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A Rude Awakening Part 1 (Narrative)

Bianca sighed heavily as she rolled from her bed at the signal of the setting sun. Her sleep schedule caused her to find her rest during the suns rise more than the logical, more well rounded citizen who got their work done during the day. Looking over her shoulder, perhaps sparked by wishful thinking, she saw the other side of the bed empty. She didn’t give it another thought, and figured it best to dwell on productivity instead of an aching heart.

Dressed and primped, she made her way downstairs to feed her screaming stomach before heading out for the day. Dinner was quick, light, and so where her steps as they took her from the dilapidated manner down to Abney Parkway and onto the evening road. The Gut was very quiet, a quietness that never really bothered her, but from the short conversations she had with Underby regarding the Bucket’s busy nature as of late, it felt suspiciously awkward for her footsteps to be the deafening sound she heard, well for her to say the least.

Compelled by something, she decided to take a peek into the Bucket. No one around. Even the little black Pussy that always shared her dreams with the fire light wasn’t in sight. Bodham either. It was then when Bianca knew that gut feeling she had all along, wasn’t to be ignored this time. Her eyes danced over the walls of the seedy establishment that once provided her much comfort as if looking for something. Any sign, a mark, a curse as to why she wouldn’t feel at ease currently. Eventually she met up with the secret wall that separated the bar from the cockfight pit and flitting her fingers over the small lever that would cause the door to slide she held her breath expecting to see something horrid on the other side.

Nothing but damp darkness…


A sigh escaped her lips as her anxiety melted her frame ready to turn and leave halted as something caught her eye in the darkness. She squinted for a second behind her spectacles just to make sure it wasn’t simply her, but indeed something reflected the back light. A small bit of silver laid on the floor a few feet into the room. Her first thought was perhaps someone lost something during the last cockfights…but then she recalled that those where months past, and she’s been back here since. Returned to her bolder demeanor she stepped down, not paying attention to the odd give of her heels into the floor beneath her, and made her way to the bit of silver on the floor. Scooping it up she found it to be a pocket watch, and a rather nice one at that.

Bianca examined the dazzling piece intently, paying attention the fine details around the outer casing and then popped it open to examine the innards with just the same equal of curiosity. Her eyes focused on some lettering engraved into the hood of the watch. She read aloud to herself, “Winston T. Soup” and canted her head. She had never heard of the name before, outside of the tales of the poor soul of a girl Dizzel who new nothing but rotten luck.

Bianca closed the watch and sighed looking down for a moment…which turned into a few minutes of staring. At the base of the step down where she had entered there was a new rug, a bright pale one that she had never seen before.

Crouching a little, she leaned forward to investigate the strange new decorum, the low light not helping she decided to take a step closer and putting her hand out to feel the fur she was thrown back as if electrocuted.

That thing wasn’t fur…
It wasn’t hide…
Not animal…at least.

Bianca looked on in wide eyed discussed before a noise blew from her chest like a steam engines whistle…



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  1. Mr Underby Mr Underby September 1, 2011


    Underby frowned.  His meeting with Ashief  had not turned out as he had hoped.

    When the door to the Bucket opened and closed he turned on his game face, began wiping down the bartop, humming gaily to himself.  When he saw that it was Bianca who had entered he stopped.  “Oh, it’s you.” he said flatly.

    She looked at him with empty green eyes.  “Osgoode…I…I have a question…if I might.”

    He raised an eyebrow, but otherwise said nothing. His patience for her and her accent had grown exceedingly thin.  She hesitated and her eyes darted briefly to the far wall.

    “That…the…-”  she stammered, her hands wringing.

    Underby looked over to the wall. “Yes… the…?” he prompted.

    “Rug…is that…is it…” she then looked to him, the pools now visible in her eyes.  “Is that a man?”

    Underby laughed.  “No, habibti. Of course not.” he said, and she relaxed slightly before he continued: “It WAS a man.  Now, it is a welcome mat.”

    Bianca didn’t laugh, nor did she flinch as she looked at him in complete shock. “Osgoode…what, what has he done to deserve such…such pain? Will you not release his soul too? Why keep…keep any of him? That….that is cruel.”

    Underby smiled then, but there was no humour in the feature.  “I certainly hope it is cruel, yes.   Had I more time to think it out, I would have been even more cruel to that bastard.  Even that fate is too good for him.”

    “Osgoode, that will bring a curse upon you…finishing your foes, I understand, but keeping them bound to this world. Do you not fear–“

    He cut her off.  “No.  I do not.  Look woman, do I stick my nose into the affiars of the Pit, Bianca?  Hm?”

