A Little Spice Chapter 1

By ExpletusNox

---------- Arthur

The sun is setting for the day and as the beautiful light disappears, the clouds are embraced by the brilliant colors that the rays’ reflections hold. I stare idly at the serene picture before me for a long moment, but then quickly continue up the long flight of stairs, my footsteps muffled by the line of red carpet, rolled neatly down the steps of shined marble.

I would love to stop and watch the lovely pheonomnom unfold however I have much work to do. After all, my reputation, my occupation, and my career are much more important than watching something that replays itself every evening.

I creep slowly down the hallway, keeping a layer of strong silence surrounded about me. I have no desire to draw the attention of anyone else towards me. Although I am not quite sure why I am so worried - everyone is downstairs, enjoying the dinner meal that I so reluctantly pushed away for the evening. “You better be right with this idea of yours...” I mutter lightly to myself as I stop in front of the sought door.

My fingers curl slowly around the brass knob, the feeling of the cold metal against my skin sends a chill up my spine. For a moment, I pause, the feeling of guilt swallowing me. But then I remember that this task, this horrible deed will be my savior. Keeping these thoughts in the very front of my mind, I proceed to give the knob a gentle twist and heave a heavy sigh of relief as the door pushes easily open.

Quickly, I proceed inside and shut the door, so no suspicions will be arisen. After all, the occupant of the room is one of the many enjoying the meal downstairs and I am sure that if one happened to wander down the hall to find his doorway wide open, they would wonder just what was going on.

The room is very clean, and well-kept, no doubt belonging to either a wealthy man or just some kind of perfectionist or... even both. Thoughts of the person are quickly torn away for I must move quickly. I do not have time to stand around and think about the mindset of my innocent victim - I have my own to follow.

Upon the dresser, I spot the box. Gold outlines the long velvet case... That must be it. I wouldn’t expect it to be anything else. I quickly move towards the dresser but still watch my movements carefully. My only desire is the box and I do not wish to leave any other traces of myself anywhere within the room.

I grab the box, and slip it into my coat pocket. It is long and thin so it fits well enough in there. Then, I move towards the door and make my way outside. Fortunately, no one is within the hallway so I am able to move freely, as if the deed had never been done.

“Good evening, Arthur. Is everything all right? You left dinner so quickly that I wasn’t sure... and I came to check up on you. You left a few people worried.” It is Thomas. The nice man. The nice, forgiving man who had so kindly given me a place to live within his walls. The guilt sets in ... How could I wrong such a wonderful man?

“Oh, yes. Master Thomas! Everything is fine! In fact! I just had a wonderful idea for a story and that was why I left so quickly. You know, have to follow the stories where they go.” I must chose my words carefully, so the guilt will not become powerfully noticeable upon my face.

“That’s wonderful! It’s been a while... Not much has been going on has it?” Must he remind me? “I’m glad you’ve found something to write about - I know that many will be pleased to see something new in the paper.”

“Yes, I am very pleased. I am sure that it will be a big hit around here and I’m very excited to get started. So excited, that I must leave right now!” And off I go, running down towards my own room. Beads of sweat began to roll down my face long before I even started running and I am very surprised that Thomas had not noticed them, being the observant young man that he is.

Now within the safe confines of my room, I am able to look at my evening’s prize, yhe reason for all of my immediate guilt and sufferings. I withdraw the beautiful box from my pocket and slowly pry it open with a single finger. As I look at the delicate flower within, I can only smile to myself, overcome by a sense of accomplishment. And nothing other than that.

---------- Augustine

Where is it!? Where is it!? “Where is it!?” I scream frantically as I tear my room to shreds. Curtains, linens, drawers, closets, and even my mattress are not safe from my rampage as I grab and search through anything that my hands can reach.

Embarrassment for my actions would normally have set in by now, however I am not myself. The man who is tearing, shredding, and destroying his belongings is most certainly not me. I have been possessed ... for I have been wronged.

Returning from dinner, I had been quite content. The meal had been absolutely delicious and I had looked forward to my evening preening, as I do every night. However upon my return, I took notice that the lovely case upon my dresser had not been there. Then, I succumbed to the beast that now destroys my room, in search of his most treasured belonging. However it is no longer there and so the beast subsides, leaving nothing but the shell of an empty man.

