Act Three, Part Two: The Surreptitious Surprise
"I will Love you always. Continuously. With increasing apprehension and decreasing hope." –Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters
Breathing air became fuzzy with ash, inhaled and stuck inside their throats. Each breath was a struggle, the exhaling worse than before. It made green dust swirl in flurries atop the air, hazy and too close to see.
"Last time I was here," Lemony said softly, like he was afraid his words would rub raw the left over atmosphere, "It was when you had just been born and Beatrice and Bertrand were renewing their wedding vows. There were also some illicit VFD reasons behind it, of course, but mainly it was about your parents. I showed up here the night before the ceremony. I had come to wish your mother every drop of happiness this wicked world would give her, but when I was about to fall in through the chimney, or tap on the windows in Morse Code, I…"
The author stepped carefully around a fallen stair step, while his younger counterpart stepped atop it, wanting to trigger the bittersweet creak.
"I didn't want to see her. I didn't want to see her still blissfully happy with Bertrand. The thought of making myself had me retching, Violet; I was selfish." Lemony jammed his hands into his pockets, took them out again to mess with his hat.
"You… I bet she understood." Violet said, attempting to relieve the man of his guilt, woe, and longing.
The questions she wanted to ask weren't ones she could readily present to him. "Why didn't my mother marry you? How long did you know each other? Were you friends with my father? Did he know you loved her?"
The man didn't answer her unspoken questions. Instead, he looked around in confusion and glanced behind his left shoulder. "Where is Count Olaf?"
Violet squinted, glancing around, trying not to focus to intently on what used to be her home. She hadn't even thought about where her husband might have wandered off to.
Hearing his author-friend's question, Count Olaf called, "I'm in the back. I went around."
Lemony held her hand as she hopped over a fallen beam, making their way to the much more upright back half of the home. Olaf was staring at the mantle of their fireplace, one hand reaching out to clutch something while the other was jammed into his right pocket.
He looked defensive, then, eyes downcast, one hip dropped, shoulders bunched in. With the light shining in from what was once a wall of windows from their kitchen beyond, her husband looked like someone had cut him out of the picture very carefully, leaving behind one strange, dark shape.
Once Violet's eyes adjusted, she could see an adoring, amused smile on Olaf's thin lips. Her own smile twitched in response, eager to see what had him so delighted despite the heavy atmosphere. Upon closer inspection, she recognized it immediately.
"Hey!" she yelled, mortified. "Don't look at that! I was young,-!" But Count Olaf was already beaming, tapping on the scorched glass.
"Look at you!" he crowed, flashing them a photograph of Violet grinning with a youth-round face, scrunched eyes, and missing teeth. "You're so awkward!"
"I was seven!" She leapt towards her husband who ducked and jumped away with a laugh. His laugh was heard so rarely, Violet wasn't even too concerned about the horrid photograph anymore. She wanted to make Count Olaf laugh for her, because of her.
"I'm keeping this forever! Lemony, look!" Olaf stepped towards the author and side-stepped around his wife with the full intention of passing the photo off to the other man.
But with one wrong step, Olaf vanished with a crack and a flurry of green ashes. Violet shrieked, something she'd be embarrassed to admit, whilst Lemony gasped and lurched forward, eager to rescue.
The loud, echoing splinters seemed out of place within the too-still skeleton of a home. A giant hole replaced where the Count once stood.
"Ugh," Olaf groaned from inside the dark, depthless hole. "I suppose I'll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies."
"Are you alright?" Violet called, voice shaking. Fear for his safety had shot her voice and made her limbs go weak. The idea of losing someone else she adored was incomprehensible. Any minor injury shook her. She recalled when her husband had gotten a paper cut a few days prior and she'd almost threw up she'd been so panicked. Even seeing the small swell and drip of blood had made her whole body heave with the resounding finality of, "No. You're not allowed to be injured. Not when I care about you so much."
Olaf had been puzzled, having seen too many bloody injuries in his time, to which a paper cut was nothing if not a melodramatic acting opportunity. He'd teased her saying, "It's just a paper cut, stupid. Now come invent me a bandage. Please."
They'd retreated to the gold and gray colored bathroom that her husband had taken her to after his first declaration of wanting to woo her. She'd cleaned that little paper cut and the sticky trail of blood it left. Patching him up like a war survivor had calmed her nerves a bit, but still the girl was startled by how it had affected her.
