Horror Story Part 5: The Play (The Queen’s Idle Fancy)

The new scene takes shape as Frederick Waltzcrop, with Camoustra and Frenalto, two of the names from the actual play, my own wicked version of Flotsam and Jetsom, find a place to live while living on Fidalgo Island. What better place than a hand-built, stone castle. There is a real castle house here on the island and I love its whimsical qualities; I also love subverting such whimsy in fictional worlds of my own, creating a home were evil dwells. What does Waltzcrop want? Read and find out . . .

We are all demonic!” —Queen Stormag

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Here is another painting by my father, George Bogdanovitch, and I know there are dozens and dozens more to draw from. His obsessive artistic passion is always inspiring.

To read the very beginning of the tale, and the other sections, just click here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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The Play (The Queen’s Idle Fancy)

by

Justin Bog

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Roger grew antsy alone in his home without the play, without the characters close at hand. He sat at his computer throughout the Sabbath, only stirring when the phone rang in the early evening. He hoped it would be the Belloons, but it was only a solicitor for the local police department fundraiser, a food drive. Someone in the office making calls on a Sunday. We pay for that, Roger thought, allowing his cynical nature to fester.

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There was a small, rectangular, three-bedroom home in the low numbers, middle of the alphabet, designed to resemble a castle, complete with a square turret and a moat in the front with a drawbridge leading to an arched front door made of the sturdiest of woods. The main streets of the town followed the alphabet and the cross streets were all numbered. A Ave and 1st Street began at the water, the town’s marina, and branched out from there. From the modest hilly heights of Fidalgo Island, the castle rested on high bank land up on 7th Street with a Puget Sound view over to Guemes Island; between them the long channel filled with commercial tankers, tugboats, fishing vessels, and recreational boats of all kind, from the simple kayak and row boats to larger million-dollar yachts. Retirees sailed out to Orcas Island and Roche Harbor to picnic and spend summer weekends in party mode. The castle would be perfect for Frederick Waltzcrop’s sabbatical, a long winter turning to a glorious spring debut.

Still wearing his gloves and black long coat, a piece of clothing that looked theatrical, of a different bygone era, Waltzcrop walked up the front walkway and over the drawbridge as if he owned the place. A neighbor across the street came out on her front stoop and placed her hands on her hips as if watching a show. She had hair pulled into a tight updo, approaching a beehive from yesteryear, a style that, unfortunately, was making a comeback. Waltzcrop turned and tipped his hat to her, looked down from his spectacles, his eyes owning darkness in the morning cloud-covered morass.

The man and woman who followed Waltzcrop stopped two feet behind him. They appeared to be in their twenties, to most people. Those who stared at them for any length of time could see cracks in their façade, a longevity map of spidery lines on their hands, around their eyes, branching off from their full lips.

“I’ll want to speak to that woman after our business here is complete. And, only if you believe this necessary, based on your own findings. Later,” Waltzcrop said to the two as he rapped on the castle door. An inventive and creative mind set out to build this gray stone house, his obsession, over ten years time, and mostly by hand. The heavy door opened with a silence built on this compulsive love.

“Yes? What can I do for you?” Gerald Pommeroy gripped his door and wished he had kept the drawbridge closed—and that he had a No Solicitors sign boldly placed. The three people in front of him made him wary, his mouth dried up, and he coughed.

“I only desire a moment of your time. I’m Mr. Frederick Waltzcrop, and these are my associates, Mr. Frenalto and Miss Camoustra. We are in the castle business. I understand you built this beauty all by yourself? What passion you must contain.”

“To honor my wife’s spirit. She wanted to live in a castle with a turret. When she got cancer I put the basic structure together and moved her in. She had a good year. The neighborhood, at first, thought it was the biggest eyesore on the island. Some still do.”

“May we speak inside? I’m interested in anything you have to say, and not only for historical purposes. I’m sure you’ll be quite delighted by a proposal too ambitious not to hear.”

The widower backed into the darker recesses of his in-town castle foyer, and allowed the three strangers to enter. Miss Camoustra stuck out a finger as she passed, stopped to touch his cheek near his left ear and whisked forward to his chin, where she cupped with a tender tightening fist. She moved in for a kiss as Mr. Frenalto closed the door behind them.

The neighbor across the street didn’t witness this kiss, how Gerald Pommeroy was led into his basement (the dirt floor neat as a pin), handed a garden shovel by Mr. Frenalto, and told to dig. The only sound within thick castle walls the sound of dirt flying into a larger earthen pile, the occasional blade hitting stone chips with a chunking effect.

“Frenalto, come here,” Waltzcrop said, calling him out of the dim basement. “Join Camoustra and bring the neighbor across the street some flowers. Tell her we’re new to the neighborhood, family of Mr. Pommeroy’s dead wife. Long lost cousins. We’ll be taking care of Gerald for the foreseeable future, and reveal that his new Alzheimer’s diagnosis is a stark surprise and the remaining family wants to get a leg up on all the preparations. And then ask her if she has any interest in the local theater. Her name is Kate Denisov, and she’s a big, blight-hearted, stage lion. Her suspicious nature will wilt and she’ll talk your ears off. Allow her this. Understand, beyond your own initial conjuring, making her more pliable, she is not to be harmed. Frenalto, I mean it. I’ve waited too many tedious decades of years. She and I, all of us, will become the best of friends.”

“What about him?”

“He’ll dig until told to stop. And then he’ll dig some more. When you return, make sure the drawbridge is in the up position.”

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To read Part 6, simply click HERE!

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And that’s it until next week. I hope you enjoyed this next piece of the puzzle. Waltzcrop is up to no good, and I like that.

Ever,

Justin

p.s. if you want, please know that I enjoy hearing from readers and fans alike . . . your comments on this story and anything about the writing life is welcome.

Sandcastle cover.indd

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6 Responses to “Horror Story Part 5: The Play (The Queen’s Idle Fancy)”

  • Dee

    I don’t think my last comment went through, if it did, delete it freely. I can’t believe I’m hanging (and trying and retrying to spell hang). Gah with the hanging!

    • justin

      I didn’t see a previous comment, Dee! But I always love hearing from you and your opinion is so welcome . . . forgive me for leaving you hanging!

  • Ben Ditty

    Waltzcrop is such a neat name.

    • justin

      I like Waltzcrop too, and he has another name as well . . . ~insert thunder and lightning sound effects~ . . . a name hidden for centuries . . .

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