The rest of that day, Mr. Todd and I continued to clean his shoppe up, and decorating it for opening day.
We were painting a "Now Open" sign with bright red paint. I got up to get a drink of water when I accidently dragged my paint brush across Mr. T's hand.
He creased his eyebrows in irritation, "What the hell?"
My mouth fell open in shock, " Oh my god, Mr. Todd, I am so sorry. Please don't be mad. I really didn't mean to."
Mr. Todd rolled his eyes, "Child, it is only a stain. Nothing to worry about."
I stopped my apologies and must have given Todd a confused look.
"I said don't worry about it. It is just a streak. It'll come off when I wash my hands. The past is past. Life is for the alive. Learn forgiveness, and try to forget."
I crossed my arms, "Are you alright Mr. Todd? You don't seem like yourself today."
"Perfectly fine... now, will you please get us some more paint? We are going to need some more."
I nodded my head, and brought paint upstairs from Mrs. Lovett's sitting room.
We continued to paint for the next couple of hours, all because the sign had to be perfect in my eyes.
We put up the banner outside, and began to clean up the paint. Mr.Todd and I eventually decided it would be smart to put the paint brushes in the bucket at the same time. We knocked our heads together, and both brought our hands with the paint brushes to our heads. When I looked up Mr. Todd started to laugh a hyena-like laugh.
I creased my eyebrows, "What's so droll?"
My asking made Todd laugh even more. Finally, between breaths, Todd spoke, "Your face... is covered... in red paint."
He continued to laughed for a good ten minutes.
Finally, out of spite, I splattered him with the blood red paint.
He looked at me in total shock, and I couldn't help but crack up.
Sure enough, Mr. Todd started pelting me with pieces of paper, and globs of paint from his paintbrush.
This paint war continued on for about fifteen minutes. Then Mrs. Lovett came into the room with our dinners.
"What are you two doin'?" she asked.
I stopped laughing for a brief moment to answer her, "We're having a paint war. I don't know if Mr. Todd or I am winning. I wasn't keeping score."
Todd smirked, "Oh, I was winning by a long shot. Do you know how much paint is on you?"
I smirked in reply, "No, but I wouldn't be talking. Have you looked in the mirror?"
"Well, it looks like you two have had a fine day together. 'ow 'bout you two take a much needed break, and eat. You can stay up 'ere if you'd like Mr. T, but I need Miss Marks' assistance downstairs. The kitchen rather messy. Plus, you've been working so 'ard, I'm sure you don't want to continue workin' tonight and with Miss Marks 'ere, bein' the 'ard worker she is, will keep you up all night," Mrs. Lovett's eyes began to narrow as she said the last part.
Mr. Todd nodded, took his bowl of soup, and slunk away to sulk on the corner, on his bed.
Surprisingly disappointed, I followed Mrs. Lovett downstairs, ate dinner, and began cleaning the meat pie shoppe.
As days passed Mr. Todd's decent mood dissipated. He went from tolerable to down right nasty.
He was looking out the window when he said, "Miss Marks, would you go greet our guest. Then you may take a lunch if you would like to do so."
I nodded my head, and headed downstairs. I was in shock. It was the first time he had spoken to me in days. He hadn't really talked to me since Friday and it was Tuesday.
I met Pirelli on the stairs.
"Signora, is Mr. Todd at home?"
I plastered a smile on my face, "The dear's up stairs now, counting his books." I looked at the boy with sympathy, "Poor dear... do you care if I give him a nice juicy meat pie?"
Pirelli waved my request away, "Si, si, si, whatever you want."
I turned away from the disgusting man, and led the lad into the pie shoppe.
"Mrs. Lovett, could we spare a meat pie for this young lad?"
Mrs. Lovett gave me a smile, "Why of course we can, love."
We talked with the boy, learned his name, that he worked in the work house, and Pirelli was an abusive bastard, that deserved to die.
I was beginning to wonder was taking so long upstairs, when I heard a loud thud on the ceiling.
Suddenly Toby exclaimed, "Oh god, Pirelli's got an appointment! If he's late he'll blame me."
Mrs. Lovett tried to grab the boy by his arm, didn't make it, and whispered, "Wait!" She hung her head in her hands, "Oh bugga."
We sat there for a few moments in silence.
Eventually Toby came back downstairs, " Mr. Todd said to have another meat pie and a tot o' gin."
