The 39 spoons

April 13, 2010

They decided to dress for the evening and at last stepped out together to attend the theatre. Disguise was the order of the day and they had to conceal various items of cutlery in their clothes. Jezebel had sat with Morag for some time telling her about her life and the time it had taken to trace her. While they were involved in a little mother daughter bonding Chrissie prepared the cutlery. She polished the spoons with particular care and practiced some deft moves with the forks.

Jezebel watched and noted with some satisfaction that although Morag had inherited the power of the spoons Chrissie possessed a natural talent and knew she had taught her well.

Brother Hellfire or Count Cutler as he was now known as was not so sure, his desire to have the full knowledge of the full canteen had led him to this place and he despaired of his assistant. She couldn’t use the spoons with any grace and cursed like a pig farmer with Tourette’s. It would be a nightmare, he would have to hypnotize his audience to get away without being lynched, especially as the two women were doing so well with their ‘clients’.

The evening was soon upon them and Louise appeared on stage wearing a tutu that was too small and she kept grabbing at her crotch cursing the disappearing gusset as it wedged itself uncomfortably between her ample buttocks.

“I’m not wearing this I don’t care what you think, it’s cutting me in two, bloody stupid *****, *****, i’ll ****ing well charge you triple triple time for this you mean***.”

“I don’t think there is time for you to change” Hellfire said in a panic, ”Just do as I have shown you, it will be over in a couple of hours”

“Too right, I’m out of here and back to what I do best” Louise stomped off the stage still in a bad temper pulling out her costume.

He went to the booking office contemplating stealing the takings and doing a runner but so far there were only a handful of people in the seats, all looking very furtive and wearing dark glasses, not very good false beards and hats with broad brims.

An unlikely and not very attractive pair walked in, one , the man,looked vaguely familiar and the other was a very  unattractive  woman in a wheelchair. She grunted as the slightly built man maneuvered the wheelchair next to him on the end of the row.

The three women came in next and sat at the back quietly. As the lights went down Hellfire peered through a slit in the shabby curtains and seemed pleased the hall was only half full. It was going to be tricky, but he was not without bravado and would pull it off if it was the last thing he did.

Jezebel hissed at Morag and Chrissie “Are you ready, know what you have to do?”

“Aye” they replied, “he’s had it!”

The curtains parted and Count Cutler came on and started brandishing items of cutlery, producing them from his clothes like a third-rate magician, The audience shuffled in their seats and became restless, they wanted to see the arcane art and were sore disappointed. ‘Count Cutler’ hastily brought on his ‘charming assistant’ who stomped on like a flamingo with piles and chucked some cutlery at him as per the pre arranged signal

“Behold the spoons will do my will and dance!” he uttered in a theatrical way

the spoons indeed did dance across the stage but the wires holding them were caught in the house lights and someone from the audience shouted “That’s a fix!”

From the back of the theatre the three women began the charming ritual and linked spoons floated through the air and sped towards Cutler.

“What is the secret of the 39 spoons?” shouted Jezebel

Cutler turned pale and stammered, he recognised the voice of Jezebel and was very afraid, he knew her power!

“I don’t know” he shrieked as the 39 spoons rhythmically beat him on his head.

“Here leave him alone, ” shouted Louise as she tried to stop the enchanted spoons

The three women moved to the front of the stage, “Charlatan” they repeated until Cutler ran from the stage pursued by the enchanted spoons.

“Morag” squealed Dougal who had stood up as he recognized her.

“Aye, it is me, Dougal and who is this” she pointed at the person in the wheel chair.

“The person ” grunted for it was black pig, Dougal had brought it out for a change of scene, they had come to an understanding  over the past weeks and big black pig was the dominant partner in the relationship.

Louise was still standing on stage wondering if she would ever get paid when she saw big black pig.

“Blackie!” she jumped down and ran up to the wheel chair pulling the unattractive red wig of the pig’s head.

“Have I missed you” she said.

It was two days later they found the spoons in a lane on the road to Oop town, no sign of Cutler or Hellfire. Jezebel lifted the spoons but their golden burnish was dimmed and the mysterious powers they held seemed to have departed.

Jezebel carefully laid them back into the canteen and hoped they would recover, Morag and Chrissie travelled back to her sumptuous manor to continue their lives together and Louise reunited with Black pig, who she had known from her days on the pig farm agreed to go back to Dougal’s hovel to help him with the pigs. Dougal thought Louise was the most beautiful goddess he had ever seen. The only problem was every time he tried to touch her she yelled at him in the most profane way which, apart from the swearing reminded him of Morag and so he was content.

