Ironically, I got so caught up in writing this story in response to the Story Board Challenge on FB page, Steampunk Writers Library that I literally lost track of time and left my husband waiting at the bus stop for a ride! So unlike me to do such a thing…He’s forgiven me — for the most part. 🙂 I hope you like the story:
Calla lilies. He thought of the vase on Miss Pennington’s mother’s mantle and the way the enchanting young woman’s equally elegant figure fastened him to this embroidered silk seat in discomfort – waiting. Each minute from noon to one of the clock ticked with a torturous stretching of time. The luncheon was set. He’d spent a fortune for the finest setting in the city. With her puffed sleeves and daring airs, she’d played him for a fool.
“Garson, keep my table.”
“Certainement, Monsieur Worthington.”
The gentleman was to the street to stomp his impatience, before his humiliation was made complete by a flare of temper indoors. With a lively step down the block, he murmured at the infuriating female. He threw his hand to the sky with an impassioned plea to providence to spare him from all such sirens. And there, high above the cobblestones, at the top of a myriad of stone steps, an intricate door – woven in shades of blue – opened a small crack. A delicate hand with skin of pale ivory issued forth and flung a token tumbling onto the stair.
Mr. Worthington hastened through the traffic, eliciting a curse from atop a rushing buggy, and mounted the worn stairway to recover the castaway item. To his surprise, it was a beautifully jeweled shoe clip with a pair of filigreed peacocks and a pearl. He made quick work of the remaining steps, thinking to ingratiate himself to the lovely creature at the end of the dainty hand. But he arrested his knock after thinking of how she’d tossed it away with obvious intent.
He fingered the jewelry, deep in thought as he returned inside to the table he’d so fretfully occupied for the hour prior. He puzzled on how he could research the occupant of the proud stone building, behind the intriguing turquoise-blue door. He was startled from his thought by the waiter, who presented with a wave and a bow, a voluptuous young woman dressed in indigo blue. From her silk sash to her Merry Widow hat she glistened in dark beauty, her porcelain skin and floral embroidered bouquets an enticing contrast of femininity.
The woman said not a word, but pointed downward with her indigo-gloved hand toward the plush carpet of the luncheon emporium, near her hem. As Mr. Worthington watched in enthralled fascination, a small foot pushed out from underneath her skirts, covered in a tailored dark shoe. Clipped upon the shoe’s front was a pair of filigreed peacocks and a pearl.
“Enchanted,” he spoke truly, as he stood and took her gloved hand. He led her willingly to the silk chair across his table, that he’d intended for that she-devil, Miss Pennington. He gave the mysterious maiden her matching jeweled shoe clip that he’d warmed in his idling hand. They ate together, exchanging wit and pleasantries, until the dastardly brass timekeeper chimed four of the clock in the wink of a lovely lashed eye.
-Kennedy J. Quinn (a.k.a. Sheri J. Kennedy) All Rights Reserved
Thanks to William J. Jackson for posting the storyboard (photo credit) with the challenge to write a story threading together the images in order from left to right.