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Monthly Vignette: The Olfactory Age

By Lena Worwood



This month's vignette is Horror. Sammy wants a sofa to hide behind.



On Sealion Press Forums , we run a monthly Vignette Challenge. Contributors are invited to write short stories on a specific theme (changed monthly).


The 67th Vignette Challenge is on Slashers, to tie in with Halloween, and can be found HERE.


This vignette, a horror story from Lena Worwood came from the 54th challenge, on the theme of Broadcasting.



*****


1789


Even before anything happened, The Swan and Hoop felt like the edge of the Tiber. Great Swan Alley was still wide and airy here, and still held some of the strange respectability of Bethlem, London Wall and the Aldermanbury Dispensary. Doctor Lettsom nursed an ill-advised drink, sat with his back to the bar and his face hugging the window for the edges of air that made their way from the outside world. A constant traffic of pedestrians walked down the street to the narrow tunnel enclosed about and to the sides by houses that forced the walkers to take a sharp turn from Great Swan to Little Swan. Out of the world of natural light and somewhat clean air, into a land that smelled constantly of sewage and was enclosed on all sides by the houses of useful, but still less than respectable, poor.


The world beyond really took up very little space; it would fit easily within the green beyond Bethlem Hospital – but here it took on a sinister geography of corners and enclosures and strange names that resisted mapping and formed a world in itself. There were children in that neighbourhood who had never seen the Thames, or the Tower of London, or even the imposing front face of Bethlem asylum. They ran feral and rampant in their own little world with no idea what it was like beyond the narrow archway that Jack was staring at. Some of them would find employment in the world beyond; the vast majority would die before they were fully grown and, of those, unfortunately a small number would die under Jack’s care.


Today, it was a thirteen-year-old girl. The parents had kept her at home in a dingy flat that smelled overpoweringly of vomit, diarrhea, and the noxious vapours of airborne disease. The other children would join her soon, no doubt. She was too weak to survive the purging by way of bark and mineral remedies. In any case, in an environment that was so pungent with disease, clearing of the body could only lead to reinfection. But the parents had refused his entreaties to take her to the dispensary and she had died of their affection as much as from their poverty. Jack felt as drained as she had been, and found what solace he could in alcohol.


It was difficult to get properly drunk in the dispensary; there were too many surgeons, and midwives, and apothecaries, and the several dozen self-important governors checking in on the patients they had recommended to the dispensary’s services. It was a place for propriety. Of course, it did Jack some harm for his patients to see him drinking, but when he was in the Swan and Hoop, if the horrors of his job didn’t keep the rest of the clientele at bay, his own miasma of deep doscontent would more than compensate.


So, it was a surprise when a mug thumped down on Jack’s table. “Are you going to ignore me forever, Doctorman?” a voice said. “I’ve your next drink waiting for you.”


“A girl died in my arms not one hour ago,” Jack said, not bothering to look around. “Her breath smelt of cow manure and she was bleeding from her mouth and in constant fever and it is a noxious fever. I am well attuned to its impact and will likely simply feel ill for a few days, but I suggest you keep your distance if you value your health.”


“I’ll be all right,” the man said. Something was wrong with his voice – it was pitched too high – like a child’s but with a harshness to it that contradicted that diagnosis. “I’ve embraced some of the filthiest girls London has to offer, and I usually have the stamina for two or three in a night. Prefer it when they live through the experience but-”


Jack sighed, and finally looked around and was faced with a grin attached to a stick-thin body covered by well-worn and aged clothes, raffish greasy long hair and eyes that sparkled. The voice was feminine, and his chest bulged in a way that Jack was worldly enough to identify as intense binding of a fulsome breast. Some kind of crossdresser? Well, this was London. “I must insist, sir-”


“Sir Archy.” The man shook his hand, which Jack hadn’t even realised he was holding out. “And you’re Doctor Lettsom, but I may call you Jack. Since we’re friends.”


“Sir! Please, I-”


“I know, I know. You’re very keen to buy, of course you are. But I have a sales pitch to get through and you must respect my art, old boy,” Archy said. “You know how many people die on your patch and that the vapours spread from house to house. But you can only cure one person at a time; you’re trying to stop a wildfire and you’re not allowed to stamp on the flames. I have the solution.”


“I don’t buy miracle sures from strangers in a pub.”


