every Silver lining...

When Gasper overheard his Uncle Isaac suggesting to his parents his nephew might enjoy The Royal Exhibition of Recent Featherati of the Empire, he almost squealed with delight. When his parents brought him into the salon later, though, he listened quietly and thanked them as gravely as a serious young man should.

The night before, he could hardly sleep. The train ride to Chaderton the Lesser by the Bay alone would be brilliant... but to be the first among his classmen to see all the new birds from the colonies?
Why, it was the stuff of dreams!

As the train rocketed down the tracks towards "Little Chad", his uncle pointed out notable sights, most of which were church steeples, poking up over hill tops along with the odd ruin where people had died in horrible ways.

But the speed of it all, and the smell of the coal made it magic, and it seemed like mere minutes until they were among the multitudes in the
great hall.

Suddenly, Gasper felt as though he had been cast into Bedlam. The stone walls quivered with the shrill reverberations of a thousand terrified birds. The air stank of bird shit and piss, in a hellish bouquet with every sort of cheap scent and foul
body odour found among the lower classes.

His uncle was marveling aloud about the plumage of Charmosyna toxopei when Gasper felt a cold panic slinking up his spine. As his eyes rolled back in his head and the marble tiles went upside his head,  his last memory was an unholy choir of demons, all shrieking "hello Polly...

hello Polly...



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