A Little Spice Chapter 2

By ExpletusNox

---------- Kidd

Augustine... His only use is to be annoying. If I would have known he was going to make such a big deal out of that cursed broach, I would have never had Arthur steal the damned thing. But now it cannot be undone, so I will not dwell on it anymore. The next thing for me to do is to figure out what that minion can steal for me.

I could have him go for something that Thomas owns but what? I think the only thing of real value that the man owns is the castle. I doubt Arthur has the mentality to go through a plan of that magnitude. Maybe a little later... I’ll pull my own little stunt.

The reason for stealing Augustine’s rose broach was because it was always there. Whenever I have the ‘pleasure’ of seeing Augustine, the only thing on his mind, the only thing he ever talks to me about is his rose broach. I know that there is some one like him around this castle.

Aside from Thomas. He is all ready involved way more than I want him to be but I guess I should have expected that. He’s the type to get into anyone’s business whether they want him or not. I really don’t want him and his cursed kindness but I guess I will be forced to live with him. Working around him might not be that difficult -- at least, I can only hope.

My biggest surprise stands with Augustine. Not with his reaction to the theft but instead with the fact that he has yet to come to me to help him ‘find the thief.’ Probably still dwelling over the fact that the thing was...

A knock. “Come in!” I stare up to find Arthur, my little minion, staring through the bars of my little dungeon office. The man quickly pulls the door open and even winces as it clangs. Usually, that doesn’t bother him but I can tell something is bothering. It’s obvious by the grim expression on his face.

Before saying a thing, he closes the door -- not that it matters because the space is always open to the public. “Kidd... What do you want me to do?” The man’s voice is low, probably wanting to avoid any attention by anyone who might be wandering around.

“What do you mean?” Playing stupid is the only way to hear it all from him. He is far too vague when he speaks -- you’d never know it from the way he writes his newspaper.

“With the broach!?” There it was: his frustration. At least I got him to release that much. “What should I do with it?”

“Keep it? Bury it? Melt it down and then force it down Augustine’s throat?” That made him wince again. “Do whatever you want. I just need you to interview him.”

“I can’t. He won’t let anyone see him. You didn’t see him after I stole that broach. He was so upset. Even pulled out his hair.”

“You’ve told me!” Now it is my turn to get frustrated. The first few times, I will admit that that statement highly amused me. Just imagining the perfect Augustine ripping out the hair that he spends hours pampering is enough to make anyone laugh. But now Arthur has mentioned it a multitude of times and it is just annoying. “Just try to get a hold of him long enough to talk to him. Try to coax him into getting me to help him.”

“All right.” Of course he agrees.

“But for now... I have another plan...”

---------- Augustine

What sort of horrible man would take something that meant so much to me? How could there be such a man? If there is, I have yet to meet them. Therefore, why would they do such a horrible wrong to me?

A horrible throbbing pain is in my head. I think the pain might have come from me pulling my hair free or else it is from my attempts to rack my brain for answers to all of my daunting questions. Yes, my questions are daunting! They have torn me away from my normal, careful routine of caring for myself and keeping myself clean. My precious blonde locks still have dried blood caked within them, and within that, there are pieces of hair that I had so nastily removed.

“Augustine... Is everything all right?” That familiar voice and familiar rappings are at my door. That false sympathy is in his voice. Oh, why must he taunt me? That horribly ignorant man. Is he blind to see my pain? Even that innocent Thomas cannot be trusted until I find my precious broach.

“No. Leave me be.”

“You’ve kept yourself locked up in your room for the past day.” How dare he ignore me. “You must be at least hungry. I had Meimi to make your favorite dish.”

“Thank you, Master Thomas. Leave the tray outside the door. I will get it later -- I find that I am not very presentable at this moment.” That should be enough to send him away -- that man is too kind for his own good.

“All right...” There is a light clanging of dishes as he sets down the tray. “Have a good evening, Augustine.” At least he didn’t dwell and left me alone.

