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Author Topic: Steamtown USA  (Read 8056 times)
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2014, 06:30:18 am »

The Tabby and Mr. Aquos hurried over to the machine. "Preparing for our next winter snowfall eh?" Sir Whiskers asked. "just make sure to turn it off in time, we don't want a frozen April again!"

Gareth had not yet learned of the town's unique inhabitants, so he inquired with Mr. Starbridge on the purpose of the machine. when explained, he seemed calmer. "I've always liked the snow and rainy seasons. I just love being surrounded by water, no matter the form!"
Logged

Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2014, 05:00:37 am »

Rose and Orion hurried up to Mr. Starbridge and stopped suddenly in front of the contraption. "Go on, ask him," Orion nudged his little sister.
She shook her head in awe as her brother sighed.

"Oh alright. Can that thing make a snow-castle? She'd like to know if there will be a castle with a slide for the fair."

Rose leaned forward eagerly, obviously imagining her wildest dream coming true.

Meanwhile, back at the Inverness' rambling Victorian home, Gilbert and Anna tended the winter garden, taking frequent breaks to waltz around it with one another. Actually, it might more accurately be said that they danced around the garden, taking brief breaks to put it in order.

In places, the stone path swung right and took one into an alcove where a lovely cone-shaped fir tree stood majestic, or to the left and through a rustling copse of white birch trees, or to a gently curving marble bench surrounded by cozy pines. Red berries stood resplendent on bush and tree and reedy stem, in readiness to be gathered for decoration if the desire should seize one. Mostly they left the plants to grow and thrive, but of course there were enough which needed to be pruned that the family could supply their home, shop, and a few neighbors with as much greenery as they wished.

The two would later bring extra branches they'd gathered into town, for friends to take and for decorating the town square.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 03:57:58 am by Rose Inverness » Logged

That delicate forest flower,   
With scented breath and look so like a smile,   
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,   
An emanation of the indwelling Life,   
A visible token of the upholding Love,   
That are the soul of this great universe.

~William Cullen Bryant

Trains to Steamtown, this way...
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2014, 06:24:56 pm »

"Hmmm..." Starbridge rumbled speculatively.

Adelbert thought, Here we go, now, but complied when Starbridge told him to "pull the lever, Addy."

The machine began to whir, creak, clack, and finally sing, as gears began to turn and still others spun faster and faster. A bluish, light, somehow incredibly cold-looking, but still somehow comfortingly warm, flowed out beneath the machine as a sound like distant gale-force winds began to emanate from deep within.

"Right. Hunting for a storm, she is. Now, stoke flashboiler one."

"Yes Sir!" Adelbert pulled back on a lever that opened the relevant liquid fuel tank and shot the fuel under pressure into a tall flame that instantaneously caused the water in a tall coil of copper tubing to turn to steam. The sound of faraway stormwinds intensified, and suddenly steam, then flurries of snow, began to shoot out of the square articulated nozzle at what seemed to be the front of the contraption. The first few thousand flakes melted on the cobbles of the street, and then the onslaught of cold air and newmade snow caused the water to freeze and the snow to settle umelted. Soon, a broad and long expanse of snowy drifts had accumulated, directed by Adelbert's direction of the nozzle.

Starbridge then instructed Adelbert to point the nozzle upward , and a tall mound soon grew, the a shift to one side, and a smaller mound grew. Soon, there was a vaguely castle-shaped complex of mounds on the edge of the park and partway into the street. "There, now. We could start buildin' the castle, like we'd do at the beach, say." He said, with a twinkle in his eye for the little girl.
Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2014, 08:07:19 pm »

The smell of baking wafted from the Cake and Kettle. Jessica was putting her automated steam kitchen to work, making all sorts of tarts, cookies, biscuits, puddings, and cakes for the winter holiday. She also had a pot on the stove where hot cider awaited mulling spices. Jessica's perfected method of spice-adding was to use each ingredient as liberally as possible, this was to ensure no flavor was lost in the cooking process.

When her cider was complete, she rolled a cart out to the town square. On this cart was a plate of gingerbread men and the mulled cider awaiting to be served. "Looks like the castle-builders are hungry!" She called out. The Children descended on the cart first, taking care with the cups of hot cider.
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Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2014, 09:12:02 pm »

"Yayyyy!" cried Rose, beaming from ear to ear at Mr. Starbridge, then bounding on tiny legs over to the heaps of snow to begin shifting 1/4 cup sized amounts to make 'a door'.

