Story [Sweeney Todd] Unforgotten (angst, mush) - Updated 10/1

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  1. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Title: Unforgotten
    Author: Qui-Gon_Reborn
    Genre: lots of angsty angst :p
    Timeframe: after A Little Priest, before/during-ish Johanna (the reprise)
    Characters: Sweeney Todd, Margaret Salisbury (OC)
    Summary: Margaret Salisbury is six years old when her mother sends her out into the writhing streets of London to fend for herself. When Margaret witnesses an unthinkable act by a strange, quiet man, she must put aside her growing love for him and escape as quickly as possible.
    Note: The title is a play off of a line in the reprise of Johanna: "And in the darkness when I'm blind with what I can't forget/It's always morning in my mind..." Also, apologies to Idri, our resident Sondheim guru, for any inconsistencies or errors. I hope there aren't any, but if there are, please don't kill me. ;)


    Margaret Salisbury?s mother kept track of how many children she had by counting them on her fingers, which she could hardly see, her eyesight being what it was, and of which she was still in possession of eighty percent of their intended quantity. When she had more children then she had fingers, Margaret Salisbury?s mother sent them out into the world with a word of advice and the lifting of a prayer, both of which vied for the position of greater comparative uselessness. The word of advice was actually several words, five words, to be precise: Don?t lend anybody any money. The prayer was actually an improvised combination of every arbitrary piece of Christian religion Margaret Salisbury?s mother was able to acquire over the years, the Kings, the churches, and the time spent near the gallows: Lord, keep my offspring alive long enough to feed their old mum.

    Margaret Salisbury was six years old when she scored her first occupation, a match peddler along the teeming confines of Fleet Street and the surrounding area. It wasn?t a bad job to have, really; it would have been much worse not to have any job at all. Sure, she starved for a week before she was able to acquire matches for the operative part of her titular role, but there were worse things than starvation. Sure, she starved another week before she was able to scrape together enough money to buy something to fill the insistent, gnawing emptiness of her stomach, but there were worse things that could happen to a person. Now that she was positively rolling in money, though, her tiny fist filled to the heaping brim with small coins, she could treat herself to a warm meat pie and something to smooth the itchy dryness of her throat.

    Mrs. Mooney?s pie shop was the closest, but Margaret had been born knowing the tales of the poor creatures that had suffered and died at the hands of Mrs. Mooney, to be consumed, in processed form, by foreigners, fools, and poor people. Margaret was neither foreigner nor fool, and she was now anything but poor, so she made her way to Mrs. Lovett?s pie shop, a decidedly more friendly alternative.

    ?Hello?? called Margaret, as she cracked open the door with an audible creak. It seemed like the place had been empty for a few hours. The countertop was clean -- or, at least, it wasn?t dirty -- and there were no cooking utensils or foodstuffs around. Margaret put a hand near the oven, and found that it wasn?t warm. Mrs. Lovett must have gone out to do some shopping or visit a neighbor.

    Casting one final, longing glance at the sign above the shop, Margaret slipped out the door, already making plans to come back later that day. But her angry hunger wouldn?t cooperate, so she decided to circle the building and see if she could find another way in.

    The street was busy at the warmest part of the day, heaving with the squirming masses of top-hatted pedestrians, dark, fast-moving carriages, and the occasional wild-haired old woman, clutching her rags and muttering words in some ancient tongue to the devil and his helpers. Margaret dodged each of those parties with skill born of her advanced years, keeping her head lowered and her eyes focused and moving. When she reached the rear of the building, Margaret g/>
  2. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Whoops, sorry, edited the wrong post. Meant to edit my own. [face_blush]

    Also, apologies to Idri, our resident Sondheim guru, for any inconsistencies or errors. I hope there aren't any, but if there are, please don't kill me.

    Kill! Kill! Kill!

    ... oh, what? Sorry. :p

    I promise, I'll be nice. [face_devil]

    (PS. Ooooh, I'm THE resident Sondheim guru? Cool! :cool: )

    Margaret Salisbury

    Cool name. Just thought I'd mention it. And it works. [face_peace]

    Love the opening description. Lovely, gritty Victorian London - definitely in keeping with the atmosphere set up by the show (usually)/film. Poor Margaret. Kid needs a hug. [:D] If she's peddling on Fleet Street, I wonder if she'll run into Lucy? [face_thinking]

    so she made her way to Mrs. Lovett?s pie shop, a decidedly more friendly alternative.

    Oh, the irony is killing me! [face_laugh]

    The countertop was clean -- or, at least, it wasn?t dirty -- and there were no cooking utensils or foodstuffs around.

    See what a magnificent change money will do? And to think I was still imagining the dirty pie shop from "Worst Pies in London" and how Sondheim manages to work her squishing flies and bugs into the song. Though to be honest I've always wanted to try staging the "No, you don't!" line (she's talking to a bug :p ) by having her say it to a Sweeney who has decided that he wants to leave the shop... and I shall shut up now. 8-}

    and the occasional wild-haired old woman, clutching her rags and muttering words in some ancient tongue to the devil and his helpers.

    Oh, yep, there's Lucy. :cool: "City on fire, city on fire! Mischief, mischief, mischief! Fiiiieend! Alms, alms..."

