Pondering Weak and Weary
#1
WIP

Meril
"Heaven preserve me. Hell, too."

She would not have her time wasted by imbeciles.

"There is nothing to forgive. The matter of family is not a subject I dive into lightly, nor am I oft asked so directly about it. I was overcome with frivolous emotion. Nothing of which had to do with either of you." Folding her arms, as if symbolizing her trying to close off. "But given that, I should have followed my own creed and let you both alone about it. I was concerned at this sudden appearance of a strange boy seemingly accosting you with no notice prior. I acted rashly."

Meril had certainly not come to [Madsmoor] for its beauty or allure. More necessity, or perhaps desperation. ... In secret, she found it to be a refuge. The quiet, despite the oddities, was a relief. Though the maids were always bustling, the lack of immediate distresses was comforting. Even his Lordship in his waning ways, at least he had family caring for him. There were opportunities for quiet reflection that she had not had in her old life.

"There is some comfort to the fog, like a blanket upon the world. It shields and it blocks the uncertainty of distant things. The future is more certain within it. Perhaps it is its own attraction."

Meril became momentarily consumed by her visions. The sea and its steady waves and pungent air conjuring thick mist and spray. After getting used to the way it moved and the footing one had to keep to stand straight on the deck, she felt at last a sense of freedom as the maidenhead cut through the water and brought her farther and farther from the east coast. If there had been any time that made her consider God to be real, it had been the day she'd come upon Captain Sandoval's ship.

Kel

He dared not engage with dalliances, not since his heart had been hewn by the bloody devil bastard Cecil Atticus. It was the discovery in and of itself that had wounded him. That he had a heart to break at all. Here, he could hide behind his fiddle and speak through the strings, things he could ne'er hope to articulate with his own tongue.

"I like things said plainly to me."

"Life en't worth nothin' if not f'r risks."

Usually there wasn't much time spent between meeting and fucking. Then leaving and sometimes drinking himself to sleep when it didn't go particularly well.

A bit of thinking now and then was a welcome change...

Perhaps [his Mother] would at last realize that he was a grown man and no longer attached to her at the apron string.

[His Mother] baked too much of her own bitterness into everything.

"I en't no better than them other maids, they fall over backward f'r the first new footman they sees who en't balding yet." Sneering at his own taste, wanting to spit on the ground and curse

When the time came, [Beth] would likely marry someone with sense. Or at least be sensible about her husband's senselessness.

He all but choked on his pie, "Spy?! Why Beth, tha's gone and become some heroine from a penny blood story!" Kel craned his neck to look up at the castle in some shock, as if he would suddenly observe Lord Amwolf in a window with a sinister countenance looking down upon them.

"This [Lord Amwolf] so flaccid he can't find his own wife?"

Propriety was simply pointless when the proprietor was rather less than proper herself.

Emil

If this were any other circumstance, he'd feel like his excursion to the tavern paid off with someone's arse in his face at the end of the night. But considering the state of this fellow, it was likely bound to put him off for a week at least.

"Aye, eye, captain." And he nearly tripped as he dunked his head into the bowl, quite ready to fall inside of it and swim through it like a well. The room temperature was cool enough to shock his senses, and he stumbled back with the fringe of his hair slopping wet and plastered to his forehead. "Huh. Well, I am sober now."

Rene

"Why, don't you know? I am a genuine born Frenchman! It is from my homeland that Kelvin Madswitte plucked us from the vineyards like so many grapes to crush under his feet." He could nearly taste his own bitterness, and it radiated from him so strongly that he took a moment to stand there away from Hamish to settle the growls and dragons in his throat before coming back to sit at his side.

"[England] is simple, and dirty, and quaint. Like a beloved family dog ... And once it gets a proper bath, it can be quite handsome with its crooked teeth and shining eyes."

He had no respect for Kelvin Madswitte. His name, his rules, his reputation? All would fall by the wayside soon enough. Peerage was doomed to fail. He had not been born a poor boy, but he was not so far up the arse of the monarchy that he believed titles alone could withstand the test of time. Had he been born in the cradle next to Hamish in some slum nursery, there would be no missteps to be had. Except for God's law about man lying with man, that is. But God wasn't corporeal, and therefore had no say in judging René or his life, so fie to him.

"Yes, it's brilliant." He touted his own thinking.

Isadora

she threw the spoils of her misdeed on the ground to put up her fists.

"Git away, I'll hits ya!"

She gave [Desmond] a look of childish tempestuousness over her fists. In the murky mist he looked like some wispy elf king come to poach children away. "No sir, Oberon. We don't trust your sort round here!"

Ezra

Ezra waited by the door far too early, and had to be content to wait awkwardly with the footman sent to see him in. Small talk was simply painful. He looked eagerly out the window next to the main entrance like a pining pup.

Given how over-emphatic he was, it likely wasn't surprising to hear that he scared people off. At the college, many boys would tease him, either in front or behind his back, mostly of his accent and his tendency to drop things.

He interpreted [Himal's] advice as rather vital and noble, as always. ... Himal - Chandan. Professor Chandan. Always so very level-headed.

"I often found myself to miss our quiet evenings, when you made lovely things for me. Better than most English meals they have served us here." Smiling back, perching on the arm of Chandan's chair, still rather too excited to do any relaxing. He felt his apprehension fading, hearkening back to the familiarity that they'd shared at school together. The sort he'd never shared with anyone else before, but of which he merely attributed to the sacredness of friendship.

