A Duet in the Key of C
~ By Absolutely*Kate and Kevin J. Mackey
|BIRTHDAY GIRL! ~ artist NiseeMade|
"It's my birthday and the dashing gent Mr Mackey agreed we could share with you great #Friday Flashers, and of course AT THE BIJOU popcorn munchers, a sneak preview of our 1976 book in the write-works of social and political intrigue (plus who knows what more our characters tell us it shall be) .
We're wondering what feedback you might tender as to how/where you may see these vivacious characters entering their first scene's appearance, continuing their interactions and most definitely bon vivant political intrigue, discoveries and adventures . . .
Here goes . . . and THANKS!
~ Absolutely*Kate and Kevin J Mackey
Steven Bradford turned in his chair at the sound of his name, and stood. Tony Callini was bearing down on him, but it was the woman with Tony that drew Steven from his seat.
She was tall, would be even without heels. Her eyes, the clearest shade of blue Steven had ever seen, seemed to be dancing with some private amusement. The same amusement was playing on lips coated a very pale pink.
An asymmetric gown, midnight blue and baring one shoulder, hugged her figure. It covered everything and hid little.
"This is --" Tony began.
"Carolina," she said. Smooth, open vowels and Steven caught just the hint of the "r" in her name.
Carolina offered her hand, slim and warm in white elbow gloves. She offered it, fingers together, arching downwards. Steven had to fight the urge to touch his lips to them. He looked up and caught another hint of amusement.
"So, that's it then," Tony said. "I've done my part, yes?"
Carolina turned her head to him, her hand still in Steven's. He felt her fingers tighten a shade more, ensuring he still held her hand.
"Yes," she said, "you're finished now, darling Tony." Carolina turned back to Steven.
Steven blinked at the most complete dismissal he had ever heard, and then shook himself.
"Forgive me," he said, "I've forgotten my manners. I'm Steven, Steven Bradford."
Her smile flashed, a row of neat, white teeth on display for an instant.
"Carolina, as I said. Carolina Beatrice Templeton." She smiled again and shrugged slightly. Steven's eyes drifted over the light dusting of freckles on her bare right shoulder before being captured again by her eyes.
"An old family," she said, "fond of inflicting dignified names on wayward children."
Steven smiled in return. "Oh I am sure you are very dignified."
Her smile just broadened.
"Steve?" Alice, Steve's date for the evening, joined them. Steven released Carolina's hand, noticing as he did so a slight reluctance. He turned to Alice.
"Alice," he said, a shade too brightly. "This is Carolina, Carolina Templeton. A friend . . . of Tony's."
It seemed to Steven, reflecting later, that the temperature around their little group dropped.
"Alice," Carolina said, "so pleased to make your acquaintance."
"Likewise, I'm sure," Alice replied.
Steven noticed neither woman moved to touch the other.
Alice took Steven's arm in hers.
"Steve," she said, "we really must go and say 'hello' to Sandra and her husband."
Steven looked at Alice and then back to Carolina.
"Steven," Carolina said, "you mustn't let me keep you from enjoying yourself." She paused a moment and then looked directly into his eyes. "I hope you will allow me to call on you sometime. Tony has told me so much about your work."
"Certainly," Steven said, and felt Alice's fingers digging into his arm. "Call me anytime."
Carolina smiled. "I may call on you anytime?"
Steven kept his face straight even though Alice was beginning to leave marks on his arm. "Yes," he said, "please do."
"Gift for gift," Carolina mused, her voice soft. She smiled again. "Well then, I will leave you two lovely people to enjoy yourselves."
She smiled again at Steven and nodded to Alice. Then, turning on her heel, she made her way gracefully across the room. As she walked, Steven was captivated by the gentle swaying of her hips.
"Steve," Alice said in a loud whisper, "stop staring at her. Who is she anyway?"
Steven tore his gaze away from Carolina just as she left the room. He turned to Alice.
"Just a friend of Tony's," he said, "like I told you."
"A friend of Tony's," Alice said, her mouth drawn into a thin line. "So, where is he then, Tony?
Steven looked around the room. Tony was not to be seen. He smiled and guided Alice towards Sandra and her husband. "He stepped out shortly before you arrived. I'm sure Carolina's gone to find him."
Alice's reply was unconvinced, but she allowed herself to be steered towards her friend, Sandra. It was, after all, in the opposite direction to the one Carolina had taken.
