Lucinda Elliot

A Christmas Message from Ceridwen Kenrick

110px-Pierre-Auguste_Renoir_-_Torse,_effet_de_soleilKenrick is taking it upon himself to hold forth recently, threatening revenge on that delightful ruffian Monsieur Gilles (otherwise known as Émile Dubois.

It’s very tiresome of him. But then, Kenrick always was tiresome; I never understood him, and didn’t really care to; I believe a writer called Emily Bronte wrote a novel in an age between mine and yours of an obsessed man called Heathcliff whose whole existence was bound up in mourning the loss of a chit called Catherine who had made a sensible match, and on scheming revenge on those who had cheated him out of her love.

I believe he was at least meant to be tall, dark and handsome; Kenrick was (perhaps I should say, ‘is’ as he schemes to return, but I don’t want to anticipate or as you moderns would say, ‘write a spoiler’) also obsessed with a love he had lost, and could not forget. But he looked sadly unromantic, I fear.

He was heavily built and pasty faced, with a decidedly long nose (we admired an elegant long nose in my era, which we considered a sign of an aristocratic appearance; but his was merely long); also, he was fond of making bad puns, which he considered witty, and besides that, he giggled, and never so much as when he was tormenting someone.

He had a brief passion for me; but his old obsession with that plain late wife of his soon came back; as I’d only married him for reasons of convenience, we soon became estranged; that troubled me not at all as I waited for Kenrick to develop his time travel experiments in that dismal laboratory of his.

Meanwhile, I toyed with one Captain MacKenzie, a dashing young Navy officer, our footman Arthur Williams, and of course, the rascally Émile Dubois.

They were all very well made; I do like a spare, muscular build in a man.  Arthur Williams was the sturdiest of the three, fair haired and blue eyed, with a high colour,  and the least sophisticated. He was rather sweet and I was quite saddened when Monsieur Dubois and his fellow villain killed him; such a waste of a nice body useful for pleasuring females.

Williams eyes used to goggle at the sight of me in an unpinned morning gown, sipping my chocolate. I’d make him deliver it to me as I lay in my bed (without a canopy; Monsieur Gilles was to discover why I did not have a canopy on my bed), bosom half on display. “Wiliams,” I would sigh, shifting on my pillows, *I had a restless night.”
“Mumble, mumble, Mistress…”
“Williams, I have the hearing of a bat, and yet I cannot catch what you say; speak up. You are shifting uncomfortably, as if your breeches were to tight. But I took good care to make sure your livery fitted well, as I thought, unlike that other lackey, you a fine young man.”
Carelessly, I shifted, so that my nightdress popped open altogether, and one round, rosy nippled breast was revealed. His eyes popped too.
“Oh, lud, how tiresome. Arthur, that pin has gone somewhere on the floor. You must find it for me.”
Wheezing, licking dry lips, he approached the bed.
I prolonged the torment for a little while, scolding him for failing to find the pin.
“It is the fault of these big bubbies of mine; I wish they were half the size…”
His eyes met mine. “I don’t; they’re perfect, Ma’am!” the lout could contain himself no more.
“Insolent lackey! Come here for your punishment.”
But instead I kissed him.
After that, he was quite my slave. MacKenzie became besotted with me too, but Dubois was foolishly in love with that insipid creature he had married, and retained more independence of spirit.
And now, it seems Arthur Williams is with Kenrick in a time warp in the beyond, and making threatening messages about a possible return.
I am tempted to call back, too; I’ve seen my infant daughter, and know her to be very happy; and there are things I might like to do yet on earth…
So, I may return yet; but I make no promises.

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