This story is part of "Project 1947", which is part of the Basilicus project.

Cooperative: This story is coordinated by Laveaux. It is open to any new writers with characters alive during the year 1947. The coordinator asks that any writers that do join the story, complete a character description in accordance with this article. Note that writers can only write for their characters, the coordinator will write for all other characters and events. Use the talk page if you have questions or suggestions.

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  • Author: Hazel Shade, PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:04 am

January 2, 1947 : 8 am

She had taken the first train departing from Brighton. Charlie, yawning after too little sleep on New Year�s Day, had driven her to the station, filling her ears with endless good advice. Although he had the patronizing tone of a well intending older brother, his words reminded her how much her family loved her. They had parted with an awkward hug and Hazel had embarked on the waiting train. She had pushed her suitcase in the net above her head and had taken a window seat. The countryside had still been dark, nothing much to see but her reflection staring back at her. By the time the train pulled up in Kings Cross, the dark night was tinged with the first promise of morning.

Already the morning crowd pushed and shoved past her, countless nameless bodies hurrying on their way to work or the good Lord knew where. Clinging to her brand new suitcase Hazel squeezed through the crowd towards the taxi stops in front of Kings Cross Station. There was an underground station as well but as she had no idea where to go, it was of little use. Hazel queued up behind an elderly woman and two business men in suits who were politely arguing over politics. She listened to them until their taxi arrived. The next taxi was hers and she leaned towards the window. �Could you take me to a hotel, not too expensive, but in a decent area?� Hazel opened the door, gliding into the back with her suitcase beside her. �Greenwhich?� She added when one of Charlie�s many recommendations sprang to mind.

Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings made the trip towards Greenwhich seem endless and Hazel found herself staring blankly at the unfamiliar streets passing by. When the taxi finally pulled over, she digged into her purse for the appropriate sum and dragged her luggage from the backseat. The hotel had an old, pre-war, look and feel, squeezed between two neighbouring houses. It looked promising on the outside, the paint wasn�t too badly flaked and the lobby, although old, was clean.

After she had checked in and had unpacked her meager belongings, Hazel washed her face and changed into a fresh dress. She combed her hair and twisted the dark locks into a roll, securing them with a few pins. Painting her lips carefully, she kissed the too much off on a tissue and pursed her lips at her mirror image. The grey eyes that looked back at her were wide and filled with uncertainty. Hazel knew why� In a few minutes she had to leave the newfound safety of her hotel room to register at a job center and find a secretarial school where she could obtain a diploma.

No use putting it off..She thought..It won�t be any easier tomorrow

She slipped back into her coat, left her key at the reception desk and stepped outside into London�s morning chill. Hands tucked deeply into her pockets, the young woman walked in the direction of a nearby bus stop.

  • Author: The Ambassador, PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:28 pm

The bus stop was very near by, in fact, it was perhaps just half a block, which was probably welcomed with the chill of January air.

It was 8:00am exactly, and of course, it would be a miracle if the mass transportation was on time, so she did end up spending several minutes huddled in the cold waiting on the corner for the bus.

She was not held out for too long though as soon down the street a large came the famous red double-decker buses of London lumbering down the street. It screeched to a stop in beside her.

Entering the bus, an older man was behind the while, he had a pleasant smile as he opened the doors for her, "Morning miss, 'scuse the lateness, runnin' a wee bit behind. Ya must be knew to this part of town, not usually anyone at this stop. Well, come on in, out of the cold, with ya."

As Hazel made her way onto the bus, she would be surprised it was running late...there was only one other person on the bus. He perhaps looked a bit out of place. He was dressed impeccably, in a double-breasted suit, his hair was parted at the side and was a nice shade of soft brown. In fact, his hair, remind Hazle of some of the hares she probably saw before moving to the city. It had that sort of softness to it, along with streaks of a darker shade of brown, which almost seemed to be 'match' his eyebrows. As if they too were carefully coordinated as his clothes.

