It was a stately room. Lacquered wood veneer lined the walls, and a solitary window threw shafts of light on the once blood-red carpet. Seven high-backed chairs were arranged in a semi-circle in the center of the room. In these chairs sat seven men. They spoke to each other in hushed, frantic whispers.
“That’s enough, gentlemen.”
The muttering ceased as another entered the room. The newcomer closed the door behind him and quickly locked it, then removed the key and concealed it in the folds of his robes. “Are we all present?”
“We are, chamberlain.”
“Good. We have little time to spare.” He crossed to the window and peered out.
The men glanced at one another. “I trust you were not followed,” one of them said.
“Don’t be a fool!” the chamberlain said. “I am not that careless.” He glared at the others. “The one we await will be here momentarily.”
The men resumed their murmuring, the volume rising as each second passed, while the chamberlain, his face set in stone, stared out the window.
A moment later, an abrupt rap on the door silenced the men. The chamberlain walked swiftly over, drawing the key out of his robes and unlocking the door with a quick turn of the wrist. He hesitated, then opened the door.
A burly man dressed in blue burst into the room. The men collectively gasped, then broke into incoherent uproar. One stood, pointing an accusatory finger at the chamberlain. “Traitor! I knew you were followed!”
“I was not!” shouted the chamberlain.
“Then how did he know the secret knock?”
“Secret knock?” said the man in blue. “I just knock—”
“It was an abrupt rap! I distinctly heard an abrupt rap!” The men resumed their arguing.
The man in blue held up his hands. “Gentlemen! Gentlemen, PLEASE!” The room fell silent. “I’m asking you nicely.” He held up a small rectangular device. “I’m also recording the fact that I’m asking you nicely, so as to avoid another investigation, Mr. Fossberg.” Mr. Fossberg folded his arms and huffed. “Now please, pretty please, return to your rooms.”
The men grumbled, but shuffled out the door. The man in blue turned to the chamberlain and extended his hand. “The lounge keys, Mr. Chamberlain? Thank you. And if you lift them from Nurse Molly again, it’s the end of green Jello for you. Got it?”
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: blogless_troll