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[Complete] [CW] Can't Keep the Lawyer Away
Barrister

624 Posts
18 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Junior Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#1
Last time, Zechariah had gone to the Appleton farm around lunch in his excitement to drag the Wards through the mud get eggs. He had waited a few days before returning, but not so long that Tobias would have forgotten him. He picked right after his evening shave, that he might be answered by Tobias himself instead of dragged back into the reeking servant passages.

Rose had been instructed to deep clean every nook and cranny in his absence. Mr. Benjamin had been instructed to ‘help’ her. Those ‘toys’ that had sat neglected long enough to gather dust were now gathering dust in the wine cellar instead of in the room Nesah had waylayed.
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Farmer's wife

278 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 17 (27 April 1878)
Registered: Sep 2019

#2
Alice was in the barn, sitting on a straw bale with a brown hen in her arms. A bucket of fresh milk stood beside her, quite forgotten. She was giving the chicken gentle scratches and whispering all the secrets, concerns and dreams of her hidden live to her.

She was glad to have found a friend. She had tried to befriend the cows and the horses. But Tobias had told her to stay away from the horses. Just as he had told her to stay away from the piano. And from the slurry pit. And to stay on the grounds. And stay away from the fields. And from the machinery shed. And from the books.

For some few merciful weeks after she had stumbled upon the shelves of books in a spare room, they had filled the quiet house and long days with imaginary friends who woke her languid mind to passionate daydreams, whom she had wept and rejoiced with, who voiced hope, passion, bitterness in ways that made her feel understood. Until Tobias had found her reading ‘Wuthering Heights’ and had judged it unsuitable for an excitable mind like hers, and her free range of the book shelves had ended. He would select some 'suitable' books for her now and she would refuse to read them.

He had told her to stay out of all the cupboards and drawers that weren't hers as well, after he had found Sallie's old brush among her possessions. She had at first been intrigued by the delicate flowery pattern on the back and the mystery of its owner. She would sit in bed, curled up against the wall, and let her finger follow the pattern, while conjuring up stories about its former owner. Then when she had decided it had belonged to the spirited lady whose photograph still graced the piano top, she had used it as charm, talking to poor Sallie's ghost while her finger traced the pattern. She had comforted Sallie, so the poor woman wouldn't feel so alone and trapped. And as she had spoken to Sallie her room had seemed less dim, the house less quiet, her days less vacuous. But Tobias had been furious when he had found it in her room, and when she had tried to take it from his drawer again, he had taken away both Sallie's brush and the shell Anne had given her.

She wondered how long before the chicken friends would be taken from her as well and she'd be confined entirely to her room. She'd face the same fate she daydreamed Sallie had faced. Sallie had been too high spirited to bear her prison well, like a plant deprived of sunlight. She had died of a broken spirit and a broken will. Now she lay suffocated completely beneath the earth.

It was poor Sallie's tale that she was busy recounting to her new friend in hushed tones when she was disturbed by the noise of a cart outside the gate, then the creaking of the gate and footsteps. Through the open door, she could see the sunlight hit the back of a man's head. Who was it? Tobias and Jimmy were out in the field. Jenny was in the village. They didn't expect any visitors. She certainly didn't desire another villager 'calling on her' to judge her and bring gossip back to the village. She stood up and backed away to hide herself in the dark barn. But her foot hit the bucket and knocked it over. The hen, startled by the sudden movement and noise, flew out of her arms, landed on the ground and walked away.
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Barrister

624 Posts
18 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Junior Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#3
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
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Farmer's wife

278 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 17 (27 April 1878)
Registered: Sep 2019

#4
He hadn't heard her. She moved further back into the barn, hoping the visitor would go away.

She had left the door unlocked.
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Barrister

624 Posts
18 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Junior Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#5
Fortunately for her, he had not heard her.

Unfortunately for her, he did test the front door.

She could hear it opening.
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Farmer's wife

278 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 17 (27 April 1878)
Registered: Sep 2019

#6
Oh God! Who was this stranger to take such liberty! He had seemed well dressed. But what if it was a burglar.

Wait! She didn't care.

Still, she looked around for something heavy to use as a weapon, should he come into the barn later.

After a little hallway with a closed door to the left, Zech would find himself in the main room, which had the piano by the window, where Alice had played, a sitting area and a dining area. It looked rather dark due to small windows, and bare, with few decorations, other than some photographs on the piano top and mantle, a fiddle on the wall, and an open cupboard near the dining table displaying the best plates. There was a flight of stairs on the other side of the room and another door to the left. There was nobody in the room, but there was a small coal fire burning.
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Barrister

624 Posts
18 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Junior Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#7
His cabin did not have a piano. Nor did his apartments. His friends’ and associates’ pianos were, well, inappropriate for him to touch lest he be judged.

He did not give a damn what the Appletons thought of his piano playing – especially after what key murder he had heard last time he was here.

Surreptitiously, he cast a look over his shoulder. Then, he slipped his left glove off, flexed his hands, and ran his bare hand down the entire row to check for off keys.
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Farmer's wife

278 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 17 (27 April 1878)
Registered: Sep 2019

#8
She listened. That was certainly not a burglar. Was it a family member of Tobias' she didn't know? Shivers went down her spine and yet curiousity got the better of her. There was little excitement in her life other than arguing with Tobias and annoying Jenny.

With a pitchfork in hand, she sneaked out of the barn, stayed close to the wall, then peeked into the window.

She nearly dropped the pitchfork when she recognized the man sitting in front of the piano like he was quite at home.

Was she even awake?
Reply
Barrister

624 Posts
18 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Junior Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#9
Zechariah pulled off his other glove with his teeth. His fingers meandered across the keys, searching for the notes to old songs. Claire de Lune..? A few notes in, and he ceased. What about Pachelbel’s Canon in D? How about not? Pachelbel was boring.

… He found the melody easily, even if he fumbled on the other hand at first. Damn it.

There was a movement he caught from the corner of his eye. That familiar face turned her way, hands pausing over the keys. He tilted his chin up as though she were the intruder, and then went back to playing.
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Farmer's wife

278 Posts
10 Threads

Age: 17 (27 April 1878)
Registered: Sep 2019

#10
For a second, she felt the same fear that she had felt that day when he had caught her in his kitchen. Then she remembered that she was the mistress of the house.

She wrapped her shawl tighter around her shoulders and moved to the door.

"What are you doing here?" she demanded when she stepped into the room. A few keys were slightly off for neglect, but Alice rather liked the music in spite of herself.
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