I suppose this could be used as the first post of the game, should you decide to play! If you're interested, PM me and we can discuss the plot in further detail and make preparations for the game.
The year was 1888. England was under the prosperous rule of Queen Victoria. Twenty seven years had passed since her beloved Prince Albert was put to rest, thirty eight years since the Great Exhibition and Catholic reclamation, and forty six years since the Royal Commission Report brought about the Mines Act that saved the lives of many women and children. The industrial and social changes were fantastic for economic and cultural growth in Great Brittan. Of course, not all was well in her majesty's kingdom.
Poverty was abundant. The Industrial Revolution had brought about a great change for the better in England, but the rapid growth in population and the process of urbanization made jobs difficult to hold and wages down to fractional amounts, so to speak. Slums were plentiful, overcrowded and packed to the brim with citizens, struggling for food, comfort, water and shelter. Needless to say, all of these were very difficult, if not impossible to maintain.
Children were often subjected to poor treatment. Young Byron Graves was no exception. Growing up in the slums of London made him appreciate the kindness of others, if only because it was such a stark contrast to what he received at home. He and his father had been living in a house with thirty other peasants and struggling to make ends meet. Byron was often the target of his father's rage and abuse, though he did all he could to make the man happy.
One night his father never came home. After almost a week of waiting Byron became worried and made his way out of the crowded house, fighting to fit between the door ways and people. For three days he searched for his father, checking the factories, the local pubs, anywhere that he knew he frequented. Starving, exhausted, lost, and on the verge of tears the young boy wandered the streets of London in search of the only family he had left.
The scenery began to change. The buildings were cleaner, the streets were well taken care of, Byron could see flower beds and carriages, gentlemen in elegant coats and ladies in frilled dresses. He felt so out of place and alone...it seemed that none of the the people seemed to notice him, or even care about the boy begging for food and information.
He was dirty, ragged, torn. His deep blue eyes would glimmer in the moon light as he peered up into the heavens. His lengthy blond hair was matted and unkempt, his face was dirty and bruised. He was certain his scent was unpleasant, the very appearance of his clothes made his home life all the more obvious. Still he searched, still he begged. He had to find his father...he didn't want to be alone.
With the last of his energy the boy knocked on a door. A woman answered, only to find him passed out on her steps. Panic overtook her, but soon compassion replaced her worry. The young woman scooped him up in her arms and took him into her home.
For ten years Byron was well taken care of. He was lucky to have found a kindhearted middle class family. Eliza Blanchard was a local school teacher and well known for her generosity. Her husband, John, was a gentleman and musician for a small orchestra that performed in local theaters. They were unable to have children of their own, and had been considering adoption for quite some time. They raised Byron as if he were their son, they educated him, gave him a better chance at life. While had never found his father, he seemed to have forgotten all of his woes in this new life.
Byron had often sat in on John's musical practice. He was fascinated by the sound of his violin, captivated, enthralled. He begged John to teach him how to play, to teach him music, to allow him to make those angelic sounds. John was moved, and eagerly taught him the basics of reading music and playing the instrument.
Countless hours were spent after school and chores with John in the musical study. They could not afford to buy him his own instrument, so the boy and his new father had to take turns with practice and teaching. It wasn't long before he became a master of the basics and was moving on into more advanced techniques, eventually writing his own songs for his father to play and critique.
On his eighteenth birthday Byron awoke to a letter on his bedside. It contained instructions from John and Elizabeth regarding a special gift. Needless to say he was curious, the new adult had the sensation of a school age child on Christmas morning. He quickly dressed himself and made ready for the day.
The letter instructed him to visit the local theater, where John and Elizabeth would be waiting for him. He ran as fast as he could, and before noon he arrived on the stone steps. As he made his way inside he saw John and Elizabeth, their warm, loving smiles told him they were happy to see him indeed. The first thing that caught Byron's attention was the black case beneath John's arm...it wasn't his usual violin case. It was then that his heart skipped a beat.
John presented the bold black case to his son. Byron was reduced to tears. He didn't even take the thing from his hands before draping his arms around his shoulders. The family would hug and spend the rest of the evening together in celebration.
Byron would spend the next few weeks in the local theater hall practicing on his own. His skills improved quickly, his passion for music was a devotion that he had never known before. He had so much to thank his family for...their kindness, their love, all given to a complete stranger. He felt the urge to thank them...to find a way to show them how much he cared about his family!
Over the course of a week he dropped his practice to a minimum while working a full time job at a flower shop. Botany quickly became another hobby of his, a particular favorite was working with roses. After a while he began working full time both in an effort to save up for a gift and for a continued university education. These people had given him hope, and he was going to do his best to thank them for it.
Not all was to be pleasant, however. Byron had yet to decide on a gift; nothing he seemed to think of was fit for the purpose he had in mind! He was working more often, and between his botanical work and his musical study, he had little to no time for himself.
One evening when he returned home he noticed the house was eerily quiet. He made his way up stairs and knocked Elizabeth's and John's door. He could hear weeping...was it Elizabeth's voice? Byron turned the knob and pushed the door open.
Elizabeth was peering over the bed side in her night gown, her face stained with tears. John was resting silently on the bed, his chest did not rise or fall. His heart seemed to stop...the room began to spin. Byron fell to his knees and stared up at the ceiling of the room. He had lost his father a second time...
The funeral was a dreary one. His mother entered a deep depression after an illness stole her husband, and in spite of Byron's best efforts to take care of her and cheer her up, she feel into a very poor state of health. She died two months after her husband passed. Byron was alone...he had no one left.
Two weeks passed. The flower shop where had gone under, thanks to a few gambling debts the owner had accumulated. As he searched for a new source of income Byron would often be seen playing his violin in the streets. His songs were beautiful, deary, emotional, his ultimate form of expression. With his hat turned up before him, he would receive a few shillings from kind citizens as they passed by.
The once ragged child was now a handsome young man. His blond hair was well taken care of, resting down at about shoulder length around the sides and back with lengthy blond bangs. He was often teased for its length and style, along with the fact that he refused to grow facial hair, though he felt that his appearance, along with his music, were excellent forms of expression. His clothes were a casual, elegant mix. He wore a buttoned down white shirt beneath a black vest, a black pair of pants covered his legs.
Every night he could be heard playing in the streets, his eyes were often closed, his head was often low, the man lost in thought as his violin sounded his deepest emotions and struggles. It was getting late on a chilly evening and he was pondering retiring for the night. Still, he wished to continue playing as tears from past memories streamed down his face.
To those of you who wish to continue this, please let me know. This story can lead to multiple situations depending on the characters involved! I apologies for the length!