He looked a few years older than Hazel, and fairly pleasant to look at, his bright grey eyes tha seemed to collect the morning sunlight, made it impossible for him to hide where he was looking, or how he was feeling. His nose was somewhat small and accented with a point, much like his jaw, which was strong, but came to a sharp point at his chin. Indeed, he had a 'sharp' looking face, just like his clothes, as even his cheekbones were high and nicely pronouced.

Where ever Hazel sat, this young fellow would move over near her, taking a sit across the ailse, cleary being cordial as they were the only two on the bus.

It took him a moment, as he looked lost in thought, holding a finger to his lips, it was obvious it was a habit of his, finally he folded his hands in his lap and turned to Hazel, "Ol' John is right, miss. Either this is your first time, on this bus, or you are new to the area? I can't seem to read which it is, and usually I am quite adept at that." He did have an accent, he was in fact English, but probably originally from South Wales, giving him a welsh dialect, "I am Jonas, miss..." He left for her to fill in. "Where are we off to today?"

He bounced along with the bus and looked over at her for a second, "Sorry, to be forward, it's just that usually my morning bus ride is terribly boring, it's nice to see someone else aboard."

  • Author: Hazel Shade, PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:50 am

Hazel had ducked deeply in her coat while waiting for the bus in the morning cold. Thoughts spun in and out of her mind, images of home mixed with her new room in unbidden comparison. She sighed, drew up her collar and turned her gaze down the street, smiling when the red double-decker bus came into view. Raising her hand she signalled the driver to stop. Nodding in response to the driver�s remarks, the girl smiled. �You are absolutely right, sir. I am new, but with a bit of luck you�ll see me more often at this stop.� She marvelled at the observations from the older man, which didn�t fit her prejudices regarding London public but were very much welcome all the same.

After she�d bought a ticket to the city centre from John, Hazel took a seat at the left aisle after having discarded the notion of going up the stairs. That was for another time, she decided, when she knew the route well enough to enjoy the sights. She glanced to the only other passenger, taking in his appearance with avid curiosity. Nice.. , she decided. Intelligent, curious� open. As if he had felt her scrutiny Jonas rose and moved over. Hazel hastily averted her gaze, looking out of the window. Oh no! Stop that, Hazel Shade! This is London. You aren�t home where everyone watches everyone. There was comfort in the realization. No one would watch her here. If she�d smile at this stranger, there wouldn�t be a Gregory McMahon to spread the news. �Shade.� She replied, heartened by the anonymity. �Hazel.�

�I am going to � Hazel smiled, sitting up a bit more straight. �I am not certain. I am new in London but my brother said there was a job centre near Piccadilly. I am looking for a job, you see?� It didn�t matter if he knew. They shared a bus ride, that was all. She might wave to him when he got off on his stop but that would be the last they'd see of eachother. What did it matter if she told Jonas of her plans? He seemed interesting and if she was lucky, he might even be able to offer advice. �What did you mean with �able to read�? Are you studying psychology?� He didn�t look like a psychology student, or at least, he didn�t look like Charles. Which was good. Very good. �I can imagine the bus ride gets boring if you do it often. Is it always this empty?�

  • Author: The Ambassador, PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:03 am

Jonas' light grey eyes, which indeed were almost silver, they were so brilliant (and most rare) filled with laughter, "No, I am no longer a student. Got out of there, about two and a half years ago I would say. Not that I didn't enjoy it. However, I probably wouldn't have went so long if it wasn't for my mum, she can be quite the tart, and a bit of nag, but she is my mum, what can one expect? Of course she was just looking out for me, she really wanted those letter, Phd, attached to the family last name. O cpirsef I still love her to pieces, Gads, I am sorry, Hazel," He said with a half smirk on his face. "here you were kind enough to have a chat with me, while we share a bus ride, and then I go onto rant about my mum. Terribly, sorry."

He gave Hazel a sincere, and actually quit charming smile. Hazel could probably now see that Jonas had spent better part of the last years buried in books. His smile was so genuine and honest, most people don't have smile like that they freely give out. Surely there was much cause for celebration now that the war over, but the destruction that was open to the naked eye in London, took away most of the smiles like Jonas had.

