I am happy to present, as the denouement of 2013's Flash Fiction Challenge, a tale by a relatively new author who also happens to be another Brit - Londoner, to be precise. Patsy Middleton is hard at work on a novel that spans the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras in English history. She was kind enough to pull off that long enough to write this tale about a vase. I think you'll enjoy it.
Even though there are no more entries to my challenge, it will remain open until 15 December, so feel free to send more of these not-so-easy to write stories...if you dare.
The Sèvres Vase
©2013 by Patsy Middleton
He walks into his library where she kneels, sobbing, and something pulls him forward. A tear-stained face turns. She stands. She wears servant’s clothes.
“I broke a Sèvres Vase. My father owned one. They will turn me away.”
Face buried in hands, she cries.
“They will not.”
“It is irreplaceable. The Master will be furious.”
“He will not.”
“Do you know him?”
“Who are you?”
“Who asks?” How does she know the rarity of Sèvres?
“I must not tell.”
“Who is your father?”
Her tears fall, her head bows. With pity and curiosity, he lifts her chin.
”Sir William Surtees. He is dead.”
He understands, takes her hands, “I see.”
“You knew him?”
“At one time. He was my father’s friend. An unfortunate accident.”
“I found him.”
“Oh, God, poor child!”
Her sobs recommence.
He embraces her, caresses her hair. Her crying stops. He kisses her forehead. She kisses his cheek. Their faces are close; their lips meet in a gentle, warm, compassionate, caring kiss.
He moves away. “Forgive me.”
“It was to comfort me.”
Another silent embrace. A rare, eternal moment; being in each other’s being.
They part. She stands. He keeps her hands.
“What is your name?” He needs to know.
Now she can move on.
So, like Patsy's heroine, Charlotte, we can now move on. I've greatly enjoyed this challenge; so much so, that I am cooking up another for after the first of the year. Stay tuned.