Written by Kenneth Shumaker
Episode 021, Fawn Den Rose
Wrote on March 2, 2018
Published on Virily on March 20, 2018.
We now continue with Eren’s Challenge episode 021, ‘Fawn Den Rose,’ on …
Trondel 1 of 78
The palomino ambassadorial servant gnollmal, Tol has been cool and collected … up until now. The runt is now raving at the audacity of the Trump in her kidnapping Es so blatantly.
I try calming him. “Tol! … relax! … we don’t know she’s been kidnapped. Maybe her com is set on, ‘no disturb,’ and she is working late?” Not believing that for a moment myself, I pour a brandy for me and one for Tol. I have a plan. To Gor with my project report to Edgar for tomorrow.
Driving my beast of a fuel guzzling vehicle up to Violoi’s estate gate as Tol blithers on about being overcharged fees on his employment income, I wonder if I fed him too much brandy. I know his trigger for when I want to use it.
The gate guard leans over toward my open window. “Mr. Mallet … good-evening. The Ambassador said we might be expecting you. She never mentioned the gnoll though.”
I shrug as I nod toward the monster from space. “A guest I forgot to mention.”
Making a note on his tablet, the attentive guard photographs Tol, asking, “name?”
Smiling, I reply, “Tol Green.”
Marking the name in his notes with the ID pic, the man nods. He flicks the gate control, opening the double twelve-foot-wide wrought-iron gates.
Flicking my shifter control into low gears, I drive my car up the two-hundred metre slick black stone-paved drive circle to park next to the tall double ebony front doors of the mansion.
As I climb out of my door, Tol struggles to squeeze himself out of the passenger door, cursing in his particular dialect of gnoll.
A bellhop arrives, then he drops in through my driver’s door without a word to drive my car away.
A doorwoman waits several feet away patiently watching us.
I give a waist level wave with my hand to her, and she nods. Then the young woman says, “welcome Master Mallet, I’ll show you to the hall. Ambassador Violoi will be with you shortly.”
Getting a little disconcerted yet frustrated with all this welcoming familiarity, I’m glad I dressed in my synth-suit. I ask the woman, “is Miss Esmelda still here?”
Looking me in the eyes as we turn to enter the three-story cut and dressed stone, two-acre footprint mansion, she smiles disarmingly with a demure grin. “I do believe she is – in the den.”
I nod, following this un-named servant inside into the den of inequity. The word opulence would be put to shame with what I find inside as we enter. Even Tol’s jaw drops open at the over-extravagance of the entry room, the carved stone and rare woods with their gold, platinum and jewels inlay blinds me.
I thought Angel spent a fortune on the iridium-glass for her office, Violoi spent almost as much in this entry-room’s construction and decoration alone. Obviously being the Trump pays well. It’s going to be a shame filling out my Amber Calendar contract here.
I see several obvious surveillance devices, and I’m certain I’m being scanned as well by many less obvious ones.
We walk through the thirty-foot room of overstated wealth into a hallway no less accoutred.
She continues by leading us through hallways down several flights of stairs into the bowels of the mansion where things start to become more austere and opulent hallways turn into bright white sterile corridors and I know we’ve passed outside the three-acre boundary zone I sized the courtyard as being.
At an intersection she points to an open door, saying, “the gnoll waits here.”
I nod to Tol.
Grudgingly, Tol hesitates before entering the small room.
The door solidly slides shut as I hear gnoll music playing.
The nameless servant and I continue along the austere corridors as if trying to get me lost. I have the synth-suit computer mapping our trek.
Suddenly the nameless one stops in front of a featureless door, turning to me she says. “Your pistols, Eren. Both of them!”
I frown dejected, offering her my 9 and 6 mil pistols. She slides them into a drawer beside the door. Then places her hand on the featureless wall and the spot glows bright light-blue.
The door slides back, and over into the wall soundlessly.
Staring into the room, I see Es, unconscious, bound and gagged on a steel table, naked.
As I start to object, the door as soundlessly slams shut on us.
Gesturing to me, the no-woman says, “follow me.”
Again, on a wild goose-chase, I turn to look for Tol almost forgetting he’s not with me, wanting to turn him loose on these creepers. I hesitate.
“She has ten hours left in life. Waste as much time as you like Eren.”
I follow reluctantly as the woman’s stone-cold expression indicates her seriousness.
We walk another half-hour in sterile corridors to a reception room for a suite of three offices with mahogany walls and ebony doors, the carpet I swear is ultra-marine-blue plush, rich silk.
She points to the centre door of the three. With a single 30-centimetre platinum star embedded in it, both the other two are bare except for one letter, a single twenty-centimetre gold Elgar font. The left is an R, the right is an F.
Moving to enter the platinum starred door, it slides open as I approach.
The woman stops her progress.
Stepping into the blue LED lit forty-foot square chamber, with its twelve-foot ceiling, I’m embarrassed by my lack of knowledge of the technology present. Devices are here that I have no clue as to their purpose. Lights flash, and screens glare on walls and tables in the room. But the lone person present is at the only desk, Violoi is sitting at an ancient oak office desk.
She remains sitting as the closure nearly pinches my ass as I’m stepping through, the door slides closed so quickly.
“About time you showed yourself … I was concerned for Esmelda’s life.”
I move in for the twenty-feet toward the weather-beaten desk, counting in my mind.
As I reach ten feet from the desk, the woman holds her hand up. “That’s close enough boy.”
This ends this Eren’s Challenge episode 021part one, ‘Fawn Den Rose,’ written by, Kenneth Shumaker.
May the words stay with you!
To be continued in the next Eren’s Challenge episode 021 part two, ‘Fawn Den Rose.’ …
© 2018 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
We would like to acknowledge the following for their contributions:
The episode author is Kenneth Shumaker.
Our episode editor is Donna Shumaker.
The graphic designer of the covers, headers, and images is Kenneth Shumaker.
The episode distribution, marketing, production, promotion, and publishing is by Inevitable Unicorn Press (InUPress)
Coming soon to the public in 2018 from InUPress, we have Kenneth’s second medieval fantasy novella, ‘Dendar: Souls of Desperation,’ this is the second book from the ‘Lost Souls’ series.