The Dame and the Porcelain Vase

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Dutchess' three children, a mysterious dame and a porcelain vase...

Submitted: November 17, 2018

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Submitted: October 08, 2018

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“I have definitely seen her come around and stay here many times," Margo said, as she put her purse down and takes out flaming red lipstick. “She sits in the pavilion, on the bench farthest away from our entrance, takes out some papers and a pen, does some paperwork and leaves. Annnnd,” Margo stretched out the “And” to provide a sense of theatrical anticipation, “rumor has it she’ll be out of town next week.”

“How did you find out that last bit?” Aaron looked up at Margo with uncoined curiosity.

“Top secret,” Margo laughed, pointing her index finger up with a feeling of superiority. “It’s monkey business. I heard somewhere. Doesn’t matter.”

Moved by separate yet similar thinking, Margo and Aaron gathered closer to each other. Their scattered bits and pieces of thought have aligned into one quite often lately, the cause being a mysterious woman, approximately in her late twenties - early thirties, never seen here previously, appearing and vanishing at the windows. A bit over than a month ago, one of the Dutchess’ family members started noticing the dame walk inside the pavilion. The balancing of light falling upon the window from the outside with the contours of trees and shadows falling from the pavilion roof resulted in a picture unclear, painted by silhouettes and faded colors. In these shadows, Margo, Aaron and Lynn have recognized a woman of immaculate beauty, with a facial profile of a Greek goddess, wearing a floor-length black dress and carrying a brown bag. Left in adolescent, light-hearted fascination, Margo and Aaron, also not deprived of competitiveness in their strive to get to know anything and everything, along with their youngest sister Lynn were rather afraid of the surreal admiration which started to spark up, so they strutted around their living room anxiously, trying to find every possible quirk, fault and flaw in this, at first sight undoubtedly magnificent being.

“What does she write?” Aaron replied, lazily stretched out on a lacy armchair, rolling onto his other side to face Margo.

“Oh, that - never have I bothered to notice,” Margo replied, dancing in circles around her boudoir mirror. “I’ll have to ask Lynn. She probably has a clue.”

“Lynn couldn’t have noticed.” Aaron said. “The dame is too far away for any of us to be able to get a clear vision. What is it that she writes so often and constantly? Margo, what would be your guess?”

“She always wears a watch,” Margo said. “Her watch, however, is neither diamond, nor golden - gold-plated at best. Last month, she was here for three Saturdays in a row. Every second Saturday, from five to nine-o-clock, every person well-known by our father is having dinner with him downstairs. That means she cannot be someone important to our circle. Yet still, she dresses precisely like an English woman, leaving me to guess she is. Our father knows every classy English woman, so she can’t be one of them. So, even if she is from England, supposably from the countryside - a bit self-proclaimed, I suppose,” Margo smiled. “I would name her Vanity.”

“No, no!” Aaron exclaimed with enthusiasm. “Vanity isn’t the word for her. In fact, I happen to think she is a significantly rich individual. Usually, women of middle rank don’t wear watches, and don’t have ruffles on their sleeves. What about her wardrobe? So neat! Haven’t you payed attention to how neat and obsessed with her belongings she is? Father always told me you can’t trust a woman like that.”

“Really?” Margo seemed convinced, yet even further intrigued. “What else have you noticed?”

“Let me think,” Aaron said. “She always puts her paperwork into an envelope, seals it and checks if it’s closed tightly, as if she was writing a letter. While sealing envelopes, she looks anxious and nervous - the way one would act when afraid to be caught in crime. Not to be a criminal detective, but in the best case scenario, that could mean she is writing love letters to more than one lover. I‘d name her Sly for sure.”

“You could be correct about that!” Margo screamed, as her emerald eyes widened to match the size of coins. “Who IS that mysterious human? Guess we’ll never have an answer, until we have enough evidence, one that we’ve seen with our own eyes.” she says, brushing her tar, rich flocks of hair. “Either way she is just too strange for us to figure out. Too beautiful to resist - that it is hard to deny - but of questionable morals and values, I bet.” Margo turned around in front of the boudoir mirror twice again, blowing an air kiss and smiling at herself. “Lynn? Have you got a say?” she faced her quiet sister, who has entered the room unnoticeably, sneaking on the conversation all along.

Lynn raised up her tiny, oddly positioned eyes, greeting Margo with an ever-present off-guard glance. This shy, fair-blonde-haired creature wasn’t like her brother and sister at all. Significantly older than both in behavior, even at first sight, by birth date she remained the second child of the Duchess, and often happened to be left out of attention’s focus. That, nevertheless, did not seem to bother her slightly: Lynn was often referred to as a bobble-headed dreamer with her mind up in the clouds, hardly aware of the world that surrounded her. Little did anyone suspect, however, that she observed and noticed more than anyone could ever guess.

