Miriam Walker lives and works in 19th century London. There are monsters out in the dark streets but they are nothing compared to the wickedness humans get up to. Miriam battles wickedness both human and inhuman while always remaining prim and ladylike.
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Miriam lifted her skirts and stepped down into the cellar gripping a poker in her free hand. She assumed the noise she'd heard was a rat. Rats aren't wicked, they are mere filthy vermin. That was enough to arm herself with a poker, but not enough to cause her consternation. She might ignore a rat and let it live another day, but wickedness was different. She had allowed the first wicked creatures she had encountered to live. That was a mistake. Now a wicked creature that met Miriam had met its death.
And she had killed quite a lot of them over the last few years.
Everything in the cellar was as it should be. Sacks of potatoes, carrots, turnips. Barrels of flour and cornmeal. It was all neat and well swept.
She noticed that one of the potato sacks had a freshly chewed hole in the bottom corner. She clicked her tongue with disgust and kicked the sack. Rat, then.
She saw the delivery doors to the alley were slightly ajar and climbed the steps up to them. On instinct she looked out into the alleyway. There were no delivery wagons. Only a stray dog licking and nosing around a pile of rags. She shrugged mentally, closed the doors and bolted them.
She decided to ask the cook for a bit of cheese and set out a rat trap behind the sour kraut barrel. That's where they usually got in. Before she could climb back up the stairs, her thoughts were sliced by a scream and she heard pounding of feet over her head. That hubbub couldn't be caused by a rat. She ran up the last few steps.