    When she reached the rear of the building, Margaret gasped, seeing that there were, indeed, stairs leading up towards a moderately-sized room in the back of Mrs. Lovett?s bakery and shop. Perhaps Mrs. Lovett was back there, and Margaret would be able to persuade her to open the shop. Margaret could be very persuasive, when desperate, and she was growing increasingly desperate.

    You know kid, sometimes being desperate gets you into major trouble. AKA -- don't go up those stairs! Just... don't.

    She took the stairs two at a time, twice tripping and nearly losing a few teeth to the railing, her short legs tired and sore by the time she reached the top.

    'Kay, never mind, you do what you want. Though I have a feeling that when she runs into Sweeney, he probably won't kill her because she's a little girl and will most likely remind him of Johanna.

    Margaret tilted her head back to reorient herself, and realized that the window was too encrusted in grime for her to make anything out. She wiped it with the back of her filthy sleeve, which made it even more filthy, for what that was worth, and grunted and strained to see inside of the room.

    Bad idea, bad idea, bad idea!

    Then she gasped, losing her footing and falling, hard, onto her backside.

    Yeah, see, I said it was a bad idea...

    There was a man in there, with eyes chipped from frozen fire and melted into his sockets. She couldn?t really be certain, with the lighting so bad, but it looked like the man had leaned over another man, who was sitting in a chair, and reeled back, something in his hand catching the dim slivers of light that poured into the dark room and shining, and flashing, and--

    Wonderful description of Mr. Todd.

    She shut her eyes against the stream of red, the flood of red, the torrential, pounding rain of red on red on black. She placed tiny fists over her eyelids, grinding them into her skull, trying to drive out the image from her mind, to force it from her memory, begging it to leave her and let her live again without having to see it, to think of it. Margaret tore her hands from her face, suddenly panicked, and tried to stand, but her trembling legs buckled beneath her. She felt sick, and curled into herself, willing the dizziness to go away.

    Ugh.
  3. FelsGoddess Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2004
    star 5
    Touching glimpse of Todd's dying humanity.

    Poor kid. :(

    =D=
  4. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Thanks a bunch, FelsGoddess. Much appreciated. :D

    And yay, a ginormous comment from the Sondheim guru! Who could've possibly predicted that would happen? [face_laugh]

    (PS. Ooooh, I'm THE resident Sondheim guru? Cool!)

    You better believe it. I'd like to see someone try to out-Sondheim you. You make my head spin like the Mad Hatter. :p

    Cool name. Just thought I'd mention it. And it works.

    Thank you very much. That's awesome, considering I usually have such a devil of a time with names. And name generators never cut it for me, so I usually spend more time thinking up a name for a character than writing the actual story. It's rather sad, really. :p The name "Margaret" came from an in-joke my sister and I have about the couple that Sweeney passes and snarls at during Epiphany, and the fact that they're so oblivious to his presence. We've come to call them Sir Thomas and Margaret, for some reason, and we sort of imagine Margaret discussing how a demon barber snarled at her over tea and scones.

    Love the opening description. Lovely, gritty Victorian London - definitely in keeping with the atmosphere set up by the show (usually)/film. Poor Margaret. Kid needs a hug.

    Hey, this is Sweeney freakin' Todd. Everybody needs a hug. [face_laugh]

    See what a magnificent change money will do? And to think I was still imagining the dirty pie shop from "Worst Pies in London" and how Sondheim manages to work her squishing flies and bugs into the song.

    I sometimes imagine the Worst Pies in London sequence as part of some sort of demented cooking show. I love it; it's one of my favorite parts of the whole production.

    Though to be honest I've always wanted to try staging the "No, you don't!" line (she's talking to a bug ) by having her say it to a Sweeney who has decided that he wants to leave the shop... and I shall shut up now.

    Oh geez, here we go. :rolleyes: [face_laugh] You can't help yourself, can you? :p Part of what's cool about this whole segment is that it's one of the very rare moments that Sweeney is almost completely helpless. He's just totally out of his element, lost, confused, and overwhelmed. It sets up Mrs. Lovett's character, and it's hilariously fun.

    'Kay, never mind, you do what you want. Though I have a feeling that when she runs into Sweeney, he probably won't kill her because she's a little girl and will most likely remind him of Johanna.

    Good call. ;)

    Wonderful description of Mr. Todd.

    Praise Odin! It's hard to get Sweeney just right.

    And then - surprisingly - he invites her in and gets her something to eat. I was expecting him to just turn her away, but then I guess he needs to resolve this witness-to-his-crimes situation somehow.

    I suppose he's feeling sorry for her, a little girl thrown out on the streets. And he of all people knows how unforgiving the streets of London are. It's a nice parallel here with Mrs. Lovett and how she treats and looks after Toby.


    You nailed it. That's exactly what I was driving at. It's a complex situation here, on the part of both characters. Margaret is terrified -- and who wouldn't be? -- but she's also starving to death, unsure of herself, in unfamiliar surroundings, and not quite certain of what she saw. Mr. Todd doesn't want any witnesses to his atrocities, but he sees a little of Johanna in Margaret, and a little of himself, too. More than anything, though, contrary to belief, he's not a total monster, and wants to do something for this poor, helpless kid.

    Awww, and you just made him a big, old softie! ... yes, I just called an axe-crazy murderous barber a big, old softie. I suppose that's one of the wonders about the character - the amount of fighting opposites, the nice person versus the murderer.

