Queen of Hearts

Mildred never played cards. Her husband never dared request otherwise. The short, tight-lipped man held his gaze solemnly downcast, and hadn’t spoken a word since he married her. Let alone uttered a request that she might play cards. Mildred showed a fancy for the finer things in life. She particularly admired the wildlife on the walls. She had a strange liking for a detached head that rather befuddled her own. Although she would never speak of such improper likings to anyone. Still, she thought the glassy-eyed, fur stuffed articles were quite mesmerising. And if she were so permitted to feel adventurous, she snuck out. Into the shed where she watched as men brought their victory home. Cut the head and masterfully filled and tacked it together. Her thoughts were perhaps improper but her pathetic, wasteful, useless, incompetent, sorry excuse for a husband, wouldn’t think badly of her. She gazed at him, at his shortness.

She ran a sharp red nail over the wooden armchair she sat on. The light caught on a silver sequence that was sewn on her white lace glove. They appeared like stars for they were very small. The men carried on playing their cards. They didn’t notice the clouds that now curtained the sun. Mildred sipped on a fine teacup that held earl grey tea. She drank it straight without sugar. The eyes of the men were pathetic. They glinted ever so slightly if she caught them in their pursuit to stare at her red lips, or her red curls that draped over her bare shoulder. She enjoyed wearing gowns that sat just below her shoulders. Her husband brought a new style monthly and let her re-make the rest. Her dressmaker tried to make her a hat once. He didn’t visit all that much once she was through with him. Still, she couldn’t help it if they fawned on her or stared. After all, it was only appropriate that they showed their appreciation. She thought she might like a beautiful mans head on her wall one day. But that was only as a laughable thought, which was not to be taken seriously.

‘John! Johny, sit, sit,’ yelled Adrian De Paul.

‘My dear Lady Mildred what a pleasure,’ he tipped his hat before setting it down, ‘Are you delighting these scoundrels by playing a hand of cards?’

His eyes were a rich, dark brown, which squinted as he smiled.

‘I couldn’t. I am rather hopeless at playing games,’ replied Mildred, a smile or rather a smirk overtook her as she regarded his nerve in talking with her.

‘I had hoped as much. For I have a sonnet I wish to say to you.’

‘Do you? And what does my husband say of this?’

‘Not a word my dear, now please let me go on without interruption,’ unsure of herself and his intentions she gave a slight nod.

 

‘Queen of hearts never in blue,

You render me boisterous to sing of you.

Paint the roses, not aqua, nor cream, for they are the brightest red.

Stained is my heart, my queen.

I am lost but do not wish to escape,

For your gaze and your beauty, none can replicate.

 

Queen of hearts your beauty rein true,

A kiss is a fortune, for none has red lips quite like you,

Queen of hearts your beauty rein true,

Permit me a dance tonight, I beg of you.’

Her reply was interrupted by hunting dogs and such distractions and so none heard the answer. But in her heart, she may have said yes.

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