As I stealthily creep through the home, I feel an unfamiliar dread & guilt. I feel the cool breeze wafting through the open windows, & my body starts to shiver. Or was I, perchance, only shivering from the cold enclosed in myself? I feel so cold, cold as frozen steam in a winter storm, the cold, cloudily swirl-making in me, forming me, threatening to freeze over & never crack.
I glance down. My hands are slender, thin, & paler than usual for my dusky, olive skin. Suddenly, I notice the dagger concealed in the palm of my left hand, radiantly gleam-making in the dead of the darkness of everything, & gradually start to panic.
The anxiety rises, & I grow faint, the world growing hazy around me, as I struggle to keep a grasp on this strange world. My cogwheels slowing with the sudden, entrapping strain of the horror induced by... Induced by what, indeed?
Looking around, my face relaxes - peaceful-looking - almost childlike again, as it should be. Colourful swirls surround me, engulfing me, but one colour is clearer than the rest.
I look around in awe, my IEMP suddenly, exceedingly clear, frozen again as I feel the gears start to function, normal-doing again. I clearly see the unmistakable colour of blood. Crimson, dripping, languid-making, down the walls, swirl-making in the fog inside the home, puddle-making on the floor.
I look behind me, & behold! There are people, begging me, the terror plain-showing in their bodily postures, their facial expressions. I cannot recognize them, try as hard as I may. I attempt to run to them, but hopelessly fail, as they flinch away from me. The cold set in my frozen heart forbids me to move forward for that purpose, push-doing me towards them for quite another reason. Seeing their gazes, I turn around in the hopes that it is not truly me they are afraid of, perchance the monster is another.
I veer, despairing-feeling, knowing in my heart that the only fiend here is myself. Seeing no one, I clench my hands feel-doing in my left the weight that persists. I look down & see the blade, but this time, something is exceedingly different.
No longer is the dagger flawlessly brilliant. Oh, it still lustrously glimmers in the dark, but it is no longer perfect. Now, it is marred by the scarlet ribbons weaving down the blade, the specks of cruor spatter-making across my hand.
My heart clenches at the gore saturate-doing my hand & I endeavour to drop the burden, but the weight does not leave my grip.
Instead, I advance towards the terrified people, the weapon raised precariously, as they back into a corner, whimper-making, wail-making, & beg-doing.
My body is no longer expressly mine to control. It moves of its own will, or - perchance - that of another. My hand descends upon the desperate-sounding, howl-making people, &..
I awoke to the sound of yet another shindy. I carefully wiped my right hand against my right eye, which was quite steamed up this morning. I finished, being able to see slightly clearer through that eye, & listened to the din coming from downstairs.
"I say! This must be the fourth time this week, & it is yet Monday!" I thought aloud to myself.
Mama & my elder sister, Elle, had been quarrel-making almost continually since Mama brought the strange man hence.
I was not sure why. Why, he seemed a bit queer, I supposed, but aren't all adults somewhat queer towards children of my age?
"How peculiar." I said aloud.
Margaret had not yet come with my breakfast, to help me out of bed, & get me dressed. I was not sure I wanted Margaret to come & help me out of bed. I was quite comfortable hence, in the fluffy pillows & mattresses & such. No doubt the din was even louder outside.
After all, how could she possibly have heard my bell through that deafening ruckus?
Margaret had also been acting quite unlike herself as of late, now that I began to think about it. Shuffle-making about, with her head bowed. She had usually been one of the more outspoken & independent servants. As Mama put it, she was "insolent." I was not quite sure what that word meant, but mama always used it when Margaret was talking to her, so I supposed it meant somewhat what I thought it did. She also sometimes said that if it was up to her, poor Margaret would be neutralised.
I heard two bumping sounds & afterwards heard more thumping sounds, this time coming towards my bedchamber.
"Oh! I dare-say someone is marching up the stairs in this direction! Perchance I have been remembered after all!" I said excitedly, to no one in particular.
I snuggled into the sheets a bit, to show that I had been left disregarded, & I hadn't been properly taken care of.
The door smashed open with a resounding crack, & in walked - no - stormed, a considerably flustered-looking Elle.
I looked at her, taking in her usually delicate-looking beautiful features, contorted in fury. Her long, elegant-looking sloping nose, now scrunched up to create wrinkles in her brow. Somehow, her clothes also looked particularly bunchy today. Her dark eyes burned with the complete ire contained inside of her. Sometimes I wondered how she hadn't exploded like an overfilled Steam Energies Processor yet. As I took in her features, she turned to me & found me on the bed.
