Stuck in a rut

Started by Calixto at Apr 19, 2020 5:11 AM
January 9, 1924
738 Views
38 Posts

Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
292
?Years Young
107 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


Oh yeah, she read what was going on here correctly, this man was more than a bit taken by Alafair. Gracie might as well be invisible. Or at least voiceless. Suddenly she felt like a third wheel as she sat back let them talk.

Allie said, her voice becoming lighter in tone, "This has been quite the adventure!"

Gracie barely restrained herself from rolling her eyes, if Alafair thought this qualified as an adventure then she should have been beside Gracie more than a few times in the past. Being a gangster's moll, now THAT was adventure.

The Baron shrugged "I would like to think, rather, that this an adventure that has only just begun, dear ladies. Tell me, do you believe in prescience, Miss Corbin?"

Gracie knew what science meant ...and also  'pre', so he was asking about before science? He was just plain weird in her opinion.


Made Me Laugh 1

Alafair Corbin

Club Singer, ex-Nurse
46
?Years Young
15 Posts

"Do I believe in prescience?" Alafair repeated the Baron's question and then laughed gayly, "Of course, I do." She winked, "After all, my grandmother was said to have the second-sight." 

The closer they came to the city, the more traffic they encountered. Alafair slowed down to within the posted speed limit. They would soon be at the turn-off for South Beach. "Baron, can you give me directions to where you want to be dropped off?" She needed to take Gracie home, too, but would prefer to keep her along for the ride for now. The Baron seemed like a perfectly, perfectly harmless man if a bit eccentric in his manner. It never hurt to be careful, though.


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Calixto

Barón y Tarazona
190
?Years Young
17 Posts

"There are even rumors that we are descended from Hatuey, an early Taíno chief of Cuba, but that, my dear lady, is an entirely ridiculous hypothesis."


"Do I believe in prescience?" Alafair repeated the Baron's question and then laughed gayly, "Of course, I do." She winked, "After all, my grandmother was said to have the second-sight." 

“You know, I am very relieved to hear this” intoned the Baron gravely, leaning forward slightly in his seat, the better to impart his tale to the two women at the front of the vehicle. “Perhaps, then, you will not think me mad if I tell you what happened today.”

Hearing no demure, the Spaniard began his story. It transpired that he had, for some time, been researching Tarazona family antecedents in the New World, and had tracked down a direct ancestor, one Don Pánfilo y Tarazona, a somewhat gruesomely cruel Governor, who held great sway in East Florida until the region was handed over to the British in 1763. His depredations extended not only to the black slaves and Spanish settlers under his direct control, but also to the local Seminole tribes, which the proud Don suppressed in the most brutal and grotesque ways imaginable. When the Spanish made the first of their departures from the peninsular, the records became suddenly quiet upon the fate of this blood-soaked figure.

This brought the Baron on to a description of this very morning, directly before his chance meeting with Alafair and Gracie.

“I have been breakfasting with two dear ladies who live in a grand old house at the fringe of the swamps, whom I chanced to meet in my field researches.” He started “I hope that I am two much of a gentleman to mention their ages, but if I may let slip that the older sister once dined with General Beauregard, you may guess that they are perhaps not so young as they once were. However, they are certainly young at heart and have taken to the Mah Jongg craze with a passion. Indeed, nothing delights them more than to be comprehensively beaten by Ho, who is allowed to make up a four. I scarcely know my Pung from my Chow, but it is a wonderful opportunity to quiz them about local stories and legends.”

He had set the scene perfectly, and now got to the point.

“I had just started to make a pair with Green Dragons, when I must have mentioned the ill famed Pánfilo. “Why!” says Dotty, the older sister “That sounds just like The Mean Old Man!” I don’t know why, but when she pronounced those words, a strange and not entirely pleasant shiver ran through my body, and my war wound started to throb. “Why Sure!” replies Dolly “HE was meant to have been a cruel and gold obsessed ol’ Spaniard, who was so very cursed by an Indian Medicine Man that he couldn’t leave the swamps when all the others went away.” I couldn’t believe my ears! But there was more…”

The Baron suddenly whipped out a hand and grabbed at the fibrous growth that dangled down from some of the over-hanging southern live oak and bald-cypress branches, that grew along the road, and thrust the strange, rootless vegetation between Alafair and Gracie .

