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Archive for December, 2013

Playing around in different styles. Here’s one I rather enjoyed writing.

***

“So it was you who suggested that mayhem in -shire, was it not? It proved to be a sound investment.”

He said it in such a casual, offhand manor, so against his purposeful nature, that I knew it to be a trap. But there was no way to avoid such a direct question, so I ventured a guess, placing confidence and a bit of incredulity in my voice.

“No, it was not my suggestion. I believe it was Marces idea initially, though surely you remember!”

A knowing grin shadowed the corner of his lips and for a moment I feared I might have misjudged him. That forced nonchalance may not have been unconsciously done, but Marces piped up indignantly.

“Really Charles, if I’d known you’d have forgotten my part in it all I might as well not have come!”

His eyes moved to her with a flash of annoyance, as though just remembering she was there. Inside, I heaved a sigh of relief, blessing the knowledge Mr.Coroner had given me.

“Do forgive Charles, Marces,” said I reverently. “We all know, including he, how much work you put into the project.”

“Well I’m glad at least that you did not take my credit, as many others would have,” she assented with a sniff. “Charles seems so taken with you, he would believe anything you say!”

“Surely not,” I laughed. “I don’t think that Charles truly believes anything anyone says, until he has seen it for himself.”

“As should anyone.” He put in, no longer lounging. “Even the closest of confidences is inherently unreliable.”

“How can you say such a thing? Have I not your trust!” Marces appealed fervently.

“Not in the slightest.”

“Charles!”

“What is trust hmm? But a sure way to invite trouble! There are those whose opinions I value of course, whose suggestions and council I would seek above all others, but even they are not exempt from scrutiny. To trust any is mere folly. Everyone has their own agenda.”

“I would be surprised if Charles trusted even himself,” I said with a coy smile, and Merces peeled with laughter. His calculating gaze turned to me.

“We deceive everyone, dear lady, even ourselves.”

I forced myself to keep a steady tone. “Perhaps such deceit exists, but to live without trust is a lonely life indeed.”

“All life is lonely, there is no part of it that we do not tread by ourselves. Surrounding oneself with the dealings of others only gives the illusion of alliances.”

“Is there no one that you hope to give yourself to? Do you not cringe and wither away without friends to lift the burden of your anxieties?”

“It would only serve to deceive me further about the very nature of this world and from it would spawn only more sorrow. After all, in the end, there is no one who can share in our final repose.”

I had nothing to say to this, so I remained quiet, and inside I felt my heart sink into my stomach. There seemed no way to gain his confidence, no way to find out the secrets he held and, all it once, I truly felt that our lives were lost.

“Oh this is becoming so morbid!” exclaimed Marces. “Let us speak of other things!”

But Charles was not paying her any mind; he was staring at me quite solemnly. I hoped he thought my interest was of an amorous nature, as the truth would only strengthen his case.

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