Boston Ladies - a short story in parts
July 12, 2009 7:29pm CST
Part the first - - - The pitter-patter of the rain on my window causes me to drag my wretchedly busy brain away from my boring musings and the wish of sleep. I always keep my curtains up as to tell when morning comes upon me. It is still dark, therefore, late. However, It is not just the rain that may turn violent at any moment that I feel is intruding, but that of foot steps on the stair case. I had not heard the front door opening. Though, i had reason to believe it to be Sommer, or Sly, as I call her. I threw the blankets back and slipped my cooling feet into my bed-shoes before shuffling to my door and surprising the young woman who stood at entrance; "Sly, wherever have you been?" "That's a rather redundant question for you," she hissed, trying to keep her tone low. The Grandfather clock struck twelve, she was two hours past curfew and Grandmother had thought her abed this entire time. "I would not ask if I knew," I replied, not playing her little game. She pushed me into my bedroom and closed the door behind her. I drew on my dressing gown for it was cool and the coals in my fireplace had grown complacent. I stirred them up with the iron. "Rosamund, please, you must not hasten to shrill nervousness when I do enlighten you," Sly begged me. She sat on my bed taking off her damp clothing. I pulled out a woolen shift and threw it onto the bed beside her, an honest show that I was no as mad as I sounded. "Were you with your Master Quincy Eldred?" I asked. The fire came up and I fed it a log. Sly had by this time changed into the shift. Her clothing a wet pile on the floor. "Yes, we met at the Crabs and he took me to a play on South Street. Oh, Mundy, you should have come with me," she was smiling bright as she told me this of her evening. "Ah, and what did he say? anything about our families supposed wealth?" I gave her a raised eyebrow. She shook her head. "Mundy, you cannot honestly think that he is just playing me for money which he knows we do not have," she huffed at me angrily. I subsided. "Of course, I am such a wretch, can you ever forgive me?" I asked. She nodded. "You had best get under the covers, you may catch a cold if you sit out in this chilled air," I shooed her into my bed and then settled beside her with the covers pulled up to our chins. Huddling beneath the covers, Sly hugged me slightly. "Mundy, why do you distrust him so?" she asked. It was the first she had asked thif of me, but what was I to say? Honesty was possibly the best thing I could give to her inquiry. "Only that my heart does not believe," I whispered into the darkness. She must ahve heard, but not another word did she utter that long night. * * * Quincy Eldred was a man two years senior of Sommer. He was thin and had a tendency to quiver into his handkercheif. He dressed always in a black suit proper of a coroner, though his occupation was that of an accountant. He made good money, but was frugal. This morning, a day after his secret meeting with my sister, did he grace us at our breakfast table. Grandmother liked him some waht, she was senile though and took to asking his name over and over. At moments she did not even recognize me and it was saddening. Soon, only Sommer, myself and Posy - otherwise known as Availabel Miss Josephine to her courtiers - in the home. Of course I invited Quincy to sup with us and partake of our honey. He did so with a slight no of his head, which made him look crowish in the cloudy light of morning. "I say," Posy put in, trying to break the silence we had fallen into after Grandmothers mutterins had died down - "I and Evangeline were going to trick some rather suitable gentlemen into taking us to 'Romeo and Juliet' which is just now playing on South Street,' she was very excited about this prospect. I gave Sly a long lool. "Ah, I imagine it is a wonderful production," I said, "What say you, Sly, shall we partake of the play as well?" "Oh, I don't know," She waved her napkin and gae me a horrid look. I smiled back at her. Whatever was the oldest to do with these two cows running around after men? Honestly! It was a complete farce, no man they had chanced to meet wanted them for who they were, but rather for the money Grandmother was said to have. Of course, it was a complete rumor of which I had no idea how it started. But things of this nature have a tendency to ruin a family. If Fathere were here, he would have run Quincy Eldred off post haste! and threaten Posy's young gentlemen with his army revolver. "Well, I still would like to see it. I hear that a fabulous Actress from London, England, has come! Can you believe it! and she chose Boston!" Posy squealed with glee and I smiled. "What gentleman do you have your eye on this time, Posy?" Sommer asked, trying to keep the attention off of her, for once. It wouldn not work though, for she knew that I knew what her tricks were to be. "Oh, there are a few. Let me see...: and with that Posy took out her little black book. She flipped to a page and started; "Fred Reed is dashing! e has magnificent blue eyes that are as pure as the Caribbean ocean! Oh, Mundy, do you remember our cruise there night tow years before?" Posy asked. "Aye," was my affirmative. "He talks of living there," she continued with a wide smile, "His father is very rich and Fred has had his eye on me for months now!" "Is he a nice fellow? he won't hit you, shall he?" I asked. "You silly frog!" she laughed, "Of course not," "Yes, Rosamund, Gentlemen never hit the lady of their heart," Sommer replied in such a high tone that I found it snotty and kicked her shin with my toe under the cover of our table. "Well, I must quit you ladies to your talk,I have a lot of work to do," Quincy stood, jarring the table. He had been so quiet that we had all frogotten he had been with us. "Oh, you are not leaving so soon for work, are you Harold? Pray, take your coat it shall rain in the feilds today," Grandmother said. Quincy wasn't thrown, this hadn't been the first time Grandmother referred to him as her long dead husband. He nodded. "Of course I shall take my coat, dear," he gave us a nod and kissed Sly on the cheek as he left. Grandmother took herself off to the day room and it was left to us three to clean up breakfast. "Oh, Mundy! you are quite wretched!" Sly glared at me as she took up the honey jar. "What did you do now?" Josephine asked with a slight distraught look at Sommer. "Yes, was there something more to your evening the day before last?" I asked. My tone more curious. Her hand went to her throat. Her eyes avoided ours and I became even more in need of information. "Did he ask you to marry him?" my voice grew sharp. "Of course he did, don't you see how red our Sly's face ahs gone?" Josephine giggled like the poppet she was. I rolled my eyes and ignored her twittering. "Yes," Sommer picked up the plates closest to her, "He asked me at the play, at the interlude," she picked herself up and off into the kitchen. I gathered some dishes and followed with Josephine on my heels. "You do not mean to do it?" I asked. Worriedly. "I do," "He is such a nice man and he has money. Mundy, why ever do you wish for Sommer to resound herslef here when she has an opportunity?" Josephine asked. "That is not what I want for either of you. However, opportunity does not mean it best for you," I replied. "I shall not dither in this place, soon I shall be in a far better place. A huge home with white and dozens of maides and footmen," she sniffed. "Well, I hope it all works out for you," I said scathingly. I deposited the dishes and hurled myself up the kitchen stairs. "Whatever has gotten into her bonnet?" I could heard Josephine ask. Sommer did not reply ---- Please tell me what you think of it thus far!
• United States
13 Jul 09
Since I already commented on this in the forum, I won't here, however, I do want to remind you not to put anything you want to publish on an open site. Where you put in the forum (critics corner) is private so you can get feedback on your work and is not available to the general public. Once it's in the general public no publisher is going to touch it. You can put excerpts but don't put the entire story if you have intentions of publishing.