NOTE: For this story, "Henry Jekyll" has been renamed "Jekyll Lionel". Also, when Jekyll becomes Hyde, there is no physical transformation and it is merely psychological phenomenon.
He was tall, with sad blue eyes and white hair. His gaze was fixed on the image of the city below. The old man stood on the hill, looking over the wide expanse of buildings and streets. He had a youthful way about him, as if he were in actuality quite young. But he was clearly ageing despite all the perk in his step and the gleeful smile on his face. His eyes were bright and wondrous with curiosity unlike anyone of his years, and he really did seem to be quite infantile. Like a brand new person, someone unaware of the great majesty of life. He wore all black, a rather ordinary suit from a tailor just barely suitable to his high class. On his hands were black leather gloves, and he held a jewelled walking stick as if it were nothing more than a toy. It was obvious that he was unworthy of such an item, fiddling with it like a child.
The sky was a warm orange colour, the sun setting in the distance. The clouds were almost red underneath, and the city was bathed in the glow as if surrounded by a pleasant aura. It was all like a giant playground to the man that stood before it, smiling sadly at the fading glory of the day. People to him were much like the stick in his hand. Something to fidget with, to toy with even. His excuse? A mind as fresh as pure white snow, as small and tender and fragile as a toddler's. In him, it created a great evil, for he had the hands of an old man with the mind of a little one. And with this combination, he was an anomaly in the world, a man of truly gentle disposition, but one of so little self-control that he could be hardly called what was properly known as a "good" person.
His name was Edward Hyde.
Closing his eyes and tilting his head downwards, he took in a deep breath and sighed. Then he reopened his eyes and repositioned them on the shining city. This was London. This was the home of Doctor Jekyll. This was the home of Mr. Hyde. He scoffed, as if congratulating himself on the selfishness of his own ego, and then proceeded to walk down the hill, approaching the fading world with the disposition of a man well on his way to owning it.
Something Jekyll had been teaching him was to have dignity in the face of all things. What that meant, Edward had little idea. Jekyll had the indulgence of a father and Hyde possessed the indifference of a son. They had a strange relationship, neither of them willing to fully submit to the other. But Hyde was being forced to learn the doctor's ways, and Jekyll, on the other hand, was realizing that raising a boy was harder than he had ever imagined. Especially when that boy was yourself.
Molecules, music, poetry, Japanese food, and a blasphemous omamori in his pocket, Jekyll was intent on schooling Edward in everything. The doctor wanted Edward to be like him only to the point that it would please them both. Edward simply wanted things, desired things. People were like objects to the youth, and playtime was all the time. While Edward basked in the pleasures of his own psyche, Jekyll trembled on the edge of discovery and madness. A ward doctor, Jekyll was used to working with people who had severe psychological difficulties, even people with alternate personalities. The highly singular man, autistic in every way, Jekyll had done the impossible for someone such as he. He had developed another self. He had split his very nature. Edward Hyde was the result. He was the success.
Jekyll's very soul was quivering with excitement, hidden underneath the guise of a young, light-footed boy who had never before had experiences. An untainted creature of childhood, a creation of psychological experimentation, Edward walked through the streets as if his very heart were bared. He hid nothing of his disturbed, dark nature. He jumped at every shadow with curiosity. His pulse leapt at the introduction of each new thing. Edward lived a life of personal rapture. To Edward, everything was about Edward. Perhaps that was the seed of his downfall: A father living in his mind that would not discipline him early enough, severely enough. After all, what new child was not pure evil? The man who spared his son the rod fathered a very spoiled boy indeed.
And so Edward Hyde would walk through the city of London, sparing himself no joy, wanting nothing. If he had a sudden impulse, he would take to it. If he had a burning question, he would walk up to anyone and ask it. He was the strangest, most violent creature that people of that time had ever chanced to witness. Certainly, in other eras, there were men more ridiculous than he, but even still, his aggressiveness was a legendary trait of his personality. He was bold. It was a rare quality to be so bold. Normally, a man would have to be outright mad to be so bold. But Edward had youth on his side, and that youth had a mind full of the secrets of old men, knowledge that Edward could hack into and steal for himself. What silly little boy would not seize the first opportunity to ruin himself with the wisdom of his elders? As simple as taking an apple from a tree, Edward was quickly devouring the stores of Jekyll's memory.
"This is a molecule." Jekyll had said, while holding up a wooden model and smiling.
The image was burned into Edward's memory. He clearly remembered the object as a thing of personal distaste. The doctor was forcing himself quite powerfully on the young man. Jekyll's ideas were quickly becoming a source of defiance for Edward. But despite it all, there was something magical about the old man and his silly obsessions. Edward found so much of his frequent studies boring and tedious, yet, like with this molecular structure, there was still something quite fascinating about it all.