    Yeah, I'm a sucker for the softie side of Mr. T. [face_laugh] [face_love] There's something deeply interesting about a guy who can be simultaneously so vicious and vulnerable.

    Yep. If he makes her into a Toby, that
  5. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    Awww, that was sweet in a very dark and twisted way. :)
  6. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    That's the best compliment I could hope for. :p :D
  7. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    This is great!! I love the way you set up Margaret as a character and give her a detailed background - it really drew me in :D And she was such a sweetheart, seeing him and understanding him and being so very grateful.
  8. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Well, I say, a certain someone needs to respond to the second half of a PM I sent her... :p

    And yay, a ginormous comment from the Sondheim guru! Who could've possibly predicted that would happen?

    ABSOLUTELY no one. [face_shhh]

    Sir Thomas and Margaret, eh? [face_laugh] Ohhh, I love giving names to extras! It's fun. :p

    I think you would do well to do a sequel fic, sometime. It's an interesting concept and you can go far with the characters. I would delight in reading it. ;) Especially since you give a crazy amount of investment to the characters. My instructors would totally love you. [face_laugh] ;)

    ... though it does help when you're working with characters from a brilliant script and story. :p All hail Sondheim!

  9. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Thanks, Nat! [:D]

    Well, I say, a certain someone needs to respond to the second half of a PM I sent her...

    Who could you possibly be referring to? [face_whistling] I'm halfway through the second half. It's not my fault you send such long PMs. I'm not accustomed to dealing with such verbal structure and length in anything having to do with the JC. :p

    I think you would do well to do a sequel fic, sometime. It's an interesting concept and you can go far with the characters. I would delight in reading it.

    Now would probably be the best time to write it, because I've been giving the whole Toby/Mrs. Lovett relationship a huge amount of thought lately, for some weird reason, and I'd love to explore Mrs. Lovett in this sort of context. I don't know, maybe you actually will see a sequel, after all. We'll see. In any case, I'm thrilled and honored you love the story so much. :D

    Especially since you give a crazy amount of investment to the characters. My instructors would totally love you.

    Don't say that. I'm already half-convinced I've chosen the wrong profession. :p

    ... though it does help when you're working with characters from a brilliant script and story. All hail Sondheim!

    And all hail Sweeney Todd! One of the weirdest, awesomest tales of all time!
  10. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    As of now, the rest of this conversation should be moved to a PM, 'cause it will probably spiral out of control. :p

    It's not my fault you send such long PMs. I'm not accustomed to dealing with such verbal structure and length in anything having to do with the JC.

    [face_laugh] But don't you know? All "Theatre Students :cool: " use verbal structure and length in their writing (okay, I abuse the use of the hyperbole, but you get my point :p ). I should have put up a warning sign, then, missy. :p "Warning: Verbal Structure and Length Used in this PM, Open at Own Risk."

    Now would probably be the best time to write it, because I've been giving the whole Toby/Mrs. Lovett relationship a huge amount of thought lately, for some weird reason, and I'd love to explore Mrs. Lovett in this sort of context.

    Lovett's and Toby's relationship is complicated and deserving of some exploration, since it is a major part of her character. It's somewhat overlooked when put against all the RAGE!KILL!SLASH!TURPIN, I WANT YOU DEAD!MEATPIES!CANNIBALISM! of the rest of the show. :p But it's important to know that these characters aren't just axe-crazy people, they have real human emotions and much of their actions are caused by circumstance. Lovett's idea to use dead people as meat for her currently meatless pies in order to make them better and be able to sell them and make money is pretty genius when you think about it and aren't spending too much time being grossed out. Her and Toby's relationship, highlighting her want of being a mother (just like Todd's thoughts about Johanna highlight his want of being a father) is just as important as the... rest of the stuff that happens. :p And it's a little more pleasant. ;)

    Don't say that. I'm already half-convinced I've chosen the wrong profession.

    Everyone should be an actor. Then we shall rule the world with entertainment! Mwhahaha! [face_skull]
  11. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    As of now, the rest of this conversation should be moved to a PM, 'cause it will probably spiral out of control.

    Ahh, I think we can get away with one more post. :p

    "Warning: Verbal Structure and Length Used in this PM, Open at Own Risk."

    I knew it was going to be long, but I opened it out of sheer curiosity. I didn't know it was going to be THAT long! [face_laugh] I can't say I mind, though, even if I hadn't really had time to finish responding yet. Most of the crowd I'm accustomed to bouncing my Sweeney thoughts off of are most intensely fixated on how adorable his little blue jacket is. :rolleyes: :p

    Lovett's and Toby's relationship is complicated and deserving of some exploration, since it is a major part of her character.

    Yes, I'd say it's the most important aspect of her character. However, I hadn't seen the film version of Sweeney for a while until I decided to pop it in the Blu-Ray ( :cool: ) player the other day and become thoroughly depressed. One thing stood out to me that I never really noticed before then, but it's been sort of biting me in the face ever since. The part where Mr. Todd and Mrs. Lovett are searching for poor Toby in the sewer. I'm totally aware that it probably took everything in Mrs. Lovett's soul for her to come to the decision to pop Toby off, but...back up a second. This woman is asking a man whose life has been a living hell for over fifteen years to murder a little kid. Up until that point, I think all of her decisions, even the decision to use people for sustanence and financial reimbursement, :p could be written off to circumstance. But not that one. I think it shows that Mrs. Lovett is actually a much more sinister character than Sweeney, even though she's probably the more normal one.
    Lovett's idea to use dead people as meat for her currently meatless pies in order to make them better and be able to sell them and make money is pretty genius when you think about it and aren't spending too much time being grossed out.