Mrs. Lovett complied, sighed, and said, "Alrigh' dearies, I'm gonna go and pop in on Mr. T for a tick, 'kay? Miss Marks, make sure Toby doesn' drink too much."
I nodded my head, and continued to talk to Toby until he fell into a drunken slumber. Then I trudged upstairs to ask Mrs. Lovett to do with the boy.
I stopped outside the door that led from Mrs. Lovett's shoppe to Mr. T's.
"....Barkin' mad, killin' a man who done you no ' arm!" Mrs. Lovett's voice drifted through the door.
"He recognized me from the old days. Tried to blackmail me half me earnings," Mr. Todd whispered.
Mrs. Lovett's voice brightened, "Oh, well, that's a differen' matter then. For a moment a that you lost your marbles."
I heard something creak, and knew it was the trunk that laid just behind the shoppe door.
"Ooh, look at all that blood. Poor bugga'. All well, waste not, what not." There was a moment of silence that Mrs. Lovett broke.
"Now, what to do about the boy."
Mr. Todd spoke, "Send him up."
"I don't-" Todd cut her off.
"Send him up!"
"Now Mr. T, I was hoping to keep the boy to help 'round the shoppe. Your poor knees aren't what they use to be."
With that in mind I left, not wanting anyone to find me eavesdropping.
I didn't know who Pirelli was exactly, but I did know a few things. I knew that Pirelli was dead for wanting to blackmail Todd, and Todd was a murderer, plain and simple.
About five minutes later Mrs. Lovett came down again.
"Is everything okay?" I asked quietly.
She nodded her head, "Pirelli left us with Toby. He said he couldn't take care of him anymore. We decided to keep him. That way you won't worry about having so much work on your hands and I can still get a lot done around the shop."
I nodded my head and offered a smile, "As long as you make sure he isn't drunk all the time."
Mrs. Lovett gave me a weird look.
I rolled my eyes and pointed toward her parlour where Toby laid sleeping.
She nodded her head in understanding and continued her work.
Not long after that Mrs. Lovett and I heard Mr. Todd screaming "OUT!!!"
Next thing I know there Judge Turpin was storming away from the two shoppes and behind him followed a teenage boy with light brown hair.
Mrs. Lovett's eyes widened, then she dashed upstairs to see what all of the commotion was.
I ran to the door I was at before, and listened.
Mrs. Lovett tried to calm Mr. Todd down, but he wouldn't have it.
"No! I had him! His throat was bare beneath my hand!"
Mrs. Lovett continued to try to soothe the demonic barber.
"No! I had him! His throat was there, and he'll never come again."
He continued on like this for about four minutes. Then there was dead silence.
Mrs. Lovett broke the silence, "'Ello? Can you 'ear me?" She sighed, "Come on, you great useless thing, you."
I rushed to the living room, and pretended to read the end of "Hamlet".
"Miss Marks?" Mrs. Lovett called.
"Will you please go to the market, and get us some more gin? That boy is gonna drink me outta house and home."
I nodded my head, took the money Mrs. Lovett gave me and headed to the market, knowing full and well that all they wanted to do was get me out of the house.
By the time I got back to the shoppe dinner was on the table, Toby was awake, and Todd was back upstairs, sharpening his razors.
We all sat down to dinner, and ate. Only Toby talked, which was not normal for our household. Usually at dinner, nobody talked.
My thoughts were taken over by the thought of Mr. Todd killing Judge Turpin. Secretly, I relished in the thought. The bastard took away my family, and made me flee my only home.
"Alaizabel, are you alright?" Mrs. Lovett asked in concern.
I looked up from my food with an innocent look, "Couldn't be better, why?"
"Toby's been askin' you for a couple minutes now about yourself an' you've been completely ignorin' him."
I smiled at Toby, "I'm sorry Toby. I'm just tired. Please forgive me."
Toby returned the smile, "It's alright ma'am. I understand."
I stood up from the table and yawned, "If you don't mind, I would like to excuse myself to go to bed."
Mrs. Lovett gave me another look of concern, "Are you sure you're okay?"
I nodded my head, but didn't speak, not wanting to trust my voice.
"Of course I'm fine. I just found out that my boss wants to kill the man I hate the most. I'm rather excited about that, even though I know I shouldn't be. Now all I need to do is tell him I know about his plan, and that I wanted to join him on his quest for revenge."