Thursday, November 3, 2011

Punch’s Cousin, Chapter 384

Where are you taking me?” Barbara fumed as Ulrika pushed her into the garden behind Edward Cage’s house on Royal Street.

“I want to show you something.” Ulrika smiled.

“Who are you?” Barbara mumbled.

“Come now, Barbara,” Ulrika grinned. “Really, this madwoman act may work on your idiot brother, but not on me. I know you too well.”

“I don’t know you.” Barbara screamed.

“More’s the pity, if it’s true.” Ulrika sighed. “Still, I can promise you won’t forget me after tonight.” She pointed to a low, new building at the rear of the garden. “After you, Lady Barbara.”

“What’s in there?”

“Your past.” Ulrika laughed. “And, your future.”

“I won’t go in.” Barbara spat.

Ulrika growled, opening the door and angrily pushing Barbara inside.

“It’s dark.” Barbara gasped.

“Not for long,” Ulrika hissed, lighting an oil lamp.

Barbara’s eyes widened as flickering light filled the room. “Who are all of these people?”

“They’re wax, you fool!” Ulrika laughed. “These are figures that will debut next month in Edward’s museum.”

“What has this to do with me?” Barbara shouted.

“Look here,” Ulrika chuckled, reaching for a sheet which covered one figure. With a dramatic swoosh, she withdrew the cover, revealing a ghastly figure.

“Mother!” Barbara screamed.

“Yes!” Ulrika howled. “Look at her! Her neck strained and pulled. She’ll hang in the center of a new exhibition just as she was hanged in an attic room of your brother’s house—her life already drained by Iolanthe Evangeline! It will be simply delicious! He calls it ‘Death of a Duchess!’”

“You’re horrible!” Barbara stumbled backward, overturning baskets and boxes. As she did, she heard the cry of an infant.

“What’s that?” Barbara trembled.

“Your son.” Ulrika cackled. “Look at him!”

Barbara turned and studied the floor. There, in a wooden crate, wrapped in rags was her son—his little arms reaching outward for comfort.

“Colin,” Barbara mumbled, bending forward toward the child.

Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her throat and the room began to spin.

Ulrika grinned madly as she tightened the rope around Barbara’s neck from behind. “Don’t fight it, Lady Barbara. You’ll be reunited with your mummy soon enough!”

Did you miss Chapters 1-383? If so, you can read them here.


Darcy said...

That Ulrika is one scary gal. She has absolutely no moral compass.

Joseph Crisalli said...

No, she doesn't. Even Iolanthe has some sense of thinking that some of the awful things she does are good--even if she is wrong. Ulrika just delights in being horrible.