I’m back with Fiction Friday again. And with another story I’d submitted to World Unknown Review last year that wasn’t accepted(that sounds a lot better than rejected, right? 😉 ). I’m taking some of the comments I got on it and fleshing it out. Not entirely sure what I’ll do with it once it’s done, but for now I’ll share it scene by scene here. So, today you get the first scene. As usual, any thoughts and feedback is welcome.
Calla Midas laughed as she ran the rolling pin over the dough. She hadn’t come down to the kitchen in a couple days. Her schedule had been packed with parties and charity functions, which barely left her any time for the needed shopping and appointments leading up to those functions. Let alone any time to just relax.
Karoline leaned across the counter and whispered, “Have you seen Flip? When he’s working one of the horses. Those muscles…”
She sighed and Calla laughed again, even though the heat burning through her didn’t come from amusement. Yeah, she’d seen him. And promptly turned away so she wouldn’t stare.
“I thought you girls were making cookies, not gossiping about the other employees,” Nita, the head cook for the kitchen said.
Calla was about the farthest thing from an employee here, unless you counted her father. But, she was still glad Nita had included her. She felt much more at home here, or even in the stable, than she did in any of those ballrooms or social halls her father was always sending her to.
She apparently hadn’t been made to be a society darling. Even though that seemed to be all her father thought she was good for.
“Hey, now,” Karoline said. “Scowling will only leave these cookies with a bitter taste.”
Calla rolled her eyes toward the ceiling but couldn’t quite help smiling at the cook who was barely any older than her. “How many times have I told you? My mood isn’t going to infuse any taste into the food.”
“Keep believing that if you wish. I know the truth.”
Calla laughed once more, and it felt so good. She was never like this with her “peers”. Couldn’t just let go and have some fun. Not when it felt like every move was judged, every word weighed and found wanting.
They’d just filled the first tray with cut out cookies when the butler came to the kitchen doorway. “Miss Calla, your father is looking for you. You have a few minutes before he gets here.”
Crap. She didn’t want her father catching her here in the kitchen. He would have a fit, and she did her best to head those off any way she could. She dusted her hands on her apron then untied it and handed it over to Karoline.
“Don’t worry,” Karo said, “I’ll take care of it. Just go.”
The kitchen staff would bear the brunt of her father’s anger if he found her here. And she didn’t want them to suffer because of her. It wouldn’t be the first time, but she’d do her best to make sure this wasn’t the next time, either. She was just glad they didn’t all hold her father’s attitude against her.
She went out through the back of the kitchen, taking the stairwell up to her room. Once she made sure all the flour had been cleaned from her arms and face, her hair fixed into place, and a clean outfit put on, she headed for her door. Just as her father came storming down from the other end.
“Where have you been?” he demanded.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Father. I’ve been right here all day.”
He narrowed his eyes as he took in her appearance. She wanted to fidget but knew better. He’d never believe her if she acted nervous. It wouldn’t matter if she was telling the truth, he still wouldn’t buy it. So, she had to act sure of herself.
“I already checked in your room,” he said, stepping forward and reaching for her arm. She took a quick step back to avoid him, but that put her with her back against the wall. Not a good place to be when her father was in a mood.
“I must have been in the bathroom then,” she said, trying to grasp the first reasonable explanation she could find.
He didn’t buy it. That was obvious from the look on his face. He stepped forward again, but before he could grab her, the phone on his waist buzzed. He grabbed it and brought it to his ear. “What is it, Flip?”
She could hear the sound of Flip’s voice through the phone but not any words that he said. Finally, her father said, “I’ll be right down. Keep him on the phone.”
He put the phone back on his belt and looked at her. “Stay here. And out of the damn kitchen.”
Her hands shook as he strode down the hallway and the stairs. She slumped back against the wall, happy that she’d managed to escape his temper this time.
Just barely. And only thanks to a fortuitous call from Flip. It had just been luck, right?