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 March Tales

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CD Roberts
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Posts : 114
Join date : 2013-09-23

20131005
PostMarch Tales

“Nice warm lazy day.” The Kid puffed on a cigar. He put his feet up on the low wooden rail, and gently rocked the wooden chair back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

Heyes carefully placed his cigar on the rail, and then pulled his pocket watch from his vest. “They’re late.” How odd it was. He looked at his watch while he spoke, yet he could simultaneously see the landscape of where he sat with the Kid. A lovely verdant lawn dropped down in the middle of nowhere, two chairs in the center with the rail to rest their boots upon.

He put the watch back and yawned. “I am so tired. That was a rough ride; I almost didn’t think we were gonna get away.”

“Me neither, partner. Look, here they come.”

Well, they were coming. Heyes sat upright and shook his head to clear it. He picked up his cup and saucer from the rail, took a sip, and put it back onto the pristine white table cloth.

The long rectangular table was set for tea; armless chairs lined each side, and two larger chairs with arms were at each end. There was a tea service, with a shiny silver teapot, a sugar bowl overflowing with sugar cubes, and a small pitcher of cream shaped like a cow. There were even a couple of those fancy three-tiered plate things like you saw in the fancy restaurants with little sandwiches on them and fancy treacle biscuits, and fancy treacle cookies. The biscuits were alternately flat and sugary, and puffy and buttery, depending on which side of the pond you came from. The cookies were German even though they were spelled with a c.

The Kid sat to his right at one end of the table, and Harry Briscoe to his left. Harry and the Kid stood to welcome the ladies, and Heyes belatedly realized he should stand as well.

“Howdy, young ladies. Join us. Have a seat.” Harry doffed his hat in greeting, and waved it in welcome towards the chairs.

“Good to see ya,” added the Kid.

Heyes managed a nod.

“Thank you for inviting us. This is such an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. I do think having tea with friends is perfectly splendid.” The tallest girl said this.  She had a friendly pleasant face, although it was not particularly pretty, and she seemed somewhat angular in build. At least her elbows were, as she managed to topple over the sugar bowl when she sat.

A second girl who was very pretty, with a blue ribbon in her hair, and dressed in a most sensible manner for a young lady, complete with stout comfortable boots that would never pinch her feet when dancing, chided the first, “Jo, don’t be such a clumsy fellow.”

“Can’t help it, when I’m all arms.” She extended her arm from one end of the table to the other in demonstration.

A pretty blond girl looked with dismay at the plate in front of her. “It isn’t clean. Someone has eaten from this plate.” She sniffed it. “Lobster, how disgusting.”

“Oh Amy dear, I’ll clean it for you,” said the fourth, and we promise, last girl, who was busy cleaning up the spilt sugar. “That’s what I do. I clean dishes, and dust, and sew.”

“We all sew, Beth. But that doesn’t matter. You are still the dearest of us all.” The girl with the blue ribbon said this, except she had a red ribbon in her hair in addition to the blue. She put her arms around Beth and hugged her.

“Oh Meg, your ribbons are so lovely. I wished I had more ribbons. I also wish I more lace, fashionable clothes, an aristocratic nose and a clean plate.” Amy picked up a clothespin and put it on her nose as she spoke.

“Now ladies, you can all have clean plates. We’ll all just move down a seat.” The Kid said this.

They all moved and now Heyes had a dirty plate. But the conversation and the move were too much. He gave up. He turned his plate over and put his head down on it. He looked up at Kid. This was weird. He didn’t remember crossing a brook, but the Kid’s ears were getting larger, and his face looked sort of fuzzy. His nose wiggled too.

“I wish Marmee were here. She would enjoy this so. She works so hard, and deserves a day to rest. She also deserves Christmas presents,” Jo said this thoughtfully.

“I wish I had a kitty,” said Beth. She walked off in search of one. In a few moments she returned holding a pig. “It’s almost a kitty,” she explained. The pig cried like a baby, so she shook it up and down.

“Oh look, now it’s a kitty,” she exclaimed happily. She held out the kitty for the rest to see. It had to have been the ugliest cat ever, with a huge cheesy grin bisecting its face.

Heyes turned his head away from the ugly cat. Now he was looking at Harry. Harry’s hat was wider and taller than before. It had a piece of paper in it that read: Amnesty 6/10. His teeth were really prominent too. Heyes had never noticed that before.

“Let’s play a game,” suggested Jo.

That sounded interesting. Heyes struggled to raise his head. “Treacle poker?” he muttered.

Harry took out a deck, and shuffled the cards. “We’ll play poker twenty-one. Winner gets a trip to Hadleyburg.”

Beth ran over to the Kid and petted his head. “Bunnies are sweet too. There not as cute as the kitties or my dead bird, but their legs make wonderful good-luck charms.”

Harry dealt everyone two cards down and one up, except on Saturday when it would be three cards, for himself, four for the girls, and on Friday when he would deal the cards backwards.

Heyes looked at the hand he had been dealt. His face card was the Queen of Hearts. The card stood on edge, and grew, and grew and grew. Soon she towered above them. She pointed her arm down and her index finger and nearly touched Heyes’ nose.

“Put him in the teapot!” she shouted. Her face turned purple form anger.

“Good ideee,” said the grinning cat as it spat tobacco juice out the side of its mouth.


&&&&&&&&

Heyes awoke in a sweat, and sat up.

The Kid sat up, groggy from sleep. “What is the matter with you? Do you have to make so much noise? You’ve been mutterin, and moanin’. I’m tryin’ to get some sleep.”

“That’s the matter with me.” Heyes pointed to the end of the bed.

“Children’s books? That’s what’s the matter with you?”

“Next time if all that's in a room is this or a bible, I'll read the Bible. People who write books for children oughta be thrown in jail. Better yet the insane asylum. They’re all mad as…” He kicked the books off the bed in disgust.
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