writing Miss Manners
“May a lady stab her date?”
pop, pop went their guns
senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
We had a lovely dance at the ball. He was charming. When my coachman was not waiting to take me home as I expected, he respectfully offered me a ride. With the rain pouring down I accepted gratefully.
I do my best to be polite, demure and sweet. I read the ladies’ magazines avidly following their advice on manners. But when a so-called gentleman slides next to you and proceeds to put his hands around my neck, I don’t wait to find out if he is after my diamond choker or my virtue. I promptly stuck my mother’s sharp ruby hairpin into his hand. As he cried out in pain, I flung the carriage door open and ran into the night. Of course, I grabbed my parasol as I left. Miss Manners says a lady always carries her parasol.
Running in a balldress soaked with rain was like dancing with a heifer thrown over your shoulder — neither graceful, swift nor good. I glanced over my shoulder. Oh no! He left his coach. Even in this dim light, I could see his glare as he gave chase.
We both heard a sound in the trees. Looking up, I saw above me a giant balloon with a rope dangling down. Some fool inventor experimenting with lightning again. What had I to lose? I dropped my parasol and grabbed the rope.
Great! The balloon pulled me above him, out of his reach. Oh no, a sudden updraft lifted me high above the trees. As I dangled looking down, I wondered what Miss Manners would do. This had never been covered in her column.
As I flew above some soldiers, I called down. “Shoot me down!” When they commenced firing, I yelled in panic, “Not me! Shoot the balloon!” I know Miss Manners says a lady never yells, but I believe in this instance I might be forgiven.
Pop, pop, pop went their guns. Pop went my balloon.
What a night. There are words Miss Manners said ladies never learn nor speak. Hmmm, maybe I’m not a lady. She should try falling from the sky and see what words she doesn’t say.
Ruffles and a taffeta crinoline slowed my descent. Happily I touched ground and accepted the soldiers’ escort home. I thought tomorrow I’ll pen a letter and ask Miss Manners, “When may a lady stab her date with a sharp hair pin?”
—————————————- so ends an other cracked tale
imaginary garden with real toads
photos from Second Life by M. LaFreniere, avatar Kayla Woodrunner