    With boldness, one she had, up until now, kept within she said   “The pit does not endulge in senseless and tacky murders…or trophies…sir.”

    Underby stared blandly. “The point is, your affairs are your affairs.  Mine are mine.”

    “When your affairs cross boundries that can put myself, and the whole host of the family into complications…un…uncomprehensable, then it is my business. Get rid of the skin…”

    Underby blinked.  The bloody nerve of this pathetic woman.  An orphan raised by nuns in poverty, plucked from obscurity and bestowed with a title, only to have it plucked away from her within a year.  The nerve.  The god damn nerve.  He leaned on the bar.  “What did you say.”

    She stuck her chin out slightly.   “Get rid. Of. The. Skin.”

    In a flash she would not have thought possible he had leapt over the bar in one move and snatched her by the throat, pulling her close.  “Nobody tells me what to do, Bianca.  Nobody.  Do you understand that?”

    She captured his hand with hers, teeth gritting as she replied,  “You’re going to bring us all down with your…-gasp- illogic and unplanned revenges. Do…do you care for nothing?  Not, even your fiance?”

    “Oh, believe me, that revenge was planned. Simply the timing was off.”  He smiled.  “Now,” he said in almost a purr.  “Do you wish to apologize?”

    She growled slightly, her knee swinging up towards his stomach with as much force as she could muster.  He pivoted back and tossed her to the floor.

    Hitting with a thud, she rolled dispite the sharpness in her shoulder, and scrambled to her knees. “You’ve lost it…completely… then again…you never had really had it to begin with.  Did you?”

    He looked down at her with what almost looked like pity.  “I have been mistaken.” he said, and for a moment she was relieved.  She almost forgave his violence again, but then she noticed that same cold steely glint in his eye.

    “Mistaken?” she asked, pushing herself backwards.

    Underby nodded, pulling out his double-shot Derringer.  “I had a meeting with an old friend of yours today, habibti.  His news was upsetting.”

    “An… old friend?”

    He nodded.  “You see,  when you and I met, I couldn’t believe my luck.  Me, a humble mountebank, and you a powerful Sultana in exile.”

    Her eyebrows knitted up.  “But… my title is…”

    “Useless.  Once married outside your country.”  He smiled coldly, leveling the gun at her.  “You see, I was willing to put up with your constant questions, your annoying opinions, and your belittling of my staff… for the power.  Were I to be named Sultan, it would all be worthwhile, but… now…”

    “You love me Osgoode…you told me so…  You wouldn’t lie…”

    He smirked. “Wouldn’t I?”

    They were the last two words she heard before darkness enveloped her.  The two shots occurred before she the sound could reach her ears.

    Underby’s smiles faded as he watche the dark pool form around her.  “Another damn stain.”

    He looked down at her.  His plan had been to deliver all future bodies to Rusty for disposal, but he knew that beast’s fondness for Bianca, and wondered if even one like that might have morals in certain situations.  One more for the canal.

    Knowing that Bib was off tonight, and Njal’s shift had not yet started, he picked her lifeless body up and heaved it over his shoulder.  Gathering his bearings he walked slowly toward the back room, up the stairs and out toward the water.

    He carried her to the edge of the foul water, then placed her down on the ground.  Leaning over her, he whispered: “Goodnight habibti.”

    Underby covered her hand with his for a moment before standing, placing his foot on her torso, and pushing her in.  

    As the splash rang out, he looked down at the ruby ring in his palm.


    • Phaedra Underby Phaedra Underby September 1, 2011

      I know you don’t realize this now, Ms. Namori, but you’re actually quite lucky.

      That he shot you and didn’t, well, I shan’t go into details. Needless to say, count your blessings. 

      It could have been worse. 

      Much. Worse. 

  2. Verlia Bilavio Verlia Bilavio September 1, 2011

    Another murder or attempted murder in the Gut. What’s new?

  3. Christine McAllister Pearse Christine McAllister Pearse September 2, 2011

    It’s shameful when the cavalier dispatching of another’s life is as common as vandalism or littering.

  4. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire September 2, 2011

    *Maddox was still sniffling and trying to figure out why someone would want to harm Miss Namori.*
    ((She’s in pure shock,lol.  You’d swear she wouldn’t be. XD))

  5. Leia Rossini Leia Rossini September 2, 2011

    Murder in the gut?  It must be Wednesday, or maybe Thursday, or Friday p’raps?…  everyday in Babbage is a good day for murder and mayhem. 

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