Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Weathered.
“What kind of fashion statement is that?” Asked the recently rehabilitated Lady Greenmeadow. The object of her scorn was the old King’s former mistress (one of many) la duchess du Linge. Rather than the usual court attire, the omnipresent mantua, she’d donned a pair of baggy trousers. Men’s trousers were usually rather tight and form-fitting, so she could not be accused of cross-dressing. No, this was the duchess’ feeble attempt to influence court fashions.
When the old King saw Madame la duchesse, he said, “My dear, you’ve never looked more lovely. Where did you get those trousers? They are much too large for you!”
Princess Pirouette couldn’t take her eyes off of the stained glass. To think that she had commissioned such a work of beauty was almost beyond her comprehension. For five years, starting at the age of only thirteen years, she’d been making payments, now the window was finally completed. She’d made certain that the saints depicted were women, and there they were: Saint Philomena with her anchor and the Blessed Mother herself. Right there above the altar was the result of her devotion. In a tiny corner of the window was an inscription bearing the words, “Commission by HRH Princess Pirouette,” along with the date of completion.
Kneeling at the altar rail, she’d been praying for at least an hour. An untold number of “Glory be’s,” “Our Father’s,” and “Holy Mary’s” had parted her lips and risen straight up to Heaven. Upon the third completion of the entire rosary, she concluded with the words, “And God bless the King, le comte des Deux Chats, Tata Sous-sus and dear Abigail.” As she rose, Pirouette was surprised at how stiff her legs and back had become from such an extended period of immobility. “And God bless me too!”
When Pirouette knocked over the ink pot, it was only half accidental. She watched calmly as the document upon which the pot had sat, soaked up the blue liquid. She smiled and said to herself, “Thank God paper isn’t waterproof.” She was done for the day anyway. Calling Abigail, she said, “See that pile of papers at the end of the desk? Give them to a messenger to take to his lordship, the prime minister.”
Abigail’s eyes grew wide at the titling tower of paperwork. “Did you go through all of that in one sitting?”
“Indeed I did, and my hand is cramping so that I can’t do one more jot of work!”