Is it shameful for a rope-walker to use a safety net?
There is certain pride in all of us. Whether it is the result of upbringing or other powers is difficult to say, yet it is easy to spot such pride in anyone. Polite refusals, charitable donations, worse yet – shaming the need for help. It is easy for one to forget their own vulnerability, to fail to see it in others. With a lion’s mane we hold our head high and refuse to budge, even as the world crumbles around us.
Would it be shameful for a drowning man to be heaved onto a raft? For one stuck in a burning prison to want someone to douse the flames? The immediate dangers are not the only ones threatening our very existence; it is our duty to be cognizant of them and strive to eliminate them, even if that means needing help.
I come with a plea; a plea to never forget those who care about you. Find it within yourself to burst through the shield of pride and grasp the helping hand held out for you.
It does the world no good for you to drown.
Art of London
Sun-Filled Stories, Chapter Four
by Cassius Mortemer
How fast…? A hand on his shoulder. A big one. It’s Mr Clathermont.
“Can I help you, sir?” he asked the Author. He got the impression that Mr Clathermont didn’t expect business from him.
“I thought I saw a friend of mine…” he muttered in monotone. Mr Clathermont let him go.
“You must’ve been mistaken,” he said. “Tattoo?”
The Author had left without further word. The Curious Deviless was still following him. The Author stopped and sighed.
“Madam, why are you still following me?” he asked.
“Because I want to see the love story unfold!”
The Author furrowed his brows. Love story?
“This isn’t a love story,”
“Sure it is!”
“You just don’t realize it yet!”
“Look out for the hansom cab, dear”
The what…? The Author looked to the side, and surely there was a cab speeding towards him! His breath got caught in his throat and he squeezed his eyes shut. He was still in the middle of the road! That’s very careless of him. Shouldn’t the cab have hit him by now? The Author opened one eye, parting of him expecting the Devil to have stopped the cab in the nick of time. Just like in the novels he likes to write.
Disappointment. The cab had simply went around the Author. The Deviless was grinning.
“I know what you were hoping for,” she taunted. Normally the Author might’ve found something to throw the Deviless with by now. This time, he simply sighed in dismay.
“I can’t feel anything…” he said, and got off the road. The Deviless placed a sympathetic hand on his shoulder.
“You will,” she promises.
The Author knew he could believe her. He knew he should believe her. That’s how getting your soul back works. But his thoughts kept turning back to the Introverted Devil, and the fear of never catching up to him. Well. Suppose one can’t exactly call it fear.
The Author spent the rest of the afternoon wandering to and fro, over and around Clathermont’s Tattoo Parlour. He didn’t see the Devil again. The Devilless followed him, tirelessly, with that little grin on her face.
“Perhaps you should hide in the shop overnight, waiting for him tomorrow? Oh, oh, or you can leave a few fake secrets and clues for him to follow! You’ll lure him out like that if he’s a spy. He did rather seem like a curious sort, at least. How about-”
She went on. He ignored her.
The Author must’ve walked all over Ladybones road that afternoon, trying to think of any possible places where the Devil might’ve gone. Even the Devilless got tired of talking after a while. She didn’t leave, sadly. Eventually the Author’s shoulders sagged and his footsteps stilled. He ran out of ideas. It’s time to go home.
A gentle nudge. It was the Devilless.
“Here. My calling card. If you need information on devils,” she said. She gave a curtsey, then left for her own home. Leaving the Author alone again.
News of Art, Art of News
A Theatrical Escape – Clay Refuge On The Run From Law
In the morning fog of this week’s Thursday, a clay man was seen running by the banks of the river Thames. In his wake, a dozen constables armed with batons and accompanied by trained hounds.
According to the police statement, this clay man of interest worked as a stagehand at a local theater up until recent weeks when he reportedly disappeared. Around the same time, a series of mysterious murders swept through the theater, targeting prominent guests and actors.
With the help of several private investigators, the constabulary had managed to determine the next victim. A trap was set and on the day of the murder, armed forces rushed to the stage box just as the the decoy was losing consciousness, her neck roped, a clay man looming over her. Wasting no time for pleasantries, the clay man jumped over the railing and ran through the door – which brings us back to the chase.
This clay man had been on the run for several days, details of the reasons for murder are yet unknown. More on this story as it develops.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose,
Perhaps I have not failed.
I would be afraid for far different reasons.