Her Beating Heart

It slowly crawls closer every day, its scales glistening in the sun as it crinkles along, growing with each breath. At least, that is what the emptiness in my head feels like, though I know you cannot understand. Even today, in the nineteenth century, we have little knowledge of why one turns insane, why one scorns reality. And it is thus ignorance that has discarded me here on these grounds, just left waiting for a doctor who will not slaughter my spirit, yet raise me from the ashes of my mind.
Is this him?

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6. scene 6

Sofia is dusting and chatting to Richard who is sitting writing.

Sofia- Poor things been a bit ill, though she’s walking round like she’s never been better.

Richard- No change there then.

Sofia- Stubborn. Silly and stubborn.

Richard- yes, no change there either.

Sofia- I guess so. I’m still convinced it was you though, that took those biscuits.

Richard looks up at Sofia.

Richard- You mean the day Lord Kent came?

Sofia- Yes. Don’t you deny it now. You and Archer were always up to something.  Poor Georgina got the blame though, that cricket ball you got in the head the next day was well deserved.

Richard- That must have been ten years ago.

Sofia- Even at seven she had a better aim than you. Remember it took her about a month to apologise?

Richard- Yes, and only because Archer told her to.

Sofia- She worshiped that boy.

(They go silent.)

Who ya writing to?

Richard- Mr Parkinson has requested some books. Just writing to the suppliers.

Sofia- Ah, You know they’ve met?

Richard- They have?

Sofia- Bill saw them Monday evening. Says they also met Tuesday. Lord and Lady ain’t doing a good job of hiding her.

Richard- They haven’t had visitors in seven years.

Sofia- Georgina’s probably forgotten what a non doctor or servant looks like.

Richard- I dare say you’re right. What are they even planning to do if she gets better? Introduce her to the world as their daughter who they locked away for seven years?

Sofia- I think they told everyone she went to France to stay with some friends or something.

Richard- For seven years. Could be even more.

Sofia- I think he’s her last straw.

Richard- A few more years left then.

Sofia- That poor, poor girl.

Richard- Times like this I wish she was an idiot.

Sofia- What would Archer say?

Richard- Nothing. Because she wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for him.

Bill enters

Bill- Hello.

Penny enters

Penny- Bill. Bill. I gotta. I got ta show ya.

Bill- I thought ya said ya wouldn’t?

Penny- I changed ma mind.

Bill- Ok. Not now, I’m tired.

Bill flops on the floor.

Been getting up early, ain’t I. Turning ta autumn, ain’t it?

Penny- But Bill. I need ta show ya.

Richard- Show him what?

Lilly enters

Lilly- Don’t ask.

Sofia- Please tell me what’s going on.

Penny- Shh. It’s a secret. Don’t tell them, don’t tell them Lilly.

Lilly- Okay, okay. Penny ain’t got no snails in her drawer, have, ya?

Penny- No, I haven’t, have I Bill?

Bill- Nope. None that I’ve seen.

Sofia- Snails?

Richard- What is she doing with snails?

Lilly- I have no idea.

Penny- When can I show you them?

Bill- Soon as I’ve slept.

Sofia- Make sure ya don’t fall asleep here. Get off ta ya room.

Bill- In a bit. Lady wants me ta do the fires.

Lilly- Not again. I swear, Bill, under God, that if ya wake up tomorrow covered in soot i’m gonna march ya up to the Lady or Miss, or even the lord.

Bill- Ya wouldn’t.

Lilly- I would.

Bill- Ain’t fair.

Penny- But I gotta show ya them.

Lilly- Maybe ya should let them go.

Sofia- Yes, They gonna die stuck in a drawer.

Penny- But-

Richard- No buts. As soon as you have shown them to Bill, I expect you to take them out and wash your drawer. Where are all your things?

Lilly- Under her bed.

Richard- Then put your things neatly back in to your draw.

Penny- I don’t wanna.

Richard- But you will.

Lilly- I’ll help ya Pens. Maybe we can find them a nice place ta live.

Penny- Okay.

Bill- Can I help?

Penny- Yeah, but ya gotta see them first.

Bill- Fine.

Penny- Common Bill.

(Drags him off stage.)

Richard- Snails? Should I be surprised?

Lilly- At least it ain’t old kipps.

Sofia- Could ya imagine. A dog in a drawer?

Lilly- That Pens for ya. She wanted that table Monday, didn’t she?

Richard- She should really have lessons, you know. For someone like her, she’s quite smart.

Lilly- Smart? That’s one word I’ll never put in the same sentence with Penny.

Sofia- I think he could be right. Ya know what? I think Georgina probably would. It would give her something to do.

Lilly- Why would she?

Richard- I think you’re right, and you to, Lilly. If you wanted.

Lilly- No, I thought you were gonna teach me?

Richard- if that’s what you want.

Lilly- It is.

Sofia- Fine, but we should see her about Penny

 

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