I awoke on a cold sweat, and all of my covers were on the floor. I sat up in bed and sobbed my heart out. It had been six months since that fateful night, and I was still having night terrors. Part of me thought they would never stop.
Finally, after my crying calmed down, I went downstairs and found a book to read.
Just as I was finishing the first act of "Hamlet" when I heard some one shuffling around behind me.
"Miss Marks, what are you doing up at this ghastly hour?" Mr. Todd asked.
"I could ask you the same thing," I said quietly.
He raised an eyebrow, "Touché."
He sat down on the couch next to me, "So, why were you crying a little while ago?"
I knit my eyebrows, "Who said I was crying?"
Todd sighed, "Your eyes are all red and puffy. Either you've been smoking hemp, or you were crying. Which is it?"
I crossed my arms, "Neither, thank you, I have allergies. It is perfectly normal to have red and puffy eyes with allergies."
"No need to get that tone with me little lady. I will remind you that I will not hesitate to punish you."
I nodded, and stopped talking altogether.
"If you must know why I'm up at this hour, it's because I'm an insomniac. I've found it hard to sleep for quite sometime now," Mr. Todd explained.
After a few moments of silence I spoke, "Try decaffeinated tea about half an hour before bed."
He turned his head in confusion, "What?"
I rolled my eyes, "Try tea. It helps relax and calm the mind and body."
"Oh... uh... thank you."
We sat there for a couple of more hours, with him sharpening his razors, and me reading.
At six-thirty Mrs. Lovett woke up.
"Oh good, everybody's up. 'ow are you this mornin'?"
Mr. Todd and I grumbled our responses, and went back to our business.
A few moments later Mrs. Lovett bustled back in, with her apron on and a rolling pin in hand, "Now, what would everyone like for breakfast?"
After breakfast we all got ready to go to the city square.
After getting Mr. Todd shaving cream, bay rum, and a smoothing strip we stopped at a dress shoppe for Mrs. Lovett and I to get fitted for new dresses.
Around lunch time we stopped in front of a stage. Next thing I know, there's this twelve year-old boy, with a god awful blonde wig, singing about some miracle hair elixir. He then passed a small bottle of the elixir around so everyone could sample some.
When the yellow, cloudy liquid came around to Mr. Todd, he gagged.
"What is this?" Todd asked.
"What is this?" Mrs. Lovett repeated.
"Smells like piss," Todd stated.
I didn't believe him, "Smells like- EW!" I turned to the man next to me, "I wouldn't touch this if I were you dear."
Todd nodded, and recapped the crystal bottle, "This is piss, piss with ink." He turned to the man to his right,"Keep it off your boot, sir, eats right through."
The boy sang even louder, "Yes, get it at Pirelli's, use a bottle of it, the ladies will love it-"
I glared at the boy, wanting nothing more than for him to shut up, "Flies do too."
The whole crowd laughed, and I thought I even saw Mr. Todd crack a smile.
Then a very flamboyant man, with short, curly black hair came from behind the stage curtains.
"I am Aldofo Pirelli. Da king of da barbers, da barber of kings. E buon giorno, good day! I blow you a kiss! And I, da so famous Pirelli I wish-a to know-a who has-a the nerve-a to say my elixir is piss! Who says this?!"
Todd lifted his head, "I do. I'm Mr. Sweeney Todd of Fleet Street. I have opened a bottle of Pirelli's elixir and I say to you that it is nothing but an errant fraud, concocted from piss and ink. Furthermore, 'Signor', I have serviced no kings, yet I wager that I can shave a cheek with ten times more dexterity than any street mountebank. You see this these razors?" He held up his chased silver razors for everyone to see, then turned to Pirelli, "I lay these against five pounds. You are no match sir. Either accept my challenge, or reveal yourself is a shame."
"You hear zis foolish man? Now, please, you will see how he will regret his folly!"
Mr. Todd nodded, "Who's for a free shave?"
He turned to me, "Come, my apprentice."
Once we reached the stairs of the stage he turned around, "Will Beadle Bamford be the judge?"
I looked around in shock to find the Beadle standing twenty feet in front of me, "Glad as always to oblige my friends and neighbors."
I made sure my curly blonde hair covered my face before he could see me.
"Ready?" He asked.
"Ready," Pirelli said mischievously.
"Ready," Todd replied quietly.
I only nodded my head, and didn't trust my voice.
"The fastest, smoothest shave is the winner!" Beadle blew his silver whistle, and the contest began.
Pirelli was already sharpening his razors, and hurting the boy's hands in the process. I marvelled at Pirelli's swiftness and aggressiveness.
"Miss Marks, will hand me my smoothing strip?" Mr. Todd asked.
I handed him his strip, and watched him slowly sharpening his razor.
I glanced toward Pirelli and noted that he was lathering his volunteer's face.
A knot in my stomach formed as I looked at Mr. Todd still sharpening his razor.
Just as Pirelli started shaving, Todd began to lather his participant's face.
I started tapping my foot impatiently, "Mr. Todd, don't you think you should hurry up?"
He barely looked up from his work, "Patience is key, my pet. Without patience the world would be more chaotic than it already is."
I shut my mouth and let him work.
Pirelli was about three-quarters of the way done when her took a long break to sing a high note to "God", and the crowd.
I turned to Mr. Todd and found he finally started to shave the man. In a span of five seconds the man in the chair went from a full on beard to a face as soft as a baby's.
Beadle blew his whistle, "The winner is Todd!"
The whole audience clapped, and Pirelli came up to us afterward, " I bow down to a skill far greater than my own."
Mr. Todd ignored his remark, and held out his hand, "The five pound."
Pirelli smiled, "Perhaps we will meet again in the future. Until then, may the Good Lord smile upon you."
Pirelli turned to me, "Perhaps we could meet for a drink sometime."
I curled my lip, "Never in a million years."
With that he left, yelling at his servant boy and kicking him as well.
Wanting to avoid the Beadle, I stayed behind. Once Pirelli reappeared I gave him a talking to, "You really don't have to hurt the boy. You send him out here to do your tasks, and he tries his best. If he makes one little mistake you go ballistic on him. It's not right, it's abuse!"
Pirelli tried to argue with me, but I didn't let him.
I got in his face, "If I ever see, or even hear of you abusing that boy again, I will come after you myself."
With that I left, leaving Pirelli standing on the stage dumbfounded.
Mr. Todd glanced over at Beadle and wrapped an arm around both Mrs. Lovett and my waist, "Ladies, let's go home."