    Of the pair, she's the one with the brains, that's for sure. Half the time, he's so caught up in his own little world that he can hardly tie his shoes. :p

    And it's a little more pleasant.

    Oh, I'd disagree with that. The cannibalism and revenge themes are infused with such a sense of unreality that it's easy to distance yourself from them in the context of the whole story. It's the parts that are more realistic, such as Anthony's constant duel with Turpin and Mrs. Lovett's relationship with Toby, that freak me out more than anything.

    Everyone should be an actor. Then we shall rule the world with entertainment! Mwhahaha!

    But who would bake the pies? :p
  12. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    I never plan my stories in advance. I'm just a slave to my muse. [face_laugh] And it seems as if my muse has taken somewhat of a liking to little Margaret, and wants to see more of her. So while I intended Unforgotten to be a one-shot, it turned out that my muse (and some of my readers) wanted a sequel. Come to find out even that wasn't enough. My muse is demanding at least one more fan fic as a follow-up to this sequel, and holding my sanity for ransom. :p So expect more where this came from! By the way, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to read and/or comment on a piece of fan fiction that deals with something as strange and random as Sweeney Todd. I thank you, my muse thanks you, and my beloved characters thank you, too. ;) Please enjoy! :D


    Every time someone had instructed her to do something that went against her better judgment, and every time she agreed, Margaret ended up having to reintroduce herself to her two most trustworthy companions. They were twins, having lived together as long as she could remember, amusing themselves by running around her in tireless circles and singing their shrill, wordless songs. One was pain -- swift and terrifying and absolute -- descending in noiseless splendor like an owl from the tower of a church, clinging to her like a perpetually penniless, perpetually needy, perpetually drunk older sibling. One was regret -- much more clever, and infinitely more deliberate -- slower to strike, but quicker to consume. Margaret had made her peace with the twins long before she was old enough to enter the world of adults, but that didn?t mean she enjoyed living with them. She would cast them off if she could. The problem was that she could never afford to do so. Necessity, opportunity, and practicality played entourage to the ever-present pair, and rarely left their side long enough for Margaret to take advantage.

    But not this time. This time was different. This time, Margaret was going to commit the cardinal sin of the poor. This time, Margaret was going to be a fool.

    She knew it was stupid. But Margaret had always done things that were stupid. Her mother used to curse her stupidity, her thick-handed clumsiness, and used to pray to the good Lord that she?d live another day. Margaret hadn?t done a useful deed since the day she was born, but her mum had the kindness of heart not to throw her out of the house. But this kind of stupidity was the kind that could get you killed. It was the kind of stupidity that froze silent corpses in the alleys.

    Margaret exhaled sharply, watching the cloud of warm air vanish in the oppressive cold. Mr. Todd?s eyes. They were what drove her to go back. They were what drove her to be stupid. She had never seen eyes like that before. They were sad, but she liked the way he looked at her. Nobody had ever looked at her that way. Margaret took another breath to quiet the pounding in her ears and chest, rubbed her hands together against the cold, and walked across the street.

    Standing on her toes, she could see Mrs. Lovett?s bent form outlined through the window of the pie shop, which meant that Margaret had no reason to turn away. Except, of course, the strange warning from Mr. Todd. He probably didn?t want her to return because he would feel obligated to look after her again. Well, he wouldn?t have to. Licking dry lips, Margaret placed a hand in the small pocket of her dress, feeling the coins rub against each other. It was a good feeling, and it gave her confidence. Smiling, Margaret opened the door to the shop.

    Mrs. Lovett looked up from where she had been mercilessly thrashing a helpless lump of pale, reddish-tan dough. Seeing Margaret, her face ignited like the sky on New Year?s Eve. She ran the back of her wrist across her face, conscious that she was perspiring freely, and bounded over to the door. ?Hello, dear! You come in for a pie, I wonder? Poor thing, you look froze to death! Let?s sit you down right here, and fix you up with something nice and warm. Take the chill out of the/>
  13. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Well, lookie at what you've done. Now I don't feel so bad for continuing our conversation in your thread. :p

    I knew it was going to be long, but I opened it out of sheer curiosity. I didn't know it was going to be THAT long!

    I'm the one with a 300,000 word incomplete novel sitting on her computer. I have way too many ideas, so, naturally, everything ends up being very, very long, especially when it concerns my BFA program. :p

    I can't say I mind, though, even if I hadn't really had time to finish responding yet. Most of the crowd I'm accustomed to bouncing my Sweeney thoughts off of are most intensely fixated on how adorable his little blue jacket is.

    Oh, you Johnny Depp fanatics, you... :p Though if they're fixated on the blue jacket, wouldn't that be more of a Costume Designer Fantatic? [face_thinking] Since though Depp's the one wearing it, he didn't make it... :p

    Oh, and score one for me for intelligent conversation! ;)

    But not that one. I think it shows that Mrs. Lovett is actually a much more sinister character than Sweeney, even though she's probably the more normal one.

