of the English body against Her.
‘It is time for us to go.’ whispered Goddess Haylee into the princess ear, kissed her on the cheek and released her once more.
‘Ragriz, attend Me.’ said Goddess Haylee quietly as she smoothed down the princess hair with Her fingers and stroked it affectionately.
The princess looked across the square to see Ragriz stood expectantly by the black carriage. Sat at the driver’s seat of the carriage was Boytoy Max whilst at the rear was Rodimus. Razgriz response to Goddess Haylee’s quiet words was instantaneous and he was quickly at his Goddess side.
‘Razgriz, take this box to Salvatore.’ Goddess Haylee commanded, gently lifting it from the princess shoulder, ‘Take it quickly from My hand. If I am tempted to look at it then I will not bear to part with it and that would defeat the purpose.’
‘Yes Goddess, i am here to serve and hang on Your every single word.’ Razgriz uttered with a bow and took the bag from his Goddess hand.
‘You will make your way to the Circle Line. No matter how long it takes, stay on it and wait for Salvatore. If he has not arrived when they close it stay by the Edgeware Road station entrance and wait for him.’
‘How will I know Salvatore, Goddess?’ replied Razgriz quickly putting the bag over his own shoulder.
‘Imagine if Tom Waits and Ron Perlman had made babies, that is Salvatore.’ was Goddess Haylee’s pertinent answer.
‘Yes Goddess, he will be hard to miss. I will fulfil Your commands to the letter. princess…’ he said with a nod and left forth with.
‘Come my sweet princess, I have planned a midnight feast and your presence is demanded.’ insisted Goddess Haylee.
‘I would be delighted Goddess.’ smiled the princess in the shy enamoured voice that Goddess Haylee always drew out of her.
‘I have a surprise for you before we eat. Come, follow.’ said Goddess Haylee starting towards Her carriage without waiting for the princess response.
Two steps behind Her, the princess followed after the Goddess. She gave a nod and a smile to Boytoy Max and Rodimus as Goddess Haylee opened the door to Her carriage.
From within came a billowing horizontal cloud of grey smoke. Which descended vertically to the ground and began to coalesce into a human shape. The features shifted through a variety of different faces until they almost perfectly resembled David Niven in a tuxedo.
‘Peter! You brought Peter!’ exclaimed the princess and gave Goddess Haylee a spontaneous hug.
‘Peter Smoke has business of his own in old London town.’ smiled Goddess Haylee, ‘Isnt that right Peter?’
‘Yes it is I’m afraid. There are rather a lot of people I owe money to and it’s about time I paid them back or they’re liable to get rather cross.’ he said in the that distinctive cut class voice, scratching himself behind the ear to cover his embarrassment.
‘I dont believe a word of it!’ laughed the princess.
‘Believe what you like! And how is the demimonde of Gordon Square?’ said Peter with a roguish tone in his voice.
‘All the better for the summers air and good company.’ said the princess, squeezed Goddess Haylee’s arm, kissed Her on the cheek and said ‘Thank You.’
‘You are most welcome My sweet one.’ said Goddess Haylee warmly. ‘Now get aboard My carriage as Peter has something he wishes to discuss with Me before we depart.’
‘Yes Goddess, goodbye Peter.’ said the princess and climbed aboard.
Goddess Haylee took Peter Smokes arm and walked the two of them out of earshot.
‘I had a closer look as you asked.’ said Peter Smoke in a hushed voice.
‘And?’ asked the Goddess.
‘I studied her aura very closely, I could’nt see it before, but today with her guard down it was obvious. The princess has been to Hell, on more than one occasion.’ said Peter Smoke slowly. ‘I also caught a glimpse of something else. Which is the reason why You asked me in the first place, isn’t it?’
‘Perhaps.’ replied Goddess Haylee.
‘Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I know that song as well, except when I heard it, it wasn’t sung by Marilyn Manson.’ said Peter Smoke wryly.
‘Peter Smoke, hush.’ said Goddess Haylee touching his arm, ‘I will return with My princess just before twelve, and we will talk of lighter things.’
