Frighton Abbey (flash fiction)
“Who’s responsible for this?” the director thundered at the assembled actors in their sleepwear.
The four actors shook their heads and eyed each other before turning back to the scattered remains of the filming equipment. It was as if overeager children ripped apart the cameras, lighting, and microphones to see the inner mechanisms.
“Well,” said the actor playing Lord Hardwick, “I cannot fathom who could do such a thing.”
“Obviously,” said the actress playing Lady Hardwick, “it’s not one of us. This is our job. Breaking the equipment would be biting the hand that feeds.”
“More like stabbing the hand,” said the actor playing the butler.
Lord and Lady Milton entered the library, their robes of sumptuous refinement, and their faces paled at the sight of the broken equipment.
“Good heavens,” gasped Lady Milton.
“My word,” said Lord Milton. “Quite a mess. But”—he scanned the room—“I see no damage to the house or furnishings. That’s a relief.”
“Sure, to you,” said the director. “I hope this doesn’t change our rental agreement with your manor. But the filming’s off schedule until we acquire new equipment.”
“I like your determination,” said Lord Milton. “As they say, the show must go on.”
Amid the actors’ approving murmurs, nobody noticed the grin—previously a snarl—of the stone imp on the wall.
At 218 words, this is just a little bit above the 200-word limit… I had a tough time chiseling this down from the nearly 300 words I wrote. This was a fun one—thanks for the prompt, Alastair!