(Parthenope seated at her workbench, Bacigalupo in an easy chair by the fireplace.)
Bacigalupo: ‘May I speak?’
Parthenope: ‘One moment. Counting.’ (pause)
Bacigalupo: ‘Is this one of the very tiny ones?’
I am quite over the dramas of the moment. I am sick and tired of my heart flipping back and forth like a fish on the hook every time the door opens. I am seeking out Parthenope and Sarina because when we are together the three of us, we have many laughs and besides I want their advice on my gown. My dressmaker has completed it and it is divine. I was a little concerned that the white wouldn’t become me, but as my hair is chestnut coloured and my maid has streaked it with lemon juice to provide highlights, I am confident that this at least, I can pull off. As to the confidence of having de Fleury as my partner and having Blakeney stalking him like a hunter stalks deer . . . well that is a whole other thing.
Rebecca Bingham takes up the flag and continues The Masked Ball:
Bacigalupo watched Sarina step beneath the overhanging branches of the large tree. His hand sketched a quick sign and the shadows deepened, as though a dark curtain had been drawn around the two figures, concealing them from view. Turning away, he unhurriedly walked to the fountain, where Parthenope awaited him. They exchanged a conspiratorial look.
When I began the journey to hold a Masked Ball on Mesmered’s blog, I never dreamed that a story would emerge from it, two stories in fact. One is a short-story called The Masked Ball which is entirely different than the blog-story and which Pat from Bo Press Miniature Books is using in one of her brilliant limited edition creations. But here on Mesmered, another story is developing and it’s exciting for me to see what my co-conspirators come up with each day. Till now, we haven’t communicated a story-line with each other, we have just run off with the last line of the previous submission to write our own submission and move the story forward. It’s become an exercise in fleet wordage and spare detail for me and I find I am learning quite a lot about the craft of writing and getting the message across in the shortest possible time. Please sit back now and enjoy Pat Sweet’s continuation of her part in The Masked Ball as Parthenope Neroli: