I let myself sleep in. It was not hard to do.
The events of the previous day ensured that sleep was late in coming. I lived the events repeatedly in my mind, looking for a nuance or a lead and finding nothing. The fact was that Miggins, if that was his name, had spiked my drink. Erestor was too quick to get me a bottle of water; he knew what Miggins was up to. Even if he did not, he isn’t stupid. Erestor’s face is different but he must have known that I would recognise him. How could he not? Once again, he played me for a fool, or tried to. I knew I would not rest until I had official confirmation of Erestor's marital status. If I could not have the psycho then why should some jumped up smirking butler? How was it possible anyway? Perhaps they had been in it together. Perhaps they had both meant to poison me. Erestor saw that I could taste whatever it was in my drink and offered me the bottled water to allay my suspicions. Yes, he saw. He is in it up to his neck. Why would I be anything but not surprised?
I live in a small house by the beach. It sits atop a rock and when the tide is high it seems like an island. No one lives near, and that is how I like it. I wondered how Erestor managed his life. Did he move and live somewhere else every twenty years when the people around about saw that he never looked any older, or did he live the life of a recluse. Was this the hold Miggins had over him? By living so far away, I had managed to live in the same property for eighty years; every twenty years changing my name and selling the house back to myself. I employed a good forger and paid him well for his silence. Morally, it felt easier getting my birth certificates from him, than using those of the dead, and he ensured I had ample documentation for the future; after all, he would not live forever.
Heather strewn moorland rings the back of my property. One road leads to my house and the same road leads back out. Visitors are not welcome. A high wall and electric gates keeps out those who would pry, so I can relax, splendid in my isolation, if I wish. However, I do not want to. Every day I crave contact. Every day the separation hurts more. Every day I wish for the call that will take me over the sea, but it never comes. Are Erestor and I the only elves left? Is this why our paths have crossed or does Erestor have another purpose?
I run a bath; a shower will be too quick. I still need time to think. There is a small shop that makes bath oils to order and so I pour their orange and almond bath oil into the running water. If I close my eyes, I can believe for a split second that I am back in Gondolin. To dream of Imladris is too painful, so I protect myself; I dream of when I was innocent and not subject to the vicious whims of the dark elf. Ecthelion, my friend, you were right when you said that he was the way of madness; but who chooses love? Love chooses us and does it where it will hurt the most.
Enough of this musing. I wash quickly in the hot water and then soak. The random imperfections on the ceiling plaster join up with imaginary lines and become triangles to take my mind away from the events of yesterday. My golden-blond, shoulder length hair hides my pointed ears, although I see that some people pay to have surgery to make their ears that way. Perhaps they want to be elves. Who knows?
After dressing, and a couple of slices of toast and coffee, I make my way out through the house to the garage. The remote controlled door doesn't work. It does not budge. Again I press the remote, but nothing happens, just a judder and a whining noise. Highly irritated, I get out of the car and kick the garage door. There small dark red drips seeping under the base. My knives are already in my hands. I throw faster than a speeding bullet. My senses heightened, I walk silently through the house, moving quietly through a side door. The front door seems the obvious choice and is nearer to the garage; I am not making it easy for anyone. No sounds, no taste on the air; there is nothing fresh, so I can relax.
Nothing prepared me for what I saw next. Miggins is upside down and nailed to my garage door.
I try to feel sorry for him, but what the hell; he tried to poison me so I do not give a damn. Seems like justice to me. He sees me and moans; face pale and deathly white. I tug out the nails in his wrists with a claw hammer and then I do the same with his ankles. He screams and I apologise hundreds of times. He screams so much that I get irritated and tell him to shut the fuck up. Wide eyed, he looks in disbelief before passing out.
He lay on the ground unconscious, so I left him there. I rang the police and the paramedics. They told me to stay where I am. I was not about to go off on a day trip or anything. What it is to be surrounded by fools, they run everything and tell everyone what to do; another reason to sail west. Back outside and Miggins is stirring. He does not have long and it bothers me that there is not enough blood. There should be more, much more.
The folded towel under his head helps him breathe easier, but the gurgling continues. Small foamy flecks streaked with blood fly from his mouth when he coughs; he is drowning. "Who did this to you?" I already know the answer. He can give me confirmation.
Miggins looks at me and gives a strange, satisfied smile. "Erestor." He smirks one last time before giving a final wet gurgle and dying on the ground.
I was wrong. My drink was spiked and I was meant to notice so that I would drink the bottled water, which was drugged so heavily I slept through a man screaming as he was nailed to the garage door. I wondered what sort of low Erestor had sunk to and how his madness had continued unabated. Perhaps I was the one to help him. Perhaps I could not travel across the sea until I had. Perhaps I should stop running and face my fear. Perhaps Erestor was not to blame at all. Or perhaps I could not give a damn.
Miggins the butler is in a very strange and unfortunate position.
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