Miss Childs Boarding house for Ladies, is a place where girls of standing and those living in the city away from family may do so in comfortable surrounds, and cared for by Miss Childs, an Angel among ladies.
Walking to her room and opening the door she sighed again, this room was too big and she didn’t like it. Taking off the light coat she had worn over her dress, she hung it in her wardrobe and placed her book on the dresser, putting the rose in a small, thin vase that had already one other rose in there. This brought the smile back to her face again.
She walked from her room again and back downstairs, she was looking for Miss Childs, wanting to see if she needed a hand with anything. A small curl had fallen from the bun her hair was placed in and it fell over her left cheek as she walked throughout the house
On the ground floor, to the right of the hall, there was the sitting room. A favoured spot by many of the guests, and a relaxing place of peace for Miss Childs, who was doing needlepoint in one of her plush pink velvet chairs. Mr Snookims, her white cat, was rolling around on the floor at her feet, playing with a ball of yarn, as Miss Childs hummed softly to herself. The clock on the mantle, chimed merrily, which brought the curl of a smile to the lips of Miss Childs.
“Tea time.” She said in a musical voice, as she picked up the bell and rang it twice. The house maid came in and dropped a curtsey as Miss Childs asked for a tray of tea and sweet biscuits to be provided for those in the Sitting room. The soft beams of light filtered through the sheer curtains, and seemed to have Miss Childs radiate an unnatural blue aura, as she continued on with her needle work. The room smelt heavenly, of rose petals and lavender, while the walls were decorated with gilded pictures of Miss Childs ancestors. The tapestries on the floors were from the east and there was exotic statues in various points of the room. It would be true to say, that Miss Childs had led an interesting life, one that she shared with only a handful of people.
The sound of footfalls in the foyer alerted Miss Childs that one of her guests was moving about. Without even looking up, she called out;
“Good day young Julia. Do come share some tea, and tell me of your day. Life is always more beautiful through the eyes of the young.” Miss Childs patted an empty close to her, while Mr Snookims rolled past the door with his ball of yarn.
A few moments after, she stood up and carefully stepped over him doing a small curtsey to Miss Childs before taking the seat she had patted
“Thank you Ma’am….I didn’t do that much today, I sat in the park again..” The radiant smile returned, one she had when she saw the rose bush beside her favorite bench “Though I did see someone….strange” She didn’t really want to say the word ‘demon’ and shuddered a little at the thought.
It was then that she observed the room as she did whenever she was in here, admiring all the amazing things in there. Miss Childs must of been everywhere she could think of. This allowed her smile to return a little.
“This is London, dear Julia. Strangeness goes with the territory.” Miss Childs replied, a wistful smile as she had watched Julia stroke Mr Snookims. The cat reacted as it normally does with affection, curling its body around Julia’s leg, with its tail snaking around luxuriously. The maid entered the room, and sat down the tray of tea, with the small plate of sweet biscuits, bobbing before Miss Childs and then excusing herself. Once it was just the two women alone again, Miss Childs became more serious. She was well aware of the dark side of London, having traveled so extensively, London was now the world leader in the rise of change in society, and it would be ripe for the dark followers to set up their cults and covens under the noses of the authorities, who simply were either too blind or naive to see the dangers.
Taking up a pot of tea and pouring herself and Julia a cup each, she said softly;
“If ever you feel threatened, or that someone around you is not what they seem, go with that instinct. It could well save your life.”
Miss Childs then handed the cup of tea to Julia and offered her a biscuit, but her thoughtful eyes still stared at Julia’s, hoping she understood what she meant.
Located mid-city Miss Childs’ Boarding House looked like it was part of the neighbor hood. It was a few blocks from the school, definitely within walking distance if one were prone to such things.
It was near dusk, and the streets had very few people about, those chosing to not be on the streets when the night comes crawling. Dangerous things seem to happen at night, and the city was in the grips of a most terrible fear.
