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jacq22

Life is for living! Dream of yesterday, but live today


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lj idol series 8. Week 29. "Laviathan"
jacq22




LEVIATHAN

. He really was ugly in this light, why had she agreed to come! His eyes were devouring her, she felt vulnerable, precariously isolated in this dark place. As her heart pounded and he drew closer she felt like an animal, trapped and in desperate peril. The very odour he exuded was inducing fear.

‘My dear’, he sneered, ‘how amazing to find you here.’ She backed away, ambushed, now with no escape,  feeling the cold metal behind her.
Exposed now in this harsh lamplight, his face appeared more distorted. The rocking boat swung the light back and forth.
Everything she hoped for was now in jeopardy. With a sickening sense of foreboding she tried rashly to smile. The deck tilted suddenly.

‘Hello, Mr. Jones, you frightened me to death.’

‘If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!’
The quote came back to her. A quote about a different monster. The mythical monster.


 He was not a myth but was the real and immediate threat. The waves crashed against the hull, and in the dark recess  of the lifeboat dock she was hidden from view. Few strollers were out on deck tonight anyway. The biting wind kept them in their salons. The liner was not due to dock until morning. In New York, a job waited, and her new employers. A chance for her to get a toehold on life, and help her mother.

Jenny’s strong spirit had kept her seeking change. It was what set her apart from the wenches serving in ale houses and in service. Her bright eyes and creamy skin, her love of living. In spite of the reality of her life, she had always been an optimist. Always tried to see the good in others; until Mr. Jones that was. Her chance to leave the squalor and poverty of London hanging in the balance.

‘I saw you leave the dining room and thought how brave you were my sweet one.’ His podgy hands reached out to her.
‘What do you mean?’ she said shrinking away.
‘You said we could meet sometime, and we have much to discuss, but on such a night! ‘

Jenny had a bunk in steerage, he had sent numerous messages from his first class cabin, most of them she had ignored, till this one. Her final decision was one of desperation. Hidden in her sleeve she took the only weapon she had, and hoped it wasn’t needed.

‘You should not delay me sir, tell me what news you have of my Mother, I’m cold and need to get back inside.’

Jenny thought about her Mother, last seen at the door of the almshouse, desperately thin and resigned to her final days being in that dreadful place. Having money defined who you were, or if the path you followed was smooth or rough.

The man now before her had a pock marked face,  skin puckered and erupting in pustules. His huge frame swelled even larger in the middle, buttons strained on his snakeskin waistcoat. He towered above her, and slowly pushed his hand into a pocket, taking out a pocket watch before replying.

“You have reasons to be nice to me’ He replaced the watch,  his piggy eyes surveying her, smugly waiting for her reply.

Jenny shook her head, ‘I know nothing of those reasons Mr. Jones.’

‘Well my dear lady, I have been busy, when I heard you were to sail from Southampton, I so wanted to be on the same vessel, and had much to arrange Mr. Mancula has my authority to find a small cottage, your Mother can be more comfortable, her needs are few, she can see her days out on the edge of the Forrest of Dean, now isn’t that kind of me?’ He looked pleased with himself.

Dark waves and small glinting lights distracted Jenny. The shore was getting closer.

 She remembered her first meeting with the vile Mr. Jones. In the service of Lord Hall and his family, he had been a guest of the family invited because of his business connections. There for the shoot, he had quickly shown he found her irresistible.
Why hadn’t he wanted Annie instead ?, Annie would have bedded him; no, he wanted her, and made that plain. Jenny had managed with some help from George the footman to get away, or keep herself in view of the family. Mr. Jones found out as much as he could gleaning information from Annie, who was not likely to pass up a chance for easy cash.

Jones lunged suddenly grasping her around the waist, trying to put his face close to hers.

The name of the liner she sailed on was the same as the monster she had read about as a child, she remembered snatches of the story... her body fought as her mind tried hard to find a way out.

She twisted away trying to get free from the wall and closer to the rail. With her left hand she pushed at his face. Her right hand delved into the sleeve, but then his strength defeated her. For a moment he smiled a foul smile of triumph and he attempted to pull her supple body closer.

Her courage returned and she smiled a hestitant smile. She needed a moment or two, some precious recovery time, for one final act. Concentrating on a spot on his throat her eyes tried to keep focused as he kissed her cheek and slobbered in her ear, his evil breath made her blanch, but she kept her resolve. With a sudden pounce she stabbed deep into the side of his neck, hitting the jugular. He twisted in pain away from her; The small paring knife in his throat, silencing him, except for a choking sound as his blood oozed.