Razgriz made his way to Euston Square tube station on onto the Circle Line. The station was busy with Londoners out enjoying the summers night and he found himself caught up in a river of people as he made his way down to the platform. It was stuffy and far too frenetic for his taste. He concentrated hard on his mantra’s to his Goddess, and focused on his task. Running the instructions Goddess Haylee had given him round and round in his head. The Edgeware Road train arrived, the carriage was packed to the doors and he had to stand. As it pulled away, he sensed the mad history of London force its way slowly into his mind and felt its many faces inside the tube train with him.
The horses continued along Montague Street and turned a corner until they found somewhere suitable to come to a stop. In the shadow of the British Museum Goddess Haylee stepped out followed quickly by her princess.
‘Rodimus, here.’ said Goddess Haylee quickly, Rodimus hung his tricorn hat on its peg stepped down and was soon at Her side.
‘Yes Goddess?’ Rodimus enquired with a bow.
‘Seek out the handsome Foxavier in the places that I told you. Discover whether he can be of use to Us. Foxavier can be contrary, so you may have to ask him several times.’ said Goddess Haylee with a little sigh.
‘Yes Goddess, I will go immediately.’ replied Rodimus half turning to leave.
‘Wait. I haven’t finished.’ said Goddess Haylee raising a hand.
‘Sorry Goddess.’ said Rodimus turning back.
‘If his maker is there, not matter what she looks like do not refer to her as an angel, or she will most likely kill you. Their kind do not like to be called such. If she picks a quarrel with you leave, that is an order. Do you understand?’ said Goddess Haylee firmly.
‘Not entirely Goddess. I have heard of them, but I have never met one.’ said Rodimus unsettled.
‘They are are very dangerous Rodimus. I met this one before she took refuge with the Scholars. Though I know her handlers, she and I are not friends. The beguiling Foxavier is a different matter but he has a touch of his maker about him and is a contrary soul. She is older even than Salvatore, so be on your guard.’ answered Goddess Haylee.
‘Salvatore is older than the stars!’ exclaimed Rodimus.
‘Indeed he is.’ said Goddess Haylee with a wry smile.
‘I will heed your every word. Is there anything else before I depart?’ he asked.
‘One final thing. Tell Foxavier the object he is searching for is now in my possession.’ was her final word and then Rodimus departed into the shadows.
With a wave of Her hand Goddess Haylee conjured a steaming cup of tea and took it over to Boytoy Max who sat in the driver’s seat of the Carriage.
‘A little Sophorin tea for your trouble my sweet puppy. I have errands to run before our little feast, so enjoy your rest while you can and catch up on your reading. If time allows you may go off on your own and explore the bookshops tomorrow. ’
‘Thank you Mistress Haylee. ’ replied Max, ‘I have a couple of novels stashed in my pockets which will keep me more than occupied.’
‘I thought so.’ said Goddess Haylee with a chuckle. ‘Come my sweet princess, we have things to do before we feast.’ She beckoned and the two of them departed leaving Boytoy Max to his tea and his books.
High above on the roof of the building opposite a female silhouette slowly beat it vast wings. Closer inspection would have revealed that the wings had been grafted on to the woman’s back and grown large to accommodate their new home. The flesh around the graft was sore, implying that marriage was not a happy one.
‘Once there were five houses who went to Andromeda across the glittering darkness. Now there is only one. Foxavier will have no answers for you and I shall have even less.’ said the woman and took to the wing.
Goddess Haylee and her princess stood outside one of the heavily shuttered loading bays of the British Museum. On the wall set into the stone was a small plaque brass plaque. ‘The posthumous collection of Sir Hans Sloane led to the creation of the British Museum 1660-1753.’
‘Jamaica, cocoa and a wife…Passion and chocolate, the world runs on it.’ said Goddess Haylee wistfully.
‘The taste of something sweet.’ said the princess in a voice full of impropriety which caused the Goddess to chuckle and them both to smile.
‘Then let us open this box of old and sweet delight.’said the Goddess and with a subtle movement of Her index finger the reinforced shutters began to open.
With another simple movement of Her finger the silent alarm that had suddenly been tripped turned itself off. Then with a click of Her fingers the security guard that had leapt from his chair sat back down again and slumped over the expensive security system which was now inactive.
