Jan. 24th, 2009


Town hall meeting - Open to all

The announcement about the meeting had been cried every day for the past week; every citizen had been strongly encouraged to attend.

Since it had the possibility of running for a long time -- and to give it the appropriate sense of seriousness -- the meeting was held in the cathedral, one of the only places in LeChance that could seat most of the town. Leroy stood behind the lectern, quietly talking to Ms. Sheedy as the crowd gathered. He looked tired but determined.

He invited Jonas and his staff to sit at the front of the space with him, giving them a brief rundown of what he planned and giving them a chance to voice objections or suggestions before the idea was placed before the town. Others at the front of the hall included Father Marks, the judge, council members, a historian and the principal of the schools.

Finally, on the hour, Anastacia Mason, the town crier, stepped forward and called for all to be seated and settled. She read a few commonplace announcements before introducing Leroy and moving unobtrusively to the side.

Leroy stepped up, hands behind his back and took a breath as he ordered his thoughts.

My fellow citizens... )

Dec. 12th, 2008


Delphina (backdated to just before the Thanksgiving festival)

The few weeks between their meeting to write out their contract and the date planned for their wedding had crawled by for Hattie, but at last the day had arrived and suddenly, here she was, married and about to enter her new home as a bride!

They'd had a quiet wedding, since both families were too far away to make the journey and they'd be seeing everyone they knew in LeChance at the harvest festivities the following day, but the ceremony had been very moving in its simplicity.

Hattie stood on the steps to their house - their house! - in her wedding dress, with the addition now of a thin red band around her left wrist. She gazed down at it, and the black band around Delphina's, their hands joined below the bands evidencing their marriage, and bit her lip lightly. Then she looked up at Delphina, eyes bright, face shining with happiness. "Shall we go in?"

Nov. 21st, 2008


Open to all

Late in the afternoon, a small crowd gathered in a field to participate in the gathering of the final harvest of the season. They loaded it into a decorated horse-drawn wagon and followed it into town, singing songs and waving sheafs of hay.

More people followed along as the parade passed them by, leading them into the square that normally held the merchants but had been cleared earlier for the celebration. There were still a few booths set up but they'd been converted to homes for games. The growing crowd was invited to march to the cathedral for a short service or to stay at the square to help set up for a feast.

Lanterns were lit all around the buildings and the square, casting a warm glow. There was just the slightest nip in the air but that would be dispelled when the dancing started later. Enormous amounts of food were heaped on a banquet table and long tables were set with glittering china and strewn with bouquets of late-blooming flowers.

Oct. 29th, 2008



They'd made another appointment. This one couldn't be done over a picnic lunch, sadly. It required paper and ink, but Delphina was just as excited. Maybe more so. She stood as Hattie joined her in a private room off the hotel. Not a chaperone in sight. No one needed to be present for discussions like this.

She came around the table, offered Hattie both hands, and leaned in close to kiss her cheek. "I'm glad to see you."

Oct. 13th, 2008



Sadie was chatting with Mrs. Haggerty about some of the new fabrics they were considering for when the weather got cooler. The bell on the door twinkled softly and she looked up with a smile.

"Miss Salas!" she said as she came around the corner and dropped a little curtsy. "It's lovely to see you. How are you this afternoon?"


Hattie - after her meeting with Sadie

She knew she was breaking the "rules". She didn't feel very guilty about it, though. The chaperones had their purpose and their place, keeping people polite and safe and well-behaved, but sometimes. Well. Sometimes all of that felt more than a little stifling.

So. Delphina had been to market. She'd packed a basket of breads and fruit and cheeses and a pair of wax-topped bottles of cider. And then she waited. Waited until she spotted Hattie on her way back to the hotel in the company of other Beloveds. Screwing up her courage, she straightened her shoulders and marched out of the shadow of the hotel and into plain sight, smiling broadly as she approached Hattie.

"There you are," she said brightly. "I thought I'd surprise you and come meet you on the way." Hefting the covered basket a little to show it off, she said, "Mrs. Molloy is going to meet us," and cocked out her elbow. "Ready?"

