Amelia dipped a deep curtsy. “Madam, excuse me for the intrusion but the Marquess asked if you would be attending the dinner party this—”

Marchioness Catherine scrunched up her face and wiped her yellowed paintbrush down her lace blouse. “It depends on how long the guests keep me talking, Amelia: they’re terribly unreserved. If I am occupied, he must endure without me. Certainly, Mrs. Turner can take on this job?”

Amelia withheld a laugh from escaping her lips. The thought of the prickly still-room maid chatting with illustrious people whilst the Marchioness amused her imaginary ‘guests’ in the garden became almost too much to contain.

Lady Catherine billowed her paintbrush around a wet yellow stain on her canvas, intended to resemble an intricate peony with a bee buzzing around its succulence on the other side of an open window’s nearby bush.

“Lord William tells me that even Queen Victoria is fond of my work …”

The sun always shone on her wealth, her privilege; it made her painting that much more exquisite.

These flowers of hers were symbolic of new beginnings, fresh starts, and clean slates… Luck, mayhap these will also bring her some, in times such as these…

A twelvemonth has passed since the carriage upended, leaving Lady Catherine feeble minded. After the debate it had been decided that the Marchioness would be admitted to the bedlam – rendering the wealthy Lord William entirely free: as Amelia had planned that day as she loosened the lynch pin from the carriage wheel.

Every Friday she leaves some yellow peonies on Catherine’s mantelshelf. Lord William will comment that they are picture perfect, that they are beautiful. He always passes her a paintbrush. And she always buzzes around the canvas, basking in the succulence of all but guaranteed wealth to come.

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1 year ago

Another great story, Melissa, and another great photo! Did you make a painting and then take a picture of it? I am in awe of the fact that all your pictures are original photos. You are so talented. Poor Lady Catherine – in her eyes, her paintings are exquisite! That’s not really a bad thing, though, is it? Great writing.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Poor Lady Catherine! I do hope the dastardly Amelia gets her comeuppance! Hopefully, Lord William will not succumb to her charms! Nicely told, Melissa.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 year ago

Great intriguing story, Melissa. Amelia was so conniving. I liked your unexpected twist at the end.

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
1 year ago

The scandal! The intrigue! Poor Lady Catherine! I hope Amelia gets some karma headed her way!

An entertaining story, I hope we hear more!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

What a conniving person Amelia is! While reading this, I got the impression that Lord William is in favor of how things stand. Poor Lady Catherine. This story was very captivating and I hope to read more!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Your story is intriguing yet very entertaining story, Melissa. Nice work. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
1 year ago

You are most welcome.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
11 months ago

We are thrown right into the consequences of a very evil conspiracy, Melissa. Your story is very well told and leaves us speculating what will come out of this. I understand that you want to develop it further to see what happens to the people involved. I’m sure you already have some plans for Amelia and Lord William.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
11 months ago

Intriguing story, Melissa, and I’ll add my wish to read more! Hopefully, what goes around comes around and Lord William and Amelia will have to keep watching over their shoulders!

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