    It's the normalcy that makes it creepy. Human psychology is a lot scarier, which is why I don't find slasher films scary (just gross -- not even disturbingly gross, just gross), while something like The Tell-Tale Heart creeps me out so much I can't sleep. I guess it's partially because we all have human psychology (duh :p ). Slasher film villains are more figments of our imagination.

    Oh, I'd disagree with that. The cannibalism and revenge themes are infused with such a sense of unreality that it's easy to distance yourself from them in the context of the whole story. It's the parts that are more realistic, such as Anthony's constant duel with Turpin and Mrs. Lovett's relationship with Toby, that freak me out more than anything.

    Okay, you win. :p Re: what I said about normalcy being freakier than slasher films. :p

    But who would bake the pies?

    Oh, ha ha.


    Story time. :p

    Every time someone had instructed her to do something that went against her better judgment, and every time she agreed, Margaret ended up having to reintroduce herself to her two most trustworthy companions.

    I must say, I love this opening. Very suitable and the pain and regret parts are written very nicely. :)

    And so the curious child returns. And now she meets Mrs. Lovett! Very Lovett-esque, to invite her in for a meat-pie. Lovett's such a mothering type, no wonder it's downright creepy that she has no qualms about slicing dead people up for meat.

    And she goes on to talk immediately about Toby. Aww. [face_love]

    And then Sweeney comes in, and hilarity ensues. Well, not hilarity, but the hilarity in that ironic way of... oh, you know what I mean! ;)

    ?I?ve been meaning to find someone to?? He cleared his throat, eyebrows raised. ?To help me clean up the shop.?

    Why do I get the feeling he made that up on the spot? Someone has a fatherly side coming through, methinks.

    ?Mr. T, are you listening to me??

    ?Yes,? he said softly.


    Isn't it funny how you can listen to someone and not know a word they're saying? This seems to happen to them. Frequently. See specifically "By the Sea" for more evidence. :p

    Oh ho, and someone's protective side is coming out. I like your Sweeney. He almost has a... charismatic side coming through. That's not the right word, but whatever it is, I like it!

    ?Like you and Toby.?

    She raised a hand as if she were about to make a point, lowered it, and then nodded, comprehending. ?Me and Toby.?


    Aha, and now she gets it.

    ?All right. If it?s only temporary.?

    When those two use the word "temporary", I can't help but get shivers. No matter how much they like their chargers, I hope little Margaret will get away when "temporary" time dries up - as it eventually will. But then the question is, who knows when "eventually" will come?






    />
  14. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Well, lookie at what you've done. Now I don't feel so bad for continuing our conversation in your thread.

    From the way you were going on about it, I didn't think you felt bad in the first place. :p

    I'm the one with a 300,000 word incomplete novel sitting on her computer.

    Aww, mine's only 55,000 words. :p

    Oh, you Johnny Depp fanatics, you...

    Truer words were never spoken, I assure you.

    Since though Depp's the one wearing it, he didn't make it...

    But whoever made it doesn't look as good in it. ;)

    Lovett's such a mothering type, no wonder it's downright creepy that she has no qualms about slicing dead people up for meat.

    Yeah, it's the contrasts in her character that make her so compelling and terrifying to me.

    And then Sweeney comes in, and hilarity ensues. Well, not hilarity, but the hilarity in that ironic way of... oh, you know what I mean!

    Sweeney Todd humor. It's in a class of its own. :p

    Isn't it funny how you can listen to someone and not know a word they're saying? This seems to happen to them. Frequently. See specifically "By the Sea" for more evidence.

    "My Friends," in a way, as well. You could almost say that Sweeney's entire story is just one long communication breakdown.

    Oh ho, and someone's protective side is coming out. I like your Sweeney. He almost has a... charismatic side coming through. That's not the right word, but whatever it is, I like it!

    Thank you so much! :D You know, I've learned to write him the same way I write Anakin Skywalker. They both seem to allow themselves to come to a point where it feels as if the weight of the world is just crushing them to death, and they just lose it. It's like they become different people.

    But then the question is, who knows when "eventually" will come?

    Still working on that, mate. ;)
  15. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    After writing this chapter, it looks like we're still not done with Margaret. I see this story lasting another two fics, quite easily, although, like I said, I never plan how everything goes. It just goes. Much to my astonishment.

    Strangely enough, it seems that Mrs. Lovett is the most fun character to write, out of all of them, and I wish I could do more with her in the context of this story. Maybe I will, in the future. But I guess I shouldn't be too surprised about that, since her character is the one that terrifies and fascinates me the most, while also managing to be the funniest in the entire production. Yes, she's hilarious and horrifying. Mr. Sondheim's a brilliant guy, what can I say. But for now, the spotlight cannot rest on dear Mrs. Lovett, but is instead turned to Sweeney, Margaret, and...as of right now...Mr. Tobias Ragg! :D

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy; I encourage you to comment so I'll know whether you enjoyed it; and I thank you very much for commenting/reading/enjoying it. :p Ooh, and ten points to whoever can spot my small nod to String of Pearls, the original serialized publication of the Sweeney Todd story. [face_whistling]


    Mr. Todd didn?t let Margaret finish eating her pie. He and Mrs. Lovett had emerged from the small room at the back of the shop, obviously avoiding each other?s eyes and making every attempt to mask this obviousness, thus making it all the more obvious, and Mr. Todd had walked over to her table. He had spoken quietly to her, and she had listened, because when Mr. Todd spoke quietly, it was best to listen to him. Then he had taken her up to his shop, and instructed her to sit down on a ledge near the wide, sloping window that consumed nearly all of the back wall. It was cramped, but her legs hung down from the ledge and she swung them freely, and there was a good view of the city from that spot. The smoke-hazed rooftops and clouded chimneys were being slowly devoured by the ashen gray of death as day suffered a premature conquest at the hand of night; the light was fading quickly.

