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A Soul For the Giving | by Chatwick Harpax
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A Soul For the Giving

Acte 1

A soul for the giving

 

Place: Moonstone Manor proper

Event : The annual Autumn Soiree

Purpose : to raise funding for the Manors Historical Trust

Time of Occurrence : Late Twilight

 

Elizabeth had spent most of her time at the Soiree unsuccessfully trying to attract the rather dour attentions of Eduard.

 

She had made careful preparations for this evening. Including buying an expensive new gown that was designed to detail every curve of her rather voluptuous young figure.

 

She had also carefully pondered over the jewels to wear ; finally deciding on the set of Rubies set in gold as being more of an attraction than that of her diamonds set in pure sterling silver … She had a girlfriend named Cassie (Cassandrea), who had once told her “silver made a girl look pale darling , whereas gold made one look flush and alive…!”

 

Which was odd, for though Cassie always wore the most stunning gold jewelry, she had the most palest of complexations?! But Elizabeth and her ( quite large) group of female friends had always known the mysterious beauty that was Cassie, to give the most soundest of advice!

 

Now, Elizabeth and Eduard had known each since they were children and had played together on their families neighboring estates.

 

Elizabeth had always been in love with the Eduard, but her rather obviously promiscuous approaches had barely been noticed. Rarely a smile in return, though he had always spent most of his time with her, and had never been with another Girl up to this time. Still she was never sure whether she was just seen by him as one of his chums…

 

Elizabeth knew that Eduard down deep was fond of her, and that his inattentiveness was in his linage, he took just after his father. For the father had dated Eduard’s mother for almost 20 years before finally wedding. This would not happen with her she had secretly promised. It would take time, but Eduard would come around someday, far sooner than twenty years, she kept telling herself, and it was this thought that kept her focus, like a hounds nose to the scent of an annoyingly elusive fox, persevering forever in the hunt

 

Now Eduard had spent the last 6 years in the Falklands overseeing his family’s business concerns there and had only been back barely a month. During those six years they had maintained a correspondence.

 

Eduard’s letters, cold and formal at first, had become more animated, definitely showing signs in the last few months of a certain longing in his heart, like he was growing tired of being alone.

 

Elizabeth had been tired of being alone also, more than ready to delve into the pleasures of marriage, and was determined have Eduard delve in with her, even if she had to lead the love blind git there..!

 

So here she was, with her dilemmas , stunningly dressed in her attractive best, but now going on too bloody close to midnight, and Eduard, other than a couple of brief dances, was gone.

 

She had cornered him finally, alone, but only five minutes into the chat was interrupted by his father pulling him away in courting etiquette ignorance! Eduard was still captive in a huddle of men, all of whom were smoking away in the manor’s upstairs den…..~ talking business and drinking their rot gut Brandy!!!

 

Elizabeth was fuming over this as she stood, arms crossed, standing in a corner of the glass garden room, looking out a window, but not seeing anything other than the wayward Eduard.

 

She had tried enjoying herself, but to no avail. The many men who had asked her hand in dance, had found her attentions to be faraway, somewhere else. It just was not working, she could not really enjoy the evening, not the way it was turning out, so she had sought solitary refuge, and had found it here, in the deserted, glass arboretum that was attached to the back of the manor.

 

So it was, as she was standing there in the throes of self pity, that Elizabeth jumped when she felt a hand placed fondly on her shoulder. Quizzically she turned from the reflective glass to see who was there? But instead of Eduard, Elizabeth found herself facing the charmingly green eyed, always smiling, face of her friend Cassie !

 

Flame haired Cassie was one of those special beings who had the gift of being a friend to everyone, the blarney as some would call it.. Though Elizabeth had only ever run into her a few times at evening social events, it was always like they had known each other forever. This was the charms of Cassie, and everyone who knew her, felt the same from the first…

 

“I didn’t see you coming up behind me Cassie, quite a start you gave me…” Elizabeth warmly scolded her friend.

 

“Sorry dear, you seemed lost in thought, perturbed even darling Elizabeth!” Cassie answered soothingly..

 

“Oh, It’s Eduard, you know, silly… but I thought I would be able to get him to come around this evening, but for all my effort, not a twinge of notice would he give… !” She lifted her dress while speaking, as her rubies sparkled in the darkened glass walled room…

 

 

Cassie placed a hand on her friends shoulder.. “ The problem is Elizabeth, you are always there, Eduard needs to realize what it would be like if you were not!”

 

But he was gone for six bloody years, wasn’t that gone apart enough!?

 

“No Luv” , Cassie said with a soothing purr in her voice, “that’s not quite the same. Overseas , you were too far away. But now that he is back, has seen you up close… Well he needs to want to find you, and you need not to be there !”

 

“But…How… how do I make something like that that happen?! ” Elizabeth feebly whispered to her friend, as she looked longingly towards foyer, where the staircase leading up the Den loomed large and still yet still not assessable !

 

Tenderly, Cassie answered her friends question, as her sparkling green eyes looked deeply into Elizabeth’s grey ones… “We need a catalyst luv, something to awaken the poor sods heart !”

 

Elizabeth just stood there forlornly, beginning to lose whatever hopes she had carried into the evening out with her, despite her friend’s welcomed words. .

 

Cassie looked at her, nonplussed by her friends expression.. “ I know how lass, leave it to Cassie!” Her friend said sweetly.

 

Cassie nodded to the door in a far corner leading to the outside.. “ Come with me luv ,to the gardens, lets slip out so no one else sees you leave, and I will explain it all on the way….!”

 

Enthralled by her friends words, giving her new found hope, Elizabeth allowed Cassie to lead her off, desires again rekindling themselves…

 

As they walked along the cobble paths of the Gardens, Elizabeth listened to the soothing, rhythmic like sing song manner of Cassie voice. She soon was lulled into complacency, the plan was brilliant, and she knew someone like Cassie could make it work!

 

 

The idea was all too simple in structure, the outcome far too sweet. It was the perfect solution to awaken the fickle Eduard’s basic manly desires.

 

With each step taken into the shadows of the full harvest moonlit gardens, Elizabeth’s resolve grew , she would not leave the Soiree this evening without a loving, attentive Eduard by her side

 

She looked over at Cassie, walking step in step alongside her, as her friend was looking back at the distant Manor named Moonstone.

 

Cassie looked back, her green eyes locking into her friends, and both could not help but smile at the mischievousness of their plot….

 

With a gentle swishing of their long pretty gowns, they turned a corner and were lost to view amongst the high hedgerows of the proper English gardens..

 

End Acte 1

 

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Taken on October 4, 2018