Friday, 27 May 2011

Romantic Friday Writers 3rd challenge/blogfest!



Masquerade!


Mrs. Vandervelt’s palatial mansion and floodlit garden as always, perfect for a masked fancy dress ball. To see couples strolling through the tropical gardens, or perched on the low wall of vast circular fountain, a sight to behold yet heart-wrenching. On the terrace below her, women in glorious gowns chatting and laughing with male escorts, all beneath string of balconies overlooking the grounds. She too standing on one of many balconies accessed from the ballroom: the last place she wished to be, and no escape.

Masked balls were normally such fun, but tonight’s almost surreal, and she felt akin to female extra on a historical movie shoot. She turned about, the ballroom again before her, the glass doors flung wide; light from glittering chandeliers bouncing off jewels worn by guests. A few notable males easily identified, as much by stature, mannerism and voice, but most of the guests totally unknown entities.

She preferred absolute anonymity, despite tonight’s ball held in her honour and dearest friends beside her. Why had she let Ursula Vandervelt persuade her this was for the best, that she must come out of her shell and let go of the past? She had come out, but her mask decorated with the tiniest of shells and sequins and pearl dropper, reflected where her heart lay and why tears cascaded forth every night when alone. Sudden aware the balcony a tad overcrowded, and people exiting the dance floor en masse in search of fresh air, she felt trapped, claustrophobically so.

‘Come on Tara, dance with me.’

Giorgio's vice-like grip on her elbow ushered her forward, but as she struggled against oncoming human tide a distinctive aroma caused her heart to lurch. It had to be pure imagination. But there it was again, that oh so familar tangy essence. Rick could not be there, and despite frantic search this way and that for a glimpse of the one face she would give anything to see: nothing . . . but sea of masks.

How cruel . . . How cruel that someone else should be wearing his favourite brand of after-shave: tonight of all nights.



Quick add-on: I won't be able to comment until Sunday! A wedding calls . . . 


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14 comments:

Margo Benson said...

Oh the intrigue! Could Rick be there? Masked balls are perfect for disguise and assignations. This is portrayed wonderfully - I need more!

li said...

I'm guessing Rick is there - but the masked ball is such a fun setting. It would be funny if she found the guy wearing the aftershave, thought it was Rick, said something provocative, and it wasn't him! This was a fun piece - hinting at a back story, and open-ended as to where it will lead. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh I love it that she SMELLS him. That is such a powerful sensory perception.

Talli Roland said...

I'm with Anne - I love the smelling! Hm, that didn't come out quite the way I planned it, but you know what I mean. :)

Beverly Diehl said...

I want her mask!!

andymac89 said...

What an intriguing scenario. The masked ball was an idea of pure genius here.

Andy said...

Hello again Francine.

I have to agree with everyone before me.

That mask is beautiful!

There's so much mystery and intrigue here. Something just occurred to me while I'm typing this...someone is messing with her head...I mean what are the chances of another person turning up at this ball with the exact same scent...hmmm?

So many questions...not enough answers. Tara needs a happy ending!

Have a lovely time at the wedding, Francine.
See you soon!

L'Aussie said...

But are they? Is here there after all? Great tension in this piece Francine. I was there at the ball. Your descriptions were tight yet lavish at times. A couple of words I'm not sure about useage - eg should 'sudden' be 'suddenly'? I would have thought 'Suddenly she was aware that the balcony...' but maybe I'm seeing it differently.

Thank God for masks, eh?

Hope the wedding was simply wondrous. Lots of glitz and glamour?

Denise<3

Ms. said...

As someone may have mentioned, there are one or two grammar things, but I read for feeling and I felt this character. So thank you for this piece.

~Ms. Queenly

Madeleine said...

Oh I love this my fav bit: 'Giorgio's vice-like grip on her elbow ushered her forward, but as she struggled against oncoming human tide a distinctive aroma caused her heart to lurch. It had to be pure imagination. But there it was again, that oh so familar tangy essence. Rick could not be there, and despite frantic search this way and that for a glimpse of the one face she would give anything to see: nothing . . . but sea of masks' :O)

J.L. Campbell said...

Amazing that amidst all the glamour, your heroine is still unhappy. Really liked the ending, her hopes were dashed, yet still, who knows?

Francine Howarth said...

Hi, and many thanks to all who dropped by to comment.

I feel really mean in being so late in getting around to everyone. But I had a great time on Saturday with some real-time Glitz & Glamour. It's great to get out the bling and dress-to-kill! ;)

best
F

Kittie Howard said...

Ohhh, deliious! Since I'm from Louisiana, where Mardi Gras is king, I loooove masked balls. I could easily imagine the intrigue you painted - loved the mask - and what a clever turn, the same scent!
Great job!

About Pierre - he dumped Yvette but isn't dead. It's an on-going saga...stay tuned!

Happy you had a lovely time at the wedding. A spring wedding *sighs* !

Laura said...

I'm sorry this is late... I so enjoyed this, love the use of the senses - left me wanting a whole lot more to read!
Lx