Buster Keaton and Marion Mack in The General (1926)
Buster Keaton and Marion Mack in The General (1926)
Max Ernst. Health through Sport (La sante par le sport). C. 1920
Recent Acquisition - Postcard Collection
Only a Dream !
I saw you in a dream last night
And you were sitting down to write !
My name was on that letter, too -
Now, won’t you make that dream come true?
Postmarked January 1926
Annemarie Schwarzenbach as Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose), Bocken, Switzerland (1922).
Recent Acquisition - Photograph Collection
“Roberta - worked for Mama Hebe after she came from hospital”
Jackson Family Photograph Collection
The Treaty of Versailles created a lot of problems for the Weimar government because they had to accept all blame and responsibility for the war. Their army was limited to 100,000 soldiers, no submarines or planes and only six battleships. The rhineland was completely demilitarised for Germany. They were forced to pay £6,600 million in installments, which completely ruined their economy, worsened by a loss of 13% of her land.
Enemies of the government began to create myths such as the Stab in the Back Theory, which spread anger towards the Weimar. The theory was that Germany had only lost the war because they had been “stabbed in the back” by politicians because their defeat had been so unexpected, despite the clear evidence that the country just could not go on fighting.
The country was in political unrest. Germans hated the Weimar for signing the treaty, despite having been forced to. Due to this resentment, the Weimar faced political uprising from both polars of the political spectrum. On the left, there was notably the Spartacist Uprising, which was a party of communists who rebelled in Berlin. They were led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemberg in January of 1919. On the right, many white supremacists and nationalists were uprising, including the Munich Putsch, performed with Adolf Hitler.
Proportional representation was when each party had a percentage of seats based on how many votes they received in the elections. There were many small parties which made it difficult to pass laws, leading to a weak and short lived government. It was fair, but they were not equipped to deal with the problems the treaty presented to them.
After hyperinflation caused by the treaty, people were angrier than ever. They had suffered a lot due to the economy’s collapse. This made them weak and vulnerable to manipulation. Hitler told them he would liberate the German people from the treaty and made them think that Jewish politicians had betrayed them. This created an easy route for Hitler to get into power, with the Munich Putsch giving him more fame and recognition as a hero, rather than the dictator he would become.
Overall, I believe that the Treaty of Versailles was the most significant problem because it led to many other things which made the Weimar weaker and weaker until it collapsed. It assisted Hitler into becoming chancellor and had the German people starving under hyperinflation from 1919 until 1923.
I’m going to be reading The Great Gatsby for class soon so I decided to set the mood by drawing this gentleman! I might make him into an original character but I’m not sure
“the lady on the right is batting both eyes and her companion might pack a sting”
Part 1: link
Part 2: link
Part 3: link
For the next few weeks of your relationship with Alastor went from being worried about your well being to having hope that your life wasn’t just a masterpiece of disaster. Things were finally looking up for you. Throughout those few weeks you got closer to Al, Mimzy, and Husk. Mimzy took some time to warm up to you and gave you the occasional threat now and again. You came to the conclusion that she cared for Al in a way that an older sibling protected their younger sibling. You can kind of see from her stand point of some random bim coming about and being the object of his affection.
You felt the same way when Issacs’s girl erratically showed up one night. They both came home from hitting the town and getting liquored up. Mama was a wreck that night yelling and hitting Isaac with her small hands. Papa escorted the young lady to the guest room, deeming her not stout enough to carry herself back home. Ever since that night you saw the young couple in a dimmer light. Losing some respect for your elder twin in the process.
Husk on the other hand warmed up to pretty fast. Every time Al brings you back to the club, Husk and yourself play a couple of card games, losers usually paid for lunch. Teaching you how to deal all the way to keeping a straight face. He’s a nice guy altogether, crunchy on the exterior and soft on the interior. But, you estimated that Al didn’t like you talking with Husk for too long. He even goes out of his way to break up any sort of conversation if he sees you two getting too close.
But, the most valuable information you received these scarce weeks were from the man himself.
Alastor, the radio man is very hands on with you especially your waist. He wraps his lanky arms around your petite waist and gives you a strong, short squeeze before cuddling next to you. The only problem is he has to initiate the touching and he gets pissed easily. Al got so irritated when you gave him a shocking hug from behind and gave you a stern lecture with a small pat on the behind. You figured he hated people touching him without permission. To prove this theory you tried holding his hand when the two of you were alone. He yanked that arm back so fast all you saw was a blur. It took you around thirty minutes to get him to calm himself down. He spent the rest of the day with his hands in his pockets whenever you came into the room.
Your courtier would never take you to his house, but he would happily go to your home and chat with the family. You were quite perplexed that your papa liked him. He’s the type of dad that gets mad if his little girl even has a crush on another boy. Yet, it didn’t stop there, even your brother found him likable. You’re very liberated that they all seem to get along, but you were a little disappointed that they weren’t as protective as you would think. Nonetheless, you felt very fulfilled with your man that day.
Going on small dates are pretty joyful considering Al knows how to keep the fun going. If you even look like you’re bored or uninterested he makes either witted jokes or invades your personal space in an attempt to fluster you. On some nights if you’re really lucky he does more than just kiss you goodnight.
Next, you seem to notice whenever family is brought up he talks about his mother in a very bright light. But, he never talks about his father. You brought it up to him and he dismissively walked around the whole topic. So, you never brought it back up instead you got him to talk about his mom. Apparently he gets most of his personality from his mother, Abigail. She taught him how to make jambalaya, singing, his etiquette knowledge and that prize winning smile that adores his features. This guy brings up his mother with such admiration that makes you question it sometimes. It’s not that you mind his banter, in fact you found it amusing to hear him talk so fondly about her. You won’t lie about feeling a little jealous from their closeness.
He’s definitely a Mama’s Boy .