“Well, you should,” Archy replied, and held up a small vial. “Egyptian Powder – the most mysterious powder. Not miraculous, barely a cure but a medium. In my hands, worthless. To you, who knows? Allow me to demonstrate.” With that, Archy opened the vial, threw the mixture into Jack’s face and walked to the other end of the bar. Once there, he pulled down his trousers to reveal his bare arse, and let out a loud fart.


People stared, but nobody quite reacted... right. The smell was pungent and overpowering, like lying face down inside a latrine. Jack reeled back but it didn’t help. How was nobody else reacting? Archy’s grin grew wider as he put his trousers back on and returned to the table.


“The powder’s magnetised my arse and your nose. The only way you could get closer to my fart is by eating my ass – which, if you’d like to, well, you’re not my usual type, but I can make exceptions for a man with experience.”


“I – ugh.”


Archy laughed. “Useless to me – but imagine being able to mass purify the vapours – to treat patients at a distance without risking your life. Fit it to prison gates and you can purify the diseased souls there before they get back to their wives and starving children. I don’t know, I’m not a man of learning, but with your inquisitive mind, and my supply – what do you say?”



1790


“In the distant past, man passed on his wisdom aurally and orally. Civilised man learned instead to describe the world by visual markings – by word and symbol and sign.” William had been talking for a while, but in the manner of one lumbering up for something. Jack had tried to slow his progress, to bring him back to specifics. But this Wilberforce person spoke with the zeal of a true convert, and nothing seemed capable of knocking him off track. “We stand of the precipice of a new age – an olfactory age – when man will reach out to man by scent.”


“Like dogs sniffing each other’s arses,” Archy interjected. Which earned him a hostile glare, but then Bill’s face relaxed.


“An unfortunate metaphor, but in a way, yes. Scent reaches into men’s souls deeper than any other language. You are a doctor, Jack. Doesn’t the scent of poverty and putrefaction break through where nothing else does? Is there any doubt that it tarnishes souls as much as it weakens their constitution?”


“It certainly carries disease,” Jack said. “Which will be held off by the Air Loom.”


“But your scheme cannot reach the root of the problem. The distemper which, as a community, we are sick, should be considered rather as a moral than a medical malady.” Bill looked at Jack’s drawings again. They showed hige square desks, taller than a person, with huge pedals and pipes like an organ blowing towards a comically huge fan. It would be possible to set them up in a prison or a hospital, and disinfect the inmates before they left. Or to fit one in a tower and minister to the medical needs of a whole community remotely.”


There were also designs to fit to boats that would allow a ship to coat a whole slave ship with Egyptian Powder and heal them with huge air loom cannons. It was fanciful, perhaps, but Jack thought it might be of interest. William’s interest in the plight of slaves was reasonably well known.


“Unless you can encourage Godly morality, there will always be the causes of disease.” William went on. “This Egyptian Powder, and your designs, will allow us to do more than just alleviate pain; with the right odours, we will improve the soul of man and usher in a better world.”


“You want to blow a fart across the Atlantic?” Archy said. Neither of the other men responded.


Jack thought for a while, then chose his words carefully. “Smell is more complex than sound – there’s a great deal of bleed between the scents.”


“I know a hypnotist in France who can make a man cum with a spray of perfume,” Archy said. “They don’t have to be aware of it – once you set a trigger in the mind, the body follows it.”


“And with an Air Loom, she could summon someone from hundreds of feet away,” William said.


“Bill,” Archy said. “Don’t pretend you didn’t-”


“The key point,” William said, cutting in quickly, “is that an air loom built for communication will be constructed, and will be of equal use for medicine.”


“And an Air Loom built with human health as its goal won’t be built?” Jack asked.


William shook his head. “No, it will not,” he said. “Not unless you find another financial backer.”


1792


The first Air Loom was built in a little apartment on Frying Pan Alley, a few levels of wrong turnings into the narrow streets past the Swan and Hoop. The room wasn’t big, but it had a tall roof and a view of the street, which Jack had considered vital if they were ever going to be able to use it to broadcast medicine across the area.


Jack had dreams of the room one day being a sort of mini dispensary. One day, soon, hopefully, the dispensary where he worked would have satellites like this all over the town, able to offer first aid and administer remotely to the medical needs of their wards through the air looms. Maybe there would be a desk at the front, a few cases with medicines, and informative booklets on public health. For now, the walls were cracked and warped and the prostitute next door viewed them suspiciously, as though they were bringing down the respectability of the area.


