[Sabrina Catherine]: 479.The Advent of Mrs. Claus- Sample
Fall could just barely be noticed in the breeze with the sun was beaming down from above, making the afternoon warm and welcoming. The small lake that sat on the outskirts of town was surrounded by a sweeping park, with open fields, and coniferous trees dotted around to provide shade in the summer. Martha Mary Becker was taking a stroll along the shore, admiring the children as they played; splashing in the water, and chasing each other with sticks.
Plaited hair glowed like fire in the late summer light and bore a stark contrast to her muted grey and black dress of mourning. A matching hat shielded her porcelain skin from the direct sunlight but could not hide the vibrancy of her green eyes that gazed unseeing ahead of her.
Not just her clothes were melancholy, but her thoughts as well. They weighed heavy on her as she made a slow trek. The bird’s song could not break through her shielded heart. Not even the joy of the children around her could distract her from her inner turmoil.
“Mother…” She whispered softly. “I miss you…”
Martha’s mother, Catherine had died just last year after having fallen ill. A month after the loss of her mother, her only surviving relative reluctantly inherited and took residency of her home. Her second Cousin, Friedrich, was the last male heir in their family, and the only one eligible to inherit.
Everything she had held dear had been ripped from her arms in an instant. What little control she had over her life had been locked away, and she was now at the mercy of others. Further still, those that were now in charge of her were practically strangers to her; while Friedrich is her Cousin, they had never formerly met before.
Notorious for his frivolous manner, the adjustment to living with him was daunting to say the least. After delivering her sewing commissions, she felt a need to delay facing her Cousin’s idiosyncrasies
Today, however, she found herself a little more lost in her thoughts, as it was the first anniversary of her mother’s passing. Friedrich had been in a rather particular mood at his return that morning, and Martha was not in the right mind to deal with it. The fresh air did help ease this case of the morbs, though not by any large margin.
While all these thoughts were buzzing around her head, her feet lead her blindly down the path. The voices of her past had her so distracted, she did not even notice the numerous, young men playing a loud and rough ball game nearby.
They tossed the ball between them and grunted as they were knocked to the ground. Their skin glistened with the sweat of exertion, and their shirts and breeches were covered in dirt and grass. The groups nearby by were watching the game while nibbling on their cucumber sandwiches and drinking their wine.
A wild throw went over one man’s head, who began to chase after it. His eyes never left the target, until the crowd shouted, “Watch out!” He looked ahead just in time to see the young, somberly dressed lady, but it was now too late. Trying to stop, he tripped over his feet, and knocked right into the poor girl, and both tumbled into the chilly lake.
Instantly her head and body were swallowed up by the waist deep water. The cold startled her, and her heavy skirts held her down under the water. Instead of breathing air, she took in water, which caused her to panic and take in even more water as she struggled.
Right as the world began to fade a pair of strong arms lifted her up and out of the water then hurriedly, yet gently, placed her on the soft grass. There was a momentary pause before his hand clamped her nose shut, and his mouth was immediately on hers, forcing his heated breath into her.
Initially shocked, her body still heavily laden with the contents of the lake, Martha did not directly react to his soft and powerful lips. After regaining her senses, and her pride, she reached up to slap the assailant. Then once his weight was removed from her, she sat up and expelled the water from her lungs. Air rushed in, and she gasped at the force of it.
Gathering herself mentally, she shoved him off further, and yelled in hysterics, “Loslassen! Unhand me! How dare you! This is simply inappropriate to handle me in such a manner!”
His eyes widened with surprise. “Wait, you’re alive?”
“Are you slow, Herr? I am quite alive, danke schön!” She struggled to sit up, but her clothes were so heavy, and her corsets had been set so tight, that it proved impossible. “Well?” she said in an exasperated tone. “Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to assist me?”
He just stared blankly at her. The audacity of this woman to speak in such a way to him. “Fraulein, I think you need to steady your tongue. Were you not just demanding manners? I just saved your life, and a little gratitude would be appreciated.” The crowd was beginning to surround them to see if the woman was okay, and what the fuss about.
“Excuse you?” came her shocked retort. “I am the woman you just plowed into the lake, and nearly murdered with your disregard to your surroundings! And now, here you are, lecturing me, instead of helping me to my feet as a proper gentleman ought to! Now, if you are quite finished gawking at me like some two-headed snake, you can help me to my feet, Herr!” Her face was a solid rage and shock, as she glared up at him.
The muscles of his face tightened, “Fraulein! You speak to me as though I were a petulant child! I could have left you in that lake if I really wanted to, instead of you subjecting me to such harassment. Now, you can either apologize, or I shall leave you beached like so.” He stood there with his fists clenched at his side as he glowered down at her, his voice as icy as his eyes.
This only proved to stoke the fire, “Guten Tag, Herr. I will recover myself. You need not trouble yourself with admitting your fault. Gott help you when your time comes. I pray he has mercy upon your soul, for you shall have none of mine.” She crossed her arms in frustration, and looked away from him, unwilling to deal with him any further.
He growled in frustration, which surprised her, and instantly she was on her feet with the swiftest of movements. “Ungrateful, spiteful, feline.”
“Uneducated, stubborn, self-centered twit.” She snapped back.
Without another word, he turned up his chin, swiveled on his heel, and walked away, and did not look back. By the time he had left the park, there was a crowd fully surrounding Martha. They wrapped her in a blanket, and escorted her home, as he should have done. As she was escorted out, she searched for the golden hair, but he was nowhere to be seen.