She stood in the doorway for a while and watched him, the sniveling idiot. He sat on one of Papa’s least favorite chairs; Papa said you could tell a man by the seat he chose. This chair was particularly uncomfortable and positioned in such a place that either he was completely stupid, or the young man could not see her in the doorway. Anna rolled her eyes, lifted her skirts, and waltzed into the room with the grace that her Mama would have insisted on. Heaven knows where her Mama was; probably looking for her, since Martha failed to retrieve her from the gardens. At the rustle of her skirts, the young man stood and bowed. He had a baby face and innocent eyes – practically a child! If it was ladylike to guffaw, Anna certainly would have. Her training as a Southern Belle remained intact, and she curtseyed.
“Mister Alain Hartford, I presume?” she said as sweetly as her Mama’s ice tea. The young man blushed bright red.
“I-I’m afraid not,” he stammered. Anna stood mid-curtsey, and was unable to mask the confusion. She had kept a man other than her despicable suitor waiting for her, for hours? That was just plain rude. This young man, disgusting as he may be, must be mortified by her poor manners. She straightened immediately.
“You must forgive my poor manners,” she insisted. “I was-”
“N-no matter,” the boy interrupted. She raised an eyebrow at him. “I am sent here to bring you to the Hartford Estate. Master Alain… wishes to see you there.”
“I cannot imagine that I would-”
“You will go, Anna.”
Her Mama was back, and suddenly Anna understood how the doorway could seem invisible to this room. She turned slowly, eyes cast down. “Yes, Mama,” she said with a curtsey.
The prompt: In honor of Davy Jones and the other artists who enhance our lives, this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt draws inspiration from music. Go to This Day In Music, and discover what was number 1 on the charts in the United States, England or Australia the day you or your character was born, or any other special day in your/their life, if you prefer. Listen to the song(s) and let it inspire you. In 300 words or less.
Author’s Note: 300 words is not a lot. Holy moly! This feels a little unfinished to me, but I imagine the next installment will be at the Harford Estate. Since Anna was born pre-1946, I simply used 1946 as the year: my song was “Rumors are Flying” by Frankie Carle, which actually fit with Anna’s story well and gave me some direction, however blunt the ending is. You can read the last installment of Anna’s story here.