Horrified Jenny leapt back away from the torrent of blood. He slumped across the rail his head low towards the sea, as if the fates were there to help her, he lost his grip and went almost slowly into the dark waves. The engines churned on and he was soon lost.

 There was a faint sound of music from the salon, a late dance still in progress. Jenny felt nausea wash over her, and stumbled towards the lifeboat. The cool bulkhead behind her head supported her until she recovered. A squall of gale force swirled around the ship, and lashing rain washed the deck.

Her whole body trembled,, and her teeth chattered. There would be a cold dawn to face, and moments of pain when this returned in nightmares. The enormity of her actions may haunt her forever. Yet as she went towards the music, she felt only release.
She imagined sending her mother money and bringing her to this vibrant city,  it would be so good to spend their days together.
Her job as a nanny and the thought of the beautiful park where she would walk the children lifted her spirits. Yet for Jenny the sea would never give her rest. She eventually settled in the mountains far away from the sound of the relentless waves.

Footnote the ’Leviathan’ first took paying passengers in 1923, it stopped service in 1933, and was broken up in 1938.


Quotes about the mythical monster;
Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?
 http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/571850.html




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An excellent use of the prompt. I loved it, well done.

Thanks for reading ... having a health glitch so will be reading later today.

How are you doing? I've been thinking about you and wondering how things are going?

Nicely done entry by the way, just wondering if everything is okay with you!

P.S. I believe you offered to let me as you as a friend awhile back. You seem like such a delightful person, I added you. I hope that's okay!

Love you to drop by as a friend. Welcome.
The health glitch was a pain in left arm which due to a few heart flutters might have been ominous.

But yay am still here! and today am working at normal speed, want to paint but have the reading etc to do first.

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I enjoyed this, and you did well with using the prompt. :)

Thank you for taking time...

Poor Jenny; I'm glad she got away.

Interesting name for a ship! The monster here was clearly Mr. Jones and not the ship itself. He likely would never have moved her mother from the almshouse, but rather fed Jenny that lie for as long as needed to get him what he wanted.

Such spirit in this character, including her determination to go forward no matter how difficult the memory she now carries.

Yes I wanted to describe him more but somehow never did it! Have had a distrscting week like many of us recently.

Yes he would never have helped the Mother, just a ploy to get the girl.
Thanks for reading intertesting times on lj.

I think this is one of my favorites from you. Loved the real historical fact of the ship. You must have done your research!What a great use for the prompt! It was an interesting and well thought out plot and the images were clear to me with phrases like his "pock-marked face," and her "supple body." Terrific job, friend!

Am floundering in the deep though this week! Thanks for kind remarks.

Its been so interesting when I look back on 28 pieces of writing, isn't it a wild ride sometimes? Loved your piece a great record of a marriage.

It has been a great fun season of writing. I hope I can sign on next time too. Also hope your life is smoothing out. We never do seem to get over that hill for the rest of the ride to just coast. Always some bumps!

Really interesting take on the prompt - nice use of the duality of the name of the ship and the monstrousness of Mr. Jones!

One question - were they "strollers" in this time period or were they still "prams" or "carriages"?

Nice picture, too!

In the context of this story, "strollers" are people wandering about, not baby carriages

Yes not strollers as in prams, more people 'moving about the deck!' Prams would have been baby carriages, and not many would have been used, babies were carried a lot more.

But can understand as the language can mess us up... Australian and English and American, I am a hybrid lately My husband did an anonymous entry LOL, as he saw your question on his computer.


Ahhh! OK, I got "baby carriage" for "stroller" because of Jenny being a nanny, and thinking that's what she would notice! My oops :)

I'd love to see a follow up to this to find out what happened to Jenny. Even in self defence, killing someone like that would leave its mark. Another leviathan, you could say!

I was just thinking the same thing. That and picturing the paring knife lodged in his throat :shudder:

Not something I could ever imagine doing!! I hate killing spiders even the big black and scary ones.

Yes a concience troubled for ever could be the aftermath, some things can be blotted out but not such an act. A monster in her mind forever. Suppose I was trying to show how desperate and alone she was, such a weight on her shoulders, her Mother's life and the future in balance. Life with Mr. Jones might have been a death of sorts. Had she lived with him.

A potent, different take on the prompt. Very effective. Thanks for sharing this.

I really liked the characters here...Jenny the archetypical plucky heroine....Mr. Jones practically twisting his mustache and cackling like a silent film villain. It is kind of retro in feel which I hope you will take as a compliment. Well done.

I loev how you write female characters, but you do have some real creativity in original settings. And this has a very antique sort of feel to it, if that makes sense.

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