“Hyde Park Hero”

The Daily Current1

June 16, 1818

London, England

You may have noticed the London air a bit smokier than usual yesterday afternoon, around the time the upper ten thousand choose to see and be seen. But the smoke was not caused by the usual sources of London’s mercantile glory. Instead, witnesses claim the smoke hailed from a coach, set aflame in the middle of Hyde Park.

Released almost immediately from their harnesses by a strolling lady rumored to be one of the Duke of Clearford’s numerous sisters, the horses escaped a fiery fate. So too did three young gentlemen who fell coughing from the conveyance. The youngest of them, the thirteen-year-old Earl of Avelford, rolled to the ground hugging a bottle containing an amber-hued liquid suspiciously similar in shade to that shared after dinner between gentlemen. I am not suggesting the young lord and his peers were sipping brandy while setting a coach aflame, but the evidence is interesting.

His guardian and older brother, Mr. Tristan Kingston, is a man of great renown despite his dubious parentage. No doubt his massive wealth and handsome countenance help smooth his way in a society he only half belongs to, having been born, as everyone knows, on the wrong side of the blanket. Mr. Kingston arrived in time to pull the boys to safety and should be commended for his quick thinking and calm reaction to his brother’s dangerous incident, reportedly caused by a malfunctioning instantaneous light box.

There were no injuries as far as this author is aware, and all actors in the impromptu drama quickly dispersed, leaving the flames to burn bright until there was nothing more of the carriage to consume. Thankfully, a rain early yesterday evening has, according to an eyewitness, turned the smoldering ash to mud and a pile of burnt metal. A fortuitously uneventful end to a shockingly dramatic event.   

Nothing remains of the incident but for unanswered questions. Is the young Duke of Avelford a rogue in the making? Is Mr. Kingston the right guardian for such a boy? Why did Mr. Kingston arrive at the flaming coach beside the duke’s sister? And why did she dash away soon after her equine heroics with red cheeks? As this esteemed publication is owned by Mr. Kingston, I’ll abstain from guesses, which may inadvertently cast aspersions on his character.

- By B. Bailey

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  1. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, brands, media, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner.
    Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. ↩︎

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