"Thank you, sir," Orion remembered to be polite and grateful, and then a grin spread out upon his face as well. He leapt over to the soon-to-be castle and joined in the construction, making more headway than his little sister.

The joy overflowed gratefully to Jessica's cart, where the ever-growing numbers of builders refreshed themselves as they crafted the world's most amazing castle.

Soelle had mysteriously appeared during the 'blizzard' and now for her part, taken a device from her pocket which unfolded daintily. Once it was fully upright and unfolded, it began rolling on gears (good traction in the snow, see) while scooping amounts of snow and compacting them where she directed (by remote control). A small device, nevertheless it afforded her some luxury to stay a bit warmer and drier.
Logged
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2014, 05:46:07 am »

Within hours, the fine snow castle was complete. Jessica had to refill the cauldron of cider three times, but she was glad to have contributed to the work in some way.

As night fell, lights within the castle sprung to life, illuminating the palatial structure. "We really should include this on our tourism brochure, you can't see stuff like this anywhere else!" Gareth said to his wife. "Just thing of the traffic for the cake and Kettle!"

Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2014, 05:10:46 am »

A curtain of glittery stars attached asymmetrically to strings with a sheet of shimmering deep blue fabric behind it had been erected by the town square’s fountain.

Anyone who cared to enter would have seen the eldest Inverness daughter and her younger brother. Soelle sat behind an old walnut table covered in a cloth that seemed to be made of liquid silver. In front of her an intricate setup of cards with lovely designs and images surrounded a globe of quartz, within which a light glowed. Electricity crackled and spread in several directions from it intermittently. Her eyes wide, she seemed to be in a trance. Orion watched her calmly with careful attention from the corner of the makeshift room.

Little Victoria stood outside the tent calling ‘ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!’ to all who passed by, with childish glee. She wore a little white robe trimmed in fur and silver thread, complete with a pointed cap. Several tinkling bells rang merrily when she moved.

Meanwhile, Anna, Gilbert, and Rose performed an aerial arts act gliding smoothly down strips of shimmering ice-blue fabric and tumbling in air, even passing from one strand of fabric to another. The ultimate effect of the performance was as if they were ice-skating in mid-air, or braiding themselves between the strands, or perhaps falling gently like snowflakes. Their shimmering white costumes gleamed and shone in the lights of the magnificent fir tree.

The Snowfair was in full swing!   Grin
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2015, 04:38:28 am »


"A gift from the Inverness family to our friends of the Cake and Kettle; this artfully rendered 'shingle' for in front of your shop!" Anna presented the wooden sign to the Aquos, on a cozy visit to the tea room. The children were sitting comfortably sipping cocoas, while Anna and Gilbert had steaming cups of tea. Everyone was laughing and talking, and naturally the young ones were squirming as children do.

"And here, for Mr. Starbridge, is a knitted... well... I can only call it a contraption! It's fabric, and can be used as a quite large blanket or as a coat, if folded and tied according to these instructions." Gilbert grandly presented the package containing said item.

"It's really warm," added Orion, then attended to his cocoa and jovial siblings for all the world as if he'd never turned around.

Throughout the evening such fun was had. The children found it a great joke to say that the shop ought to have 'jolly' somewhere in its name, and to suggest various permutations of it. They also indulged rather mightily in a good few sweets and treats...
Logged
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2015, 04:48:07 am »

"Thank you so much! I've been meaning to get a proper sign!" Said Jessica, looking over the handsomely carved sign. "Now tourists and townsfolk alike will know where to stop in for tea and pastries! How can I ever return the favor?"

Sir Whiskers was curled up by the fire, purring away, when suddenly he arose with a start. "Wot Wot, now we must prepare for the springtime festival!"

Gareth sighed "that's several months away, can't we have Valentine's day first? I always treat my wife to her favorite flowers and her favorite... positions." Jessica smacked him with her fan.

"Not in front of the children!"

"Speaking of which. School should be starting soon. Do we even have a teacher in this town?" Gareth Asked.
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


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« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2015, 06:18:49 pm »

"I b'lieve I shall continue homeschooling my lot, though if any others wish to join us they can," Anna replied. "We do a bit of exploring the natural world and learning its workings, writing compositions regarding it and other topics, drawing, painting and sculpting from its examples. And then of course all the hiking and roving about make for their physical activity, and we also practice gymnastics, aerial dance, and circus arts. And tend the garden and learn medicinal uses of herbs.
 It would be lovely if there were an instructor of the mechanical sort, as Soelle is quite interested in making devices that move and act on their own, and Orion as well... though they seem to have found a teacher as there are constantly little metal creatures popping up at me from inside teacups and somersaulting down the staircase accidentally in their wayward rovings."