Now, standing over the hole her husband had just collapsed into, hyperaware of every sound he could have been making, Violet could feel the emerald dust settling on the shoulders of her cream dress, atop the backs of her hands, in the roots of her dark hair.
"No!" Count Olaf cried. They both heard the scuffle as he stood and stumbled. "There are bugs down here!"
"What your concerned Countess intends to know," Lemony called, looking concerned although his tone conveyed annoyance, "Is if you are dead or fatally injured."
"I'm deceased. Now, throw me your flashlight! There are bugs down here!"
"I've carried this with me ever since I had to explore a certain lighthouse in my youth with only a young female journalist as company and too many questions that were all very wrong." Lemony sighed as if he were bored and tipped his bowl-shaped hat expertly into his palm. Along the inside rim was a very thin, very long black flashlight. The man threaded the flexible light through its loops, clicked a button, and tossed it into the jaggedly-edged hole.
The beam cast too many shadows up the dark walls, criss-crossed and sharp, overlapping too quickly for her to make much sense of them. She saw her husband's hands reach out and miss. The flashlight smacked loudly against the fathomless floor.
"What is it?" Lemony called, restricting Violet as she tried to inch closer. He muttered over his shoulder, "You don't need to fall in, too."
"It's…" Count Olaf waved the flashlight around. His tone was awed and suspicious when he called back, "It's a tunnel."
Lemony was already sitting on the floor, scooting cover to the hole. Just before he was about to drop, the author stated blandly, "Catch me, darling."
As Lemony's feet hit the ground a few seconds later, Olaf's "Never!" finally reached her.
"It's not that bad, Violet." Lemony called up. She could hear the rustle as he brushed off his clothes both for reassurance and to remove the cobwebs that had accumulated over the years from no visitors.
As Violet crouched, ready to crook her knees and leap, she told them sternly, "Don't catch me."
The heels of her boots came into contact with the floor sooner than expected, but then it lurched, flipping the eldest Baudelaire so she dropped. The crack of her head slamming against the concrete was sickening.
"Violet-!" Lemony was suddenly above her, pinning her shoulders as she tried to sit up and move. His voice was breathless as he commanded, "Don't move until your vision stops spinning."
Violet obeyed, confused and bewildered, only sitting up when she felt she could. "What happened?"
Lemony glared at Count Olaf who was too pale, his lips slightly blue.
"I…" started the Count with a large gasp, "I tried to catch you…I…wanted to say something sweet and husband-y like, 'I'll be here for you forever,' or 'I adore you more than Lemony does marmosets and typewriters,' or 'You can count on me because I'm Count Olaf."
Lemony smirked at Violet. "You knocked the wind out of him."
The girl winced as she touched the back of her head, thankful there was no blood. In its place was a considerably round bump.
"That's sweet and husband-y," Violet reached out to squeeze his fingers and rub his shoulders, soothing. "But we both got hurt. Try to be sweet when we can both see next time."
"I'm sorry." Count Olaf sounded terribly guilty as he helped her stand. The phrase was unfamiliar to hear from the former villain, so much so that Lemony whirled around, portable flashlight in hand, to stare at the couple. Olaf continued, "Really, Violet, I'm sorry. Are you alright? Is your head okay? Are you dead or fatally injured?"
Smiling affectionately and trying not to wince, she responded, "I'm deceased. Now let's follow this tunnel."
With Lemony in the lead, Olaf and Violet followed behind, the girl reaching out to hold her husband's hand. The smile he gave her in the thick dark of the tunnel nearly broke her heart in two, split her right in half it was so sweet and twistedly melancholy.
With bugs skittering around, more cobwebs hanging low, and dust slick in their throats, the former lover, the former daughter, and the former villain made their way through the buried intestines of the wasted home above.
Waiting was the worst. They were all expecting something at the end, something to save them or console them or show them secrets they didn't know. Playing 'What If?' like they had for the sugar bowl wasn't an option. Each of their questions left a tang in their mouths, spoilt after staying trapped for so long.
"Why did you bring us here?" Violet wanted to ask her husband and place her grieving heart in his hands as proof. "Look how much this hurts- look at all the bruises… What if there's nothing here and all these bruises were for nothing?"
