My second attempt to writing Sweeney Todd. Please excuse any out-of-character-ness! I hope you can forgive me if this story sucks. The idea came to me by chance and I thought it would be perfect for Sweeney Todd. Hope you like, please review.
A Crimson Waltz
Mr. Sweeney Todd pressed down on the lever and allowed the corpse of his last customer of the evening, to slide down head first in to the chute and greet the blood stained cobblestones below. Right as the trap door closed, he heard the grisly crunch of the skull cracking. He cleaned his beloved friend on a piece of cloth and tossed it aside when it had served its purpose of cleansing his razor from the vile blood of man. Mr. Todd placed his razor back in his pocket and stole a look in the mirror by chance. He was bathed in crimson, a color that served to manifest his macabre beauty. At least that was what Mrs. Lovett would say if she saw him.
In the mirror he observed that the large window which loomed eerily over the street below was now the color crimson, and his chair and the hard wood floor was a pool of red. He turned round when he heard the door to the shop open and he was greeted with the quaint face of none other than Mrs. Lovett. She closed the door behind her and stopped at the edge of the spreading pool of blood. She looked from the blood then to him with a quizzical eye.
"I'll 'ave you know now, Mr. T, I'm not gonna be cleaning up this mess." She said with a slight frown. She stayed where she was. The hem of her dress was all ready dirty from mud and flour; she saw no need in adding blood to the collection of stains.
Mr. Todd stared emotionlessly at her for a moment. She looked tired and in desperate need of rest. He simply chose to ignore these observations, which he observed. He as well was in desperate need of sleep, but no matter how hard he tried, sleep refused to come.
"And it was never my intention to place such a task upon you, Mrs. Lovett." Mr. Todd returned impassively as he walked directly through the pool and stood in front of her with a stern expression. His footsteps were well measured and well placed. Each step he took gave a small splash and neared him closer to loosing his balance and sending him to the floor. He did not slip, which relieved Mrs. Lovett since her heart had been pounding against her ribs all this time.
When he was standing before her, Mrs. Lovett gestured to the floor and asked curiously, "And what on the face of this green earth had so much blood to lose, love?" Her eyes traveled over his shoulder and she shivered when she felt his warmth besides her. She looked up and found he had taken another step towards her. Mr. Todd looked over his shoulder and knew she meant his appearance, the chair, and the window which was all coated in red.
"A dog of the government, I believe he was." He informed, not sparing anymore detail on the dead man. Mr. Todd turned his attention back to her and asked candidly, "And what is it that you want, Mrs. Lovett?" His deep tone laced with some annoyance. He was not much in the mood for striking conversation tonight, though he hardly ever was in such a manner now. But years that will never return, there had been a time when he had been one of socializing and talk, but those years had long since died and converted into dust.
"I only came up to tell you that'll 'ave your dinner ready shortly, love. I've been 'aving some trouble with the oven, I 'ave, these last few days. Would it be too much to ask for you to tinker with it tomorrow, hm, Mr. Todd? I'd very much appreciate it if you did." Mrs. Lovett asked him hopefully. She asked more for the reason of luring him away from his loneliness so he could share some time with her. It would do him so good, she thought.
Mr. Todd sighed exasperatedly and answered, "I'll see what is wrong with it tomorrow morning before you open shop, Mrs. Lovett. Now if you would be so kind, my pet, to leave me." Mrs. Lovett nodded her head and was about to leave, when curious got the best of her. She faced him once more and inquired surprisingly, "Mr. T, can I ask you something, if you wouldn't mind answering me?"
"What is it, Mrs. Lovett?" he asked, not at all concealing his irritation at this point. He was tired, that much was clear to Mrs. Lovett by the dull gleam in his eccentric eyes. She bit her lower lip anxiously, a bit timid of his reaction to her next set of words.
"Well Mr. T, just now when you were strolling through the pool of blood, I couldn't help but notice that you kept your balance, even though anyone lacking experience on slick floors would 'ave fallen flat on their faces, which gets me thinking that you know…how to dance." It was a statement, rather then a question. Years ago she knew he and Lucy would go out and attend dances. And Mrs. Lovett had seen them dance together on one occasion. She had never seen a man more graceful on his feet then Benjamin Barker, now known to the world as Sweeney Todd. But now she wondered, was he still just as talented as then?
