Monday, 30 May 2011

Troubles of a troubadour.

Picture prompt from Willow at Magpie Tales

These 'fifty something' birthday soirees are always a challenge.  Methinks, do I sing of love, romance and faraway places? Do I speak of a warm, bright and sunshine day where lovers wander in springtime meadows and see only each other in love?  I know my noble friend hath tired of the Lady Anne and seeks a more youthful companion to console and flatter his ego in his declining years although he denies that to be so. 

Whilst I play for time and inspiration, I find myself plucking a melancholy tune and note the sadness in the face of Lady Anne.  Once, she was the love and light of my master’s fond embrace and ardent attention.  Once she laughed, cajoled and flattered the ego of every man and unknowingly broke the heart of my dearest friend Sebastian.  He sits at the banquet table in the quiet hope that perhaps her attentions may once again fall upon him.  For him, it would be an honour and he vows that he would love her with all his heart.  He doth not favour the scoundrel ways of the pompous and haughty Malvelo.   

To sing and speak the truth of this love would indeed make for an engaging evening but might haste the final performance of the troubadour.  From a melancholy tune to a happier note the lute sings of this celebratory occasion and the birthday boy, Malvelo.   

Monday, 2 May 2011

Smoldering looks

Another prompt from Tess over at Magpie Tales

“Yeah, you go right ahead Joseph.  Go on.  I’ll manage.  We’ll get by … somehow”.

“But Ruth you know I’m doing it for us, all of us”.

“All of us, when did you figure that one out?  Was that before or after SHE declared that she just ‘had to have you’ to look after her precious estate?  Was that before or after she smiled that sweet demure smile in church, the one she thought I didn’t notice?”

Her mimicking of Connie Cunningham’s soft accent was most effective.  Joseph noted.

“Ruth she was only being civil.  Come on that didn’t mean anything.  You must believe that”.

“Don’t take me for a fool Joseph.  I saw that way you smiled back and how uncomfortable you were when you realised that I had noted that little moment of tenderness between you.”

“For goodness sake Ruth, there’s nothing between us.  An offer of work, that’s all!  We need the money.  I haven’t worked for months and with recent forest fires it could be some time before work comes my way again.  You know that”.  

He walked out and slammed the door behind him.

The noise woke the baby.  He cried.

Ruth picked him up to soothe him.  He snuggled against her chest into the clean gingham apron.  The smell of fresh home baking seemed somehow to placate him.  Tuesday - pies made with great creativity, lots of pastry and meagre scraps of meat in gravy, enough to last a day or two she hoped.  Heaven knows where the next meal would come from.  He did need that job and she knew that deep down.  Shouldn’t she consider herself fortunate to have a man like Joseph who did want to look after his family?  A part of her felt afraid.  What if the wealthy Connie Cunningham did entice Joseph away from her and leave her and the brood here abandoned in the charred and smoldering forest? What would become of them? 

She recalled an earlier time when she too smiled at a certain Joseph Wainwright in church and he smiled back.  Five babies later and a home with a farm were beginning to take its toll.  She was so tired.  Somehow the excitement of living miles out of town had waned and rarely seeing anyone for days reinforced the loneliness she felt.  But her duty was here with the family, she knew that.  At least Joseph could escape for a day or two if only to work the land and tend the roses on the neighbouring Cunningham estate.