Saturday, October 21, 2006

An Unexpected Guest

We're going pink for October!

The state of TIAH

October 21st, 2006

in 1972, Professor Karl Ainsworth, Dr. Yvette Montclair, and the vestiges of the Montignac police department raid the home of Father Vincent Laval, the mad parish priest who has been controlling the minds of the people of Montignac and forcing them to serve the ancient bear of the Lascaux Cave. Unfortunately, he has had time to clear his small house of everything important to him. “He's probably taken the bear someplace else,” Professor Ainsworth says, “and will try to start his cult up again with fresh meat, so to speak.” The policemen, most of whom had grown up in Montignac and had known Father Laval for years, can barely believe what is happening. “He christened my daughter,” one of them says, shaking his head. Dr. Montclair pats him on the back and says, “I suppose that he found his pagan sacrifices a bit more exciting than Christian duties such as that.” While they are searching through the mess Laval has left behind him, a young woman knocks on the door of the house. Ainsworth greets her and she asks, “What are you doing here? Has something happened to Vincent?” Deciding to try a little subterfuge, Ainsworth says, “He's disappeared, like many of the people in the community over the last few weeks. Did you know him well?” She looks stunned, and nods. “He was my uncle, my only family. My parents died in a car crash three months ago, and Uncle Vincent sent word to me that I should come to Montignac as soon as I placed their affairs in order.” The young woman cries softly, and Professor Ainsworth places an arm around her to comfort her. While he does this, he mouths the words “Laval's niece” to Dr. Montclair, who then speaks to the police officers. Ainsworth leads the young lady to a couch and sits her down. “What is your name, mademoiselle?” She wipes away her tears and replies, “Alexandra Laval, but everyone calls me Sondra.” Ainsworth smiles and says, “OK, Sondra, the police will need to ask you a few questions about your uncle, but then you should be able to relax. I'm sure that we'll find your uncle, so don't worry.” She nods and tries to smile bravely, and Ainsworth goes to speak with the officers and Dr. Montclair quietly. “I don't think she knows what's been going on,” he tells them, “but she might be able to give us some insight into Laval. Try not to ask anything that points suspicion at him too directly.” The policemen agree, and question the mademoiselle for a few minutes about the priest's background and possible places he might go if he was in trouble. After this, Professor Ainsworth and Dr. Montclair offer to put her up at the local inn rather than have her stay at Father Laval's somewhat disheveled home. She gratefully agrees, and a watch is placed on her to see if the errant priest will make contact with her.

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