Those grey eyes, almost peculiar nature, looked down breifly, and his hands went into his coat, reaching into the inner breast pocket of his coat.

"Well, Hazel, that must be just terrific, in teh big city, looking for a job, it sounds like quite the adventure you have taken on." He pulled out from pocket a small book, bound in black leather. It looked to be some sort of address book. "We might be able to remedy one of those problems. I believe I am understaff." He laughed to himself, as he flipped through his book, "I say that like I don't know, but truly I always am."

Distracted away while still paging away from the books, "I work for a couple of rebuilding societys and historical landmark societies, that I give my advice on, after the place is architechly sound, if ithe properly can be preserved, or if it must be completely redone, thus losing it's history." He shook his head slightly. "I deal with churches only--it's amazing to see how many of these churches, want the pagan influences that are part of stonework or where these depictions are, removed. Terribly hypocritical, I mean they used that to get pagan converts by making the church more apt to be attended to by a pagan, because of they made the pagans feel more at home. Now, many of the churces want to get rid of influences that part of the physical church. Terrible, hypocrits. I mean, do they honestly expect the thinking person to accept the Christman Tree was used to celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday. I am not an expert on the middle east, but I don't think one will find a pine tree in Jerusalem."

Finally he did put his book down and pointed at a page, "Ah-ha! I knew I had two openings, so what is that you do?"

He said smiling, but his smile faded quickly, "Oh my, I have forgotten my manners, I'm sorry it is just common for me to go on about religion like that, but I often forget, not everyone I meet is as cynical about religion as I am. I am sorry, if I offended you, Hazel"

  • Author: Hazel Shade, PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:57 am

More people should smile like that, Hazel thought as she listened to Jonas�s rant in rapt attention. �Oh no, go on!� Waving away his apology with laugh, the young woman leaned somewhat towards him. Caught into the story by his quick words, Jonas had almost made her forget they were strangers in a bus heading for the London city centre. Hazel glanced towards the window but the view couldn�t hold her attention as Jonas could. �Family is supposed to be like that�, she smiled, thinking of her own brother�s endless advice just this morning.

�Understaffed? Opening?� She stammered, trying to keep up with this fast thinking, fast talking man. �Wh�� Jonas launched into an explanation about his work before she could barrage him with questions. It occurred to Hazel that she was being far too trusting �again, as her friends would say � but his enthusiasm kept her spellbound, his views thrilled her as much as his openness about them. Jonas made no secret of his feelings and Hazel found she secretly enjoyed hearing the passionate speech. �Don�t apologize, please. I am so glad to see someone think for himself rather than blindly accept the doctrines of the Church.� The dark haired girl laughed and nodded at Jonas. �I never thought about the pine trees but you are right! It�s like that with many other things as well. You know, life is so much more fun when you don�t take everything for granted and occasionally ask yourself �why�, which is something we used to do as children but somehow stopped doing later in life.�

Her eyes had brightened during his speech, her smile was beaming towards him across the aisle. A blush crept under the rouge colouring the pale cheeks with excitement. �Are you offering me a job?� She asked in her typical straightforward manner. �If you are, I have to tell you that I don�t know much of churches. I used to be a kindergarten teacher, you see?� The grey eyes turned solemn as she thought over her skills. �I can type.� She ventured pensively, �and drive a car.� None of those were skills that Hazel thought would persuade him and she tried to think of something that would be useful to his line of work. �Oh, and I can do research, like.. in libraries and such?� That sounded better already. �Most of all, I have an open mind to your views�, she offered. �And I�m not afraid to study and learn more.�

Despite her meagre skills, Hazel had a good feeling about this. Jonas had an air of innocence about him that, combined with his keen intelligence, appealed to her. Besides, what about last night's reading? Only a three card spread, but she had drawn only wands and pentacles. At the time she had taken it as merely a good omen, indicating her move to London was the best thing to do. But now, with Jonas sitting across the aisle, hope grew within Hazel that there was another meaning possible. Action and prosperity, the cards had told her and what could be more appropriate than this meeting with Jonas on the bus towards Central London?