The Quickening

April 9, 2010

Jezebel glared at them both and helped herself to another dram before settling down to tell them both the true meaning of the Full Canteen and why it should only be performed when there was a challenge to the Queen of the Clan.

“And Morag,” she said sternly, “you will be the unchallenged Queen when it’s my time to pass away and hand on the spoons to you.”

“We’ll see bout that!” said Chrissie, “For I am no other than Agnes, your niece, and I put forward a challenge!”

“Oh no not again!” sighed Jezebel.

“Nay, I’m only jesting!” cried Chrissie. “Let’s join forces and sort Brother Hellfire out once and for all and reveal them for the fraud he is!”

They drank on it, not realising that they would not have to wait too long, for at a theatre near them, he was booked to give a performance that would be the talk of Over the Border for years to come.

“No, brandish it!” he cried from the stalls. Brother Hellfire under his new persona Count Cutler was directing his new acolyte, but she was simply appalling and kept dropping the spoons; there was nothing else for it-he would have to resort to trickery and the use of smoke and mirrors.

The blonde girl, Louise, on the stage glared back at him. “Ye can stuff yer spoons ye cheap bastard!”

“No my dear!” he cried in desperation “I didn’t mean to be so harsh, I’ll pay yer double if yer just do as I ask!”

“Numb nuts!” she muttered, but said aloud, “Pay me treble rate and I’ll consider it.”

He had no choice but to agree as the performance was that night!

On the way back from the Outdoor Chrissie saw the bright lights on the theatre;

“For One Night Only The Captivating Count Cutler Presents The Full Canteen!”

“We’ve got him now!” she thought and ran back to the house clutching her brown bag.

Dougal stirred in the mire; he was dreaming of a land far away where he was treated with respect. He had a job in the Department of Why People Go to Places in a Big Town where he was not despised by all and mocked to his face. Pig snuffled him and he giggled. In his dream he could try to tell a scary lady with black hair what to do and she would sneer at him and beat him savagely with a spoon. He writhed in his sleep. He would have a fat bald friend, not unlike Pig who would grunt at him and love him forever, and Morag would have to go with him and take a horrible job and be miserable.

“Ooh yes, I’d like that!” he said in his sleep.

Pig nibbled at his toes experimentally.

Morag, Chrissie and Jezebel worked out their plan. Chrissie went on-line to buy their tickets, Morag acquainted herself with the ancestral canteen and Jezebel decided which disguises they would don to blend into the audience.

Her time had finally come; she would confront her former lover and defeat him at last.

A Family Affair.

April 5, 2010

Morag stared at the painted lady before her, “But, I wasn’t adopted!” she cried, “And beside, ye look nothing like me.”

“Nay,” said Jezebel, “ye favour yer Father more, but I’m yer Mother alright. Now I’d better come in unless ye want the neighbours to hear.”

Indeed curtains were twitching already so Jezebel was shown inside and poured a large dram. She examined the cutlery covered walls.

“So I see you’ve kept yer hand in Chrissie.” she said, approvingly.

“Aye I have.” said Chrissie warily.

“Don’t worry lass, ” said Jezebel, “I’m here to see Morag, as I said.” She took a swig of her drink and sat back in her chair.

“D’ ye mind if I smoke?” she asked, fumbling in her hand bag.

“I’ll open the window.” said Chrissie.

Jezebel’s hands were shaking as she lit her cigarette in its holder.

“I was a young wee lass, just out of Spoonwarts, the school of spoon sorcery for the gifted. I had attained the mantle of Supreme Sorceress and was the only living person to have performed the full canteen and lived. I was full of hope for the future. I left that place with only my cloak, pointy hat and canteen, with no real knowledge of life and certainly not of men.” She stood and began to pace the room, wafting clouds of smoke.

“He was a boy, although not a very young boy, and I was a very young girl…at sixteen, I made the discovery; love, all at once and much, much too completely. There was something …Oh hang on that’s a Streetcar Named Desire…I was in the National Youth Theatre for a spell and I played Blanche. Now where was I up to? Oh, I was banged up by someone who went by the name of Shoval, and sometimes Brother…”

“Oh no!” cried Morag, “My ane father, and to think I nearly succumbed!”

“You don’t mean!?” cried Jezebel. “That wicked man! He tried to exploit my talents many years ago, but I got away from him!”