If anyone had been watching, they would have seen a most unusual sight. A young woman seemed to appear out of thin air and landed with a painful thud right in the middle of the rose bushes outside the house. The poor creature muttered and complained under her breath. “…never going to get this right.” and “…missed something as simple as a sidewalk.” as she struggled out of the foliage. Her blonde hair was disheveled and she wore a simple dress of a drab brown with a matching plaid shirt, of which was covered in her cloak to ward off the chill of the oncoming night.
She finally got herself free of the shrubbery, then looked around for her traveling bag, which unfortunately had landed in the bird bath. She looked heavenward in absolute misery. “You’re testing me, right?” she mumbled. An owl hooted in the distance. Stomping over, she retrieved her, now wet belongings before going to the door and knocking gently. She sat her dripping bag down, waiting for a reply to her knock.
The house maid, Veronica was dusting the shelves when she heard the crunch of branches and the kersplosh of the bird bath outside the residence, and stopped mid sweep with her duster.
“What on earth?” she whispered, turning to approach a window and see that it was in fact a young lady who had landed in the shrubbery and her carpet bag was in the bird bath. Veronica tutted softly and then opened the front door to the house. “I have heard of pennies from heaven…but young ladies?” The young girl had by now reached the door with her sopping wet bag and the maid sighed. “Let me guess, Miss Childs is expecting you.” The maid took the girl’s bag and trotted off to the wash room to salvage the girl’s belongings, as inside the sitting room, a charming voice sung out.
“Do come in, Child, and please close the door behind you.” It was Miss Childs, and she already had tea waiting. When the young lady entered she would have an empty chair beside her and a warm smile, greeting her formally.
“Do come in, Child, and please close the door behind you.” came a voice a moment later. Whispering a prayer, she stepped into the hall, shutting the door behind her before tracking where the voice had come from. From the front door, she could feel the warmth of a fire coming from the room to the right, so gathering her courage, she went that direction.
Upon entering the sitting room, there was indeed a fire going, warm and inviting. A woman was occupying one of the two chairs that was seated before the fireplace, a table centered between them set for tea. The other chair was unoccupied. She remained standing, tired, disheveled, and now that she was upon the mortal plane, a tad bit hungry.
“Miss Childs, I presume?” the young woman spoke, her voice quiet but light and musical in a way as to project peace and calm, assuming the seated woman was nothing more than human.
“The one and only, Child. And you must be Miss Evangeline Browning, am I correct?” The Elder angel said, taking up the tea pot with dainty hands and pouring the young lady a cup of tea. The clink of the tea pot as it was set back down was delightful, and Miss Childs held out the sugar tongs towards Evangeline, and said. “I always ask my guests to pop in their own sugar, for some don’t need sweetening. They are sweet enough.” She beamed a wide smile, before pouring some milk into her own tea cup.
“I must say, you really should try to work on your landings, Dear. My shrubbery is imported. All the way from Egypt and it does not take kindly to being used as a seat.” Her voice was one of charm and delight, with a twinkle in her eye as she set down the milk jug, stirring her tea with a tilted head.
“Indian tea….there is nothing to compare it with, wouldn’t you agree?” So many questions, and all so fast on this their first meeting. It was a typical scene in many an upper crust house, but formalities were always par of the course on introductions.
“I must say, you really should try to work on your landings, Dear. My shrubbery is imported. All the way from Egypt and it does not take kindly to being used as a seat.” the woman, Miss Childs went on as if Evangeline didn’t have her wits about her yet. Which to be honest, was the truth.
“Indian tea….there is nothing to compare it with, wouldn’t you agree?” Evangeline was trying to recall the first question as Miss Childs kept up a steady stream of conversation, one-sided, but conversation never-the-less.
Evangeline stared at her, blue eyes, the color of the sky on a warm summer day, staring in shock. She finally asked the questions that had been taking root inside her head. “How did you know who I was? I’ve never seen you before today? Who are you? What are you?” Evangeline wondered, wishing she had her travel bag in her hands for protection.