The last details you noticed were the really late night hunting he does. That lean frame of his is covered in scratches and small bruises. He tells you that most of his scars come from deer or jagged tree branches. It didn’t explain the scratch marks on his neck. He told you those marks on his neck are from your guys last intimate moment together and without questioning him you believed his word. You don’t remember clawing his skin. You left it at that and took him inside to mend his sore muscles.
Blood underneath his finger nails took you aback, when he took his gloves off. You offered to help clean them, but he was really reluctant to even let you stare at them. You just wanted to help, but he thought otherwise. He stared at you from the corner of his eye before giving you a loud laugh and a resounding ‘No.’. Like everything else in your relationship you just let it go without any further question.
You should’ve known better.
Nearing the end of June, with most people trying to find efficient ways of keeping cool. You were inside a hot kitchen all day baking a whole batch of beignets for a special little boy. Joseph’s last night here was today and you wanted to make it fantastic for him. So, you invited all his school friends, neighbors and some of Claire’s friends. You were going to spend most of your hard earned money on his go away party, however Al stepped in to pay for most of the expenses. He even invited Mimzy and Husk for entertainment wise. That incident still gave you butterflies and a genuine smile on your face.
The only thing you needed to do was powder the pastries and get ready for the night of fun. Sprinkling the canister of sugar powder upon the delightful treats. Setting aside the sugary French styled doughnuts with a covering, taking long strides to the staircase you made it to your room to gather a simple long sleeved dress. Then, managed to freshen up with a nice bath and some light makeup. Packing the beignets in a proper container and double checking the security of the vessel. Alastor should be coming by to pick you up in his newly repaired car, but the person at the door was not your Al. But, your dear friend Husky. He adored a simple white button up dress shirt, black slacks with polished black dress shoes and pulled together with dark gray suspenders.
“Ya ready, doll?” Blowing the rest his gasper smoke into the night air, He leaned his arm out for you to take.
“Where’s Al,” Taking his arm with a worried look on your face. “,did something happen?” He waved his hand off into the distance before giving you a slightly direct answer.
“He had some last minute stuff he had to take care of.” You both stepped in his dark boiler and sped off down the pathway. “Don’t worry he’ll make it back in time for the party. Fucker lectured me about being late and look at what he’s doing now.” He scoffed.
“Well, thank you. For taking me in his place, Husk. I really appreciate it.” Flashing him your most sincere smiles. His cheeks flushed a modest hue of pink before he scowled. Grumbling a quiet ‘welcome’ before his gaze drifted towards the road. The path ahead grew bumpier by every turn down a lane leading through the thick woods. We scheduled for the party to be held near the bayou at mid evening. So, by the time the party starts the sun should be setting.
Husk and you managed to keep conversation up with the occasional bits of quietness here or there. Talking to Husk is like talking to your other self. Sometimes you could say the most random shit and he’ll come back with a response that will put a smile to your face. He’s basically like your second big brother with a small(not at all) drinking problem.
“So, when are you getting this car repaired,” The boiler hitting a jagged rock before settling back in place. “Because this gal has seen better days and probably a near death in its future.” You murmured under your breath.
“Fucking inherited this piece of junk from my old man. Shitty old fucker couldn’t even buy me a new one.” A loud, deep growl came from his throat and through one arm off the wheel, “Bought himself a new car, while I’m struggling to get to work and back.” He scowled and gave a great sigh before stating he needed a drink.
“I’m pretty sure there’s going to be lots of liquor, especially from those old geezers.” You knew that Mrs. Claire and her friends would sit outside their houses at dusk drinking away on those rickety porches getting buzzed. You know this because your papa used to take you out and sat you down on the weathered wood while he got tipsy with his friends. One sundown you took a sip of a stray bottle they left unattended, you being a small child decided it would be experimental to drink the loopy juice. You took one sip and gagged, spitting saliva and finally throwing up. Mama was so pissed, and wouldn’t let him go drink for months.
“Good fucking need it.” He seemed to ease up a bit just by the mention of booze.
“Why are you so wound up tonight anyway.” Raising an eyebrow over in his direction.
“Alastor didn’t tell me until last minute that I had to pick you up and I was already three-fourths of the way to the party.” His fingers gripped his hair, then slowly combed through it. “ Fucking asshole wasn’t even remorseful.” Adding in a quiet jackass in his blur of curses.
“What exactly did he say he was doing tonight, if you don’t mind me asking.” Conscious of his body language you observed his hands tighten on the steering wheel, his posture straighten for just a second then went back to hunching. Husk’s Adams apple bobbed down and up, you wanted to chalk it up to him yearning for his alcohol. “It’s not something dangerous right?”
“Nah, it’s nothing dangerous he just had to run some errands and I guess he had more on his platter than expected.” He reassured you, his hand rubbed the top of your hands.
“I know he’s spontaneous, but this is kind of unexpected of him. He seems to love get-togethers or any social event with music.” You did have hopes for the two of you spending the night together. Maybe lay down on the grass and star gaze and probably watch Husk get drunk. “We do have time before the party, we could go and help him finish what he needs done.”
“No!” He groaned, slightly pulling on his face. “He already has Mimzy helpin’ him, and he would get pissed if I just brought you by.”
You really didn’t understand why you couldn’t drop by to help.
If it was a work matter you would have noticed or heard about the situation, but nothing eventful really happened this week. The victims of the Bayou Killer reduced their number of murdered victims these past handful of weeks. Which makes you feel somewhat safe tonight and that’s sort of why you’re throwing this party.
Maybe you’re just reading too far into the situation and Al’s going to be just a few minutes late.
“It’s fine I know first hand how Al can get a little irked when people don’t follow his instruction.” Managing a small smile to your lips. “I was just a little curious about the whole ordeal.”