Jekyll had taught him how to craft the models. The doctor had a collection of wooden spheres and rods in his laboratory, along with paints and a hand drill. Edward would paint the little balls, never bothering with the rods, and would drill little holes in them. Then he would fit the rods into the balls and interconnect them into the shapes of familiar molecules, structures that he had been taught by Jekyll. Edward would use glue to fasten the rods together, and then proudly display his models all over the laboratory. The subject as a science greatly disinterested him, but there was something intriguing about the wooden models. They looked fun. And Edward liked toys. Crafting his own was a game to him.
Jekyll was quickly learning about Edward's playfulness, and was already finding ways to take advantage of it in the boy's best interests. Or at least, what the doctor thought was in his best interests. Jekyll was spoiling the child, and right from the beginning, it was becoming apparent that Jekyll was a horrible father figure to Edward. When he had been so good with his niece and nephews, he was overly indulgent of Edward's whims, and would prematurely satisfy the young man before he could learn the necessities of patience. If Edward desired something, even if it were a person, you could be certain that the doctor was already encouraging Edward to find some way to obtain it. What Edward wanted in people were questions, interactions, play time. Jekyll would outright tell Edward to just go up to people, even if they were in the streets, just go up to them and ask them anything. He would tell him to just interact with anyone, just talk to anyone. He would tell him to find ways to toy with other adults, and would explain to him how to do it legally so as to avoid any real trouble. Jekyll was always finding some excuse to make excuses, to make excuses for the manner in which he was raising Hyde. Doctor Jekyll Lionel had become a parent in such a way that would have shocked his family. Even Lanyon, who had always thought that Jekyll was a bad influence on his nephews, would have found his style of fathering to be wildly out of control.
And then there was another model, and another, quickly appearing all over the old surgical theatre. Another toy and another. Indulgence in pleasure all over the place, and yet no real learning. Jekyll did not understand that Edward was a man of feeling, not a child that would simply grow out of it. Edward required a strong hand and a stiff curriculum. He required order and religion, dominance and overpowering. All things that the silly, playful part of Jekyll's parental instincts were ignoring. Edward was growing into a self-satisfying and emotionally unstable young man. All he could think of were his own desires, his own individuality. The group, the greater community meant nothing. Even family bonds were seen as things to be manipulated and controlled. Edward's relationship with Jekyll was one of constant struggle, with Edward always striving to dominate the old doctor. On the other hand, Jekyll was finding himself to be giving in time and time again, without even any real battle or contest. Jekyll did not like to displease Edward. He was the one child that the doctor had totally submitted himself to. And Edward wasted no time in laying down his fiercely guarded territory.
Edward's favourite molecular model was theobromine, which was a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant and found in chocolate. Edward loved chocolate. While Jekyll was severely allergic to the food, for some strange, miraculous reason, if the doctor ate it while in his alternate personality, he did not have very much negative reaction to it. Granted, chocolate still made him slightly ill, but not nearly as badly, thus making it possible for Edward to consume it on a regular basis. And this model of theobromine was the most proudly displayed of all, finding itself on a high shelf above everything else in the laboratory. It was shown off as if it were some trophy. Edward delighted in it. Jekyll delighted in his delight. Poole found himself continuously staring at it in perturbed wonderment. He knew that Jekyll despised chocolate, so what was a wooden model of theobromine doing in his laboratory? Jekyll had no affinity for that particular molecule. In fact, why was the entire laboratory covered in children's play things? Surely, Jekyll had left his boyhood behind him. What was it doing resurfacing after all of these years without a single word to him or anyone else? Poole had been suspicious of Jekyll's odd behaviour ever since Edward had been first created by the drinking of a special phial.
Poole was Jekyll's most faithful servant, and his personal friend since boyhood. Poole was the much younger brother of his father's butler, Jeeves, and Poole was considerably older than Jekyll. When Jekyll had moved from his father's house to his own place, Poole had been hired on as his personal butler. The two had been always inseparable, Poole having raised Jekyll while Jeeves did his duties in Nigel's household. Nigel was the name of Jekyll's father. His brothers, in order of oldest to youngest, were Jaule, Mozart, and Gene. Jekyll was the eldest of his brothers. Except for some awkward moments between Jeeves and Jekyll, all of the men got on well with each other.
Edward Hyde was someone that none of these men had properly met. On the rare occasion, Poole might catch Edward in the laboratory or sneaking about Jekyll's great house, but, more often than not, Edward was able to be kept hidden. Mostly, only the cook ever noticed little Edward, as he was constantly raiding the kitchen for sweets, and always on the look out for gifts of chocolate from Jekyll. Poole had noticed that his master took on strange speech and walking patterns as Edward Hyde, but it was not enough evidence to convince the butler that Jekyll had developed an alternate personality, another self. The differences between Jekyll and Edward were startling. They were like two totally different people. But Poole, who spent the most time around Jekyll, had not caught enough glimpses of Hyde to be sure of the strangeness that he was witnessing. And when he did catch Hyde, it was never for very long. Jekyll would rapidly change back or Edward would simply run away. Jekyll was a lot younger than Poole and, at their old age, it was already becoming difficult for them to get around. However, when Jekyll was in the mentality of Edward, Edward had a special way of moving, like a child, that made it easier for him to bounce around in Jekyll's ageing body. Edward had to be careful, but somehow he managed it. Poole had noticed this and had chalked it up to some kind of pain reliever that the doctor had either conjured himself or was purchasing in secret from an unknown supplier. Why this was a secret either way, Poole had no idea and had been mildly offended.
