Colleen Wylie

When George MacFadden was eaten by a dragon

By Colleen Wylie

When George MacFadden was eaten by a dragon, the unforeseen tragedy caused his boyfriend some problems.

Chief among these was the press coverage. The task of shaping Fleet Street’s initial, inchoate views of the event fell, naturally enough, to Charles Newman. He wasn’t an image consultant, exactly, but anyone with an image problem, and access to Charlie, would naturally begin right there. He occasionally referred difficult cases to carefully chosen specialists, but only if they involved failures of personal hygiene, politics or women, all of which he considered indefensible.

“Tom, Tom, Tom,” Charlie said, when Thomas Grisewood’s personal secretary/housekeeper admitted him to the sunny first floor drawing room. Until yesterday, George and his partner had lived quietly here, collecting watercolors, sharing fine wines, and playing some serious chess. Charlie glanced around with sharp eyes, making valuations of recent acquisitions and assessing opening gambits stalled without prospect of resolution. After a moment, he threw himself into an armchair and crossed his cranefly legs. “Tom.” He frowned down his chiselled nose. “Tom.”

“Is that all you’re going to say?” Thomas protested.

“You really have fucked up this time.”

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