As stars that shoot across the sky

Shine brightest as they fall from high

Charlotte Sydenham


October 14th, 2010

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Everything is changing. Comings and goings, beginnings and endings. But it's none of it bad. Change is never a bad thing, not when it presents enticing new opportunities and the means of escaping complacency. In recent months, I have taken new employment and my dear little pet has progressed most admirably in his education. I suppose I mustn't call him little for so much longer; he will be sixteen next month, practically a man grown already! Why, my Percy wrote his Zastrozzi when he was just a year older than that. How very long ago it seems, and how very young that age seems now. Regardless, young or not, my Charlie will be brilliant. He is already brilliant, of course. But we have only just begun to explore what potential is there, and with the continuing cycle of change I know everything will develop splendidly.

He is mine, after all, is he not? And I only choose the best.

July 29th, 2010

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It is such a delight to have a child to care for again! His very presence makes me feel years younger, and it's impossible not to be caught up in his excitement. The dear boy is positively ravenous for knowledge, and has such joy in learning. We are halfway through the works of his namesake, and he is forever asking for more things to read. I think he will grow into a very learned gentleman, and successful in his own way. And should, for some outlandish reason, he not, he will always have his family to fall back upon. We do take such good care of our own. He will always be my dear boy, more beloved and cherished than any of the darlings I've known.

July 11th, 2010

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It is very nice to have a family. I didn't think anyone would want me, they do not adopt older children that much so I thought I would be in the orphanage until I was too old. But now I have brothers and a sister, and M. Oscar and Mlle Charlotte, and everyone has been so kind. I think I'm going to like them all very much! I'm going to live with Charlotte now, but she says we will visit everyone at the shop often and I'm glad of that. If they're my new family I should see them a lot, right? That's what families are supposed to do.

ooc )

April 28th, 2010

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And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return'd to Earth!

Oh, my George. I do miss him. The nineteenth of this month had come and gone before I recalled the dreadful anniversary of it, but I hardly think he would mind. The poor boy's dead, and while that is still a tragedy that pains me, I cannot stop to mourn for all who have passed. I should simply never accomplish anything otherwise! And accomplishing things is what is necessary, at least so far as the present is concerned. This dreadfully boring certification will be completed within a fortnight, and then I am free to seek my employment. It certainly took long enough.

[private to Opium]
Might I beg a favor of you? I have recently... shall we say, come into possession of new lodgings. (The gentleman to whom they belonged was really most grateful that I reminded him of this arrangement. It seems he had taken a nasty fall and couldn't quite remember clearly after he was given medication.) The furnishings within are not at all to my tastes, yet I haven't the strength to move the hideous things out myself. If I may, might I borrow your darling boys for an afternoon to assist me?

March 1st, 2010

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I was browsing a charming little antique shop today and happened across a marvelous find. Empty, of course. I do so wish it were full, can remember it being so and among so many others.

Oh, but that's ridiculous. All this studying must have addled my wits. It's a pretty trinket, not some lost treasure. Do pay attention to your studies, Lottie, or such silly dreams will utterly distract you.

January 30th, 2010

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I've begun classes to become a certified nursing assistant. With the great advances medicine has made since my last turn in the medical field, I didn't believe I would be quite a good fit in proper nursing. This certification will allow me to provide assistance, yet shan't be too difficult.

The other day during one such class, though, I overheard two of the other young ladies having a most interesting conversation. It seems they think I am under the influence of drugs! One young lady's exact words were, I believe, "She always looks, like, so high." I hardly think I helped alleviate their beliefs by giggling like a loon after hearing this. Oh, the dear girls, if only they knew...

December 30th, 2009

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The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,
With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.

The city is cold and the shelters are overfull. Could I but remember the way, there would be a place for me in Chinatown. My mind swims with Shelley and inconsequential things -- shall I attend the New Year's celebrations, or shall I remain in my own company again? My poets have always been company enough for me, even now, but I find myself curious. It is the end of another decade, and I have not yet faded from this earth. Reason enough to celebrate, I think.

October 10th, 2009

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There is very little I, in my truest form, can do in this present era. However, I am still here, and so there must be something left that I might do to help all the poor suffering souls. I may have precious little by way of power, but I am still rather capable with my hands. A brief period to acquaint myself with modern medical practice, perhaps, and I have little doubt that I might find myself a respectable place in the nursing profession once more.

Though there is the matter of certifications and things of that nature. As I have no intention of wasting precious time in reattaining these, I suppose I shall need to secure these papers by less than legal means. Has anyone a recommendation as to whom I might speak to for this matter?

