This week’s word prompt for Tuesday Tales is Push. I am still working on my Regency era story. This week, my heroine is in Vauxhall Gardens and has gone in search of the hero who she saw across the room at one of the musical performances. She gets more than she bargained for in her quest. Be sure to check out the other tales here.
In a few moments, she realized she was hopelessly lost. How had she gotten so off the beaten path that she didn’t remember from what direction she came? Had she really taken that many turns when she thought she was staying on one route?
Panic rose in her. With effort, she attempted to push it down and quash the dread in her chest. What would happen to her if she couldn’t find her way to her parents?
She calmed herself for a second. Didn’t she tell her mother this was just like being in an acquaintance’s ballroom? She knew these people. Someone would assist her. No need to fret.
Then she took a moment to glance around her. Not seeing a soul she of her circle but finding many rough-seeming men leering at her was more than disconcerting. Would one of them try to hurt her?
Two of the meanest faced men she’d ever seen stepped up to her. Both were dressed in serge coats of grey and worn breeches that looked as if they dated back to the days of the first King George. One had a missing eye and the other had a wad of something black in his mouth and was missing about half his teeth. They both smelled as if someone had dumped the contents of their bedpan on them.
The one with no teeth grabbed her upper arm. He spat on the ground. “Lookie what we have her, Gus. A pretty miss who no one cares enough about to make sure her purity is protected. What are we going to do about this tragedy?”
“I say we take her out into that secluded spot we just left that plain prostitute. This time around, we can have some sweet, fresh piece. Won’t that be a treat? I don’t know about you, but I can go again.”
“You can take her first. I still a bit of time to recover from that other one but I’ll enjoy watching you first.” No Teeth ran the back of his dirty hand across Hetty’s cheek. “She shore is purty, ain’t she, Gus?”
Hetty turned her head to get his hand off her and, at the same time, kicked him in the shin. She twisted to try to escape.
One-eyed Gus smacked her across the face. “Behave. Don’t you make a fuss.” He held up a knife that seemed to come from nowhere. “Come quietly or I’ll make that pretty face of yours such that no man would ever look at you again.” He put his face close to hers with his reeking breath. “Wouldn’t want that now, would you?”