Here's a piece that was actually an English assignment back in high school. The assignment was to take a classic piece of literature and write as slight exert about one of the minor characters. I chose The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one of my absolute favorites, and based it around the man that was killed in the alley way. Reviews would be appreciated, but aren't really expected. Hope whoever finds this enjoys it~
The man sat in the back of the showroom, looking greatly out of place as he indulged a guilty pleasure. A man of his stature did not belong in the audience of such a vulgar performance in the back streets of London. And within the next hour or so he won't belong in the upstairs rooms that are meant for enjoying a more private performance. If word of his presence were to escape the walls of this controversial establishment, his name would be forever ruined.
"Sir Danvers Carew. It's hard to imagine a nobleman of your distinction being in place like this."
Well, he thought, word still hasn't actually left the building as of yet.
Danvers Carew looked up to catch a glance of his newfound companion. His clothes spoke of formality and respect, but his physical attributes said something entirely different. The other man was of small build, but massive bulk. He could be described as nothing short of a dwarf, sans the beard. His face wreaked an air of deformity, though it was hard for its actual location to be named, as if leaving an unpleasant after taste to the eyes. The sight caused a combination of alarm and bile to rise in the back of Carew's throat.
"As it happens, Mister…." Danvers trailed off, not having the slightest clue as to the man's identity.
The other man handed him a card listing a name and address. Edward Hyde of Soho… Soho was far from the proper side of town, housing most of the scum in London. Obviously, Hyde was no exception. Edward Hyde. There was something about the name that sounded familiar. They hadn't met previously; Danvers doubted he'd forget such a foul face. Perhaps they had a common friend, or heard his name in passing.
"Mr. Edward Hyde, friend to Dr. Henry Jekyll, correct?" There was no a question about it. A year ago, Henry Jekyll made a sudden change in his will, claiming Edward Hyde as the sole recipient of Jekyll's estate.
The massive alteration in will was the topic of most gossip for quite some time. Danvers remembered hearing rumors of blackmail from those who had the unfortunate experience of meeting Hyde. Now, to Danvers at least, the rumors seem to be justified.
"As it happens, Sir Danvers?" Hyde's face seemed to have a subtle, permanent contortion to give the appearance of a perpetual grimace which the tone of his words reflected.
Danvers was taken aback for a moment, but quickly regained his composure. "As it happens, Mr. Hyde, I stumbled into this place by chance." He spread his arms in mock shrug and attempted a false grin of uncertainty. "You see, I am highly unfamiliar with this area of London. I am sitting here to re-gather my thoughts and find my way home." True, it was a bold faced lie, but anything would be better than the truth.
"Hrm," was all the verbal acknowledgement Hyde gave to his answer. He cast a sideways glance at Danvers and then faced the stage. "I would hardly expect the girls up front to know the way," Hyde commented without turning back to Danvers.
Danvers fingered the coin purse just inside his jacket, knowing full well where Hyde was steering to. Or perhaps I'll be the next to change my will.
"How much will it take to for me to erase this meeting?" His façade was dropped; Danvers was willing to pay almost anything to save his name. Reputation meant everything in this city and he was not willing lose everything now.
Hyde released a gruff, sickening laugh, his mouth twisting upward in a warped smile. He could sense the desperation behind Danvers's tone of command and took obvious pleasure in it. "You can keep your petty money for now," Hyde growled. "Tell me, Sir Danvers, are you a betting man?"
Danvers hesitated at the question. "I have been known to take place in the occasional wager, yes," he answered after a moment of consideration.
"I'd like to challenge you to a simple game. Think of it as a variation of hide and seek. Your objective is to stay in this part of town and evade my attempt to find you. Within the next few minutes, the church bell will strike eleven and you will leave. I will give you a five minute head start before I make my way to seeking you. Our game will end at the half hour mark."
"And what are the stakes for this game?" Danvers asked, already having a good idea as what the wager will be.
"Simple. If I am victorious, I will destroy your life. If you manage to avoid having me find you, you can walk away from this night free of threat."
Danvers had little time to consider the offer as the church bell began to take its toll. He promptly rose from his chair and made his way to the exit, knowing there was not much choice. Danvers did not work so hard all his life to be destroyed in a single night of debauchery.
His immediate course of action was walking several blocks away from the brothel, putting distance between him and Hyde's starting point. Knowing the first five minutes were long since over, Danvers didn't feel comfortable in the open streets. He soon found an alley way between two apartment buildings that wasn't hard to overlook. Its entrance was obscured by a local rubbish bin and the other end was blocked off by a tall picket fence that'd be impossible for Hyde to clear.
Danvers felt quite at ease in his makeshift refuge, pressing himself in the farthest corner of the alley. Twenty odd minutes had passed without a threat of Hyde's appearance. Knowing that the half hour bell would sound soon, Danvers dislodged himself from the wall and made for the street, feeling save that he had won.
"Found you." The sound of Hyde's deep, husky voice froze Danvers in deathly dread.
"I'll give you anything you want, Hyde. Name your price."
Hyde eased his way forward into range of Danvers, gripping his cane tightly.
"I told you to keep your money, Sir Danvers," he chided, raising his cane. Danvers's eyes widened as Hyde lifted his cane. It came crashing down, a the scream of a maiden echoed through the alley, as the wood splintered over the skull of Sir Danvers. "My words were 'I would destroy your life.'" Hyde made one last deranged smirk at the body that lay before him as he continued to casually stroll into the night.