“My dear Parthenope, it’s such a glorious day. How charming of you to invite me to take the air with you and out of town too. The ferry ride was just the thing to clear my head. And a walk in gardens that are not surrounded by odiferous water and alleys will be heavenly.” Sarina settled back into the comfortable cushions of the carriage with a contented sigh. “Preparations for the ball seem to be unending. I do not know how Lucia manages to keep up her energy. It seems she never stops!”
This is a further entry in our back-story comp from Nikalee Livingstone of Western Australia. She has entered right into the spirit of creating her character as you will see when you read on . . .
When I saw the sleek black flank of Phantom, his satin hide dappled by the shade of the potted trees in the courtyard, a rush of excitement shivered through me. Ricardo was here! His beautiful black horse stood calmly in the shade, not the least startled by my approach. How apt that such a handsome man should ride this beast. They were a perfect match. I ran a hand down Phantom’s nose; he knew me and that made me feel special. It was true; I had a terrible crush on my sister’s admirer. Just the fact that his horse knew me was enough to make my day.
Niccolo sighed and lifted the decanter on my writing table to pour a wine, handing me a goblet and beginning to talk. At first all I could do was stare at his magnificent profile, the aquiline nose, the hair that he had cut fractionally but which was clean and touched his shoulders. ‘Lucia, I tell you this in the belief it will go no further than these walls and that if it does, I shall have to mesmer you. Or worse.’
Just a brief bit of housekeeping: The Stumpwork Robe has just secured another five star review on Amazon!
Now, however, The Masked Ball continues:
I, Lucia Brabante, was sitting at my desk, trying to pen more of my novel after Percy left. I was shaken by his vehemence and confused at the almost instantaneous reaction I had, which was to protect Ser de Fleury from one of my dearest friends. I chewed the goose quill. I am known as a writer of what they may call in other places, ‘penny dreadfuls’ and the women of Eirie lust after them and for one strange moment, I felt as if I had fallen into one of my own outrageous plots. Handsome men, dangerous assignations, women with heaving bosoms and so on – ah yes, this very moment in my life had it all and I sighed in confusion.
Have you wondered at all just what is going to happen on May 1st? I can tell you we have and are still having daily meetings plotting it. Whilst the story of The Masked Ball is the thing that provokes the most fun for we three, the research via the internet has been fascinating and overwhelming. So much so that we thought we needed to share it with all of you, so it will perhaps be of assistance to you as you rig back-stories and get ready to enjoy yourselves.
This is the next Patricia Sweet instalment of The Masked Ball. (Pat, Rebecca and myself are the joint authors of the official Masked Ball story) Pat runs the studio www.bopressminiaturebooks.com
To my most esteemed Friend and Mentor Samuel North or Della Nord as you are known by the Venichese, from one now calling himself Rodolfo West in Veniche:
Fan and Glove Flirtations
I write in haste to share with you a small Volume that contains information with which we should become conversant prior to the Masked Ball. It explains how to communicate with our various beaux using fans and gloves. You, in particular, dear Vittoria, will wish to ensure that Sir Unicorn is able to comprehend you! Although it has occurred to me that we shall be in quite a fix if our partners do not share our knowledge of these niceties. I attempted to ask brother Charles if he owns such a manual and his response was unhelpful and a little rude.
We have had two entries in the Back-story competition of The Masked Ball. And I would encourage all subscribers to Mesmered and those of you who have responded to join us at The Masked Ball on May 1st, to BE BRAVE, BE FEARLESS and get your entry to me via my email address. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON THOUGH. You will have read Michael Keane’s entry and also Simon James Atkinson Turney’s entry and now we have a third. Barbara is a cartoonist, screenwriter and the author of creativebarbwire.wordpress.com and is one of the guests to the Ball and has entered her back-story which is below. She has also written a Part Two which will be on creativebarbwire in April and I urge all readers to visit and read the next instalment. I have a feeling that Barb is setting up a story here that will continue further than just parts one and two.
‘Where is your hat?’ Percy’s hand grabbed my arm and in a none too gentle fashion, pulled me into my salon. ‘Lucia, where is your damned hat?’
'Lucia, where is your damned hat . . . '
My friend Simon James Atkinson Turney, author of the successful Marius’s Mules and also Interregnum, has taken time out from penning his third book and looking forward to his first child in April, to take the role of a Visconte for the Ball. I hope you enjoy this piece from SJAT: