So my New Year's Resolution to be nicer to people was officially broken at about 12:08 tonight when I was on the train and a lad of about twenty-one got on carrying a copy of "War and Peace" --complete with Post-Its sticking out, should he care to go back and ruminate over certain passages--and I had to literally stuff my mitten into my mouth to stop myself from laughing out loud. Seriously? "War and Peace?" I mean--you're on the train, mate, who are you trying to impress? Or is this for protection, seeing as how it's the big red hardcover? *snort* I shouldn't laugh, since the most serious book I've tackled lately was the "Sweeney Todd" insert that came with my CD, but...seriously? Come on...
Meanwhile: here's a short story I wrote this afternoon. Is very short. Enjoy.
Mary’s New Bedroom
By: Nicole M. Lemery
Mary had wanted to cover her husband’s eyes as she led him up the stairs, but he towered over her, making the effort impossible. She had to settle for walking behind him, guiding him with his eyes closed, trusting that he wouldn’t peek between his dark lashes. Their sons gamboled on the stairs, giggling, rustling her skirts and poking one another, falling into each other like a litter of puppies. Mary opened the door and carefully levered her husband—who had obediently put his hands over his face—into position, so that he would get the full effect as soon as he opened his eyes.
“Now!” she exclaimed. “Surprise!”
The boys jumped on their parent’s bed as their lanky father removed his hands and opened his eyes. Surprise moved quickly across his face, to be replaced by an emotion that was harder to read. Astonishment? Incredulity? Dislike? Mary fingered a tasseled curtain nervously. “What do you think?” she said.
“Well, I…I don’t know. Do you like it?”
“It’s very fashionable,” Mary patted the blue wallpaper. “These are the latest colors, in from New York. You won’t see colors this bright anywhere west of Ohio. Oh! You know I can’t resist whenever I spot something pretty.” Mary was becoming nervous. “I thought I might do a new coverlet for our bed, which led to a discussion on curtains, and then I commented on how faded our wallpaper has become and, oh-- And Mr. Decateur assures me that the curtains are the very latest fashion. He showed me a catalogue from New York.”
“Ah yes, well, if this is how they do things in New York…”
Mary felt a quick upswing in emotion. Embarrassment vied with anger until she spotted the tiniest twinkle in her husband’s eye. The boys spotted it a second later, and roared with laugher.
“We told her you’d be surprised!” they shouted. “We helped pick out the carpet!”
In response, their father merely shook their head and crossed the new red and green floor covering. It certainly was bright, clashing gloriously with the blue and gold wallcovering. He tossed his hat onto the small wooden desk in the corner and gently rested a hand on it. “I am glad to see you did not redecorate everything.” He paused. “And I do like your new dress.”
Kitty poked her head in the doorway.
“I’m sorry to interrupt ma’am, but Mr. Drummond is here. He wants to speak with Mr. Lincoln.”
Mary sighed. “Of course. You’re not home five minutes, and already you’re being visited.” She turned slightly. “Get off that bed! With those filthy shoes—run outside and play. This instant!”
The boys vanished down the stairs, their shouts mingling with Kitty’s promises to do each of them harm if they did not leave her apron strings be. Mary found herself alone with her husband.
“And you, just in from riding circuit. Not home five minutes—I’m sure you want tea.”
“Now Mary,” Mr. Lincoln took his wife’s hand. “I’m sure there will be plenty of time to enjoy our new bedroom later.” And he winked, turning to walk out the door.
Alone, Mary blushed, pink as her new dress.