Thunder Mesa, 1853. 5 years until Jake Evans arrives.
It’s All Forgotten NowEdit
Lavinia Rose Nutterville was dying. She had been dying for many years now, and she had decided to finally to end it.
As she stood in the cramped bathroom, cracked mirror staring her in the face, she did it. Using large sheers that she had found in her father’s supplies, she cut her hair. Rapidly and with intense passion, her long hair dropped to the ground, fast becoming a messy bob. This was an act of defiance. Her defiance against a life that had been hurting her for far too long.
Being a young woman in a town on the great frontier was hard enough, but she was the undertaker’s girl. She grew up around the dead, learnt about preservation and autopsy. The dead were not what phased her though, that honour went to Thunder Mesa’s undertaker, and her father J. Nutterville. A man who the town’s children feared and reviled as a supernatural monster. At this point in her life, Lavinia Rose was inclined to believe that.
Her hair, now at her desired length, signalled the birth of her new self. The last vestige of being “Daddy’s Girl” was gone, and she swore to herself that she would never again take on that role. The thought of her family, she found was disgusting to her very core, and she wanted no association. Lavinia Rose Nutterville was dead, but Rose was alive. Alive and burning, and she would be damned if anyone were to stop her.
To hell with what society thought she should be. This was a new world, a true frontier land, and a young woman could be anything. Rose could be a miner, but she didn’t want to. She could be a politician, but she didn’t want that either. She wanted to be needed. To be relied upon by people who loved and cared for her. For the respect she deserved after a whole life of being pushed through the mud. And she would get it.
As she crept down from her upstairs bedroom, down into the main parlour of the undertakers, and out into the crisp night air, she took a deep breath. Rose walked out into the street, never looking behind her. To her direct right, she stared at the grand Ravenswood manor. To her left, the main street of the town. She turned, and began to walk, not knowing where the path would take her. But she knew she was free. Free to take life by the horns, and become something beautiful and loved.
Dead Men WalkingEdit
If 19-year-old Elias Ravenswood had looked out of his window, maybe he would’ve seen Rose begin her new life. As it were, he was too busy being trapped in his old one.
Earlier in the day, Elias had hope. Hope his father would listen, that maybe the ever-present monotony of his life might be changed by one act of bravery and self-confidence. Entirely putting his ill thoughts for the man who had effectively exiled his own wife to forever stay in her room like some manner of prisoner, he marched down to the ballroom where his father was consuming a meal, looking not dissimilar to a ravenous coyote. Standing at the end of the large dining table, he cleared his throat to announce his presence.
To put what the ensuing conversation stemmed from, it’s wise to know about the schooling of Elias’ earlier teenage years. Once the Ravenswood patriarch struck it rich in the town of Thunder Mesa, Elias, the prodigal son had been denied nothing. The best tutors shipped over from Washington and France, the best equipment to become truly extraordinary, even a one of a kind book of piano sheet music that had been delivered one day by a mysterious visitor to town. Elias loved the piano, it was what made him truly happy, and he excelled at it. He learnt so many songs off by heart, tried his hand at composing new ones. Even his own father displayed his talent at a coveted Ravenswood Mining Company Summer Gala. For all this and more, Elias believed in his own aspirations, and began speaking to his father, who seemingly paid more attention to his half-drunk glass of wine than to his son.
The ensuing conversation was as followed: Elias had proposed his well thought out dream of becoming a concert pianist as a profession. Of course, his father had paid for lessons in years prior, so it would be a prudent return on investment for Elias to act on that. A dream that had manifested years prior was put on the table, a plan for a true and happy life. He was not merely shut down, but destroyed by Henry’s response.
“Boy, your fate rests in mining” Henry had said. “To have any other dreams is a kind of insanity, that you know very well afflicts your mother, and we need no more blights upon our family name”. Elias stood, and stared. It always came back to Martha. His mother, who one day lost her mind in the early years of living in this accursed town. As if she meant nothing to Henry, other than some inconvenience.
Of course, Elias was hurt by being turned down for his own musical aspirations, but what stung, what clawed at him was disregard for his family. Nothing was sacred, nothing was safe, and within a few short years, his beloved young sister Melanie would incur the wrath of Henry’s will.
Back in his room on that cold, cold night, Elias Ravenswood wanted nothing more than to leave Thunder Mesa and never return. He would have if it were not for thoughts of Melanie. Sweet, Pure Melanie who needed protection from the monster who resided within the walls of the manor. It was then, in his first ever drunken haze that he subconsciously accepted his purpose in life. To be a protector. He would never let his sister become like her mother. Never to be used or abused by men like Henry, or Henry himself.
Elias the Guardian Angel. Elias the familial disgrace. Elias the Drunk. He would become all of these, and despite his unhappiness, perhaps it would at least give a light in the ever-present darkness of Ravenswood Manor to the only person that mattered. Melanie.
Thunder Mesa, 1858. Judgement Day.
Elias didn’t play the piano much anymore. He often listened to his sister play it, but he seldom dared to step foot by it. However, the day has yielded an occasion when he did. To mock. To mock his sister with a song from the strange piano book from years prior. To question her choice in partner.
This Jake Evans, Elias had come to learn was an enigma. He had swept his sister off her feet at the recent gala, and then somehow, in some way had continued to visit her, never disturbing the slumbering beast that was Henry Ravenswood. But Elias had noticed. The way they looked at each other. The way he held her. It made Elias sick.
He swore to himself that he would protect her from people that might use her, and now that was all in jeopardy. He had to act, and although he promised Melanie he wouldn’t cause him any harm, he set off from the manor with a very real intent of harm.
Whatever Elias found when he met Jake that fateful day, one thing was clear. Jake was a good man. A man to trust with the heart of his dear sister. Elias would have to accept that. He’d accept it in the best way he knew how. Alcohol.