Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Mr. President By Elizabeth McGinty

“Is it true can it really be my friend Hugo, so long gone has now returned to visit me amongst the damp walls of this long- abandoned church? Yes, long abandoned and all the souls who prayed their hearts out now gone to their heaven or hell.” Charles asks into the darkness.

“Yes, Charles it is I. Meeting at the dark of night before good men are about their business.” Hugo replied as some creature scuttled in the shadows.

“I wonder Hugo what our fate will be, when our time comes to leave this earth.” Charles moves stealthily behind Hugo.

“You question such a thing?” Hugo moves into a patch of light, and turns to face Charles. “My conscience is clear my friend. I have done no wrong. You beg me to visit, I think from your lust for power. Power and excitement. So dull must be your life from day to day. I fear you yearn to add some colour to the drabness of your otherwise grey existence.” He lights a candle, and thrusts it towards Charles.

Charles raises his voice. “If my life is dull it is the times we live in, that casts a shadow of blackness over all I see and feel. Our masters squabble in their house of power like animals in the farmyard. Our editors hold sway over them, they know they live or die by their words.”

“Our masters, are you not one of them? Are you not the second donkey on the right, braying loudest?” Hugo answers, then lowering his voice continues. “The roles you chose to play. It might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may possess two selves. The public and the private, oh what tragedy ensues when they do meet.”

“It’s not my fault.” Charles holds his head in his hands. “They force me to go against the will of the people. To do otherwise would cause them to shun me in the corridors, the halls, the cafe and the bar.”

“Ah, you have acquired more skills than when we last met. This will make my task more interesting. As moonlight illuminates your face between the moss and dropping covered window lintels I notice the rewards of your work in the flaccidity of your body, once slight and eager to slip between the shadows now fit only for the roasting spit.” Hugo moved menacingly towards Charles.

“How dare you?” Charles retreated. “Mother of mercy.”

Hugo smiled ominously. “How dare I? I dare because you need me. Tonight, I hold the power I name my price and you pay. You dare to choose this place of worship to conduct your dirty deeds. You dare to cry for mercy. I dare because in this wicked world you live in, I know that whilst evil may win a battle good eventually wins the war. I am not your friend nor you mine.” He threw his black cloak around Charles. “I am the spin doctor.”


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