Lord Wragg and the grave situation at Cruxton Abbey
A supernatural thriller by Bobinder
View attachment 914060
Lord Wragg has called an assembly of the Cruxton Arts Community to discuss a matter of major importance. The Abbey's stocks of slave girls are becoming depleted for various reasons, and the situation is becoming grave...
Consigliare Tree proposes an audacious proposal - 'Lord Wragg, the situation is becoming grave,' he observes.
'You need to take remedial action to address the graves situation...'
Lord Wragg suspects his Consigliare knows more than he is implying about the graves situation, but he remains calm and asks Tree to continue. Which he does...
Tree mashes the stub of a black cheroot in the ashtray, and he recommends that Lord Wragg should engage the services of a Public Relations Officer named Bobinder, who may be persuaded to launch a campaign to 'attract' numbers of new slave girls to the Abbey.
View attachment 914061
(Manip by TheHangingTree)
'I know this man, Bobinder!' exclaims Wragg, 'He is a Fellow of the Crux Artisans' Academy. He's a very busy chap, and furthermore, he seems to be a thoroughly respectable fellow. Are you sure that you can trust him to accomplish the grave task you propose? - I mean, the 'attractive' task you propose...?'
'Well, he has recently been banned from DeviantArt, allegedly for being too damn devious for their tastes. I believe he is the perfect man for the job,' insists Tree, reaching for the recirculating dial telephone on Lord Wragg's desk. 'Do you want me to call the expert for you, or not?'
Lord Wragg agrees to invite Bobinder to launch the campaign to attract new slave girls to the Abbey. Bobinder is now having to work without his regular, devious methods of total manipulation, but he accepts the invitation to lunch. And over lunch, he takes the opportunity to propose a solution. 'You need to launch a publicity campaign to attract new slave girls and address the grave situation in which you find yourself.'
'I am not in a personally grave situation!' exclaims Lord Wragg, 'In fact the graves are purely incidental - I mean, what we need is more slave girls to increase the establishment, if you see what I mean?'
'Your meaning is clear,' says Bobinder. 'That is why I have produced a poster to advertise the attractions of the Abbey, designed specifically to appeal to potential unpaid staff - i.e. volunteers...'
Lord Wragg examines the poster and observes, 'Cruxton Needs YOU. This looks like a selfie you have taken in a mirror, with a three-word caption underneath! Is this all...?'
'That is all you need,' explains Bobinder. 'Post it on Facebook or some other dubious social networking site. You can put it on DeviantArt if they haven't banned you yet. You just need to post the bill, and you will get your girls.'
Lord Wragg is very impressed by Bobinder's public relations strategy. He can see the logic and he pays his compliments, saying, 'Yes, if I post this bill on the internet, it will be all I need to make my dreams come true!'
Bobinder thanks him for a pleasant lunch and reassures him, 'If you billed it, they will come...'
Lord Wragg deletes his DeviantArt gallery and submits Bobinder's poster as the only item. Within ten minutes, he receives a message from Jollyrei. Jollyrei has 'faved' the poster depicting Bobinder with the legend (not that legend) 'Cruxton needs YOU'. He describes himself as a 'travel agent', explaining that he has frequent opportunities to meet 'travellers' and persuade them to take his directions.
Lord Wragg is curious, especially when Jollyrei explains that he has an office at the Cruxton Tramways Depot. 'If you work in Cruxton, how is it that I have never met you?' he exclaims (via his keyboard).
Jollyrei is very patient, and asks Lord Wragg, 'Have you ever travelled by tram in Cruxton?'
'Well, no - never, now that I come to think of it... I didn't know we still had trams in Cruxton.' admits Lord Wragg.
'In that case,' continues Jollyrei, 'We have yet to meet in a professional capacity. You must understand that I am what you might describe as a 'conductor'...'
'Well, you certainly seem to be something of a live wire!' suggests Lord Wragg humorously.
