Countess Velois fled as the Death neared Champagne. She sailed on the Count's fastest ship to London and hurried inland on horseback, eager to hide herself and her daughter, Elinore, in remote country. They lodged at Warwyck castle, as guests of the Earl and his wife. The Countess felt safe there. Surely no plague would find them in such a distant and splendid place. She busied herself with solemn pleasantries such as reading and prayers and making embroideries with the other ladies.
Pretty Elinore was too boisterous and spoiled to sew embroidery. She also failed at lessons and prayers. She was flighty as a sparrow. Her mother allowed her to flit about, but warned her to avoid milkmaids, travelers, kitchenmen, and most of all: the enchanted Arden. Of course the girl quickly grew desperate to wander the Arden, thanks to the Earl's cousin's wife, who told her of unicorns dwelling in that wild wood.
Evil looked up from his desk, irritated. 'Hey,' he called to Mrs. Varmighan, 'switch the goddamn hoover off. I got one with unicorns.'
'I thought you didn't go in for fantasy,' Mrs. V replied, pulling the plug.
'You kidding?' Evil waved the top page of the script. 'Two paragraphs in and we've had a Countess, some foreshadowing about vampire milkmaids — and it's set in Warwyck. That's England.'
Mrs. Varmighan folded her arms. 'I know where it is, stupid.'
'Anyway,' said EE, kicking back, 'I like it. Take the afternoon off.'
Mrs. Varmighan glowered at him, slighted as an aging football player left out of the Super Bowl. 'Let me see that,' she snapped, snatching the script from Evil's hand. 'Huh. "Flighty as a sparrow"? What the hell kind of imagery is that?'
'You trying to do my job?'
'Hell, no,' retorted Mrs Varmighan, her hairdo quivering with rage. 'But if that's all the thanks I get for trying to help, I quit.'
Evil watched her stomp past the weredingoes clustered by the door. Adjusting his pince-nez, he feigned resumed contentment and scanned down to paragraph three.
"Legend had it that Warwyck Woode was a tangled embroidery weaved long ago by giants—"
The sound of drooping muttonchops filled the office.
'Fetch me a squirrel and my Magnum revolver!' he barked into the intercom.
But she was gone.
Opening: Anon......Continuation: Whirlochre