Blowing Smoke

“The tea tray for Herself.”  The tray slid onto the table.  Marthe picked it up and sailed down the hallway to the Headmaster’s office.

“Lise.”  The Dean was struggling not to laugh.  “Thank you, Marthe.”  The Head, in full dragon mode, gave her an irritated flap of the hand.

“You want to take the students out to try their skills at an actual stone circle?”  The Head picked up a cup.  “Have you seen what Celia produced with a simple conjuration just yesterday?”

Marthe shook her head and set out a plate of cakes.  That had been ugly.

The Head, catching the movement, gestured with her cup.  “See?  A disaster in the making.”  She narrowed her eyes at the Dean in an expression meant to be terrifying.

Marthe hid a smile.  The Head might bluster, but the staff knew what sort of woman she was.  She never failed to remember their service.  Not with money or words.  It was the Dean whose easy smile accompanied their Christmas envelopes, while the Head glowered conspicuously at the students’ holly boughs and stopped just short of saying “Bah, humbug.”  But the servants’ quarters were always warm, even when ten-foot snowdrifts buried the castle doors.  A nice piece of magic, that.  And food in the servants’ kitchen stayed fresh far longer than it should have, so that no matter how late a worker dragged in, there was always a hot meal waiting.  There was never anything she’d have to stop and be thanked for, but the staff knew.

Marthe cleared away a collection of old cups onto the tray.  Was it the same in the privacy of their bedroom?  Did the Head ever say those words to him?  Or did he just know it all the same?

“I can reverse anything they do wrong, you know that.”  His voice was full of patient affection.

“Fine, then.”  Marthe heard the softened voice behind her as she closed the door.  “If you like.”


This week I’m combining prompts; Trifecta Writing Challenge asked for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word REMEMBER (verb):

And this week’s Write at the Merge gave us two pictures and quotes; the one that caught my imagination was “This tornado loves you.”  This is a follow-on to The School if you’re interested.  Thanks for reading!
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  1. Cameron says:

    That’s exactly the kind of force of nature personality I always think of when I hear those lines from the song! I liked The School, glad to see it’s still percolating in your imagination!

  2. angela says:

    I like that we got to see the softer side coming out, a stolen moment.

  3. JannaTWrites says:

    I like that the Head comes off as intimidating (you can tell her authority is not to be challenged) but she is also soft and caring at the same time.

  4. Tina says:

    Let’s hope that the Dean doesn’t have to eat his words about being able to undo his students’ mistakes! I love the comfortable feel of this piece.

  5. Debbie says:

    This has me intrigued. I shall have to back track and catch up. You made me shiver at 10 foot snowdrifts. Ugh, how I hate snow…LOL!

  6. Alisa says:

    Interesting, made me wonder: What made you crate such a story?

  7. Seems cozy… maybe a bit too cozy when Marthe begins speculating on bedroom behavior…

  8. The way you described how the Head took care of the staff’s living quarters made me feel all warm and cozy on this blustery day. Thanks for linking up!

  9. Impressive imagination to come up with a story like this..

  10. sonya says:

    Interesting and somewhat intriguing. Great job as always!

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