Jollyrei continues to be very patient. 'Not necessarily,' he responds enigmatically, 'But I do have various contacts. I make it my business to look after passengers and I deliver them to their destinations. I could persuade some of them to be delivered to you, if you like...'
Lord Wragg begins to understand where this is going. 'You mean slave girls for the Abbey...?'
'I did not say that,' responds Jollyrei enigmatically, 'But they will need training, and they will be willing to volunteer for training... after I have persuaded them, with reference to the alternative destinations...'
Jollyrei does not mention that he has worked with a number of muses - models who frequently appear as slave girls in his artwork. It occurs to him that any number of them might be suitable as candidates for Cruxton Abbey, if they can be persuaded to make the journey. He sends a message to Ariel's Facebook page, informing her that she has won a free holiday at Cruxton Abbey, and he is making all the necessary arrangements. She must be ready to 'travel' this very night!
However, Ariel protests that she has other plans, and she is expected to attend a surprise party tonight. Jollyrei is very patient and explains that the very fact she knows about the party means it will be no surprise, whereas a holiday at Cruxton Abbey is guaranteed to be stashed full of surprises! 'And we both know how much you love surprises, Ariel...!'
Ariel protests again that the last time Jollyrei arranged a 'surprise' for her, she ended up posing for a whole day on a cross on the beach, praying that the tide would stay out whilst he completed his photo montage. 'I don't know why I allow myself to be so manipulated by you, Jollyrei!' she complains. Jollyrei is used to such complaints. He is very patient. Normally he can wait as long as it takes to meet a passenger who is late, but on this occasion he has a new customer to impress with his timely service.
'You made a lovely crux manip, Ariel,' Jollyrei charms her, 'And you make a delightful slave girl when you're in the right mood for it.'
'Jollyrei, you suggested that I might enjoy 'crossing the sticks' - and you left me up there all day, with the tide coming in!' Ariel complains.
'And were you surprised...?' asks Jollyrei.
'Yes, of course I was!' exclaims Ariel.
'You see,' explains Jollyrei patiently, 'We both know how much you love surprises, Ariel...!'
'Will there be any parties at Cruxton?' she demands.
'Certainly,' Jollyrei reassures her, 'Halloween parties, third parties even, and lots of surprises...'
'And if I refuse...?'
'Ariel, I am offering you this journey,' explains Jollyrei, 'as the only available alternative to crossing the Styx...'
'Oh alright then,' she concedes, 'but I need time to pack some clothes!'
'No you don't.'
And so, Ariel begins a new life as a Cruxton Abbey slave girl, with all the surprises and perils such a life entails. On first arriving, she is surprised (as she had been led to expect) when Lord Wragg summons her to the library. He indicates that she should stand in front of a large mahogany desk. 'I wrote 'Jasmine' sitting at this desk,' he announces with considerable pride. 'She was staying here at the Abbey - rather inconvenient really, especially when she stabbed that chap in the back, just over there - see the stain on the carpet...?'
Ariel looks across the room, slightly confused, and Lord Wragg decides against giving too much information. Instead, he explains the house rules for new slaves in training at the Abbey. 'Oh, am I really going to meet genuine slave girls here?' asks Ariel, barely able to conceal her excitement.
'Oh yes, my dear - you certainly will. And I can see from your misplaced enthusiasm that we need to start your training immediately!' replies Lord Wragg. 'Now here's a little surprise for you. Jollyrei has accompanied you to Cruxton, with the intention of making some new pictures - I understand that you've already got the hang of posing for him. You'll be doing plenty of that in the next few days. But first, I want you to pose for Bobinder, who insists on wishing you a happy birthday...'
16 October 2020 - Happy Birthday Ariel - 26 years old today!
(Image hosted on external site)
Very patient.Jollyrei is very patient
Don't forget the outstanding delivery,earmarked for Baracus' supply of Gaul Crucifixion Timber as a result of the great fire of Nero's Imperial Rome*...it's urgently required. Merci,Messa.
