A story could be heard throughout the Naught


“No, I’m sorry sir. That simply won’t do!” Rutherford always made a fuss when getting fitted for a suit, “The cummerbund is too tight and doesn’t match my ascot! It isn’t passable in the slightest! The banquet is tomorrow, and I can assure you that Lady Astonia shan’t pardon me, therefore I shan’t pardon you! Now go into the back and find the perfect fit and match, and if you cannot find it, do not bother returning without a tailor to replace you!” With that, Connor clumsily removed the rather drape-like cummerbund from Rutherford’s vast waistline, and nearly choked him as he ran through the double doors to the back room, the ascot haphazardly and somewhat incompletely untied. Rutherford’s ruddy cheeks matched the cummerbund, but the ascot was a touch darker, more nearly the shade of his double-chin, and looked as if it had grown from one of his skin folds.

A large black cat with one gold eye and one emerald eye walked along the shelves of fabric, strings, needles, and other tailor tools behind Connor’s desk, coming to rest nearly eye-level with Rutherford, pawing a ball of string. It looked up and stared at him as he grimaced in return, his face finally returning to a paler hue of red. They stared at one another for a few more moments until he finally turned to look out the window at the carriages being towed by well-groomed Clydesdales. He had hoped to be in his best state when he finally met Lady Astonia, and imagined what a fit she’d throw if he wasn’t dressed up proper.

Just then, he heard a fuss behind him, and when he turned around…

 


 

“My my my, this is a coincidence, isn’t it?” A thin, gaunt figure said lazily, laying on his side on Connor’s desk, his head propped by his arm. The shocked Rutherford gasped and fell off the platform he stood upon. His mouth opened in horror. “Y-y-y-” “You have gotten rather plump since the last time we have spoken…” Said the mysterious man, picking up a long needled and inspecting it with two pinched fingers. “Fattening up for the long winter? Or perhaps to impress Her Ladyship? What a waste…”

He began to run a long, red thread through the pinhole, and tied it at both ends. “I’ve always wondered if I could make someone suffocate by sewing up the breathing parts…” “Alastair!” Rutherford yelled out in desperation. “It was Alastair! I swear! I never mea-” “Oh, that’s what they all say…” The gaunt man flew to his feet playfully. “Passing off blame, Mr. Rutherford… Tsk… Tsk…” He said pricking his finger with the long needle while slowly approaching the short, plump man, still frozen in terror. “A deal is a deal, after all. You are a man of your word, are you not?” A large, maniacal grin crept onto his ghastly face, his bright yellow and green eyes centered onto his prey. “Please, I beg you! Hast-” “Ah, ah…” The man said, pushing the needled to Rutherford’s lips to quiet him. “Come now… You wouldn’t want to lose your soul by speaking my name as well as your privilege to breathe, would you…?”


Story begun by: December Rose

Contributors: Sayer Teller

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