Inhaling a deep breath Husk created a deep groan that emitted from his throat. “Don’t beat yourself up, (y/n). Being curious about your lover is perfectly fine.” Taking another puff from his gasper and letting the smoke trail out the window. “ And to be clear here, he’s an asshole and you’re just the clueless moth flying towards his flame.”
Furrowing your eyebrows, “What’s that supposed to mean?”, you demanded.
Husk made another groan emit from his throat, he’s been doing that a lot tonight. But, you never really see Husk worried, he’s usually either angry, smug or on the occasion vulnerable. He gets you overwhelmed with fear when he talks so lowly about himself, the whole scene of him with bottles on bottles lying next to his passed out body makes your chest clench.
“I’m not insulting ya it’s just,” He twirled his wrist in a small circle, “Al’s not some dandy who needs your concern. To be completely honest you deserve a fellow who would settle down and have a nice family one day.”
“What makes you think Alastor doesn’t want to have a family with me.” You tightly crossed your arms over your chest, “Did he mention any of this to you?”
“No, no when you have been with Al as long as I have you tend to pick up all of his quirks.” Another deep puff and that stick was gone. The smoke came out in rings carried off by the wind. “And his motives.”
Opening your mouth to counter his claim, the upcoming lights flashed in your eyes. The lanterns strung up on steel poles lined along the large land area. You could already see a large portion of people starting in on their fun evening.
Husk pulled over to the side where a small portion of boilers settled at. He stepped out and walked over to your side, wrapping his arm around your frame leading you down the path of bright lights. Prior to leaving you snatched the beignets from dash nearly pushing them out your mind beforehand.
Joseph seemed like he’s having a despairing time with his friends. While they all played together, he sat himself down on one of the benches. Face cast away from them and back hunched over to rest his head on his arms. His little head turned towards your way, eyes closed, brows furrowed and crunching his nose up.
His gaze met yours and that little cannon rammed right into your gut. The air nearly left your lungs, but you deliberately gained your stance. “How’s the going away boy doing?” Returning his tight squeeze with an equally suffocating grasp. Little hands pulled on dress and a small face nuzzled into your side, Joseph’s petite face stared up at you, whites of the eyes turned pinkish. “Oh, honey, I know moving is really isolated, but look on the bright side. You can spend time with your cousins and experience new places.”
“It’s not the same.” His little voice raised a very squeaky octave. “They all make fun of me whenever I visit. They call me a baby for still sleepin’ in the same room as granny, they even called me daisy.” Shoving his face back into your hip, a large shiver went throughout his small body.
You know from great experience about family troubles, but comparing your situation to Joseph’s would be like comparing a gator to a croc. They may look the same on the outside, but they have major differences. His family was more docile like a gator, while your biological parents were more like crocodiles, very aggressive and annoyed by others in their space. But, this isn’t your family, thank god, this is about your favorite little guy right now.
I should stop doing this to myself.
“I know this is hard for you and we can’t really change your granny mind any time soon.” Ushering him back over to the bench sitting him down next to you. “But, you still mail and call to us everyday if you want to. It might just make you feel better about being so far away from all the wondrous folk down here.”
“You really think that’ll work.” He raised an eyebrow.
“Well, yes I do think that’ll work just fine.” Stroking his hair out his face in the process rubbing the stray tears. “So, how does that sound.”
He slothfully nodded, looking up at the night sky. “I could have Aunt Shirley write my letters though. My penmanship is dreadful.” he quietly added, giving a small smirk direct at you.
Shooting straight up, with a small bounce you pulled Joseph to his feet. “Now I made this party happen and got you to stay up late, just for you to pout and cry.” Flicking his nose you gave a soft smile. “How about we make this night better with a sweet treat.” You showcased the container and popped the lid off. The aroma of powder sugar met Joseph and your noses. His eyes shined a tad bit and that tiny smile that hung from the corner of his lips gave way of his joy. He sure did love these sugary confections.
“Thank you, (y/n). You made this night a whole lot better.” He gratefully took a beignet and practically shoved the pastry in his mouth. Humming that the French doughnut was indeed good.
Walking off and setting the plate down you pinpointed Husk Downing himself with silly juice with some of the older guests. Deciding not being surrounded by drunk people was a good idea you made the decision of mingling with Floyd. He was probably the most reasonable person to approach. Upon seeing you he gestured to the empty seat next to him you gratefully took the offer.
“So, how has the night been faring you, Floyd.” Giving him a kind smile and gestured towards the party. “ Having fun?”
He gave a noticeable shrug before answering, “I kind of wanted to stay home. But, you know how Clay can be.” He took another swig of punch. “Not that I don’t want to be here. I’m just tired from this week, ya know.”
“It’s fine to be tired. I’m pretty sure we’re all tired from the month with the past killings.” A small groan came from your throat. “Why do you think the killings stopped all a sudden?”
“I feel like the fucker wants to put everyone on the edge of their seats and while we’re all nice and happy they’ll find another body.” Floyd’s outlook was depressing, but you won’t lie about thinking that way, too.
“You really think they’ll find one.” You questioned. All you got in return was a short and assertive nod.
“Mrs.Claire has a smart idea of sending her grandkid to Arkansas, especially in the condition she’s in. Barely can afford to feed one person on her salary.”
Nodding you agreed with Floyd, Mrs.Claire does need help and sending Joseph to Arkansas would be her first step. You spent about the next hour talking to Floyd, Clay and his dame, Mama and Papa, your brother, Mrs. Claire and a surprising still standing upright husk. You grew worried about Al once you knew how much time flew by. Husk reassuring you that he’ll come later or in a few minutes. By the second hour it was already eleven o’ clock and by now you were more furious than worried. You decide to cool your mind with a few drinks and maybe a little liquor to ease your troubles. By your fourth drink you were a little tipsy and hanging off of Husk to keep yourself standing. You weren’t drunk. But you felt that if you let go you would fall straight into the dirt below.