“This Miss Henderson then cried out “Spanish Moss!” I had never heard it called that, though I have observed it many times in my travels. “Spanish Moss is said to be the white hair of The Mean Old Man, caught on the branches of the trees as he wanders forever in the swamps of the Everglades, cursed by that ol’ Medicine Man to pay for his bloody crimes!”

He slumped back into his seat again, toying with the strands of the plant and looking lost in thought for a second or two.

“Well, I was thinking about this curse. It played on my mind, as we motored back home. Then the automobile broke down, and I thought to myself “Maybe the curse is affecting me now!” Blood will out, you know. That is when you two, my dear Valkyries, came along to sweep me up. But are you singing to me the song of the Valkyries? No, no…” he leaned forward and hissed dramatically, and hopefully jokingly:

“No! You sing the song of my cursed Great Great Grandfather's tangled beard!! That is prescience!”

The closer they came to the city, the more traffic they encountered. Alafair slowed down to within the posted speed limit. They would soon be at the turn-off for South Beach. "Baron, can you give me directions to where you want to be dropped off?" She needed to take Gracie home, too, but would prefer to keep her along for the ride for now. The Baron seemed like a perfectly, perfectly harmless man if a bit eccentric in his manner. It never hurt to be careful, though.

“By the Public Library would be perfect!” announced the Baron “I must look at some certain books in the botany section.”

 


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
292
?Years Young
107 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


Holy moly! That was an interesting story alright, well told too - if you were twelve. Gracie didn't believe in all that kind of ghost and spiritual stuff. Johnnie said people like spiritualists and mediums and such did it to make money. It was just another con. Least he made it fun to listen to. The moss was a nice touch too, very clever. The baron concluded that long ramble by declaring that was 'prescience'.

Alrighty, she still had no clue. She didn't bother making any comments though, he never really answered those, his focus was on Alafair. Rich people stick together, Gracie felt.

Alafair now offered to drop him off at a place of his choice and he obliged by choosing the Public Library of all places! Now last time Gracie had set foot in a library was back when she was in school and she had never gone back. Books weren't a part of her life.

Allie laughed softly. The Baron certainly had a way with words. She refrained from replying since she needed to pay attention to the road and the traffic. She did not want her beloved Duesy to wind up in an accident. It had taken her a long time to save up for it. When at last she had pulled the car to a stop in front of the library, she turned to look at the man in the rear seat, "Here you go, Baron." Leaning down, Alafair fished a business card from her handbag. It was not nearly as fancy as the Baron's although it was printed on a decent card stock with the club's name and details printed in deep teal on a black background with the faint, ghostly image of the ship underlaying the text. "This is where Gracie and I work. Come by some time."


Liked 1

Calixto

Barón y Tarazona
190
?Years Young
17 Posts

"There are even rumors that we are descended from Hatuey, an early Taíno chief of Cuba, but that, my dear lady, is an entirely ridiculous hypothesis."


"Here you go, Baron." Leaning down, Alafair fished a business card from her handbag. It was not nearly as fancy as the Baron's although it was printed on a decent card stock with the club's name and details printed in deep teal on a black background with the faint, ghostly image of the ship underlaying the text. "This is where Gracie and I work. Come by some time."

The Baron alighted and took the card, examining it with some interest.

"Club Lorelei, S.S. Chanteuse" he intoned, reading the card "Yes, I have heard of this vessel. I understand that it sometimes sails to Cuba, a 'weekend pleasure cruise?'. You know, I may well take you up on your offer Miss Corbin, it would be worth it just to hear your beautiful singing again. But I must warn you..." here he took on an attitude of dark forboding and dramatically continued "... I am not a welcome person in the land of my birth, so be prepared if I present myself to you in cognito!"

He seemed well pleased with this bit of theatre and snatched up Alafair's hand from where it rested on door of the motor, bowing again and kissing it in the way of all continentals, that is to say he didn't really kiss it at all. Well, in real life, out side of novels and moving pictures, nobody really wanted a soggy glove.

He looked as if he was about to give Gracie the air, but at the last moment, as if suddenly remembering her presence, he moved round to the other side of the car, offering his hand and giving her a chaste and hearty handshake, as a gentleman might do to the daughter of a business associate. "And..." had he forgotten her name already? "...Miss Stroud, it has been a pleasure." He frowned and paused for a second as his eye caught sight of the ring on her finger. Catching himself he laughed it off "I'm sorry, but that is quite an incredibly beautiful ring." 

However, he kept hold of her hand, clutching it like a drowning man grasping at a life preserver and, after what seemed like a lifetime, looked up at her sparkling blue eyes.

