Mother had big plans for May. Mother kept her ears open for the most eligible bachelors available in their social circles and even above. Mother was sure May would marry into the peerage as long as Mother could keep May pure and unblemished.
Mother made sure May never went anywhere alone so that her chastity could never be questioned. May did not walk the streets of London Town even with an escort. May only spoke of the weather or the current fashions. May stayed quiet because Mother said no man wanted a wife with her own opinions. At parties and balls, May smiled and nodded and planned. May had to find a way to get away.
May watched for her chance to get out of the house and away from her keepers. Her opportunity came one night in the Spring when a flu brought down almost all of their staff and everyone in the family except her. She waited until dark, dressed in a set of her brother’s old discarded clothes, snuck by Sally, her feverish and sleeping maid, and climbed out of her bedroom window. When she reached the ground, she looked up, amazed at her audacity. She starred in horror as her maid climbed down the trellis after her. The sick girl lost her footing, dangled for a moment then let go, falling to the ground.
Sally whimpered and moaned as she lay atop her twisted leg. May ran for help. It took six weeks before Sally was up and walking with a stick. During all of that time, May’s doors and windows were locked and big, burly guards stood by them. May felt bad about Sally’s accident so she gave up trying to escape. She went along with Mother’s plans but no one offered her marriage.
Mother decided May needed a new wardrobe for the biggest ball of the year. They went to town to visit the dress maker. It seemed like everyone that was anyone was at the shop on that day. Mother haggled with the shop owner over a special bolt of fabric. As the minutes went by, May got pushed towards the door. She realized no one was watching her. She slipped out and walked.
May found her self on Tower Bridge gazing out at the Thames.
“Beautiful, is it not?”
May did not look at the man who spoke to her.
“The river stinks,” said May.
“You do have an opinion.” The man laughed. “You never expressed one when we danced.”
May turned to see the Duke of Grafton smiling at her.
“I wanted to ask for your hand but I could not see myself married to someone with so little interest in the world. It appears I misjudged you.” The Duke took May’s hand and bowed, placing a kiss upon her gloved knuckles. “I am glad to see I was wrong in my initial view of you.”
The prompt for next Tuesday, June 22, 2010 is “Hawaii Five-O.”
If you have a TV show based theme you’d like to suggest as a prompt, mention it in the comments.
If you wrote a short story for today, sign into Mr. Linky.
You should take all these Tuesday stories and collect them in a book. I LOVE these first lines:ReplyDelete
"May Berry had lips as red as cherries. Her maid brushed her long black hair until it shown like ravens’ wings."
Wow, you paint images with your words, that is the kind of writing that appeals to me.
I agree to Zuzana. Beautifully written.ReplyDelete
A marriage with the looks, but no brains would be depressing. I only hope that the Duke suits May Berry, too.
I'm joining this week. Have a wonderful day, Nessa.
a wonderful tale...in hopes to keep it safe we took its life...ReplyDelete
Aw! I'm a sucker for a happy ending!ReplyDelete
I hope the guy is a nice one!ReplyDelete
That was fun. If your looking for more titles, how about "Charmed" or "Eight is enough".ReplyDelete
If I managed to get the words "Hawaii-Five-O" into my Suzie's House, can I include it in your Tuesday Tales, even though it posts on Friday?ReplyDelete
And it just goes to show that parents don't always know best. Imagine if she'd ended up a spinster because of them.ReplyDelete
Wonderful tale!! I love a happy ending.ReplyDelete
May learned how to have her berries and eat them too.ReplyDelete
It's a good story, Nessa.
The current Duke of Grafton was born in 1919 (he's ninety-one now). His Dukedom isn't very large. It's only a village, Grafton Regis.
Wikipedia knows every Duke of Grafton in history.
your tale is remarkable...ReplyDelete
Oh, I liked this one. Mother is going to get what she wanted after all.ReplyDelete
What a sweet ending and May gets to be her true self.ReplyDelete
A great adventure and romance. Your writing makes me want more!ReplyDelete
I love the way you described May!ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed that one! Someday, I'll tell a version of it to my daughter.ReplyDelete