The Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: All Star Story Writers

Chapter 42 (v.1) - PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE

Submitted: October 11, 2018

Reads: 58

Comments: 2

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Submitted: October 11, 2018

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Preparations for the wedding resumed, and despite every attempt to keep it from the media, the press soon got wind of it and jumped at the opportunity to publicly criticise me for my apparent change of heart, making headline news in the Cyber Chronicle.

HRH PRINCESS EeMAY IN LAST MINUTE ‘CHANGE OF HEART’ DRAMA . . .

Just a short time after the public announcement of her forthcoming marriage, HRH Princess Eemay has apparently had a sudden and dramatic change of heart.

Our sources can confirm that Prince Hughchube, who is currently in hospital with life threatening injuries following a freak accident, has now been side-lined in favour of Prince Mycroscott.

Rumour has it that Prince Mycroscott withdrew from The Contest some time ago, but mysteriously reappeared out of the blue, this week.

The question everyone wants answered is, how she could have a change of heart, when she is clearly so heartless.

There is speculation the wedding will go ahead as originally planned, with just one small adjustment - a different bridegroom!

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I found the newspaper coverage, not to mention the hate campaign being raged against me on both Pacebook and Jotter, deeply disturbing and, to make matters even worse, sympathy for Hugh was growing by the hour. It seemed one minute I was a well-respected member of the royal family and the next, I had turned into public enemy number one.

Hugh’s condition remained unchanged and, because of the circumstances, received almost saintly adoration from the public for having been “cruelly dumped in his time of need.”

“What am I going to do Pop? Everyone hates me, they think I’m the villain in all this, rather than the victim.”

“I think it’s time to involve the Police” he said. “I will invite them to the palace to reveal the truth about Hugh. We have all the evidence we need to prove the case against him. We cannot allow the situation to fester any longer; the public must be told the truth, and we need to clear your name once and for all.”

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“Do come in Officers,” Pop said, escorting them both into the drawing room where myself, Mum, Scott and Pen had already gathered, anxiously awaiting their arrival.

The senior officer introduced himself. “My name is Detective Inspector Baloney, and this is Constable Clewless, how can we be of help Your Majesty?

“Well officers, we have some vital information concerning Prince Hughchube. Please take a seat as this is likely to take some time.”

At Pop’s request, I related the whole story, while Constable Clewless frantically scribbled into a notebook and Inspector Baloney asked probing questions.

When the interview finally ended, I played my ace card. “I’m sure you will find all the evidence you need to support my allegations in here,” I said, handing over Hugh’s cyPhone. “And I’m sure Vilelet will be able to assist you in your investigations. You might also be interested to know, that she unlawfully hacked into my personal cymail address to send the transformation spell through to Scott.”

Pop stood up. “You see Officers, Prince Hughchube is clearly not the victim in all this, and to make matters worse my poor daughter is being victimised and verbally abused by the public when, in fact, she is the innocent party.”

Detective Inspector Baloney got to his feet and reached for his helmet. “I think we have everything we need for the moment. The problem is we cannot complete our investigation until we have interviewed Prince Hughchube which, as you know, is not possible because of his condition. Unfortunately, it leaves us with our hands tied for the time being.”

“But surely you have enough evidence to charge him?” Pop asked.

“I’m afraid not, all we can do is begin an investigation from the information you have provided, ready to apprehend him if and when, he regains consciousness. He does have a right to a fair hearing, in a court of law.”

He placed his helmet firmly on his head, while offering parting words of caution. “I strongly advise you to contact your solicitor. I’m sorry I cannot be more helpful.”

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“This is just so unfair” I screamed, tears streaming down my cheeks. “What are we going to do now?”

Pop sighed, throwing his arms up in despair. “You heard the inspector, there is absolutely nothing we can do but wait and hope that Hugh regains consciousness so that your name and reputation can be cleared.”

“But surely there must be something we can do?” Mum asked, tears of frustration welling in her eyes.

“Well, what do you suggest?” Pop snapped.

She just dabbed at her eyes, silent and hurt.

I suddenly noticed that all the colour had drained from Scott’s face, he was as white as a sheet and seemed to be shaking.

“Scott, are you alright?” I asked.

His face had become tight and hard. “Eemay, I have never been so angry in my whole life, this is a hopeless situation.”

“We all need to calm down” Mum urged. “I think a cup of hot sweet tea is called for.”

“My dear, with respect, I am in need of something stronger to help calm me down,” Pop said, reaching for the decanter and pouring himself a generous measure. “Anyone want to join me?”

Mum took on her disapproving look, frowning deeply and tut-tutting. “That isn’t going to solve anything,” she said, dabbing her eyes and running from the room.

