Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Only Proper

Otillia Elizabeth Mason Beaureguard was a proper lady.  In an age where ladies were beginning to wear skirts that revealed their nether regions,  Miss Tilly continued to wear her button up Oxford shirts with a proper skirt that fell to a precise three and a quarter inches above her ankle.   On Sundays, the holy day, Miss Tilly wore her mother's own black lace veil as she entered the vestibule, as was proper. Lonely, but proper.

Miss Tilly also kept a proper house, and every morning she swept the accumulated dust from the ceiling to wood floors out the front door, onto the porch, and out into the yard, just like her mother had done every day of her life, and her grandmother before that, all the way back to the first proper Walker lady. 

Elton Burnside marched up Miss Tilly's sidewalk as if he owned the place, his cane tapping out a staccato rhythm.  She waited for him, remembering the years in school when Elton would pull her pigtails and try to kiss her.  Always in trouble, Elton Burnside took every reprimand and setback in stride, laughing as he sat in detention or got paddled.  Miss Tilly's mother had always said that the Burnsides were trouble, but Miss Tilly wondered if that was really true. Elton had never been proper a day in his life, and it certainly wasn't proper for him to set foot on her porch.

"You stay right there, Elton Burnside!"  She held up the broom as a warning.  Elton stopped at the bottom step and took off his hat respectfully.  Miss Tilly glared at him.

"Why, Miss Tilly!" Elton laughed. "Prickly as ever! You come on down here. I have something to give you."

Wary but curious, Miss Tilly took one step, then another, until she stood in front of Elton. As she lifted her eyes to his, he startled her completely by swiftly pressing his lips to hers.

Miss Tilly's face was warmed by the color creeping up her skin, her lips tingling from the kiss. She stared at Elton, shocked.  

"I mean to court you, Miss Tilly," Elton gazed at her.

Miss Tilly had always been a proper lady.  But maybe it was time for a little impropriety in her life, she thought.

The quotation is from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë:
“It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.”

The prompt is the third definition of the word color.


  1. This is so sweet, It has a Driving Miss Daisy feel Old South feel.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

    1. That is what I was trying for, so I'm glad you saw that. Thanks!

  2. I loved this! Good for Elton, it took much courage to brave Ms. Tilly and her broom. I loved the foreshadowing in this line: Miss Tilly's mother had always said that the Burnsides were trouble, but Miss Tilly wondered if that was really true. And that she too was brave enough to consider Elton. So much fun this one!

  3. The honeysuckle embracing the thorn - love the way you brought that to life. Nice story!

  4. Yes! It's time for impropriety Miss Tilly. I knew I would like this when I read about the ladies revealing their nether regions with their skirts.

  5. Hopefully now Miss Tilly can loosen up. She can miss a day's work!

  6. Very cool! I like how everything rolled out so well. It would have taken me forever to come up with something like this!

    Oh and you are welcome to correct my spelling in this comment as I am not the best speller.
    Take care,

  7. I really like your characterization of Miss Tilly. Great story.

  8. Cute! I like Miss Tilly!
    A to Z-ing to the end
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  9. What a sweet story. You described her blush with such emotion and impact. Beautifully written.

  10. Oh it's always time for impropriety! Great characters, lovely story.

  11. Miss Tilly can put away her broom now-its time for a little fun!

    This was simply wonderful!!

  12. Well it took him long enough! He's a bit forward, but knows what he wants - I think she should 'court' him :)

  13. Great ending for the character! I could see this as a movie scene as I read. Nice writing.

  14. Everyone needs a little fun & flirtation in their lives-even the Miss Tillys of this world:-)Great job of perfecting the characterization-a sweet end:-)

  15. DELIGHTFUL:~) You did a wonderful job of setting up this story with Miss Tilly and you led me down the steps to Elton, but surprised with his kiss. You ended it perfectly and made me smile.

    Thanks for sharing this story:~)

  16. Oooooh! ... You know opposites make the most perfect match!

  17. The sneak attack kiss was the best part. I hope the courting goes well.

    Thanks for linking up!

  18. This accumulation or words: proper, nether regions, black lace, pigtails, paddled, prickly, lips, tingling, impropriety.
    Scandalous, I say!
    So many levels, Tina. Canes and pigtails. Brooms and black lace. Loved it.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!