Jekyll never kept secrets from him, so why was he beginning to now? All of these strange new behaviours, the appearance of odd objects around the household, and the use of unspoken of medications was a disturbing mystery to the old butler. In all of the many, many years that he had known Jekyll, Poole had never seen him act more bizarre or be more secretive. It was all a worrying concern to the poor man, and he had been reporting all of this to Jekyll's family. To make matters worse, Jekyll had recently gone into seclusion. He was keeping away from his own family, from his own dear friends. What had got into the old man's head, no one could say for certain. There were rumours amongst Jekyll's familiars, but none of them had been confirmed. The person who was taking Jekyll's seclusion the hardest was his littlest brother, Gene.
Poole was currently at work cleaning the laboratory. He was tired of picking up Jekyll's apparatus everywhere. He kept finding it strewn all over the place, emptied out on tables and even spread over the floor. Like a child. Like a little child. Little did he know that Edward had been hard at work again destroying his master's cherished escape. Hyde loved mayhem and he was very curious. He was always going through the laboratory, digging out old equipment and analysing everything with the interest of someone who had been not long in this world. It all looked like toys to him, and Jekyll was constantly disturbed at just how destructive Edward really was. Too often, Jekyll was having to replace expensive objects that were becoming damaged or broken due to Edward's reckless carelessness. Poole had noted this disturbing lack of attention, and had blamed it on the old doctor's encroaching madness. As had been the case for months now, Poole had failed to recognize the appearance of a little deviant living in the house.
Suddenly, there was a crashing sound from behind him. Poole jumped up and turned around. It was coming from the cabinet. The red baize door was open. Poole quickly got to his feet and walked towards the room at a brisk pace. He entered and was shocked to find the hunched form of what appeared to be his master on the ground. The white haired man turned around, a hurt look on his face. It was as if he had been caught doing something naughty, like a son who had broken one of his father's prized things. Poole thought that the expression looked odd on the old man's face. Glass lay scattered all over the floor, and yet again there seemed to be no reason for the doctor's clumsiness.
"Have you taken some sort of medication?" Asked Poole, flatly.
Jekyll's face was surprisingly bewildered. It was as if he had never seen Poole before in his life. The man hesitated to answer. But what Poole did not understand was that Jekyll was currently Edward.
"Who are you?" He asked, innocently.
Poole raised a brow. "Your servant, of course." He said, angrily. Yet another mess for him to clean up! Another mess! "If you keep this up, Jekyll, I am going to start forcing you to clean up your own accidents." His tone was one of distaste.
Edward frowned, growing angry himself, but for a different reason. Poole had just referred to him as if he were the doctor. He was about to say something, but, before he could, Jekyll called out to Edward as if he were standing behind Poole. The old man called him away from his anger, ordering him to leave the cabinet. Edward looked over Poole's shoulder as if he could see him standing there, but Poole did not notice the oddity in his stare. The young man hesitated, glanced at Poole once more, and then scurried out of the room.
"Hey!" Cried Poole, reminded of a boy. "Where are you going, Jekyll?! Stop acting so strangely and come back here at once!"
But Edward left the laboratory immediately, not waiting around to be scolded by the angry butler. Jekyll was deathly afraid that Poole would learn of the noisy Edward, of the very much banned and unwanted Edward. Hyde, on the other hand, had no idea of just how dangerous it was for others to know of him. And, unlike Jekyll, Edward Hyde had little understanding of his own existence. Edward did not yet know that he was an alternate personality of Jekyll. He did not comprehend the philosophy of it, the psychology of it. It was all much too advanced for the little Edward. But Jekyll was a clever old man with memories, memories of creating Edward Hyde from a phial of chemicals. The doctor was determined to keep his new boy safe. Only months had passed since the dawn of Mr. Hyde, and Doctor Jekyll was not about to see him go. His father and brothers would vanquish him, for certain. And Poole would help, along with John Utterson and Richard Enfield, who were both cousins to his father. Even in those days, it was well known that an abusive father could lose custody of his son, and Jekyll was frozen with rage as he laid in wait for the inevitable confrontation. To him, Edward was like his own son... or perhaps more like a little brother. He had not decided on this yet. And the extinguishment of his split personality was like the robbing of a child to him.
Poole watched after the retreating form of his master with indignation. Again, he would clean up one of Edward's messes, and, again, he would drudge on in ignorance of the true depths of Jekyll's madness.