Friday, December 20, 2013

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 33

Chapter 33

"Here he is.  It's taken you long enough!"  Ivy rattled as Mr. Jackson stumbled into the servants' hall.  "Have you found her?"

"No."  Jackson barked.  "However, she's found Lady Fallbridge."

"Ha,"  Gregory howled.  

"It isn't a matter of amusement, Gregory!"  Ivy retorted.

"My apologies, Miss Blessum, only, I just imagined the look on that plain girl's face when she saw Morgana."

"How is she?"  Ivy ignored Gregory.

"Oh, quite fine, I'm sure.  The two margeries came to her aid."  Jackson snapped.

"I don't care about Lady Fallbridge.  I am asking about Morgana!"  Ivy moaned.

"I have no idea.  Nor do I care.  You see, Ivy, I've been dismissed.  I frankly hope Morgana slaughters the lot of you."

"You've been dismissed?"  Gregory grinned.

"Yes, Gregory, the mad mandrake sacked me, as you would say."  Jackson hissed.

"Cor, I suppose that puts me next in line for butler."  Gregory boasted.

"I would not be so sure."  Jackson smirked.  "You're not lady-like enough for the tastes of those upstairs."

"That's all fine,"  Ivy screeched, "but what do you intend to do?"

"I'm not going to leave this house."  Jackson replied.

"How can you not?  You've been sacked."  Gregory laughed.

"I have my..."  Jackson began.

"Not about you!"  Ivy shouted.  "About Morgana!"

"You are being impertinent, Miss Blessum."  Jackson snarled.

"What do I care?  You've been dismissed.  You're not my superior any longer.  Now, what about Morgana.  Wilmer Jackson!  You tell me!  Where is she?  Where is she?"

"She's gone to the south side of the house and carried off Her Ladyship's maid."  Jackson replied cooly.

"The blonde?"  Gregory squinted.  "Pity.  That one's a proper bird.  Not gonna be so pretty now."

"My poor Morgana."  Ivy began to cry.

"You're worried about the monster?"  Gregory shook his head, "and not the pretty young thing?"

"And, no one is worried about me, so, if you'll pardon me, I have matters to which I must attend."  Jackson barked.

"Such as?"  Gregory stepped in front of the butler.

"That's not your concern."

"As the new butler, it is."

"No one has declared you my replacement, upstart."  Jackson spat.  

"Does His Grace know you're down here?"  Gregory asked.

"Now, he's 'His Grace'?  Earlier you referred to him as a 'Midnight Spider'."  Jackson laughed.  "And, yes, he knows I'm here.  I told him I was going to fetch the Jar of Heads to subdue Morgana."

"So why aren't you?"  Ivy gasped.

"Simply put, Miss  Blessum, because I don't care.  As I said, I hope she kills all of you."  Jackson turned around, stepped past Gregory and retreated to his pantry, locking the door behind him.

"Gregory!"  Ivy wailed.

"Bloody hell, Ivy."  Gregory shook his head.  "Don't screech at me.  I'll take the jar up there.  I ain't so keen on it, but there's no sense in seein' that pretty bird all scratched to shreds or choked blue like what she done to old Mrs. Foster.  You gotta come with me.  Maybe she'll listen to ya."

"Yes, of course.  Thank you, Gregory."

"I ain't doin' it for you."  Gregory laughed.  "Only if those two mandrakes think me a hero, maybe they will let me take up after old Jackson."

"Whatever is needed to protect Morgana."

"You really care for that thing, don't ya?"

"You'd never understand."  Ivy shook her head.

"Doubt I would."  Gregory nodded.  "Now, come on.  Help me with the jar.  That thing is heavy."

Just then, on the floor above, Violet realized the more that she struggled the tighter the woman held her and the more she screamed, the fiercer the woman's face became.

Violet tried to remain as calm as possible as Morgana carried her off.  She worried for Maudie.  With one swift kick of her trunk-like leg, Morgana had managed to topple Maudie.

Just what was this--woman--this creature which held her, Violet wondered.  She looked up from looked into its face which was familiar and relatively normal.  Yet, the supernatural grip  of it, and the strange claws...

Finally, feeling somewhat brave, Violet decided to speak.  "Who are you?"

The woman moaned.

"I'm Violet.  You don't have to carry me.  I'll walk.  If you want to show me somethin', I'll go with ya.  But, you don't 'ave to carry me.  I ain't gonna run off."

Morgana narrowed her eyes and considered this.  Her hunched back was growing weary even though Violet was light.

Gently, Morgana lowered Violet so that she could stand.  

"There now."  Violet nodded nervously.  "That's easier, ain't it?"

Morgana grunted.  

"Now, where, you wanna take me?"  Violet asked, forcing a smile.

As Morgana looked forward, Violet took a chance and tried to shove the woman out of her way so she could take off running.

However, Morgana was sturdy and difficult to upset.

A strong swat of one of her pincers sent Violet flying--knocking her first against the wall, and, then, sliding to the floor.

Morgana moaned again.  Parting her lips, she whispered gruffly.  "Hands..."

Did you miss Chapters 1-32 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here?  Come back on Monday, December 30 for Chapter 34.

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