The votes are in! It was extremely close by the way, and the winning option was determined by a matter of one point. Curious to know what it was? Read the next installment to find out. In case you missed last week’s post, every Friday I intend to post the next installment of a serial short-ish story on here.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to read last week’s installment in which Alexander Mitus Scott Beauford III dismantles a cannon and has an unexpected brush with destiny. The truly fun part of this story is that y’all get to help decide what happens. Curious how that will work? Read Installment Two to find out …
So of course, Alexander Mitus Scott Beauford III did what any reasonable person would do when confronted with such a statement. He smiled politely and slammed the door shut on Miss Destiny’s primly upturned nose. The heavy paneling muffled her indignant cry.
Alexander allowed the smile to remain on his lips as he marched back to the study to continue his research. The son of the Baron of Midsig had far more important things to do than bandy words with a madwoman. Just as his hand settled on the latch, the doorbell began to ring again. He growled, shoved the study door open, dashed inside, slammed it behind him, and flung his back against the door, breathing hard.
No more visitors. No more interruptions! He’d had about as much as he could stand. He really was going to have to talk to Father about hiring a new round of servants … or at the very least a butler!
“You really should answer the door, you know. It’s considered the height of rudeness to leave a guest standing on the threshold.”
Alexander jumped and nearly fell when his stockinged feet slipped on the wood floor. She was here … in Father’s study. Destiny glared primly down her nose at him, perched casually as could be on the barrel of his cannon. His cannon! A highly sophisticated, highly rare, highly valuable instrument of modern warfare! Decidedly not a seat.
He resisted the urge to race over there and drag her away before she could break anything and forced a polite grin to his face instead. “You do realize you are sitting on an extremely dangerous weapon that’s covered in several layers of grime, mud, and powder residue, don’t you?”
“Indeed.” Destiny pursed her lips and scribbled a line in her notebook. “Manners: decidedly lacking. General appearance and cleanliness: atrocious.”
“Wait … what? What are you writing?” Curious despite himself, Alexander inched forward to snatch a peek at her paper, but Destiny closed the notebook with a snap of her wrist. “Contender evaluation. Normal procedure.”
Indeed. Because everything about this day was completely normal. Alexander rubbed his aching forehead.
Destiny’s mouth quirked into something that no doubt was supposed to resemble a grin. It looked like she had been sucking on a lemon. “You do realize your hands are covered in several layers of grime, mud, and powder residue, don’t you?”
Apparently politeness could only carry one so far. “Look … how did you even get in here? What do you want?” She flipped open her notebook cover, and her pen hovered once more over the page. “And stop taking notes about me!”
“Like I said, it’s normal procedure. Gracious me, but you are a dull one.”
It hit him then. Like a twelve pounder cannon ball that barreled through and left the dead in piles and the living bleeding and gasping for breath. “You’re ________.”
Destiny smiled then, and a cold, shark-like smile it was.
You get to help me decide. Who/what is Destiny? Or who does Alexander think she is?
Option One “You’re one of them.”
Destiny smiled then, and a cold, shark-like smile it was. “Why yes, I am. Took you long enough.”
One of the Fey Folk …. here … in Father’s study. Alexander took a deep breath and fumbled in his trouser pockets for a semi-clean handkerchief to wipe his forehead and hands. “Is this it then? Am I being summoned?”
Because if not, he had research to get back to.
Option Two “You’re Destiny.”
Destiny smiled then, and a cold, shark-like smile it was. “Indeed. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. I am Destiny, and you are a Beauford.”
Alexander felt the cold fingers of fear crawling down his back like an army of spiders. “But … I thought that was just a legend. A family myth. You haven’t been seen in over three generations of Beaufords.”
Destiny shrugged. “That’s the problem with a family curse. Often unpredictable, but always unavoidable.”
Option Three “You’re one of them. This is a test, isn’t it?”
Destiny smiled then, and a cold, shark-like smile it was. “Indeed. How ever did you figure it out?”
Alexander snapped to attention, back straight, arms at his sides, shoulders and head erect. He was painfully aware of his stained clothing and stockinged feet, but there was no help for that now. He couldn’t recall seeing any sort of a military emblem or rank insignia on Miss Destiny’s dress, but he might have overlooked it, distracted as he was by the whole surprise appearance thing she had going.
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