Soelle and Orion studiously avoided eye contact as they sipped their beverages. Soelle petted a nearby cat with her toes and Orion asked Sir Whiskers, "What's this about the springtime festival?"

"Yes!" Chimed in Victoria, "Will I get to build the spring castle?"

"Darling," Gilbert instructed her, "There isn't snow in the spring, typically. Perhaps we can make a sand castle instead." Then addressing Jessica, "As for the sign, consider it a Yuletide gift. If you ever have need of any other artwork or sign-work we'd of course be happy for your business."

Anna nudged him and said, "Now now, we're not here on business. Today is all about fun!"  Wink

"Of course!" He winked back at her.
Logged
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2015, 08:03:28 pm »

The scent of chocolate soon emanated from the Cake and Kettle, in preparation for valentine's day. Jessica always had a special "last minute gift" sale on the fourteenth, and she usually took whatever didn't sell for herself and her husband. As the machines pumped out delicate little bonbons, Sir Whiskers was still scuttling about anxiously. He knew chocolate was poisonous for cats, and this was not helping his mood.

"spring festival... yes... should get the flower orders in by march... or is it april? perhaps a maypole..."

"Sir Whiskers, maybe you should go back to the office and discuss this matter with my husband?" Jessica said, whilst setting bonbons in heart-shaped cardboard boxes. "He'd write everything down for you, and I don't want any cat hair getting in these chocolates!"

Sir Whiskers conceded and headed for the town hall, still muttering his ideas as he went.
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2015, 04:19:45 am »

The Inverness children, among others, addressed Sir W. as he made his way over to the town hall.

"Hey, Sir Whiskers! How about we have a candy-hunt!"

"...With cat treats for you and the other cats to find..."

"And a May queen!"

"And baskets. I want to make baskets and give them to my friends."

"...But he doesn't have to do that part, we do that every year."

"Oh..."

Some children hung from bannisters, others spun hoops down the street or drew sketches in their art books.... and of course they were supervised by an even greater number of cats, many of whom were pleased by the idea that cats would be included in the treat-finding game.

Meanwhile, Anna bought chocolate in the C&K.
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Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2015, 05:26:49 am »

"Think you can hold off eating the chocolate for fourteen days? I know I certainly couldn't! that's why all the chocolate is locked up every night!" Jessica Joked as she rang up Anna's purchase.

Meanwhile, Sir Whiskers entered his office and Gareth was at his desk, typing up something on the typewriter. "Gareth, what do you want to see in the spring festival?"

"I'd like to see my beautiful wife wearing nothing but strategically-placed flowers, but I imagine that would be indecent around the children." Gareth chuckled. "Dear Jessica knows more about flowers than I do."

"It's more than just flowers, there are activities to plan and vendors to deal with." Sir Whiskers replied.

"I've already typed up an application for vendors to sign up. I figured might as well get the Cake and Kettle in there early." Gareth finished up on the typewriter. "I figure the next town meeting we can start actually planning this."

"I just have so many ideas, I need you to write them down for me! make a list so we can sort this out!" Sir Whiskers hopped into his little bed on top of the desk. "but first, I need a nap to clear my head."
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Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2015, 08:33:24 am »

"Oh goodness, we have so much gingerbread still to eat, I'm sure we'll be alright. Just so long as my husband's bloodhound nose doesn't lead him to the dark chocolate..." Anna joked back. "Oh, and....." (she pulled a letter from within a pocket of her flowing white coat) "I have with me an invitation for you and Gareth. I'm sending similar ones to everyone else in town."

She handed over a page in a lovely scripted hand which read,

"Chez Inverness requests your presence at The Winter Rose Ball~
    dress is formal, and the ball is to be held in the garden of
    1830 Lilac Way (The Large Victorian just past where Main crosses Elm)
    An evening of love, or of mystery... perhaps both.
    You are welcome to bring a friend or dancing partner.
"

"And have a lovely day, I do hope you'll RSVP yes! When you pick up the telephone receiver to reach our line you're going to have to ask the operator for 'Pea Soup', however. Orion and Soelle, I suspect, are responsible for this particular prank." Anna waved amiably as she exited the shop.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2015, 10:16:58 pm »

That evening at dinner, Jessica passed on the invitation to her husband. "It sounds wonderful, in our old home nobody had balls or anything! To the return the favor we might even have a mardi gras masquerade!"