Whenever he had free time, though, Jack would find himself there, even if it was just to stare at the machine. It had some power over him that he couldn’t quite place. And it seemed to have caught up King Bill too – William Wilberforce by day; over a few years, they’d accepted the nicknames Sir Archy had found for them. Sir Archy spoke a lot about mesmerism and the hold chemicals could have on the mind and it was like talking about these things alone was enough to invoke that power. Sometimes Jack felt like a worker bee in front of the great wooden desk and organs of the Air Loom. Like it was a thing brought in from another world and not his own brainchild. He and Bill had been at work, siliently, for hours. Mixing scents, placing orders. Not needing to talk, or even look up much from their work.


The problem was the language of scent. There wasn’t one. Newton and others had developed a theory of colour; there was a system of octaves to explain sound, and Jack even found work that broke language down into its component parts. But smell was the domain of poets. Jack had a theory that, in the same way that glossography could find physical traits and functions in the body associated with the construction of sounds, there would be physical traits in the body capable of receiving types of smell. If this could be broken down into a schema of basic smells, then a form of basic language could be rebuilt from the ground up based on smell alone. Theoretically. For now, he sat in front of a tray filled with tiny vials, attempting to make sense of them. In a room that smelled heavily of all the different chemicals they’d spilled or exuded from the air loom in tests, this was like trying to hear a tin whistle in a storm.


So it was a surprise to Jack to hear the Air Loom clank and rise into life. A sudden intake from the vacuum pumps lifted the air momentarily from the room and then, with a heavy – thunk – the pressure stabilised and Jack felt a tingle down his neck. The magnetised Egyptian Powder, which he was by now entirely soaked in, responded favourably to the magnetisation of the loom. But who was summonong him?


He span around in his chair to find Bill doing the same, and saw Archy, not at the machine but at the doorway. He was grinning mischievously. Another thunk from the machine, the spinning of the fan – Jack passed out.


“Wake up, Schoolmaster! Wake up!” Bill shouted at him. As Jack tried to work out why he was on the floor, he didn’t need to work out where he was; the small, the faint metallic tang in his mouth that was neither smell nor taste but spoke of some magnetic sense – it was unmistakeable.


“What? Why?” he attempted, and cleared his throat. Archy handed him a glass of water that he accepted gratefully.


“We’re calling it lobster cracking,” King Bill was saying. “I woke up just before you. Isn’t it magnificent? Magnetised air pressure and chemical force enough to knock a person to the ground and snap their thoughts. Do you remember what you were doing before it hit?”


“I... Bill?”


“The possibilities are endless, but beyond communication, this is a tool for the improvement of manners and moral refinement,” Bill went on. “Archy explained it all. I woke up, and for the first time in many weeks, I had clarity on the emancipation of slaves. I penned a speech immediately and my interest in my parliamentary career has been restored. This marvellous device strengthens the soul and heart of man, and think how it could be employed in Bethlem against the maladies of the mind – spirals of delusion can be broken and a mind rebuilt upon godly principles.”


Jack was struggling to catch up, but he could already see the potential. It was impossible not to in this neighbourhood of drunks and prostitutes and delinquents. A small sleep, a disruption in the mind, and a return to consciousness with better principles embedded. It would just be a matter of perfecting the scents.


And who was the lady behind the controls? Her face was pock marked and deeply scarred. She wore a greying black dress and her gloved hands were still resting on the controls of the loom.


“Who is she?” Jack asked.


“Don’t concern yourself, Schoolmaster,” Archy told him. “She’ll be helping you from now on and it would be wise to teach her more about the use of this machine. We need it ready within an hour.”


“Why? I... what?” Jack asked.


“Because that’s when Augusta leaves work for the day,” Archy said.


“The fallen woman who plies her vice in this building,” Bill explained. “She’s to be our first test subject.”


“Is she aware of this?” Jack asked. “I don’t want to be part of some kind of olfactory mugging.”


“She was paid very well to take the powder,” Archy told him. “And if you have as much fun applying medicine as I just did-”


“Augusta is a slave to her vices and passions,” Bill said, cutting off Archy as quickly as possible. “We have the capability to save her, and save everyone. Schoolmaster, we have an opportunity to emancipate the world and this is the true start. God has set before us this most magnificent undertaking, and in His name, we must begin.”


