Glimpse Of An Imaginary Past Anique

Glimpse of an Imaginary Past
South Triada Avenue

Carriages congest the heavily populated road, their carved wheels, frantic steeds, and accented drivers forging a chaotic rhythm to greet immigrants and visitors alike. Soldiers, migrants, and commoners share the packed road with the many vehicles, often weaving with imperious caution between careening carriages and expeditious envoys. Many find purchase amidst the brimful footpaths or loiter about the small throngs of merchants that form daily just south of Irae's legendary plaza. Sculpted verdant topiaries and matching iron lamp-posts boasting delicate twisting details, upon which amber glass-paned lamps hang, flank the marquee of the Theatre de Santorus to the east.

The puddles of water upon the cobblestones, lanced earlier by a bout of brief downpour, reflects the gaily lighted facade of the Theatre, the sparkle and glow of it resplendent. It is a night of performances, as indicated by the big billboard stationed outside and the mill of shadows within the ornate glass paneled doors. Patrons who came to watch the play tonight — local nobles a handful and most of whom are foreign from outside the City.

Carriages and coaches park themselves outside the Theatre, waiting for that minute when the play ends, and their masters and mistresses spill out of the doors to return home. The drivers talk amongst themselves, loudly, exchanging dribbles and drabs of idle gossip.

Amidst the traffic nestled outside the Theatre, a few stragglers make their way along the cobbled streets. Several try to make their way through the maze of carriages on their way home, others closing up or entering the shops surrounding the court.

One in particular tugs the hood of her cloak more securely around her throat, the hood covering her head aside from a stray lock of auburn hair dangling from the front.. That and the peek of her shoes with each step on the wet street are the only visible things about her. In her hand a missive is clutched and as she rounds one of the coaches, a gust of wind snatches it from her lax fingers.

The letter lost dances on the wet salty wind and it lands upon the roof of a black and green coach drawn by a slim coach driver with a rather shocking mop of red hair. The missive is lifted from the rain-splattered roof by him and unfortunately, the water had seeped into parts of the missive. The coachdriver makes a 'tch' sound in his throat and looks around for the owner, his own scraggly eyebrows arching up and down.

Behind him, one of the doors of the Theatre opened, following by the few on the side, allowing patrons to come out from within. A wave of gay chattering and wishes and farewells burst through the air loudly.

Gasping in surprise, the woman’s hands reach up to follow the parchment as it’s carried away but her fingers fail to find it. Quickly rounding about to follow after, the hood covering her features falls away as she quickly scans around and finds a man already going after it.
"Oh no," She utters in dismay as she witnesses the water stained note that was her only clue. The only reason she'd ever stepped foot back into this city. Glancing at the man with a dismal expression, she offers him a brief smile of thanks as she offers her hand to retrieve it. "Thank you for that, I don't think most would have bothered."

The coachdriver shrugs barely at the young woman and his attention whips back towards the people in their masses coming forth from the Theatre to find his mistress, not even caring if the missive was water-stained and unreadable now. The lady whom he works for soon appears, fanning herself lightly as she strolls towards the cab in which the door is flung open for her as her driver greets with the courtesy of a slavering puppy and inquires if she liked the performance; and within hearing distance of the auburn haired girl, the lady mutters, though her muttering seems pleasant enough "I would had liked it if there was more romance, Bailey. He always seems to kill off the main actor!"

A smallish pout dwells on the lady's lips as she climbs into the coach slowly, her sterling grey eyes catching sight of the cloaked young woman nearby. "These beggars, always out here asking for money! I hope you didn't give her anything, Bailey! I would have whipped you!" She cries, shaking her head, the poufs of hair bouncing. The coach driver assures her hurriedly that he did not before driving off, his horses splashing their hooves violently into a deep puddle near to the young woman.

Whatever remained of the missive that was obviously so important to the woman was fatally ruined as it and the woman holding it are dashed with water in the pairs retreat. Crumbling into a soggy mess between her fingers, Anique shakes her soaked hands and the item is discarded onto the street.

Muttering under her breath about ungrateful snobbish people, she wanders closer to the Theatre entrance before she’s trampled next while standing in the road. Shaking out the folds of her cloak, droplets shimmer off the reflection from the street and with a great sigh, near defeat, she contemplates where to search next. The church perhaps..

The sound of crunching gravel ushers an Irae carriage to a slow stop before the theatre doors.

