Posted by: Author | March 15, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | March 13, 2023

Tuesday Tales- March 14, 2023- Picture Prompt

This week, the authors of Tuesday Tales are writing to picture prompts. I chose the brie one. I am working on a short story set in London in July when the swan upping is done. The posts are limited to 300 words.

Be sure to check out the other tales here

Brie cheese. Camembert cheese. Fresh Brie cheese with herbs and cranberry Brie cheese. Camembert cheese. Fresh Brie cheese

“We did.” He pointed to his friend Nigel. “It was Nige’s idea. He’s always been a clever one.”

The bartender waved Clark’s lager. “You going to pick it up, mate?”

“Sorry. Sorry.” Clark turned to Tabitha. “You can join us if you like. I’m not planning to stay long but I’m sure my mates won’t mind if you hang out.” He smiled. “Since none of your pals are here.”

“Thanks. I think I will. At least until some of the regulars come in. I hate to sit alone. I think it attracts the wrong sort of bloke when a girl is alone in a pub.”

“You’re probably right. I know some of us can be insensitive to women. Not that I think that’s okay. I just that I know it happens.”

“Too often for comfort, to be honest. Safety in numbers and all that.” Tabitha followed him to the table where his friend Nigel sat with several others and he pulled a chair out for her.

When she was settled in, he took the seat opposite and introduced her to everyone.

“Are you ready to lead us all tomorrow, Clark?” Nigel asked as he eyed Tabitha across the table. He cut a slice of the brie on the table and put it up to his mouth.

Of course Nigel is attracted to the blonde. She’s just his type.

Afraid he’d brought Tabitha to the attention of the very kind of bloke she was trying to avoid, Clark had a moment of regret for his efforts to befriend the girl. Hoping Nigel wouldn’t be a jerk, he said, “I’m not technically the leader, you know.”

Posted by: Author | March 6, 2023

Tuesday Tales- March 7, 2023- Luck

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt luck. I finished my story I have been working on and will start something new next week. This is the last of this one to be shared here.

Check out the other tales here

Before he could voice the rest of what he intended to say, she said, “I owe you an apology.”

His heart sunk before he even knew what she was going to state next. “Why?”

“I have seen you around the school and town. I wrote to my mother that you were here and mentioned how odd it was.”

Dread rolled down his back like sweat on a hot day in July. That man he thought he recognized in the cafe had to be who he thought. It would be too coincidental if not. “And why does that warrant an apology?”

The music stopped. Henry released his partner and returned the gramophone. “All right, ladies, switch roles.”

Miss Billingsly joined him beside the gramophone. “I am sorry. My mother told others in Town where you are. I saw your father’s steward coming in the building on my way in here.”

Henry grabbed onto the table where the gramophone sat, his knuckles so tight they were white. He would surely be dragged home in shame. What a terrible thing to happen. And if he knew the steward—and he did—the man would barge right into this classroom and haul him out forcibly. Ah well. The nine young ladies would get a show to tell their friends about. And a firm laugh at his expense.

He could not go on with the lesson. He stopped the music and clapped his hands. “Miss Billingsly will lead you all for a few moments while I take a short break.”

“Have you got a tummy ache, Mr. Smythe?” Mary Ann asked.

“No. He has to go out and adjust himself from having held Miss Billingsly so close,” Cecily said with a wicked laugh.

“Cecily. Young ladies do not speak of such things.” Miss Billingsly appeared outraged.

Henry almost smiled at her discomfiture but he was in enough trouble himself that he could not.

“But they do, Miss Billingsly. I even wager you have done the same with your friends,” the scraggly-haired girl said.

Henry idly thought he should have at least tried to learn the girl’s name. Now it was too late. With his luck, he would be sent away in disgrace. He was surprised at how much that idea hurt.

Posted by: Author | February 27, 2023

Tuesday Tales- February 28, 2023- Bud

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt bud. I am working on a short story set in the 1860s in London.

Check out the other tales here

As he walked on, his mind turned to the dilemma of the extra partner he needed in order to not have the same argument of the day before when the nine ladies each vied to be partnered by the dance master. He could see some of them were destined to play the flirt in ballrooms and some would be likely to be caught in compromising positions with some of the young lads who preyed on girls like them. Of course, being caught meant the marriage banns being read so it would be more likely one or two would be left in dire circumstances by some cad. He did not see how he could help them avoid that but did he have a duty to warn them as their dance master or was his only duty to teach them the steps of the reels and waltzes?

