Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Bookworm.
(Posted by Phaedra Wickentower on April 14, 2010 at 6:52pm)
((this should have gone up weeks ago. Needless to say this is an old conversation))
Phaedra poured strong, black tea into a cup and held it out to Mr. Underby and sat down across from him, splashing an inordinate amount of cream into her own cup and scooping generous helpings of sugar into it. Mr. Underby was sitting bolt-upright in his chair, gazing out the hatch to the troubled waters of Iron Bay.
“Something on your mind, darling?” Phaedra asked at last, lifting her cup to her lips. Admiring him despite herself.
“All the signs are troubled. Everything was perfect and now…I’ve gone blind.” He rubbed at his forehead and picked up the teacup, fingers smearing white powder along the handle.
Phaedra bit her lip, “Ah, I suppose I should tell you something then.”
He regarded her with his peculiar goat-like eyes, “Tell me what? What have you done?”
“Me? Nothing, but I did have a brief, albeit fascinating, conversation with that troll of yours.”
“The troll spoke to you?”
“Yes, darling, as most things do, he said, I believe, that “she” is coming for him and is cutting off those who have done him harm.” She gave Underby a significant look.
“Yes, he implied that he could see my hair going grey.” Phaedra spread her fingers against the tablecloth, examining them. She could not decide if the skin looked more sunken than usual or if it were simply the troll’s suggestion influencing her mind.
Underby must have been thinking the same thing, he reached across the table and took her hand, lifting it, examining it, “Mmm…it would be a disaster. It could be a trick.”
Phaedra stood and rounded the table, settling herself in his lap, draping her arms around his neck, “Never fear, I have a plan.”
“Oh?” He sounded suspicious.
She laughed and touched the tip of her nose to his, “Darling, don’t you trust me even a tiny little bit? You’ll like the plan, I promise.”
“I’m listening, aren’t I?”
She sighed, “Here is what we shall do. We shall, tonight, quit our residence here at the Underbridge house, with no notice. The rumor mills will let the town know that the house has gone suddenly vacant. I’m sure our esteemed landlord will fill the vacancy quickly enough….”
His eyes went cold, “You want me to give up this house? After all I went through to…”
She put her finger against his lips, “Shh, you aren’t listening darling. We quit our residence and make ourselves scarce. I think it would be best if you really did leave town, if the troll is telling the truth then, well…for me it would be trouble, but for you it would be death, my love. And I cannot allow that to happen. Not now.”
He softened a little, “Go on.”
“We’ll keep contact through Pip, which means Pip can also keep an eye on me. Since I’m certain you won’t trust me enough to not have at least one pair of eyes on me. “ She held up a hand to forestall his half-hearted protest, “I do not blame you, my darling. I have been less than trustworthy, but I promise that this shall make it up to you. I’ve nearly got that Lynwood sister in hand, which will ease the danger to myself. We’ll let the troll think that he’s won. If he’s playing a trick he’ll start to get lazy, I’m certain I can pull him under our influence. When I’ve nearly won him, you can return and assume your rightful place as mayor of this city.” She gestured across the bay, “Mayor Underby.”
He smiled a cruel smile, “What if it isn’t a trick?”
“If it isn’t a trick? Then we’ll slit Pip’s throat, like last time.”
He gave a delighted laugh, “You are a magnificent woman.”
*Comment by Mr Underby on April 14, 2010 at 10:43pm
”waits for a letter in a far away land”
*Comment by LoPixie Artful on April 20, 2010 at 9:12pm
i shall forever be an annoying little gnat, buzzing about your ears. i hope i may send you both quite, quite mad! for i did not ask to be born… moonchild indeed, ugh!
((good luck underby, wherever you are :) ))