To join the adventure from the beginning CLICK HERE!
Eudora Carton did not like killing people but in her mind there were simply some lines that could not be crossed. The pistol was warm in her hand and she watched petulantly as the body that was once Marcus fell to the ground. Chaos was erupting all around her as she pulled her hands back into her dainty white gloves. People, she thought, are always making things so complicated. Absently she wondered if it were too late for a cup of tea; All this fussing was hard on the nerves.
The single shot had fired without warning, startling Amos and Nym who had no time to react before they found themselves being covered and pushed low to the ground by a large man. He secured them both under his large from and scuttled them in the direction of a waiting car. The couple had no idea if they were being saved or attacked, and all around them a gang war was escalating . Dark shadows moved in doorways and alleyways and the sounds of gunfire surrounded them on all sides. Magruder’s men shouted to one another in confusion and surprise, the attacking gunmen staying out of sight and undercover.
The large man was brisk about placing them into the car but smiled as he sat down. He gave them a moment to settle, then introduced himself as Ben Hammerton, personal body guard of Eli Carton, and their escort for the evening. He smiled through a neatly trimmed beard, his suit impeccable despite the calamity. His hat was placed at a jaunty angle over his mop of dark hair. Eudora, he announced, would be right with them and as if responding to a cue, Ben stepped out of the car and then moved to open the door for his lady.
Eudora sat next to Nym, and after straightening her elaborate skits she sighed, “Ms. Nymphae! How lovely to see you again. Who could have imagined it would be so soon? How was your journey?” She smiled at Amos and nodded her regards.
Nym’s mind was still spinning from everything that had happened around her, and she stammered “How did you know? What is…?”
“Now. Now.” Eudora comforted, “No need to revisit the unpleasantness. We are friends, we are here, it is a lovely night and only a short drive to the Mayor… if that is still your destination?”
“Yes… but…” Nym stammered.
“Wonderful! Ben and I will be very happy to see you there safely,” she smiled politely, “My father was most pleased that you were willing to assist him in his search for Marcel. He’s been looking for the man for ages! My father and the mayor could never agree on the direction of the search, you know? Most frustrating. I suppose that’s why my father simply insisted that Ben and I accompany you. The mayor is, in his opinion, something of a simpleton.” Eudora smiled demurely in an effort to dismiss the ugliness of her words.
Nym had noticed a black mark on Eudora’s gloves, and looked away embarrassed when Eudora caught her staring at them.
“Gun powder, ” Eudora frowned, “Simply impossible to get out, but I don’t imagine that a lady should ever allow herself to be pawed at,” she glanced a coy smile in Amos’ direction immediately putting Nym on edge, “Not without her consent anyway.”
Ben gave Eudora a broad smile, “Ms. Carton never misses a shot, though I would have been happy to take it for her.”
Eudora, who was naturally inclined to self importance, puffed up at the recognition. “To be fair, he didn’t make it the slightest bit challenging. Hardly worth the cost of the washing, really,” and she patted her hands together satisfied.
Nym and Amos shared a confused look, neither willing to risk upsetting the daughter of a known gangster by asking the questions that riddled them. Eudora Carton was the sort of woman who could make people disappear and everything about her reinforced that she was not to be crossed. Her explanations would have to do for the moment.
The streets of Meiville danced past in a blur. Eudora made polite conversation with Ben and Amos while Nym sat silently clutching her satchel and reflecting. Her journey thus far had been dangerous and she wondered how much more she would have to endure.
She was aching for understanding of her life and her memory… and as she considered the memories she did have, everything and everyone was twisted by ambition and anger and conceit.
Eudora was beautiful and soft spoken, yet Nym found her even more frightening than Magruder or Marcus. Her intentions were never clear and her words were often two sided and insincere. Magruder was driven by a toxic ambition and while she knew little of Marcus she knew that he was perfectly willing to harm other people without remorse. Even Amos, a man she had come to trust and adore, had come into her life under false pretenses.
The entirety of this world seemed to her cold and self important and cruel. It seemed perfectly acceptable to the people around her that a pair of linen gloves could be worth more than the life of another human being. True, Marcus was not a good human being – but did that invalidate his right to exist? A navigational instrument had men torturing and killing one another on the street. It seemed that her every experience was proof that people lived for a futile climb, trampling everything on their paths, into their graves.
Somewhere, just down this road was Mayor Perryn, and she worried that he would be just as ruthless as everyone else around her. These questions of life and value and existence sat in her stomach like an illness that vibrated with Marcel’s words, ‘who are you?’
She wondered at it all, and whether she was just another climbing, trampling beast. She remembered how she felt when she shot Magruder, a rush of power and validation that was foreign and exhilarating. She remembered having Amos at gunpoint, feeling angry and hurt but also vengeful and proud that he had not been so clever as to betray her blindly. Emotions so complex, she had to close her eyes against them.
The car engine silenced. They had arrived at a stately home in a quiet neighborhood. The energy of the silence seemed to bounce around and settle in her mind, and it was calming. When Nym looked up from her gloom, Amos was smiling at her and holding her door.
“Careful, Peach,” he said, “It’s a bit of a drop. Are you feeling okay?” He steadied her with a gentle smile and strong hand on her waist as she descended the coach, then took her hand, concerned. His hair was tossed in a soft breeze, the light of a full moon illuminating his eyes and the shape of his chin. In that moment she decided to let go of the questions and just be happy in the knowledge of him
Despite any choices or wrongs in his past, Amos was committing himself to a new path. He had been loyal and brave and kind. Goodness. Maybe even greatness; and if that was in him then surely there were other’s like him- and that thought made it worth going on.