~Abraham Wylie~----The Scrap yard, The Slums of Merchurdon----
Deep within the city’s scrap yard was a makeshift home
hidden by heaps of junk that no one used anymore. It stood one and a half stories above the ground, its corners angled in seemingly impossible ways. In fact, the makeshift house looked like it could collapse at any given time. There seemed to be no single medium used for the construction of such a structure. There were visible scraps of wood piled unto more scraps of wood with overlaying cloths and blankets. Old, broken window sills were used for windows, stuck into the strangest places. Covering the windows were shower curtains hanging off of shower rods. The roofs were mostly metal and the base supports were bricks piled up on one another. There was a single wooden door in the structure’s front, slightly lopsided to the left with broken hedges. Leading up to it was a simple wooden stepladder which seemed out of place and was missing one step. Meanwhile sprouting from the roof was a single croaked pipe, from which smoke spouted every now and then. Small boys would see this strange house, and dare each other to sneak into it. There were tales of a ghoul, haunting the insides of the makeshift building. According to the folklore, the man stole the faces of many a person. And the ghoul’s name was The Honest Abe.
A figure opened the lopsided door as morning came. It wore a tall top hat on its head which was as black as his knickers and long vest. Up on top of the roof of the house the figure came out of was a pair of chirping birds resting in a nest. The figure looked up at the birds with a charming smile, such charming birds they were, and wonderful singers too. After stopping to listen for a while, the figure began climbing the makeshift house, his pitch black eyes focused on his targets. A plenty of meters away, a couple of boys watched the figure through binoculars.
“Lookit there. See? Told you it was ‘aunted” said the one boy while handing his partner his binoculars and pointing to the ghoul.
“Bloody ‘ell, y’re roight!” the other boy exclaimed, “Wot d’you suppose ‘e is then?”
“Billy told me ‘e’s wot folks call a ghoul.”
“A ghoul? Wotzat?”
“They say they steal folks’ faces.”
“Why’d they want ter do ‘at for?”
“Who knows, maybe it’s ‘cuz they ‘ave no real face of their own.”
The figure that was climbing the makeshift house had reached the top of its roof, where the birds’ nest laid near the chimney. It struggled to shift its feet as it seemed to be in danger of falling at any moment. The boys watched in awe as the figure neared the two birds who were chirping frantically.
“Blimey, Roger! Wot’s ‘e doin’ ter them poor birds?”
The boy called Roger snatched the binoculars from his partner. Looking through them he said, “Why! ‘E’s stealin’ their eggs!”
Sure enough the figure snatched a half a dozen eggs from the birds’ next, putting them inside his top hat. The birds reacted violently. “Serves ‘im roight”, Roger had muttered at that very moment. The figure fought the birds off with the use of what looked like a cane, swinging away at them wildly. “Come on birds, get ‘im” muttered Roger. “Come on! Let me see!” complained the boy next to him. The two birds were unfortunately defeated in their attempts to save their offspring. “Oh no!” “Wot? Wot’s ‘appenin’?” Roger watched as the figure lowered himself down with the eggs still inside his top hat. Sighing, he turned to his partner. “Let’s go Timmy, before ‘e sees us.” “I don’ get it. Wot ‘appened ter them birds? Wot about the eggs? Wot did ‘e do, Roger?” The two boys both looked back at the house together, only to find that the ghoul had disappeared.----The Scrap yard, “The Garage”----”Ah! Pigeon eggs! An excellent breakfast if I do say so myself”
said Abraham triumphantly as he scanned the contents of his top hat. Six perfect pigeon eggs. Abraham’s mouth watered just thinking about how good these eggs would taste. ”I’d have to thank those two pigeons later.”
