Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 336
Ignorance and Want
"Really," Ulrika purred. "I'm so thrilled to have a servant available again. And, he's so perfectly ugly as well. It's just too, too marvelous."
"Yes," Orpha answered.
"Dear, you seem doubtful."
"I am doubtful of most things."
"I can't see anything wrong with the man. When I spoke with him he was so deliciously dejected and broken. It's what one wants in a servant." Ulrika smiled.
"I concur," Orpha said dryly, "still, I can't help but feel wary."
"Of course." Ulrika replied. "However, we must think of the good things. After all, from the way you describe the man, he's a veritable brute. Really, it couldn't be more delightful. Furthermore, he's an imbecile, I'm sure. So, really...well, if he proves unreliable, he's no match for us."
"That's most assuredly true."
"Now, don't let it trouble your chalky head. You've so much more to press upon your mind, I can't approve of you spending a moment of worry on such a lowly, wretch."
"You're such a comfort to me, Ulrika."
"I try." Ulrika smiled.
"Tell me. Any trouble with the girl?"
"No." Ulrika shook her head sadly. "Fern's barely said a word since we retrieved her. And, really, I have tried to get her to speak. She won't even come down to see Marduk."
"That's probably for the best. Marduk is not themselves today."
"I noticed," Ulrika nodded. "At first I found the pallor of their little faces to be of considerable charm, but, I must confess, now I feel...oh...what's the word, really? Oh, yes. Concern."
"I'm rather concerned myself." Orpha sighed.
"You don't think that he's ill?" Ulrika raised an eyebrow. Surely not. After all, he's the messiah. He's not subject to mortal ailments."
"Yet, he is. Just as the one that those other people call 'messiah,' ours is also part man, part..."
"I know, really. But, ours has two heads." Ulrika interrupted. "That must count for something."
"Of course." Orpha replied.
"Orpha," Ulrika began, "as Marduk's earthly representative, it's my obligation to see to it that he is given all that he needs in order to stay at his most powerful. To that end, really, I would give up my own body for him."
"We needn't do that." Orpha shook her head.
"Giovanni, then. Perhaps we could sacrifice him. He wouldn't mind."
"It's kind of you to offer." Orpha sighed. "Still, we need Giovanni in other ways."
"Oh, I know. It's just that he's so wretchedly relieved to have a servant again that I find him insufferable today."
"I'm sure it will pass, this sense of joy."
"You're so kind to say it." Ulrika cooed. She smiled. "Really, you are worried about Marduk?"
"Something's wrong. He's withering. I can feel it."
"We just need to feed him more." Ulrika suggested.
"I fear that won't be enough. He may need to..."
"See a doctor."
"My dear, you can't let those other little voices influence you. When people have said that, it's only been out of jealousy."
"I suppose." Orpha nodded, rubbing her stump with her one remaining hand.
"Now, let's change the wrap on that." Ulrika stood up. "And, let you rest."
"I can do it." Orpha shook her head.
"Oh, no. I enjoy it. really." Ulrika smiled.
Did you miss Chapters 1-335 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 337.