Saturday, August 24, 2013

Harry & Maude

Today was my local writer's group meeting. We had a really good time I think. We had a writing exercise that worked out quite well. I brought three old photos that I found online and we had to choose one to write about. I chose two of them, which was cheating a bit. Everyone did very well with their story and hearing the different perspectives was really interesting. Everyone saw something different.

Visit the album where this photo is located.
Harry smiled across the table at Maude as she told him about her shopping trip the day before. He hated shopping but Maude loved it and he loved hearing her talk, about anything, the price of eggs, the spoiled milk in the baby's bottle, the weather.

“I tell you, Maude, you should not go into that market alone. I don't trust those men with the funny hats. They're bound to be up to no good.” Winnie moved a glass and brushed crumbs off the table. “Harry, you should go with her.”

“Nonsense, sweetheart. Maude can charm the birds from the trees. She's perfectly fine on her own. Besides, I had to take that paperwork down to the Judge. He's been out of town for weeks.”

Maude sat silent, smiling at Harry. Beneathe the table she stretched and rubbed his leg with her foot. He blushed and moved his leg. “I think I wouldn't have got much shopping done if Harry had been along, Mother. He's far too much of a distraction for me.”

“Hush child.” Harry chuckled and winked at her. 

Winnie got up and began to clear the table. “Well, I'm still not convinced a fellow who wears a turban and long skirts is to be trusted. They have most unpleasant faces and I'm sure they're just waiting to drag decent women into an alley.” 

“Mama, do be quiet.” Maude leaned forward and glared. “The servants will hear you.”

“Don't care if they do.” She picked up her tray and started for the kitchen. “Uncivilized heathens, gadding about in the streets. Makes me terribly uncomfortable.”

She left them and silence lay thick as the mist that had rolled in from the mountains. The sun slanted across the balcony, casting harsh shadows. Branches from a nearby tree shaded Harry's face and he frowned. “It can be dangerous, Maude. You should take someone out with you. I didn't know you intended to go on your own.”

Her laughter dance out onto the air and his heart seemed to speed up. “Darling, I am perfectly fine. No one is going to hurt me.”

“That woman three weeks ago...”

“Was in a terrible part of town, Harry. She should have known better than to go there. I'm sure she must have gotten lost.”

“It was bad, Maude. I spoke with the constable.”

She rose and moved around the table, leaned down to kiss his cheek. “I'm not going walking in the back alleys of the bazaar, Harry. I promise. Beside, who'd bother the wife of the ambassador's son?”

He watched her go into the house and then turned to stare out at the forest a dozen feet away. He didn't want to answer that.

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