Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

Business in Jasper Cove may be diversifying. Mitternacht is thinking of going into confectionery.  She came into the tavern with a bag of her first experiments, which turned out to be something akin to lemon drops.  She asked my opinion, which was flattering, if a little strange, given my restricted diet. I don’t think that she has quite cottoned on to my nature yet. I reminded her of this, but it turned out that she does not know the word. I explained briefly, explaining my limited dietary requirements, but it didn’t seem to bother her other than commenting that it seemed dull.  I told her that there were compensations, but didn’t get the chance to explain further.  I tasted the sweet anyway, blessing whatever stroke of fortune that had allowed me to retain my sense of taste, even if I can’t digest much, other than the vitae, any more. And yes, indeed, they tasted pretty much like the lemon drops I remember from my childhood days, which somehow managed to include a wide range of sweets, despite Mothers’ well-intentioned attempts to restrict our sugar intake.  Mitternacht seemed to be under the impression that there might have not been enough sugar in the sweets, but I assured her there was plenty.  Perhaps equines have a sweeter tooth than the rest of us.  Certainly the horses that pulled Father’s delivery carts always appreciated the sugar-cubes I was allowed to feed them when I went out on the cart with him.

Wren appeared, apparently on her patrols, so we went through the usual salutes and greetings. I suggested that she try the lemon drops, reckoning that a human child, for I assume that she is so, pending evidence to the contrary, would be a better judge than I.  Her face definitely registered approval and she was most enthusiastic about the idea of Mitternacht making candy.  Mitternacht commented that she had always dreamed of opening a candy store, which struck me as an odd dream for a mortician, and that Star had been going to help her.  This latter, I assumed being her late husband, of whom she has only mostly spoken during her less lucid phases.  Wren was less certain than I that there was sufficient sugar, but then, children tend to live on the stuff, so her opinion might not have been quite so objective.

I suggested to Mitternacht that she might try making mint imperials.  A purely selfish suggestion of course, since I have been carefully hoarding my limited supply of them since I arrived here.  With some reluctance, I gave her one of my remaining few, in the hope that she might be able to reproduce it.  After a certain amount of confusion over nomenclature for different types of mint, Mitternacht seemed to be of the opinion she could make something similar.  Wren suggested caramels while I suggested, getting a little tease in, that cinnamon would be a good flavour.  Wren looked a little uncertain about that idea until I reassured her that I was joking and that the cinnamon incident was forgiven.  Meanwhile, Mitternacht, muttering to herself about caramel and cinnamon, drifted off into one of her fugues. It seemed a mild one, judging by previous experience, so I left her to it, thinking she would recover quickly.

I took the opportunity to ask Wren about Luna, relating the incident from a few days before when Luna had taken Hadley off to play in the woods.  Wren was most alarmed by this, confirming, as I had thought, that they weren’t allowed to go off and play in the woods without their maids, guards or Alec or Isabella with them.  I didn’t notice at the time, but later, as I write, it strikes me as odd that she should refer t them by their first names.  That is something I shall have to pursue later. Wren thinks that Luna is crazy and weird and shouldn’t be allowed to take Hadley out on her own.  Apparently, Luna thinks that Hadley is her own baby, a somewhat odd concept for somebody I judge to be a little younger than Wren.  I promised that I would be sure to take stronger steps next time I saw Luna with the child, taking her away if necessary.  We spoke a little about Riley, who Wren does like, but thinks she is shy.  From my experience with the children I knew at the home Mother supported, I explained that children like Riley often find it difficult to form social relationships and that patience and kindness were the best approaches.  I told her about the number games I had been playing with her and showed her the journal entry where Riley had written all the numbers around me, explaining that even with my mathematical mind, I had not worked out what it meant.

Mitternach returned from her fugue and carried on as if she hadn’t been gone, once we reminded her we had been talking about caramels.  The discussion then turned to baking, which Wren was supposedly learning from Mitternacht. Much as I was interested, I had other things to deal with in the kitchen, so I left them to it, and when I returned, they had both gone.

I returned to the flat and spent some time making notes about my latest creative endeavour.  I still can’t think of a name for it, but I am sure that will come.  For the moment, I will call the organisation the Black Friars, which is one of their inside jokes, based on the location of one of their offices. I noted on the way that Sophia had picked up her groceries, but as yet, hadn’t come to fetch the meat and dairy stuff.  No doubt she will in good time.

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