Her eyes widened - even more - which I had not previously considered possible, & as she strode over to me, she exclaimed, " Gadaranine! You are still abed? Come, come, we must make haste!"
She grabbed me out of bed & rifled through my closet, stuffing various items in a knapsack that seemed to appear out of the aether. As she continued her rummaging through my wardrobe. I noticed the state she was leaving the wardrobe in & gasped.
"Elle! Margaret is going to be mighty displeased when she sees the state of the wardrobe!" I said, worried-feeling.
She turned to me & her eyes softened. She knelt down & grasped my hands, flinching slightly as she felt my queer finger - the one mama hated - against hers, but quickly hiding it. She looked into my eyes with a sort of pleading look.
"Ara, darling, do not fret about that now. I need you to be as grown-up as you can be right now, alright? Please just listen to what I say & obey, do you understand?" She stated, quite plain-making.
Not waiting for my response, which was, of course, to ask why, she got up & tightened the knapsack - which was quite full indeed.
She grabbed a pair of black kid gloves &, rather careless-doing, slipped them onto my hands. As she slipped on the left glove, the pointer finger's tip ripped a hole in the gloves. She gasped & swore, something I had not ever heard her do, because it was impolite & exceedingly unladylike. I - in turn - gasped, blushed, & was about to reproach her. I noticed the fire was back in her eyes & carefully decided not to do so for my own well being.
She seized another glove & took a bit more care in sliding it on this time. She then grasped two of my petticoats & slipped them on me after a pair of stockings. I was a bit confused, as I never wore two petticoats at the same time, but I kept silent because of her earlier words to me. She also grabbed three dresses & somehow managed to put them on me. After that, she grabbed one of my pinafores & a thick coat, slipped them over my dresses, & patted everything down.
Just then, I noticed she was also wearing quite a lot of clothes. I was getting curiouser & curiouser. Why all this fuss?
Then, as if satisfied, she looked me up & down, & then grabbed my forearm & dragged me out of my bedchambres.
I stopped her & explained that I had to use the water closet.
She sighed, led me to the water closet, & when I was finished, she grabbed my forearm again & pulled me downstairs.
The scene down there was truly frightful!
My mouth gaped open as I took in my poor mama & the strange man, lying on the floor, seeming-looking, asleep. Now this was just too curious indeed!
" Elle? Elle? Why are mama & - & -" I paused, for I could not recall his name.
" Baron Hamish Thyson. I shall explain when we are situated in the float. No time to waste." she stated, cold-looking, casting a frigid glance at both of the people lie-doing on the floor.
" Float?" I queried, rather confused-feeling.
" Aye, now come along, Ara."
She grabbed my forearm & once again, off we went, towards the outside. Yet again, I stopped.
" Elle! What about Margaret?" I asked, apprehensive-feeling.
We never went anywhere without my Margaret!
Elle sighed, scooped me up in her arms, & carried me out of our abode. She walked up to the float & commanded it to open. By what seemed like magick to me, it opened. She dropped me inside, & then she climbed in herself. She commanded the float to sail to Bushy House, Teddington, South-west London.
That was the living place of Uncle Sylvester & Auntie Anadora! I, calm-showing, or as calm-showing as I could, waited for my sister to explain.
" Margaret is gone, Ara. Duchess Clementine put her out of commission." she began.
I gasped, but soon noticed the box filled with poor Margaret's remains.
" But Elle, she's in there!" I exclaimed pointedly.
" She has been deactivated. There is no steam in her, & she has been disassembled. I brought her in hopes that you might one day restore her, even if you do manage to contrive such a thing, there is always the chance that she will no longer have any steam-data of you retained." she explained.
" She won't remember me?" I contemplated the idea.
" It is quite likely she won't." she calmly replied.
" Oh dear. I rather don't like that idea, let's leave it be. The rest, Elle? Why were mama &- &-" I paused again.
" Baron Thyson, Ara." she supplemented.
" Yes! Thy-Ty-Thyson." I stumbled over the name.
" I knocked them out so we could leave peacefully." she replied plaintively.
" Why?" I queried.
" Would you have liked mother & the Baron pulling us back while we were leaving?" she asked.
" I suppose not. That would have hurt more than you pulling my forearm." I stated.
