Victoria spent the rest of the night in her basement, basking in the pale blue light of her 52” computer screen. She stared for hours at the glass cabinets which contained her and Blue Bird’s costumes. She studied each obsessively. Hers was black with a dark gray trim. His was a bright blue with a canary yellow trim, almost identical to hers, except for the fact that his cape had a hood which helped hide his eyes. Raven’s costume was designed more for stealth while Blue Bird was never the stealthy type of guy. He was more the “kick the door open and kick everyone’s ass inside” type. Together they were virtually unstoppable. A perfect blending of ying and yang.
With a bottle of Scotch in one hand and a heavily perspiring glass in the other, Victoria drank to her heart’s content and then drank some more. With every gulp the memories came rushing back. Love, despair, regret—they all overwhelmed her like the darkest nightmares of her subconscious taking on a life of their own.
Standing up, she walked up to the case containing Blue Bird’s costume and placed her hand flat against the glass. Slowly she slid down to her knees as tears flowed down her cheeks like never-ending rivers of sorrow. Lifting the bottle in a salute to her late husband’s outfit, she took a sip and poured a small amount of the Scotch on the floor. Raising her fist, she shouted out, “For you Tony! To Blue Bird! Gone, but never ever forgotten!”
Crawling back to her chair, she stumbled as she tried to stand and retake her seat. Crashing back down in her chair, Victoria took another swig of Scotch. She was as lost as a person could be and she had no aspirations to pull herself out of this downward spiral anytime soon.
The basement door opened, letting in a light so bright it felt like a knife carving through her brain. Shielding her eyes, she took another gulp of Scotch and waited for the door to close. The sound of heavy footsteps coming down the stairs sounded like claps of thunder to her intoxicated mind. She knew exactly who it was and she wondered what Nigel wanted with her.
When the fluorescent lights flickered on, Victoria thought her head might explode. “Ugh, Nigel, please, turn those back off.”
“Lady Victoria, it’s almost noon. Time for lunch and… have you been drinking?! It is far too early to be getting sloshed, m’lady.”
Filling her glass back up, Victoria smiled and laughed. “Well, technically I’ve not been to bed so I’m not getting drunk early. I’m still getting drunk from very very late last night.” Raising her glass, she downed the whole thing in a matter of seconds, doubling over in laughter when she was done.
Setting the silver platter down with Victoria’s lunch on it down on the table, Nigel looked on with a disapproving glare. “I have tolerated this behavior for months. I’ve given you your time to grieve but it’s been over a year, madam! Enough is enough! What would Master Tony say if he could see you now?”
Tossing her head back, Victoria let her onyx colored hair dangle behind the chair as she laughed heartily. “What would Tony say?” she said playfully before here tone turned dark and hateful. “He wouldn’t say a God damned thing! Tony’s dead! And there’s no amount of your coddling which can change that!” Pulling her right arm back, she sent her glass hurling at Nigel’s head. He quickly ducked and the glass shattered against the wall, sending broken shards flying everywhere. “Now get me another glass!” she barked.
Straightening his butler’s uniform, Nigel stood up straight and responded in his normal calm British demeanor. “Respectfully, madam, I will do no such thing. If you want to toss your life away at the bottom of a bottle I will have no part in it.”
His words only fueled her desire to drink that much more. “That’s fine!” she said angrily. “I don’t need a glass! I can drink right from the bottle like a proper fucking lady!”
Hanging his head, the gray-haired Nigel sighed. His voice was little more than a whisper. “As you wish, madam.”
As he headed up the basement stairs, Victoria bellowed one last order at him. “And turn off the fucking lights! Tony’s in the ground! I want to be in the dark just like he is!”
Flipping the light switch off, Nigel dredged up the stairs slowly. “If you need me, I’ll be upstairs, Lady Victoria.”
After the door shut, Victoria began crying. She whimpered softly, “And if you need me, I’ll be here—in Hell.”