Another from the vault by the Divine Miss E, written on her return from Kosovo. I think it was her best effort as it perfectly captures her.
Spring in Vienna came with cool breezes and soft clouds. Perfect night for a stroll. The keys to the elaborately carved side door felt smooth and heavy in his hand. Sad that everything had to be kept locked all the time. Slipping down the street he turned toward the market, thinking of the ever changing display of wares. Too many tourists, but they were interesting to study too. Perhaps a steaming mélange to warm him. Lost in thought, he glanced across the street. Something about those girls was familiar. All too familiar. What were they doing out this late, in this part of town? He made a mental note.
Crisp white table linens were one of life’s best pleasures. The sun streamed in the windows and sparkled on the silver. As usual the newspaper was full of distressing announcements, and trivial drivel. He shifted in his chair and had the slightly unpleasant feeling of having forgotten something. Clatter on the stairs told him the girls were descending. Elizabeth was bright eyed and pert, Elise languid. Sliding into her chair, Elise poured a cup of coffee and reached for the paper. Elizabeth breathlessly offered a “good morning” and started to chatter about her sightseeing plans. Deep in his brain, a little thought begin to stir, then rushed to the surface. Lowering the paper, he gazed over his glasses at Elizabeth, “What were you doing out so late last night? Where had you been?” The newspaper tented in front of Elise rustled ever so slightly. Elizabeth’s big blue eyes widened and darted nervously around the room. Everywhere in fact, except to return his look. She leaped from her chair, “I just have to have more of that delicious juice. I don’t know where you find it.” He leaned forward, “Sit down, young lady. I believe I asked you a question.” She popped back in her chair and a look of sheer panic swept across her face. He turned, “Elise, I want to know what you two were doing last night.” The paper lowered slightly, and she peeped over the edge. He saw in an instant that she had a guilty look. ” I see”, he said, rising. A few steps to the den, a drawer opened, and he returned to the table.
He placed the crop on the table between the girls. Elizabeth was frozen with terror. Elise was studying her plate intently and was already biting her lip. No need to even hear the details of what they’d done. “Elise, on the wall, NOW”. He tapped the wall with his crop. She knew better than to open her mouth and silently got up. She stood with her feet apart and leaned over to place her palms on the wall. Elizabeth was squirming in her chair, already close to hyperventilating. They would learn a lesson today. The pajama bottoms came down and with each blow of the crop a bright red stripe appeared. Elizabeth jumped and whimpered each time as well. Elise knew better than to reach back or move out of position. But soon even her resolve melted and she was begging him to stop. When he was satisfied, he sent her up to her room with the promise of a trip across his knee when she’d had time to consider her folly. Laying the crop back on the table, he took his seat and picked up the paper as though nothing had happened. “I’ll just run up and make my bed”, Elizabeth chirped.
“I don’t think so.” he said in that frightening measured tone.