“So did I!” cried Chrissy.

“He’s shameless!” tutted Jezebel, lighting another cigarette. “He must be stopped before it’s too late! But tell me something, Morag, Chrissie, have you been practising the Full Canteen?”

The two looked at each other guiltily.

Dougal had been sat in the pig pen with Big Black Pig for a week hiding from the Women. He need not have bothered for they had gone a spoon too far and had been wandering around the hill in a daze for days. The menfolk had been “in conference” which meant sampling the moonshine and putting their feet on the furniture.

Dougal and Pig had come to an understanding, which was uncomfortable for Dougal at first and a little painful, but he soon got used to it and even came to enjoy it. He had even become accustomed to the swill, and found it most improving.

The Pig had other plans for Dougal, which began with fattening the scrawny thing up.

The line of succession

March 31, 2010

Jezebel’s protection spell held and she quickly intoned the spell of the complete place setting. Light flew from her spoons and surrounded Agnes, she couldn’t move and the spiralling light made the pattern of a dinner place setting except for the spoon. Agnes’s spoon was whisked from her hand and completed the pattern. Agnes fell to the floor as one dead.

Jezebel was victorious! She had felt the power of the canteen and as the One she now had unlimited power. The next day she would be sworn in as the keeper of the canteen. Her grandmother would be so proud.

All the spoons used in the contest turned bright yellow and swooped back into the open canteen and nestled themselves back into place. The lid closed and the clasp shut with a bang. The light glowing from within faded and all was silent. Jezebel stood on the stone of the knife sharpener and all those attending the contest bowed down to honour the new One.

She remembered the proving and the swearing-in with affection there had been no further trials and over the years and she had been taught not to use the full canteen unless there was a threat and by far the worst threat had been the brethren who had over time distorted the true meaning of the canteen and its magical powers. It had brought wealth and contentment and she had been careful, learning how to harness the quirks of the ladle, the effervescence of a pair of forks and the deviousness of the fish knife. yes, over the years she had wrangled all items of the canteen and knew the secret combinations. Who would have thought the serving spoon crossed with the tiny condiment spoon could be lethal if smeared with english mustard.

The recipes, the dark magic these too she studied but had only used in extremis. There had been a time when a man she had loved, a strange beguiling member of the brethren had whispered to her and she had weakened and let him have a glimpse of the secret world. It had ended of course, badly, with harsh words and throwing of porridge and he had left to become a wandering preacher. Never again would she let any man come between her and her gift. Nine months later a child had been born but she was not ready and the child she now sought would soon learn of her past and the secrets of the canteen would be part of her future. She had a talent, blood will out she thought.

She sat in her limousine outside Chrissie’s house. it was now or never, she must also face her protegé but she had a plan to put to them and hoped they would accept her.

She knocked on her door.

“Who is it, asked Chrissie?

“it’s The One” 

Chrissie opened the door “It’s you! why are you here? I said I didn’t want to see you anymore”

“Yes I know but I didn’t come for you..” Morag appeared at the door wondering who was talking to Chrissie

“Morag, I must see you” said Jezebel, pulling her panda skin furs around her.

“Who are you?”a puzzled Morag asked

“I’m your Mother” said Jezebel

The Proving

March 29, 2010

The day dawned when Jezebel had to undergo the proving. A sacred place had been chosen in the High Lands, which was the traditional site, although there had been no challenge for over a hundred years.

At nightfall the two girls made their way to the ruined abbey alone. The ancient spoons had been placed in their case on a sacrificial stone. If Agnes could not lift  the spoons then she was ruled out as a candidate and Jezebel would win by default.

The moonlight glinted off the stone, which casted a jagged shadow on the ground. The candidates approached with trepidation. The box sprung open of its own accord, although Jezebel thought that she could see a ghostly hand lift it.

They reached out their hands their fingers gripping the heft of a spoon; Jezebel lifted hers with ease, but Agnes seemed to struggle for a moment before lifting hers with some difficulty.

Jezebel seized the advantage and struck! The clang of metal against metal was almost deafening for the adults standing at the bottom of the hill. There was a flash of light and an explosion followed by a pyrotechnic display in all the colours of the rainbow, and some colours not in the rainbow.

