Finally, I’m clean. After what seems like hours in the tub, my skin is back to its alabaster glory and the rank stench of the sewers is but a fading memory. Wrapped in my warm night-gown, cup of tea in hand, I recline on my comfortable sofa. By all accounts, I should be in bed with a terrible hangover, or dead. The excitement from the night before has me buzzing – and oddly elated.
I grab a small notebook from the side table and construct a list:
– 1 very expensive Parisian hat
– 1 very rare Aetherpistol
– 1 very lovely Dress
– some dignity
– 14 assorted contusions and abrasions
– 1 gaping whole in my shop wall
– 1 unwanted entrance to the sewers
– 1 stain on my Persian rug
– 1 sense of accomplishment
– 1 ounce of courage
– 1 tonne of fun
I tap the pen to my pursed lips and weigh the pros and cons of the above. I decide the net result was well worth it – seeing as how I am still alive. I toss the notebook aside.
I’m still somewhat puzzled by a number of things. The hole under my shop to the sewers for example. It certainly explains odd smell that’s been about for some days. Perhaps Mr. Melnik was having work done on the drains or something. I will ask him about it.
Another is who had paid for my drinks last night. Though grateful for the generosity, I get the feeling that it was not merely an act of altruism. Come to think of it, I begin to suspect ‘Liza’s camaraderie was perhaps motivated by some external force. This seems confirmed by the state of my dwelling, as I found it this morning. True, I had made a fantastic mess by my entrance, but beyond that someone has obviously taken advantage of my sojourn and helped themselves to my home.
Though it appears that nothing is missing, I know when my decor has been disturbed. The picture over the fireplace is askew by a degree or two, papers are out of order on my desk, my hair brush on the side table as opposed to my washstand, the sofa cushions are in a very unattractive pile. A man did this, certainly. I have a pretty good idea what he was after too… but he will not find it, because it is not here.
Of mixed feeling also is the realization that I haven’t been under a delusion. At least, I’m pretty sure. Too many coincidences add up to something foul afoot. I feel it at the core of my very being.
As a result of the invasion of my home, the biggest loss I am feeling right now is definitely my Aetherpistol. Expensive and rare, it is almost impossible for me to repair, and lost somewhere in the sewers anyway. Though I made it through last night without its use – and proud of it – I will need to see to my defence.
Hmmm… Miss Dagger did recommend to me recently that I replace the the foolish “zappy thing” with something more traditional and reliable. If there is anyone who knows their weapons – it’s her. As I recall, there’s a quaint little shop in the Palisades district…. Perhaps its time I learn to shoot as well.
Soon as I can today, I will engage a builder to fill in that hole, and see to securing my windows and doors. Then I will re-arm myself. Oh and it wouldn’t hurt to hire some muscle…
There has been quite enough fun at my expense, and now its time I fight back.
Calming with my new sense of conviction, I melt into my soft pillows. With a contented smile, I fall gently into glorious sleep.