Suddenly, hands blocked your view. “Guess who, darling.” In your inebriated state you uncontrollably giggled. The anger is still there ;like a grain of stubborn sand in a bag. But, not so much as before. Turning around you pulled him into your chest.
“You said a couple minutes late, liar.” You huffed.
“I’m sorry, love, but something came up and I couldn’t leave it hastily finished.” A huge smile plastered his face, teeth and all. “ Do you think you could forgive me?”
“Well, I don’t know.” Liquid courage gave you the confidence of trailing your fingers along his chest. “ Maybe if I get something to ease my anger.”
Al’s eyes widened and that sharp smile turned into a smirk. “My little bearcat is getting handsy this evening.” He maneuvered his arm around your waist pulling you into his side. “Maybe I should take you home. Come here now chere.” He strolled back to his car with you in tow.
Maybe I should’ve been more cautious back then.
June 16, 1915 (Monday)
Ten days have gone by since the radio man has offered me a job here at his studio. I still can’t shake the chill of his touch. I heard rumors he could use voodoo because of his creole background, but I didn’t want to judge too quickly.
“You want me to work for you. But, why?”
“Of course! You look perfect for the job, darling.” His grin widen to surprising width. Pearly white teeth glistening from the light radiating off them.
"What can I possibly do that might help you?” Cocking your head to the left. Eyes drifting from his gazed. Not daring to meet his eyes.
Snapping his fingers your brain compelled you to look up at his eyes. Looking pleased he folded his hand on top of the other. “You’ll do menial work like organizing files, coffee runs, rereading my manuscript before each show and working for me until I say otherwise.”
Eyes still fixated on him you tried to pry them off, but like a mouse being hypnotized by a snake. You felt as though you were compelled to keep your eyes up or he’ll swallow you whole.
“Will it pay well?” Your voice sounded faded and small. But, your surprised he heard you.
“Why my dear, of course I’ll pay you generously.” Rolling his eyes and they drifted off for bit before shooting back on you. You straighten your back and inhaled sharply. Throat getting dryer each second he looks at you. The air felt like it got thicker and heavier, you felt like you were drowning. “So, darling do we have a deal.” His arm stretched out in front of his body and again your body moved by itself. Taking his hand with yours and gave it a good couple of shakes. A sharp jolt shot up your arm.
You could of sworn you saw a green light emitting from his hand trailing slowly to my hand. My body felt like it was on fire heating up with each passing second. Then, as soon as it stared it went away leaving a loitering coolness behind. It all ended with the waitress nearly slamming the plate down in front of me and gently placing Alastor’s right in front him. He thanked her and she walked off giggling with a huge array of red on her cheeks.
Body shaking slightly you tried picking up your fork. His gaze was still on you waiting for you try yours first.
‘What the fuck was that?“
Ever since then I tried to keep my distance from him outside of work, but he insisted he should drive me home each night. Because of the killings going on and that a lady should be accompanied home by a fine gentleman like himself. Reasoning with him was out of the question. I told him no before and his face made me regret even thinking about turning down his offers. What made it even more terrifying he kept that sickening smile on the whole time. I still have the bruise from when he pinned me to the wall. I hide it from my family I haven’t really been speaking to them for a couple of days now. They have their own problems and what use do I have to burden them with my own situation.
Thinking about it Mimzy’s always looked happy to talk to Alastor without hesitation. From what I know she really idolizes him.
'I wonder if Mimzy’s treated like this. If she was she doesn’t really act scared.’
The light that read 'air’ went off and a sense of dread flew throughout your body. Before getting up he always fixed his hair and loosened his bow tie. Smiling he walked out the studio with a pep to his step. Making eye contact you managed a smile on your lips before he pulled you towards him and gave your body a small twirl.
"Can you please take me home, Al. I’m quiet tired.” You weren’t lying it was a long night shift and with the gruesome story telling of another murder. You just wanted the day to end so you could sleep in your lovely bed.
“Oh, did I not tell you dear.” He tilted his head and that smiled stretched . “I’m taking you out for a night on the town.” The excitement in his voice was kind of sickening.
“B-but I-” was interrupted by him dragging me along with him down the hall and waiting upon the arriving elevator. Looking up to speak with him again you noted the look on his features and decided not to question anymore. Stepping into the elevator you both made it downstairs and straight into the lobby. The old lady at the front waved us both a good night, she herself already getting ready to leave and retire for the night.
Alastor’s car was waiting outside like usual and he finally took his hold off of me to open the passenger door. Thanking him you sat yourself in and leaned more to the window when Al got on the driver side. Smirking he pulled off in the opposite direction of my neighborhood. Even though your already out you still feel like you should call home and tell them your gonna be out for I hope a short while.
Passing by fancy light up signs and all sorts of folk walking around from building to building. A couple of bands were setting up their instruments into backs of cars. Groups of friends making good memories of their youth by drinking it away with silly juice.
“Where are we going this late?” You know people party after this hour, but you never really expected him to be a party type. Well maybe his attitude changed after a couple of drinks or can he hold his liquor. I guess you were going to see another side of him this night.
“Our dear, Mimzy’s is singing at a local bar tonight and she wanted me to invite you as well.” Looking at me from the corner of his eyes, then trailing them back to the road in front. “She never really opens up to most of my dame friends. I guess she’s taking a liking to you.”
“She’s sounds pretty protective.” To be completely honest with yourself you’ve never been in lady drama before. So, you couldn’t tell if she liked him as a brother or a man. The glares from now and again would tip you off, but her inviting you to her show sound friendlier than her usual self when she’s around you. Though for all you know Al brought you up in conversation and she got the idea from him.
“She does cares a great deal for me, she’s one of the few of my close friends.” He gave a short chuckle, which sounded more of rumble that came from his chest.
