Their actual household Cook entered from the front door and stared at all the solemn faces. Although she did not care for the frivolities (or as they once had been), she tried her very best to fit in with the sombre effects.
“Mr. Winters, Mrs. Winters, ma’am, the pudding is served.”
Mrs. Winters jolted up in her seat to observe the portly lady, partly aloof, and those two grubby kitchen-hands behind her, peering, wide-eyed, into the foreign land that they had entered, filled with these foreign attitudes they saw.
“Oh, yes!” the mistress blinked as though she had forgotten that none of it was at all real. “Bring it in, bring it in. I heard you spent a lot of time on it.”
“Yes, Mrs. Winters, I do hope that you enjoy the rest of your…meal.”
She summoned to the scullery maids to bring in the ladened dessert: a gloriously fat-filled sticky toffee pudding, draped with a dreamy golden-coloured source and stuffed with moist fruit. This would be shared amongst the guest as a whole, and, at least then, they would only take what they would care to eat.
As the slices were selected, measured, and passed around, the room started to revive itself from under the gloom. The colours of ruby-gold were illuminated as once before, shining with the glory of life, as they had once done prior, before death had cast its ugly, vengeful fingers across the tabletop. Even the cold light from outside, attempting to creep in through the broken ‘window’, was nothing to dampen the celebration of English food. The light was still being diluted by the coloured screen, even when the object had been pushed out the way for Mr. Stones exit. It now lay by the armoire, obscuring Alexandra from the guests’ view of her; it was the a perfect display of the way how things were; now both servants were hidden, unnoticed by the rest of society’s world.
As Mr. Biggins ‘revived’ himself, he twisted his body in his seat, to look at where Alexandra was now. When their eyes had connected, he spun back round quickly. The maid felt herself turn red again. Had he been deliberately looking at her?
Many of the guests quite forgot themselves, for mere minutes, and began to make remarks on each other’s acting and to easily joke; but some, Cynthia and Rhaïd for instance, sat deep in silence, amongst the loud, off-colour chatter. They were contemplating this oddity to themselves.
Peter Stones was whistling to himself as he casually stepped through the makeshift window and past Alexandra, eyeing her tight-tied clothing. The maid spotting him slipping a silver lighter into his pocket. It had emerald and jade-coloured gems set into its handcrafted design, but Alexandra knew that, luckily, these were false and did not add much to its value.
The strong sweet-caramel of the pudding was enticing Alexandra forward, when she heard Rhaïd remark, to Mr. Stones, through a mouth filled with juicy toffee and one-and-a-bit glasses of port wine.
“They think it’s all over…” he smiled not unkindly.
“It is in regards to my character,” was his neighbour’s reply. “Everything. Life, love, joy and my jovialities. Ha, c’est la vie, this may be the end, and I drew the shortest straw.”
“Ah, but the web your sneaky spider-king of the words has spun is still unravelling over the other guests, throwing cobwebs over their clueless eyes.” His voice tinged fully with some deeper accent now.
“Well, your character is the detective. A poetry-reciting detective. You speak in riddles. Quel horreur, je ne comprend pas!”
“I didn’t think that you knew French. A man of all trades, you are, Sir.”
“I do not speak French.”
Well, Alexandra’s French was her own English; she was strong enough in the language to agree. ‘What horror!’ Those were certainly the right words for the day.
Quel horreur et quelle mystere.
Alexandra ne comprend pas aussi!