Under the House (a story)
No noise or sensory experience could completely cover the sound of the horrendous chewing below Sandringham House. Though believe me, they tried really hard. Their efforts to make noise seemed to make it worse actually. As if excess was it’s trigger.
The ragtime piano player stomped and pounded, but that didn’t work, even with 40-50 dancers hopping around to some animal dance and practically making the floor shake. Not even when they danced to some Brazillian jig did it make the sound go away. The ladies found it a challenge to listen to the wet chewing, and were often nauseous. Some to the point of needing to loosen their stays. The meals were a work in progress, when they were trying to ignore the unwelcome chewing, as if a horse or cow were chewing, chewing, chewing… Never quite able to complete their meal. Patiently working at the chew and regurgitate dichotomy of a meal. I mean, could you eat thru that?
The house parties were not only loud to have fun, with the dancing, gambling and hunting parties. But mostly meant to drown out that incessant chewing.
And worst of all, even the steam engine going by never seemd to drown out the chewing. Not completely.
As a last straw, the Prince asked a medium to come by and see what she could divine. See if they could eliminate this horrible noise once and for all.
She meditated and listened for almost a week. And finally came to tell him what she had discovered.
“Your mother was focused on the sins and the plight of women, as she should be. The spirits were pleased. This is what they are used to. But you have chosen in your own grief to focus on children and have lightened the world. The spirits are adjusting to this new tone. In their fear of the new, they have decided to warn you about excess.
Under the house is a large… um gelatinous… creature? It sits and chews. It’s made of ectoplasm.”
The prince stared at the medium. “Is there anything we can do to stop this horror? All we have done is live life and have some fun. We mean no harm”
“And that is why the creature simply chews. It’s warning of excess, not threatening any of you.”
The prince commissioned a second house to be built away from this house. He hoped changing the location of their festivities would take them away from the spirits’ notice, so they no longer had to listen to that nauseous noise.
It didn’t work…
So the Prince decided to only invite guests when it was summer and they could eat under a tent, outside. At least the chewing wouldn’t sound trapped and loud, with walls holding it in check.