Monday, 14 October 2013

Chatterbox at Rachel's Blog.

Okay, over at The Inkpen Authoress, Rachel has started a new event. Go here to learn more, please!

This month's theme is coffee, so here I go, using.... well, I considered using Jacques and Sophie, but since coffee is not exactly a primary but still a bigger than small part of the story, and they already have had a conversation about it, I am not going to use them, because this conversation is supposed to be new. :) Whew, long sentence! :P

ANYWAY. I will be using Helena and Peter from a new story I JUST thought of about the English Civil War. Yes indeed, good idea. Must start post haste. :)

      The tablecloth was spotlessly clean, and so white it hurt her eyes to look at it. She rubbed her dirt-stained hands on her apron, suddenly ashamed of her jagged haircut. Why couldn't she have been more careful about her appearance? 

A step sounded in the doorway and she whirled instinctively, clenched fists flying up towards her face to ward off any coming blows. A boy about her own age stood there, a puzzled expression on his face. In his hands he held a silver tray, and on it sat steaming cups of black liquid. 

"What are you doing here?" the words sounded loud and harsh compared to the stillness of the room, yet the boy was smiling, albeit puzzledly.

Helena cleared her throat and stood straighter. Why should she be so scared. Then her shoulders slumped. Because she was out of place, that's why. She was a stranger here, and had no idea what influence this boy had in royalty. Judging by the fact that he held a tray, not very much. She set her lips and looked at him defiantly. "Looking for a position as a maid. Lady said to wait 'ere."

"Oh." He smiled easily and came the rest of the way into the room. "I thought you were a vandal."

She wrinkled her nose. "A what?"

"You know, a robber." He set the tray down on the table.

Her nostrils flared and she stamped her foot. "How dare you? I'm not!"

He laughed then, a hearty laugh, throwing his head back, hands on hips. "I know that. A little thing like you couldn't be a robber." He picked up a cup and held it out to her. "Coffee?"

She lifted her chin. "Don't mind if I do." Accepting the cup, she tried not to wince as the hot china burned her fingers and raised it to her lips. A hot, bitter liquid scalded its way into her mouth and she coughed, choked and without thinking spat it out all over the tablecloth.

Horror filled her and she gasped, watching the brown stain creep over the white cloth. How could she have done that? She snuck a look at the boy. He had both hands over his mouth and was trying to keep from laughing.

"I don't see wot is so funny," she finally said, trying to keep up her nerve. Would she get thrown in gaol for this? He didn't answer, only kept laughing. Finally, she grew impatient. "Will ya answer me?"

Then he stopped, but with an effort and ran a hand through his thick red hair. "Forgive me," he apologized, "but your face-- it did look funny."

She stared at him. Why was he apologizing? Her anger and fear drained away and she smiled tentatively. "Oh. Well, then, that's alright. I'm sorry about the tablecloth-- I'll clean it good right away."

He shook his head. "No need. I take it you don't like coffee?"

"Never 'ad any before. It's 'naweful bitter and queer-like." She wrinkled her nose. "Ya got any water? Me mouth's about near scalded to a crisp."

He handed her a tumbler from the tray and she gulped it appreciatively. "Thanky. Wot's your name?"

"Peter. Peter Wilcox." He smiled and bowed. "And your name is...?"

She snorted. "Whee! I've never been bowed to before." She did a wobbly curtsy back to him and fell in a heap. He helped her up and she shook his hand firmly. "Me name is Helena. Fancy name for a commoner, I know, but me mam liked it." She smiled at him and ran her hands through her tangled hair. "So, where do I go to sign up for this 'ere job?"

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