    Margaret wanted to tell Mr. Todd that she was still hungry, but she didn?t want to make him angry, and her stomach was trembling in rebellion against the silly apprehension that she had been feeling since before she opened the creaking door to the pie shop. But those dark eyes met her face, and she almost gasped at the strange intensity that fought against the red of his eyelids. She could lose herself in those eyes. They were so strange. So sad. So?cruel? It was odd to think of Mr. Todd as cruel. When his eyes were on her, he seemed to sense her thoughts.

    ?When a customer comes in, you are to take their hat and coat, and put them here,? said Mr. Todd, gesturing towards a table by the large window. ?Then you will leave.?

    She nodded gravely. ?Yes, Mr. Todd.?

    ?When I want you, I will come and get you. While you are waiting, you will sit on the bottom of the stairs. You will not go into the pie shop unless I tell you to. Do you understand??

    ?Yes, Mr. Todd, I understands you.? Margaret was puzzled. From the way Mrs. Lovett treated Mr. Todd, she probably liked him very, very much. But he didn?t seem to feel the same way about her. He even distrusted her, Margaret realized. And Mrs. Lovett seemed to perceive that distrust on a level that she wasn?t completely aware of. Still, Mr. Todd did what Mrs. Lovett asked him to do. That, in an of itself, was an expression of trust. It didn?t make any sense.

    ?If I send you on an errand, you are to go only where I tell you. Nowhere else.? Those last two words were spoken with the emphasis of several emotions Margaret could not identify.

    ?Yes, Mr. Todd.?

    ?You will stay in one of the spare rooms. You will come up here every morning, without delay. You will not go to Mrs. Lovett for anything. Anything.?

    ?Yes, Mr. Todd. But?? Margaret bit her lower lip, her baby teeth leaving indentations in the chapped flesh. Her small features were tense with the effort of composing her thoughts.

    Mr/>
  16. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I love Mrs. Lovett. Her interaction with Margaret makes her seem friendly and off her rocker at the same time :D

    I'm very interested in Sweeny's reactions to Margaret, and I love the way he keeps looking at her hair.

    Toby's sweet, too, wanting to protect Mrs. Lovett and being not unkind to Margaret. Is this movie!Toby who's young, or stage!Toby who's a full-grown man?
  17. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    I love Mrs. Lovett. Her interaction with Margaret makes her seem friendly and off her rocker at the same time

    Thank you very much, because that's exactly how I intended her to be, and exactly as she should be. :D I think Mrs. Lovett really means well, though, as twisted as she is. But she resents Margaret's presence, and doesn't feel comfortable with the way Sweeney seems to have a blind spot for her.

    I'm very interested in Sweeny's reactions to Margaret, and I love the way he keeps looking at her hair.

    Isn't it sweet? [face_love] Sad, too, at the same time. He's obsessed.

    Is this movie!Toby who's young, or stage!Toby who's a full-grown man?

    Hey hey, Nat knows her stuff! :D Good question, and one I should've thought to answer beforehand. It's movie Toby, who's a young kid. Not only because I prefer a young Toby, (as a matter of fact, Toby started off as a kid, in String of Pearls, and the mentally handicapped young man Toby came later), but because it makes the dynamics between him and Margaret much more fun to write.

    Thanks for reading, Nat. [:D]
  18. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Idri's Magnificent Comment! Colour-Coded for Your Convenience.

    Replies to Your Replies

    Yeah, it's the contrasts in her character that make her so compelling and terrifying to me.

    Human psychology will forever be scarier than hacker-and-slasher because the latter is not very understandable - while human psychological horror feels real and feels possible.

    Sweeney Todd humor. It's in a class of its own.

    That's not Sweeney Todd humour, that's Sondheim humour. ;) I've had you research Into the Woods and the Grand Giantess Rampage of Act II, right? o_O

    "My Friends," in a way, as well. You could almost say that Sweeney's entire story is just one long communication breakdown.

    I hear, but I do not listen.

    You know, I've learned to write him the same way I write Anakin Skywalker. They both seem to allow themselves to come to a point where it feels as if the weight of the world is just crushing them to death, and they just lose it. It's like they become different people.

    [face_laugh] Perfect! Dark descent Anakin is definitely like that. If only Anakin had just a little bit more going for him - his society is a fairy tale compared to Mr. Todd's. :p



    Other Comments

    Hey hey, Nat knows her stuff!

    Pfft, because I told her. [face_devil]

    It's movie Toby, who's a young kid. Not only because I prefer a young Toby, (as a matter of fact, Toby started off as a kid, in String of Pearls, and the mentally handicapped young man Toby came later), but because it makes the dynamics between him and Margaret much more fun to write.

