Author's Note: Most of the fiction you are about to read is based on the newly released Sweeney Todd movie featuring none other than Johnny Depp (yum) as the lead role. Other bits and pieces have been picked up from and the Sweeney Todd novel edited by Robert L. Mack. Due credit will be given to the best of my ability. I'm going to attempt writing in an accent. Please be kind, but I don't mind criticism at all. I'm also attempting to insert some original songs and continue with the musical-esque theme. Once again, please be gentle, but criticism is welcome. As for any other characters they are property of my own scheming, mischievous mind.
The fire within the bake-oven was still blazing. The iron racks were not in precise rows but scattered and bent into distorted angles.
Bastard, Mrs. Lovett thought, Look'it all this mess! Mr. Let's keep livin' it, just keep livin' it --- will be fixin' it.
The pies were in disarray. The crust was burnt black. The exposed meat was bubbling, hissing and producing a considerably more noxious stench.
Mrs. Lovett sniffed and scrunched her face, Must 'ave been the stable boy Mr. Todd polished off (1) this mornin'. Smelt like a horse's back side he did --- and still does. Mrs. Lovett decided to stand up. She had enough sitting in the cramped space, smelling what's-his-name, and seeing her ruined pies from inside the oven.
Seeing her ruined pies. From inside the oven.
Mrs. Lovett gave an alarming shriek. Her small voice quivered with paranoia, "I'm intended for a pie!" Her head pivoted frantically to each side, body convulsing. She banged her open palms on the oven door. In a hysterical frenzy, Mrs. Lovett began belting out:
"Oh Toby, darling son,
Where are you love?
Come an' see, look what's been done
Where are you love?
Help, help, sweet boy,
Where are you love?
Such a nasty ploy,
To make me what I make.
Open the door, precious pet,
Where are you love?
I wonder yet
Where are you hidin' love?"
Her arms ached and throbbed with the incessant pounding; her defeated hands slid down the door. The brief pause let her contemplate further. Mrs. Lovett furrowed her brows in confusion. Shouldn't I be dead?
She knew what coming close to death felt like. Her memories faded to a few days previous. Mr. Todd held his silver blade snuggly against her pale throat. Her chest heaved awkwardly in that torturous corset while her hands gripped poor Albert's chair. She was braced for the pain. The clean slit and crimson were dangerously close. And then, he was faraway and dreaming of Johanna. And the blade was drooping to her chest. And he was drifting toward the window, staring absently at the gray London sky.
The pain was missing too. She remembered the evening rush. And in her careless haste she grabbed the iron rack instead of a pie. Her fingertips burned an acutely intense pain. So why was that sensation, a sensation that should have engulfed her body, absent?
She glided her fingertips over the leaping flames and felt … nothing. She twirled once, twice, three times. Her dress was beckoning, taunting to catch fire. Only the miserable pies were burning.
Another thought burst through her unconscious. Mrs. Lovett wondered aloud, "How did I bloody well get in the bake-oven?"
She pictured dancing. Mr. T was thoroughly drenched in Turpin's blood but all Mrs. Lovett noticed was his smile. Such a wide, sinister smile. She had mistakenly thought it was genuine happiness. She would be Mrs. Sweeney Todd, down by the beautiful sea. No beadles would poke around for them and the calm seashore would do Mr. T wonders. And he remembered her words! Life is for the alive, my dear. Ah! So he had been listening then. Oh how she just wanted to keep livin' it, really livin' it …
Mrs. Lovett stopped humming those pseudo-heartfelt words Mr. Todd supplied. Her breath caught suddenly as the shock became overwhelming. He threw her into the fire.
There was a loud click, squealing iron, and the door finally swung open. Mrs. Lovett sighed, quite relieved that she did not remember the callous look on his face nor the fire licking, reflected back in those black eyes.
But the memories flooded back despite her supposed relief.
Sweeney Todd kept a strong grip on the oven door. He stared, eyebrows knit together and nostrils flared. His eyes traced her body countless times. No burns, no bones, no ash.
"You're not burnin'." He languidly stated.
"No, I'm not." She replied flatly.
And oddly enough, she was speaking. Even before that she was harping for dear little Toby. And her desperate cries disrupted his lulling dreams. He dreamt of Lucy, her long hair like wheat tickling his cheek. Such beautiful thoughts interrupted by that squealing voice. He would put an end to it, quickly.
Sweeney jumped up and strode toward the bake-oven. But his pace slowed. Mrs. Lovett would die soon enough. The flames would cleave off her flesh and grind her bones to ash. It was all so deliciously ironic. He laughed wickedly. But his laughter faded as he still heard her voice and movements. He hastily unlocked and swung the door open. And what a disappointment to find her standing, unharmed, amongst that inferno.
"You're not screamin'." He continued.
"I would be if it hurt any." Mrs. Lovett confessed and gracefully stepped out.
"But, why aren't you dead!?" Sweeney shouted, angrily now and just nearly slammed the door on her heavy train.
Mrs. Lovett puckered her lips, feeling a similar anger brewing. "Well, I was thinkin' the same thing in 'ere. You should be dead too Mr. T, by looks a your throat."
Sweeney Todd scrambled through the bake house. He was searching for anything reflective. He spotted his razor in a pool of bright red blood and took hold of the handle. Quickly and with much dexterity, he flicked off the excess and wiped a few stray smears on his pant leg. He lifted the blade to his throat. His eyebrows rose briefly at the irony. A nice clean slit dripped fresh blood onto his shirt. But then the blood stopped flowing. The wound was healing, instantly. All that remained now was a faint scar.
"Did that to yourself I suppose." Mrs. Lovett bit caustically.
His surprise from the expedient healing melted away. "It was Toby."
Mrs. Lovett gasped, "Mr. Todd! How could you think such a thing of poor, sweet Toby? He's just a simple child. That boy did you no harm. You're a poor liar, you are."
Sweeney Todd began his cacophony with a predatory tone:
"A liar, Mrs. Lovett? Ah-ha-ha.
Who fooled London with succulent veal?
Who claimed people as sufficient meal?
None other, who other, than you.
A trickster, Mrs. Lovett? Ah-ha-ha.
Who begged me to spare a young lad?
Who was only too glad, I might add,
To bake pies, under your fiendish eyes?
A charlatan, Mrs. Lovett, is what you are.
What clever plans you devised!
Arsenic poisoning was the clue.
But look how the dead rise!
She was alive, and you knew.
What more can blood thirsty men do, Mrs. Lovett?
To villains like you."
Sweeney Todd cleaved his razor into the side of her neck. He used the weapon as a shovel and began to dig her flesh. Blood gushed and splattered across her waxen neck. His teeth were bared like a ferocious animal; her blood stained them crimson. He continued, at an agonizingly slow pace, to carve a jagged line across her throat. Mrs. Lovett elicited frothy gurgles before collapsing on the cobblestone.
He tilted his head and examined the murderous masterpiece. Sweeney chuckled, "Mrs. Lovett, you're a bloody wonder."
It was beyond all reason.
The impossibility even made Sweeney Todd, the demon barber, take a few steps back.
Mrs. Lovett was still alive.
(1) Concept taken from the novel edited by Robert L. Mack. Sweeney Todd liked to 'polish off' his customers which is a nice double entendre of actually finishing them off. Sweeney repeatedly claims to "polish off" customers, easily evading beadles and the like, due to his crafty word play.