Heart’s Desire – the Topsy King

This is the address you’ve been given for Cora Bagley: a neat brick house in a street beside a little fungal park. Lights blaze in every window. Special Constables, the strong arm of the Ministry of Public Decency, stand watch front and back.

[This is the end of the road, but only for now. Heart’s Desire! will continue when Book 2 Part 2 opens.

I… feel as if I’ve been kicked in the chest by a horse. I cannot… cannot draw breath… to have come so far, to have endured so much and forsaken so much more… only to be told it ends here, even if only temporarily… that I must wait again, wait some more, wait and wait and WAIT as I have waited for two endless years, now…!

Perhaps God truly did forsake me when I moved to within sight of Hell; can He have heard my prayers at all?

oh Nicholas… dear one… pray be patient… I’m coming as quickly as I can…!



  1. Henrik Paulsen said,

    July 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Dear lady — Merri — you must understand that I share your frustration. I’ve been similarly stymied in my pursuit of the man who killed my brother, and at times I wish I could /scream/ with the frustration of it all — perhaps this frustration is what drives me to risk my life in the spider-dens and the dueling-rings. But you must hold yourself together, my dear one, and you must be strong until you can discover what has happened to Cora Bagley. I have every confidence that you will endure with grace.

    If you should need to tear someone to pieces, though, do ask me to fight you? It might ease the ache a bit.

  2. cl0ckw0rks said,

    July 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Fight you? I… your pardon, please… I cannot seem to think clearly just yet… too close to tears I dare not shed….

    I must be strong. You are right, Henrik. I must. I’ve come this far, I can bear this. I can. I shall. I must.

    Fight you… I suppose I should… something physical to concentrate upon, to ease the aching in my heart… show no mercy, dear friend. Bludgeon me senseless and know it is mercy you deliver in every stroke…

  3. Henrik Paulsen said,

    July 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I will, my dear, and gladly — and afterward, I shall tend you as tenderly as I know how to.

  4. cl0ckw0rks said,

    July 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    … dear God, is there to be no mercy for me at all…?

    I would not ask of you more than you can give, Henrik — but know I am grateful for that which you feel able to provide.

    This… this has been a blow almost as great as the one which drove me here… and it could drive me into foolish, reckless things…

  5. Henrik Paulsen said,

    July 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Have a care for your safety; we should miss you terribly if anything were to happen to you.

  6. Narcissus said,

    July 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    My dear lady! I cannot bear to see you like this. Think, dear, on when you first came to Fallen London, without a friend or a clue except the rumor of a card-game, then think how far you’ve come, think how much farther you might go. You are at the door, and you will see it open. You will have your Heart’s Desire — I know no lady more clever or captivating, and what does it take but cleverness and captivation to win a game of cards? — and you can have it however you wish! Two years can be mere moments. Believe me, if you wouldn’t believe it from yourself.

    • cl0ckw0rks said,

      July 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      … *deep, sad breath*….

      Thank you, sweet friend. Please pardon my unseemly displays here. This has been… most oversetting.

      Forgive me. I should retire for a bit, I think.

      • Narcissus said,

        July 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

        Think nothing of it. I know you, and I know how you rebel against stagnation: an obstacle would but sharpen your resolve, but being made to do nothing is unbearable for you. It’s your friends who must support you, and have faith in the strength of your desire — which cannot be stopped even when the road does. Rest, dear lady.

        • cl0ckw0rks said,

          July 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

          You are indeed a poet, Narcissus.

          And you’re about to make me cry, when I have sworn not to do so…

          • Narcissus said,

            July 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

            Words are the best I can offer. But if you need cry, I do have a shoulder, too.

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