This is a short story I wrote in late 2003 combining elements of Somerset Maugham’s “The Magician” with Oliver Haddo as a central character, and an excellent pipe tobacco called Haddo’s Delight blended by G.L. Pease. The story was written specifically for pipe smokers, and for lovers of the blend who became so enchanted they referred to Pease as “the dark lord.”
Here is how I introduced the piece to ASP:
Here’s a link to a bit of my short fiction written for ASPers — with
a nod to Somerset Maugham, plus a nod and a wink to Greg Pease.
I hope you enjoy the story.
It’s a short bit of fantasy fiction, and I hope you enjoy the tale as well. Without further adieu, the little yarn …
By David Kirkpatrick
It was late and I sat in my study finishing my last bowl of tobacco for the night. The pipe, an old, rusticated lovat, was one of my favorites and it held the remnants of my last tin of Haddo’s Delight, a wonderfully spicy blend created by the dark lord of tobacco himself, G.L. Pease. The night was comfortable, the single malt rolled smoothly down my throat and the smoke was exquisite. I set my work papers aside and leaned back in the old rocking chair to watch the hypnotic trails of smoke loll about me. Everything conspired to create a deep calm within my breast and I closed my eyes. Closed my eyes only to drift into a shallow slumber …
In the next moment my eyes snapped open. I still held my pipe, which continued to smolder, and my glass of scotch still rested beside me. But I was no longer in my rocking chair, nor was I in my study. The room was more somber and positively filled with books, animal skins and other ornamentation, and a fire roared in the hearth.
I then realized a man sat across the room from me in a large leather chair, matching the chair in which I was resting. The man was immensely corpulent, completely clean shaven and mostly bald, although he had a longish crescent-shaped fringe of hair that ran from ear to ear across the back of his head. Even more unusual, the man was attired in very bold clothing — a ruffled shirt of deep emerald under a waistcoat and his pants were tucked into boots of unusual fashion — the effect of his appearance made me think of another age, a time before the first World War.