Note: double drabble, written for Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith. Obviously not mine. Also: spoilers! I think. Reviews are very appreciated.

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Purged

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They've tried to start anew, they did, white paper demanding the story to be told at last. They mark each other, bruise the paper (ink-stained skin); might as well be glue on their hands when they grab each other's hair. It tangles.

Sue learns to read, after all, traces Maud's writing with fingers that are so much better suited to pick locks; and she's picking locks, untangling threads, truths; she finds herself in the words. Things she'd said, she'd done, oh what had she ever done?

Who's more wicked? Sue believed Maud innocent once, and fit to be a pawn, a lady lunatic; thus it's her. Fingersmith. Maud says, no, not that, not after Sue's been through - Maud's eloquent, she makes it sound like hell.

Sue never tells her that her purgatory has walls of water, not of words. If she does, it'll end up a story in Maud's head, under her hands (Nurse Bacon is one, published for the gentlemen's gaze; that story is a favourite of many).

They try to start anew, white paper demanding a story; but the pages are smudged, badly erased, and the new ink blurs with the old stains. Can't tell them apart.