Author’s note: If you are a new reader, might I recommend you visit here first? This will give you enough story background to follow. If you are a reader who has fallen behind this will give you an instant catch up.
Miss V continues her pursuit of the truth. She is determined to find who is actually responsible for the death of the Reverend Knupp. She feels strongly that Caroline Charming did not do it even tho she baked the pie and is the only official suspect.
Now that Caroline has gone missing, Miss V feels that she too has met with foul play. A theory not shared by her fellow WPD police officers. She has been attacked with great acrimony by some in the force who see her efforts as fruitless and counterproductive.
Undaunted, Miss V follows up even the smallest lead. Today we find her on the way to visit an old gypsy encampment near Brindleton Bay. Scuttle in town has it that the old woman who lives there has keen insight into the dark world.
Some townsfolk reported that they had seen the Princess and that she had been inquiring as to the location of the encampment as she passed thru town.
No one, however, saw her return thru town.
“Halloooo,” a cheerful voice called to Miss V.
Startled out of her enchantment with her surroundings, Miss V looked down to catch the strange sight of an old woman in a pink hat swimming out to meet her.
“Good day Ma’am,” Miss V returned, “might I have a moment of your time?”
“Why of course dearie, the kettle is already on for tea. Come and join me.”
Even tho she was quite odd (Miss V has never been one to judge), they enjoyed an afternoon of tea and chats.
“Yes, Princess Caroline did come by here. She was desperately seeking to reconnect with her deceased lover. I told her that was beyond my abilities and I referred her to Harold.”
“Harold?” Miss V queried.
“Yes, darling, Harold!” The old one continued,” he lives on the south end of this property in a wishing well AND might I add, he is quite powerful and very capable of granting her desire! Once she was off to see Harold, she did not return to me. I assume she got her wish.”
Miss V murmured, “Oh, I see.” But in fact, she did not “see” at all. Things here were so very bizarre.
“Do you think this Harold would grant me an audience?”
“Yes, sweets, you go to see him, but be so very careful. He has lived in that well for thousands of years and he has grown to be quite bad-tempered and is very unpredictable.”
After bidding the old dear adieu and making a promise to return (soon) for tea, Miss V walked back to the south end of the encampment. She was not quite sure what to expect but she was compelled to follow every lead.
“Uhhh, Harold?” Miss V approached the well feeling a bit foolish. She was not at all accustomed to speaking with inanimate objects.
A strange green glow emanated from within the well, as a face appeared above her head. A deep booming voice spoke, “Yes, at your service. What can I do for you?”
The words were friendly enough but the tone put Miss V on edge.
“I am Miss V and I am a consultant for the Windenburg Police Department. I am looking into the death of the Reverand Knupp and disappearance of Caroline Charming. My investigation has led me to you.”
The ground shook and a hot yellow flash of blinding light sprang from the depths of the well and shot out his eyes and mouth.
“I KNOW who you are! How dare you disturb my peace and quiet with such paltry matters as this. Be gone with yourself before you become counted among the missing as well!”
Taking a deep breath, Miss V stepped forward to address him again. “Sir, I only need a moment of your time. Did you speak with her and …….”
An eerie blue smoke began to rise and an unearthly cackle rose from the bowels of the well, making her skin crawl.
A very warm sensation began near her feet .. FIRE!
This was the last straw for Miss V!
“I cannot believe you tried to set me on fire! That is quite enough from you! Now give me an answer before I let you burn up,” she reprimanded as she put the fire out.
“OH alright,” his demeanor was haughty and dismissive, “I saw her and granted her wish. She went on her way quite happily. Now be gone and do not bother me again.”
With a puff of white noxious smelling smoke, he disappeared down into the well.
She attempted to call to him again and again but he did not respond.
“Halloooo dearie,” a cheerful familiar voice sang out.
Miss V was surprised to see her elderly friend waiting for her at the front desk of the WPD. “What are you doing here?”
Miss V knew it must be important for her to venture out of the safety of her encampment and come all the way to Windenburg.
“I have something of utmost urgency to speak to you and your Captain about.”
A few minutes later the two ladies sat at the desk of Officer Theis.
Miss V and Officer Theis listened intently as the quirky old gal began to spin her strange tale.
“Last night,” she turned to Miss V, “right after you left to go speak with Harold, I decided to see if I could find some information from my friends in the netherworld.”
