WARNING: Sexual references and violence.

Charlotte catches up with Griffin. Revelations ahoy.

Missed Charlottes previous adventures? See the Weekly Serial page for a complete list.

London – 1838

It wasn’t difficult to persuade Griffin to follow me off the street into an alley. I was a woman alone in the dark, small, slim and fragile looking, if you were being complimentary, undernourished, if you weren’t. Regular meals were starting to fill me out but I still had the pallid ill look that all the ladies craved.

I turned and continued walking slowly backwards.

He wasn’t very tall but he had muscular shoulders and arms that almost touched the salty bricks of the buildings on either side of us. ‘My little brother’s whore. I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on.’ He paused a few feet away and looked me up and down. It felt like he was peeling my clothes off with his eyes, I’d need a long bath when I got back to the house.

I stopped and glanced over my shoulder at the wall a few feet away. Perhaps I should’ve picked a slightly less boxy alley. What was I doing? There was fair risk and foolishness. This was foolishness. I must’ve lost my mind.

‘So Brandon likes little girls who dress as little boys,’ Griffin said. ‘I’m surprised he can get his prick hard, or does the bleeding cully just pay for a peek?’

I wouldn’t have said Bran was easy with his money, I worked hard to make myself indispensable. It wasn’t easy for a woman to convince a man like Bran she had an interest in him, I still hadn’t succeeded.

‘Don’t you talk, girl?’ He snorted. ‘Does Brandon like your mouth for other things? How much for a suck, girl?’ He dug about in his jacket pocket, stepped close and dropped three pennies on the cobbles in front of me.

I looked down at them.

‘Threepence,’ he said as if I couldn’t count.

I turned my gaze back up to him.

‘Should be enough for any whore who’d bed Brandon.’ He laughed.

I pulled the long thin chisel from my belt and jammed it straight up under his chin. Well, I couldn’t use a small chisel if I wanted to make sure I got his brain.

He stared at me for what seemed an eternity but couldn’t have been more than a second or two. Then exploded in ash and embers.

‘Bloody vampires,’ I muttered; aside from Bran I generally avoided them, they had a tendency to eat people like me without compunction, that was before they realised their magic didn’t work on me. Perhaps that was another reason Bran paid me so much, it must get boring being able to make people do whatever you wanted, or never notice you in Bran’s case.

I flipped the chisel and shoved it back into my belt. Whatever it was that burnt up a vampire had destroyed his clothes but there was a heap of coins on the cobbles and his watch beside them. I pocketed the money then picked up his watch. It was a good watch, a little damaged but I could fix the workings and anyone would pay decent money for it, even with cracked glass and a few scratches. The Celtic knot on the front was distinctive but it wasn’t as if Griffin would be able to claim it.

The watch went into my pocket and I dusted the remains of Griffin off my clothes, there was a singe mark or two but at least I didn’t have to worry about hiding the body. Perhaps I wouldn’t have needed to, there were plenty of gentleman who wandered down the wrong alley and ended up with their throat cut and their pockets empty.

I took my cap out of my pocket, twisted my hair up and pull the cap on over it. While I didn’t wear it as long as a woman was supposed to it would’ve been easier to simply cut my hair as short as a boy’s then wear a hair piece but they’d shorn all my hair off in the workhouse and I knew where it had gone.

A boy once more I climb up the wall, dropped down the other side and walked out of the alley onto the street parallel to the one I’d entered from. I knew I should’ve felt terrible about what I’d done but Griffin was hardly a loss to the world and he’d been in it long enough, if he was really older than Bran than he had to be over seven hundred years old. There was me thinking Bran was supposed to be old for a vampire.

He shouldn’t have dropped the pennies.

For more short fiction try my archive page or the Weekly Serial page.

You can now tweet me @SisterQuill.


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