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I am posting a blank entry because LJ is a fuckwit.
[Early summer, 1902]


...and so I will be arriving on the 3:00 train. I hope that you and the children can come to meet it, since I am very much looking forward to seeing you again...

As if we wouldn't be there to meet him. As if we haven't been waiting for this day for the past two years, hoping and praying for it to come. I stand on the platform with Sophia's hand in mine, Wilson and Mrs. Parras behind me with Hope and Harry, all of us dressed to the nines, ears straining to catch the sound of the steam engine. Two years. Two years since I've seen my husband, two years since the children have seen their father. I'm not sure poor Hope will even be able to see him anymore. I'm not sure Sophia even remembers his face. Two years. Long for me, and so much longer for a child.

I was still weak, recovering from the hideous stillbirth that nearly took me along with our second son, when Alex told me he'd been called up. How furious I was. Need him? How could they need him, when the fight was so far away, over what seemed to me to be little more than a pissing contest between England and the Dutch. How could they want my husband to go and risk his life fighting for some dusty scrap of land we had no real knowledge of? But Alex insisted, it was his duty, his damnable duty. And what about your duty to us? To your family? Is what I almost said. But I saw the pain in his eyes, the furrow deepening in his brow, and somehow I managed to hold my tongue. And I tried my hardest to make his last few days with us (not his last, please, God, not his last) good ones.

And for two years I answered the children's questions about where Papa was, and when he was coming back. For two years I read the papers and Alex's letters, and wrote back in return. For two years I worked with Mrs. Hobhouse and her associates, speaking out against the atrocities. And for two years my knuckles whitened whenever there was a knock at the door.

But now he is coming home.

There is a shrill whistle in the distance. The train is coming.

[OPEN to ALEX]

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Late November, 1889
The Thornton Estate


Lord Carnarvon should be here any time now, and everyone is in a complete flurry. The servants are nattering about attending an actual Lord again, and my parents are fussing about everything, from the polish on the floor to the sear on the steak.

"Isn't it exciting?" Lizzie says as she bustles about my room. "To think, you might be a real Lady!"

Oh, yes, how terribly exciting. It doesn't matter to me who he is. He could be the Crown Prince himself or a bloody night soil man, so long as he got me out of here. But this is the first man my parents have shoved me towards who actually seems to respect me, and so all of this just seems to be the product of a happy coincidence.

Lizzy pauses, as she sees the dress I've selected. "Oh, dear, Miss. Don't you think something a bit more...cheerful?"

"No." I say. Lizzie sighs, but doesn't argue again.

A half-hour later, I'm heading downstairs, my hair piled up and curled. My parents are already waiting for me. "Oh, Sylvie, not that dress again." My mother clucks. She knows I hate being called Sylvie. I can tell from her voice she's already on her second drink.

"You look like you're in fucking mourning." My father snorts.

"I like this dress," I snap. I do like it. I like the stitching on the bodice and the hem, I like the way the skirt gathers, I like the fact that it doesn't have those ridiculous wing-like shoulders that seem to be all the rage lately.

My father snorts, huffing on his cigar. "You remember what I told you."

It's not a question, and I have the bruises on my arms to show that I certainly do remember. I settle myself in my chair, fold my hands in my lap, and I wait.

[OPEN to Alex]

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I'm in no hurry baby, no hurry now

It ain't too far a walk from th'pub t'a decent hotel. Nothin' too fancy...we don't look th'part, fer one thin', an' ferranother, don't wanna flaunt in fronta Tess. But th'place I find's clean, s'nicely put t'gether, an' th'landlady seems jolly 'nough. One room, decent one, yeah one bed's okay. No, no bags. We travel light.

Landlady shows us upstairs. Room's clean, there's a fire burnin' anna nice bed, big 'nough fer two. I ask th'landlady fer somethin' small t'eat, an' she brings up some bread 'n meats an' tea. No booze, she tells me 't's a dry house, but I wait 'til she leaves th'room 'fore I bring out th'flask in m'bag. Still 'nough in'ere fer both ovvus t'havva nip.