~ ~ ~
There were actually many opposite directions steered into when folks first made the acquaintance of Carolina Beatrice Templeton. Something about a nature that daunts always veers it so. The Templetons of Montgomery came from old money, dusty money, the kind of money not to shake a stick at, though few ever considered that. The Templetons were seen to be held in the highest regard -- from their open doors on every side of the wide-planked veranda on Magnolia Lane which welcomed friend and stranger alike right on into an iced pitcher of mint juleps, to the family trait of dancing eyes. Oh how the Templeton's eyes danced, waltzed, even tangoed. Midst amusement never veiled and down right chortling guffaws, the Templetons' family tree rollicked all its branches with the good humour that glided them in good stead through conference rooms and dance floors.
Carolina Beatrice Templeton was a gliding light on the dance floor this night, changing partners left and right.
Nodding in commiseration to Sandra's story about the gardener mistaking the potato patch for placement of the daylily bulbs, Alice's peripheral vision caught flash after flash of midnight blue. Much to her chagrin, Steven, who could care less about potato patches gone askew, was sporting a new level of intensity in his own regard for that vivid flash of midnight blue.
Bristling but a bit, Alice bolstered, rebuking herself to be a far better champ at holding her own. "Excuse us Sandra," she smiled. "Steven, I dare say this is our song. Shall we? Shall we dance?"
Strains of Some Enchanted Evening swirled the perfumed air, the evening's mood and the soft gliding collision of what dancers had on their minds in the New York minutes of a sultry Saturday night.
Carolina Beatrice Templeton had plenty on hers. And how convenient, she noticed, that the malice of Alice would bring her honey directly to the bait. The white gloved fingers of her right hand stroked tenderly the back of the neck of the broad suited shoulders who happened to be her current dance partner. Her throat arched back with a tinkling of musical laughter to something dashing or distinguished he'd just said. What was his name again? Tom? Dick? Harry?
~ ~ ~
} STORYLINE IN THE WORKS . . .
© 2011 ~ Authors Absolutely*Kate and Kevin J Mackey
having a blast with this social scene dancing into political intrigue,
Author Kevin J Mackey of great fantasy writes, insightful character observation, haiku to melt to, and every now and then a shaker-out o'Shakespeare from his prolific lit wit is a writer who at once entices and endures. A transplanted Irishman who doesn't need Tony Bennett to sing him that his heart is now in San Francisco has entertained and inspired since I've got to watch him smoke his pipe and string his words with the #Friday Flash Fiction frenetic folks. Admiring true style in the ethers, I tap, tap, tapped on his proverbial shoulder a few highly enjoyable weeks ago and cajoled, "Hey Mister ~ Would your style honour my style in a duet write?" Well, Luck be this Lady that night, for he happened to have a piece of a writing morsel he was hankering to watch take on its own energy. Working together on it . . . we've been kind of amazed ~ sensing, watching, feeling ~ how it surely has, and how we discover in parts of our day-to-day something new our characters are asking us to have them say.
This is the fascination of being a writer,
watching words speak.
Thank*you for all the times you read into that experience
and invite / share us in to yours.
The heart of this story's start is now headed into fuller book-form. You can see more of Mackey back in town (couldn't resist) where he's simultaneously showcasing our tale, along with a slew of his dynamic to lyrical writing and recent book, Haiku - Through a Lens, enchanting minds now over at KjM - On The Web: "Duet in the Key of C". Enjoy your browse and carouse.
And thank you, Kevin.
Tis honour in the key of joie de vivre.
~ Absolutely*Kate, Birthday Girl
Believing in Believers and the Joys of Writing
Author & Promoter Absolutely*Kate watches her keyboard rat-a-tat in the nights, dashing the shadows of crime/noir . . . along with the moxie of tales urging to be told in progressive eras of American gumption and grace, plus the occasional Ziegfeld show.
From the confluence of two rivers meandering to the sea from diminutive Derby, Connecticut, she's created AT THE BIJOU, adjusting spots and kleigs in a virtual theatre-for-the mind, where "Writers' Raves become Readers' Faves". She shall proudly sail HARBINGER*33 for authoring destiny ... will be published within GRIMM TALES by talented Editor John Kenyon and Untreed Publishing, where fairy tales become crime scenes . . . and is working on a telling tale for Main Street Rag's 2012 fiction anthology, SECRETS, at the request of savvy Editor Rayne Debski.
Midst innovative promotion-publishing ventures stirring out-of-the-box (of course), with guts and true grit author Kevin Michaels of LOST EXIT fame, Absolutely*Kate is compiling the gusto of her debut book, HOLY MOXIE in multi-media form . . . then anticipates high faluting excitement at her first attendance of the ~ Bouchercon-World Mystery Convention of crime-fiction. (There, a drink bet will be settled with the prolific godfather of crime, westerns and RatPack mysteries, Robert J Randisi, and Brit crime-to-fame hero Matt Hilton shall be hugged.)
Plus it's her birthday today ~
She's off to celebrate in full flair -- and that's no mystery.