I'm sure Lord Wragg will be more than happy to receive any promotional material you may wish to send. There will certainly be a need for crosses for the annual Crux Festival (Fête des Croixes, hearkening back to his Lordship's Norman ancestry, or perhaps just because French always makes things sound more stylish). This year, of course, the issue will be managing to keep all the crosses properly distanced. We don't want the condemned slaves dying of Coronavirus, after all.Don't forget the outstanding delivery,earmarked for Baracus' supply of Gaul Crucifixion Timber as a result of the great fire of Nero's Imperial Rome*...it's urgently required. Merci,Messa.
*(Historical sources have attributed it to a "certain" individual named Baebiana Moorella....)
Don't worry,all the Cruxees,will wear face masks, made out of old loincloths....I'm sure Lord Wragg will be more than happy to receive any promotional material you may wish to send. There will certainly be a need for crosses for the annual Crux Festival (Fête des Croixes, hearkening back to his Lordship's Norman ancestry, or perhaps just because French always makes things sound more stylish). This year, of course, the issue will be managing to keep all the crosses properly distanced. We don't want the condemned slaves dying of Coronavirus, after all.
If there are more slaves'girls at Cruxton, it's also signifying more crucifixions and , by extending, more Premium French Cucifixion Wood ...
Messa is already thinking to that ... ...
Thanks, Messa and Jolly - it's good to see this being planned in meticulous detail.I'm sure Lord Wragg will be more than happy to receive any promotional material you may wish to send. There will certainly be a need for crosses for the annual Crux Festival (Fête des Croixes, hearkening back to his Lordship's Norman ancestry, or perhaps just because French always makes things sound more stylish). This year, of course, the issue will be managing to keep all the crosses properly distanced. We don't want the condemned slaves dying of Coronavirus, after all.
As a side note, tell me that at least SOMEONE has thought of nailing the precocious Scarlett O'Hara to a cross! She's a prime candidate! (and possibly dragging the lovely Melanie Hamilton to the same fate)
Just expelled, Father Roberto? You are way too lenient to these trouble makers. We shall hold you responsible if one of them, say Barb for example, turns into a kingpin in a decadent gang of perverts!Expelled From Cruxton Abbey
Barb, Alice and Lily were seniors in their final year in 1940, when their school was evacuated to Cruxton Abbey, and adopted the name of its new home. Lord Wragg's spacious seventeenth century residence also provided facilities for the Cruxton Home Guard, which the seniors joined en masse during the tense days of the Battle of Britain. All three were rated as competent marksmen by the time preparations were in hand for Halloween.
A fortnight's unrelieved diet of mashed turnips had inspired the more rebellious aspects of their character as well as the creation of a cartload of Halloween lanterns, fashioned from the shells of the offending turnips. When the three seniors were instructed to distribute the lanterns in the grounds, in preparation for the annual Cruxton Halloween celebrations, they carted them to the armoury, collected three Lee Enfield .303s, matching bolts and a hundred rounds of ammunition, before proceeding to the lacrosse pitch.
Suddenly awakened from his customary afternoon nap by the sound of gunfire, Lord Wragg telephoned the vicar of St. Crux, the irreverent Bob Inder, instructing him to ring the church bells to signal the invasion. Colonel Jollyrei responded by racing hot-foot to the Home Guard Office, where he found his second in command, a Major Fiasco and a state of confusion.
Having exhausted their ammunition as well as the turnip lanterns, Barb, Alice and Lily returned to the armoury, where they were relieved of their weapons by the officers and summarily expelled by the Headmistress. Unfortunately, there are no armed forces records for any of them following their discharge from the Home Guard, which notes concisely that each provided, 'exemplary service'.
That would have been the end of the story, except for an obscure reference in Vassily Ilyasov's 'Illustrated History of the Great Patriotic War' (Pravda 1997) which quotes Stalin's attributed response to Zhukov, concerning the invasion of East Prussia, 'The battle of Eydtkuhnen was won on the playing fields of Cruxton Abbey...'