|Victor Frankenstein has (monstrousdreams) wrote in rooms,|
@ 2015-08-05 04:39:00
|Entry tags:||!penny dreadful(s), *narrative, victor frankenstein|
narrative: penny dreadful(s), victor frankenstein
Who: Victor Frankenstein
What: Narrative of many things.
Where: The lab, a house of ill repute.
Warnings: Child death to start, vague drug use, later mentions of nudity.
Phthisis pulmonalis, and the child's bedroom had become a tomb of solitude in those final days. The mother was long vacated, absconding with the other children to stay with an aunt in the country. Only the father remained behind, useless in the glass bottom of a rye bottle before he vanished completely without any hint of future return. There was nothing to be done, save for the offering of comfort, the prop of pillows, fresh water dabbed upon dry lips. Victor visited every night, remaining bedside with his books for reading aloud by candlelight. The room sat at the top of the second floor stairs in his building, prompting continuous thought of the boy, even when Victor was not in his muted company. The boy was comatose for four days and nights now, and his passing would be soon in arrival.
This tragedy was known throughout the building by the others that lived there, and a small shrine developed in the hall outside the door; a panoply of white waxed candles, purple flowers, and sprigs of herbs tied with string. A wooden crucifix hung over the doorknob, something which made Victor scoff upon entry every night. Ritualistic trinkets of false hope. Many offered up their prayers for the dying boy, but no one ventured past the door. Victor doubted that the prayers of cowards made it very far at all, and even if they traveled well, no one was listening in the end.
The boy's father disappeared two days prior, leaving a palmful of coin beside the boy's bed, but no note. In any case, the writing would have been a waste of ink, as there was no sign of the sickness alleviating to the point that may allow for consciousness to resume. The fever was cruel, and Victor laid damp handkerchiefs upon the boy's forehead. When those grew warm with sweat, he twisted them out in a basin of cool water and began again. He read Shakespeare, raising his voice above the paroxysms of violent coughing when they occurred. There was blood spray on the pillow's casing, and Victor fought to stare at words on the page and not such blatant evidence of coming death.
Thirty pages later, and Death did arrive. Lungs rattled with fluid and blood, weakly drawn breath barely stirring to expand young lungs. Less and less resembling breathing at all. Victor fought to keep his eyes on the page, and he spoke ever louder so that he might not overhear the final wheezes of fading youth.
“Thus I die. Thus, thus, thus.
Now I am dead,
Now I am fled,
My soul is in the sky.
Tongue, lose thy light.
Moon take thy flight.
Now die, die, die, die.”
And he slammed the book shut, letting it drop heavy to the floor so that he might place his hands upon his head. Betrayed by the timing of the print. When he looked upon the bed again, his eyes were very red and his face was damp with sweat and tears. Death had come, and Victor covered the boy with the bedsheet before leaving the room.
The need for medicine was evident in the shaking of his hands, his arms, his legs. Even his heart trembled. Salve required venturing back down the building's stairs to his lab, and upon administering it, his eyes rolled to ceiling with much white. His voice was thick with poppy sap and coming sleep when he recited still,
“O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick…"
If he slept, he did not dream. He barely felt the blink before his eyelids climbed open and he ventured to his feet. It took some steadying, but then, feet led him out. Out of the lab, out of the door, and out of the building entirely. Out onto the streets of London where night had long ago set in, painting the sky a greasy black. On those streets, he became an argonaut, seeking nothing which he could rightly name, just the endless street before him and all of the dangers that it presented at midnight. The blocks that spread from his house were notorious hovels, establishments reserved for the secret gambling of Irishmen that fought and dogs that killed rats by the barrelfull.
But it was not gambling that he sought, and he was touched by a high that did not lure him into the dark doorways of opium dens. Instead, it was a red door that he went after. A rooming house, one of many in the London Docklands, one like so many others that Victor had never ventured within. Tonight, he did. Tonight, he witnessed the fallen women. Women with striped stockings(and some with no apparent stockings at all). Women uncorseted. Women seated upon the laps of saurian drunkards with their tongues lolling out. Women with dress lacings undone and roseate nipples exposed to the lamp light and the tobacco plumes.
One such woman approached him with earnest, and when she did not abandon his side, Victor paid her to do so. That handful of coin taken from the dead boy's bedside, it bought him solitude in the corner where he was able to sit for hours, resolving to leave with the threat of dawn. Hours spent barely conscious in a stuffed chair of torn velveteen. The morphine lulled him alongside notes from a nearby piano, and when Victor's eyes braved rare opening to the light, it was only to continue the sketch that he'd begun upon first sitting. The journal open in his lap, flipped beyond the medical drawings of chest cavities and pulmonary routes, slowly gained new drawings. The final, an image depicting the bare expanse of a woman's back(something potentially glimpsed in the dreams that lulled him as he sat), was never completed, as just before the sun began to rise, he well and truly managed sleep with charcoal still in hand and page still spread unfinished.