A double drabble based on Bleak House. Written at Wickfield's request for the Dickensblog Pledge Drive.

Disclaimer: I own none of these characters.

Odd Encounter

"My dear," said Allan Woodcourt to his wife as they sat by the fire one evening, "I had a very odd encounter this afternoon."

"What sort of encounter?" asked Esther.

"I was leaving my surgery, and my mind must have been elsewhere, for I nearly tripped over a strange young man loitering there in the road. Rather a weedy young man, with a wide mouth. I apologized, but he seemed not to hear—only stepped back a pace or two and stared at me in a very marked manner.

"Not knowing what else to do, I apologized again, and started to brush past him, when I was arrested by a long, loud sigh. As I turned back to look at him again, he looked me up and down, and then shook his head and muttered in a mournful tone, 'Ah, my angel! My poor, poor angel!'

"I was opening my mouth to ask what he meant, but he held up his hand to stop me, closed his lips tightly, and gave me another of those hard stares. Then he turned suddenly and hurried off, and I saw him no—Why, Esther, what have I said? What makes you laugh so?"