Magnates and Mirrors

Sir Lord Reginald Thwarpington Ramsbottom the third, lately of Hillshropshireforthdanwidthtonvillebourguponavon, was enjoying his morning rather leisurely. He had awoken in his giant bed and rolled over thrice to get to the edge and then gotten caught in the curtains, made of the very finest damask. Once he was able to cut himself down he put on his best dressing gown, also made of the very finest damask, and walked the three quarters of a mile across his humble and rather quaint manor to find his breakfast had already been placed on the table for him. He filled himself with half a dozen eggs, eighteen pieces of bacon, an entire loaf of bread toasted and buttered, and a bucket of beans. Following, because he deserved it, he poured himself a scotch.

After the little bite to get him through the day, Sir Lord Reginald left his plates and glass on the table for the little people to clean and walked back across his modest manor, stopping halfway across for a water and orange slices break. It was time to dress. Today was to be a day of business. Of industry. Of red-faced, iron-willed, huge-balled capitalism! Just the thought of it made him so invigorated he called for his most faithful butler, Timbly, to come into the room so he could punch him in the face.

“Very good, sir,” Timbly said, staggering back into the dresser.

Sir Lord Reginald dressed in his very finest attire and stepped to the mirror to complete putting on his bowtie, something Timbly had told him he had to learn for himself at knifepoint.

“I say, that’s somewhat unusual,” Sir Lord Reginald said.

“Sir?”

Without taking his eyes off the mirror, Sir Lord Reginald leaned toward the door. “Timbly!” he called for his faithful butler.

“I’m right here, sir,” Timbly said, tying a white kerchief around his left eye.

“Ah, good man,” Sir Lord Reginald said. He only employed the fastest servants here at Dale-on-the-Hill-on-the-Avon-on-the-Green Manor. “Come look at this, Timbly.”

Timbly, back straight and nose turning purple, stepped up next to Sir Lord Reginald.

“Sir?”

“Why, look, good man!”

Looking back at the two of them was Timbly. Once this entire mirror thing had been sorted, he would have to have a discussion about proper attire with Timbly. That kerchief around his eye looked disgraceful! He would be forced to dock his pay this week.

But that was a matter for an entirely other moment. For now, the matter at hand: Timbly was in the mirror. Sir Lord Reginald was not.

“Most intriguing, sir,” Timbly said. “I wonder if it has anything to do-”

“Nonsense!” Sir Lord Reginald said, not listening. “It’s obvious this mirror is broken.”

“Broken, sir?”

“Yes, Timbly, broken! The mirror has one job to do, and that’s to reflect whatever is standing in front of it! I am standing in front of it, yet I do not reflect. Therefore, this mirror is broken. I must talk to my business partners. Surely this most glorious Industrial Revolution can also revolutionize the mirror!”

Timbly took in a long breath with his eye closed, perhaps reflecting on the infallible logic of his master, or perhaps taking in the majesty of the industry that had so quickly changed London from a beautiful city to a beautiful city covered in soot.

“Perhaps we should try another mirror, sir?”

“Yes, Timbly, of course. I have to tie my tie somehow. Unless, you…?”

“This way, sir.”

Timbly led him down the hall to one of his many guest rooms.

“This mirror is broken, too! Timbly! Another!”

All in all, Sir Lord Reginald had Timbly take him to one hundred and nineteen mirrors, all scattered throughout the small manor, a cottage really. Every room, it seemed, had a mirror. A broken mirror.

“How can all of my mirrors fail me on the same day! This is certainly outrageous! Who manufactured all these faulty mirrors? They come from…uh…foreign lands, no doubt,” Sir Lord Reginald said, hoping Timbly didn’t notice he couldn’t think of a single foreign land.

“Sir, if I might be so bold as to offer another suggestion?”

“Well? Out with it Timbly! I don’t have all day to dally around waiting for suggestions, there’s industry to be done! Stocks! Numbers! Child workers!”

Timbly took a second to sigh again, surely a sigh of appreciation that all those children are given the chance to support their families at as young an age as four.

“Perhaps this has something to do with your new neighbor, sir?”

“Who? The Lady Petunia Smith-Kent-Bushel-ton?”

“No.”

“Duke Christopher Archibald Weasel Fox Hound Staggly?”

“No.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Bobert Theomas Tedrick Austintonly?”

“No, sir.”

Sir Lord Reginald scoffed. “Surely, you cannot be talking about Count Meurduerson?”

“Yes, sir, precisely. I believe he may have something to do with this.”

“You take this slander back right this instant!” Sir Lord Reginald screamed with the utmost dignity. “Count Meurduerson is a friend! A fantastic new friend! We are to be friends forever and forever! He told me so!” The tears on his face reflected the chandelier light and made for a stunningly manly picture.

“And when did Count Meurduerson tell you this?”

“Why, just the other night! He invited me out for the most peculiar activity – a night hunt! Oh, we did have so much fun.”

“Did you catch anything?”

“Actually, we did not. Except maybe friendship.”

“Forgive me for being so forward-”

“I don’t, but continue.”

Timbly sniffed. “Did the Count Meurduerson, by any change, grow fangs and bite your neck with them, thereby drinking your blood?”

“Timbly!” Sir Lord Reginald held a manly hand up to his manly chest. “Did you follow us? Are you spying?”

“Far from it, sir. It is merely an educated guess. I had supposed Count Meurduerson was a vampire after his initial call to the house, where he only came at night and hissed like a cat when passing the chapel. It seems he has made you one, as well.”

“Vampires, Timbly! Are we believing in childish monsters, now?”

“Have you had your breakfast, sir?”

“Of course I have!”

“And has it filled you?”

“No, actually, I’m ravenous! I just supposed that was my vigor for industry!”

“And when have you last seen the sun?”

“It’s England, Timbly. The sun is a myth.”

“Quite. And what of the fangs in your mouth, sir?”

“Fangs! I don’t have any…”

Sir. Lord Reginald reached up to his face and immediately cut himself on one of his teeth. It seemed that four of his upper teeth had become quite long and sharp.

“Timbly.”

“Yes, sir?”

“I do believe you are onto something. Perhaps I won’t dock your pay this week after all.”

“Sir?”

A vampire. A creature of the night. Never to go into the sun again. Forced to drink blood to survive. Doomed to an eternal, lonely life.

“Timbly! Do you know what this means!”

“I supposed I had better order heavier drapes for the manor, sir.”

“I mean, yes, do that. But also…now I can do industry forever! I shall be the greatest magnate the world has ever seen, and I have all the time to do it! Timbly! Fetch the coach! Let us go thank Count Meurduerson on the way to kill poor people in London!”

Timbly sighed again. “Very good, sir.”


Inspired by this.


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