    I still think teenaged Toby is far more interesting and dynamic than kid Toby. Of course, the reason why he's a young adult in the musical is because the music is far too complicated (in range, meter, and everything) for any child to sing - as you can painfully hear in the film version where they changed the key of Pirelli's Miracle Elixir simple to satisfy their actor's vocal range. [face_frustrated] Music student frustration! Grrrarrr!

    :p ;)



    Story Comments

    Love the opening description. You've got this murky 19th century London down perfectly. :D Though I imagine Mr. Burton's visuals are helping somewhat, right? ;)

    She could lose herself in those eyes. They were so strange. So sad. So?cruel? It was odd to think of Mr. Todd as cruel. When his eyes were on her, he seemed to sense her thoughts.

    He does have that kind of stare-into-your-soul thing going on. Thanks Mr. Depp; we normally can't see that on stage. Appropriate, though, considering his opinions of the men in society at large. A kind of "I stare into your soul and I see filth - and I look at my own soul and I also see filth". Running on his philosophies from "Epiphany" there...

    From the way Mrs. Lovett treated Mr. Todd, she probably liked him very, very much.

    Oh, the innocent understanding of a child that sees what adults do not.

    You will not go to Mrs. Lovett for anything. Anything.

    He's worried about what she might to do her...? [face_thinking] Or having Lovett influence little Margaret? Or her following Lovett around will mean that she will see something else she shouldn't and then Lovett will get convince Todd to rid of her?

    This was a place of death. She didn?t belong here. She was too innocent. Too pure. She didn?t know. She hadn?t learned.

    This is like the counter to "Epiphany"! There's still some good in the world; unfortunately, it's all corrupted before you can do anything about it. Is he trying to keep her from being corrupted and becoming like everyone else in this dreadful place?

    He touched her yellow hair.

    I see what you did there! [face_whistling]

    Ooh, and now we have a Lovett and Toby scene! Darling. I wonder if Toby is going to get curious about Margaret and eventually get to know her - or will Lovett and Todd try to keep the two from meeting properly?

    Oh, wait, my question is answered in the next paragraph. :p

    ?You been mapping the
  19. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Idri's Magnificent Comment! Colour-Coded for Your Convenience.

    All pay heed! :p I plan to get that PM to you by the end of the week. I do, I do, I really, really do.

    That's not Sweeney Todd humour, that's Sondheim humour. I've had you research Into the Woods and the Grand Giantess Rampage of Act II, right?

    Yes, and I did more than my share of homework. That's partially why I haven't gotten that PM to you yet. Just when I've typed out my thoughts on something, they become obsolete. 8-}

    But after reading String of Pearls, I became convinced that partially why Sweeney is arguably Sondheim's most successful musical is because the story quite possibly could have been written just for him. It already had that ironic, acidic sort of humor before he even touched it. Of course, after he got his hands on it, the brilliance magnified tenfold, but there was a nugget of genius to begin with.

    If only Anakin had just a little bit more going for him - his society is a fairy tale compared to Mr. Todd's.

    Oh yeah, you can say that again. He thought life on Tatooine was bad? :oops:

    Pfft, because I told her.

    Training a whole army of disciples, are we? :p

    Though I imagine Mr. Burton's visuals are helping somewhat, right?

    Astronomically. I admit I even cheated a little, and stared at some screencaps for inspiration.

    A kind of "I stare into your soul and I see filth - and I look at my own soul and I also see filth". Running on his philosophies from "Epiphany" there...

    Very true. You said it even better than I did. :p

    Or her following Lovett around will mean that she will see something else she shouldn't and then Lovett will get convince Todd to rid of her?

    Yes, this one. He doesn't want her near Mrs. Lovett, for fear of what she might see.

    Is he trying to keep her from being corrupted and becoming like everyone else in this dreadful place?

    That's definitely part of it, but at the same time, he has selfish reasons for keeping her around, too. He just doesn't want to have to kill her. Nice of him, isn't it? :p Well, he's trying.

    I sense dramatic irony. Something about Toby creeping around in the sewers at the end of the show...

    Ta-da! :D

    Margaret lacks Toby's intuition, but it's not like his intuition got him anywhere good.

    Right, they're opposites, in a way. He's a more intuitive person, but he talks too much. She doesn't say as much, but she's not as intuitive. So they're both in somewhat of a pickle, really.

    Blame his instincts if you like - kid's probably too smart for his own good.

    Too smart, but too trusting. He didn't trust Mr. Todd, but he never should've trusted Mrs. Lovett, either. To a certain degree, just about every character in the story has some kind of naivete that ends up leading to their literal or figurative demise: Benjamin Barker, of course, in his naivete, failed to notice that Turpin had a thing for his wife; Mrs. Lovett, in her naivete, actually believed that after everything died down with Sweeney's revenge scheme, he would have a more or less normal life with her; Turpin, in his naivete, believed that Sweeney was going to help him with the Johanna situation; Toby, in his naviete, trusted Mrs. Lovett to look after him; and Anthony, in his naviete, fished a creepy-looking man out of the ocean. :p

    Excellent post!