‘To Hans and his pretty Elisabeth…’ said Goddess Haylee and crossed the threshold then turned Her head slightly, ‘Come my princess.’ and with another click of Her fingers the lights in the loading bay burst into incandescent life.
The princess followed the Goddess inside. The large loading bay was filled with many items still wrapped in their boxes. Statues, vases, and several thousand small pieces of historical flotsam and jetsam. There was an old mechanical smell to the room and the two of them paused a moment as the shutters closed behind them.
One of the largest cases sat on a table in the far corner began to shake and shudder making a loud disquieting noise in the large room.
‘Sometimes mine does that when it’s in my draw.’ said the princess with a smirk.
‘We better check just in case or it will drain the battery.’ replied Goddess Haylee with a laugh.
The two of them crossed the large concrete floor, the Goddess and her princess walking just behind Her. Reaching the table, the sounds grew louder and carefully the two of them began to unwind the large amount of plastic wrapping that covered it.
Underneath there was a further layer of cardboard and tape to remove until they reached the metal casket underneath it all, which trembled even more violently when exposed to the light. Unfastening the lid the two of them lifted it up and placed it on the table beside the casket. The label on the lid read Chile.
Inside was a human shaped form, covered in dark clay and wrapped up in ancient woven reeds. The mummy began shake even more, causing vegetable matter and small piece of clay to scatter themselves on the floor of the metal casket. Goddess Haylee held Her hand over the clay covered head and closed Her eyes, snapping them open a moment later.
‘No dear one, no. It is time to sleep, we are both far from Chinocorro now. It is time to dream of flowers on the mountainside. Time to lay down in the long grass and watch the sky full of stars. It is time to sleep dear one, time to sleep. Close your eyes and hush. Hush dear one, hush.’ spoke Goddess Haylee with quiet affection, the princess watching Her mouth shape every syllable until the shaking in the casket stopped.
‘Come my princess, let us go about our task.’
Words were being said. Heated words. A very beautiful tall man with tousled dark hair, a firm jaw line and deep blue eyes was arguing with a Japanese woman dressed in long pale grey silk robes.
‘He was in safe keeping. There was no need for him to be taken.’ said Foxavier his distinctive voice reaching down the long stairs of the messy attic flat.
‘I will go where I please and do as I wish.’ said the woman adjusting the katana blades that hung by her side, as she crossed the large squalid room. ‘You should sweep the floor occasionally Foxavier.’
‘There are other matters that require my attention.’ said Foxavier in a pure confident voice that the woman found disarming.
‘What is required for his safe return?’ said Foxavier clearly disliking this petty bargaining.
‘A life for a life, Foxavier. I want the sleeping Scholar.’ said the Lady Grey.
There was a sound of one of the floorboards creaking in the open doorway of the ramshackle flat, both of the current occupants turned towards the sound.
‘It is bad manners to barter with items that you do not have.’ said Rodimus stepping into the room and looking around him disapprovingly, wrinkling his nose up at the smell of damp and the terrible mess.
The Lady Grey drew the largest of her blades and rested it carefully on Rodmimus adam’s apple.
‘She had no right to take it.’ said the Lady Grey calmly but forcefully.
‘She goes where she pleases and does as she wishes.’ responded Rodimus in voice that wondered if he was about to die.
‘Do not try to conceal your name in your thoughts Rodimus! Answer me a question and I will spare your life.’ the woman said her temper finally coming to the fore.
‘You will have to tell me it first.’ he answered as bravely as he could muster.
All the while Foxavier looked at the tip of the blade with an expression that said he fully expected Rodimus head to add to the mess that was already on the carpet.
‘Has your Mistress ever told you, if it was she that created the Five Decks?’ the Lady Grey uttered as if it was the most important question of her life.
‘She has never mentioned it to me.’ laughed Rodimus nervously.
‘Does it really matter if she did?’ laughed Foxavier loudly breaking the tension.
‘It matters to Us!’ exclaimed the Lady Grey withdrawing her blade.
‘There aren’t that many of you left.’ said Foxavier patting the relived looking Rodimus on the shoulder.
