Mudstop Manor sat atop the Mudstop swamp down the street from my house.
It was a strange and mysterious place with comings and goings at all hours of the day and night.
Murder and mayhem were common occurrences. An occupational hazard for anyone silly enough to venture into the swamp.
It was on the Tuesday that it all happened. A happening more than any ordinary happening as this time there were witnesses.
Harvey Halfbaked saw it all. Or so he said.
Harvey was known to exaggerate most things but this time he was adamant that what he saw did actually happen.
It was the footsteps he said that drew his attention. Footsteps going to the Manor and not coming from it.
Inside the manor the body of Ignatius Goodgracious lay in a blood splattered room. The good Ignatius who was very dead by this stage had been on any other day of his life the life and death of any party. Ignatius was a real party killer.
He could clear a room just by entering it.
Now his body was drawing more attention than it ever did when it was alive.
Harvey claimed the Butler did it but everyone knew that was a most preposterous notion as the Butler, 94 year old Stormie Weathers had enough trouble walking let alone swinging an axe as this murderer had appeared to do.
It was then that Harvey admitted his silent vendetta against Stormie a new kid on the block when it came to butlering, having started his life as a butler at age 87 and in doing so he’d put Harvey’s nose out of joint as Harvey considered himself a shoe in for the job.
Stormie then pointed an aged finger at Harvey accusing him of scoundrelling and giving him a bad name.
It was the blood on Harvey’s shirt and pants that gave him away. Weighed down with so much evidence against him he confessed, admitted to laying the footsteps in such a way as to create a nuisance, said he went to the Manor to discuss with Ignatius the weekends Croquet match when Ignatius swung his mallet and almost killed Harvey. Things got out of hand when Harvey grabbed the fireman’s axe from the fire cupboard and found himself swinging with gay abandon severing a lot of Ignatius before sense prevailed and he stopped and surveyed his destruction.
Crestfallen Harvey was taken away and never seen again, BUT each year on the anniversary a set of footsteps appears at the entrance to Mudstop Manor, going to the manor but never returning.