  • Author: The Ambassador, PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 3:34 pm

Jonas' eyes flickered up towards Hazel for a brief moment, "Are you offering me an employee?" He smiled like he had before.

"You've have taught before? Well then you are used to talking in front of people, and getting asked questions, and people throwing fits. So, that sounds about right for a public representive. I need a janitor too....but I don't think you looking for something like that." He said and scratching his chin and smiling.

"Don't worry about not having knowlege of certain churches, if everybody did, then how would I get a job, I am sure you find yourself picking up knowledge faster than you think. And if you do some extra studies--well that opens other doors."

"The job can be tough, but the pay is quite good. I'm taking a hunch on this one, as you seem a very approachable person. Well, it is yours for the taking." Jonas said, looking out towards the front of the bus, a flash of light flickered across his eye, making it seem it had a silver streak.

Jonas, then raised his eyebrows to her, and sat forward, enjoying the ride and awaiting the ride.

  • Author: Hazel Shade, PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 3:05 am

�Are you serious? The employment agency can�t compete with an offer like this.� His tranquillity was infectious. Where Hazel usually would have given him opportunity to retract his offer, doing so felt like tarnishing something good. As if she�d won the lottery and ask for the money to be counted twice before accepting. Hazel smiled.

�I�d love to have this job, Jonas.�

Her friends would shake their heads and call her impulsive but what did they know? They were secure in their jobs. Except for Angela, but she and John would get married and she wouldn�t have to worry about jobs anyway. No, she�d be a fool to decline an offer like this. The job had every promise of being interesting and he had even said it paid well! Surely they�d agree she couldn�t let this pass by? They won�t agree and you know it. A job offer on a bus from a total stranger? It will raise eyebrows. Father will hear of it, there will be problems. At the very least you should have asked to see the office first. Squirming at the thought of friends and family, Hazel turned her gaze to the window, disinterestedly watching the streets glide past.

I won�t tell them how I got it. The solution hit her with the crystal clarity of perfection. Telling them would mean questions, heads shaking at �dreamy Hazel� and �very likely- objections. No, She wouldn�t tell them, not right away at least.

Hazel only had to feel the rising temperature in the aisle to feel secure in her choice. It only took one glance at the silver glitter in Jonas� eyes, to know this man could be trusted. There was magic in this cold January morning.

London had frozen while Old John drove them towards the London City Centre. The world had taken a pause while it waited for her to change the direction of her life. That is what magic is too, , she mused, recognizing the moments that change your life. Knowing when to open yourself to the energies of life, and allowing opportunity to find you.

�I don�t even know your last name.� Laughter mixed with wonder Hazel turned towards Jonas. I think he knows too. You can�t go through life with that smile and not knowing.

  • Author: The Ambassador, PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 12:49 pm

Jonas turned to her and smiled, "Ambigere, Jonas Ambigere."

As if the sound of his last name were the brakes to bus, it came to it's first stop since Hazel had entered.

A few negroes entered the bus, obviously American, they were soliders in the army. They quietly made there way to the back of the bus.

"Howdy, chaps." Jonas said standing.

"How do, Jonas?" One of them said shuffling past for a seat.

"Quite well, thank you, Chester." He leaned closer to Hazel, "I love the American southern accent."

Chester's friend who had sat, piped up, "Actually, sir, we have more of East Tennesse Vally dialect, known by most Amiercans for the folks of the West Virginain coal mines."

Jonas paused and shifted his eyes, "Thank you, Eddie, I did not know that."

Chester laughed at Eddie's outburst, "Ah, Mr. Ambigere, don't ya listen to Eddie, it's a southern accent."

Jonas laughed softly, "But I would like to listen to Eddie. Ah," he paused a moment as he helped Hazel up, "This is Hazel Shade, I think you will be seeing on the this transport more often, she is going to work for me."

