The Bridge That Would Not Burn

by Christina Rauh Fishburne presents
a serialization in 14 parts

Week Two:
in which Mr. Porter performs admirably in games of skill, and Mrs. Fellows is devilishly delicate.

Back in the much-appreciated sunshine of the cold day, the trio made their way to the game area. As expected, Mr. Porter performed superbly in every contest in which he participated. The ladies were suitably encouraging and complementary and after three or four proofs of his excellence they set off in search of lunch.

            There was a café across the small field, and they joined the many others heading in that direction. It was crowded and tables were scarce. Mr. Porter, no longer amused by forbearance, objected to the wait. Charlotte backed up and over to the windows while he disputed the order in which he and the gentleman nearby had arrived. Very civilly of course, but it embarrassed her. She sighed and distanced herself by observing the cream and gold interior of the café. The atmosphere was warm and pleasant and vaguely French, waiters bustled about, appetizing aromas drifted by her nose, cheerful faces conversed and laughed and glanced over menus.

            Mrs. Fellows joined her by the windows. “Do you suppose your friend would allow us to join him?” Charlotte furrowed her brow and followed her mischievous gaze. Atchison sat at his own table near the back of the room. Three empty chairs accompanied him.

            “He isn’t my friend.” It was all Charlotte could think to say.

            Mrs. Fellows was already waving at him delicately. Charlotte saw the rise and fall of Atchison’s chest and shoulders; such was the depth of his sigh and resignation.

            “Oh, Mrs. Fellows, I wish you hadn’t done that,” she murmured.

            “Nonsense. We are acquainted. He has enough seats.” She smiled devilishly. “And I’d like to see what Mr. Porter makes of him. Jealousy is a useful tool, my dear.”

            Charlotte lowered her face in shame. Or concealment. She was not sure.

            “Mr. Porter, I do believe our starvation has been thwarted!” Mrs. Fellows flounced over to him and directed his attention to Mr. Atchison, who was now standing at his table, a man without a country.

Join us Sunday of the tenth, for Week Three:
in which the highly recommended Lt. Atchison takes the top apartment at Number 14 K Street, and Charlotte ponders how most to dislike him.

You may enjoy more of the Bridge That Would Not Burnhere.

Vote now for 2021 FLASH SUITE Contest
Who’s responsible for this madcap affair: Masthead
Bonafides/ home

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