Mr. Darcy's Dreams

©2011, Ashley Visco


Chapter I

A Dark Shadow Called London

He walked the foggy streets of London. The air was thick and dense, the smells of grime and alcohol penetrating his nostrils. It suffocated him.

Much like everything else in London.

Suddenly a Dark Shadow of a man materialized from within' the foggy darkness. "Will ya be takin' a ride this evenin', gov'na?" Dark Shadow was a large man, a giant perhaps, who possessed no other distinguishable quality but that giant height. Darcy knew not if his eyes were blue or black or gray; he knew not the shape of his nose, whether it had a bump on its bridge or not, and truly the Shadow could be without a nose entirely and Darcy would not know it. He had no features at all, for he was in fact a Shadow. A melancholy Shadow which casts its cruel darkness on the light in life, Darcy's dreaming mind mused.

Perhaps it should be called London.

Darcy answered Mr. London in the affirmative, and suddenly he was in a carriage as dark and black as the night, the foggy streets now passing him in a blur as he blazed down the road. With every bump and swerve he saw the worst of what the city had to offer. Devilish drunks deviating down the street asking everyone they plowed into for another round, poor mothers unable to feed their poor children, sick beggars on their hands and knees desperate for a morsel of bread but knowing that no one cared to give them even a crumb, and worst of all…single women in town for the Season.

"Da ya not like London, sir?" Mr. London the Dark Shadow asked him. Like London? He despised London. He loathed London. He wished he could kill London! (A rational thought it was not, but a thought none the less.) He wished he could strangle the life and soul out of it just as it did to him, and he told Shadow so. "Well, well, well," Shadow replied in a whisper, "ya must escape then." Without warning, like a shot, a brick wall appeared in front of them, not even giving Darcy enough time to scream before their inevitable crash-!

Darcy awoke, panting and gasping for air.

Instantly upon him as he returned to reality were the loud, busy noises of town.

"God, I hate London."

After his shave and his bath and all the other little accoutrements of the morning, Fitzwilliam Darcy sat in the breakfast room of his London townhouse (a townhouse he would love to smash to bits with a sledgehammer if he could) rearranging the bits of ham on his plate. He was far too flustered about this stupid dream, but for the life of him he could not focus on his breakfast for thinking of it. After a good five minutes of staring at his plate, Darcy abandoned his food and reverted his attention to the morning's post. Bingley's letter in particular had been very interesting, and it seemed to call to him from among the stack. "You must come to visit Netherfield and tell me what you think of it," it said. "Escape from town for a bit."

"Ya must escape then…"

Escape….

Yes….

Yes, escape was precisely what he needed...