“How long are we going to out for, because I don’t wanna worry my family.” Messing with your small fingers, you kept you gaze lowered afraid of being put under that overwhelming fear again.
Instead answering he laughed and gave the steering wheel a firmer grip. “All you do is ask questions, darling.” An arm reached out and cupped my cheek with his gloved hand. “No need to worry that pretty little head. Time does fly by when your having fun.”
He gave my cheek a small tap and slowly withdrew his hands. Not before dragging it across my neck at a snails pace. Then, placed it back on the wheel.
“Here we are my dear.” The place looked like any other bar. This doesn’t look like the sort of place for someone like Mimzy to sing her songs.
“Are you sure this is the place?” Squinting you couldn’t find the appeal of taking any business here.
“Don’t judge a book by it appearance, my dear. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” He was right next to your ear, hot breath on the shell of your ear. Making you jerk to the side holding your right ear in protection. Before you could protest he entangled his arm with yours and pulled you towards the run down building.
The place was nearly empty besides the drunken gents at the bar and the few in small booths. Alastor lead me to back where a single man stood pressed against the door. He made eye contact with Al and stuck his hand out for him to shake. Smirking he met his grip and they both started a weird and complex handshake. The man groaned and stepped to the side.
“Play nice, Al.” He shot him side glare. “I Don’t wanna clean another room.”
“Oh, don’t you worry my friend. I have a doll tonight, why would I cause trouble.” With a narrowed eyed smile to his face and jester me inside. If I couldn’t hear music before I can clearly hear it now. All sorts of instruments playing. Smiling I bobbed my head to a certain beat matching with anyone of the instruments. The grip that was on my arm was gone and replaced on my waist by the tall gent. He was smirking down at me, then looked back in front of himself leading us down, deeper until the music was blaring into my ear canals.
'So this what a real club looks like. So nice besides the drunk people.’
Alastor lead me deeper into the crowd passing people who seem to moved out the way for Al and he sat me down at the bar.
Bopping my nose he turned the seat around to face the man serving the drinks at this bar. “This fine man here is, Husker. He serves refreshments at this fine establishment.” Looking up at the man he looked like he never got a wick of sleep with rough, black stubble on his face. Combed back black hair and even though he looked around Al’s age (20), he looks like he doesn’t take the best care for himself and looks about twenty-nine going into the mid thirty area. “She’s the one I’ve been talking about lately.” His full attention’s on the male now who only nodded and continued cleaning shot glasses.
“Shouldn’t you be gettin’ ready.” His gruff voice sent delightful shivers down your spine.
“Oh, why yes! I nearly forgot!” Detaching his arm from my waist he turn towards the crowd.
Al’s gaze reached out across the tables and he stopped on on particular person. “Husker my dear friend. Do you mind watching over this little doe for me.” He fixed his bow tie and fluffed his hair. “I have something I need to do before show time.”
Before I knew it he disappeared into the mass of people and went to the lower platform. Looking back at Husker you only managed a small wave, and tried to make eye contact. Finding his eyes more easier to fall upon.
“So, you want anything to drink?” His gruff voice hardly reached your ears, but you still made some words.
“Anything without alcohol or water, please.” Smiling you tried to make good first impressions. He reached behind the counter to fill you glass with seltzer water. Sliding the medium sized cup towards you. Nodding your head in thanks you took a small sip. Little bubbles splashed your upper lip and unladylike of you wiped it off with the back of your hand.
“So, how long have you known Alastor. I only know him for ten days.” Taking another gulp of seltzer.
“Eh, a few years.” He gave a guy his stiff drink before turning attention back onto me. “He’s been talking about ya non stop and it’s fucking annoying.”
I really don’t see what’s so interesting about me to talk to his friends about. “Oh, really. What about? I hope it’s good things.” Actually curious you leaned forward. From the way he treats you expect him to tell them that your doormat and easy to walk on.
“Fucking weirdo talks about courtin’ ya and told him your just gonna scare the lass off.” Your whole body froze. “Don’t know if he actually doing it though. Is he?”
Courting. You’ve never been courted before, maybe the occasional flirt from guy friends and wolf whistles from men walking down the street. But, letting someone become a candidate for marriage. To actual know that someone thought about you in that light made you feel special. No one wanted you in that way, to flirt or fuck yes, but you never gave into those whims. Most guys white or black didn’t like your skin tone, but loved your body. A lot of women hated your body and skin tone they always mentioned it when talking behind your back.
“You don look black or white.”
Your just the spectrum floating in between.
“So, you know how to play cards.” Changing the subject entirely and pulling out his deck of cards.
“No, but my papa plays some poker with his friends. I always wanted to learn.” He started shuffling the deck a smirk started to form across his face.
“I can see why he likes ya now.” Sliding out cards like it was second nature and collected his bunch. “Ya gonna pick up your cards, so I can teach ya or what?”
Quickly snatching up the cards you let Husk take the reigns. He taught you has much of his tricks he knows and the rules.
Jolting out of thought Husker motioned towards the stage. Stacking the deck back into its rightful compartment. He put his pointer finger to his lips to tell me to keep quiet. Looking at the stage, Alastor stood front and center. People’s attention solely on one man. Tapping his microphone he announced himself loud and proud, no mistakes.
"Now let me introduce you to the one all of you love to hear. Who most of you are present to hear. Her voice could leave anyone entranced. Here we have Mimzy’s the Miracle!“
The audience clapping and shouting for Mimzy to come out. Deciding to join in on the fun you started clapping louder. Before, you knew it she stepped out on stage and some collared men whistled. Alastor stepped off stage, you couldn’t really see from this angle where he was at.
(Using a song not of this period)
You had plenty money 1902
You let other women make a
Fool of you
Why don’t you do right,
Like some other men do?
Get out of here and
Get me some money too
Your sitting here won drink
What it’s all about
You ain’t got no money
They will put you out
Why don’t you do right,
Like some other men do?
