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“Dear Penchant,

I regret to inform you that your progress is disappointing. Since you have not fulfilled our bargain, measures have been taken. Five minutes of our agreement is hereby rescinded.




“No! Please Mistress, No!” Amelia began to say as she felt the heat rise from her toes into her calves as if they’d been stuck into a furnace. A force beyond this realm gripped her as the sensation of fire spread quickly throughout her body causing her to writhe in excruciating pain. Suddenly, reality unzipped into a lake of fire where she and others burned alive. Flesh peeled, then charred, as flames induced screams of agony beyond all human endurance.

Hellion watched with dispassion as his mistress contorted in silence on the ground before him. Knowing full well what she was going through, neither mercy nor concern for her pain moved him. Though he had never dealt with Beauty personally, he knew only too well the wrath of her kind and the penalties for disobedience.

Suddenly, Amelia came back to her senses, coughing violently. Voice cracking with the stench of sulfur still in her nostrils, she wretched the contents of her evening meal onto the ground. Shaking uncontrollably, sobbing quietly for a moment, she collected herself. Wiping her mouth with her sleeve, Charlie’s mistress rose to her feet. Slowly at first, then with more resolve, the lad’s governess made her way towards the house.


Bren awoke with a start slightly after midnight with a heaviness in her chest and a tightness in her stomach giving a sense of foreboding. Ever since she had first come to Charlie’s house, these sensations in her midriff started coming. After witnessing the lighting of the candles that evening, they’d grown even stronger. Nowadays, she sensed Charlie quite strongly whether in his presence or not, feeling his sadness grow daily.

However, tonight was distinctly unpleasant even to the point of fearfulness. Like waking up from a nightmare that you can’t fully remember, Brenzel felt the remnants of terror in her soul. The only clear image that lingered was of two red eyes staring at her through the darkness.

Her palms cold and sweaty, Bren felt a sudden urge to swing out of bed and stare out her second-story window. As she did, she saw Amelia coming in from the garden. “What is she doing out so late?” Brenzel thought to herself. On the other side of the garden, near the back gate, she could swear she saw something – something evil.

Seeing green

Hellion, looking after his mistress as she made her way to the house, raised his eyes to a window on the second story of the manor. “Seraph hunters are always trouble”, he thought grimly. “Unpredictable, showing up at the most inconvenient times, eternally drawn to those like Amelia’s ward.” Through the darkness he saw Brenzel’s green luminescence, feeling a slight shiver run down his spine.

At breakfast that morning, everyone seemed muted. Amelia, normally dower and formal anyway, looked especially grim. Charlie spoke little as he dutifully cleaned his plate. Winston, putting down the morning paper said, “My word, the world’s gone crazy, looks like we are headed for war!”

Brenzel glanced down at the daily paper laying on the table, reading” Great Britain Declares War On Germany”.

Bren, unlike many girls in the countryside, learned how to read from her grandmother. From a well worn Tyndale Bible, Nana carefully and patiently taught her how to sound out and then recognize the printed word. Starting to read the words on the newspaper, Bren’s heart skipped a beat as she read, “August 4, 1914″.


“No, this can’t be” Bren thought, “the year is 1687!” Suddenly, everything started to fit together in a blinding flash of insight. The house, the furniture, the different sayings were not just because she was in the big city! Excusing herself from the table, Bren made her way upstairs, feeling the world spiral out of control. Until this time, though things seemed strange, a feeling of calm always gave her peace. Now, great sobs of pain and anguish welled up as the realization hit her that everything and everyone she ever knew was gone. Unable to catch her breath, fingers tingling, the room spun out of control as everything went black.