"Jess, you know I don't know how to dance." Gareth said, putting another forkful of eggplant parmesan into his mouth.

"Dancing isn't about doing, it's about feeling." she corrected him. "And after all, you do like dressing up."

"You have a point. I like feeling proper."

On the evening of the ball, Jessica was dressed in a beautiful dark blue ball gown with gold trimming, this matched her husband's custom tailored tuxedo. He also wore a sash with a collection of medals he had won overseas (and underseas). They had no carriage to take them, but they did not have far to walk. Jessica shivered in the cold, having only a silk wrap for warmth. Soon they arrived at the house.
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Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2015, 01:04:05 am »

"Good evening..." droned Orion ominously at the front gate.
"May we take your coats?" Rose lisped through some very realistic-looking fangs.
"Not just yet..." Soelle whispered to her, "There's still the whole drive they've got to traverse..."
"Oh..." giggled Rose, and the two hurried off mischievously and were lost in the deep gloom of atmosphere surrounding the house. It was not an eerie gloom, but a romantic one- lent an air of magic with crystals hanging here and there in the trees and on bushes and on parts of the house which glinted whenever lights passed over them. With the steady stream of carriages, these lights were frequent enough.

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Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2015, 01:29:38 am »

Sir Whiskers had arrived to the party earliest, his bowler hat now replaced with a silk top hat. He had spied the refreshments table and was tempted to drink out of the bowl of punch, but then he spied a particularly saucy-looking black female cat and his attention was instantly diverted. He followed her out into the garden, where they yowled all night long.

The Aquos couple had finally reached the house, Jessica let the warm atmosphere envelop her. The dancing was about to begin, so she pried her husband off a tray of hors-dourves, and reminded him that his hand goes on her hip, not her butt.
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Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2015, 05:43:41 am »

In regard to Sweetsie and Sir Whiskers: "They're... inspiring," murmured either Anna or Gilbert.... no one could have been sure. They stood together at the wrought-iron arch near the entry to the garden, greeting guests who arrived. Roses wrapped the arch and adjoining railings, blooming deep reds -some with slight coatings of frost- illuminated by a dirigible lantern floating above, tethered to the archway by brass chain.

"One of the inventions Soelle has been receiving mysterious assistance in learning to create... we still haven't a clue." Anna winked at her husband, and they began to waltz 'round the fountain which the early crocuses were pushing up next to, past the sizable stand of unusually large edelweiss, the hem of Anna's red dupioni silk gown twirling and fanning out as they led off the dancing. Gilbert's smashing tailcoat also whipped around as they turned, though his top hat luckily stayed firmly on his head.

Actually there were several dirigible lanterns, each puttering with minimal noise through the air above the garden. While it made for somewhat inconsistent lighting, it certainly added to the atmosphere of mystery. However, the area around the fountain where most dancing would take place had lampposts glowing at regular intervals, for safety's sake.

For food there are delightful chocolate concoctions, including a fountain with strawberries for dipping.

Soelle (in this dress: ) has a mysterious moment in the boxwood maze where a black leather gloved hand reaches slowly and delicately through a gap in the brambles and waits, as if to ask her to take it. She places her hand in his (for it is obviously a ‘he’, and she feels certain she recognizes a distinctive mark above the wrist) and as they hold hands for that moment, a dove lands on the top of the shrubbery and coos before winging off beautifully into the night; that white graceful figure with feathery shadows wafting across it.

Victoria is asked to dance on someone’s feet, some kindly gentleman.

And the ball concludes. Thank you all so much for attending.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 10:28:21 pm by Rose Inverness » Logged
Arabella Periscope
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Edwardian summer


« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2015, 12:19:08 am »

A tall dapple-grey mare steps delicately through the snow (there had to be snow, because the lady sitting sidesaddle on the horse required six inches of snow in order to trail her gown through it to the door, since it was trimmed with faux white fox fur.).  It is a marvelous gown; changeable silk in green, peacock blue and purple, and it has taken her two weeks to quilt for the snow and the romantic frozen fog which the gown's fur trim also seemed to call for.  The quilting takes the shapes of swans, deer, squirrels, birds, and heraldic plants, which gleam in the lamplight, which glitters in the ice crystals in the fog and on the surface of the snow most delightfully.  They lady has also woven crystals through her hair in an elaborate golden medieval net.  She has not brought a cavalier, secretly hoping that a certain powerful and handsome gentleman of the town will be brooding over the punchbowl finding no-one worthy of a dance until she appears glittering with snow and shining with opalescent silk.