"So," I says, settlin' down on th'bed. "This is better, I hope."


[OPEN to Tess]

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All men are pigs.

Tez's train came earlier'is mornin', an' both Al'n I were here t'see'im go. Al warned me already't 'e'd hafta go afterwards, cuzzis dad wanted'im home. Knew'e wuzn't happy 'bout't, an' th'idea'a sittin' 'round by m'self ferra half-hour didn't fill me wit' glee, but I said't wuz alright. Ain't like'e could help't.

Hate leavin'. Hate th'thought'a bein' stuck alone't school again, 'n worse, 'a goin' home'is summer (wuz nice'a Al t'say'e'd find a way t'let me come back, but don't really b'lieve'e's gonna manage t'talk'is folks 'round). We ai't done nothin' else's far's sex goes, an'I guess we ain't qute talked over what did happen yet...we jes' had fun, goin' through th'attic, readin', playin' in th'snow (hittin' Al'n th'back'a th'head witta snowball wuzza high point). Wuz fun. Wuz th'best week I ever had, really. I hugged'em both, when Tez's train came, told'em 'd see'em at school, an'I didn't fuckin' cry.

Al hugged me again 'fore'e left, an' now'm alone. Well, s'worse thin's, I guess. Find'n empty bench, sit down'n open m'book. Least we had breakfast 'fore we left, so I ain't hungry.


[OPEN to Benedict]
Head's killin' me. Fuckin' throbbin' s'damn hard can't b'lieve act'ally managed t'sleep. Too damn much t'drink las' night pretty damn clearly. Leas's nice'n dim in'ere, 'n th'bed's good'n warm...

...where's here, 'nyway? An' why's the bed so warm?

Sure's hell ain't my bed. My bed don't sag like'is in th'middle. An'....yeah, tha's an arm. Okay. Wouldn' be th'firs' time I ended uppin somebody's bed an' didn't 'member who 'r how. Jes' makes me wonder where th'hell Tez wound up. Last thin' I 'member was headin' back home wit'im....

....shit.

Feel b'hind me wit'one leg. Yeah. Tha's a leg wit' no foot. Annis's Tez's truck. An' m'cunt's all sticky. Okay. Right. Startin' t'remember now. Got back t'th'lot, Tez's truck wuz closest 'n we wuz both pretty unsteady on'r feet. Invites me in, says'e got some coffee, got t'talkin', then I decid'is shirt oughta be off....

Well, given how many times we gone out drinkin' t'gether guess it wuz jes' a mattera time. 'nyway, like Tez. Like'im lots, good fella. We's gotten t'be damn good friends over th'years. Prob'ly woulda happened sooner 'r later, an'm thinkin' we c'n deal wit'it now. An' from what I c'n recall, wouldn't minda repeat performance. Not at bloody all.

Shift 'round an'e stirs, arms tighten up 'round me. Guess't c'n wait 'til'e wakes up.

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Syl's knife

Photobucket


Photobucket



Skinning knife, six inch blande with gut hook. Handle is elk antler. This is the knife Syl most commonly uses in rites and fights; it is always on her (unless she's naked, and then it's nearby). She's no doubt laid a few charms on it over the years, but I have yet to decide what they are.

If Syl pulls a knife, this is the one.
So why are you holding my hand tonight?
I'm not intending to go far away.
I'm just slipping through to the back room --
I'll leave you messages almost every day.
And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace.
Not in this lifetime, babe,
But we'll cling together...
Some kind of heaven written in your face.

So why are you holding my hand tonight?
Well, am I feeling so cold to the touch?
Do my eyes seem to focus,
On some distant point?
Why do I find it hard to talk too much?
And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace.
Not in this lifetime, babe,
But we'll cling together...
Some kind of heaven written in your face.

So why are you holding my hand tonight?
I'm not intending to go far away.
I'm just slipping through to the back room --
I'll leave you messages almost every day.
And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace.
Not in this lifetime, babe,
But we'll cling together...
Some kind of heaven written in your face.

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