Click here for chapters 1-14.
Are you in for a special treat? My friend Phil who graciously has agreed to read and perform the Count´s adventures for us although he´s taking a break from blogging for a while (in fact I have had him sign a lifelong contract but it sounds much nicer when I pretend that he has a choice in all this 😉 ), has outdone himself again this time and added a wonderful and new feature! Get ready to be surprised! 🙂
It was an hour before dawn as the door bell rang. With a sigh Lizzie put the book down she had just been reading and went to see who that bugger was.
A quick look through the spy hole showed two men standing in front of her door: One was wearing a brightly pink colored overall and cap, holding an enormous bunch of exotic flowers in his hands and the other one looked like… a stable lad. Lizzie frowned. She had never seen one before, except in period movies or tv series, but she was quite sure that this guy was the real thing and not just a silly actor.
It was obvious to her that they must have mistaken her with her neighbor who regularly received all kinds of deliveries almost everyday, most of them consisting of shoes and clothes that had been ordered online. Lizzie often wondered about her neighbors´ source of income, since she never saw her leave her house at the same time of day – or night.
Then she quickly checked if her blue silk robe was properly closed and opened the door.
„Yes?“ She asked.
The guy with the ridiculous cap pushed himself quickly before the other one.
„Good evening, Ma´am“, he replied with a professional smile on his acne-covered face.
„Are you Miss Elizabeth Rabbit?“ he asked.
„Yes, I am“, she replied, somewhat surprised.
„Then I have the great pleasure of presenting you with one of „Flowersmith´s“ finest bouquets“, he said, now beaming all over his face which somehow made his pimples even more glowy than before. With a slightly exaggerated flourish he handed over the gigantic bunch of flowers.
Somewhat bemused, Lizzie took it.
„Eh, thank you“, she said. „Who are they from?“
„You´re most welcome, m´am! As for the sender, there should be a little card attached to the bouquet“, he said, tipping with two fingers the side of his cap as if it was a cowboy hat, and with an added „Have a nice day!“ he turned on his heels and quickly returned to a van that displayed the exact magenta shade as his clothes and cap and had „Flowersmith“ painted in big green letters on its side.
Lizzie scanned the sheer overwhelming mass of flowers for said card, but couldn´t find it.
That´s when the stable lad cleared his throat and took a tentative step forward.
„A letter for you, madam, from his lordship, the Count Harecula“, he said holding out the letter placed on top of both his upturned hands and bowing deeply from his waist.
Lizzie who had trouble holding the flowers with just one hand, took the letter rather unceremoniously from him.
„Thank you“, she said again, this time with decidedly more warmth to her voice and smiling an unseen smile at him, because he still remained bowing.
Slightly embarrassed at this odd behavior she tried to remember what all these lords and ladies in the TV usually said when wanting to be presented with something else than the back of the head of their servant.
„Please rise?“, she said and hoped it was the right thing to say in this situation.
When he popped up from his bow, she let out a small sigh of relief.
She was already in the process of trying to maneuver the enormous bouquet through her tiny front door without beheading the delicate flowers as she heard him clearing his throat for a second time.
„Yes? Is there anything else?“ she asked.
„I have been ordered to remain on these premises until such a time as her ladyship has seen fit to sending a reply to his lordship“, he stated.
„Oh! Eh… well, I… I see“, Lizzie said, slightly irritated. „Do you want to come in then and wait inside?“ she asked. „I could make you a coffee, if you like“, she added, remembering her manners.
„Oh, no! Thank you, madam. I´m content to wait outside“, he said, quite a bit shocked by her offer.
„All right, fair enough“, she said. „I will just get some water for these flowers and will read the letter then. I´ll come back as soon as I can“, she said, and finally closed the front door.
She headed for the kitchen where she put both her unexpected deliveries on the counter and went to the cupboard to fetch a crystal vase that seemed big enough to hold the large bouquet. She filled it with water from the tap, put the flowers in it and tried to rearrange them a bit and also search for the promised card. When she finally found it deeply embedded within the flowers, she saw her speculations about who the sender might be confirmed.
From the Count Harecula
Miss Elizabeth Rabbit
was all the card provided on information.
Smiling to herself, she now picked up the letter.
The envelope was sealed at the back with a big drop of blood red wax. Lizzie opened one of the kitchen drawers and took out a knife with which she carefully separated the sealed top of the envelope from the rest of it.
She reached inside it and extracted one sheet of heavy parchment, carefully folded in the middle.
She unfolded it.
She read it.
Then she smiled again.
The letter the Count had sent her, read as follows:
Still smiling, Lizzie took a pen out of another drawer and ticked off the first box.
Then she folded the letter, put it back in its envelope and brought it out to the stable lad, who hurriedly crushed a half-smoked cigarette underneath his boot as she opened the door.
With a last bow, he took the letter from her and then vanished into the pearl colored dawn of a new day.
To Be Continued…