Daily Dialogue: Cauldron of Malice – Chapter Four

Here’s Chapter One.

Catherine
Shall I start with the worst or the… least-worst?

Agatha
Completely up to you, Catherine. If you rise from the miasma, you have not else to go but up. If you wade in the shallow end, the pain is less, but the intensity grows with each stroke.

Catherine
Would you judge me in either path I take?

Agatha
Only if you don’t finish your journey.

Catherine
Fair play.

Agatha
Would it help if I urged things along?

Catherine
I wouldn’t turn away a helping hand.

Agatha
Your dependencies…

Catherine
Yes?

Agatha
Have they always been human?

Catherine
I don’t understand.

Agatha
Some people choose animals to help them through the dark times. Others choose a totem of some sort.

Catherine
No, I’ve denied myself the crutch of fauna and homunculi.

Agatha
Were you ever strong enough to not need someone?

Catherine
Such barbs…

Agatha
When it comes time for you to teach me in the ways of homicide, I know I’ll be spared the velvet glove.

Catherine
Indeed.

Agatha
So consider this a petty, preemptive revenge.

Catherine
Heh, I see. Yes. Once upon a midnight dreary, I was self-sufficient enough to need only my person. Then dreariness took me, as it takes all things.

Agatha
Have you taken your problem to those in the company of Freud?

Catherine
Those stuffed shirts and bushy beards can only cure the cause, not the symptom.

Agatha
Then you were healed once?

Catherine
If a patient can be cured of half a cold, yes.

Agatha
If those educated to help the mind haven’t been able to help you, what chance does one such as myself have?

Catherine
I didn’t want them to help me.

Agatha
I do believe you’re slightly mad.

Catherine
See? Already you’re better than the cerebral brigade.

Agatha
Have you gotten anyone else to help you in the interim twixt the brigade and myself?

Catherine
I fear the answers down this road will frighten you.

Agatha
I’ve steeled myself against most horrors as we have spoken to one another.

Catherine
Yes.

Agatha
How many?

Catherine
Fourteen.

Agatha
And… how many people have you killed?

Catherine
Fourteen.

Agatha
And I’m here to service you as they had?

Catherine
Yes.

Agatha
What an ugly, yet beautiful world. Where did your victims fail?

Catherine
There isn’t a particular place. Rather, they just simply stopped being useful.

Agatha
Did you find them as you’ve found me?

Catherine
More or less. But don’t worry, I’ll warn you if you’re treading down a well-worn track.

Agatha
At least I’ll have that.

Catherine
At least you’ll have that.

Agatha
No sense in delaying, then. Tell me the worst instance of you depending on someone.

Catherine
They have a similarity to them. Thinking about it, the instances only differ by degrees.

Agatha
What makes them branches on the same tree?

Catherine
Love.

Agatha
The ballad of codependency… I should have known.

Catherine
Hmm?

Agatha
It’s what I refer to the typical relationship as. Whenever one speaks of love, they proclaim that they can’t live without the other, that they would do anything for the other, and whatever else the parrot squawks.

Catherine
Do you judge me?

Agatha
No. Only pity.

Catherine
I pity myself.

Agatha
Leave that to the adolescents. Tell me more of your ballad.

Catherine
When it plays, I try to incorporate my desirable into everything I do.

Agatha
And when they leave, do they take the brick or mortar?

Catherine
My world topples down… what’s the difference?

Agatha
Brick is substance. Mortar is support.

Catherine
Oh. Mortar. I may be love’s bitch, but I know to at least make my needs more important than theirs. Even if it’s slightly.

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