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mr. jiggs

Mr. Jiggs

England – 1914



The autumn air felt brisk to Bren as she stepped onto cobblestone as if walking through a phantom door. That feeling of elation she first felt coursed through her body once again. What struck her, strangely, was how “normal” all this seemed. While her natural mind demanded she be deeply troubled, another part of her felt like she’d come home after a long absence.


Looking up, Bren saw a yellow tabby cat stranded in a tree.

“Who are you, little one?”


“Something’s funny,” Brenzel puzzled, “I really love this cat!” Bren had always disliked cats, yet something in her felt drawn to this one.

“Come here little one, come on, it’s okay.” As soon as she offered her arms, the tabby climbed down and leapt into them.

“Purr…” rumbled the tabby, nuzzling her.

Then suddenly, “What the…,” Bren exclaimed as she noticed her fanciful trousered outfit was now a domestic servant’s dress. With one hand, Bren felt her cheeks, nose, chin, belly, thinking, Oh good, I’m still me!

Looking around, Bren took in her new situation. On the street ahead of her lay strange houses of a type she hadn’t seen before. “My word, they’re huge,” Bren said as she walked past them, each abode grander than the last.

I thought you were lost forever!

“Mr. Jiggs! Mr. Jiggs!”

Bren turned suddenly as the cat jumped out of her arms, running to a little boy.

“Oh Mr. Jiggs, I thought you were lost forever!” the small boy exclaimed.

Obviously long lost buddies, the boy and the tabby nuzzled each other with great delight.

“Thank you ma’am, you’re an angel!”

“No,” Bren said with a smile, “I’m just Bren”.

“Well, you are an angel to me, you don’t know how I worried about Mr. Jiggs, he’s been gone two whole days!”

“What’s your name?” Bren inquired.


“Charlie!” the excited child beamed.

Bren looked intently at Charlie. Wide, soft eyes graced his cherub-like face, framed with brown hair. Ruddy cheeks and perfect lips completed his look of utter innocence. Dressed in a ruffled shirt, suspenders, and denim pants, Charlie looked quite the little gentlemen.

Charlie asked, then begged for Brenzel to follow him home. Being as Bren had no other place to go – literally – she finally agreed. The excited little boy and cat led her to a large, very blue house with ornate woodwork. Brenzel had never seen such a place and guessed she must be somewhere in the big city.

With all the enthusiasm innocence brings, Charlie led Bren up the steps of the Victorian mansion. Opening a large, ornate door, he led her into a lovely room, decorated with furniture flowing with the same workmanship as the house. Invited to sit, Bren looked at the fine tapestries on the walls and the needlework that graced the tables. Simply put, Bren had never seen anything like it.

Presently, a tall, austere woman made her way into the room. Dressed in basic black, with a silver cross dangling from her wrist, the mistress of the house studied her intently. Brenzel, feeling uncomfortable in her stomach, said, “Good day ma’am”.

“Odd accent, dear, where are you from?” queried the auburn-haired woman.

“Lincolnshire, M’lady,” Bren offered.

Fire flashed for a second in her eyes, then with a big smile, the woman said, “Welcome, welcome. I’m Penchant, Charlie’s governess. Thank you for finding Charlie and Mr. Jiggs.” After pleasantries and small talk, Penchant said, “Please, my dear, won’t you stay for tea?”

Evil takes many forms

At dinner that evening, Bren sat near Charlie and across from Penchant. At the head of the table sat an affable, elderly gentleman by the name of Winston. Charlie, it turned out, was his grandson and only child of his late son and daughter-in-law, who died suddenly in a tragic house fire. Miraculously, Charlie escaped unharmed and now lived with him and his governess, Penchant.

After dinner, one of the maidservants showed Bren to a nice, cozy room on the second floor. Feeling full from the delicious meal, and after bathing, the bed comforted her. Drifting off into a deep sleep, somewhere between two worlds, Bren thought she heard voices.

“Yes, it’s her, I know it.”

“What do you want me to do, mistress?”

Kill her, of course…