Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 95

Chapter 95

George covered William with the young man's bloodied blanket, shaking his head. 

"Such ceremony,"  Ivy croaked.

He looked up, but said nothing.

"You didn't even know the lad for more than two days."  Ivy continued.

Again George didn't respond.

"Or maybe you knew him better than I think."  Ivy grinned.

Georgie rose angrily.

"Ivy, please."  Morgana intervened.  "'ve done enough damage.  Do...kee...keep quiet."

"When did you find your tongue, Morgana?"  Ivy scoffed.  "For all those months, you never said a word to me.  All you did was grunt and growl...and scratch."  She ran her bony hand over the scabbed-over scratch on her face.

"I h...h...had no reason to speak to you."  Morgana answered.  "You treated me as a, I acted as such. and Jackson and Qui...Quick just assumed that I was dumb from the start, and so, I...I...let you continue to think so.  By doing so, I let you reveal your true selves to me, your sourness, your plans, your evil."

"I won't say that's not clever."  Ivy conceded.

"How do you think I...I...survived in a traveling show for as long as I did?"  Morgana explained.  "There are two kinds of monsters in the world, Ivy.  The fir...first are those you can see, those who make you gasp, who...who turn the stomachs of the beautiful people and make them uneasy--those of us who are different or ugly.  Then there are the monsters who look like everyone else.  They are the o...ones who are truly dangerous because they are creatures of pure hatred.  They cannot be so easily detected, no, no, not at first.  They are the ones we must fear because they do the most damage.  You--you are of the latter.  I, of the former. kind, Ivy--we are harmless.  Your kind...yours are the ones we must keep caged, yet we cannot because you outnumber us and blend into the world easily."

"Poetry."  Ivy sighed.  "Sheer poetry in this damp place underground...with a corpse, and the cook's son."  She shrugged.  "No, no.  It's good.  At least you're putting your face to good use before we slice it from your skull."

George had had enough.  He rubbed his eyes.  "What's to stop me?"  He said softly.  

"What?"  Ivy shook her head.

"You may 'ave been luck 'nough to topple William, but you can't do it again."  He said a little louder.  "You're a thousand years old.  I..."  He became louder still.   "I could take one o' them rocks and crack your head.  Or...I could merely punch ya in the jaw and take that knife from ya and do the same to you what ya done to William."

"Go ahead and do so."  Ivy smiled.  "Do so if you wish."

George nodded.  "I think I will."

"It shan't help you."  Ivy continued.  "Hargrave and Causer and guarding the exit.  On the other end of the tunnel--at Lottie's--her men are waiting for you.  You won't escape.  Kill me if you will.  I shall only be reunited with M'Lady.  In fact, you'd be doing me quite a service.  You'd release me from this dull little party."

"Georgie,"  Morgana said gently.  "T...try to ignore her."

"She's so horrid!"  George said with considerable frustration.

"I...I...know."  Morgana nodded.

"I s'pose no one would know better'n you."  George replied.

Just then, the chamber brightened a little as they heard the sound of the trapdoor open and boots on the ladder rungs.

"Down there with ya!"  They heard Hargrave growl.

"Fred!"  George gasped as a groggy Fred Perkins descended into their prison. 

The door slammed shut.

"Me master's not gonna like this."  Fred slurred.  "You was right, George...that Gregory's a bad lot."

Did you miss Chapters 1- 94 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 96.

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