Count Olaf wanted to alternately apologize to every speck of ash and brick they passed. "I'm sorry I didn't stop this. I'm sorry I caused such unparamountable fear and woe." In his own defense, he would want to heatedly reply, "I've made up for this! Don't condemn me!" But then he wasn't sure if he was defending himself against the home or a fistful of absent ghosts.
Lemony Snicket wanted to alternately run away and out of this tunnel, afraid to be confronted with the ruins of a woman that had once meant everything to him, or stay down there for eternity. He would strain his ears for ghostly whispers admitting lifelong adoration and apologies from pale, blue lips.
"What is that?" Violet had brushed past Lemony, quickly dropping her husband's hand, to run towards the end of the tunnel.
At the girl's feet was a pale blue suitcase, the lock blocked by a very dusty typewriter.
"It's already unlocked." Lemony said before Violet could touch it. With a bit of mumbling and careful hands, the typewriter was lifted from the suitcase, the mouth of it jarred further open in the process.
"What…?" Violet gazed down at the many contents wondering why they were there and how they were important.
"In case of death… Beatrice was always tricky. Always clever. In the offhand or completely not offhand chance that she became deceased, she put her important incriminating evidence in a suitcase. I assume that all of the keywords for this Vernacularly Fastened Device, usually seen on Vernacularly Fastened Doors, had something to do with death. Oh, my clever girl…"
Count Olaf laid his hand on his wife's shoulder and crouched, dragging her down and into his side. With his other hand, he reached out to grab a long metal spike. Only when he glanced at her, eyes unreadable, did she realize what it was.
"Oh, goodness." Violet sighed, her thoughts briefly going to her adoptive father-in-law. "Count Olaf, I'm sorry."
When she realized what was in his hand and how he must be feeling, the girl almost doubled over with hurt. Empathy and horror and guilt and the twisted need to apologize made her want to cling to him and wish away every nightmarish emotion. Olaf just tugged her closer.
The man gently grasped the other poison dart and set it on the cold stone ground. He seemed hesitant to touch them for too long. Whether it was because of the poison or what they could've been used for, she could only guess.
The Count stared up at Lemony whose face was carefully neutral, guarded, his expression unyielding and horribly guiltless.
"Did you stick around to collect them afterwards or were these extras?"
"Those were extras," Lemony lied under the imperative use of a Veiled Facial Disguise, "Someone could've missed."
Both the author and the inventor pretended not to notice the Count's flinch.
"This," Violet said quietly, tugging at a small yellow book. It was a welcome distraction to the three whose hearts couldn't stop stomping. "This book. You have a copy. A Volunteer's Guide to Baticeering."
Lemony sat on the ground, uncaring if his trousers became muddy or sooty. "I did before the fire. Your mother was an excellent baticeer. I'm surprised she never kept them in your home."
The man smiled sadly, his teeth dull white in the reflection of his hat light.
"When I first met you I was clutching a book of bats written by your mother and a bag full of Ink Inc.'s ink. There are so many details to your family that I possessed and still do that it doesn't seem entirely fair that you don't know them."
It felt like someone had punched Violet in the chest. She had a hard time working through the intention of Lemony's words and if he meant her any ill will or if he had just been making a very blunt observation. She didn't want to think that he would hurt her, or dangle the temptation of knowing her parents in front of her face for his own amusement, but Violet was starting to have her doubts. She willed herself to stay calm and deter the pressure building behind her eyeballs.
"Nothing's fair." Count Olaf almost snapped in defense of his wife and Lemony's ambiguous taunts. Instead, anger thick in his throat like unspoken words, he ran his hand up Violet's back, watching as she handed the little yellow book to the man across the suitcase. Her mother's hardback quickly left her hands and entered Lemony's.
They both saw Violet's hands, empty, purposeless, ghost over a pile of fabric they hadn't looked at. Eager to help her understand and distract, Count Olaf said, "These are a volunteer's disguises."
Shifting them around, Violet found a clown costume, a peg leg, a receptionist outfit, gym clothes, a detective's badge, and a bullfighting disguise.
"And these," Lemony snatched up a small box of emerald green matches, identical to the ones the Count had in his pocket. They seemed to grow heavily, noticed and awareness-strengthened. "Are a box of matches originally used by all volunteers but, after the schism, they were used primarily by villains."
"I still have mine." Count Olaf's voice was gruff, disappointed by all the matches he couldn't unburn. Unsure of what to do with them, Lemony handed them to Olaf. It seemed only appropriate. As the Count jammed the pack into his pocket, the two boxes rubbed against each other, wearing down the corners to barely-there holes.