Mr. Todd was taken aback by her sudden question. He regarded at her with emotionless eyes as cold as steel. He was lost for words. After a few seconds of silence, he regained his composure and replied coldly, "Dance? And what are you suggesting by that, Mrs. Lovett?" Though Mr. Todd knew quite well what she meant, but he wanted to be proven wrong.
"Um, can you still dance, Mr. T?" Mrs. Lovett stared down at the floor, her hands at her sides and her cheeks displaying the smallest hint of pink, which she hoped would escape his eyes. Mr. Todd studied her, his expression apathetical and hard to read. His brows were furrowed, as if he were thinking as to what to say. Then the corners of his lips slightly lifted into a weak smirk.
"I would not know how to answer you, Mrs. Lovett. After so many years, the only way one can discover certain things is by trying." Mr. Todd said, hesitating as he extended his hand to her. "With the floor as red and slick as it is, shall we dance and see, my pet?"
Mrs. Lovett's heart leaped with sheer joy. Her eyes gained a vivid gleam and she answered unabashedly, "Yes, of course, Mr. T!" She trembled ever so slightly as his arm wrapped around her waist, and his fingers laced with hers. Their bodies were pressed together, though not in a manner which was intimate. He glanced down at her and said, "Ready?" for response, Mrs. Lovett nodded her head and said, "Ready, love."
Mr. Todd held her close as he began to twirl them about the room, his steps refined and cautious due to the slick substance underneath their feet. Mrs. Lovett brazenly rested her head lovely on his shoulder. Mr. Todd disregarded this small violation to his person and kept on dancing as if did not bother him. He drew her away and spun her around, allowing her long dress to spin with her, then brought her back into his strong arms. Mrs. Lovett gasped when she felt as if she would fall, but Mr. Todd gave her hand a gentle squeeze, as if silently telling her he would not allow her to slip from his grasp so easily.
The blood underneath them proved to be a magnificent surface for dancing. It allowed for beautiful movements to be created and gave an extra advantage of grace to each twirl and whirl made. Crimson splashed Mr. Todd's slacks and dotted his boots. The ends of Mrs. Lovett's black dress was dyed a rich red, giving more character to it then she had realized.
Mrs. Lovett had never felt more alive in all her life then in that moment as she danced with Sweeney Todd. He looked almost happy. As if all his worries disappeared with each whirl he gave her. For minutes that seemed incessant to her at least, every wrong done to them was forgotten and they were allowed a moment of forgetfulness. Though as incessant as it felt, their dance reached its acme. One last time Mr. Todd spun Mrs. Lovett around and returned her to his arms, concluding their dance.
Mr. Todd released her, and to demonstrate he was still a gentleman, he gave a mock bow and said sturdily, "I suppose this has settled your curiosity then, Mrs. Lovett?" A faint smile appeared on Mrs. Lovett's lips. She patted down her skirt, pretending it needed her attention.
"It has, Mr. T." Mrs. Lovett replied, at last summoning the courage to meet his eyes. He nodded his head and turned away from her. He drew out his razor and flicked it open and set to the task of sharpening it for tomorrow. This was his fashion of addressing her he would say nothing more concerning the matter. Mrs. Lovett sighed dreamingly and reluctantly headed towards the door. Before she left she called back, "Ah, Mr. T, you're dinner'll be ready shortly." And she added softly, "Thank you, Mr. T."
She closed the door and left him to his solitude and thoughts. When the door to the shop closed, he stared after her and muttered, "A crimson waltz…" He shook his head, discarding the memory of what transpired between them just moments passed. "It means nothing, nothing at all, nor will she ever mean anything to me." As he sharpened the blade, he could not repress a small smile from displaying on his lips. It had been nice to get a chance to waltz, more so when it was on blood.
From below he heard the oven door open and Mrs. Lovett's footsteps as she quickly prepared his meal that he would scarcely eat. He closed the razor and tucked it back into his pocket. He would clean the fast drying blood after he drank a pint of gin and cleaned himself up. Hopefully the boy would be fast asleep before he noticed the droplets of blood seeping between the boards and staining furniture and running down pale cheeks.