Thanks again. I'm leaving Hamlet now for points Sherlock ;)
Yep fucking beautiful about covers it.
Thank you for reading, my dear.
*hugs and tissues*
Thanks again. So sorry these comment responses are late, everyone...
...I am more than a little in love with your writing.
This is beautiful and it hurts. Really, how do you do it?
I spend too much time awake at night, is the answer to that ;)
Thank you so much *hugs*
Oh thank you, this is wonderful. I'll just be over in that corner, sobbing. (sobbing in the best possible way, of course)
*tissues for you, too!*
Thank you very much, my dear.
C'thia is so hard at times.
I can only try and keep in mind that you also wrote At this chance, and what follows.
I choose to see this as a prequel.
Shakespeare would have loved this-- he would not have been jealous, though, because he knew how to value beauty and truth when he saw them.
A prequel? You genius!
(I managed to fit all the Hamlet pieces together in my head and was wondering where to put this one.)
It fits, doesn't it?
At the very least, the idea provides some consolation.
I've been fishing for the recipe of a suitable theriac to leech the poison from their bodies and keep Hamlet's wound desinfected; one survey of the main styles for Venetian theriac at the time (the very best, it seems) can be found in Marianne Stößl, "Lo spettacolo della Triaca. Produzione e Promozione della 'Droga Divina' a Venezia dal Cinque al Settecento", Venezia: Centro tedesco di studi veneziani, 1983 (Quaderni, 25).
Really? That's actually pretty amazing. I love to think of there being more to it (them) than what Shakespeare gave us, that more could've happened and it wasn't all as fated as Romeo and Juliet was.
Oh, very clever! I like this plan...
Sorry for intruding, but I can't resist the pain of this story, nor the temptation to turn it into a prequel to the At this chance series. Irisbleufic, I'll delete this if you wish, just say the word.
The surgeon comes hurriedly, shuffling his feet and mumbling to himself as he searches the pockets of his long shapeless robe.
“Where is my damned scalpel... ouch! here it is. Must remember to have a cap sewn for it sooner or later. So what do we have here, poisoned wound you said...? Poisoned wound *and* poisoned drink?! Bit of overkill, don’t you think? But not yet, not yet if I just can... Please, sir, stand back, allow me to do my work. Oh, same poison in you too? Quick, you over there, stick two fingers down his throat and make him vomit. Mind you, I can mend you both. I think. Let me see. Cut the wound across, make it bleed again. Not too much, enough to wash some of the poison out. No, sir, I don’t care a damn for split infinitives in an emergency. Not at all. In the state you’re in, you shouldn’t either. You! Go fetch fresh mallow, I saw a bunch on the bank of the moat near the bridge. Peel it, beat the core to a pulp in a mortar (stone, not bronze) and bring it here on a clean towel. *Clean*, mind you. Also, a pint of fresh goat milk. You, over there: boil this yarrow in half a pint of water. It will stop the bleeding when needed. Now, if only I can find my jar of theriac-- straight from Venice, this comes, made to the Senate’s specifications, the best aspis adder in it. Mountain adder, from the Euganeans. Keep breathing, my lord, or I’ll have to recite more split infinitives at you, and you won’t like it. Like this. Bit better? No? It will, soon. You’re stubborn enough to go through this. Look at your friend over there, all set to die with you. It seems you’re both going to live, though. Things sometimes are not so easy as dying young-- still work to do, you two. Here, drink this milk, it will blunt the poison in your stomach. Good, like this. You over there, too, drink the rest. Here comes my mallow poultice. Too hot? No, quite right. It will absorb more of the poison from the wound. Lay back, my lord, your friend is here, recovering. Keep breathing, the both of you, while I prepare the theriac infusion. Puncteus, Foemina, Aurora, Lucis Solaris, Aries, Potestas, Templum... I hope there’s no priest near here listening... Ablatalba Blatalb latal ata t, for the power of the poison be the poison dissolved. This should do. This should do nicely.”
He changes the mallow poultice for a cloth soaked in the yarrow decoction, wiping at the wound until the bleeding stops. He dries the skin carefully, then sprinkles theriac powder liberally on it, covers with a square of the softest Syrian woven cotton, and bandages. The rest of the powder he mixes with more milk, and gives it to Horatio to drink.
“No question, sir. He won’t make it without you either. He’ll have his dose when *I* say he needs it. Drink, now. Like this. You’ll be fine. You’ll both be fine, by Trismegiston, or there’s no justice in this world.”
You may read it as whatever you please, although, when I wrote it, I saw it as Horatio following Hamlet into death. I'm a real charmer, aren't I? *sarcasm*
Glad you enjoyed this in spite of it all.
How much I cried when reading this is really quite embarrassing. But it's absolutely gorgeous. You always manage to give such life to Horatio!
I love him, and I'm angry when his character isn't done justice in a production.
Thank you :)
*hugs Horatio and sniffles* Oh...
Because I'm mean and nitpicky, I have to point out your tense slip-up
"Very much," Horatio reassured him, dabbing at the trickle of blood as Hamlet twisted in his grasp. There was fight in him, doomed though he was, some awareness—
That said, oh, this, this so much. Apart from the pain of Horatio being left to suffer, what gets me most about the play is that, in canon, he doesn't get to tell Hamlet's story, doesn't get to do it justice. Thanks for giving him the opportunity to do so, fulfill Hamlet's last request, before going, which then only seems logical.
Beautiful as ever, which doesn't need saying, but I'll say it anyway. And the Elizabethan dialogue is so spot-on my inner English Literature graduate is flailing all over the place.
(Tense slip corrected. I'm just as mean and nitpicky as you are, so that's fine!)
Thank you very much *hugs* I always did feel that Horatio was being told to stay behind and explain things against his will, although he accepts the task and knows it's important.
I sometimes get squeamish around H/H slash, but this was absolutely beautiful. I love the sympathetic yet business-like Fortinbras, the loose-ends resolved more quickly than Hamlet had forseen, and of course the remainder of the poison.
I think Fortinbras gets a bad rep sometimes! I don't like it when he's played as shameless and opportunistic; I do think he's got a measure of humanity to him (the clues are there in his dialogue), and it's best to keep that in mind.
Thank you for reading! :)
Oof, the pain just flows through. Captivating nonetheless.
The trouble with writing Hamlet!fic is that sometimes I'm compelled to stick to the canon ending (which tears me to bits), and sometimes I feel rebellious enough to slip into my AU scenario (which fills me with glee). Thank you so much for reading :)
Oh gods...of course he would.
I've just gotten up. You've been off on a reading spree, I see. I shall come along behind you and pick up the pieces, because that's my job <3
Thank you, my dear.