‘In that the Scholars and Magi are alike. Clearly my business with you is over Foxavier. As for you Rodimus, tell your Mistress she is lucky I did not part your head from your body.’ the Lady Grey turned and left, with a dismissive wave of her hand the door slammed shut behind her.
‘You have come to ask me for my help haven’t you Rodimus?’ said Foxavier pushing the clutter on the floor out of the way with his foot, reaching down absently and picking one of the many books up from the floor.
‘Yes I have.’ said Rodimus with a clear sense of duty. ‘My Lady is also in search of something that has been lost.’
‘If you can return what was taken, then perhaps I will help you.’ said Foxavier opening a window and looking down at the city below, distracted by all that he saw. ‘Leave me now Rodimus, I have another argument to have before I sleep.’
‘As you wish Foxavier.’ said Rodimus and made his way back down the nine flights of stairs he had come.
They reached the Great Court with its clear criss-cross ceiling with the large circular Reading Room in the centre. The lights were dimmed and beautiful summer night sky looked down upon them filling the space with an eerie magic. They continued walking until they reached the forty foot high Haida totem pole whose dark cedar wood contrasted it pale surroundings.
Goddess Haylee paused and looked up at it. Her gaze moved down each of the carved figures one by one. She recited their name quietly to herself. The princess looked at a nearby display detailing the totem pole and noted that the Goddess added a prefix or suffix to some of the names that had not been recorded. The princess studied Goddess Haylee’s expression intently as She was lost in thought.
The reverie was broken by the arrival of two hesitant security guards approaching from different ends of the Great Court, their clattering footsteps breaking the magical silence.
One was in his late twenties, the other his mid thirties, they came to a stop less than ten feet away from Goddess Haylee and the princess. Slowly they withdrew tazers from their belts and nervously raised them, in a manner that suggested they had seen too many films.
‘Good evening Haylee. You’ve warned before about breaking into this building. The British Museum is not your personal playground. We’re going to have to take you into custody.’ said the oldest man
‘Do not point your weapons at Me Michael, I do not like it.’ replied Goddess Haylee calmly in a soothing manner that echoed through the vast room.
‘Put your ear plugs in lad, she’s at it again.’ the oldest security guard exclaimed.
As the two men reached into their pockets Goddess Haylee curled up the fingers of Her left hand and then flung them outward.
The two men found the ears plugs tumbling out of their grasp and Goddess Haylee chuckled as the tiny little piece of plastic caught fire and melted into charred little lumps.
‘I think thats what you call a fortunate accident.’ said the princess with a smile.
The two men stood up nervously and looked at each other, their tazers this time held by their sides.
‘You’re new. What happened to Edward, I liked Edward?’ Goddess Haylee said with a smile turning to the youngest man.
‘They got someone more reliable.’ the young man replied with a smidgen of arrogance which was all he could muster.
‘Edward developed quite an obsession with you Haylee, but it wasn’t conducive to doing his job.’ answered the older man.
‘I could write him a character reference, perhaps that would help.’ Goddess Haylee responded with a smirk.
‘You look like a nice girl, what are you doing running round the likes of her?’ said the younger man to the princess.
‘How long have you got?’ replied the princess sarcastically.
‘I have many things to do. Turn both around, go back to what you were doing and allow Me to go about My business.’ Goddess Haylee said in syrupy seductive manner.
‘We can’t do that Haylee, you know we can’t.’ the eldest man said shifting his feet.
‘I think you’ll find you can do almost anything if you set your mind to it.’ answered Goddess Haylee Her voice slowing and Her eyes widening.
‘She’s doing it isn’t she, just like you said she would.’ the younger man said nervously.
‘Just relax. Just put all of those little fears and worries out of your mind. Listen to the sound of My voice. The soft warm texture and feel of it. It’s so calming, so distracting. It makes you want to go somewhere quiet and lie down.’ continued Goddess Haylee staring intently at the younger man.
‘I…I dont know…I’m supposed to…’ the man said fuzzily.
‘Just listen…just listen to the sound of My voice.’ said Goddess Haylee stepping closer to him.
‘She’s doing it…she doing it.’ said the younger man, his eyes becoming sleepy.
‘Go home. Go home and sleep.’ Goddess Haylee said quietly and the man quietly put his tazer on the ground, turned and walked away, not looking back.
