Something Wicked: Chapter Two

And the word is… finally! This story had been giving me a terrible case of writer’s block, but it seems to have retreated, so here’s chapter two. Chapter one can be found by clicking on the “Something Wicked” category. Anyway, simply put, this is a tribute to Victoriana, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Lovecraftian horror. All stereotypes are intentional. Enjoy.

Two

{In which we meet the young woman running for her life, and there is a beast.}

On reflection, Anne decided, coming here had been a terrible idea. She should never have succumbed to temptation.

The beast behind her seemed to agree, but – of course, she thought bitterly – said nothing, made no sound of any kind. It was silent.

That was the thing, she observed as she ran desperately down Berginion Street, terrified of tripping in the dim gaslight; it always was. She had managed to hide, a brief respite, but then it had caught her scent once more; it had been tailing her impossibly fast and in silence, constant silence, for several minutes now, and she was exhausted. Every breath was a labour, dragging itself burning and harsh from her lungs, and her steps were less frequent now – her legs were beginning to fail her, and would absolutely if she didn’t find rest. She cursed her skirts through clenched teeth, running onwards.

She only halted when she collided with an immaculately polished set of silver buttons.

There was a winded, inelegant “oof!” which she eventually realised had been another’s as well as hers; she looked up to discover that the buttons had a wearer, an astonished-looking fellow who couldn’t be more than twenty.

“Pardon me – ” he began hastily, but she shook her head and raised a finger to her lips, glancing fearfully behind her. All she saw was murky, rained-upon street, and the air seemed to have inexplicably… lightened, somehow.

Well, not inexplicably; her pursuer seemed to have gone, if only for now. The palpable change in the street around her told her so.

She looked back to the man – the officer – in front of her, smiling brightly at him.

He simply gazed at her, wide-eyed, still seeming baffled by this sudden development; it took him a few moments to open his mouth, and when he did, it was only to let out a hesitant “er”, the sole sound in the street.

She offered a hand, and he stared at it, still unspeaking. No, ladies simply didn’t shake hands with men, but she had narrowly escaped being devoured by an ageless monster; there was no time for etiquette.

He gingerly took her hand, shaking it, and then looked to her face. He met her eye. “Arthur,” he declared, with the smallest hint of a smile, before quickly adding, “Moorham. Constable Arthur Moorham.”

“Anne,” she replied, reclaiming her hand as gently as she was able to.

A pause; he watched her with a furrowed brow, and he phrased the question in concerned tones. “You seem… shaken. Is anything bothering you?”

He hadn’t seen what was chasing her, and there was no way to explain – no way to explain easily, at any rate. Her smile faltered. “I…” She swallowed. “Is there anywhere I can find a good cup of tea?”

A whole smile this time, small but most definitely there, and he said casually, “Mine are widely known for their quality. I spend enough time making them for my superiors.”

She let out a small laugh; it was a weak joke, but better than none, as was any hint of generosity. She was surprised when he didn’t show her to the station, and it must have been written upon her face; “Raylesleigh,” he said shortly by way of explanation, which didn’t help her befuddlement at all. He gestured further up the street from where they were standing. “My home has an acceptable kettle, but if there is a problem…?” His eyes and voice were nervous, the worry behind them clear. He intended nothing disreputable for either of them, and seemed to be trying desperately to communicate that.

She made up her mind, already fairly confident in his character. “Not at all,” she replied, and began to follow him, her curiosity piqued.

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2 thoughts on “Something Wicked: Chapter Two

  1. Ancient says:

    I hate those days when you just can’t seem to get past “the block”. Looks like you overcame it with some flair! This is awesome, and I can’t wait to read more.

  2. Fae says:

    Thanks! Glad you like it. This story is just a chance to experiment with a different, more traditional writing style and see how many things about Victorian London I can get wrong in a paragraph. 🙂

    Looks like it could be fun. The next few chapters should be quicker and better, seeing as the block’s had mercy on my soul for a while.

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