"Good Luck, Miss Stroud. And remember what I said about Prescience. Once you start to look for it, you will see it everywhere. It is a helpful tool for those who have their future destinies mapped out for them by the ghosts of their past." He let go of her hand. Presumably, this gobbldygook was a reference to himself.

Then, a last raise of his straw boater and he was gone, transformed into just another well heeled, anonymous figure, striding up the marble steps in front of the Public Library building.


Cat's Meow! 1

Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
292
?Years Young
107 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


The Baron was out of the car now, in his hands was one of Alafair's business cards. An amusing thought came to Gracie. Maybe she should have a business card, she could see it now:  Gracie Stroud Waitress. Suddenly he surprised her by actually speaking directly to her? He had kissed Alafairs hand like those swells do in the picture shows about historical people. But now he moved around to her and offered a handshake. Oh well....

Gracie took his hand for a polite shake, she also smiled at him too, "Bye, sir."

 He laughed then though she wasn't sure why then said, "I'm sorry, but that is quite an incredibly beautiful ring."

That brought a genuine smile to Gracie's youthful features and her eyes lit up, "Thanks. My boyfriend, Johnnie, bought me that ring. It cost a bundle too. It's the most expensive thing I own. Not that I'd ever sell it, memories are worth more than money."

"Good Luck, Miss Stroud. And remember what I said about Prescience. Once you start to look for it, you will see it everywhere. It is a helpful tool for those who have their future destinies mapped out for them by the ghosts of their past.'

Well, the working girl still had no real idea what he was going on about even if it sounded very educated and mysterious too. But she got the 'good luck' part obviously which was nice of him.

"And good luck to you too, Baron. If or... when you come to the Chanteuse, you go ahead and ask for me to wait on your table. I will treat you like a king not just a baron," she grinned.

She wasn't even sure how high a baron ranked but she was rather confident the king was the top dog in that royalty racket.

 

 

 


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Calixto

Barón y Tarazona
190
?Years Young
17 Posts

"There are even rumors that we are descended from Hatuey, an early Taíno chief of Cuba, but that, my dear lady, is an entirely ridiculous hypothesis."


"And good luck to you too, Baron. If or... when you come to the Chanteuse, you go ahead and ask for me to wait on your table. I will treat you like a king not just a baron," she grinned.

The Baron smiled, and gave something that was a little less than a bow but a little more than a nod.

She wasn't even sure how high a baron ranked but she was rather confident the king was the top dog in that royalty racket.

So, the girl with the ring was a waitress on the SS Chanteuse, and the woman Alafair Corbin was a ... chanteuse. On the Chanteuse.

"I think that you will be seeing me very soon, in that case!" he assured her politely, before he left.

_________________________________________________________________

The Librarian hated a great number of things. First of all, there were the books. Not all of them, of course. The Classics, they were wonderful. Especially as they never got taken out, and preserved a perfect neat pattern on the shelves, like handsome soldiers on parade. It was those popular bits of nonsense that they had to stock that she hated, and those terrible modern authors: F. Scott Fitzgerald; Anita Loos; Elizabeth von Arnim; ugh! Luckily, the worst and most salacious of this piffle was banned in the State, and the works of D.H. Lawwrence and Colette were kept firmly locked in her "Forbidden" cupboard. She had read them all, of course, just to make sure.

Secondly, there were the library patrons. Apart from those nice college boys that came in sometimes, so handsome and clean-limbed! As for the rest of them, what an incredibly uncouth bunch! Forever bothering her with inane questions, borrowing the books and, well, frankly some of them smelled!

But the most annoying thing in the library was the public payphone. She had protested at its installation two years ago, but to no avail.It was in its own little booth in the outside corridor, and nobody in the reading room could really hear it,but it was rather distracting for her as she could listen in on her receiver in the back office. Even more annoying, the person she was listening to right now was a foreigner, speaking that dreadful Spanish babble (it was, in fact, Catalan). How frustrating that she had learned French as school. She could only make out the odd word:

"És increïble! Sens dubte és l’anell. Sí. El seu nom és Grace Stroud i treballa com a cambrera al vaixell Chanteuse..."

She put the receiver back in its cradle testily as some peasant hovered at the librarian's desk grasping a copy of The Age of Innocence. Ugh! Edith Wharton. She would definitely have to be added to the list.


Wow! 1

The Narrator

Storyteller
292
?Years Young
31 Posts

OOC: Good place to end this thread I believe. Very interesting one!