Yesterday I was feeling, perhaps, like getting out of the apartment…
Well, no, that is not exactly the truth. I wasn’t feeling like getting out of the apartment in the least.
I like my apartment, you see, four strong walls, a door which can be closed and locked, windows that can be bolted. In fact, if given the choice between my secure little home and the streets outside it, I will happily take my home any day!
So the truth is that I had run out of laudanum and, as I could feel the pains steadily increasing, I thought I should venture forth to replace it. I went to the chemist, only to discover that someone (Ianone, perhaps? Did I mean to hire someone of that sort? I certainly don’t think so!) had been to him before me and he was now refusing to sell to me. I could remember vaguely the locations of others in the city and so went to find one, growing more anxious by the minute as I could not seem to locate one.
I paid Grendel a visit, but I rather wish I hadn’t.
Oh, that does sound unkind! I only mean to say, that he was very pleasant company, we discussed a little business, but that he looks terrible. I can remember quite clearly my raptures as his recovery some months ago, now he is quite decayed back to his original state, if not perhaps a little worse.
Is that what I shall look like, given time? I examined myself quite closely in the mirror at one point this morning and I do not think that is the case. But how can I be sure?
No, I can be sure, though I dread to write it even here, because I am certain He would not allow it.
I’m sure there was something I meant to write…ah! Yes, the laudanum was out. So, I was searching the shops near City Hall when I came across a group of merry-makers and was, for rather a change, inspired to join them. We had quite a good time and afterwards were exchanging rumors. I said that I had overheard a gentleman telling Ianone that some of his cattle had been killed, one of the others mentioned a skinless terror of some sort that the urchins had seen and then Mr. Tenk said he had seen large rats gnawing away at the walls of Strifehouse, and wasn’t that strange?
I wish I could say exactly what happened then. I feel it is a benefit to no one to describe here the influence that tall, thin gentleman still holds over me. It is strong enough that I am loathe to walk some days, even if it is only to the apothecary, because purpose will somehow turn and my feet will begin to lead toward him. It would seem that something like the following happened in my mind:
Rats are gnawing on his walls, he could get out, perhaps I should go have a look, there is a chemist on that side of the city, isn’t there? I could have a pint at the Bucket, I should have a pint at the bucket and visit the chemist and check on the walls. It’s on the way, it’ll be no trouble at all, and then maybe I could see him.
And then I was announcing my intent to have a pint and then return home, wondering away from everyone, my feet inexplicably leading me. I didn’t even mean, that is to say, I’m not sure. I’m certain I had thought I should visit Bib, as I had not yet received a reply from him, but instead of my feet leading me down into that foul little pub, they led me up to the door. And I was just thinking that I should try the handle, to go inside and make sure he was still there, it was a perfectly reasonable idea at the time, when I heard Gabriell call out to me. When I turned both she and Mr. Tenk and, was it Bianca? I’m really not sure now… were standing there, speaking to me as if I were something dangerous about to do something dangerous.
I suppose I was just that. Still, I was reluctant to come away, I wanted to see for myself that the walls weren’t full of holes, as the voice was now singing gently into my head that they were.
But Mr. Tenk, as usual, exerted his strange force over me and Miss Anatra was so reasonable, so I allowed myself to be lead away. Of course, we did not go by a chemists, so when we had returned to the ‘Plank it was an effort to keep my hands from shaking openly and I felt as though needles were being driven through various parts of me, and a red-hot poker through my temple. Mr. Tenk wished to lecture me on the state of the Gangplank, insisting I was allowing it to go to seed. Miss Anatra was along the same lines, though much more gentle. At the time I thought they were both mad as hatters, the Gangplank was fine.
But then this morning when I woke (I must have fallen asleep on the couch in the commons) I was gazing at the floor and noticed just how filthy the carpet was. So I started pushing the furniture off it, meaning to take it out and beat it. Kaylee was working in the bakery and when she heard me about, she came over to help me thrust aside tables and chairs. I worked as long as I could before I was simply in too much pain, my hands shaking too hard, to move another inch. Kaylee helped me up to the apartment where I lay down to rest and to try to get a hand on my tremors. She had just left when I heard a knock at the door.
It was an effort, let me tell you, to answer it, only to discover there was no one there. But what was there, was infinitely better: a full bottle of laudanum. I took my dose, and now, here I sit writing in you waiting for the last of the pains to lance their way from my body. I have sent off a note to Charise, I’m certain she will supply me discretely enough that Ianone, or whoever it was, will be a long time in discovering her.
As soon as I have eaten something, I think I shall douse my fires and clean out the hearths, they seem feet thick with ashes, and then I can sweep and scrub down the floors. The windows could use a touch too….