It will be lovely to be needed and self-sufficient once again.

August 17th, 2009

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There is a program on the television discussing the "shocking new drug dangers" today's youth are being exposed to and participating in. Drugs hidden inside of candies, new means of using household goods to achieve a high, things of that nature.

It makes me miss the children. I was very good with them, you know. Kept them quiet, hushed them to sleep, allowed the nannies and the mothers a moment of peace. I do miss being helpful.

August 4th, 2009

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A wedding? I've never been, not even when dearest Ba eloped with that Browning fellow. What sort of gift does one usually bring to a wedding? A wedding, no less, where both... er, grooms, are one's brothers? Perhaps I shall have to forsake etiquette entirely; I somehow doubt there is any sort of precedent for this particularly unconventional situation.

Oh, and there are so many new children in the city! I have been sadly out of touch lately and can scarcely tell one from another, but I should like to rectify that. Hello, darling ones; I am your sister Laudanum. I would like very much to meet you, if you can spare the time for your stuffy old sister.

July 6th, 2009

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Rarely, rarely, comest thou,
Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day
'Tis since thou are fled away.

And are you returned, my Spirit? There has lately been such a feeling of home and comfort in this city, one that I have not felt in a long while. I should like to know what has brought it about.

June 29th, 2009

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The face, which, duly as the sun,
Rose up for me with life begun,
To mark all bright hours of the day
With hourly love, is dimmed away—
And yet my days go on, go on.

-"De Profundis," Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Oh, my precious Ba. So devoted, so talented, so fragile. I do miss her terribly. Dear Poe had it right when he said "her poetic inspiration is the highest - we can conceive of nothing more august. Her sense of Art is pure in itself."

My dearest, most talented devotees -- the world has been such a dimmer place since your deaths!

May 24th, 2009

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"Oh, why do you doctors not try prevention as well as cure! You have it in your power to warn those who take laudanum now and then for toothache or headache, what an insidious thing it is, and how easily they may become the victims of it."
-Confessions of a Young Lady Laudanum-Drinker, an anonymous letter published in the January 1889 volume of The Journal of Mental Sciences

How easily indeed, my sweet little one. You may have claimed yourself cured, but even now, so much later, they find themselves clamoring for me. My goodness, I vow and swear I feel decades younger and quite sound of mind. I had forgotten how perfectly lovely it is to be desired and needed! I think I shall enjoy this a great deal.

Drug Family )

May 11th, 2009

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I woke up in the hospital two days ago. The nurse said I was brought in for overexposure to the cold weather some days ago and remained comatose until Saturday. Apparently my recovery was nothing short of miraculous. They wished to keep me longer for observation, but I didn't want to stay. When nobody was looking, I left and went back to the mission.

I am beginning to think that I will have better luck finding my family in another city. If memory serves, the children were rather fond of that school in Cambridge; perhaps I shall have better luck starting there and in Boston. I worry they will forget their sister entirely if I am away much longer!

Who sent me flowers yesterday? The note that came with them was signed "Heroin" and called me sister, but I haven't the faintest notion who it might be. My siblings would never style themselves in such a fashion. I have the card safe in my pocket just in case. A talisman of sorts. A cruel trick to play on one less fortunate, whoever the culprit is.

April 23rd, 2009

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I am no longer lost! I have been found and I have done finding of my own, and the days between this and my first post have been positively delightful. My name is Laudanum and I have a family, such a large family to love! My sister and I were guests at a party and I had a new dress for the occasion, though it is shockingly immodest. And I made the acquaintance of a lovely young lady after... well, I don't recall why I was on Canal Street but that is where we met. I had forgotten what a pleasant place this city can be!

Siblings )

April 20th, 2009

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Hello? Can you help me?

I've lost something very dear to me. Or someone. It could be that I am the one lost. Pray forgive me, my memory is not what it once was. My name is Charlotte Sydenham (is it? That doesn't feel right, I have another name) and they tell me I am 18 (oh, I am so much older, but they don't see), in case anyone happens to be looking for a young lady of that description.

I am at the New York Public Library, using their computer for this. Truly a delightful place! When I am finished here, I believe I shall go find a collection of Lord Byron's work to peruse. It has been far too long, my sweet Byron who loved me so. "And all that's best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes".

If anyone can help me, I shall be forever in their debt.

April 19th, 2009

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Confessions of a Young Lady Laudanum-Drinker )
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