"What is-?" Count Olaf reached across his wife, his chest nudging into the back of her shoulder. She could feel a few of her hairs graze the stubble along his jaw.
"I Will Love You As," the husband muttered, setting the dusty maroon book atop his lap. He could feel the substantial weight of it press against his thighs. Violet wiped the dust from its face, exposing the golden-tinted title.
"I haven't seen that book in years…" Lemony sighed. He sounded broken. Like his chest had caved in or his nostalgia had overwhelmed his eyesight so all he could see were far-away memories and the tall arch of a pale throat. He could almost hear that antediluvian voice lying sweetly, "Mr. Snicket, I'll always love you…"
"This was a book that the lovers in VFD would pass around. They would entrust the book to one couple for years so that they could learn how to have a meaningful relationship within VFD and all of its restrictions. There are certain codes to learn to let the other know that being affectionate was alright one moment, or if they should pretend to be enemies because they were amongst enemies. Also included are appropriate outfit suggestions for masquerades, balls, social gatherings, book signings, violin recitals, trials, and coded musicals."
Count Olaf glanced at his wife quickly, questions and hopes and expectations in his dark eyes.
"We should use this." Violet told him, opening the cover. On the front flyleaf was the omnipresent VFD insignia. It looked fierce atop the yellowing pages.
"We will." Olaf promised, unwilling to set the useful book on the ground, despite the fact that it had been locked in a suitcase for years.
"I Will Love You As…" Violet muttered with a sigh. She was suddenly achey and tired and wanted out of that tunnel more than anything. Her legs wouldn't move when she tried to tell them to.
Get away from these secrets, Violet willed her throbbing heart and shakey, too-weak legs. You can't carry them all.
"As peppermints love your allergies. I will love you if you don't marry me. I will love you if you marry someone else." Lemony continued silently, 'That, Beatrice, is how I will love you as the world goes on its wicked way.'
In that moment, Violet wondered how long the notes in the book were for Lemony and her mother and if she had ever shown them to her father. Had they written in it together?
"And the last time I saw this book…" It took both Lemony and Count Olaf to heft the giant thing form the suitcase, "I was in the company of a man with clay for feet. He never forced me to do anything."
"It wouldn't be very redeeming if we took this to VFD." Olaf said, snapping open the fragile binding as if he'd done it too many times. He flipped readily to the back index to look at his name, which was followed by a very, very long list of villainous acts and performances and quotes and destroyed buildings, all followed by a string of page numbers.
"A Series of Unfortunate Events," Violet muttered, "by Lemony Snicket."
Hearing her say it felt like a punch to a black eye.
The author stood and threw the contents back into the suitcase, quickly snapping it closed and latching it before stomping off. The typewriter, still stuck to the lid, dinged with every step. In stunned silence, the couple could hear it grow faint. His flashlight still rested where he'd left it on the ground, hollowing out one of his footprints.
When the two finally joined him, walking along in a stunned, overwhelmed silence with one book in each set of emerald-dusted hands, he was in the car. Violet could see Lemony's glare warped by the dirty windshield as he sat in the driver's seat.
As she clambered into the back on dead legs, Count Olaf sliding in next to her, lemony adjusted three mirrors and said with a managed voice, "The suitcase is in the trunk. Although it may be dented by the time we arrive at our next destination. I have a feeling that driving this automobile is a bit different than a taxicab."
"And where are we going?" Violet asked, her voice quiet, not wanting to overwhelm the already cramped vehicle. Lemony began to drive, moving away from the skeleton home with its sinew and flesh as emerald soot at its feet; away, however distantly, from Beset Boulevard and the loving parents inside it.
Count Olaf rested his head atop hers and sighed. He told her softly, "We're going home."
"Home is where the heartless is." Violet quoted, reaching out to hold her husband's hand in both of hers. Count Olaf squeezed her fingers and flashed her a small smile, despite the pressure of Lemony's sour mood and the resurrection of a truly unfortunate book.
"Genius quote. The man who thought of it must be undoubtedly handsome and talented and lucky."
"Oh, undoubtedly. Very handsome and very lucky. We both are."
"You're very handsome, too? And what about talented? Should I be insulted?"
"Maybe a bit." Violet teased. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Lemony's hands tighten on the wheel of the car. He had turned all of the mirrors in odd directions, preventing her from studying his facial expression.