Goddess Haylee turned toward the older man and stretched out Her hand. The tazer in his grasp tugged itself free, rose and desposited itself in Goddess Haylee’s palm who then placed it in Her robes.
‘Put an end to this folly Michael and in future leave us be. We are not here to plunder the tourist attractions. As fond of you as I am Michael Sonderson do not interfere with My business again or I will lose My temper. In the meantime I suggest you contact Edward and tell him he is reinstated. Are My words understood?’ said the Goddess firmly.
‘Yes.’ replied Michael reluctantly with a sigh, ‘They won’t like it. You’re still not supposed to be in here.’
‘I go where I please Michael and I do as I wish.’ answered Goddess Haylee.
As Her words finished a breeze blew through the Great Court, and the figures of the Goddess and her princess transformed themselves into stacks of leaves. The leaves collapsed and spread themselves across the white floor and Michael found himself alone not for the first time. He looked up to find that the totem pole of the Haida had turned round in its base and was looking at him.
‘What happened by the Unseen sea is happening here. It cannot be stopped. Tell everyone.’ said the nearest head to him, its large wooden mouth moving as it spoke, ‘Gather your loved ones about you run. That is all there is to tell.’ it concluded, its base cracking open sending the forty foot high pole crashing oto the floor.
Within an hour Michael was no longer in the city. His whereabouts are not known.
A blizzard of leaves swept through the underworld of the British Museum. Turning corners, opening doors and twisting down staircases over a century old. Spiralling, undulating and coalescing into the forms of the Goddess and Her disciple.
‘I felt something Goddess. Like someone had thrown a large stone into a pond. I heard a message but could not make out the words.’ said the princess as her senses came into focus.
‘I tried to reach for them but they fell into the darkness beyond My grasp. Things are moving in the depths. Old powers that have been sleeping are waking up. It is the springtime for ancient things that sends forth many a messenger.’ Goddess Haylee declared candidly.
‘All I know of this is rumour and dark fairy tales.’ answered the princess following the Goddess as She began down the long nineteenth century corridor. ‘Is it to do with the king who was killed in London?’
‘Yes, My princesss. Nearly a hundred years ago an ancient and cunning monarch was slain here. His widow has finished grieving and returns to her throne. She has spoken all her curses, all she has left is promises to keep.’ said Goddess Haylee gravely.
‘A widow? I have heard none of this. I do not understand.’ said the princess.
‘Then say a prayer to something old that you never find out.’ remarked Goddess Haylee in a moment of rare terseness stopping suddenly at a section of old redbrick wall. ‘We have reached over destination.’
‘An old bricked up doorway?’ said the princess.
‘One of many.’ replied the Goddess with a gentle click of Her fingers and the bricks that outlined the shape of an old entrance fell to the floor instantly revealing a heavy iron door underneath.
Goddess Haylee turned the little finger of Her left hand in a tiny circle, the lock turned and the creaked open on old hinges. The Goddess stepped over the fallen brickwork, quickly followed by the princess and the door closed itself behind them.
The long red brick room was filled shelves stacked with row upon row of jars of food each with a hand written label. The air was sweet with a menagerie of smells that filled the room. There were old tiles on the floor and an old gas lamp hung from the ceiling spluttered into life for the first time in over a century.
Each of the labels told a story of its own. Ambrosia and Catterwrinkle cake mixture. Bottles of Misbegotten Wine. Saffron hearts and ginger grass sugar biscuits. Glazed lobster apples cut into pieces and wrapped in whole Wendigo leaves and soaked in syrup and Tapra Mint Brandy. Moonglow quarter candy and raspberry glass squares. Tinterminkles and whiddershin apricots.
Hung on the wall was a wishing clock that went all the way up to seventy one. Keeping each jar as fresh as the day it was sealed.
‘I have never seen one, but I have read of them.’ said the princess stepping closer to watch the three pendulums as they swung in different rhythms.
‘They rare now and the lesser ones keep bad time when they are old. I have had this one since…perhaps it is better that I forget.’ said Goddess Haylee looking down at Her feet for a moment.
