we spoke on the phone yesterday and decided that we were going to post the initial 750 words (or 744 in my case) on the blog so you could see ahead of time what we were going to be working to complete this month. since we tell you the monthly topic and this is this month’s topic.
derek posted about what his goals were for the month, so i shall tell you mine –
i wanted to give derek a very plain setting. something that wouldn’t lend itself to his usual zany tendencies (early 1900’s great brittain). i also wanted to introduce (or at least name) as many characters as i possibly could to limit him introducing an entire cast of characters (you meet six and hear of at least three more). i also was hoping beyond hope that i would get something easy from derek to work with (i absolutely did not). you’ll see when he posts what he wrote for me what i’m talking about. i have a couple ideas of where i am going to go with it, but i’m going to take a day or two to read it a few times, take a few notes of things i’m going to be forced to research in the interest of realistic story telling, and then weeping for the next week as i get stuck time and again in his ridiculous mind.
anyway, here you have it, my story of a pompous british family expecting a dinner guest –
A Doily for All Occasions (my title, not his)
“Isaac Chapman Foster, you will stop hitting your sister with that doily and go clean yourself up. The Vicar will be here in a few hours and you look barmy!” yelled Agatha Foster in a rare moment of visible frustration.
“But mother,” he pleaded in what was sure to be a lost cause. “Robert and Bradley are still playing rugby, why can’t I?”
“You know the answer to that already,” her calm motherly tone returning. “Your older brothers don’t take two hours to make themselves presentable. Now go, to the washroom and clean yourself up before your father hears the commotion. You wouldn’t want him to come in here and box your ears, would you?”
Throwing the doily at his sister Elizabeth’s face, Issaac ran up the stairs before his mother could grab him. Mrs. Foster comforted her emotionally shaken six year old daughter, who was standing there crying.
“Why is he so mean, mother?” she asked wiping the tears from her face. “He never hurts me, but he is always so cruel.”
“There there dear,” she rubbed her shoulder gently. “Boys his age have too much energy sometimes. You know that he loves you, he just has a strange way of showing it. Now hurry upstairs to wash up too.”
Elizabeth ran off after her brother, while Agatha continued her inspection of the first floor of the house. It wasn’t every day the Vicar would come to dinner, and she wanted to make sure the family’s long standing reputation remained intact. With the foyer and great room appearing in tip top shape, Mrs. Foster went to check the dining room.
“Mr. Morgan!” she called out for the butler. “Mr. Morgan, come to the dining room this instant!”
Frederick Morgan, who had been working for the Foster family since Agatha was a child, came rushing into the dining room expecting to see it on fire. The only fire he saw was that in Mrs. Foster’s eyes, which flashed momentarily before she was able to calm herself once more.
“W-w-what is it, Mrs. F-f-oster?” he stuttered. “What seems to be the trouble?”
“Mr. Morgan, look at this table. Just look at it!”
“I see a set dining table, Mrs. Foster. Olivia finished setting it not twenty minutes ago.”
“Are you looking closely, Mr. Morgan?” Agatha was once again exasperated. “This is not a proper setting for tonight’s dinner.”
“Was this not the china that you had requested? I’ll have Olivia change the place settings as soon as she is finished storing the everyday dishware.”
“That is not the issue at hand, Mr. Foster,” she tried to sound calm, but was failing at the task. “The tea spoon goes on the inside of the soup spoon. How many times do I need to explain this to Olivia? I understand she is your niece, but if this behavior is not remedied, she will be removed from her position among the staff.”
“I’ll take care of this myself, Mrs. Foster,” Mr. Morgan said, trying to hide his rolling eyes. “Once I am finished I will speak to her, again, and make sure she understands the proper way to set a formal table. Will that be all?”
“For now, if anything else arises you shall be the first to know.” Agatha turned to go inspect the kitchen staff but was greeted by an out of breath Olivia. “What is it now, girl? Your uncle has a few words for you.”
“Mrs. Foster, ma’am,” she said in a hurry. “It’s the Vicar.”
“Yes, my dear, I know. He will be arriving in a few hours so get back to your duties.”
“No, ma’am. Mrs. Foster,” her breathing was starting to normalize. “What I mean to say is he’s here, The Vicar. He just arrived.”
“Now? He wasn’t supposed to be here until six o’clock!” Agatha’s anxiety about that night’s dinner had just reached a high. “Go to the kitchen and alert that cooks, then go get Bradley and Robert and let them know to get ready now. Once that is done, go alert Mr. Foster to the change to the plan. He will probably be resting in his library. Why are you standing there? Be off!”
Olivia ran off into the kitchen, nearly knocking her uncle down as he was re-setting the silverware on the table. Inside the kitchen she was greeted to a shocking sight – the Vicar sitting on a stool talking to the chef while eating a peach.