    Thank you! [:D]
  20. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    [face_laugh] Yeah, I was going to say - Idri told me that :p
  21. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    Yeah, well, I learned it from her, too. :p
  22. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    YAY! I HAZ AWESOME SONDHEIM DISCIPLES! [face_dancing]

    I'm surprised you guys haven't told me to shut up about my major yet. :p I might just end up talking your ears off...

  23. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    I wasn't using my ears anyway. :p
  24. Qui-Gon_Reborn Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2008
    star 6
    As the days passed in much the same manner as the weary clouds that drifted over London and never bothered to take their leave of the place, and the feeble strands of smoke that wafted out of the chimneys and down the streets, and the cold, grinding teeth of the wind, Margaret learned many things. She learned how to tell the difference between a man who could afford to pay for a shave and a man who couldn?t. She learned when to stay out of Mr. Todd?s way and when not to leave his side. She learned to navigate the city by referencing the locations of the Bell Tower and Old Bailey. She learned to mind her footing and mind her surroundings. And she learned that there was, indeed, something strange occurring in and around 186 Fleet Street.

    Margaret sat on the bottom step of the stairs leading up to Mr. Todd?s tonsorial parlor. He had sent her away again, something she had quickly become accustomed to and even managed to disregard as a normalcy. But Toby?s odd warning had forced her to consider the circumstances in a different light, even if it went against every ounce of her conscience to think of Mr. Todd as deceitful. She shivered, rubbing her hands together to warm up.

    Initially, she had been angry with Toby for even suggesting that Mr. Todd might not be entirely honest. Then, when the hard logic born of years living amongst the filth and corruption of the London streets smacked her on the head, she came to the conclusion that no one, including Mr. Todd, could possibly be entirely honest. But recent events had led her to believe that Sweeney Todd might be less honest than most.

    A few times she thought she heard someone up there give an oddly truncated shout. Then there were the deep, unmistakably loud thumps that nearly shook the entire building. There were other things, too -- conversations between Mr. Todd and Mrs. Lovett that just didn?t make sense; Mr. Todd?s muttered accounts of a beadle and a judge; cracked mirrors and stains on the floorboards.

    Then there was that time she had come into the shop before Mr. Todd had said it was all right. It was so cold outside, and she thought for sure that if she didn?t come in, she would surely freeze to death. Mr. Todd was finished with his customer and cleaning his razors. There was a massive blotch of red on his sleeve. She had gasped and stuttered an inquiry, and he had smiled tightly and told her that he had accidentally cut himself. She wanted to believe him. She had no reason not to believe him. It was a perfectly reasonable thing to say, wasn?t it? After all, accidents were far more commonplace than mur--

    No. She wouldn?t say it. She couldn?t.

    But there had been so much blood.

    The door to Mrs. Lovett?s pie shop creaked open on recently oiled hinges, and Toby stepped out, his face unusually pale and drawn. He was always a sick-looking lad, with dark circles under his eyes like an old man and thin, bloodless lips, but the stoop in his walk and the pallor in his cheeks seemed to be caused by something else. His eyes were very wide.

    ?Toby,? said Margaret, and the boy jumped in surprise.

    ?You could?ve killed me what with the way you?re jumping out like that,? he said uneasily.

    ?I was sittin? righ? here,? said Margaret, allowing a tinge of annoyance to enter her voice. ?How could you have missed me??

    ?I dunno,? he shrugged.

    ?Toby, what?s wrong??

    ?What d?you mean?? he asked, glancing up the stairs. Margaret noticed the direction of his gaze. Toby had this terrible habit of looking upwards when he was angry or afraid, as if tempted to place the blame for all the sins of the world on the back of Mr. Todd. That used to make Margaret very cross. She still noticed when he did it, but it was far less infuriating than before. Now, it just made her nervous.

    ?What?s he done to you now?? she said, but her sarcasm was halfhearted.

    ?He?s called me up there, for some reason. Mrs. Lovett thinks I?m to deliver a letter or somethin.?

    ?You better get up there, then, or he?ll be angry.?

    ?Right,? said Toby, his voice
  25. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Naturally. :p

    Wonderful description. It makes it so tangible, I feel like I'm there.

    Well, she's an intelligent kid. She's bound to notice sooner or later, I just hope she doesn't get into devastating trouble because of it...

    You know what word always makes me laugh? "Tonsorial". It's such a ridiculous-sounding word, I love it! [face_love]

    [/random] :p

    Yep, definitely level-headed. But the level-headed ones are the ones who usually run into trouble... [face_worried]

    You've managed to get the atmosphere just right; I have this constant nail-biting worry for Margaret even as I'm reading her inner monologues, which is exactly what I want to see in a fic like this. :D

    Dang, that's just so delectably (um... maybe I shouldn't be using that word...) creepy! [face_skull] [face_love]

    [face_laugh] I like the uneasy friendship between these two.

    [face_laugh] I love, that for someone who has a good grip on her logic and her observations, she still takes some things really literally. :p

    Oh, oh, oh... the irony... :_|

    Uh oh...

    If we're where I think we are in the story... uh oh...

    Great job, QGR! =D=

    P.S. If I may take this opportunity to remind a certain lovely someone that she has two PMs from a Miss Idrelle Miocovani that need to be replied to. :p Sometime, when said lovely person has the time. ;) 8-}
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