Caitlin Mason

Photo by Oleg Oprisco

Caitlin Mason was an awkward child. Given to bouts of clumsy, and seldom on point when it came to interpreting conversational subtleties, she became used to the phrase “the lights are on but nobody’s home” being tossed about in her presence- even if she hadn’t a clue what it meant.

Caitlin’s mother, a woman very preoccupied with keeping up appearances, was devastated with Caitlin’s little ineptitudes, and went to great lengths to ensure Caitin was taken to task at every infraction- often beating the sense into her that had evidently not been included in her birthright- behind properly closed doors.

By sixteen, Caitin’s mother had browbeaten what she considered the basics into her young daughter. Caitlin spoke only when spoken to. Did as she was told. Never declined the invitation of a social better. And above all, always acted as if she was enjoying herself- especially when she was not.

With the season upon them, and anyone who was anyone debuting their female prodigy to society as was customary, Caitin’s mother, not willing to suffer the social mortification of holding back a daughter who was clearly not ready to be debuted- drilled her young daughter ever so fiercely in preparation. 

The eve of the first ball of the season, Caitlin’s dance card filled quickly with the sons of lords and dukes and her mother could not have been more pleased. Caitin’s newfound poise and grace, the result of many years of hard-fought tutelage- was at last paying off in kind.

The name of a young Marquess stood out from the others in Caitlin’s mother’s socially adept mind as the most advantageous prospect- so she took Caitlin aside and made it clear- in no uncertain terms- Caitlin must do whatever she was called upon to do, to impress the young Marquess.

Caitlin’s mother looked on with great pride, as the young Marquess escorted her daughter off the dance floor and into the moonlit garden. She even defied convention informing the few who hadn’t witnessed it for themselves, that the young Marquess had evidently taken a special interest in her humble daughter.

Not long into the season however, a disturbing din was tittering among the entitled ranks. A bit of shadow was being cast on Caitlin’s virtue- seemingly at the hands of the young Marquess. He continued to fill Caitlin’s dance card however, so her mother chose to turn a deaf ear.

Her father however, having never really been in favor of debuting Caitlin at all, feeling her very unsuited to so many attentions, took it upon himself and followed his daughter and the young Marquess, into the moonlit garden one night. And his interest had not come a moment too soon.

Finding the young Marquess forcing himself upon his daughter, her skirts lifted, his hand thrust between her thighs, panting, “You want me, don’t you? Tell me how much you do.” To which Caitlin replied as her mother had instructed. “Indeed I do, Lord Sothebury”, was more than he could bare.

The young Marquess was quick to retreat once he realized he had been found out, leaving Caitlin’s father to look into his frightened daughter’s eyes, large as dinner plates reflecting anguish and trepidation as she stammered,”You will explain to Mother, won’t you, how hard I was trying to comply.” 

This piece was inspired by the photo prompt provided on MLMM By Nekneeraj. It has been accented with Eugenia’s Brew-N-Spew word of the week, Awkward, and Fandangos Word of the day, Task, and Misky’s twiglet this week, Dinner Plate. It was also written in 50 word increments- just because I enjoy the challenge.

In addition, I am submitting it as my first entry to a prompt on a blog- new to me- called Genre Scribes hosted by Susan T. Braithwaite. This weeks Friday Fiction Challenge calls for something that involves communication, or perhaps the lack there of…

21 thoughts on “Caitlin Mason

  1. Not funny really, but I couldn’t help the smile. My mother drummed social etiquette into me. Always remember to say please and thank you. You might be asked to come again. Oh yes, indeed, it worked a treat. And again, and again, and again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Caitlin, brainwashed by her mother. It seems some parents instill what they lacked in the minds of their children, whether right or wrong. Excellent story, Violet, and thank you for joining the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bravo! But, poor Caitlin. I think we’ve all been there–though not to that extent–to please an overbearing parent. Glad her father eventually took notice. Thanks for joining the challenge, and for highlighting the others–I’ll be bookmarking them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, aren’t you the multitasker, VL, Caitlin’s mother would be proud. Love your take on the photo and the wonderful story that evolved. Lights on/Nobody home, so clever.


  5. Those who manipulate others should be maligned…
    I was always ‘cute’ so had to resort to my own cunning…. I think I did just fine.
    Much to my Mother’s dismay I am still not a fashionista.


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