Lily Bonham

Episode 47: Twinkle, Twinkle | Scryer's Gulch

By the time the piano lesson was ending, Annabelle had a headache; Lily Bonham was a very bright child, but she was also a very indulged child. Luckily for everyone, indulgence did not encourage a native spite, but rather a native impatience, a desire to skip the preliminaries and move straight to the action no matter how important the preliminaries were.

In this, Annabelle supposed, Lily resembled her father. Lily assumed sitting down at the piano and making her fingers look like they were playing would be enough to assume familiarity with the keyboard. Bonham was assuming familiarity without preliminaries, too--but with Annabelle herself, not the piano. That presented some serious difficulties.

Episode 46: The Piano Lesson | Scryer's Gulch

Jedediah Bonham strolled into his son's hotel with his daughter's confiding little hand in his. The LeFay was understated for his tastes; too much white and not enough red, though the giltwork was nice and there was a great deal of gold bullion fringe on the draperies that he approved of. Someone--Miss Duniway, most likely--was running through a series of exercises on the piano several rooms away. He waved his fingers at Charles behind the front desk, and the man returned it with a respectful-enough if sour nod, followed by a genuine smile for the girl.

"Hello, Charles!" chirped Lily. "Miss Duniway's going to teach me how to play the piano!"

"So I've heard," replied the desk man. "She's in the salon. Best that piano's sounded since it got here."

The End...?

And now...a very special episode of Scryer's Gulch:

As Annabelle tied her bonnet laces, Lily hung around the front of the school room after class, beaming, hands clasped behind her back to contain her excitement. The other students filed out, the boys eager, but restraining themselves from shoving their female peers out of the way.

"Well now, Miss Lily," Annabelle said, and Lily giggled at the formality, "are you ready to visit your big brother's establishment?" Mr Bonham had elected to accept Annabelle's offer of refinement, doubtless in his continued misguided attempt to seduce her. Annabelle restrained her nose from twitching at the unpleasant thought.

Episode 33: Aloysius on the Town

Halloween night came to Scryer's Gulch, and many a party was planned. For most of the camp, they were not so much for celebrating; they were more about not being alone. Always tatty at best on top of the hermetauxite deposit, the veil between worlds got even thinner on Halloween.

Episode 25: Powerful Stuff | Scryer's Gulch

When John returned to his own back parlor, Rabbit was gone, off to make a final round before bed; Mrs Smith dozed in her chair, her darning still in her lap; and Jamie fidgeted anxiously on the hearth rug with his soldiers. John woke Mrs Smith with a gentle, "Now, Minnie, it's past your bedtime, go on up, I'm home now."

Once alone, Jamie and his father avoided looking at one another, John preferring the flicker of the lamp flame, Jamie the pile of deceased tin men he stirred with one finger. "I hear," John began, "that you picked up something maybe you shouldn't have, son."

"Like what?" said Jamie, giving him a brief sideways glance.

"Like a nugget of hermetauxite."

Episode 21: An Enthusiastic Hour | Scryer's Gulch

Annabelle preferred to sit in the back pew at church; despite her general self-confidence, church always made her feel exposed and vulnerable. She'd been raised both Methodic and Enthusiastic, the product of a rare mixed marriage and a childhood spent bouncing between one set of relatives and the next. She loved the clean formality of the Methodic Church and its emphasis on logic, but when it came down to it, she chose Enthusiasm: the brightly clanging bells, the incense wafting over everything, the exuberantly decorated altar, the music so loud it shook her bones, the shouts of the faithful in response to a good sermon. And the sermons were much shorter.

Her mind was Methodic, but her soul was Enthusiastic.

Episode 6: One-Way Cat Fight | Scryer's Gulch

While Misi stood on the windowsill at Hopewell's worrying about Annabelle, she herself was still visiting students. She'd met Jamie Runnels and the Prake twins, and the two children of L.L. Lockson, publisher of the Voice of the Gulch. Now she walked back up the boardwalk toward the great mansion on the hill to acquaint herself with Lily Bonham.

Just past Prake's Hardware, her detector bracelet buzzed and pricked at her wrist. She returned to the store, masking her excitement as she pretended to windowshop; the sensation faded. She strolled back up the street until the pricking became nearly unbearable: it came from the ethergraph office.

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