It struck me as remarkable, late one evening that I was wandering about Jekyll's quarters – attending to the few small chores that he'd oft set me to do. My master in question was out today, I knew not where, but it was neither my business to know where – so I did not enquire into his whereabouts.
"Let me see…" I distinctly remember uttering quietly to myself, standing upon the main landing of Jekyll's less-than-modest abode, and glancing up at the ornate antique clock hanging preciously upon the wall. It read clearly, thirty minutes past the hour of ten. In the evening no doubt, unless my perception of time was so skewed and unrelative that somehow I`d managed to drift aimlessly for the best part of thirteen hours since I`d last stolen a glance at that clock. Evidentially not.
What had I but yet to do? Aside from the forever dusting, and cleaning of the dwelling, I had nothing more to endeavour to do. Jekyll was not to eat tonight, and neither had already, so there was no cooking that had to be done, no dishes to clear afterwards, and surely I did not expect guests that evening so as to cook for them eit-
A quiet sigh eminated from the corridors just a little to my left and down the stairs.
Good heavens, a sigh? But like stated before – I was not expecting any guests to accommodate for that evening.
It was a melancholy type of sigh, like trickling through the lips of a man very at sincere unrest of the world. It was the kind of sigh one would use whence alone for a long period of time, both boredom and the feeling of being quite useless slowly filling the body up from head downwards. Still a sigh was a sigh, and a sigh belonged to someone quite ardently in need of something. Though I was not expecting guests as stated for the third time, it struck me of whom the disembodied sigh actually belonged to.
Jekyll's closest friend, Mr. Edward Hyde per chance?
Although we did not expect his company ever, for never having had notice, E. Hyde was always welcome to pass through this house at his will, wandering to and from the laboratory, with access to any room that he so wished. However peculiar this did seem, it was the rules. It was not my place to say whether or not I agreed with them, or just what my opinion was upon this rule – but should anyone ever have asked me, I would have sincerely admitted I didn't so much like it. But then… I never really had spoken to Hyde before, enough to fully understand the mechanisms of his personality. There surely must have been something in the young man that Jekyll found so attractive enough to hold him so dearly close.
Before any more seconds had caused chance to pass, I'd taken the bold steps down the spiralling staircase before me, to meet the mysterious figure on the floor below.
The corridor in question was dimly lit, and smelled of damp. The wallpaper plastered to the wall, clinging like some ethereal worm to the foundations of the house, wrapping it`s very heart up in paper.
And there, standing before me, hunched in the corner leaning up against the wall was the grotesque figure of Edward Hyde. He had his arms folded tightly over his chest, hugging himself as if for dear life; he was also crippled over in a hunch, for a moment, dressed clad in black – it was almost a wonder how I`d picked him up from the dark background around. His body seemed to melt into the walls, the outline of him, and shadows from the wall most distorted into one great shape patterned into the bosom of the maison.
At first, it seemed he had not noticed me, for he did not even move. Was Hyde even breathing? – he remembered the sigh from before; Of course he must be breathing! A dead man had no air in his lungs to be exhaled.
I turned to leave, back up the stairs. I was not wanted here, and neither was I needed. Or at least, I endeavoured, with a full meaning of returning to the floor of the living, and never taking chance to spy upon Hyde – so fitting was his name – again, could I ever help it. But it seemed my polite exit was blocked in the form of the figure now behind, uttering a quiet cough.
I turned, to notice him again. This time, I could see the face. The normal features displaying such a feeling of sickness and mutation without any conceivable irregularities, were looking up at me. His eyes glittered, was the first thing I noticed. They glittered something beautiful. For Hyde was not a pretty man, neither was he handsome, but there was something in those murderous eyes, like a syringe of adreline that pumped into the people whomever spied him. It was that surge of danger. I willed him to speak, I willed him to suddenly say anything, to have an excuse to get to know him like Jekyll did.
Like Jekyll? There was certainly something Jekyll-like about him, he displayed the same smile, and even the eyes became something of alike save for the shade.
But in the absense of Hyde starting conversation first, it was I, Poole myself who opened mouth first with a badly formulated sentence of the uneducated man.
But I was silenced by a powerful waft of the hand on Hyde`s part. He might have been my superior, but there was something to be said about a man who could silence another without a word.