Mysterious Glass Invitation

I walked up the noisy gravel driveway, coat pulled up against the pervasive chill of the night. I checked my watch to see how late it was, and was surprised by how bright the moon shone, reflected off my cracked glass watch face. I looked up at it and was struck by just how large it was in the sky – not the first time I’d had such a thought since touching down in this strange country.

My fingers grazed over the watch face, and I let a deep sigh escape – I really did have to find a good glass repair company in Melbourne, on my return.

‘Hello?’ a voice called out from the darkness immediately behind me, attached to a young blonde woman, her apologetic smile more apparent as she jogged into the moonlight. ‘I didn’t mean to startle you!’

‘No matter,’ I said, returning her cordial smile. ‘Are you also on your way to the Baron’s mansion?’

‘Afraid so,’ she sighed, and I detected a faint American accent. ‘You got his cryptic invitation too?’

I nodded. ‘Do you have any idea why he’s gathering us? Or even how many of us there will be?’

‘No clue,’ she said, as we began to walk up the immense driveway again. ‘Probably just wants to show off some fancy new glass stair balustrade he had imported from Australia or something.’

‘Oh,’ I frowned. ‘Rather not the macabre evening I had hoped for.’

She laughed at my expression, hooking her arm around mine in an overtly familiar gesture. ‘You’re funny,’ she declared. 

‘Thank you,’ I said, stiffly. ‘And you are…’

‘Abigail,’ she told me, with a curt nod. ‘Judging by those specs and that truly terrific hat… you gotta be the scientist, right? Rennings?’

I nodded, impressed with her deduction. 

‘Look,’ she went on, ‘don’t get your hopes up about tonight. It’s just as likely that he needs witnesses for some legal signing than that he wants to actually show you something… interesting.’

‘I shall do my best to keep my hope in check,’ I said, as we approached the door. ‘Shall we?’