Chapter 1 First Prologue
“There’s the changeling road and the Ravishing. There are those that stumble through a gap in the hedgerows.” Catherynne Valente
A Changeling Road
Outside, down the street from a rather gothic-looking black stone Cathedral, inside which a fancy-dress formal tux and gown affair was being down in the auditorium, contained within its ancient walls…
A mid-aged man, holding a lit cigarette (whose glowing end he shielded with each puff) was again waiting well within the shadows of a storefront just down the street from the rather ornately built gothic Cathedral.
From underneath his Homberg hat , short cut red hair was visible, he smartly wore a long tan trench coat over his tailored brown tux. Instead of a tie, he was wearing a gold silk ascot. His features were chiselled, a roman nose, pencil thin moustache, and deep, probing blue eyes!
He had been watching with acute interest, the posh arrival of the many wealthy guests as they stylishly departed from their vehicles to let the valets (and the occasional chauffeur) park them. His attention was pretty much focused on the stormy display of sparkling jewels worn by the lady guests wearing long, fluttering gowns and shiny evening dresses!
Earlier, he had spied a passing constable walking his beat from about a block away! Taking hoof had left his post to take a casual circle around the block….
He had been back now for 45 minutes, with it being quiet around the church for some 30 minutes now.
He took a long, Last pull on his Regies made cigarette, looking around casually as he made one final case of the area.
The local constabulary was making it’s round every two hours on the dot, nicely in line with the chimes from the Cathedrals bells.
The said bells started to toll again for the second hour, and he pressed back even further out of sight into the long shadows. No chances to be taken giving e’mself away at this, the eleventh hour of the scheme!
And sure enough, before the last bell chimed out, a marked police automobile came around the corner and slowly drove past the area.
He watched as it crept by the stone stairs leading up to the Cathedral, and as it passed, the man waiting in the shadows looked directly across the street at the old dust mans’ coal alley that led off between two old storefronts located there. One of which was a religious monument store, with old gravestones piled up in its back yard. He had noticed this when he had gone scouting down that same alleyway earlier that morning.
A rather spooky arrangement it had been in light of the new day, he could only imagine what it would look like now, in the dead of night…. For his reasons, He smiled at this thought, then looked back to the constables’ auto.
Perfect, he murmured to himself as the rear lights of the constable’s auto disappeared around the far corner.
In another 30 minutes, the beat patrolman would also again be making his rounds, leaving 90-minute gaps that evening for him and his partner to put in play their plan!
“Game is on, Rupert old boy!” He said to himself, mimicking a British accent, one that always had annoyed him so!
He decisively threw down and crushed his ciggy dead under his tailored brown leather shoe, before ambling off cautiously towards the Cathedral, his quick eyes taking in everything, and seeing nothing out of place….