‘My princess, fetch that box from the far corner and put it on the table through here. It should be empty.’ said the Goddess presently turning Her head and making a small gesture in the direction of the box and then walked through a interior door into a large kitchen complete with a huge old stove.
‘Yes Goddess.’ said the princess with a nod, and followed Goddess Haylee into the kitchen with the exquisite wooden box and placing it on the large kitchen table beneath the shelves.
There were pots, pans and crockery on many shelves. It looked like a room that had seen much use in its time. Ancient smells of meals long past lingered in the air. The princess looked about her, the wheels of her imagination began to turn and she became distracted.
‘Open the box. It is not locked.’ instructed the Goddess, studying the princess with a smile. ‘Now go into the pantry and fetch some olivanders, some phanta-dragons, a box of Sophisticles and three bottles of Somerazarde Wine.
‘Yes Goddess.’ said the princess searching about for the pantry door, locating it to her left and disappearing through it.
Goddess Haylee returned to the previous room and plucked half a dozen jars and boxes from the shelves and deposited them in the box one by one. She then changed Her mind about several of the items and went to exchange them for something more suitable.
As the princess was placing her own items in the box, Goddess Haylee spied a small locket that was hanging from a nail on one of the shelves. She stretched upwards retrieved and opened it. Then giving the small silver object a shake, tiny faded grains of stale fairy dust fell out. The Goddess smiled closed the locket and placed it about Her neck. As She returned to the kitchen, with fresh jars in her hands, the small object glowed as She drew nearer to the princess. The Goddess placed Her items in the box, instructed the princess to follow Her and the two of them departed carrying the box between them.
‘Oh I forgot the ring tailed chocolate!’ exclaimed Goddess Haylee as they lifted the box up an old cast iron flight of stairs, their footstep echoing with every step. They reached one of the square iron landings and paused.
‘I have chocolate to spare sweet Lady.’ said the princess submissively. ‘My house is not far from here.’
‘Then I demand to try a little of your wares before we go on our way.’ said Goddess Haylee turning round to look at the princess with Her magical green eyes.
‘I can do nothing but surrender up what I have to offer and You may consume it at your leisure.’ replied the princess slowly.
‘Have no doubt of that.’ said Goddess Haylee with a wicked smirk, turned around and the two of them continued up the next flight of stairs.
‘Gawd, I love flirting with You.’ said the princess hotly.
‘And I love owning your little English ass!’ exclaimed Goddess Haylee and they burst out laughing as they reached the top of the stairs, both a little drunk on each other’s company.
‘Ssssh, my princess.’ said the Goddess putting a finger to Her lips as they crossed through one door and then another, re-entering the Great Court.
Their playful mood evaporated as they emerged to discover the fate of the Haida totem pole. Approaching cautiously still carrying their box they came to a stop. Discovering someone had rearranged the leaves they had left behind them, to spell out the words ‘The Widow is collecting her debts.’
‘Peter!?’ said the princess in horror.
‘Peter Smoke! Peter Smoke! Why didn’t you tell Me you stubborn man!’ Goddess Haylee said in a loud voice.
The Goddess brought Her hands together in a loud clap. In Her left hand appeared a large staff carved in the manner of the fallen Haida totem pole. ‘We will return to Gordon Square immediately and I shall summon the whole household.’ said the Goddess sternly and banged the staff loudly five times on the floor. The whole building rumbled and priceless artefacts rolled off their stands and break in two as the Goddess, her princess and the box disappeared.
They arrived in the middle of the park of Gordon Square with a loud thunderous crack. Looking around them the usual evening activity was absent. There were no people on the street, no parked cars or sounds of traffic. The earlier summer cacophony had fallen silent.
They were not alone however. A tall blonde man, wearing a thick old fashioned pair of black spectacles stood waiting for them. He wore a distinctive well tailored grey suit and black tie, that made him look like he had stepped out of the 1960’s. He stepped calmly forward and approached them.
‘Who are you!?’ declared Goddess Haylee angrily.
‘Goddess Haylee, princess indigo.’ he said with a nod and a voice that betrayed that he had been born in the heart of London. ‘My name is Francis. They also call me Mr Blink.’
Goodnight Moon: The House On Gordon Square
End of Part One
All fictional characters and related plots (c) Princess Indigo