The Crow's Calling
a short story
Lady Lilly put the book she had been reading down on her knees and looked out of the carriage. Rain as fine as sugar wetted the window’s pane and merged the world outside into moving, grizzled color swirls. Even if the weather was cold most of the time and the streets were always loud and crowded she loved London. By daylight the capital of England felt like the center of the universe but by night, when the alleys emptied, a kind of magic gloom settled over the city. It was a mixture of street lights, smog and the sound of silent. When she was a little girl she liked to stare out of her window to enjoy those peaceful moments until her mother sent her to bed.
She couldn’t help but smile by recalling those childhood memories.
Normally she liked to take a walk across Borough Market where her housemaid used to buy potatoes and fresh spices. She often got flowers from that shy gardener boy at the corner and loved the smell of exotic plants an old man used to sell. Her mother had insisted that she took the carriage. Since a barbaric murderer was running around killing helpless women, the streets of London were no longer safe for a young lady.
She was on her way to meet with a doctor, an old friend of her family, Mr. Davidson. However she was late and therefore she was glad that she did not have to run through the rain. The vehicle stopped in front of a tea house not far away from the Borough Market.
When she got out of the carriage she made a sprint to avoid getting wet. Unfortunately the young woman had forgotten her hat at home. The puddles on the street were dirty and her dress was splashed by water dark like tea leaving ugly stains.
“Good evening, Lady Lilly. I hope you had a pleasant journey. I have missed your beautiful smile”, Mr Davidson said gently and embarrassingly honest as always. He stood up and dropped the newspaper he was reading on the chair next to him. “Hello, Mr. Davidson. I – I am sorry for being late”, she apologized out of breath while her hands smoothed the skirt of her blue dress. “Don’t be sorry, it is worth waiting for you.” His dark voice sanded shivers down her spine. Lady Lilly couldn’t help but smile when he kissed the back of her hand and offered her the seat in front of him. When the waitress came, Mr. Davidson ordered tea and some pastries. Meanwhile Lilly glanced over to the newspaper he had been reading. The front cover showed a big dark lettering: Jack the Ripper: 5. Victim Found Necked She swallowed. “I can’t imagine why someone would do this to someone.” “Don’t worry, they were just prostitutes.” The young woman looked up directly into Mr. Davidsons face. His lips curved to a smile but it did not reach his cold eyes. The waitress came with the tea and two large pieces of chocolate cake. For a moment the two fell into silent.
“They are still human”, she said after a while in a small voice looking down to her cup of tea where the lemon slice was about to sink. “Did you know that a women did identify the watch of The Ripper? I can’t believe that this monster has one of my uncle's pocket watches”, Lady Lilly added. “Your uncle?”, he asked. “Yes, my uncle has a watches manufacture. The woman said, that she saw a crow on the cover just like the animal collection my uncle used to do.”
“I think talking about a murderer is not the right conversation for a place like this.”
This time his smile scared her a little, maybe this mysterious aura was the reason why she had refused to marry him when he had asked her father for his blessing. Still they were friends and it seemed that Mr. Davidson was not resentful at all. She would never have handle it if he had therefore terminated their friendship.
They began a new conversation. She was about to tell him that her mother was planning a cruise when he cleared his throat. Mr. Davidson had said nothing for quite a time. He wasn’t a man of big words but today he seemed to be lost in his mind. “I am sorry, Miss Lilly”, he said and she blushed. It had been more than five years since the last time he had called her “Miss”. “It was a pleasure to talk to you, but it is late and I have an appointment”, he said. She nodded and bit her lower lip.
He paid the bill and left the coffee house quickly like he was in hurry. Irresolutely she sat there and did not know if she should also leave.
When she was about to stand up her foot kicked something under the table. She stopped. Beside Mr. Davidson's chair she noticed something with a golden shimmer. Her hand reached out for the object.
Lilly held her breath when she realized what it was: a watch with a crow on the cover.
Texte: Casandra Krammer
Bildmaterialien: Design by Casandra Krammer (www.pixabay.com)
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 11.04.2015
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