Aster Holloway

Edwina had snuck out again. Dressed as a man, with fake hair glued to her face she traversed the streets with nothing but a dagger. She said she trusted the street scum, that they would never betray her. I always just nodded when she said that. I didn't know if she was right or not, I just knew that, though I wasn't rich like Eddy, those people would view me as a rich girl, and rob me blind, and possibly kill me too, or worse, if I ever ventured out after sundown.

So I stayed in the big empty house while Eddy went out, and that suited me just fine.
About three years ago, maybe four, it all blends together, my father and brother vanished. It had happened just after the death of Jace, Eddy's father. I had aligned myself with Eddy then to find out where they went. From my father's journal I had gathered that he had been looking for something, but I didn't know where, and I didn't know what. Elgin, my father, and Mikas, my brother had always been close, much closers to each other than to me. I had always been the baby, the one kept out of things. I am also a woman, and thus the realm of science was forbidden to me. My father obviously didn't have a problem with his best friend's daughter tagging along though, and that had always bothered me to an extent.

Despite his ignorance, and the idea that science wasn't a path allowed to me, my father had still taught me my letters and the figures needed to understand science. I was well versed in mathematics and I knew the chemistry involved in things like boiling water to make steam, and the chemical makeup of the human body. I knew how to do science, so despite his wishes, I signed on to be Eddy's assistant right after his disappearance.

My motives, however, for joining Eddy were not purely scientific. My father had worked quite closely with hers, and they had been working on something big, something monumental, and Eddy knew what it was. My fathers journals never mentioned any details about the Experiment, usually saying something like "Ref. J.J. 125" meaning, Reference Jace Journal pg125, as far as I could guess. I wanted to know what was in those journals, I wanted to read those references, but Eddy had kept those journals on her person at all times, and I never saw a word.

As the dates in Elgin's journal got closer to the date of his disappearance with Mikas, the entries grew more frantic and ominous, I always got frightened as I read them,

The entries cut off, right at the date, as if my father had been writing in his journal and was pulled from it to go wherever he went. But, the journal hadn't been taken, so it hadn't been the police or anyone who had wanted the research who caused the disappearance.

Sometimes I wonder if it was the ghost of Jace himself who called my father away. I know scientifically, that that is impossible. Ghosts do not exist. But either way I intend to find out about my father. And the best way to do that is through Eddy.

Tonight, Eddy held one of those awful banquets, I had to dress as a maid, befitting my station, and serve hors d'œuvres to the guests on flimsy silver platters as they gossiped about Eddy, and me. Eddy had been jittery all night. Often gazing out the window instead of paying attention to her guests, her mind was miles away, or maybe just stories below, in her lab,with her experiment. She had been working on him for months, years really, but only month outside of theory,she was creating a man, as far as I could tell, one that, as he came closer to completion, looked like Jace. Was she creating a new father? Seemed a bit pathetic, and a bit presumptuous of her father to leave instructions on creating a new 'him' after he was gone, was he looking for eternal life? Is that why he was killed? If that where my own father went? To look for the key to eternal life?

Scientists, they know nothing, do they. Eddy, still holding onto her father, recreating him in her lab, my father in search of eternal life, and Jace too, they would get themselves all killed, or at least arrested. And losing your life to a blade, or the government is not the key to living forever. There may be a ghost around here, with all of the unsatisfied desires calling him up.

I shook my head to rid myself of the idea that ghosts were floating around, and came out of my thoughts to realize that the party was over, and the Aristocrats were being herded towards the door by the other maids and butler, I put down my tray and took off my apron and cap, wadding them up and dropping them on a chair. Eddy was already gone, I guessed she was in her room, changing into her street clothes. I hurried upstairs to see for myself, and almost ran into her on the way up, she looked like a young man, with somewhat girlish features, she preferred the term delicate, and a loose top that hid any of her curves, which it knew she probably had a maid bind down, or pad up, to make her look more boyish, the false hair on her chin was an extra touch I had alway preferred she go without, but it wasn't my place to say so.

"Where are you going?" I asked, speaking familiarly to her.
"Out to the city, my father... I think I know what I need." She said, somewhat cryptically. I felt some of the familiar frustration start to build up in my chest at being left out. But I smashed it down. I would find out soon enough.

She left the house quickly, not even pausing at the door to make sure no one saw her. I looked for her, the street was deserted. She hurried off to wherever she was going, and I hurried downstairs to the lab.

It was always eerie in the lab without her, the dead, I couldn't think of him as anything else, man on the table looked lifelike enough to jump up and grab me. These undead thoughts have truly got to stop.

I started looking at the papers on Eddy's desk, but they held nothing I didn't already know. I found a few notes on the new steam heart that we gave to the man, I looked sidelong at him, still suspicious that he would move without my knowledge. There were shelves of books and more notes, I began to look through those, when all too soon, I heard footsteps on the stairs coming down. Eddy was home already, it could be no one else. I ran to the operating table, tying to look as if I had just come down to set things up for the experimenting that we would do tonight. I looked up at Eddy as she entered, she was carrying a large bag, it looked heavy. She set it carefully on the table next to the man, and pulled out a small icebox, opening the box she pulled out a frozen, human brain. I gasped, and put a hand over my mouth, trying to keep the contents of my stomach where they belonged. This was highly illegal, and... I shuddered. We were in so much trouble if the authorities found out. The skin and hair was one thing, this, another.

I handed Eddy the tools she needed as she opened up the man's head and installed the now thawing brain. I don't think she even noticed I was there, as focused as she was. With the brain installed, Eddy turned on the heart.

The man's eyes opened, they were green, I remembered them being installed, dead eyes. But they seemed to sparkle with life now. They looked at Eddy warmly. I felt a pang of something, it could have been jealousy, as she whispered.

"Hello brother."

The End

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