Jezebel was awed at her own power, but Agnes struck back with a blow of her own which took her off her guard and she nearly dropped her spoon in surprise. She drew back, and summoning the knowledge she had gleaned from the Spoon Sorceress, she chanted in the ancient tongue “Spoonabracabra!” and Agnes’s spoon flew out of her trembling hand, hovering above her head before flying away into the night air. She was one spoon down, and had only one left.

Agnes seized the remaining spoon in her hand, and waving at Jezebel she countered with “Four tablespoons of oats, four of butter, four of flour!” it was the ancient clan recipe for oat cakes! This was dark magic indeed!

Jezebel could feel the spoon twitching in her hand, and struggled to keep her grip. It flew into the air, taking Jezebel with her as she soared into the night, landing after some time with a thump on the top of a ruined tower.

“So she wants to play dirty does she?” thought Jezebel, “I’ve got plenty of recipes up my sleeve if she means to do that!”

But she heard the voice of Granny warning her, “Stay on the side of the light! Don’t use the recipes!”

Jezebel made the sign of banishing, then she traced the intricate runes of flight in the air with her spoon causing sparks to fly from the handle. She felt it lift and before she knew it she was hurtling through the air and down from the tower to where Agnes stood, her spoon held in the defense stance.

She could hear her as she approached, intoning a recipe for taffy.

“That’s a low trick!” thought Jezebel, quickly defending herself with  a double hefting gesture, holding her spoon aloft with both hands, creating a magical cutlery circuit.

Highland Games

March 27, 2010

It had been a day that had changed Jezebels’ life forever. She had held the mighty spoons in her hand discovering a power that had been unsuspected. Yet with that power came great responsibility, and danger. It wasn’t long before Jezebel had to defend that power.

Her mother had a sister who now lived in the High Lands and rarely visited, but she too had a daughter who had a claim to the title of the One.

When Granny died at a very old age, Jezebel was devastated. She stood in the rain in the cemetery holding her Fathers’ hand in the rain, the tears running down her face.

At the far end of the cemetery stood a figure swathed in black and next to her a girl of Jezebels’ own age, they stared dourly.

Back at the house, the family sat quietly drinking tea and eating sandwiches when there came a knock at the door.

The dark figure seemed to blot out all light from the room; she lifted the veil off her hat.

“It’s me Laura Doom, and I’m here to claim ma spoons!”

Jezebel sat in the Limousine remembering that day, and as she waited for the right moment to knock on Morags’ door, she had a realisation; her cousin Ages Doom had a daughter-what if she decided on revenge and sought out Morag? She had to warn her now!

Granny had left no will, but it wasn’t the way of Jezebels’ people to involve solicitors, and quite rightly too for they are money grabbing bastards in league with the Devil! So it was decided that there would be a Proving, in the old manner of the Shortbread Clan.

It would have been an even fight between Jezebel and Laura Doom, so it was planned that she would go up against Agnes.

The spoons were put in safe keeping before the Proving and each girl had to undertake rigorous training and a Spoon Sorceress had to be brought in to teach them the rules of Cutlery Magic.

Then there were the accoutrements of the Proving; there were robes, sashes, pointy shoes and a hat embroidered with the ancient runes of cutlery; Jezebel had a lot to learn.

The day loomed large when the Proving would take place. The Spoon Sorceress had her walking across logs with her spoon aloft blindfold in the day and in the evening there were long hours learning spoon lore.

At times Jezebel wanted nothing more than to give in, the damned spoons were a curse; granny had been wrong, but then she heard her voice willing her on “Lift the spoons! Lift the spoons!” the wee voice would cry, and she would find strength and carry on.

Laura trained Agnes equally hard, yet she was uneasy, what if her girl had not inherited the gift, if she was not the one then it could mean her death. The Full Canteen performed in such circumstances with such ancient cutlery could unearth dark forces.

The One

March 24, 2010

Jezebel sat back in the fur covered seats of the limousine thinking about the past. She had a normal enough upbringing in Wee Croft, with no strong religious presence in her life. Her father had been a crofter and her mother had died when she was very young so she had been brought up by old Granny Soop Spoon, who had, when she was thirteen, revealed to her her true destiny.

She had sat in her spindly rocking chair by the peat fuelled fire, and asked her to come closer to her, as she had to impart secret ways to her which none of the men folk should hear.

“Och Granny, ” she replied scornfully, “we did that in school last week! It’s only the monthlies, and I’ve had them for ages.”

“Yer an ignorant wee girl!” Granny had cried, “It’s not the curse I’m talking on but a blessing lassie! I come from a long line of spoon wranglers, a secret passed on down the female line from time immemorial, or at least 1815. We are part of the Highland Shortbread clan and descended from Queens.”

