Chapter 8.Mature

On the inside the train was a convoy of crystal chandeliers and gold leaf ceilings. Guests sat frozen in a poised position, their silver furs carefully arranged so as to appear to a casual observer as someone of importance. Gentlemen dared not move for fear of wrinkling their starched collars and the ladies draped with diamonds wore a thick mask of makeup. Those favorite and unfortunate children, chosen to stand in their parents’ shadows and occasionally be used as conversational fodder did not converse with one another; preferring instead to stand apart. Every now and again they would be permitted to shake the hand of a family friend. Small chubby fingers would extend and be enveloped a more spindly pair varnished in coral or by a large paw, loosely shaken twice and released. The constant low murmur which buzzed through the carriages was broken sporadically by laughter after which came a brief and judgeful silence, before conversation was resumed.

As intended Isabelle’s entrance left her peers in a state of speechlessness.  Her swathes of brilliant magenta silk which she had wrapped around herself were heavily embroidered in clashing scarlet. A fabric which appeared to be a sort of golden gauze acted as a shawl and her feet were encased in lilac shoes of woven cloth. Her face was free of make up, allowing her to appear both pure and feral in contrast to those around her. Wild auburn hair cascaded down her back in a frothing mass; strands strained away from the general chaos and floated in equilibrium. Moreover, her nails, filed into talons, had been painted in gold. Chains of rubies had been wrapped numerous times around her wrists, the ends trailing alongside her robes across the grey carpet. She stood grandly in the doorway, arching her neck so as to emphasize her unusual height and kept that position as long as it continued to gain the desired effect.

Feeling the necessity of ending the silence David strode forwards and struck up a conversation with some rising political figure leaving Rose to chaperone her mother. Rose, protected by her uniform of bland colours and a tamed bun nether the less felt exposed standing next to Isabelle who was looking around with open and amused disdain .  Men and women alike were milling around the carriage, clutching at glasses of wine  and glancing at their reflections in fear that they had somehow become less civilised simply through proximity with this barbaric woman.  

However this barbaric woman was not only married to David Morton, but was a confidante of Randall in her own right and as such could not be ignored. By the time the silence had become unbearable, a gaunt lady had wobbled up to Isabelle, her thin face, caked as it was with makeup, still showed the red blotches brought about by wine. She stood before them without speaking. In honour of her bravery the rest once more struck up conversation, allowing the low hum to wash over the space, enveloping them all in  the knowledge that for now, the woman was occupied.

The End

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