The ghoul said as he walked in between outfits that were hanging up in various places as if the inside of “The Garage” was a gigantic closet. Each outfit conveyed a different role, from a toymaker to a hatter. Some were hanged on ship wheels impaled on a hat pole so that the spun around, others were hanging from shower rods. Pieces of parchment with little notes on them indicated what roles each outfit fitted. Some had special markings that marked them off as Abraham’s favorites. Abraham danced through the many outfits, reaching The Garage’s “kitchen” which was filled with a makeshift table surrounded by plenty of crates and boxes. Near the table was a crooked window that was missing its glass from which sunlight poured from unfiltered. On top of the table was a single vase with a single dying flower that sagged over the piece of ceramic. Near the table itself, was a wooden counter where hooks were nailed onto the walls from which hung various pots and pans. The wooden counter showed signs of being eaten away by termites over a number of years with a number of holes drilled into the sides and such. If one were to look inside the cabinet they would see nothing but cobwebs and bugs along with a number of bowls and plates while inside the cabinet’s drawers were various forks, spoons and knifes that varied in size, shape and medium. Many of the silverware and dishes seemed dirty and unwashed. It was pretty unsanitary really. Next to the wooden cabinet was a furnice which was presumably connected to the pipe that served as the house’s chimney. The ghoul grabbed a copper pan and emptied the eggs’ contents unto it. Flinging the furnace’s door open, he casually feed the flames using a ripped fan plunging the pan into the burning flames once he felt the fire was hot enough. As he waited for the eggs to cook, the ghoul whistled a little tune
Minutes later, the ghoul sat at the makeshift table, smelling the freshly cooked eggs with a nose he doesn’t have. They certainly smelled delicious. With the use of a wooden spoon that would normally be used for stirring batter the ghoul began eating his meal while thinking about the day ahead of him. He wondered what he would go out as today. Perhaps he would pose as a toy salesman. There was bound to be children out there with rich parents who couldn’t help but buy expensive things for their spoiled brats. And he just had the perfect batch of toys too. The ghoul let out a low chuckle. Oh yes, today was going to be a fine day.----The Busy Streets of Central Merchurdon----
Riding down the streets of Merchurdon was a man who looked like he was in his mid-thirties. His head was without a hat, which broadcasted a mess of curly red hair. Underneath the bangs the man had kind-looking blue eyes which had a tired look to them as if the man had stayed up beyond late hours. In between those eyes was a nose and under that nose was the making of a mustache which was neatly trimmed at the sides. The man wore a blue pinstripe shirt along with a red colored bowtie. Over his shirt he wore a brown leather apron that was tied in the back. For pants he wore black knickers along with brown leather shoes. The man was riding on top of a metallic two-wheeled bike with its front wheel bigger than the back. Behind him was a cart full of dolls, hoops, board games, bags of toys, and a single toy theatre that shined in all its brilliance. The cart was attached to the bike through the use of a chain, so that whenever the bicycle turned it turned. The man stopped the cart on the side of a busy street and dismounted the bike.”Ladies and Gentlemen, I know that your children
Are rowdy and rude from dawn until dusk.
Sometimes their minds are dreadfully bored
And their intelligence is turning to mush!
Please do not fret, women and children.
I have a solution. I assure you its well.
Toys and games, puzzles and dollies.
Wonderful recreation, how they are swell!
Would you require a small tin soldier?
Would you require tops, or perhaps whirli-gigs?
Maybe a yo-yo? Or a bag full of marbles?
Or would you rather play with knucklebones and sticks?
For the young ladies, I have plenty of dollies,
A game of good graces for propriety.
There’s nothing far better than playing together.
Can you keep a hoop rolling? Just try it and see!”
After singing his little song, the man spotted a little girl walking around the streets barefooted. He dealt with the children that came to his cart in an absent minded manner, the girl was homeless he could tell. After all he had to go through the same sort of turmoil that is survival based on wit when he was her age. Too bad this probably meant the girl had no money. He ignored her for the moment, focusing on the demanding screams of the children. How annoying they were, but they were the key to making money. It only took a matter of time until he could convince their parents to buy his products.”Ma’am! Would you be interested in buying this priceless Porcelian Doll for your little lady? See her golden curls, her beautiful dress? Perfect for a tea party! And she’s in need of a friend. I believe your daughter would do quite nicely.””Sir! Your son seems like a fine young lad. In fact he seems like he would make an excellent general for the army. Why don’t you start his training early and purchase these one-of-kind tin soldiers, hand sculpted and hand painted, they will follow your son’s every older without fail. With them, you can win almost any battle, and they are loyal to the bitter end!”
The man continued to make sales pitches, attempting to capture the interests of the headstrong parents with money jingling in their pockets and handbags. They were difficult to say the least, many were not in the mood to buy their children what they perceived to be junk, and some would grab their children by the hand and pull them away before the merchant could make any progress. However, the merchant was persistent, and he still had not pitched his most prized product yet. He just needed someone rich enough…