Jezebel remembered how she had thrilled to hear this. Until that day she had never heard of such a thing as a spoon wrangler and was full of wonder and awe.

“In ancient days when folk did not know the ways of the world and thought they could control all manner of things such as the weather, the seasons and hence the harvest they revered the women folk who they believed were closer to nature than the men, for they controlled that ancient symbol of fertility, the spoon. Each clan had its own spoon which they guarded jealously and the spoon wrangler was the most important female in the clan, and was their Queen. Every hundred years the ancestral cutlery was opened and only the one who could lift the sacred objects would be Queen and she would pass it on to her daughters and her daughters’ daughters’ for another hundred years. But every now and then there would be a challenge, when maybe two sisters inherited the gift and then would come the ritual of the Full Canteen! It was never to be entered into lightly for one of the challengers would surely die. It was a fight to the death. It has not been practised for many a hundred years, except by an obscure sect called the Brethren, but the meaning has become debased, they have forgotten over time that the ritual had a specific purpose and that only the One can win, and there is only ever one One in a generation. They use it, when it is used as a mens of dire and cruel punishment for the lowest vermin of the flock.”

“But why are ye telling me all this Granny?” she had asked innocently.

“Because, my wee, unfortunately named girl, you are the One!” she had lifted the ancient box from under her dusty tartan skirts and presented it to Jezebel with shaking hands.

“Open it and lift the spoons!” she cried.

Dougal fell into an uneasy sleep and was dreaming about lovely ladies wiping his face and caressing him, they were snuffling him and making noises. He woke up and stared deeply into the eyes in front of his face, it was sniffing him and the smell reminded him of home, for it was his one true friend; Big Black Pig who was rubbing him with her snout. 

“Oh Pig, I’m stuck, help me, 

Big black pig looked at Dougal, he was a poor shape of a pig but she liked Dougal and knew (because black pig was probably a lot smarter than Dougal) that he needed help and she obligingly chewed through the bonds that bound him. Dougal was pathetically grateful to big black pig and they wandered off together into the night.

Jezebel arrived in Over the Border and sought out the best place to stay, she checked in to the Mashed Neeps Travelodge and looked about her with disdain. My poor child, having to live in such a dispiriting place. she thought. The private detective gave her directions to the house where she lived with Chrissie and she sent one of her servants to find the place and report back.

Morag and Chrissie were deadly on the dart board and had managed to beat all comers. The landlord was trying to sign them up for the inter village darts match and they were busy trying on the shirts they wear on match days.

“Och Chrissie, I have changed so much since leaving the village, and it has only been a short time. What awaits us do you think?”

“Morag, the whole world if we want it! Lets go home and prepare for it”

One of the dark limousines cruised past Chrissie’s house and a man got out and peered through the window. He saw a man tied up, rocking backwards and forwards trying to free himself from the bonds that had him captive.

Hellfire heard someone and called out “Help, get me out!” the man retreated and went back to his mistress and reported to her what he had seen, “This man is not important and luckily nothing of significance has taken place. It is time I meet my child and initiate her into the ancient order of the spoons.

Jezebel decided she must be careful, she did not want to approach Morag and scare her, it was to be handled with extreme care.

Morag and Chrissie weaved their way back to the house and lurched through the door. Hellfire had managed to work the hairy bandage of his eyes and as soon as they opened the door he started shouting all sorts of things at them, 

“Well Morag I think the Brother has finally realised that we will not be performing anything for him and especially will not be divulging anything to do with spoons or any other form of cutlery for he is unworthy to touch the ancient spoon bowl or caress Wanda the serrated fish knife. We will release you on the promise that you will leave us be and in return we will not invoke the curse of the unclean tines. For you know that should we do this then you will never be able to enjoy the sinewy grace of the ladle ever again.

Hellfire had gone pale at the threat of the curse and all his bluster left him and he meekly waited while he was released and left the house without a murmur.

“I may not get what I want from these two but I will find one who will” he vowed.

The Queen of the Cutlery

March 22, 2010

Dougal realised that he had wet himself, but that was the least of his indignities; the whole village had gathered and the smiting women’s chant had reached a crescendo, so high that only dogs and Dougal could have heard it.

His blind fold slipped once more over his tearful stinging eyes and he felt the rough bonds on him tighten, which he rather liked.