Twelve years ago, when Lynn was an innocent little thing only two years of age, an old, about-to-be-retired doctor had classified Lynn as mentally challenged, in a rare nature; since that day, she was not allowed to leave the palace, due to both parental fear of shame and little Lynn’s safety. The whole town knew two things: one being that the Duchess had a son and two daughters, and another - how one of the daughters was almost never heard about. At rare cases, she was spotted on family photographs or at get-togethers outdoors, running around on her thin legs which seemed to struggle holding her torso up straight, as her fragile, non-portioned body couldn’t possibly hold her large, bobbling head with a wide, dramatically curved forehead.

“She sits here alone,” Lynn spoke in her quiet, mellow tone of voice - just like snowdrops, first to humbly rise above the last fallen snow levels. Tender, fragile and the quickest to die out, as soon as warmer weathers hit and bright, merry daisies, sunflowers and roses unravel the color scheme of their petals in their prime, under the sun’s blazing rays. The one with the most beautiful voice - and yet she almost never spoke.” Maybe her name is Loneliness. She sits quietly, possibly waiting for a love that will never return. Or not waiting at all - simply indulging herself in the art of writing, one she’s so devoted to. What a Love it is that she feels for her art! She writes and writes, head tilted slightly to the side, with a dreamy gaze, as if she was overcome with nostalgia. There! I would call her Nostalgia!” she exclaimed, but more so to herself and into space than to Aaron and Margo. “I bet it must be the dark type, the hauntingly thoughts. After all, when loneliness and love meet, dark nostalgia occurs naturally. That’s kind of like the science of emotions.” she smiled to herself, remarkably proud of her wordy wit.

“Either way, enough of this useless guessing,” Aaron cut his sister off firmly. “I bet she isn’t here for no reason. She probably thinks of making a fine young man her husband.”

“You think so?” Margo overlooked her brother with skepticism and even a hinge of jealousy.

“No second of my life is wasted doubting that,” Aaron smiled. “Don’t you worry, though. “I’ll surely take the time to introduce my beautiful sisters,” he spiced up his tone of expression with a pretense, vain generosity.

“May I grant myself the boldness to argue with your statement,” Margo said, standing up. “From day one that mother has been rewarding us with allowance, I have saved up the most pennies than the two of you combined. You, you spend your money the week that you earn it. Do you really have the nerve to think she’ll consider you a possible candidate?”

“What is so remarkable about that, anyway?” Aaron replied. “You stuff yourself with jewels and dresses you never wear when we ride out of town. What’s the point? I am sure that once she meets me, she will fall in love with me and...” Aaron didn’t get a chance to finish his thought. “Aaaagh!” he screamed, as Margo pulled down on his fair curls. 

“And you deserve it, you little goblin, for always wanting to have your cake and eat it, too,” Margo growled, “and not willing to ever be anything than the center of attention. They usually teach you that in preschool.”

“Mischievous little witch!” Aaron screamed, running into Margo to get his revenge. You little devil, you’ll get what you deserve.” The room shook, as Lynn shrugged her shoulders, awaiting for the battlefield to be over until she heard a loud crash - and a cloud of dust arose out of the blue. Margo and Aaron let go of each other to realize what they have done.

“That was our mother’s favorite porcelain vase,” Aaron sighed. 

Just as she said that, the door opened with an ear-aching stridor. Their mother stood there, as her eyes inspected the room in a split second before facing her children, appearing frighteningly, piercingly strict.

“Look at what the three of you have done,” she said, disappointed. “Actually,” her eyes repeatedly overlooked the space, “the two of you. I knew Lynn wouldn’t do such a thing.”

Margo and Aaron stood there, awfully quiet.

“I raised you to better manners. The both of you! No allowance for the rest of the month and no banana pudding today evening. I’ll ask Wanda to scoop up a pitcher of water for you, along with a slice of rye bread and some salt. Also,” their mother “you aren’t going outside for the next two weeks."

“Mom, but it can't be more than a week," Margo pouted her lips with an infantile caprice, but was cut off with her mother’s defiant gaze. Aaron calmingly stroke her hand, forgetting that minutes ago he was her ferocious enemy. Margo realized the situation is a dead end.

“Let’s not complain, or our mother will decide to leave us without allowance for two months ahead,” Aaron whispered back. “I hope at least that you’re happy. You’re the one who gets to meet your beloved princess,” he turned to Lynn with disgust, as she took one last step out of the room and shut the door behind her with a bang.

Lynn moved closer to the windowsill, with the pavilion’s facet in perfect view. She didn’t smile, nor had she hinges of anticipation in her eyes. As her oval, elegant head tilted slightly to the side, her tangled little mind filled more and more with loneliness, love and nostalgia - the dark type.

The mysterious dame, for the first time, looked up, glaring straight at the windowsill where Lynn sat.

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Alexandra Layne. All rights reserved.

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