Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Rupert and Egglantina's Ball

Rupert and Egglantina wish to invite you to their dance to be held in the concert hall at Julliard after Egglantina's latest symphony concert.

Egglantina stands in the wings, her bow rosined, her violin tuned. On cue, she strides on stage, bows to her audience, and turns to tune the orchestra. Then she takes her seat in the first chair position in the symphony.

After a couple of wonderful renditions, she comes to stand at the mic and plays a lovely sonata solo. The notes entice your ears and fill you with an unnamed longing. You remember long lazy summer days when you were young and unfettered, kicking back in the tall grass as clouds waft past against a cerulean sky. Your cares and troubles rise up to blow away with the clouds.

At the end of the piece, you come to yourself and realize she has single-handedly brought happiness back to your heart for at least a little while.

After the symphony has performed its last rendition, the stage hands clear away chairs, piano, and music stands and a forest of lit trees springs up around the edges of the stage.

Rupert joins Egglantina on stage, as do many other couples. He whispers, "You were magnificent tonight. I can't ever get enough of hearing you play, Sweetheart."

Egglantina's heart dances with happiness. "I hope you'll still feel that when we're old and crotchety and I can hardly lift the bow."

"Always. And when you're old, I'll be older and much more in love with you than ever."

Egglantina wonders how she managed to find and land the best man in the wide world. She glances first at her so-handsome fiancé, and then at the beautiful trappings of the old concert hall and shivers with extreme happiness.

If you'd like to read the story of Egglantina and Rupert, it can be found here and here (and also in Kindle Unlimited for $0.00) in the LOVE UNDEFINED Anthology under the name MUSIC IN MY HEART by H. Linn Murphy

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Witherwood Ball

The December ball season is getting off to a late start due to a late wedding engagement. I offer you an invitation to the Witherwood Ball:
Mr. Andrew Witherwood is pleased 
to invite you to a ball in honor of his 
newly affianced, 
Miss Sarah Marchmont 
on this Evening of the seventh day 
of December at the
Fezziwig Emporium in 
Hanover Street.

Sarah, or Molly as she was once known, dresses with care in a serviceable gown of blue serge, borrowed for the occasion from her sister-to-be. Almost she regrets her actions with the ruby. Almost, but not quite. For it would have been a very good thing to have at least one new dress in which to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. She gazes into the spotty glass, remembering the balls of yesteryear.

She remembers sitting on the steps to watch the guests arrive in their furs and jewels, to be met by Papa and Mama in a formal receiving line. Sarah closed her eyes, putting herself into the waking dream. The butler would have taken their wraps and she and Andrew would have proceeded down the line. When she came to Papa, she would have curtsied and Papa would have pulled her into a quick hug, while perusing Andrew over her head. 

She knew he would have looked askance at her beau, mainly because no man was good enough for his little girl. And Mama would have drawn her away in horror at the state of her shabby dress. They would have ascended to her rooms to don a more respectable gown and Amalie would have murmured over her hair. At the end of it, they would have descended, sparkling and resplendent.

Sarah stares at the shabby cuffs and hem. What she wouldn't give to be back in Mama's arms.

But then she wouldn't be engaged to Andrew, for he would scarcely have done for a Marchmont beau. She takes up her fan and reticule and proceeds downstairs to Andrew's arm. He turns her about and gives her the warmest of smiles.

"Never have I seen such a beautiful lady," he says, bowing over her hand. He draws it to his lips and she is lost again in the warmth of his kindness. Perhaps it is not only kindness which fills her with happiness this night?

The two proceed to Fezziwig's Emporium, laughing and conversing as they walk. They see the windows lit with cheerful candle light and Fezziwig himself holding forth in preparation for the dancing.

"Ah! The guests of honor!" he exclaims as Andrew and Sarah enter to the music of the ringing bell. "Everyone to their places. Let me take your wraps, Witherwood." Fezziwig bows and they all proceed into the room to be greeted by the guests. 

You too are invited. Enter and dance. And as you do, note that Andrew is much more handsome than his picture.

If you would like to read more about Sarah and Andrew, please go here or here and purchase the book, THE HEART OF FIRE by H. Linn Murphy