He resisted the urge to stroke through Chandan's luscious hair.

It was probably the most dastardly thing he'd ever done in his life; borrowed the doctor's stethoscope without asking permission. To use now, pressing the...thing against the door while he put the other... parts into his ears.

She fought down the tightening in her stomach, and her creeping memory of the door in the old house flapping open violently in the sea storm as she walked out from the veranda for the last time.

A tad annoyed; one ought not barge right into things. Such was they way of men.

"It will not do to conceal matters. As I am sure you know, Madsmoor is rife with both the true and untrue milling about under everybody's breath; the strange and unfortunate."

Kelvin

Despite the strange, confusing tragedy involving Lady Violetta, he had told Colette that he considered the whole affair a rousing success. Oh, yes, and the malfunctioning carousel. That also happened. And the crumbling piece of the tower. Also that. But those had barely been in his periphery. And no one had died. So who could deny all the otherwise promising events?

His family - the Muzurans....so very...thoughtful. To come here. His new children, how very...intelligent they were. Yes, their schooling was going well. Wasn't it? And all these other quaint folk staying as guests. They were so...numerous.

"Do stay and see what it is that we have here, here in my body that is so strange. It may help to illuminate things for all of us." At this point, he was nearly half-aware of how odd his sentences were, but at the same time felt that he couldn't articulate any better even if he tried. There was a stopper somewhere in his brain that made things hard to do.

"That's why they have sent you, is it?" Only slight disdain in his tone, "You are trying to figure out what is wrong with me..." His eyes gazed heavenward, not in resentment so much as perhaps asking God himself for the answer. "I have seen and heard from the other side since I was a boy. The nightly scratching beneath my bed, the china flying off tables and against the walls with no apparent earthly force, the wailing in my ears, such wailing...." Closing his eyes and clenching his jaw, "Even as I withdrew from the world, there was no abating of strange things, appearing in the fireplace, paralyzing me..."

His mind began to flood with flickering, fast moving thoughts and images, and he squeezed his eyes shut for a moment to quiet them.

"Merely... the thumping in my chest. Bump-bump-bump, you know?" Though his gaze did not move beyond that same unseen focus. "Rather like... that fellow, what's his name? Poet. The writer of the story, the man under the floor [The Tell-Tale Heart]. I have no murderous secret, of course. But the thumping..."

Violetta

"Blasted damn...! ... What's...done this all...fuck! ... Oh Hell in baskets, don't you -- Curse you, and the Beggar's....Opera....."

She had seen the face of Mack Heath, stony and distant, the features faint. His whole visage was a scene of horror. Wounding with mere glances. ... Perhaps this was the end. The seat of Hell. ... She heard Dietrich's voice; yes, purgatory.

[Her bullet wound] could just as likely have been a demon's sharp tooth. The incubus sat on her chest at night.

"It was my...well bloody hell, no sense in hiding it now. My former beau, known to all as my late husband, but alas, I am not, and never was a lowly baron's wife." She tried to scrape what little pride she could from that, but it held no water, or brandy, as it were. ... "But I thought he was...dead. I didn't lie about that part..."

"I suppose that..." Oh mother, how very trying this was. But go on now. Say it. One will do for all the rest. Right? "That...th...thanks...is in order. .."

Jericho

The market always caught his nerves with a fist, twisting his insides and made him feel small and vulnerable; it was full to the brim with folk, all of fair face and hair, and he felt like a queer coated deer who could never hide himself in the brush like the rest. It was once his duty to blend with them, but now that he'd broken away, he'd clung to the remnants he could retain about his old life, and had not worn a hat or tie since he was twenty. It wasn't enough, but it was all he could do, especially from a continent away. And since he had not yet been arrested, he presumed it was alright to continue.

There were undercurrents of feeling that he feared to take straight on into his heart just yet.

"[My life is] certainly boring when you compare it to a life like yours [Aureliano's]." He laughed. Rather like comparing shell beads to diamonds, "But there is no wolf at my back. I am paid and fed. I am often alone, but unscathed. It may as well be a king's life for what I left behind." Not that he didn't miss a few times here and there, the rare times that he'd been free to go where he liked and seek out what enlightenment he could overturn beneath the rocks and coastlines of the cape.

"I had to rely on a village man to bring his shotgun to protect me. Hardly a stalwart adventurer."

He did not expect to be touched in the heart by Captain Sandoval, so he was quite taken aback and unsure of what to do with that kind of a statement. So as per his way, he ignored it.

"I do not go courting like some dapper swain ... I do not tend to make any indication that I am interested. Perhaps I have even...gone out of my way to avoid it." He'd never thought to vocalize it before. But it was troubling to hear himself say it.

He took his blessing as a sign; don't be hasty. Not when there is no longer a need. Take the time to unwind each feeling, each thought. That way it would all make sense when he decided things. Unlike before...

He scoffed, but felt his posture rearranging despite himself. It would not do to become an Englishman. Sitting straight backed in parlours with pinkies in the air poised to sip sugar on bitter leaves.

He tried to communicate disdain, but felt more like vomiting into his mug from nerves. Drinking a bit more than he intended to in order to stifle the retching, then coughing a little after it.

He offered a look of some sympathy, betraying more emotion than he'd hoped to let on. Even the most boisterous of men must have sadness, just further hidden below the surface than others. "I am...lonely too. ..."
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