carfax

Please fire me. I’ve been getting yelled at all day because the free car wash at my dealership has been closed this week.

It has been pouring rain constantly and these people don’t understand why we won’t wash their cars.

5

I came across some new (to me) photos from the Edward Gorey production of “Dracula”. These are the sets designed by Gorey taken at the Martin Beck Theater in New York. Although you can’t see the wonderful details, you get a sense of how brilliant they were. The sets are:

- Act Break Curtain
- Dr. Seward’s Parlor
- Lucy’s Bedroom
- Carfax Crypt

I’ll be posting more (new) photos this week.

“I took a deep breath of the damp, clean air, feeling exhilarated by the wildness of the evening and the closeness of Jamie, tall and powerful by my side. I had found him. I had found him, and whatever unknowns life now held, they didn’t seem to matter. I felt reckless and indestructible. I took his hand and squeezed it; he looked down and smiled at me, squeezing back.” Voyager 

MANIP made by me with two pictures: season 2 starz promo France harbor scenes and a pic of Bakehouse Close (Carfax Close in the book) in Edinburgh where they filmed the print shop scenes (i guess!!).

A Hundred Lesser Faces

@surana17​ said

Hi :) not exactly a prompt, but more of a musing. What do you think would happen if Claire went to Lallybroch first, instead of Edinburgh/printshop? Thanks for your great fics, girls!


Welp, musing it might have been, but here we now are! Thank you for an inspiring prompt!! -Mod Bonnie 


One

November, 1766


“Hello, again.”

A breeze carried my words overtop the horse’s head, bearing them toward the neat stone walls just visible in the distance; and having said it, I felt something—yes—relief shudder down my spine. Despite the years, despite everything…it did still feel like my home. Divinely-sent or mere desperation, I took the reassurance with all my heart, and kicked my mount hard toward Lallybroch; toward home. 

It had been a last-minute decision, to come here, instead of to Edinburgh. In fact, I’d been fully through the stones and in Inverness boarding the carriage that would deliver me south! Then something clicked into place and before I even stopped to question myself, I was exchanging the coach fare for a horse and saddle, wondering why Lallybroch hadn’t been my plan from the start. 

Well, no—I knew exactly why. Because the idea of going anywhere but directly into Jamie’s arms had seemed ludicrous. 

He was ALIVE. And so close—I was *so close* to having him again, it was like a physical pain in my chestthe longing—the wanting….

But *think*, Beauchamp, I’d counseled myself in those vital seconds on the mounting block: a visit to Lallybroch will yield me *actual* information as to the whereabouts of those arms; a far cry more reliable than your hunch from a two-hundred year old artifact! I mean, *good Lord*, consider all the variables, here! Perhaps he’s moved to new premises across town! What if he’s abandoned his nom de plume for another and there is no longer an A. Malcolm printing in Edinburgh? What if he’s been so successful in his business, he’s moved to London to join a larger firm? Hell, what if he’s decided to make his fortune as a fur trader in Canada, for heaven’s sake?? 

Yes, the closer I got to Lallybroch, the more confident I was in the wisdom of my sudden volte-face. Even overlooking the more remote possibilities that may have taken him out of Scotland, a quick chat with Jenny and Ian could easily save me days or even weeks of roaming around Edinburgh asking after red-headed printers; and as an unarmed woman traveling alone and with limited funds, this was more than prudent, no matter how you looked at it. 

AND…. well

I mean, surely, even if he did still occupy the shop in Carfax Close, he would visit home occasionally….

….and there was always the chance that even NOW, he might be…he COULD be…

Don’t get ahead of yourself, Beauchamp. One leap at a time.


I dismounted and led the horse on foot for the final approach up the road toward the house, as much for my own pounding heart as for the beast’s sake.  Dear God…almost exactly the same as I left it twenty years ago. 

The trees overhanging the dooryard; the sounds of cooking and chatting and children playing from inside the house; even the customary pack of dogs that heralded my arrival through the archway, howling and barking as befitted their time-honored station…Yes, it was home. My home. 

“What do you think, lads?” I laughed softly, holding out my knuckles for the slobbering, leaping home guard to sniff. “Do I pass muster?” 

Apparently I did, for they all began vying for my attention. I obliged happily, scratching behind ears with my free hand and murmuring dog-lover-nonsense to each of them in turn, wondering if goodwill and trust could be passed down canine generations.

“A good morning to ye, Mistress!” 

I turned to see a stableboy of about ten hurrying across the dooryard toward me. A stranger, to my eyes, but with a warm, friendly manner, he bobbed a quick bow. 

“Good morning!” I replied with a grateful smile as I relinquished the horse. “And what’s your name, lad?”