She wondered if he was lonely.
His knuckles turned white.
"I'm insulted. You've insulted me." Olaf teased in response, rubbing the joints between her fingers and listening to them pop.
He continued matter-of-factly, "Home is where the heartless is. That genius must've never imagined to find home a loving place…"
"Until now." He smiled, but his eyes were vulnerable. The burden of villainy was still prominent in them, undoubtable.
"That was sweet and husband-y." Violet smiled and kissed the tip of his nose. He grinned like a child, proud he'd done something right.
Without saying any of the things he wanted to, Lemony pulled into the long gravel driveway, through the miscreant-assembled forest, and up to the renovated home.
"Wow," Violet gasped, awed. "It's amazing."
And, truly, it was.
The front door was the first thing she saw. The wood of it was stained a grainy red, the brass faded handles of it were enormous. One long window curled around the entire frame from one side of the door to the other, creating one large arch of skylights.
She didn't pay attention to Count Olaf leading her out of the car or Lemony's annoyed slam of the door. She was too busy staring up at the Count's home. There were three tall towers built off from the main buildings, all of them with very pointy roofs. The tiles coating them like fresh scales were asymmetric and dark and gritty. As a whole, the home seemed enormous.
Lemony avoided the front entirely bypassing it to check out the back like Olaf had at Prospero Place. Unlike the author, Violet was itching to get inside.
"Do you like it?" Count Olaf asked, coming up behid her to wrap an arm around her waist.
"Yes!" Violet chirped. "Definitely."
"So…" The man looked suddenly skittish, afraid to step towards the home until he said what he needed to. The eldest Baudelaire waited, fiddling with her hair ribbon of the lace hem of the dress he bought her.
"So…" Olaf said again. "Will you stay with me? Please?"
That question jolted Violet from brushing her russet hair across her cheek. She stared up at him, her wide calculative eyes shocked and open. He met hers and the small wrinkles around them deepened.
He was giving her a choice, ripping away the shackles he'd snapped on her ankles and tossing them away, unworthy.
Count Olaf was readily presenting Violet her freedom. She could find Klaus and Sunny and apologize for adoring the man that had sent them away. She could divorce this man in front of her and gain her fortune after two more years. Lemony would make sure they were safe and preferably well-dormed.
"You mean…you're freeing me? The captive Countess?"
Olaf's face became ruddy, random splotches of red appearing atop his pained countenance. He looked like a young boy experiencing true grief for the first time. She saw his fists clench and his lips turn white.
Internally, Count Olaf was craving to shriek, "No! Nevermind! I love you too much! I love you!"
When he tried to speak nothing happened, so the former villain just nodded.
"Do…Do you want me to leave?" Violet asked, her heart sinking quickly to pool in her heels. For one dizzying moment, the eldest Baudelaire thought she was going to puke her whole body rejected the idea so disgustedly.
In some small part of her mind, she supposed it made sense. He had a fortune now, had a nice fancy home for an acting Troupe, not a wife. He had everything he'd ever wanted and a Countess had never truly been part of his plan.
But even as she thought this, another much larger part of her mind denounced it. He'd proven himself; he'd grown noble for her, renounced his past, and befriended his enemies…
"No!" That time the Count really did shriek, his voice embarrassingly high. His hands fluttered around like he wanted to touch her but was restraining himself. In that frantic moment he resembled his adoptive father.
"Of course I'll stay with you! Don't-! Don't make me question if you want me!" With that she leapt into his arms. Wrapping her legs around his waist, he held her. Both of them were gripping each other to a painful degree.
"Violet Baudelaire," Olaf's voice was rough and shaky. He never continued, just clutched her close and repeated her name as if it were almost too precious to stop repeating, too precious to fade even for a moment. "Violet Baudelaire, Violet Baudelaire."
She could feel his scruff against her cheek as she put her face into the crook of his neck. Violet's voice warbled, unlovely. "Thank you."
"For?" He squeezed her tighter.
He grinned hugely and pulled his Countess away to look her in the face. "Are you thanking me for taking you captive?"
The realization that she was made the girl smirk. "I guess I am… That's twisted."
He leaned in close and bumped their noses together, an uncharacteristically intimate act.
"Then you're welcome, twisted Countess."
Violet kissed him once on each cheek and then declared, "I want to see our heartless home!"
