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

Posted by: Author | January 30, 2023

Tuesday Tales- January 31, 2023- Safe

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt safe. I am still working on my jewelry store short story.

Check out the other tales here

The next few days at work went by relatively fast and easy. Jocelyn was in an odd mood. Quiet and not giving Siobhan as much of a hard time as usual. To the point Siobhan thought her uncle might have said something after all.

But it wasn’t that. By Friday, Jocelyn was so subdued, Siobhan was worried about her.

Much as she hated to ask and possibly be shot down, she finally said, “What’s going on with you these last few days? You don’t seem like your normal self.”

To her shock, Jocelyn burst into tears.

Taken aback, Siobhan took a step toward her but stopped, torn about how to comfort her. “What is it? Can I help in some way?”

In stuttering words, Jocelyn said, “Only if you can give me a personality transplant.”

“A what?”

“My boyfriend dumped me. He said I was rude and dismissive. He said I treated the waitress horribly when we went out to eat over the weekend. Apparently, he’s overlooked it before but says he can’t any longer.” She put her head on the glass case and sobbed.

This was one of Siobhan’s pet peeves. She’d stopped going out to eat with a couple of people for this very reason. She didn’t really know how to comfort Jocelyn in this situation without a lecture on how to treat people, but she decided to try anyway. “I’m really sorry to hear that about your boyfriend. Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe there will be someone better suited to you than this guy. You’ll see. You’ll find someone.”

“You don’t even like me. How can you say that I’ll find another guy?”

“I firmly believe there’s someone for everyone. It sounds like you haven’t found your someone yet.”

Jocelyn looked up, mascara running down her cheeks. “How about you? I bet you have a wonderful man who adores you and make you feel safe. You’re so perfect.”

“I am in no way perfect. And I don’t have a boyfriend of any sort. I’m not looking for one. I have other priorities.” Siobhan couldn’t believe how this conversation was going. She’d certainly never put herself out there as perfect.

“But that little girl last week liked you more than me, other customers come in and ask for you. More than they ask for me. It’s not fair.” Jocelyn wailed some more.

Posted by: Author | January 25, 2023

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by: Author | January 23, 2023

Tuesday Tales- January 24, 2023- Green

This week, the writers of Tuesday Tales are writing to the word prompt Green. I am still working on my story that takes place in a jewelry store.

Check out the other tales here

Cara reached out with a shaking hand. “Can I hold them?”

“Of course. You can try them if you want.”

The look of joy on Cara’s face was all Siobhan needed to make her day perfect. It was always a lovely moment when someone found their perfect item.

“I can? I never thought you could do that. I mean, everything is so pretty and it’s kind of scary, but I can try them?”

“Yes. If you don’t like them, we clean them and put them back in the case for the next customer. No worries.” Siobhan leaned forward and whispered. “Don’t let places like this scare you. We who work here are privileged and excited to help people find their treasure.”

“That other lady wasn’t so happy to help a kid like me.”

“Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but she’s afraid of children. They scare her.”

Cara’s eyes widened. “Really? How can that be?”

“Well, people who haven’t been around children in their lives don’t really realize they are just like us grownups. Only shorter.”

Cara’s dad laughed. “You know what, Car, this lady is right. I never thought of it that way but she’s absolutely right. Try those on, honey. Let’s see how they look.”

When the earrings were in her ears, Cara couldn’t take her eyes off them in the mirror. She kept turning her head to watch them flutter. “I love them. They’re perfect.”

Siobhan nodded. “They look great with your dark hair. Are you sure these are the ones? We have a bunch to choose from.”

“No. I’m sure. I like your idea of picking a stone that represents the month of the event. I’m going to make that a jewelry tradition in my life. It’s a great way to remember things.”

Cara’s dad handed Siobhan his credit card. He mouthed the words, “Thank you.”

Siobhan was sure he was thanking her for treating his child like she had opinions and was entitled to express them. She truly believed children were miniature adults and deserved respect. She wished Jocelyn did. But Jocelyn didn’t even think an older lady like Dorothy deserved respect in a jewelry store. It was that kind of attitude that made people not want to venture into fine jewelry stores. Snobbery by the salespeople was ridiculous. It set Siobhan’s teeth on edge. Some days she wanted to blast Jocelyn for her attitude.

She packed the case for the earrings into a small silver bag with the green logo of the store on the outside, slipping her card inside as well. “Good luck with your debut. I hope the earrings help give you a confidence boost.”

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