Prologue – Meeting with the Foxes
London. In a dirty, dark backstreet behind an old, forgotten church, three figures were discussing an important matter within the shadows of the night. They stood in front of a small house, awaiting a certain someone, needed to proceed with their business. The cold winter breeze shrieked through the streets and shook every tree in its path, stripping in of any leaves still remaining on its barren branches.
‘Where is he, for God’s sake’ A small, fat, balding man of about fifty, bellowed impatiently at his two companions. He had a thick moustache and wore large round glasses.
‘He’ll be here, Henry. Patience, you know he’s never been one for punctuality, surely some other business must have kept him occupied’ said a young man calmly in response.
‘And you best not lecture him when he gets here, we do not want any trouble, especially now, when the deed is almost completed’ added a short, but rather attractive young woman, leaning against the wall of the alley.
‘Yes, yes alright. You two cannot stop worrying can you? I mean for God’s sake Bella, we have been meeting with this man for months now, he wishes the job done as much as we do, and he could not possibly find someone else, it would delay the operation heavily’ he sighed, and fixed his glasses, which were slipping slowly of his nose ‘Thomas, have you got my cigars? You did bring them did you not?’ the young man smiled, and handed Henry a small wooden box he produced from his coat pocket.
‘Thank you, at least you didn’t forget this time’
Thomas gave Henry a nasty look, lit a cigar and then turned away to stare into the darkness. It was well past midnight when they heard footsteps heading along the dark alleyway towards them. The figure was just a silhouette in the night, barely visible as if he were cloaked in very night itself. He slowly approached them, and then, removing his hat, greeted them.
‘Good evening gentlemen and my lady of course. I apologize for the slight delay, I had some…er…business to discuss with one of my old friends, let us say, we had a talk’ with that he smiled, and what an evil smile it was.
‘For Pete’s sake Malum! We have been waiting here in this god damn alley for three hours! Three! And now you show up, and nonchalantly apologize. We could all have been in our warm beds, eating a warm meal while you out doing your business, but no! God damn it!’
‘Calm down Henry’ said Thomas, and handed him a bottle of kill devil. It took a few minutes for him to come back to his senses, meanwhile, Bella and Thomas exchanged a few words with Malum.
‘I apologize for that outburst, I guess age is catching up with me, my temper is getting much stronger, then again, so is my appetite’ exclaimed Henry, he laughed and shrugged Thomas with his elbow. The young man gave a brief smile, and then looked at Bella, who did not seem amused.
‘Well then, Master Malum, about the contract?’ said Bella, looking at Malum impatiently. He produced a small wooden box from a pocket inside his coat.
‘Inside this little box, my friends, is what you seek’ he smiled devilishly as he handed the box to Bella, who handled it with great care.
‘Give me that!’ shouted Henry, as he pulled the object out of her soft hands. He eyed it carefully, as if trying to spot something wrong with it. After a few brief seconds of turning it around, rubbing the sides with his fingers and shaking it, he finally seemed satisfied.
‘Very well, Master Malum’ he signed to Thomas, and he produced a small envelope from his pocket.
‘Splendid!’ exclaimed Malum ‘We have completed yet another exchange without one of you losing your heads!’ he laughed, and his laugh echoed through the darkness. ‘Now then, my lady and gentlemen, time for the continuation of our marvelous plan. I shall contact you each individually, when the time is right, and certain affairs are taken care of. I bid you a wonderful good night!’ with that, he smiled, turned around, and with that he was gone. He disappeared into the darkness. The three companions continued to stand there, talking for another few minutes, and to them, it seemed like they could hear the wondrous Malum, humming a gentle, but grisly, tune somewhere in the distance.
‘Strange fellow, that Malum’ said Thomas turning around to leave. ’I too, bid ye goodnight. See you when I see you’ with that he blended into the shadows. Bella and Henry gestured him a goodbye.
‘I too, will be leaving, my fat, mustached friend’ said Bella with a smile.
‘Ah, I have a room in an inn close by, if you would join me for a few drinks, and perhaps later…-‘
Bella interrupted his flirt.
‘Sorry Hen, perhaps another time. You’ll have to try harder’ she laughed, and with that she was gone. Henry smiled, scratched his head, and with that, turned on his heel, and he to, disappeared into the shadows of the street.