Get out of here and
Get me some money too
If you had prepared
Twenty years ago
You would be a-wander’
From door to door
Why don’t you do right,
Like some other men do?
Get out of here and
Get me some money too
Oooh oh ah
Why don’t you do right,
Like some other men do?
Oooh ahhoh ah
Claps ensued after even louder than the music from earlier. The grin on my face grew and my chest felt so, light and warm. I didn’t even notice Alastor sitting next to me until he rested his arm around my waist pulling himself close to frame. Smiling up at him my heart skipped a beat just looking at his face.
Thinking about the conversation from early with Husk my face heated up faster than a bullet cutting through air.
While Mimzy was getting ready for another song. I looked up at Alastor who was already smiling done at me. My heart started pacing, no one has ever deemed you worthy for courting.
Why are feeling this way now, you didn’t like him a few hours ago and now you feel like throwing up rainbows.
"What’s on your mind, my darling (y/n).” The smirk on his face looks more appealing now. It’s making your heart flutter. “Did you and Husker get along liked I hoped.”
“Yes, we did, but he told me something that made me question your intentions with me.” His smile faltered and he tensed up for just a few, short minutes. “Is it true you wanted to court me, Al.”
Staring directly at him, you witness his face go into freeze mode with a few blinks here and there.
Bringing your hand up to touch him your wrist was caught within his hand. He squeezed your wrist with such constriction that you felt you whole hand go numb.
“My dear, what do you think this evening was for. Introducing you to my few friends is just the first steps of my courting ritual.” His arm still around my waist he started dragging me out the club.
Before, leaving you look behind to wave Husk off, surprised to get one back in return. Maybe you can be friends with these people after all.
Once you left out of earshot Husk groaned to himself and pulled on his face to relieve some stress.
“She should of stayed away from the bastard.”
Stepping outside you realized how warm the club’s inside was. The cool air making chills go up your spine. But, like this whole night Al pulled you over to his car.
Opening the car door for you and, then situated himself in. Sitting in silence for a minute or two. He leaned over the into the passenger seat and gave the outside of your lips a kiss. A squeak of surprise exerted from your throat. Smirking to himself about the dumbfounded look on your face he went in to give your lips a kiss. Eyes still wide you tried to get into a more comfortable head tilt, before you finally found it.
Smiling into the kiss you can feel his hand caressing your face. His lips feel dry and chapped, but you don’t mind. This is probably the most intimate time you’ll ever have with a man.
I just didn’t know about the monster that was awaiting around the corner.
Daily routine isn’t always good
(You call the old couple mom and dad)
*Also sorry I didn’t mention until now that you have really curly hair and your biracial(so you can decide what your skin color is)*
•You were also raised up north and still kind of speak with that dialect•
June 6, 1915
The morning sun pushing through the curtains along with the sound of dogs barking slowly woke you up. Forcing yourself up and managing to bear from the comfort of your bed and it’s still warm sheets. First, tidying your bed spread neat before mom could scold you.
Making your way to the wardrobe to gather clothes for today’s venture, you grabbed a (f/c) V-neck, short flutter sleeve dress that hits mid thigh. With matching flats to best match your dress. Oncing over the choice for today you thought it was best enough. Setting them on the bed and quickly making your way out of your room and into the hallway.
Swiftly moving down corridor to the bathroom to freshen up before breakfast. Seeing that your old mom already set a nice bath for you. Letting your gown carelessly fall off your frame and removing your undergarments. Mindlessly going into deep thought about your day.
You usually go to the library to read or grab a book. Maybe chat with the sweet old lady and her seven year old grandson who run the place. Then, possibly taking a stroll around the fair that just open for the summer. By that time your already bringing your twin something for lunch.
Later, you either stop by the market to pick up groceries or you help your mom take care of wealthy white kids. Their parents pay mom a great deal to care for their children. She does literally everything for them from making meals to sewing dresses or little suits. But, some clients left after my brother and I showed up I guess they didn’t want their children to be near a person of color for too long. The ones that stayed seem nice enough. My personal favorite being a middle aged man, Henry Bourgeois, who always said, ‘hello’ and gave me small tips for caring for his daughter Sally.
Your skin started to prune sitting in the water for too long. Stepping out of the tub and snatching a towel from the rack you started to dry off. Starting with hair and slowly making your way down to your toes.
Wrapping the towel around your womanly frame you crept back to your bedroom and got dressed.
Once downstairs the smell of bacon and spices hit your nose and triggering your mouth to salivate. Walking into the kitchen you found your mom just about done with her last plate to place at the table with the two others. You greeted her with a warm hug and a 'Good Morning, Mom’. She smiled back and gave your cheek a quick peck. Then went to sit in your chair and wait for your plate.
“Good Mornin’, sweetheart. How’d sleep?” She asked, turning back around to slide the eggs on the plate.
“Better than yesterday I can tell you that for sure. The dream I had was so realistic with the flames of hell melting my flesh. I could of sworn that my eyes busted through my soc-” You were cut off by a plate slamming down in front of. Looking up mom had a stern look to her aged face.
“Now ya need ta stop talking 'bout ya dreams like that. Really unladylike especially in public,” She spoke with a slight authoritative tone. Lightly limping to her chair she spoke again, “it’s just a dame should stay in her own lane. Not that I don’t wancha to get a little fire on me now. Men just don’t like that talk ya know.”
Nodding to her response she took the answer and went on her to turn up the radio for the daily news.
Good Morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to the radio show.
Staring your favorite radio host, I Alastor, to brighten up your morning with a few songs, but let me darken your day for just a minute with such sad news. Another body was found by an egg last night floating down the bayou.
Coppers have yet to capture this Button man. This tallies up to over twenty people in a span of two years.
