“I am an auctioneer of lost and unclaimed items”

image: starkitty (deviantart. net)

A combination of the Rattling Bone’s Thursday Words to Write By #11 (The assigned words are in italics) and Friday Fiction Prompt #12 (too hot to handle).

I stood to the side of the glittering ballroom, watching the procession of elegantly dressed lords and ladies. I came with my brother and his fiancée, Lilith. I would not be in a happy household when she became “mistress of the manor.” With our parents suddenly in heaven, my dear brother did his best to raise his younger sister. I received more than the proper education for a lady of my stature. Lilith was ever vexed by this. I believe she feared not to marry me off – surely the easiest way to remove me from our house.

She fitted me out in one of her dresses, a lovely shade of periwinkle, from the previous fashion season. I insisted the bodice not display so much of my décolleté or I would not attend the ball. I am known for my stubbornness.

Caught up in the music and pageantry of the dancers, I didn’t notice an exotically handsome man weave through the crowd, until he stood in front of me. He bowed and asked me if I would join him in the next dance. I graciously accepted the diversion and allowed him to lead me to a spot under the prismatic chandeliers.

My brother loved to dance, so I was well-versed in the latest dancing crazes. My gentleman’s steps were easily followed as we glided across the floor. We danced until I felt flushed, giddy, and in need of air. My gentleman suggested the large balcony beyond the French doors. He offered his arm, which I gratefully took. I was rather unsteady, and needed the physical support.

Once outside, the cool, brisk air wrapped around me. The faint smell of Spring flowers such as crocuses, tulips, and daffodils still perfumed the space beyond the French doors. The fullest of moons turned the balcony into a silvery pool. I leaned against the sturdy railing. My gentleman friend rather brazenly put his arm about my waist. I let him, making no mention of his actions. He could think what he would about my compliance.

I made polite conversation, asking him his profession. I doubted him a man of leisure. “I am an auctioneer of lost and unclaimed items.” His voice was hypnotic, whispering in my ear. I shut my mind to it. I need delve no further.

Feigning the need to retire to one of the balcony benches, I slowly made my way to one. As I bent over to sit, the crucifix hidden beneath the neckline of my gown, swung free. This disturbed my new suitor immensely. Immediately jumping back, shifting from his suave and debonair form to his more true one. Horns, tail, cloven feet.

“So, ” I said, dangling the crucifix on my chain, “Which of us is too hot to handle?” With menace in his eyes, he snorted, disappearing in a cloud of acrid smoke. I had no doubt saved several aristocratic souls that night.

Now to save my brother’s. I highly disliked the thought of having a demoness and a devil as my new sister and brother-in-law. {word count: 509}

image: lilith 2, notvirtuvian (deviantart.net)

When I wrote this post, I wasn’t sure about the relationship between the devil, demons and the crucifix. A visit to “trusty” Wikipedia revealed a connection between the cross and devils/demons. For more see:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifix

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifix#Usage

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon#Modern_interpretations

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith_in_popular_culture

*   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith#In_Western_literature

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8 thoughts on ““I am an auctioneer of lost and unclaimed items”

  1. DELL CLOVER June 27, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    I LOVE the title especially–may have to borrow/and credit you some future date. I now have a list: “Phylor”–with gems you’ve written, in case I need new “prompts”.

    Like

    • phylor June 27, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      Borrow away! Writing is to be shared, not hoarded or is it horded?

      Like

      • DELL CLOVER June 27, 2015 / 11:03 pm

        You so often amuse me–I think it’s “hoarded”!

        Like

  2. summerstommy2 June 27, 2015 / 1:59 pm

    Such a good tale with great future prospects. I was reminded of Sean Tan’s the lost thing, not demonic in any way but a beautiful exploration of belonging.

    Like

    • phylor June 27, 2015 / 6:48 pm

      Thank you, I really didn’t see a story in the words until “too hot to handle” was added as a unifier.
      I’m not familiar with Sean Tan’s the lost thing. I’ll see if my library system has a copy. (I’m assuming its a book?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • summerstommy2 June 27, 2015 / 9:31 pm

        Yes a wonderful picture book, and they made a film of it too.

        Like

  3. phylor June 27, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    Thanks, I wouldn’t want that sort of in-law.

    Like

  4. loricarlson66 June 27, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Delightful story, Phylor! I loved the characterization of all the characters.. and the vivid details of the setting! Oh those demons! Tricksters all!

    Like

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