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More Honesty Than Discretion

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Tamsin Kessel

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:52 am    Post subject: More Honesty Than Discretion Reply with quote

"Do you have your pelisse?"
"Yes, Mama." Unity reached for it to show her blonde mama the pelisse, dutifully aired out last night and and well brushed this morning. Her mother forestalled her.

"Do you have a fresh pair of gloves in your bag?"

Unity suppressed a sigh. "Yes, Mama."

Her mother wasn't even close to finished. "Oh, stars, Unity, do you have gloves *on*? Why couldn't your brunette mama have come with us? She is so organized, so precise, so logical, so.."

"In Kadoria, Mama." Unity kept her tone low. Supplying an answer like that was dangerously close to cheek and she didn't want to give either mama cheek.

In this case it didn't seem to matter. Her blonde mama shook her head, until her hat feathers quivered, apparently almost as agitated as she was. "I cannot believe we came all this way and I forgot the papers for Miss Maitland." She checked her purse again, but there was no reassuring crackle of paper from the elegant little velvet and silk bag. "I don't know, dear. You'll just have to tell her that you don't know what grade you are in, or what house you are in." She gave Unity a swift once over glance.
"Pull up your stockings, dear. Straighten your belt, the buckle should be in line with the knot of your scarf, and *that* should be aligned with the center of your neckline. Now..that's a bit better. Stand up straight. that. Like Aunt Demain showed you." She flicked some dust from Verity's skirt that Verity couldn't see, and tisked.

"You have smut on your cheek. Come here." She took a handkerchief out of her bag.

Unity submitted to the face-cleaning. She felt it was probably easier in the long run since she'd used up her blonde mama's ample store of patience on the long trip from Jenilow. "Mama.." She turned her head a little, feeling her earrings bob to the force of her mother's scrub with the dampened handkerchief. At least Mama hadn't used spit. Smelling like lavender water was quite bad enough thank you. "Why can't I put my hair up? Cecily has her hair up."

"Cecily is eighteen, almost nineteen, my dear, and you are not. She is also brunette, and far more practical than you or I will ever be. If she wears her hair up you can be sure it's just as practical as it is decorative." Her mother inspected the result. "It's a disgrace, the amount of dirt that finds it's way to you, Unity Lapham. I don't know how you manage to get dirty. You were sitting beside me the entire time."

"I don't know, Mama." By now the latter part of this exchange was well worn, and comfortable in it's familiarity. "But I'd still like to put my hair up. Everyone *pulls* on braids, you know."

"Then they are very ill bred. You have lovely, long, fair braids, Unity. If you took half the time you spent wishing for other things, in taking care to stay neat and tidy, you would not get nearly as dirty and windblown as you do."

Unity deflated. "Yes, ma'am. I had better go and find someone who can take me to my rooms. Isn't Endeline Towers *beautiful*?"

Her mother sighed. "Yes, it is. I hope Lady Endeline will eventually forgive us for unleashing you on her beautiful home. Behave yourself, now, and mind your teachers, and the Headmistress. Do as you are told and obey the rules. All right?" She held Unity's face between her warm hands for a moment, and the appraising glance she meant to give was marred by tears.

"Don't cry, Mama. Mother will be home from Kadoria soon, and things will be lovely at home again." Unity patted her mother's arms anxiously. She was too excited and nervous to cry, though that ache was there too. "Everything will be all right. I'll write every day."

Her mother laughed a little. "Don't make promises you cannot keep, Unity. Just once a week is sufficient. Now.." She pressed a kiss to Unity's brow. "Dea bless you my dear. Don't forget to say your prayers, every night, and to recite the "Heart of Water" sutra every morning."

"Yes, ma'am." Despite her best intentions, Unity could feel her eyes stinging, and her nose beginning to congest. It all sounded so final, this farewell. "I will."

Her mother smoothed her hair, a little unnecessarily. Unity thought it'd been braided back so tightly her eyebrows were two inches higher than they usually were. She tried to smile at her mother, and felt the tension all the way in her scalp.

"Good. I will look forward to seeing you on the holidays. Now, run along to find someone to tell you where we need to send the trunks, dear. It's not polite to keep the cab driver waiting."

Unity swallowed the urge to point out that she hadn't been doing all the talking, and bobbed a curtsey. As she headed for the main doors, she heard her mother blow her nose, and she had to fight her own urge to cry. Why couldn't she have kept on studying at home as she had been?
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Sylvia Ruger

Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Loveton Aracadia (Telluria: province of Northern California, Culveria

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject: Yet another new pupil? Reply with quote

Katrin was lost in her own thoughts, as the cab arrived at the large estate. She was thinking about how she ended up in far away Quirinelle. The trip from her native Arcadia was long but fascinating, passing through so many lands of the great Empire. Just a fortnight ago she was packing her things from her own dormitory at the Royal Academy in Loveton, and now she was here. Her Brunette Mother’s old classmate was now Headmistress of a school that seemed to be lacking a qualified instructress in Ancient Cairen history. What an honor for a maid of 21, granted Katrin was top of her class, and it was rumored that Queen Viktorya herself had read “Treatise on the Cairen Defeat of the Outlander”…

“Miss Vira?.... Miss Vira we are here, mum.” Stated the cab driver ,“Endeline Towers, as you requested.”

“Oh uh, thanks Miss…”
“Maxwell, Ma’am that will be two and eight if you please.”

“Oh er right,” Katrin dug through her handbag looking for what she hoped was the right amount, she settled on a Trentish Half Crown and Quirrie Shilling. “Uh here you are, go ahead and keep the change, er that is acceptable here Miss Maxwell?”

“Yes Mum, it will quite alright, let me get your bags.”

“No, that will not be necessary, I shall get them.” After she gathered up her belongings, which included two trunks of books, a state of art Trentish typewriter, a valise with a few sets of clothes and of course her hat boxes, all five of them each with a quality specimen of the Arcadian millinery art. The cab driver got back in the cab. “May Dea bless you mum, Rayati Miss Vira.”

While she was gathering up her copious amount of luggage, Katrin noticed a Blonde lady, in her late twenties, possibly early thirties quietly sobbing and making furtive glances back at the large estate. She was standing next to another Cab, and a smartly stacked collection of luggage. Katrin, using her Brunette sensibility determined that the stacked luggage must be the luggage drop of point, so she moved her luggage, sans the valise to the pile, all under the bemused eye of the other Cab driver.

Once her luggage was in the right place, Katrin headed smartly to the estate. Katrin walked up to the estate’s massive doorway and now just noticed the young Blonde girl already there. She was dressed in proper Arcadian traveling attire, complete with scarf and gloves. Even though the young maid was several years younger than Katrin, she was just as tall, if not taller than Katrin’s 4’7”.

Before proper introductions could be made, the Blonde finished knocking on the door and it swung open. Standing in the doorway was a very stern looking matron clad in black.

“Rayati, young misses, new students I presume, well let me see your introductions.”

Katrin quickly dug through her handbag, and came to the realization her letter was not there.
“Rayati, Honored Miss, but um I have seemed to have misplaced my letter…”
Katrin was too busy turning a bright shade of crimson, to notice that the young Blonde maid was filled with relief by the knowledge that even older Brunettes could misplace their letters of introduction.
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