Sep. 26th, 2008



Though she felt like dancing through the streets, she made herself walk. Even steps, casual pace. She was being responsible now, after all. She was headed, however, to the hotel, with a bundle of handpicked wildflowers and Mrs. Lindley at her side.

She kept her voice even and calm as she asked someone to go up and see if Hattie -- Miss Palmer -- was available, and bit the inside of her cheek to keep herself from fidgeting while she waited.

Sep. 20th, 2008


Sadie (Friday)

Delphina showed up at the hotel, bright-eyed and smiling and holding a small bouquet of poppies. She had a maid send word up to Sadie that she and her chaperone had arrived, then tried not to bounce on her toes while she waited. She enjoyed the courting process quite a lot.

Sep. 17th, 2008


Courting Letter for Sadie

Not the prettiest penmanship ever seen, but Delphina managed to write a tidy note to Ms. Blackwood. It read:

Ms. Blackwood,

I hope you'll do me the honor of letting me call on you this week. Would Friday afternoon at four o'clock suit you?

I do look forward to your response.

Ms. Delphina Salas

Sep. 12th, 2008


OPEN TO ALL - Market Day

Temporary booths seemed to have sprung up overnight in the open space near Ms. Sheedy's hotel. Merchants of all kinds were selling their wares -- food and cloth, tools and trinkets, necessities and things people didn't really need, but wanted. Some of the expensive goods were tucked within the safety of more permanent "stores" in the building that housed the nickelodeon.

Performers roamed through the crowd and the streets, and there was a bright, festive feel all about.

A few blocks away, near the smithy, the livestock market was slightly less festive (and slightly more oderous) but still just as popular.

Sep. 1st, 2008


Hattie (backdated to Sunday)

To be perfectly honest about it, Delphina was as nervous as she was excited. A little scared, a little unsure about what exactly to do, despite the many long lessons she'd had on how to comport herself when courting.

She took more time than she did on a day to day basis with her hair and dressing. She pinned and unpinned and fussed over how she looked, eventually having to literally smack her own hands and admit that she'd only make things worse if she changed her appearance again.

The walk to the hotel had her stomach in knots and her heart fluttering like mad. Mrs. Langston, long-married, mostly silver-haired and very patient, stopped her outside the doors to insist that she breathe before they stepped in to meet Hattie.

Who Delphina greeted with a cheek-splitting smile. "I hope you're Ms. Palmer."

Aug. 29th, 2008


A Calling Card for Hattie

Not, perhaps, the finest cardstock available, but not the flimsiest either. A card is delivered to the hotel for Hattie. It reads:

Ms. Delphina Salas requests an opportunity to visit with you. Though she recognizes that Sundays are generally not Visiting Days, given LeChance's unique nature, she begs an exception and would very much like to call at three in the afternoon. She greatly looks forward to your response.

It is signed in script, Ms. Delphina Salas

Aug. 28th, 2008



Letters to Ascendants )

Beloved )

Aug. 25th, 2008



Delphina had decided to walk herself around the town from end to end. Learning where things were, doing her best to figure out shortcuts and quick ways across town. She might need to get anywhere in a matter of moments, and it would be better to know how to get, oh, everywhere before there was a crisis or some desperation in the trip. Besides, she wasn't entirely ready to unpack yet. She'd picked a place that sat up on a small rise, giving her something of a view of her new home, but which mostly meant that she had a nice breeze blowing through her bedroom window.

For now, though, she paused in the doorway of a shop, hands laced behind her and resting against her hips as she leaned in and peered around curiously. When she spotted the person she thought was the proprietor, she smiled brightly and called out, "Hello!"

Aug. 22nd, 2008


Open to All- Early Evening

The market square was covered in a large tent, glittering candles lighting up the green and the cobblestoned area. There was a feast, laid out for all new arrivals from the week before. Not all of the city were there by any means, though all had been invited. Still. The party was some 500 strong, food was readily available wine flowed, and there was dancing, a live band playing lively music.