"Mornin', Miss Shade." They said it quietly and bit subdued, though of course kindly as they took off there caps. The war changed a lot of people, but these two obviously had ingrained in them still the most dangerous thing to them was a white woman, they could tell stories, that Hazel would never want to hear.

Old John was obviously accostumed to this stop, as he was in no hurry to get the bus moving, probably why his route was always late.

Jonas was a fine conversationalist, and could since that tone in there voices there slightly uncomfortable, "Eddie and Chester, play in a jazz band, yes. Off-duty of course, they have done a lot for entertaining soliders evening during the bad times."

"Playin' in the city tonight, at The 938 Club." Eddie said with a smile, his white teeth, off-setting nicely on his carmel colored skin, with the slightly darker freckles, he looked younger that he probably was. But it was obvious he was a young man, probably just turned twenty, and joined up when he was seventeen.

"Splendid, I will defintely be stopping in then."

"Morning fellows!"

Jonas guided Hazel off the bus, the bus had stopped practically in front of Hazel's new place work. It didn't look that grand, just one of the many buildings in downtown London with just a few covered windows, and a green door that could use some paint.

However, when Jonas opened the door the inside betrayed the looks of the outside of the building.

Entering in from the cold city, and it's constant, so almost unnoticable scent, this place smelled of freshly polished wood, as there were about ten desks set up quite nicely in two rows, several men and woman already at work.

In the back there was an office, with blinds pulled down.

Jonas led Hazel into this direction, and showed her into his office, modest but well furished, with comfortable chairs and tall handsome book shelf behind Jonas desk.

"Please, have a seat, Hazel."

As soon as Hazel would find her self in the comfy office chair, the door to Jonas' office would burst open, young fellow with horned rimmed glasses step in, holding his hand over the mouth piece of phone.

"Umm, Mister--um, sorry, Jonas. There is an fellow on the phone about some of the construction being done on part of the churches lot--it's St. ...mmm."

"St. So-and-So, it doesn't matter, we are not the construction team, I'm not a foremen."

The young man, grimaced, "I have to tell them that?"

"Yes." Jonas said curtly.

"I really hate doing that."

"So do I," Jonas said abesent-mindly, "that is why I hired someone to do it for me."

"Gads, I feel sorry for that poor bastard--excuse me miss."

This caught Jonas' attention, and he looked at the young man, "Adam, have you met Hazel? She will be our new poor bastard, Hazel, this remarkable young man is Adam."

  • Author: Hazel Shade, PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 1:26 am

"Hello Eddie, Hello Chester. It' a pleasure", Smiling to the two men, Hazel meant every word. The world was so perfect today, how could meeting two such friendly performers not be pleasure?

"Jazz? Thats's just wonderful." She was saved from thinking up more conversation when the bus stopped and Jonas guided her out. A nod and smile formed a friendly farewell to the two men and the driver.

The office was everything Hazel had come to expect of such a place, with all the desks and people, furniture and even the smell reminded her pleasantly of such places in her home village. She drank it all in, smiling and relishing the fact that Jonas did have an office and a very nice one at that."It's wonderful", she breathed as she sank into the offered chair - unaware she was repeating herself.

Hazel wiggled her fingers to Adam and formed a formed a silent 'hello' with her lips. "Is this one of your clients, Jonas? Someone we are meeting, or one on whose sites you have advised?" She winked at Adam and held her hand out to take the phone from him if they wanted.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:25 pm

Adam smiled in return and shrugged handing her the phone. Jonas said, "I don't know, Adam who is it?"

"I'm sure she'll find out shortly."

With a smirk he lit a fag and leaned in the office doorway to watch her at work.

No sooner did the receiver reach Hazel's ears before she heard a screaming man on the other side.

"This is holy ground, not some circus or cheese shop! What in all that is good are you people doing to my cellar?? We may be a parish but that doesn't mean we can funnel bloody pounds directly from the Vatican! Hello?? Who's there? ARE YOU BLOODY LISTENING TO ME??"

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