Now what most of you fine folk want to listen to here we have, Mr. Artie Matthew’s play the 'Weary Blues’
The piano playing filled in the silence that would have been forks hitting plates trying to pick up flimsy fried egg.
The killings haven’t been new and have been the norm for awhile. You can hear people talking about it at every street, alleyway and bar.
The coppers haven’t caught the guy yet and it puts lots of people on edge. Especially people with families.
Nearly shoving food in my face causing mom to tell you to slow down. But, hardly listening you shove the rest of the bacon into your mouth and make your way to the sink to scrub your plate and placed it on the drying rack.
“Bye, mama. I’ll be back before you know it!” You yelled from the front door way and before you could venture outside she yelled back.
“Pick up some milk and bread before ya get home, would ya?”
“I will, mama.”
“Have a safe trip and the cabbage on the table for ya.” She slightly limped over and gave both of your cheeks kisses.
Checking the table you hurriedly snatched the money and skipped out the door. Slamming it shut behind you.
Walking down the curvy road that leads into the city. The walk leads you through a small, little wood patch and into a small clearing that slowly shows small businesses and shops. The library is located near the school which is pretty far off from other buildings.
Reaching your destination, the library stairs are long
wide, and white cemented staircase with two pillars on each side with the big doors that lead into the actually building. Pushing pass them you nearly run into a little boy, Joseph Bonnefoy.
“Oh, where are in such a rush to?” Smoothing out your dress asked in a slight taunting tone.
“Granny said I could go out for a short break. I’m getting myself a few chocolates as a snack.” The words rushed out of his tiny mouth. Hardly catching his breath when he was finished.
“Well aren’t you grown now, Joseph. Next thing you’ll tell me your getting old enough to get your own house.” Jokingly ruffling his hair, he smiled and waved off vanishing from sight once down the incline.
Sauntering into the building you noticed that Claire Bonnefoy wasn’t at the front desk where she usually was.
Probably in the back.
Making your way down the aisles of books you traveled around for a good five minutes passing books you didn’t find interesting or they didn’t have good covers. Coming across a couple of good ones you touched 'The Good Solider’ reading the summary you decide to give it a try.
°°It’s set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his seemingly perfect marriage plus that of his two American friends.°°
Strolling around the aisle for a bit more you grace yourself with some dark writing. Traipsing on to some dark fiction you grabbed a fairytale book of the 'Grimm work original fairy tales’. Walking back to the front, Mrs. Claire was already their and ready for me. Smiling I greeted her and handed the books over. Smiling she rung them up and complimented the choice for this week.
“ How have you been, Mrs. Claire. Not to intrude on your personal life, but is it true that the last person who died lived close to you.” You questioned.
“Sadly, yes 'n I’ve been thinkin’ of sendin’ little Joseph up state with his aunt 'n uncle in Arkansas for awhile 'til this calms down.” Her shaky hand clenched around the book harshly, “Or if they finally catch the bastard whose doin’ all of this maybe mah little boy can stay. 'Til then mah old joints can’t move like they use tah.”
“ Lititle Jo ’s gonna feel so sad, he really likes New Orleans.”
“Yes, I know dear. But, I’d sleep betta at night if he was somewhere safa.” She slide the books in a paper bag and handed them over. A melancholy smile on her sweet face. “Been saving up on a train ticket for some time now. Most folk don’t come by tah rent out books anymore. So, it took some time 'n hard work tah earn the money.”
The killings have did put everyone at alert. Well, most people still hang out past sun fall just to watch the city come to life. Which I won’t lie it is gorgeous to witness the night come to life. But, for old bims like Mrs. Claire she’s dang plum tire and could use the time to calm her nerves. Maybe I should visit more once Joseph’’s left.
“Thank ya, Miss. (Y/n). I’ll see ya next week or so.”
“The pleasure’s all mine and I’ll give these books back in no time.”
Waving to the old bim you make your way back out the library and on tour way to your next destination.
Making your way back to the house to fetch Issacs’s lunch you had to maneuver your way through the crowd of busy people scrambling around to get out of the sweltering heat and catching up with friends.
Your brother works at a boiler repair shop. Fixing cars and getting scraps of cabbage to make up for the bills that weren’t paid. He’s always been a hard working guy, he’s selfless and protective. I still remember when we were kids and father used to hit him, so hard, but came to my defense whenever I was in trouble.
Traveling down the dusty road you made it to the repair shop where two boobs stood out front. One was always silent and the other was a continuous flirt whenever you came around.
As soon as they could hear your shoes hitting pavement the flirt Clay shot up to welcome you.
“How are doing this afternoon, (y/n).” His hand went out to grab your, which you quickly pulled back, “you know that offer still stands that if you wanna get tonight.”
“I would, but I’m pretty sure your wife would raise all hell.” Walking past him to look further into the garage. “Where is my brother, is he not here?”
Floyd spoke up, which startled you. His voice is pretty deep and gravely for a man only four years older than yourself. Blowing the smoke from his mouth he tapped the ash upon the ground to stare at you.
“He left early to go out with his dame. Told us to tell ya not to worry too much and that he’ll be back home later tonight.” He stole another drag from the cigarette.
“He could at least gave me heads up before I came all the way out here. What I’m supposed to do with this now.” Dangling the bag of food from side to side.
“I’ll take it off ya hands for ya.” Clay swooning in to steal the bag and retreat back to standing next to Floyd. “Wish my wife could cook like your ma.”
Huffing you said your good byes to them both with a very excited 'see ya’ from Clay and a small wave from Floyd.
Once far away enough you groaned louder to reduce some irritation of making this heart felt trip. Pulling on your face to stop tears from forming you sighed and kept walking to your next venture.
The scratch mom gave you was enough for bread and milk. But, she also gave you enough to get something special from you little trip. You decided on a cup of coffee at the nearest restaurant with a beignet. It sounds so good right now and with more pep in your step you made it to the store in no time.