She floats down from the horse, pauses to fling her faux fur cloak over the mare to keep her warm, and sweeps up the steps, with a brilliant smile on her face, entrance all prepared.

It is dark within.  Evidently her preparations have taken too long.  Her membership in the Guild of Procrastinators will certainly be renewed for another lifetime.  The Ball is over.

"Shit," says the lady.
Logged

Kenneth: 'If you're so hot, you can tell me how to say she has ideas above her station.'
Brian:'Oh yes, I forgot. It's fairly easy, old boy.
Elle a des idees au-dessus de sa gare.'
Kenneth: 'Idiot.  It's not that kind of station.'

Terence Rattigan 'French Without Tears.'
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2015, 05:56:23 am »

From the dark within a voice intones, "Come in. They've gone to bed, but they were expecting you."

The speaker is out of view, but has a pleasant tone to his voice.

He speaks again, "I've been told there is a room prepared. There is one for me as well, as my horse seems to've run away with the night and I shouldn't like to catch my death walking home on such an evening. But if you will come in... I believe the mechanized door gargoyle is becoming a bit anxious to shut out the chill night air....."
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Arabella Periscope
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Edwardian summer


« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2015, 08:43:14 am »


"Oh! Did I say that out loud?"  The lady gracefully transforms her galvanic start into a peering gesture into the dimness of the vestibule.

"Hello?  Is there someone there after all?  I shall just take my mare around to the barn then, to make sure she is tucked in with something hot to eat."  It will ruin the sweeping entrance, but it has to be done.  It is too cold to turn around and go home, and a lady ought to be able to adjust to the complete overthrow of her plans with aplomb.  And the voice IS most attractive, with a deep and vibrant timbre.

The impact of the gown is utterly lost in lamplight, of course.  But there is a log fire left burning in the great Victorian hearth, and it smells wonderful; it must have pine cones on it, and something that makes the flames burn in different colors.  And there is a tall figure standing by an enormous sideboard where there are still some shining domed covered dishes.  He is wielding a glowing poker, heating up a ruby-colored mulled wine, she thinks; and there is a star-shaped pie with different berries in its sections nearby.

The lady admires the cut of his hunter-green velvet tailcoat and sinks down before the fire, holding out her hands to warm them. She is cheering up.  Rumors of the hospitality in this wonderful Victorian house have long intrigued her, and she looks forward to meeting everyone at breakfast; the special French Toast of the house is famous, and so are its featherbeds.  And was there something about a family ghost?  Of a cat?
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Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2015, 07:46:36 pm »

Gareth and Jessica lay under the covers after a long night of lovemaking. Jessica stirred, and Gareth responded by wrapping his arms around her. The romantic gesture was suddenly cut short with Jessica's interjection of "By the way, when IS mardi gras this year?"

"I dunno. Call up your mother, she'd know." Gareth replied.

"That's true." Jessica returned her husband's cuddle. "If we want to have a party of the same magnitude as this one, We'd better start planning as soon as we can."

"Honey, I think the afterparty was more spectacular."

"That's true, it was quite enjoyable, and yet you continue to claim you can't dance."

"...Jess, I just realized something."

"Yes dear?"

"Before we got married, I've never actually attended a mardi gras celebration. Are you sure it's just a catholic thing?"

"It's really more of a New Orleans thing. I've never been to New Orleans, but any excuse for a party."

"You're not gonna serve Gumbo, are you?"

"Of course not! I wouldn't want to accidentally set off your shellfish allergy. Apparently the menu for the event consists mostly of pastries."

"That's good. More business for the Cake and Kettle then?"

"Yup. I finally get a chance to try out that King Cake recipe my sister sent me."

The Two of them continued to lay in each other's arms, until the wafting smell of pancakes greeted their noses.
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Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2015, 04:31:21 am »

There seemed to be pancakes frying in each home in town, but no one saw the cook..... though little Rose had her suspicions. Around a mouthful of syrupy delight she warbled wide-eyed, "It was the cats."

Soelle glared out of the side of her eye at the tiny black cat in the corner of the kitchen, washing one paw with practiced nonchalance. The former looked down at her plate and pushed it away with exaggerated irritation.

