Tuesday, 22 February 2011
11:38:04 AM (GMT)
"Mr Higgins is truly a brute, isn't he Asteria? Mother should have gotten
rid of him ages ago, shouldn't he? He actually called me a brat, the old...."
Of course, Asteria wasn't listening to a word her sister was saying, picking idly at
the food sat on her plate, that really didn't seem at all appetizing, or edible, for
that matter, with her fork.
Holly, however, seemed intent on irritating her with her constant, childish babble.
"He's so-o-o-o uptight! I mean, Mr Bird wouldn't have cared if I hadn't done my
sums, so why should he make such a big fuss? I really don't understand it. Do you,
Asteria? Are you even listening?"
"Does it look like I'm interested, idiot?"
At this, the young girl was silenced, scowling down at her bowl of soup with obvious
disdain, eventually picking up her spoon and stirring it around her little china
bowl. Neither of them were hungry.
Finally losing her temper, Asteria placed her fork and knife on the table, the little
'clack' resounding through the large dining hall, pushing her chair back and abruptly
exiting the room, leaving Holly to deal with the cross chef. Cruel, but she did, in
her opinion, deserve it. It was about time she did something useful! With long,
confident strides, she reached her chamber, flopping onto her bed with a sigh,
staring up at the peach silk canopy above her. Why did mother and father always leave
HER behind with Holly? It wasn't fair! As a fully fledged, eighteen year old woman,
she should be out at parties, courting men left, right and centre. Not stuck in the
mansion with her little sister. It simply wasn't right! They got to travel all over
the world, and Father had even claimed that one of the Natives had tried to shoot him
in the heart when he was in America. It may have sounded silly, but she envied him.
He got all the excitement- not to mention the exotic finery and silks! If only SHE
were there with him on his ship. Then she would be able to take a pick of all the
glittering Arabian jewels he would, no doubt, find there in Baghdad.
There was a single knock on the door, interrupting Asteria's reverie. Grudgingly she
responded to it, not bothering to open the door.
"Well? Come in, then!"
A mousy looking maid poked her head around the door, staring anxiously at her feet.
"M-miss Asteria, Butler h-has readied your bath for you..."
"Very well then." she grumbled, still a little irritated that her thoughts had been
interrupted so. "I shall be there in a few minutes."
The maid nodded, dissapearing off down the corridor once more, no doubt going to
gossip to Cook and the other servants about how 'Mistress Asteria' was in a foul
mood. News like that did, after all, seem to travel rather quickly. Striding into the
corridor once more, she burst into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her and
promptly locking it. At that, she slipped out of her dress and undergarments and
stepped graciously into the bath. The water was not, as she normally preferred it,
piping hot, instead tepid. Butler would certainly be getting a rebuke or two
about this later! Once she'd finally settled, Asteria leant her head backwards,
staring at the bland, beige ceiling and sighing to herself. It was so difficult for a
young lady to live in such conditions, was it not? Useless servants, useless
family...everything was useless! All she had ever asked for was a little excitement-
was that so wrong? If only she could find father.
Her eyes widened.
That was it! She would go and find Father, in Baghdad! He still had a couple of ships
moored at the dock, and if he were to be alerted of her arrival...
Asteria smiled to herself for the first time in what seemed like months. She'd be
able to leave everything behind.
No more Holly.
No more lukewarm bathwater.
Her smirk still lingering on her lips, she reached for her towel, stepping out of the
bath and shivering when her bare feet met the freezing cold floor, wrapping the towel
around herself and unlocking the door. Surely enough, a fresh set of clothes had been
left in a basket just within her reach, at which she lunged and grabbed, dragging it
into the bathroom with minimal effort, and locking herself in once more. Within about
ten minutes, she'd pulled on her dress, giving her long, dark brown locks a decent
brush, before finally nodding at her reflection and exiting the bathroom. Holly could
be heard shouting in the other room at one of the maids.
"What do you MEAN you can't find my doll?" she shrieked, rage clear in her
voice. "I am going to tell mother you've stolen it!"
Asteria heard an audible squeak, as she peered through a crack in the door.
"Please don't, Miss Holly! I-I'm sure one of the other maids must have
Holly glared into the maid's face accusingly, the height difference utterly
ridiculous, but the maid's fear clearly evident. "Who did it, then? Tell
me, or I'll tell mother!"
"NOW!" she screamed, reaching up to the maid's face and slapping her
smartly on the cheek. Asteria let out a single, quiet snort, before tearing her
eyes away from this slightly amusing scene, as she trudged back into her room, not
waiting to see the unfortunate maid's reaction.
"Now," she announced to herself "What should I pack? I shan't take too much. But I
must take my navy silk party frock, as well as my mint summer frock too..."
Asteria swept over to her wardrobe, tapping her chin and inspecting the selection,
before snatching a couple of dresses. Then, a couple more. Satisfied, she peered into
her undergarment drawer, plucking out a few petticoats, as well as the obvious
essentials. Finally, she glanced over her shoulder, at her silver locket, lying
neglected on her bedside table. After a momentary pause, she slipped it around her
That was it! All she had to do now was wait for the right moment to escape- and then
she'd be off. It was that simple!
But what Asteria hadn't taken into account, were the hardships that could possibly
lay ahead- some devastating, that she never would have seen coming previously. But,
how was she to know? That things would not be as straightforward as they were in her
dreams, that her life would be completely, and utterly, turned upside down.
Last edited: 23 February 2011