This week’s writephoto prompt is
The Lady Faye Grance wrinkled her nose. Was that…? ‘Walter? Walter? Where are you?’
The Lady of the Royal Flush strode along the corridors and passages of Castle Bouquet, determined to find Walter Closet, Knight of the Pipes and person responsible for the removal of all things aromatically unpalatable.
Walter, for his part, waited by the doors to the dungeons. He knew what was coming – anyone inside the Castle could hear what was coming and he had the added advantage of having both seen and scented what has caused the distressed discombobulation of Her Ladyship.
Forewarned is sometimes forearmed. In Walter’s case, knowing that a tsunami of crinoline, flaming red lippy and fury, all packaged in an ennobled size zero Chief of Staff was gunning for him merely loosened a never quite tight sphincter and reduced his focus to a single repeatable piece of self instruction: hold your shit together.
As the diminutive dame cornered the last section of seemingly endless corridors, eyes flashing their threats, Walter focused on the huge bestudded oaken door behind him. It was a door for the ages that had held recalcitrant throne claimants, seductive saracens seeking seditious successes and other unpleasant altierators incarcerated pending judgement, sentence and dispatch.
‘Wait for it,’ he told himself. He knew he had one shot to get this right. Timing was crucial.
As Walter focused on Faye, Faye prepared herself for a self righteous expellation of her accumulated annoyance, anxiety and acid. She opened her mouth to let rip as…
Walter depressed the door handle and, covering his own nose with a cloth saturated in a neutralising scent yanked the dungeon door open
The Lady Faye had no time before the malevolent miasma materialised and engulfed her. She coughed, she spluttered, she staggered and she swooned. It was at the moment of peak swoon that Walter stepped forward and, using a second saturated cloth covered Faye’s nose and mouth neutralising the noisome nonsense that had emerged.
He gave it a moment before removing the cloth. Faye glared at Walter, Walter looked sympathetically at Faye. ‘What the actual flip is that?’ Said the astonished factotum.
‘The moat. It’s seeped into the dungeon.’
‘I didn’t ask where it was. I want to know what is is, why it’s here – the day, may I remind you before the Committee for Fragrance in Pheromones chooses its Perfume of the Year – and what you’re going to do about it.’
‘I think you know what it is.’
‘It smells like one hundred years of accumulated urine.’
‘Near enough. It’s the output over one year of the one hundred toilets in this place.
‘And it’s here because….’
‘Do you recall meeting in the King’s throne room one year ago? When you told me of the great honour bestowed on us by the Committee’s attendance tomorrow? When I explained how we needed to adapt the royal sewerage system to something slightly less medieval?’
‘I think you said that we had to have pipes installed so the long drop had its last drop.’
‘And you told me I couldn’t because of cost.’
‘I told you your estimate was extortionate.’
‘As ever, your ladyship used far more graphic but nonetheless clear language. Hence why we find ourselves where we are today.’
‘What do you mean?’
Walter smiled a nasty stiletto of a smile. ‘You said, and I think I’m quoting here, “that’s ridiculous, you’re not taking the piss on my watch.” So I didn’t.’
Faye blanched. ‘But… I mean… How can I…?’
‘Explain? I doubt you can.’ He indicated the open door. ‘You might want to pre-empt your fall from grace and chose you’re own dungeon. At least that way you don’t have to face the moat.’
‘And this isn’t you taking the piss?’
‘I think we have established that I rarely do.’