The Castle Malinov - The Next Weekend
The young man looked up at the imposing heights of Castle Malinov rising in front of him. A duffel bag slung over his shoulder, he gazed at the imposing edifice with awe.
"Wow," he thought to himself. "This guy Malinov must really be loaded!"
Thin, with sandy-brown hair, he had journeyed there to attend an event hosted by the near mythical Lord. Though he had been slightly worried during the boat trip by the look of the gruff man who had ferried him across the water, now that he was here, it seemed silly that he'd ever had worries. The castle was incredible, the grounds finely tended. As he walked up the crushed stone path to the front entryway, erotic topiaries hinted at the wonders he had read about, bacchanalian splendors which lay just before him inside those mysterious walls. If only those walls could talk! His step quickened.
When he was still some distance from the giant oaken double-door, it swung open. Two young women bounded out, followed by two large, burly men overladen with luggage.
"Bye, Mal!" He could hear their cries faintly as they skipped down the steps. "See you next year!" Behind them, framed in the doorway, a well-dressed, aristocratic looking man returned their farewell waves. Putting two and two together, this had to be the host himself, Lord Malinov.
"Have good trips, Kim, Taria!" he called.
The two women passed the man on the path.
"Hey there!" they said in unison, smiling at him as they went by.
"Hey there yourselves," he replied, smiling back. As they passed him, his spirits soared even higher. If these two were any indication of what lay in wait at Castle Malinov, this was going to be one awesome weekend. Man, they were lookers!
A few steps past the newcomer, one of the women turned and yelled back to Lord Malinov. "Don't forget to tell Ivan we'll meet him and Rob at the 'copter after we've said goodbye to the horses!"
"Helicopter?" the newcomer thought to himself, nodding politely at the two porters as he passed them. "Malinov really does have some coin!"
His eyes brightened with a sudden thought. "Hey, maybe I could join the Mile High Club this weekend!" he exulted to himself for a second, before doubt flickered into his mind. "Then again ...how high can a helicopter fly?"
His musings vanished as he reached the steps. The master of Castle Malinov hadn't gone inside; rather he stood there, lounging against the frame of the open door, arms crossed, a slightly quizzical expression on his face as he watched the young man ascend the stairs.
"Hmmm," the new arrival thought to himself as he saw the mysterious Lord clearly for the first time. "I thought he'd be taller."
As the young man reached the top of the landing, Malinov uncoiled, his body moving lithely, veiled power in his stride as he stepped forward to greet the stranger.
"Greetings," Malinov said, holding out his hand. "I'm Malinov, the owner of this castle. Can I help you?"
The newcomer returned Malinov's firm grasp. "Hi. We've never met ...well, of course you know that! Sorry. I'm John, though some people know me as Pulp Fan. I heard about your party and ...uh ...well, even though I don't have an invitation, I do know some of the people who are supposed to be attending and, well, I thought ..."
An amused twinkle came into Malinov's eyes. He held up his hand, stopping the other in mid- sentence. Smiling, he said, "You don't need to say any more. I always have plenty of room, and you indeed would have been welcome."
John didn't like the sound of that. A tinge of panic in his voice, "What do you mean, 'would have been'?"
"Well, I hate to tell you this, but the party you're referring to took place last weekend."
John's heart dropped. He was sure the "thud" as it hit the ground could be heard all the way back to the mainland.
"Last ...last weekend?" he stammered. "But ...but ...I can't believe it!" Almost pleading, he finished plaintively, "But your parties are supposed to be the best! I can't have missed it!"
"Well, immodest as it may be of me to say," responded the master of Castle Malinov, "I think most people have a pretty good time at them. I don't know how you did it, but you did indeed miss it by a week. That's a new one for the journals- - no one's ever done that before, not even The Bear. A few of my guests stayed over an extra week, but even they're leaving in a few moments. You saw the two young ladies a moment ago - the boyfriend of one is probably already at the helicopter. My other remaining guest is on his way down as well to catch a lift back. In fact, I think I hear him now."
From behind Lord Malinov came the sound of hurried footsteps, sneakers scuffing on polished wooden floors.
"Hey, Mal, dude!" a voice shouted out. "Where'd the babes go to?"
Malinov turned slightly as a young, slightly disheveled, man bounded out of the castle.
"They're at the stables, Ivan," he replied. "They told me to tell you they'd meet you at the `copter."
"Cool." Noticing the new arrival whom Malinov had been talking to, he stuck out his hand. "Hey, dude, how's it goin'? I'm Poison Ivan."
Still somewhat numb, trying to absorb the news that he was a week late, John reflexively shook Ivan's hand. "Uh, yeah, hi," he replied, demonstrating his fluent command over the English language. He shook his head. "Sorry, I'm just a little spaced right now. I'm Pulp Fan - we've spoken."
"Right! Nice to finally meet you. Should I call you Pulp, or will Mr. Fan do?" Ivan asked with a grin.
"Ah, no, John will do just fine."
"So what're you doing here?" Ivan asked.
"John marked the wrong weekend on his calendar for my little soiree," Malinov explained.
"Bummer for you, dude," Ivan sympathized. "It was totally awesome."
Malinov faced the disheartened young man. "Sorry about this," he said. "Maybe next year. Normally I'd invite you to stay awhile at the castle anyway, but I'm off to the Continent and I always give the staff some time off after my events - my parties take a lot out of them!. I'm afraid you'll just have to catch the ride back to the mainland."
"No, no problem. I understand," John replied. "I just can't believe I got the wrong weekend ..."
"Well, like I said, maybe next year," Malinov said. "I have to run, but it was nice meeting you." With a final word to Poison Ivan, the master of Castle Malinov turned and re-entered its mysterious walls, the doors swinging shut behind him.
As the two men walked back down the path towards the helicopter pad, Ivan shook his head. "You should have been there, dude," he enthused. "You would have loved it - there were these supermodels ..."
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|Story copyright by Poison Ivan.|