I stared at the fire, an open bottle of gin resting in my hand and an old nursery rhyme my sister used to sing to me at the home for wayward children playing in my head.
"Oranges and lemons" say the bells of St. Clement's,
"You owe me five farthings" say the bells of St. Martin's,
"When will you pay me?" say the bells of Old Bailey,
"When I grow rich" say the bells of Shoreditch,
"When will that be?" say the bells of Stepney,
"I do not know" say the great bells of Bow,
"Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head,
I took a breath muttering the last line in a nearly silent whisper, "Chip chop chip chop - the last man's dead."
I looked out the window, in the distance rest the river Thames and beneath its waters my sister.
I slammed the empty bottle down and took my coat with me out the door.
I sat on the bridge, feet dangling over the waters edge, humming that stupid old song in my drunken state.
Yet another coat settled around my shoulders as I shivered in a breeze, "Oranges and Lemons? thats an old song Gizmo."
I paused in my humming, "you know of it?"
"It was a favorite of mine when I was a child."
I peered at Mr. Blythe from the corner of my eyes, his hair was rumpled and his sleeves rolled up past his elbow.
I took in the swirling patterns of his tattoos I got a glimpse of once. "those are not for gentlemen Mr Blythe."
"A man yes, gentle, most of the time. But a Gentleman I struggle with that from time to time. Perhaps I can ease your curiosity if you ease mine?"
I did not respond.
"I was a sailor as a boy."
"fascinating. You had the life of many other boys."
"My father was a pirate."
My brows rose. "Well you should start your tale with that. much more fascinating than you yourself."
He chuckled under his breath, "Always a delight Gizmo. They hung him when I was but 13 years. I watched from the crowed. Soon after I became a theif, it was what I knew."
"Must have been good at it, you are rather well polished for a theif."
"I became a bit more as I aged."
I hummed, slightly intrigued, "do tell."
"What was she like Gizmo?"
My smile fell, "who?"
I mulled over my answer for a long moment, "She was like her sister I suppose. as most sisters tend to be. But different too."
"So you did know them both?"
"We never truly know someone Mr. Blythe, not even ourselves. People are complicated in that way."
"But you met them."
I hummed lowly. "Are you sure this is what you wish to ask of me while I'm drunk? Do not think I have yet to notice your eyes linger upon my form in more than a playful way."
"Tis the trousers you insist upon wearing. And I have no intention of feeling your touch tonight Gizmo. I worry I may never wake if I indulged myself."
"Or perhaps forget what you were here for in the first place?"
"In both situations you seem to get your way."
I shrugged, "tis a habit of mine. What is it like?"
His brows furrowed, "what like?"
I gazed down at the river pulling the flask from his coat pocket and taking a swig of rum, "Sexual intercourse, I am sure you have had many a rigorous experiences with it have you not?"
He seemed slightly taken aback, "Well that is not exactly the point, besides as the rumors go.."
"The rumors are lies Mr. Blythe and we both know it, I am a loon but not a loose one."
"Killian. Call me Killian if we are to be as bold with one another as we seem to be tonight I insist you call me Killian."
I hummed, "Then tell me about the dance between a man and a woman Killian."
He was quiet for a long moment. "There are many pleasures in the world Gizmo, that between a man and a woman is something you, yourself should discover. Words will never be the same as experience."
"I have little interest in anything but words as of now Killian. Honest words."
Sighing heavily he looked me over, "the touch of a woman is like no other, I hear the right one can bring you to your knees. And while it is true I have enjoyed many different women I do not feel as if any of them could do that to me, I am ashamed to say I dont think I can give you the answer you are looking for."
I rolled my eyes, "I'm not looking for a love story. I want to know about the core of our personalities as humans our desire to mate. I ask you because I know you are not a loving man. Loving men are never as good at charm as you seem to be. And according to many a randy authors no where near as good at fucking."
His jaw dropped before he regained his composure and cleared his throat. "Okay young lady..this conversation is over."
I smiled a bit to myself, "oh Killian have you never heard I am no lady."
"Not to the stuffy women you meet on the street but you are one. And as for your desire to learn more about sex. Try finding a husband, your a pretty girl Gizmo. Many men would be happy to marry you."
"Im crass and a rumored whore. I am not anyones idea of a bride. Besides I don't want a marriage bed. No, I would much rather a scandalous affair. Someone to lift my skirts or drop my trousers at the most inappropriate of times. Bedrooms are written to be rather mundane."
Again he cleared his throat and looked away, "what are you doing out here Gizmo?"
"I could ask the same for you."
"I saw you pass by my window and followed you."
"You don't live anywhere near here and your coat smells of perfume."
"I was with company yes."
"She may not let you in her skirts now."
"Probably not again no. But i often prefer it that way."
I grinned to myself, "and im the harlot?"
"i assure you she was already married. Just not to me."
I gave a sharp laugh, "hypocrites the lot of them."
"So, why are you here?"
"The gladstone girl, this is where her body was disposed of."
I could feel his eyes on me as a somber mood settled over us, "I am sick of these games Gizmo."
"Perhaps you should jump into the river and end it now then, because thats all life is Killian. A game, a terrible savage game dressed up in silver ribbon and lace."
YOU ARE READING
Tick Tock (on hiatus)Science Fiction
Gizmo, owner of her own shop Curiosities and Oddities, was everything and anything one wold expect of a woman of her time. Independant. Smart. A soon to be spinster. Bitter. Inventor. Mad scientist. Harlot. or so the rumors go. ~~ "Miss Gizmo!" I pe...