Another post from my 1790’s/18th century historical roleplay. This is my character Yasmeen Moreau, she’s a doctor/midwife, and in this post she is dealing with emotions caused by the act of her home being attacked and her daughter kidnapped. She is staying as a guest at the mansion of a noble family who she has helped many times. In this post she is waiting for her lover, Nicolai, to return from his search with hopefully good news. I hope that you enjoy the read.
Location: Mansion Laurance, Port-de-Paix
Date: March 14th, Hour After Midnight
Titled: Outpost of Advancing Day
The sky was dark, the moon high, and the wind smelled of fresh rain; the windowsill was still wet from the downpour that had come earlier and fingertips brushed against a couple drops distractedly. The windows had been opened after it turned into a trickle. The need for fresh air to draw into the lungs overwhelming any concern of getting her nightdress or nightgown damp. The latter was a deep red opened over the white linen nightdress with its flowers embroidered at neck and hem. Both had been a gift from Fanny and Esther; the elder daughter having made the linen nightdress and added delicate lace to the nightgown, and the younger daughter having embroidered flowers on the nightdress at neck and hem.
Esther had been so proud of the work she’d done. It’d been the first time she’d done embroidery work at such a scale, and she’d done it well. And from that moment she’d taken off with it. The thought of that her youngest daughter’s exuberant energy brought a sad smile to Yasmeen’s face as she looked out the window. Red-rimmed brown eyes searched the star-riddled black sky as if it would give her a sign. A signal to where her daughter was being kept. . . so that she could be rescued and brought home. She tugged at the end of her braid where it hung over her shoulder and slammed the palm of her other hand against the windowsill when nothing came though.
Dropping her gaze, she now searched the grounds for any sign of Nicolai or the men that were sent out to search. She knew that he had much to do of late, but it hadn’t seemed to delay him in searching for Esther. He was just as heartbroken over the abduction. She prayed that tonight when he came to her room there might be some fruitful news to bring hope. . . What she had was dwindling and she was barely able to drag herself out of bed. Only the persistence of her children kept her from giving in to the weight that tried to pull her down; they had seen her in times like those before and didn’t want to see it happen again.
A knock drew her attention from the ground and she flew to the door. She was confused why Nicolai had knocked for he didn’t have to, but all that mattered was that he was here now. Fingers hurriedly undid the locks on the door, pulling it open with haste only to find a weeping maid outside instead of Nicolai.
It was one of her housemaid’s who had come along to assist her and Fanny with dressing.
“Sarah, what has happened?” Yasmeen felt a moment of panic followed by concern, and she pulled her inside then closed the door for privacy.
The maid was in an unusual state of dishevel; hair a mess, gown wrinkled and hem stained with dirt, as she wrung the cap that should be upon her head with both hands instead. She was sobbing heavily and the red of her pale face made it clear that she’d been doing so for awhile. Yasmeen led her to a chair, forcing her to sit down as she went to pour her some tea from the tray a maid had brought earlier.
As Yasmeen returned with the tea, pressing a kerchief into the young woman’s hands, she stopped enough to speak though her voice was hoarse, “Oh, Madame Moreau, I’m sorry. Forgive me, please. . . I wasn’t sure. . . I wanted to wait until I knew and I-I-I wanted to be wrong.”
“Wrong about what? Sarah?”
Yasmeen took Sarah’s trembling hands into both of her own now, kneeling down before the chair and giving an encouraging look so that she’d continue speaking.
“Ch-Charles, Madame. I have not seen him since the night she was taken, and today a friend in the guard told me that his body was not among those taken from your home.”
One of the men that had been part of the guard provided was named Charles. She recalled that he had often accompanied Esther and Fanny during their outings, and on occasion even Esther and Beatrix when they went off to visit patients.
What has been his surname? She recalled having found it odd. . . Chew, yes. Charles Chew. That had been his name.
The implications of what this could mean, the sensation of hope, was overwhelming enough to still her heart and steal her breath for a moment. After a second Yasmeen forced herself to breathe, and then to be patient as made Sarah wash her face and sip some of the tea. She wondered how long until Nicolai would arrive for he would know what questions to ask and what information was pertinent.
Barefeet paced the same path along the rug as she waited for the housemaid to get herself together then she looked directly at her; making sure that her voice was firm enough to make it clear that she didn’t want to be lied to. She wanted every piece of truth that could be provided if it could lead to her daughter.
“Tell me everything , Sarah.”