Scott strode towards the door. “Eemay, if you don’t mind I need some space to get my head around this. It seems Hugh still has the upper hand.”

“Emm, let’s take Nettie for a walk,” Pen suggested. “There’s nothing else we can do at the moment, and it might calm us down.” So we left Pop alone, clutching his tumbler and staring into space, disheartened and defeated.

-----------------------------

Scott was seething, almost bursting with anger. Am I just going to accept this? I must do something. Come on, think. I need to see him for myself, I have to face him, and when I do maybe I will come up with a solution.

He picked up his cyPhone. “I need a taxi to Cyber Hospital urgently,” he barked.

Approaching the nurses’ station in the corridor, he paused, took a deep breath and focused his mind on relaxing his tense muscles.

“Can I help you,” the Nurse asked.

“Oh yes, can you tell me which room Prince Hughchube is in?” he asked, flashing her a seriously irresistible smile.

“And your name is?” she asked, returning his smile.

“Hewlett, a life-long friend,” he lied.

She stood up, smoothing her uniform over her ample curves and leaning over suggestively. “Go through the double doors at the end of the corridor, turn right until you come to room 33”. She fluttered her false eyelashes alarmingly, before asking, “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Err, no, thank you.”

The sight of Hugh caused pure anger and hatred to rise from the pit of his stomach and he was tempted to turn off his life support machine and leave, but somehow managed to take control of himself. He moved closer, scrutinising his features. He looked so different, almost lifeless. It would be so easy to finish the job off, he thought, but knew he could never actually do it, despite the circumstances.

OK Hugh, you’ve won, he found himself saying out loud.

Even though he knew Hugh could not hear him, he needed to confront him, and continued.

“It’s me, Scott. You thought I was dead didn’t you, but I have a big surprise for you. Do you remember the day I sank my fangs into your arm, well Eemay was so upset that she took Nettie and me for a walk along the beach. While we were out I picked up a piece of wood, and managed to write a message in the sand revealing my true identity. So you see Hugh, she never did take me to be destroyed, it was all a hoax, as was her intention to marry you, Yes Hugh, you get back what you give out. Oh, by the way, we will be man and wife shortly. Now that’s definitely something to celebrate.”

Just then a Nurse entered the room. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t realise he had a visitor.”

“It’s OK, I was just leaving.” Scott turned, and was about to open the door, when he heard the nurse shouting.

“Hugh, Hugh,” she called, lifting his limp hand and looking intently into his face. She turned to face Scott. “I definitely saw his eye lids flicker, I think he’s coming round.”

She pressed the emergency buzzer to alert the medical team and Scott took the opportunity to leave the room unnoticed.

Hugh was now semi-conscious, having roused from his deep comatose state.

“He’s dead, he’s dead” he ranted. “The corridor of fear . . . it’s the corridor of fear.”

The nurse hovered over him attentively. “It’s alright Hugh, you’re confused. You have been unconscious for some time and must give yourself time to come round.” His eyes were wild and he began to thrash around in his bed. “It’s the corridor of fear, no-one is ever the same. She told me no-one is ever the same.”

Afraid he might injure himself further, the doctor filled a syringe with a strong sedative. It took a team of nurses to hold him down long enough to allow the needle to be safely inserted into his arm.

Eventually he lay still and silent, allowing a bright light to be shone deep into his eyes and his reflexes tested.

“Everything seems to be fine, but to make a full recovery, you will need to give yourself time to rest and recuperate.”

It didn’t take long for the press to find out that Hugh had regained consciousness. A feature in the Cyber Chronicle made it absolutely clear whose side they were on.

PRINCE HUGHTUBE OF SHAREMOOR MAKES A MIRACULOUS RECOVERY . . .

Prince Hughtube last night made a miraculous recovery from a head injury sustained in a freak accident that left him in unconscious for nearly three weeks. Although doctors feared the worst, it appears he has proved them all wrong, and is now awake and in a stable condition.

He is said to be in good spirits, but is currently unaware that he has been cruelly and sensationally dumped by his heartless fiancée, HRH Princess Eemay of Cyberia.

Huge bouquets of flowers have been arriving at the hospital all day from well-wishers. Pacebook and Jotter have been flooded with kind messages of support, everyone sending their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

It seems Prince Hughchube has a huge following, and is not short of eager admirers waiting to fill the vacant position that Princess Eemay has vacated.

A full statement from the hospital is expected shortly.

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“Don’t let it get to you Eemay,” Scott said. “It’s understandable that Hugh is seen as the victim in all this, because people don’t yet know the facts. Now that he is conscious, the police can get involved and justice will be done, you’ll see”.

“I certainly hope so, I don’t know how much more of this I can take, it’s just so unfair.”


© Copyright 2020 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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