With this, Bill and Archy helped lift Jack off of the ground and carefully returned him to his seat. He returned to work.


1797


Moving into Augusta’s old room had not been a chore. It was small and basic – cracking white walls and an aging bed – a chair for Jack to rest his clothes on. But he’d lost his lodgings when he’d decided to stop going to work, and in any case, he usually found himself falling asleep in front of the air loom.


He hadn’t had time to retrieve his belongings, and had decided to let most of them go. But he had filled the space with stacks upon stacks of books – on magnetism, anatomy, medicine, the mind, language, even seemingly low sciences like cookery and wine. Anything that could give him an insight into his great task – the influencing of the mind.


It no longer surprised him to hear the thunks and turnings of machinery from the room next door – and the characteristic raising of his strange magnetic sense. But it was still disquieting.


He woke with a metallic tang in his mouth and a comulsion to make himself ready for the day. It was strange. He felt that as his magnetic sense was increasing, he could even tell the direction of the sending. Not from the machine next door, but from the top floor of the dispensary, in a room that King Bill has sequestered for his work, to test their capacity for sending messages across long distances. When it had been built, Jack had suggested that he move back there – it had at the time still been nominally his place of work. But the others had felt that the presence of sick patients would be a distraction for Jack, which seemed reasonable.


Jack had fallen asleep fully clothed, so getting back to work was no great chore. He splashed water on his face and shaved quickly. The others were already assembled – even Bill was there, reading through the group’s ledger. There was the Glove Lady, her hands rested on the machine as usual, as though she expected to be sending at any moment.


Augusta was standing in front of her own little coterie. The unnumbered novices that Jack could never quite make sense of or attach names to. There seemed to be so many people now. “You have no distance to come, yet you’re always late, Schoolmaster. Why is that?” she asked.


“I was only just summoned,” Jack told her. “Somehow I seem to be attuned to a later part of the loom’s recital to others. I have a theory that there’s some chemical differences in the effect of the powder and if I can isolate it, we will have a way to attach particular signals to particular individuals like an-”


“The Schoolmaster comes when he is needed,” King Bill told the group. “We have representatives from the four nearby stations, but until runners can take the message to our Westminster stations, they won’t have representation.”


Jack readjusted his wig and held his temples. Why were memories so hard to hold onto now? The other stations? They were needed because of... reasons. To experiment in different areas. Sir Archy had explained it. A system of long-range communication could have infinite uses around Parliament. Imagine being able to call back all MPs in an instant for a vote, or prevent a revolution by putting a crowd to sleep, or being able to correct the morals of a wayward politician without them even being aware of the process. Now that they’d perfected the device for basic communication, it really was the next logical step.


Why was it so hard to think, sometimes?


Jack decided that the best course of action was also the easiest. This was a situation where the Glove Lady was most useful. Something about her made him uneasy, like an itch at the back of his mind. It must be just her appearance, the annoying way in which she never spoke. The fact that she was always around, any time of the day or night. Something about her infuriated Jack on a purely irrational level.


“Now, see here, old woman!” he began. “You’ll ruin the mechanics of the loom if you hold it like that. Get out of my seat. Shoo!” He motioned her to move off the chair as one might shove along a sickly old hen.


King Bill laughed. “She’s obsessed with the Loom. It’s sad, really. Mad old crone. Bring us refreshments, old woman!” By some strange coincidence, Bill seemed to dislike the Glove Lady just as much as Jack did. What was it about her that-”


There was a heavy sound, like someone dropping something, and somehow the Glove Lady was the one closest to the door. She held it open for Archy, a couple of strong men, and a big case made of hard wood that seemed to be... was it rattling?


“Hello friends, hello friends!” Archy called out. “I have worrying news. We’ve uncovered a French plot to invade Egypt. It’s ostensibly for political aims; they want to keep Napoleon as far from France as possible, but I believe their true end is to cut off our supply of the Egyptian Powder.”


There was silence. Then, a sound that Jack could not have expected, or even conceived of. Augusta was laughing.


“Archy, dear boy. Our work is important, yes, but the world doesn’t stop for us. Our own neighbours don’t know what we do – I’m sure the Directorate doesn’t even-”


“This is serious,” King Bill interjected. He moved across the room to stand by Archy’s side, as though he were the one giving the announcement. “Our correspondence with the continent has been strained significantly, but reports indicate that a maleficent band of mesmerists have developed machines akin to ours and are using them to influence the minds of figures at the very heart of French power. They’re motivated purely by greed and malice and, if they succeed, it will mean the end of liberty at the hands of these machines, that under an enlightened hand are the very key to re-establishing good manners and virtue upon the earth.”