Henry knew he was not one to give lessons in morality to these young women. That was better left to their female instructors but he did feel a little bit as if he should warn them about how men could be. Especially the more forward of the girls.

Arriving at the door to the cafe, he snipped a bud from one of the rose bushes at the left side of the entry. He put it to his nose to inhale the scent before moving inside to the strong smell of the coffee on offer.

Tucking the flower into the pocket of his weskit, he went in to order his beverage.

Inside, he noticed a man in the far corner standing with his back to the door. The man was in deep conversation with two people seated at the table.

Something about the way the man stood and how he held himself jangled alarm bells in Henry’s mind. The broad back and tilt of the man’s head made Henry decide to back out of the cafe and miss out on breaking his fast. He would have to find something at the school to stop his belly from screaming at him in protest of the missed meal.

As he walked down the street toward his place of employment, Henry found himself chuckling after a few minutes. “There is no way, old chap, that that was who I mistook him for. He would not be in Manchester. He certainly would not be in the cafe I frequent. I am surely seeing things.”

Posted by: Author | February 22, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | February 15, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | February 13, 2023

Tuesday Tales- February 14, 2023- Picture Prompt

This week is a picture prompt week and I am still working on my short story with the son of an earl hiding out as a dance instructor. Each post is limited to 300 words. I cut come conversation out of the middle of what I am sharing from my WIP as it would have put me over the word limit here. 🙂

Check out the other tales here

When Henry arrived at his boarding house and entered the hallway, he sniffed the air as a marvelous smell wafted down the hallway from the kitchen. He reflected for a moment about the home he’d been raised in. There were never delightful aromas invading the rest of the house from his father’s kitchens. Of course, he knew they probably existed, but since the cook did her work from the back of the manor and on another floor, they never made their way out of her domain.

He found he quite liked being greeted by a foretaste of what might be in store for the evening meal.

“Good evening, sir. I hope your day went well,” Maggie, the maid said as she passed by on her way to the drawing room.

“It was passable.” He knew she did not want to hear about all the young ladies who had tried to make his day miserable and speaking casually to maids was still new to him.

“What am I smelling? It’s lovely and making me hungry for the evening meal.”

“Oh, that’s Mrs. Richardson’s famous squash soup. It really is a hearty and wonderful meal. She serves it with her special cheese and herb crackers. You will be happy with the meal.” She turned back to the door. “But I must lay the fire in here. There are a couple of guests coming tonight.”

Posted by: Author | February 8, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | February 6, 2023

Tuesday Tales- February 7, 2023- Smoke

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt smoke. I am working on a series of short stories and this one is set in the 1870s in England. The main character is a dance instructor. He’s the son of an earl but was sent abroad after getting up to shenanigans. He made his way back to England and took a job as a dance master in Manchester–far enough that no one from home was likely to run into him.

Check out the other tales here

“Which one of us is going to get to be your partner in the waltz?” Mary Ann asked.

“None of you. I am going to ask Mrs. Perkins to find another student to join us so we will have an even number.  It will be one of the younger girls or perhaps another of the instructors.”

“That would not be nice of you,” Cecily said. “We can manage without an extra person.”

Henry pulled himself up to his full height and stared down his nose at her as his own nanny had done to him many a time when he was behaving badly. “I believe, Miss, that I am the dance master here and I therefore believe it is my decision as to who is or is not in this class while I am in charge.”

“You do not have to be unkind about it.” She crossed her arms and huffed out a breath.

“Good day, ladies. I suggest you all make your way to whatever is next on your agendas. I have another group coming in a few moments.”

The rest of the afternoon went quickly. Henry definitely enjoyed the younger students more than he did the group that would be venturing out for their first seasons soon. His sisters being so much younger than him had not prepared him for how those girls acted today. He had to stay in this job for a while longer if he ever wanted to be able to go home again. Surely his father would soften his stance on him soon. After all, how long could one expect to be punished for mild peccadillos?

As he made his way back to his quarters, he lit a cheroot. The smoke wafted up around his face and he inhaled deeply. Ahh, a bit of bliss after a hard day of dealing with females.

Posted by: Author | February 1, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

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