-Beyond the looking glass
Off the coast of Bordeaux
As she drifted to the bottom of the ocean floor, she found it peaceful and somber. Her skin was pale like a ghost with full blue lips. Tiny ice crystals sprouted along her limbs as she sank. The moonlight that reflected off the surface dissipated and darkness welcomed her below like a bottomless pit. Tears bloomed from her eyes and scrambled to the surface as tiny bubbles before bursting.
She thought of Drake and his kindness. The kindness he had shown when he and Godfrey welcomed her to their humble manor. Her frozen lips twisted into a grin at the thought of Godfrey. She would have laughed if she wasn’t underwater and bleeding to death. Although she couldn’t feel the wound in her abdomen anymore, nor the tips of her fingers. How she used to give the old butler hell when she first got there.
Her life flashed before her eyes and she remembered the tall grandfather clock that boomed every hour…
Godfrey yelled her name as he chased her down the halls to the estate. She took a sharp turn around the corner and hid in a room, slamming the door behind her. Godfrey cursed as he pounded the door, unable to enter. Lyn took refuge in the corner, just beside the grandfather clock. Then she cradled herself and awaited the worse. However, she didn’t cry. Because she thought she was made of stone.
She watched the golden pendulums on the grandfather clock swing with an unfaltering rhythm. The clock boomed at the hour, resonating through the old storage room. White sheets covered forgotten furniture and dressers. Moonlight cascaded through a single window, half-way open with a shrewd wind blowing its blinders.
The door creaked open and Godfrey stepped through, his face visibly distressed. He opened his mouth ready to yell until Drake stepped in front of him. She blinked her eyes to see a stately face hovering over her. He smiled at her, that same dangerous smile that cut like a knife. She noticed his teal earrings shaped like tear drops. The five o’clock shadow from his beard. Nothing compared to him. Godfrey bowed and stepped aside.
Her body tensed with fear and joy as he sauntered over to her. He reached for her and she blanched as his hand closed in. But what happened next left her flabbergasted. He scooped her head towards his chest and held her tight.
“You poor girl,” he said. “You think the entire world’s abandoned you…”
She gasped with red, watery eyes.
“Don’t blame yourself for anything, Lyn. You’ve done nothing wrong.”
She couldn’t hold it in and exploded. She grabbed his sleeves and squeezed. Her tears soaked his shirt as she wailed. Godfrey formed a frown and turned away.
When she caught her breath, Drake cupped her face in his palms and gazed into her eyes. “I can already tell. You were born with greater strength than others. Like me…”
Water filled her lungs, and Drake’s face withered away in her mind. She felt a firm grip latch onto her body from the shadowy figure before her. It lifted her towards the surface and flung her onto a hard wooden surface. The person rolled her over and pushed the water from her chest. She took her first breath of life along with the frigid ocean breeze, leaving goosebumps on her body.
Her vision blurred, but she recognized the voice. Godfrey.
“Thank God Lady Lyn!”
Godfrey snared her with a wool blanket and embraced her like a father. She shivered, but the blanket did its job. Godfrey wasn’t releasing her soon.
“Where- Where are we?” she asked.
“You’re on a lifeboat, sweetheart…”
She turned towards the back of the boat. A group of survivors from the yacht gathered on the other side. Among them was Molly Pierce. A plump woman whose husband struck gold out west. To celebrate her newly acclaimed status, she attended Ulysses’ party instead of her husband. She was what Godfrey called, ‘New Money.’
The other survivors, mostly old business men and a handful of women, muttered amongst themselves as the boat drifted along the sea.
“You’re freezing dear,” Molly said, covering her with an extra coat.
“T- Thank you-” Lyn shuddered as her teeth clattered. Each time she exhaled, her breath streamed into the air like a tiny spirit.
“Don’t mention it,” Molly replied.
“Thank Kalen as well,” Godfrey said, “he’s the one who rescued you.”
She glimpsed at Kalen resting near the bow, rowing the boat to shore. His shirt was gone, and he wore only the black trousers of a line cook. But the cold didn’t seem to faze him. In fact, Kalen seemed to thrive. He took a sip from his flask and continued rowing.
Lyn nodded. “Thank you…” she whispered.
Kalen winked and waved his lone ponytail like a whip, flinging away the excess water.
Godfrey chuckled. “I told him I’d put him to work.”
Lyn wanted to share his humor but as she chuckled a sharp pain ran through her gut. She looked down and though the bleeding ceased, the deep gash remained. Then she fell forward and hit her head on the floorboard. The last thing she heard was Godfrey yelling her name.
When she woke up, the first thing she noticed was a naked sensation. Her first instinct was to cover herself. Perhaps in the presence of others. But she laid there in that single bed alone and parched. She chugged the glass of water on her night stand which took her mind off the dull pain in her abdomen. Someone pounded against the door and she cowered behind the safety of her blanket.
The person let themselves in, revealing it to be Godfrey with Kalen trailing behind him. Godfrey held a tray in his hand with medicine and more water. Lyn hardly recognized him in a pair of khakis and a polo shirt. Kalen looked ragged, as usual. The werewolf leaned against the wall and lit a smoke. He offered one to Lyn.
Lyn waved him off. “I’m trying to quit…”
Godfrey placed a pill in her hand. “Take it,” he suggested thoroughly. “It will help with the pain.”
She took it at his insistence and winced from the taste. Even as an adult, medicine didn’t taste better. It got worse. Her mother, Wanda, always tricked her into taking her medicine as a child. It worked for coughs and bruises at least.
“That blade almost cut you in half,” Godfrey said. “But it came at the wrong angle and this deflected its path…”
He handed her the golden clam shell with her mother’s initials. The clam’s lid hung askew and its mirror shattered. A gash lined its shell, but the red powder inside remained intact. Godfrey sat on the bed’s edge and placed a hand on her thigh.
I was saved by a fucking clam shell…
“I should have died,” she said to no one in particular.
Godfrey made a face. “Beg your pardon?”
“I was going to die, and you saved me… Now I won’t get to see him anymore-”
Godfrey’s hand smashed against her face. The force knocked her over. Godfrey shook his hand, that left a noticeable red print on Lyn’s cheek. Lyn rubbed her cheek and glared. But Godfrey didn’t waver and stood his ground.
“Don’t ever say something so bloody fucking stupid again!”
Her face softened but still stung. Godfrey had one hell of a right hand. Kalen smoked his cigarette, blowing full clouds in the air. Coarse fur covered his arms, face, and hair. Much more than usual. His appearance resembled more wolf than man.
“Before Ulysses died; he told us that Drake was alive and living in London…”
“I know,” Godfrey replied.
He tossed her a letter with a broken red seal. The seal of Ulysses. The mythological monster known as Typhon.
She dropped the letter and gulped.