“Of course, that’s exactly what I was driving at,” Archy said hurriedly. “Good and evil, French and British, Liberty and slavery and etcetera. Anyway, we finally have a tool to fight back against our great enemy.”


There was a murmur of approval. Jack found himself straining to remember if he’d known about French Air Looms before now. It felt like something he would have remembered. He wasn’t certain. He must have done. They were the enemy. He was glad to hear they finally had a way to fight back.


Archy made a signal and the men behind him opened the crate and upturned its contents. A woman spilled out and hit the floor. Her clothes were tattered and she had evidently been beaten. It took a few seconds for Jack to realise that she was in chains. She made to speak but stopped after Archy threw her a treatening look.


Jack stared in horror. He didn’t even notice as the Glove Lady edged him off the chair. Archy seemed to notice, though. “Itchy fingers again, Glove Lady? Play us something Charlotte will appreciate.” He kicked the woman in front of him. “This is Charlotte. You don’t need to know her last name. She’s one of the foremost olfactory mesmerists in France – a cruel group who aims to use the Egyptian Powder to control human minds. We can stop them-”


The clank and thud of the air loom momentarily sucked air from the room, the windows rattled, everyone jolted faintly under the pressure of their own magnetic senses.


“Our engines are more powerful than anything they have, but their knowledge of scent and the mind is unparalleled. Under interrogation from the Schoolmaster, we can learn their secrets.” Archy grinned. The room felt heavy with odours. It was getting hard to think. “She’s also spent the last decade perfecting her nose. As a test subject, she will be invaluable for as long as she lasts.”


“What are you planning to do with her?” Bill asked. He suddenly looked uncomfortable, like he was regretting having rushed forward to stand on the leader’s side of the conversation.


Archy brushed this away. “There’s a cellar under my new house. We can use that. As we expand, you will use your influence to get us access to Bedlam Asylum – there’s no end of test subjects there. There’s no objection, is there?” Archie asked. He looked everyone present in the eyes, as if daring them to speak. “This was always the plan, friends. I know I’m asking you to sacrifice some of your morals, but we knew from the start what this would take; this is how we will finally win.”


Jack wondered what they were trying to win – he couldn’t remember. It didn’t feel right. But when Archy turned his eyes to him, Jack couldn’t bring himself to make eye contact, much less make a protest. It was too hard to think. Too hard to see.


“No objections? Good. Let’s get to work.”


1815


As usual, Jack had the taste of metal in his mouth. It felt wrong, sometimes, still. He remembered a time, vaguely, when his mouth hadn’t tasted like that. Maybe it hadn’t been long ago – back before the destruction of the French fleet when it was still difficult to get the Egyptian powder ships from the colonies to London. Back then, the warehouses of Bethlem had been almost empty. Now they overflowed. Perhaps it was a kind of greed caused by famine that made people hoard it so earnestly. They’d even had to convert some of the sleeping quarters in the lower tower to contain more of the stuff. It almost overpowered the scent of the loom itself, which exuded the foul odours of semen and sewage and sharp spices – a special blend that the British Olfactory Company had developed during the war to keep morale and motivation high during the war effort.


Jack was proud of the concoction. He had not designed the specific mixture, but it was built to his specifications. Whenever any new mixture was needed to communicate an emotion or compulsion or effect, it could only be done using his olfactory language. Jack’s Epsom Charts were found in Air Looms across the Empire. That was something to be proud of – it was what he had been aiming for, wasn’t it? It was his legacy.


It was, however, to his mind, an unfinished legacy. Today he was engrossed in the study of compund #187, a mostly odourless compound that shared chemical characteristics with pungent scents in all four of the olfactory quadrants, He had a theory of sub-odours – that different chemical compounds may produce odours undetectably similar to human sense but which were chemically distinct. Bethlem was a perfect test bed for subtle experiments in odour science – the patients were kept separated; each one had been tagged with a slightly different magnetic frequency and he knew where they were at all times. It made it possible to accurately control and analyse effects on his test subjects. It was the whole reason he’d wanted to work with the sick. Wasn’t it?


