Monday, June 25, 2007
The task of recounting the story of any inversion is a difficult one, as stories them selves have a narrative flow. Effect follows cause.
Where an inversion takes place cause can no longer lead to effect, and an effect can occur without a cause. To avoid confusion it is best to recount events from the perspective of just one person.
To retell the story of the Brachester inversion I will concentrate mainly on the Earl himself as his memories suffer from no overlaying. (That is to say he remembers only one past).
The Earl returned from business in London at around 4pm on March 15th 1879 to find that his wife had once more succumbed to he depressions. Despite having been married for more than seven years the Brachesters were yet to be blessed with children, and whilst the Earls pragmatic nature had allowed him to move on from this, it was a source of great sadness for his wife…
Earl and lady Brachester had covered the same ground before, but to no avail. The Earl grew increasingly exasperated by his wife’s inability to face the truth of the matter, in favour of wallowing in her own self-pity…
It was decided. When next in London the Earl was to find a suitable child. A generous donation to the orfanage would insure that if it became necessary the child could be returned.
The Earl was enamoured of the plan as the men on his wife’s side of the family had always appeared weak to him, and the idea of taking good strong working stock and giving it a good education appealed to him. The Earls mind was very much made up by the time he retired for the evening.
The Earl rose early the next morning and went down stairs for breakfast making no attempt to wake his wife. He knew by now that this depression could well last for another day at least. He was surprised to find a Childs tricycle in the middle of the main hall that morning. A red tricycle with a bell similar but not the same as the one he had had as a child. He inquired as to whose it was.
The maid told him that the tricycle belonged to master Brachester. When the Earl told the girl that he had no son she at first believed the Earl to be playing some sort of trick, but as she persisted in saying that the Earl had a son the Earl became incensed and soon began to shout.
As the maid ran crying from the hall, Wilkes the Earls faithful butler of almost ten years came to see to the problem. Wilkes had to reiterate what the maid had told the Earl. The Brachesters did indeed have a child…
When lady Brachester saw the room her face contorted into a mask of joy and desperation. It was clear that she was on the edge of a brake down, one cannot feel such disparate emotions for too long without the mind suffering.
“If this is untrue, I shall surely die this day.” She was heard to say.
“Whilst bathing last night, I clutched my belly. The emptiness I sometimes feel there seems larger than my whole body. I prayed to God to fill the void. To send me a child.” She continued without thought to who could hear. “Where is he?”
Master Brachester was with cook just as Wilkes had said. When lady Brachester saw him she wept with joy. She later claimed to have had some memories of the boy. A memory of being heavy with child. A memory of the boy sleeping as a newborn and another of him as a child around two, making marks on a chalkboard.
The emptiness within her was gone.
The Earl had of course heard of the futurist writer and his fantastic tales, but had never found the time to read any of his works. Doctor Stephens recounted a tale of a man, who after being struck by lightning, found himself in another world. The world this world would have been if it were not for a few decisions having been made differently. The Earl was more familiar with the works of Charles l Dodgson and likened the tale to 'Through the looking glass, and what Alice found there'.
The Doctor expanded on the Earls analogy and proposed that, what if a section of the mirror had in some way become inverted? Resulting in what was once on the other side of the mirror being on this side and vice a versa.
N G Wilkes, the Brachesters butler, left their employ ten years later and became a writer (a rare thing for the lower classes even in those days) He wrote mostly romantic fiction, save for one book entitled The Brachester Inversion. Which whilst it was well received amongst readers of the fantastic, was largely dismissed as a work of fiction, despite the authors claims to the contrary.
Almost forty years after the Brachester affair something was to happen that was to prove without any doubt that inversions can and do occur.