The Macrame man grew closer, as he was dragged up a steep muddy hill, his bones aching.

He heard the clang of cutlery, playing like a Sheffield stainless steel orchestra around him, then it stopped. The silence was more ominous than any clanging could have been.

He heard the groan of a cabinet, ling rusted shut with age open. The congregation gasped! It was the canteen of antiquity, and no-one was left alive who had witnessed its opening. The cutlery was of so golden a colour that it practically blinded the men folk, who fled in awe and terror, only the women remained to finish the cleansing.

The rite had been passed down imperfectly, for little did they know that it was only the One, the Queen of the Canteen, Keeper of the Silver Service who was able to lift any one of those spoons. For they were magical spoons, forged in the eye of an extinct volcano by supernatural smithies out of steel plated with pure Golden!

One after the other they tried, until darkness fell and all the smiters were exhausted. They had almost forgotten about Dougal, who lay in a miserable wet heap unregarded.

Thoughts of escape flashed through his miserable mind. “If only I could loosen my bonds!” he thought pathetically, “I wish I had never seen Morag or her damned spoon.”

Had he the brains that God gave him, he would have used this lull in the cleansing to wriggle his way towards the many sharp knives that lay around, but alas, he had only studied the reason why people go to places on a correspondence course and had never been very bright.

The women had given up in despair, there was a low rumbling amongst them.

“It’s no use!” cried Heather McFeather, “We need the chosen one! None of us are worthy to lift the spoons!”

They decided to put an ad in the local rag and in the post office window, and left Dougal lying on the hill whilst they went home to make the tea. But not before they took the extra precaution of shoving a sock in Dougal’s mouth and staking him out on the ground with carving knives.

Morag and Chrissie were having such a lovely time drinking Shandy and playing darts in the pub that they forgot all about Brother Hellfire, he sat bound to a chair cursing the two hussies and swearing to get his revenge once he was free.

He had heard legend of one that was called Jezebel, who had performed the full canteen and lived. He would seek her out and learn her secrets if it was the last thing he did.

Hellfire and Damnation!

March 21, 2010

The addition of the mustard was Chrissie’s particular favourite, Morag followed with salt, to rub in the wounds as she put it. Brother Hellfire was all a quiver, and keen to observe the ancient rite but the women were not going to pass on anything just yet and a stocking made of a rough and ready wool was bound around Hellfire’s eyes. He could do nothing as Morag had also tied him to the chair and even now was knotting and tying him down so he looked like a big chrysalis with his head sticking out.

“Away with you women, how can I be part of the Full Canteen trussed up like a big turkey”

” That is just for your protection Brother when we get going you may become afeared and make a fatal move, we can’t have that now can we?” Chrissie said soothingly with a wink to Morag

“Yes, brother, we will tell you what we are doing, don’t you worry, why now I’m running a toasting fork through Chrissie’s hair”

He turned his bandaged eyes toward the voice, “Yes, Yes what next?”

Chrissie bent next to his ear and whispered “I have the carving fork poised above your leg.”

Hellfire gave an involuntary jerk, “Oh That could have been fatal Morag” said Chrissie who was in reality making a cup of tea and toasting a crumpet.

“The next bit has to be done in complete silence and only if you are one of the chosen will you feel anything so don’t move.”

“I promise, I promise” said Hellfire in quite a lather by now

Morag and Chrissie quietly shut the door and went to the pub.

“That should keep him out of way for an hour or two, I have no intention of having a manager, we will do just fine by ourselves.” 

While Morag and Chrissie were enjoying a wee dram in the Badger Jezebel was making her way to Over The Border.

The Private Detective had proved useful after all and she hoped she would get to her daughter before she had become embroiled in something beyond her control. Her talent was obviously deeply ingrained and had only recently flowered. The Brethren had perhaps been the best place for someone like her, fancy being named Morag as well, that was her grandmother’s name. The ancient rituals had been passed down from mother to daughter since time began and when Jezebel had given birth she thought she was doing her daughter a favour breaking her away from the old ways. It was clear now that you could not escape from your birthright. Morag must be trained properly in all forms of cutlery rites including the disputed mustard spoon sub ritual and the dance of the fish server. These things would perhaps save her life. Her protegé as well, she only knew some of the rituals but enough to be dangerous and obviously had mastered the enticements of men. 

Yes, it was imperative she see them and as she summoned her traveling limousines and wrapped herself snuggly in the tanned skins of panda she knew this journey was one of the most important she had ever made.