Tallying the Tab

  • Two bags of roasted chestnuts: 20 rostygold
  • Two doses of F.F. Gebrandt’s Tincture of Vigour: 1 Echo
  • The opportunity to stop making a fool of oneself? Priceless
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Aftermath

if my hands tremble
as fingertips brush the ragged scarlet edges
of torn flesh
think only that it
is the scent of fresh
blood
that dizzies me

mark it as my feminine nature’s
natural revulsion
to seeing you so intimately
seeing the you
behind
that which skin should have
kept secret

think me frail
delicate
carefully insulated
from wounds
pain
blood
the terror and honor
of battle

think any of this
I pray
knowing my hands tremble
from deeper wounds
honorably won
as I battle myself
and win

and lose

Another day, another scandal

I awoke this morning to discover I’d made the silliest of mistakes. I’d gifted a friend and fellow collector of First City coins with some of what I’d acquired, thinking it was “extra,” only to discover that I had not yet parted out my stake in the Marvellous. I don’t know how I made such an obvious and short-sighted error, but at least it was rather easily correctable. It did mean another rather odious visit to the Numismatrix, of course. I resumed my planning of an informal entry into the Museum of Mistakes shortly afterward and was well satisfied that I’d concocted a plan that would get me in, the coins acquired, and get me out again with no one the wiser.

To my utter astonishment and shame, I failed.

The details are a blur now. I know I took a spill off a slippery rooftop. There was something about a reflection in a glass, and snakes. Worse yet, I was sighted — oh the burning shame of it — and now I am on the “persons of interest” list the constabulary keeps.

Nightmares. Suspicion. Scandal. How I missed adding Wounds to that I’ll never know.

I’ve only ever felt worse than this once. The consequences of that incident drove me to Fallen London and the arms of the Bazaar. I have nowhere else to go now, except into laudanum’s embrace, perhaps. A night of sleep, or what passes for it. This will look better in the morning, I’m sure.

.-*-._.-*-._.-*-.

I’m scarcely faring any better in that silly archaeological dig in the Forgotten Quarter. I still don’t know how I ended up agreeing to that. One too many glasses of Greyfields 1882, no doubt. In any event, Dr. Orthos is hiring all my best assistants away from me and Virgina, that deviless with whom our dear  Commodore Creazil is so enamoured, has had her minions spying on me almost ceaselessly. I’d been treating this whole expedition in a rather light-hearted vein, but after my abysmal performance at the Museum of Mistakes I do believe I’m about to get serious, very serious, about digging for relics in the remnants of the Fourth Stolen City.

Ah well. The night beckons, and another round of chances and opportunities. Good night, Fallen London. Sleep tight. Don’t let the sorrow spiders bite.