She apologised & sat silent-doing after that for a while. Then, my IEMP rumbled quite loudly.
" Oh dear. I'm afraid I completely neglected to eat breakfast, Elle!" I said, sorrowful-feeling.
" Quite. I'm afraid I completely neglected to bring you something to eat." she said apologetic-looking.
I sighed, sad-feeling. There is absolutely nothing worse than forgetting one's meals.
Suddenly, something clicked & I bounded up from the float-seat.
" Elle! Elle! We are going to Auntie & Uncle's house, are we not?" I asked, excited-feeling.
She arched her eyebrow, " Yes, yes we are, Ara."
" Does that mean I get to see Pippin?" I squeaked.
Elle laughed, " Yeah, you shall see quite a bit of him presently."
I squealed & jumped around.
" It's been so long since we have been to see Pippin, Elle!" I remarked.
She smiled & patted her lap, where I then sat.
I smiled up at her, waiting.
" We are almost there, Ara. However, I have some requests of you before we get there." she said, more serious-looking.
My smile slowly straightened out & I looked up, listening for the next words.
" Ara, you are going to have to be an exceedingly good little girl from now on. Imagine something. Can you do that?" she asked, & I nodded.
" Imagine father is away, & mother does not care. Imagine I would now have to take care of you. Imagine I asked aunty & uncle to help me. Imagine we are now going to live with them. Got it?" she asked.
I nodded. I could perfectly imagine that.
" Alright, now be a good little girl, & keep imagining it. Do what you would do if it were true. Act it out, alright?"
I slowly nodded, exceedingly confused, but willing.
In a few minutes, the float stopped in front of Uncle & Auntie's home.
The doors opened with a sudden burst & out ran a boy.
He tripped on the stairs as we climbed out.
I started laugh-making & ran to help him up.
I bent down & lent him my hand & pulled as hard as I could.
He smirked & acted like he was attempting to get up, but actually did not get up in the least. I groaned & pulled even harder. Eventually, I let go, exhausted.
" Pippin, you cad! Help me a little, in the least. I can-not completely pull you up on my own." I complained, exasperated-feeling.
Pippin winked & asked, " Why-ever not, dear Ollie?"
I sighed, waved my hand about, & explained the matter-of-fact, " You are Elle's age, & much larger than her, you blubbery stengine!"
He sprang up with a bound, startling me, " Blubbery?! Who do you think you are calling blubbery, Miss Elephant?"
At this, Elle, Aunt & Uncle walked over, so we had to behave.
" Gadaranine." Uncle said, stern-looking.
I remembered what Elle had told me to act out.
" Yes, uncle?" I replied.
" I have discussed the matters with your elder sister Ellectra over the Remote Steam Cloud Communication Device beforehand. I hope you understand what a grave matter we are discussing, & as thus, I expect you to behave accordingly." At this, he turned & gave a stern look to Pippin.
" I will accept you & your sister into my house, but I expect you to act as though you are indeed in the position that you are in. I will not tolerate anything or any behaviour that will bring further dishonour upon my family or myself. Do I leave this clear, Duchess Gadaranine O. Eberneus & Duke Peregrin D. Strophson?" He commanded, more than queried.
" Understood." Pippin & I said in unison.
I caught the underhanded wink Pippin sent at me, though, & had to fight to keep myself from giggling.
Uncle, not catching the wink, finally looked satisfied & strode back inside the house.
Auntie smiled with her pleasant rosy cheeks, walked over & knelt down, despite her shortness. I supposed people just had a knack for kneel-doing when they talked to me. I surely had no idea.
" Ara, I know Sylvester seems a bit harsh sometimes, but I'm sure that he shall soon come to accept you as one of the family. Do not fret about it. I am quite sure my son hence has already done so, right my dear Peregrin?" she smiled with that pleasant-looking round face & tilted her head towards Pippin.
Pippin looked at me, grinned, & said, " Of course not!"
His smile, however, told me otherwise.
So, I smiled back, & then my sister smiled.
Thus, in that one incredibly innocent & cheer-full moment, everyone around me was smiling. 600Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡwxYf0jTTyA
600Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡAzA0w3Qadm
Soooo... Prologue, eh? Tell me what you think about it in the comments! (Down there, yeah, that sorta yellowish button with comments on it...) Did you think it was a dream? Did you like how I sort of clued you in on it with the italics? Like the language use? Maybe it'd be worth it to hit that like button so more people can enjoy it, yeah?
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