At my words, he jumped and uttered a gaelic curse, his reaction so violent that he dropped the reins and caused the horse to rear. It wasn’t until I’d reclaimed the beast—nearly getting my teeth knocked in— and turned panting back to the boy, to his pale and frightened face, that I realized what had been his curse: sassenach. Said not in affection, the way Jamie had from the beginning, and Jenny and others had picked up from time to time in jest: but in fear and disgust. The vehemence of it felt like a blow to my gut, and for the first time, I felt afraid, ludicrous as it was to be bowed before a young boy. Before, I’d been only suspicious to Highlanders. Now, after Culloden, after the Clearances—I was, objectively, the enemy

The boy, to his credit, recovered with a good show of politeness, retrieving the reins and offering a murmured apology. He did *not*, though, offer his name.  “Are ye expected at the house this morn, Mistress?” (Do you have a reason for being here, or are you an English informant fixing to burn the place down?) 

“I’m an old friend of the family,” I said, with a concerted confidence and ease that I hoped would reassure him, “but, no, I’m not expected.” 

In fact, I could say with absolute confidence that I would be the least expected person ever to darken Lallybroch’s door. 

“Oh, aye,” the boy said. Polite. Wary. “If you’ll just follow me, Mistress, I’ll put awa’ the horse and then show ye inside until someone will be in to receive ye.” 

Someone. Someone. 

My heart thumped and my hope screamed piercingly in my ears:

Jamie. Jamie. JAMIE. 

My hands were shaking. I had to swallow and moisten my mouth to get the words out as I followed behind the boy toward the hitching post. “I beg your pardon, but does the…?” Nothing to lose, at this point, I suppose. “Is the laird in residence?”

“Mr. Jamie?” the boy asked over his shoulder, clearly surprised by the inquiry. “Aye, ‘course.”  

He was here. 

I nearly fainted where I stood. 

Thank God!! Thank GOD I trusted my gut and came here instead of going to Edinburgh. 

Jamie was near. My Jamie could be HERE at any moment! 

God, what will—

“But he’s no’ to home just at present,” the boy added hastily. “Went up to Broch Morda for the day.”

“Oh! Oh, that’s—that’s quite alright.” In fact, it was a relief. I would have time to think, to plan; to prepare myself. 

Dear God, Jamie! 

“Shall I send a message after him to let him know you’ve business wi’ him, Mistress?”

It should be alone, when we met to give him time to react in private — Lord, would he faint? Scream? Regardless, I did not want to be responsible for giving Jamie a premature cardiac arrest. 

 “That’s very kind, lad, but no, I’ll wai—”

“It’s Jamie Murray, he means.”

I whirled, my heart crushed with realization before I even finished the turn. Of *course* Jamie Fraser was no longer the laird; I’d known that; I KNEW that.

But even the ache of my desperation for Jamie vanished for that moment as I took in the sight of the woman standing in the open kitchen doorway. Older, weathered, just like me–but the same. My eyes filled with tears of joy and love and relief and I gave a little sob as I made to run to her, to embrace her. 

But I was halted by a cold voice I didn’t recognize. “He’s no’ here.” 

I stared as a dead person stares, looking but without conscious thought. It was a stranger speaking, a hostile stranger showing not a scrap of surprise or pleasure at my appearance. And her eyes—God, those blue eyes so very like his—staring me down— so bone-chillingly cold —

No, not just distant…..

LIVID — 

Jesus, I wanted to whimper, Don’t you recognize me, sister? It’s ME…

But she did recognize me; and she did not like what she saw. 

I braced my shoulders. Met her eye. And tried not to let my wounds show. 

“Hello, Jenny.” 

A. Malcolm
“I took a deep breath, pushed back my hair, and marched into the shadows of Carfax Close.  It was a longish, winding close, and the printshop was at the foot. There were thriving businesses and tenements on either side, but I had no attention to spare for anything beyond the neat white sign that hung by the door.”  

“I shoved open the door and walked in.
There was a broad counter across the front of the room, with an open flap in it, and a rack to one side that held several trays of type. Posters and notices of all sorts were tacked up on the opposite wall; samples, no doubt.
The door into the back room was open, showing the bulky angular frame of a printing press. Bent over it, his back turned to me, was Jamie.
“Is that you, Geordie?” he asked, not turning around. He was dressed in shirt and breeches, and had a small tool of some kind in his hand, with which he was doing something to the innards of the press. “Took ye long enough. Did ye get the—”

“It isn’t Geordie,” I said. My voice was higher than usual. “It’s me,” I said. “Claire.”  He straightened up very slowly. He wore his hair long; a thick tail of a deep, rich auburn sparked with copper. I had time to see that the neat ribbon that tied it back was green, and then he turned around.
He stared at me without speaking. A tremor ran down the muscular throat as he swallowed, but still he didn’t say anything.”

How To Buy a Car, by ME!

    I couldn’t have less time to be writing a blog right now because I have to wash my hair (really pushing the limit), do some laundry, and go find a car to buy (literally any jo shmo can buy a car- why is this so hard?), before meeting up with my boyfriend to go to a friend’s for dinner. Note: When your career as an actress is ‘in development,’ the word 'actress’ really means: 'unmarried housewife.’ And despite the time-crunch, I’m going for the blog post, 'cause writing to you is matzoh ball soup for my growing soul.

***

Little Girl Lost’s Guide For Buying a Car

    These years in our twenties are really a learning curve- times in which we discover in ourselves absurd gaps of knowledge that like to show up and smack us in the face just when we least expect them, specially designed to make us feel borderline retarded. (Hint: It’s cause we are.)