Officer Theis’ eyes widened. He was glad he did NOT have friends in the netherworld.
“As I was communing with them a dazzling blue light shone within my ball. I saw a bear holding a perfect red rose. I was captivated by the purity and beauty of it. Perfect love glowed all around him as he beheld the rose.”
She paused for a moment of reverent reflection.
“THEN all of a sudden a great darkness engulfed the bear with the rose and obliterated the glow of love. Peering out of that darkness was a terrible face. DIABLO! He was pure evil and had no soul. I dropped the ball as his dark eyes seemed to look right at me.”
“I dismissed it all as none of my business. But it would not leave me alone, I knew I must act to protect the bear and the rose.”
Officer Theis was quite alarmed and explained to them the identity of the bear with the red rose and the dark history of Evella’s vendetta against them. **
The old woman quaked in fear at hearing Evella’s name. Her heart went to liquid as she saw pictures the Weasel. “That is him,” she cried, “Diablo!”
“It is true, our investigation has uncovered a number of threats to Bruno and Rose Red. We must call the King and Queen to come here. They need to be informed of this danger immediately. ”
Within the hour the King and Queen sat in a conference room with Officer Theis, Officer Amaro, and Miss V hearing the story of the bear and the red rose in the crystal ball.
Prince was more angry and fearful than he could ever recall being before. This stranger was bringing him such horrific news.
He demanded to know, “How can you know of such things if you are not involved?”
Her heart heavy, Snow was very quiet as she idly sifted thru the evidence pictures on the table.
“Witch, you sent my sister to her death!”
“Stop!” Officer Theis was on his feet! Only Officer Theis could get away with speaking to the King this way.
“This has gotten way out of hand.” Officer Theis was vehement, “No one is making any accusations here. We have innocent lives to protect.”
Prince hung his head woefully, “He is correct! Forgive my outburst. I had no right … ”
There came a loud shriek from the other end of the table. Snow was on her feet and appeared to be in a state of shock.
A picture fell from her hand as she cried out, “It is her! It is her! The one who gave me that apple. Before I was imprisoned by Evella. She was at Bruno and Rose Red’s wedding … the old hag … Harold … they both were there. ”
Just after midnight, Snow and Prince arrive at the home of Bruno and Rose Red with news of the danger.
Rose Red brewed them a pot of hot camomile tea and they settle into the cozy kitchen to discuss the matter.
Snow began, pleading with them to hear, “There is a terrible threat to your lives. Evella and her cohorts are seeking to take your lives. It is now thought that they are the ones responsible for the death of Reverand Knupp and the mysterious disappearance of Auntie Caroline.”
Leaning in towards Bruno she continued, ” You must leave and take Rose Red with you. I have called ahead to the companions of my youth. They are expecting you and will keep you and Rose Red safe once you arrive at their border. The journey will be arduous and you must move in complete concealment. When it is safe to return I will send a message.”
“But my Family,” Bruno began to protest.
“Your family will be sent in secrecy in a few days by a different route,” she assured.
Snow handed him an envelope. “Take nothing with you for it will slow you down. This is enough to get you there and establish a modest home until you return to us.”
All Prince could do is sob. He has never felt such weakness and grief.
“Daddy, Please don’t cry,” Rose entreated her father, “We will be ok. Mother is correct, Bruno and I will leave tonight. I have no doubt that Officer Theis will uncover the belly of this beast and we will be home again very soon!”
Prince and Snow held each other up as their precious children walked out into the night.
The news of Rose Red and Bruno’s sudden departure reaches the weasel quickly .. but not quickly enough to intercept them and give follow.
How did they find out about the plan? Who tipped them off? The thoughts tumble about as the Weasel reckons with this present situation and the plans that went afoul.
Needless to say, Queen Evella is in a rage. She wants them found .. NOW .. and has declared that everyone will pay dearly until they are located and killed!
Leaving her presence, the vile one breathing out a threat, makes a promise to the cosmos, “One day my dear Queen, I will see to YOUR repayment.”
** anyone who wants more on the history of Evella’s hatred of Bruno and Rose Red here are 3 links
**~~~~~~~~ CREDITS ~~~~~~~~**
Nothing too new in credit today so I will take the opportunity to rethank the creators of our two featured guests today:
The indomitable Miss V
and the brave old woman from the gypsy camp (we should have a name her contest)
Once again from the FAB Joanne Bernice (I just love this set)