I quickly pull the tray inside, not wanting anyone in the hallway to see me and my more-than-disheveled appearance. At first, I place the tray upon my night stand and ignore it but the taunting smell eventually pulls me in. I nibble at the bread and even dip it in the steaming stew.

The world taunts me, but the world is ignorant. Not one person in this place can begin to understand me and my needs. That is why this world does not understand the true nature and the true pain of this crime. They are all ignorant fools.

---------- Mel

Skip. Skip. Skip. One leg up. One leg down. One leg up. One leg... Oh! Pretty flowers! Spring is so pretty. And the flowers outside of Sebastian’s inne are the most pretty of all. I plop down in front of the in bed, holding Branky close to the a bright, pink blossom.

“Doesn’t it smell good, Branky?”

“No. It doesn’t. Smells horribly if you ask me.”

Branky is so mean! “Oh, you’re horrible!” And I beat him against the wall. The bricks should put that stupid puppet in his place. How dare he disagree with me. “Bad Branky! Don’t be mean to the beautiful flowers. It smells just wonderful and you know it.”

“Yes, Mel. Branky was wrong.” Even though I know he is telling me the truth, he needs a little more incentive to never disagree with me again. So I keep up his beating for another moment. Then I bounce back to my feet and wander inside the inne.

“Branky’s cranky! He needs a nap.” I giggle as I chant those words over and over again. The people sitting in the main area of the inn are all staring at me as if I am some sort of freak but I just ignore them. They all had dolls that they played with when they were children -- all children did. The only one that doesn’t stare at me is Sebastian and that is because he is used to it so I ignore him as well.

Branky’s bed is underneath the stairwell and I lie him back there, atop some boxes. Then I skip off towards Meimi’s restaurant -- all of that yelling really put me in the mood for some delicious, creamy ice cream.

---------- Thomas

Augustine worries me. I will admit that man has worried me before because he is rather strange. Some times it isn’t just strange but he is also very eccentric and well... a narcissist. That’s just obvious. Despite his normally strange behavior, his more recent actions have bothered me the most. He has never secluded himself before. He used to spend over an hour in baths every day. Then he would spend another hour making himself ‘presentable.’ Now he doesn’t do any of that anymore. In fact, I don’t think anyone has seen him since that day he found his broach was stolen.

Maybe because it was stolen. That is why I think he is so upset however I don’t understand why. Why does he spend days locked up in his room? Why is that broach so important to him? Perhaps I should have asked him that question when I first met him. Maybe my worry would be a little less.

All of my attempts to help him have been turned down but he takes the food that I leave for him. It is always reluctantly, though, but every time I return to his room, the tray with empty plates is always there. Every now and then, I will get him something new and he always eats it all.

I really have to think about him deeply because I just don’t understand him. I don’t think anyone else aside from Augustine, himself, does and since he is not allowing anyone to help him, I really should just leave alone. That just isn’t good enough for me.

“Master Thomas! Master Thomas!” Shaking myself from blankly staring at the top sheet of a stack of papers, I look up just in time to watch Sebastian barge into my office. “Trouble.” The poor man has so much trouble catching his breath and that is a sheer sign that he was in a rush. “... at the... inne.”

My heart leapt and I feel it driving me as I dashed out the door. It doesn’t take me long to reach the inne. As soon as I arrive, I note Cecile kneeling over a small lump of breathing, gasping clothing.

I throw a worried glance towards Cecil, who only mouths, “Branky is missing.”

As if she had heard Cecil’s silent words, Mel lifts her head. “Branky was sleeping in his bed, under the stairs at Sebastian’s Inne. He was being mean to the flowers so I had to yell at him. I just went away for a few minutes so I could get some ice cream at Meimi’s. When I came back... Branky... was... gone...” And then she broke into sobbing again.

Leaving Cecile to comfort the distraught girl, I allow myself to fall into the state of deep thought. After a moment, I can only come to one conclusion: I am housing some very odd souls. At least this one is not ripping out her hair.

Chapter 3

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