'Clean the staircase', she said, thought Edilia. 'Polish the wood steps. Varnish the beams. Dust the cracks. We're to have a ball!' Edilia dusted the stairs furiously, not able to patiently wait long enought for the varnish to completely dry off.
She began to unroll the vivid red carpet across the steps. Such a pity, she thought. What a waste of beautiful silk. The guests will only come in their mud-splattered boots and step all over this beatiful piece of cloth. Edilia smiled to herself. If I had silk as fine and red as this, I would make a corset. Or a layered skirt. Or an entire dress. She began to hammer the carpet to the floor. Oh, to be a Mistress.
If I owned a horse, she thought, I would use this as a saddle. Edilia smiled gleefully to herself as she imagined herself riding into a grand masquerade. How their heads would turn! 'Look! It's the Lady in Red,' they would say. Their mouths would hang agape, and -
- they would point. Oh! Then a knight - no, a prince - would come rushing to my side and help me off me steed. He would -
- ask for my name, and I would give a curtsy before looking up into his deep blue eyes, and answer with -
Edilia jumped, and immediately ran up the stairs and around the corner, where she face-planted into the Madame's large breasts. Edilia staggered back to regain her footing, and to keep herself from vomiting all over the Madame's pearl-encrusted dress.
"There you are! Stupid girl," the Madame scolded, and turned on her high heels to sit down at her dressing table with a whump! on her cushion. Edilia stood awkwardly in the doorway, still holding her hammer. "Go fix my bath," said the Madame, smiling to herself in the mirror.
Edilia didn't move. She called me for this? Frustrated, Edilia did as she was told, and filled the marble tub to the brim with hot water.
"Make sure it's not too hot. Like last time!" The Madame shouted from her bedroom. Growling to herslef, Edilia checked the temperature. Should be fine for the lard-ball.
"And don't forget the bubbles!"
That was it. That last demand had snapped something in Edilia. She gripped the handle of the hammer tightly. As if driven by an unseen force, Edilia walked slowly out of the bathroom, and headed to where the Madame was sitting, delicately powdering her face, eyes closed. Edilia raised the hammer high above her head, and brought it down as hard as she could.
It was hard work, dragging the fat woman's body down the stairs and out the door. I will bury the Madame - no, I will no longer call her that, she thought. Edilia buried the woman-she-does-not-know next to her beloved cat, Poochie.
She spent the entire afternoon cleaning up the blood in the room, but the blood had color to the carpet, so she left it as it was. She had just enough time to choose a dress from one of the many cabinets the woman-she-does-not-know used to own. They were all hers now.
The party was a ball, indeed. Many beautiful couples came and, although no princes, there was a very handsome Grand Duke. Edilia entered wearing a blood-red silk dress, and introduced herself as the Madame's only daughter.
Oh, to be a Mistress.
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