No longer fueled by the power of the beast, I curl up upon the floor of my bedroom, feeling as the tears roll down my soft cheeks. My fingers take firm grasp of my hair and I pull. I pull, feeling the perfectly preened locks beginning to tear and uproot. I pull for the pain. The punishment. The punishment for my embarrassment. I am now embarrassed... because I am now me. I now feel the pain... and the punishment...

---------- Thomas

“How strange Arthur was acting...” Arthur always seemed a tad bit strange. So perhaps I shouldn’t dwindle on that thought but instead be happy for him, since he finally found something to write about. With everything much happier now and life easier, there has not been much to write about as far events go.

So I simply shrug it off and wave to him as he disappears down the corridor. Perhaps I will stop by Mamei’s and get some ice cream for him a little later, since he missed dinner and all. It would be the best thing to do for him...

My thoughts are quickly shaken as a scream reaches my ears. And so close, also. I turn about, hearing footsteps coming up the steps behind me. It is Sebastian, looking as frantic as the scream I just heard had been.

“Master Thomas! Did you hear that? Who on earth was that?” He pulls himself to a stop in front of me, his breathing heavy - even briefs amount of exercise for poor Sebastian make him so tired. I place a hand upon his back and pat him gently as he tries to catch him breath.

“I don’t know.” I speak slowly, glancing about the hallway as my hand continues to pat against Sebastian’s back. I spot only one door that is open and as soon as Sebastian has collected himself, I begin towards it. He follows close behind me and we both can only blink at the sight before us...

The room is torn to shreds. Pieces of cloth are thrown all about the room, the mattress lies half on the floor and half on the bed, and each drawer from the dresser has been pulled out and left to sit with clothing dangling. Within the middle of it all, sits Augustine, his normally perfect and well-kept form curled up in a small ball. He is weeping and I am not sure what frightens me more, his tears or his appearance. Trickles of blood cover his hands and within that blood, I can see strands of his blonde hair. More of the blood (the amount still small) has collected in his hair... he had pulled his hair out... “Augustine...” I am taken aback as he quickly looks up at me, his bright blue eyes glassy from the tears. “Is... everything all right?”

“Are you blind, Master Thomas!? No, I am clearly not all right!” He paused, to stare at Sebastian for a moment before returning his attention to me. “Who would do such a dastardly deed to someone like me, Master Thomas!? I have never wronged anyone. I have never shunned anyone. Why would someone do a deed like this to me!?” He has crawled to me by now and his blood-covered fingers have taken a firm grip upon my jacket. He pulls upon me, his eyes looking at me as if begging to give him an answer. But I can offer only a look of confusion in return.

“Augustine... I-What are you talking about? What has someone done to you?” I manage to stammer out.

A look of disbelief crosses his face as he releases me and he falls back into his former position, the tears flowing freely once again. “My broach, Master Thomas! Someone has stolen my lovely rose broach.”

---------- Arthur

I had not been in my room for long when the scream of Augustine reached my ears, adding more blocks onto my tower of guilt. The man would be upset when he found his broach missing, that I was aware of. However once I heard his horrifying scream, I was unsure whether or not I could handle dealing with such guilt any longer.

As I sat myself on my bed, the box with the rose broach beneath me, between the mattresses , I tried not to think of it. I tried to only think about what would become of it all. The story that will be written will be impressive and people from all over the castle will buy my paper in order to read about it. Yes, that will be good. Everything will turn to be all right. Eventually, Augustine’s rose broach will turn up and he will return to his normal, narcissistic self.

It will all end soon enough. All it has to do is last long enough for the story to become hot and that is all.

I continue to tell myself this but it doesn’t to help. The guilt is still throbbing inside of me. It makes my heart beat faster and I can feel the sweat droplets rolling idly down my face, as if to tease me. With my sleeve, I brush the droplets away, but they are only replaced by new ones and the teasing continues.

All I can do now is sigh and reach over to my desk to grab my note pad and pen. It is time to go see what is up but I all ready know what is. So why should I go? “So it looks as if I am just finding out about this story, as well.” I reassure myself as I climb to my feet. I slip both the note pad and the pen into my pocket, where the box had been kept only a little while ago, and quickly step outside, being sure to lock my door behind me...

Don’t need to be attracting any unwanted thieves....

Chapter 2

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