"Oh, do we have a case of the teens today, darling?" her mother Anna teased, eating another bite of blueberry pancake.

"Yumm, ohmygod I got a bit of CLAW in that bite," her father joked.

"Yeah, me too!!" Orion chortled, then sort-of grimaced with the afterthought.

Victoria sauntered into the room later with Rose barely a half-step behind her, one hand balancing a tiara perched on her younger sister's head. Each of them wore boas and teeny heels. Victoria called out, "I'm ready for Party-grah!" and everyone laughed.

When Anna saw that her children were happily settled into regaling their father with tall tales by the fireside, she realized she could now spend some time with her visiting friend. "Dear Arabella, I'm so glad you've decided to stay! Shall we tour the town a bit? What would you like to see first? I believe Mr. Gundermann is out and about and we might run into him. He's the fellow who had to stay over when his horse bolted."
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Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2015, 05:06:02 am »

"Hello Mom?" Jessica said into the mouthpeice of the phone. "Yes, I was just wondering, when is Mardi gras?... TODAY!?! Oh bollocks this will not work! Oh! sorry mom, it's just I had made plans for a great big mardi gras masquerade... oh well I guess there's always next year..."

Jessica continued to talk on the phone with her mother, while Gareth marveled at the prepared pancakes set out on Jessica's best china before him. They were both dressed in only dressing gowns, but for an informal breakfast this seemed appropriate.

"Guess we can't do the masquerade this year." Jessica said, sitting down at the table and helping herself to a luscious buttermilk pancake.

"Oh well, maybe Sir Whiskers and I can incorporate it into the spring festival." Gareth replied. "Speaking of which, any idea where the little scamp is?"

Sir Whiskers strode into the kitchen. "I've just met the most wonderful cat! She was even in heat! that was by far one of the best nights I've had in years."

"Did you make these pancakes?" Gareth asked.

"No, but they seem an appropriate dish to have on Pancake Tuesday."

"Pancake Tuesday?" Gareth asked his wife.

Jessica put down her fork. "It's another name for Mardi gras..." She went on to explain to him the concept of Easter, Lent, Catholicism in general and why she didn't believe in any of it anymore.

"American customs are strange." Gareth said after his wife's lengthy monologue.

"It's not just America, most of the world has this holiday, at least the christian parts do."

"We had nothing like this back home." Gareth replied. "Seasons didn't really change so we saw no point in celebrating the changes. Sure there were celebrations and memorial days, but nothing like this."

"Oh, You aren't american?" Sir Whiskers asked.

"Not legally, no." Gareth replied. "But I can still work in the town hall, right?"

"Of course. You only have to be a native son to be president." Sir Whiskers said.

"In the mean time, do you think it's worth sharing with the townsfolk about your status?" Jessica asked her husband.

"As a non-citizen?"

"No, your other status."

"Darling. You know I only divulge that on a need-to-know basis and as far as I'm concerned, only you need to know."

"Need to know what?" asked Sir Whiskers. "Are you a felon or something?" Gareth shoved a bite of pancake in his mouth and refused to talk for the rest of the morning.
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Arabella Periscope
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Edwardian summer


« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2015, 11:54:09 pm »

The pancakes were out of this world, perhaps literally, since no one ever discovered who had made them or where, indeed, they had come from; but everyone agreed they were the best they had ever had.  Arabella, perforce, was still in her wonderful gown, having enjoyed a long chat with the mysterious Mr. Gundermann the previous night by the dying fire.  At least, she had done a lot of the chatting.  Most of it.  Perhaps all of it?  He had remained in a big leather chair in the shadows by the hearth, leading to interesting speculation about the side of his dark, romantic profile.  Could that be an eyepatch?  A cybernetic implant, for Heaven's sake?  It was impossible to tell.  Better not to know.  Flown with warm mulled wine, she had made her way up the Victorian staircase and found her room, and one of the fabled feather beds miraculously treated by an old-fashioned warming-pan.  She was asleep before she had fully finished sinking down through the airy layers of the bed.

After breakfast with the delightful inhabitants of the house, she and Anna set out to stroll their town, planning murals and the planting of random spring bulbs and wildflowers and sapling trees in suitable corners everywhere. 

"Lateness is my besetting sin," confesses Arabella (knowing that she has many contenders for that title).  "And here it is time for Mardi Gras and too late for COSTUMES!  I love dressing up!"
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