    For example, buying a car. You want to do it well and not get screwed over, when you suddenly find yourself thrusted into a hero’s journey including KBB (Kelly Blue Book), Carfax, MSRP’s, epic amounts of research, and phone calls with salesmen (aka stalkers).

   When car salesmen try to make you feel like a complete idiot, and it works, you just want to scream back: I GRADUATED COLLEGE MAGNA CUM LAUDE! I’M A PLAYWRIGHT, DAMMIT, A JOB STRICTLY RESERVED FOR INCREDIBLY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE. I JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT CARS- YET—- so please be nice to me because my Dad and my really BIG big brother are on the East Coast and can’t help me with this. OKAY?

   So you give in to how much you don’t know, and watch every video on Edmunds titled “How To Buy A New Car.” After a few weeks of this, you slowly begin to comprehend the meaning of MPG, the benefits of buying/financing vs. leasing, and you even start to understand what they’re saying in car commercials- those words you previously dismissed as cryptic coding. As you grow more proficient in the language of cars, your enlightenment leads you to have hope for football, too. The possibilities for what you can comprehend are suddenly limitless! What’s next? Chinese? Astrophysics? Baking from scratch?!

   After some test-drives, you cuddle up with your cute boyfriend who you like-like so much, and if you’re really lucky, you get to do research in between Friday Night Lights episodes, canoodling and sushi take-out. You are now armed with more information, and are able to come to a clearer vision of what you want.

   You thank the heavens/universe that you are still in your twenties and can at least blame this learning curve thing on your age, that you’ve simply never had to do this before, and definitely weren’t paying attention when your parents dragged you to dealerships as a child. You’re thankful that the next time you or a friend has to buy a car, at least you’ll know where to start.

  …The end is now in sight. You have “wisely” chosen a vehicle based on affordability, resale value, miles per gallon, safety, warranty and taste. It’s only a matter of finding a dealership that has Your Car, certified preowned, with mileage under 45,000, in black, white…or maybe silver. No other colors can work, unless the price is super sweet.

   You feel closer to your sweet boyfriend and other friends who have been helping you, but certainly not spoon-feeding you. You feel slightly embarrassed that it took you so long to catch on…but when you forgive yourself for having a weak spot (I’m an artist, not a car aficionado, dammit), you start to feel grateful, knowledgeable, empowered.

You stop writing this blog.

You wash your dirty-ass hair.

You go in search of your f*cking awesome car.

*Cue sunset, pump-up music, and image of you flying down an empty desert highway, wind blowing your wild- and clean- hair…*

Watson's bedroom and Holmes's regular invasions thereof

Well, why not?? ;)

The Resident Patient, 1881

Sherlock Holmes’s prophecy was soon fulfilled, and in a dramatic fashion. At half-past seven next morning, in the first glimmer of daylight, I found him standing by my bedside in his dressing-gown.
Nota bene: they have known each other for a few months, and are already close enough for this? We know Holmes does not care much about people’s personal boundaries, but this is the very Victorian year 1881!

The Speckled Band, 1883

It was early in April in the year ’83 that I woke one morning to find Sherlock Holmes standing, fully dressed, by the side of my bed.
And Watson sounds like he was quite used to it. After only two years. 

The Sign of Four, 1888

In the early dawn I woke with a start, and was surprised to find him standing by my bedside, clad in a rude sailor dress with a pea-jacket, and a coarse red scarf round his neck.
“Surprised” indeed. Well, let us give him credit for trying.

The Dying Detective, 1890

There is just room behind the head of my bed, Watson.”
My dear Holmes!”
I fear there is no alternative, Watson. The room does not lend itself to concealment, which is as well, as it is the less likely to arouse suspicion. But just there, Watson, I fancy that it could be done.” Suddenly he sat up with a rigid intentness upon his haggard face. “There are the wheels, Watson. Quick, man, if you love me! And don’t budge, whatever happens–whatever happens, do you hear? Don’t speak! Don’t move!”
Technically, this does not fit the heading. I included it just as a side-note in order to point out that Holmes clearly has absolutely not problem with telling Watson exactly where to hide in his bedroom. Also, I needed the “man, if you love me” part. Watson does hide behind Holmes’s bed - “if you love me” indeed…

Lady Frances Carfax, ca. 1900

Finally, just after I had been called in the morning, he rushed into my room. He was in his dressing-gown, but his pale, hollow-eyed face told me that his night had been a sleepless one.

The Six Napoleons, 1900

I was still dressing in my bedroom next morning, when there was a tap at the door and Holmes entered, a telegram in his hand.
Twelve years later, Holmes is still doing it.

The Priory School, 1901

The day was just breaking when I woke to find the long, thin form of Holmes by my bedside. He was fully dressed, and had apparently already been out.
And he does not appear to want to stop in the foreseeable future.

Which, by the way, also makes me wonder about how many times Watson simply did not mention it.

In fact, have they ever not been in the same room at least part of the night?

This can be safely said: neither when they slept somewhere that was not Baker Street.

Nor, apparently, in their own flat in Baker Street.

So never.