Lord Worthington cast a glance about him; the constant buzzing noise in the tavern gave off the impression of a hive where bees kept busy. It was a hive of sort where he’d come in search of a refuge from his alexithymia… Rather he’d come here to escape the feelings he was altogether incapable of comprehending, let alone handling. The past few nights had left him in disarray and in a state of confusion he’d never experienced before. He wasn’t a man easily confused: it could cost a soldier their life on the battlefield to be anything less than decisive. Yet, here he was discombobulated by feelings he didn’t understand.
Trying to deconstruct the feelings, to find where they might stem from had brought him to this filthy place. The bees were busy… They attempted to seduce what few clients they found batting their eyelashes. The appearance of the men didn’t appear to matter to the women; they were only a means to an end.
Yet they apparently took care of making themselves appealing. Except he thought they merely bedizened themselves with cosmetics. And he never liked women with make-up. He preferred a woman whose eyes were not contoured and unnaturally enhanced by crayon and other artifices.
He sat alone at a table nursing his glass of rum, the only alcohol available in this God-forsaken country. It fit the bill though for what he intended to do. He would raise his drink once in a while, observing the reflections of lights and people in the convex surface of the glass. It did enhance the impression of a hive for the movements were blurred as if they were too fast for his eyes to catch.
He was in the process of examining the room when he started. Here in the middle of the room she stood, a wraith like apparition. Her dark locks fell about her body and her pale complexion enhanced her beautiful green eyes. He turned sharply only to find his senses betrayed him. Of course she couldn’t be here; Lady Wellingham was still struggling for her life in the hands of the obeah healer, as she had been for the past two days. Patience the old crone intimated him – was it an hour before or more? – but he found he wasn’t.
It struck him as odd; after all there wasn’t much they could do but wait. But he found he couldn’t wait for her Ladyship to get better. Maybe she wouldn’t; the old woman had clucked her tongue thoughtfully several times, as if she weren’t sure the young woman would survive. And he found it frightened him. Of course, he couldn’t go back home and tell her father she had died but it was more than that. And he didn’t understand it.
He topped the drink and slammed the glass on the table. This was no use. Pulling a small handkerchief from his waistcoat, he turned the keepsake in his hand. What did this mean? What were these feelings? Why couldn’t he escape them?
Suddenly panic settled over him. The wraith? What if the Lady had passed and he’d seen her ghost as she crossed onto… No. She couldn’t. He must return. Dropping some coins on the table, Lord Worthington rushed back to camp to ensure the woman he was charged with keeping safe was still alive.
In response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie writing prompt Wordle #126
1. Keepsake 2. Hive 3. Filth 4. Seduce 5. Zone 6. Crayon 7. Alexithymia (Noun. Difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses.) 8. Search 9. Bedizen (Verb. To dress or adorn in a showy, gaudy, or tasteless manner.) 10. Wraith (An apparition. A visible spirit.) 11. Deconstruct 12. Convex (Adjective. Having a surface that is curved or rounded outward.)