But Count Olaf didn't put her down like she expected. Instead, he unwrapped her legs from around his waist and flipped her bridal style into his arms, exactly like he had during his first declared intention to woo her.
"You-! You're-! Come on! Isn't this a bit…" Violet's face was a delightful rose color as her husband carried her up the smooth cement front steps and through the towering red doors.
"You can't be embarrassed now!" Count Olaf grinned, spinning once before setting her back onto her feet inside.
Glaring at the new home, she blushed even more and lied, "I'm not…"
"Wait, come here. I think there's something you should see." Count Olaf threaded a set of fingers through hers and led her throughout the front entrance that looked very much the same. The color scheme was cozier, but the large, curling staircase was still built exactly as it had been. This copy though was exceptionally cleaner, a fact that made Violet wonder how long it would last.
Olaf led her to the kitchen which was composed of black tiled floors and a white punched tin ceiling. The cabinets were dark wood and the countertops were identical to the floor. One large window met the countertop in front of the sink as if to watch for hawks or crows or green smoke.
What met her was a beautiful sight.
Lemony was standing next to a tall wooden table, a white tablecloth thrown over it. There was a small chandelier hanging from the ceiling, directly above a coconut cream cake.
"Happy birthday, Violet!" He said warmly, earlier guilt and regret and anger slipped away to save for later.
"Thank you," she responded automatically, taking her seat as the author pulled it out for her. With Lemony on one side and Count Olaf on the other, the three celebrated joyously. They were all happy to be together and pleasantly distracted, eager for their new lives to begin with each other as crutches in an evil and terrible world.
"How did you know? When did you bake a cake? I didn't expect any of this." She smiled later on, eating her last bite of her second piece of cake.
Lemony and Olaf grinned simultaneously. They passed a look at the other before tacitly agreeing.
"I've known your birthday since the day you were born, or at least a month afterwards. And the cake…"
Count Olaf spoke then. "It's a secret!"
Unknown to Violet, Count Olaf clicked a button on a tiny remote inside his left pocket. He could hear the distant whir as the small machine awakened, energized and ready.
"Oh, it's a secret? I'll find out someday." Violet vowed with a secretive smirk. It was only then that she became aware of the sound of small propellers and a thrumming engine. She saw Lemony smirk but then smother it as she turned to look for the noise.
A machine, built to look like a bird, was hovering around near the ceiling. The three watched, intrigued as it glided into the kitchen and began to make its way to the table.
"What is that?" Violet asked, her brain already deciphering the intricate parts it could've been made of and what it would look like taken apart.
"It's an ornithopter." Count Olaf said, his voice portraying none of his fear. "Surely you've hear of them, mighty inventor?"
Violet snorted but didn't take her eyes off the machine to glare at him. "I have. I've just never seen one that looks like a hummingbird."
The ornithopter landed on the table with a satisfying click, two metal feet tapping against the hardwood. The hearts inside both men lurched as it hopped over to Violet, fluttering into her cupped hands.
"It's beautiful. What's it made from? How are the colors so vibrant? Was there a certain type of paint? Did one of you build this? Could you teach me? How did-?"
But then Violet's questions ceased suddenly.
Because what rolled from the crooked wing of the hummingbird was one silver wedding ring.
Count Olaf said softly, "Happy birthday, dear thing."
For anyone who may be wondering if photographs can survive fires, they can, especially if they're in picture frames. I've rummaged through a few things my Aunt had salvaged from when her house burnt down and there were quite a few. Trips to abandoned, half-burnt houses made for good research as well.
"I suppose I'll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies." Is a line from The Penultimate Peril.
Lemony's explanation of his hatlight was yet another way for me to express my whole-hearted excitement for Who Could That Be At This Hour? I'm actually writing an article about it for my next school newspaper.
Obviously, neither I Will Love You As nor A Volunteer's Guide to Baticeering exist. But if Mr. Snicket could make a bookception, I thought it would be neat, too.
I love ornithopters. I think they're very interesting and complex and neat. Reading about them is just something I enjoy doing, so slipping one in here was fun.
I've gotten questions along the lines of, "Where are Klaus and Sunny?!" I'll get to them, I promise! This fic has just grown alarmingly longer than what I had intended.
Also, the megalovely Goblinesque made me a fanvid! It's absolutely awesome and can be found on YouTube. It's titled 'CarleyCavaliers Story.'
Let me know what you think!