A Dark and Stormy Day

Here is another excerpt from the same story – set a bit earlier, when Felicity is still a child of about five year.  It was inspired by a picture prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.


12-3c3457d86cQuentin sat up quickly when he heard his ward scream.  A moment later, he knew what had scared her: thunder rolled so loudly that the inn seemed to shake with the sound.  Her mother, he knew, would be busy tending to customers.

He threw back the covers.  The storm clouds were so thick that it had turned the day to night.  At least he didn’t have to fear the sun.  He sighed as he peered into the playroom.  Charity was kneeling in front of Felicity, who was sobbing uncontrollably.

“Young Mistress?” Quentin said, his voice soft.  “Are you all right?”

Charity heaved a sigh and nodded.  “The thunder startled her,” she said.  She patted young Felicity on the shoulder.  “See?  I told you that he’d come.”

“Make it stop,” Felicity said, as she left Charity and threw her arms around Quentin’s waist.  “I don’t like it, Quentin.”

“I know you don’t care for the thunder, Mistress,” he said, as he crouched down.  The only problem with her mother signing their contract over to her child was that Felicity was prone to giving them impossible orders.  There was simply no way to explain to a five year old that she couldn’t order them to make the thunder stop.

He closed his eyes and tried to think of some way to comfort her.  “I cannot make it stop, Mistress.  The rain makes the plants grow,” he said, his voice soft.  “People need the rain.”

“Why must it thunder, though?” Felicity asked, her brows furrowing.  “Can’t you make that stop?”

Shaking his head, Quentin said, “If I could, believe that I would do so, Young Mistress.”  He lifted her into his arms and brought her to the nursery, where she slept.  Sitting on her bed, he said, “What I can do, is distract you from it.”

He began telling her a story that his mother had told him when he’d been young and frightened by something.  He was certain that he made a few mistakes in the telling.  However, it did the trick.  Slowly, but surely, Felicity’s attention became more and more focused on what he was saying and her fear of the storm faded to the background.

By the time he was finished, the thunder had passed, although it was still dark and raining.  He smiled when she hopped off the bed.  “Play with me,” she said, hurrying back to the playroom.

Chuckling softly, Quentin followed her into the next room.  One day, his young mistress would be a grown woman.  Until then, he would enjoy serving her as a playmate and storyteller.  “I like much better being a nanny than I did a peace officer, I think,” he said to Charity.

Charity shrugged and then nodded.  “It’s definitely more fun,” she agreed.  Then, she settled down beside their young mistress on the floor beside the doll house.  Quentin joined them and, soon, they were playing house with Felicity’s collection of dolls.

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