As the last of the coaches draw away now, leaving the space before the Theatre empty, a lone figure emerges from the doors, a broom in one hand and he sweeps away ticket stubs and fallen petals of flowers, humming a ditty to himself. The lights on the second floor brighten now that the balcony doors are thrown open to freshen up the insides of the building, and with it, another person, also alone though not carrying a broom appears there, the bright lights behind him marking a halo about his golden-haired frame and it being reflected down upon the large watery puddle at the cloaked young woman's feet.

It had been quite awhile since Anique had visited Irae and she’d already grown unaccustomed to the amount of life that still thrived after hours. Now that the streets were nearly bare again, she was better able to compose herself. Removing her dampened cloak and twisting it around to fold over an arm, light is suddenly offered to more fully reflect where she stands. And while the folds settle into stillness at her side, she notices a shadow falling across her feet..

Glancing upward over her shoulder, her vision goes out of focus briefly as her view adjusts. Momentarily it was as if she’d stepped back in time as the outline of the man came into focus. Even without being certain of the person, her heart always plummeted with that knot of suppressed fear. Jerking herself quickly back to reality, Anique glances away as if her not looking would make sure he didn’t notice as her steps echo in her attempt to calmly remove herself from the light shining down upon her frame.

The janitor sweeping the outside of the theatre notices the cloaked girl instead and he stops in his sweeping. "You looking for someone?" He asks, the question softly composed, even the way he speaks is far from the crude brawl of what one would expect to be a low class servant. "The Theatre is closed for the night." The young man adds as well, with infinite patience as if this happened nightly and there was always someone waiting to see the denizens of the building within. He seems to notice her jitters and the janitor comes down the steps, broom still languid in one hand and peers at the cloaked girl. "I can carry in a message for you if you want." He informs, yet again patiently.

It would be rude now not to answer as the man is clearly addressing her. She pauses, turns, and glances upward at the balcony for a moment before answering him. As if seriously pondering the idea of leaving a message, curiosity overtakes her features even while shaking her head at the same time.. “No no, that’s quite- is that Lord von Karlach I just saw in there?”

As soon as the question is out, she immediately shakes her head. “Nevermind that. I’m actually looking for Nikolas D’Estelle. I was told he was briefly staying in Irae.” She appreciated his patience, whether it was put there falsely or not. Hopefully the man would let the first question slide without much notice.

The janitor tosses the broom fluidly from one hand to another as he eyes the cloaked young woman. "There was no one in there, but if you saw someone on the second floor, perhaps it is Lord von Karlach."

The man says matter-of-factly and then holds the broom rigid, lifting a brow almost bare of hair at the young woman. "Nikolas D'Estelle, no, I have not heard of the name. You may want to ask at the Inn, it's easier."

As the janitor stops speaking, the street before the Theatre suddenly becomes shadowy for the second floor has closed its doors to the balcon, and the sole occupant earlier of the space retired into the premises. "I can still take a message in for you if you need." The janitor reiterates his offer as he pulls up a step, readying to return inside.

The woman nods quietly as if expecting to hear such an answer. “I tried there first but, well…thank you” With a wave of her hand, she stops as if certain he wouldn’t care to hear. She turns partially, allowing him to take his leave as he was clearly waiting to do. Glancing up again at the now closed doors, she appears to be lost in thought and uncertain as to what to do. A minor distraction from what she was here for, nothing more.

“I don’t plan to be in Irae long, if you wouldn’t mind telling him that Miss D’Estelle wishes him well I would be appreciative.” With a smile, she squares her shoulders as if put at ease once more and begins down the cobblestone street in the direction of the church.

The janitor furrows his sparse eyebrows in quick thought and nods sharply. "Miss D'Estelle?" He drags in his lower lip lightly and continues, "If he wants to find you, where shall you be then?" The young man shifts his glance to one of the dank corners along the street, thinking perhaps she owned one of the hovels there. "The Inn? Or?"

The janitor's voice appears disinterested though, as though taking messages seemed to be part of his duty anyway as much as it was to sweep the Theatre grounds.

With a slight rise of her shoulders, she gives a noncommittal shrug. The aqua shade of her eyes appear almost gray with the muted light flickering off the street, the light playing with the paleness of her skin and she appeared very out of place there alone on the street.

“I’ll be at the Church visiting with some people or at the Inn though I highly doubt he will wish such a thing.” As quickly and mysteriously as he’d come and gone as her former employer, she wasn’t sure what to expect from him to be honest.

"The Church?" A faint concerned note wafts into the janitor's voice as he looks her over. He pulls himself again back up the steps until the closed doors of the building. "I'll let him know."

The janitor appears to be retreating back into the building and then stops again, eyeing her once more. "And your name is? Miss D'Estelle?" He nods to himself gently as if reminding himself to remember and vanishes, closing the doors of the building behind him.

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