Life was better, for Jack, than it had ever been. He had servants now to feed him while he worked, and when he fell asleep at his desk, they could wash and undress him and place him in a bed – all of which saved time and meant he could focus entirely on the Air Loom. It was an incredible privilege that even his friends didn’t seem to enjoy. King Bill barely had time to visit the Air Loom at all now that he was Foreign Secretary. So much of his time was taken up on the incorporation of former French colonies into the Empire. It was a sad task for him – the Air Loom had severely reduced the need for the physical mistreatment of slaves, but despite that, King Bill often found himself at odds with former friends who hadn’t grasped their vision.


Sir Archibald had it worst of all. He barely got to spend time with the technology at all since his formal knighthood and taking over the Corporation. Most of his time had to be spent in his country seat hosting tedious parties to win over the social elite. He barely got to spend any time at all in Bethlem asylum.


Jack had discovered a very good solution to his morning breakfast – porridge and beef broken down into a strong tea – he could down the whole thing in the time it took him to get up, get dressed, and get back to work. Then he wouldn’t have to think about anything but work for a good number of hours.


Opening the door to the air loom was always Jack’s favourite part of the day. The new model was a great desk, like a writing desk, twice as tall as he was and connected to barrels and tubes taking its mixtures to the tower’s trumpets and fans and pipes. With this machine, it was possible to send a very precisely calibrated message half a mile in any direction. Even when it wasn’t in use, it had a peculiar smell of all chemicals mixed into one, and that magnetic tang that Jack still couldn’t categorise or explain that he’d come to associate with activated Egyptian Powder. It made him feel like a supplicant in front of a goddess. This was his place, serving at the feet of this magnificent machine.


Today, though, the room was filled. The Glove Lady at the controls was not rare. But Archy and his wife Charlotte were sat together; King Bill was in the observation seat; Augusta had made her way in. All of the old gang. It... Jack felt that he should be happy to see them, but he was so busy; why were they distracting him from his work? What was this about?


“Good news, old friend,” Archy said. “Napoleon has fallen. France is in the hands of the Academy of Olfactory Mesmerism.”


Jack blinked. “The... Oh Christ. The enemy have taken France?”


“They were never the enemy,” King Bill told him. He looked uncertain though, his eyes faintly glazed over. “Remember how we rescued Charlotte when she accidentally told Napoleon about the mesmerists and was persecuted for it? Remember how Bridgette arrived from France when her life was at risk because of the persecution of our art? We’ve worked for years to restore the Academy, and now that task is complete.


“Bridgette...”


“The Glove Lady. You remember the Glove Lady’s name, don’t you, Schoolmaster,” Archy said. “She must have spoken to you about all this.”


Jack considered – there was a new scent in the air... something. What was it? Why was it hard to think? He tried to wake himself up.


“I... Archy, Bill, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her speak – something is wrong here.”


To his surprise, the Glove Lady stood up, came across the room, and stood in front of him. Before Jack could move, he noticed that Archy was somehow behind him now, holding him in place. He had an arm around his chest and Jack could see something – a vial of something – the most pungent smell. The Glove Lady looked into his eyes, and removed a glove.


The skin on her hands was ripped almost apart with old chemical burns. Rivers of acid must have flowed up her arm long ago, and spattered pocks onto her face like the surface of the moon. Jack could see it now – the signature of an intense chemical accident. She held his head in place and stared into his eyes.


“We’re your friends, Jack,” Archy said. “And we’ve finally got everything we ever wanted. Power in two empires – united by scent like a pack of hounds. The world has been weakened by war and is now fit only to be our prey. You’re happy, Jack. You’re ecstatic. This is everything you’ve been working towards.”


They held Jack down and put a vial to his face. A few moments passed before Archy asked: “Are you still with us, Schoolmaster?”


Jack blinked, as though doing so meant lifting great weights. “Yes, yes, I... sorry. You were saying that we’ve won?”


“We’ve won,” Archy said.


“But now,” King Bill announced, “we need to turn back the army. France is back in the rightful hands of our greatest friends and we must protect them so that together we can liberate the world. Prepare a new sending, Schoolmaster, and cast our message out broadly into London. Send a message of peace, brotherhood, and international cooperation. Tell the people to rejoice, because a new day has broken!”



Comment on this Vignette Here.


Lena Worwood has written Who Will Speak For England , published by SLP, and contributed stories to the anthologies Fight Them on the Beaches and Travellers in an Antique Land [3].



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