The corner store was full of people that day bustling around to grab what they need and storm out. You being the small self you are you tried to cram your way in and failed miserably. You tried this process several times and came out with the same results. Someone bumped into your small frame and sent you falling backwards. Gloved hands snatched you up before you could hit the ground.
You were in a state of shock before being knocked out of your stooper by a young man who you realized pulled you off to the side. With eyes wide you tried to make conversation, but no words would come out the only thing you could look at was his face.
“T-Thanks for helping me.” You tried to mustard a smile, but it came out weird.
“You look like you were in quite the pickle their, my dear.” Hands still on your waist he motioned with his head down the street. “You know there’s a nice restaurant around here that serves the best venison. I think you would just adore it. Could possibly calm your nerves my treat.”
Mouth still dry you tried to speak, “I don’t want to impose on your lunch regimen.” Shaking your head and slowly moving backwards.
“Oh, but I insist my dear I did invite you didn’t I.” Pulling you closer by the hip, your face heated up more than normal. Now following the man who you didn’t even pick up the name you two made your way around the corner and down the street.
Stepping inside the small business you noticed only about six or eight people in here. Nicely decorated with bar stools and five booths along the wall and a bathroom across from the front entrance. But, it did smell really delicious in here maybe it won’t be, so bad to have just a bite to eat. He did say he was paying. He lead us to a small booth in the back and waited for me sit down first before taking his seat across from me.
"Why did you bring me here I barely know you, sir?“ Playing with your fingers to ease your nerves by making your fingers stretch and squeeze together.
His eyes looked off to the side in deep thought before he shrugged. "You looked interesting, my dear.” Reaching over he scratched under your chin and his smiled covered more of his face. “Smile my dear you know your never fully dressed without one.”
Making a smile fall upon your lips you smiled back. His eyes slightly narowed and his smirk stretched a bit. Suddenly, a very curvy and thick lady stood in front of our booth.
“Oh, Al are here to hear me sing again tonight. If you are your way too early, hun.” She giggled.
“Oh no my dear, Mimzy. I’m here with a new friend of mine. She’s going to have seasoned venison.” His arm motion towards me and I froze on the spot.
Sticking your hand out for handshake, “HI, my name’s (y/n). Nice to meet you.”
She stared you up and down before slowly taking your hand and managing a small smile on her face. “You must be a fan, Al here, right. A lot of dumb dora fall head over heels for this man.”
I guess she read the confused look on your face and answered for you. “Alastor, the radio man of New Orleans.”
“Oh, sorry I guess I didn’t notice.” Turning your attention to Alastor, “sorry I didn’t recognize a popular figure like yourself.”
“It’s fine dear a lot of people don’t recognize the voice with the look.” I’m guessing he’s talking the creole look. To be honest a lot of people don’t sound like the ethnicity on the phone until you see their face. But, I can’t really judge I get turned down in person more than on the phone looking for a job.
“Well I’ll go tell the servers the usual for you, Al.” She looked you over, again. “What will you have?”
“She’ll be having the same as me, mim.” Alastor strong smile had her face painted in a light pink. She straighten her posture and cleared her throat and told us it it’ll come out in no time. Once she gone I asked how long they’ve known each other.
“Mimzy and I go way back when she was a small singer. Know she travels from time to time to spread that lovely voice of hers.” You just took noticed he speaks with hands a lot more than most people. But, you seem to like that.
Smiling back you told him that really amazing. It was you mothers goal before she stated using. He asked you about your occupation.
“Well, I really wanted to be a baker, but no plots are open, too expansive or I’m not the right skin tone for this establishment.” Looking up for just a second you could have sworn the smile on his face fell and quickly went back into place.
“Isn’t that just dreadful.” He focused up at the ceiling for awhile and shot his head down to smirk at me, “How would like to work for me for a fair price a hour?”
After being abandon by almost everyone in your life your brother and yourself find comfort with an old couple and their two poodles. In New Orleans, Louisiana.
(Bad at summaries)
Do you believe in god?
Well, if he existed tell me why he made my life full of suffering.
You don’t know, do you?
Come on answer me, little girl.
Just give a response from ,the lord himself, as to why he did this to me.
Come on, you have to know so much about your god. Just tell me his reasoning for my existence.
So… you don’t have an explanation?
Ah, so you don’t and here I thought I would receive true guidance from a believer. But, all I got was nothing from your sorry ass. Your nothing, you know that? And everything your reading in that book is an absolute waste of everyone’s time and money. So, if I catch you reading that shit in my house again. There will be hell to pay.
Do you understand me, (y/n).
Good, now get the fuck out of my sight.
When I was young my father hated my brother and my face. Reminded him of our mother who left to live with her parents. Which she got kicked out for using again and came crawling back to father. But, not without a check of her loyalty, that if she left he would beat her until you could see the knuckles of his fist in her flesh.
Turning seven my twin and I saw our father’s friend overdose in the living room. No one was called and no funeral held, because father said that no one would give two-shits about a junkie. Forcing us out the house with shovels, digging for half an hour while father shoved the body into the freshly done hole. Where he is rotting to this day.
At age ten, mother and father both sold us to these two guys for a couple hundred dollars. I can’t forget the look on my mother’s face. The lustful passion of getting another high and father not even looking up from his counting, until he was sure it was the right amount. We didn’t stay too long with those guys, only two weeks of men groping and dressing us to their liking. But, the day those policemen dressed as clients raided the place and took us, children into proper care.
I thought the world was full of greedy, self-centered, and arrogant humans.
However, our lives changed when we met them. An old couple, lived on a huge piece of land near the bayou, We were getting a second chance at an actual family, a house and home cooked meals made with care and not thrown together with random ingredients.
Our life was perfect
But, I knew even paradise could fall at any given time.
Guess the old man was right.