Halfway there…


Adding more to a previous story. Minerva Goes to Mrs. Fellinghast’s Time Travel Fair.

For Time Travelers, Witches, and Saints: A Compendium of Lesser Known Time Travels and Other Terrors.

Gregory Baines sat at the table and waited for his daughter to bring him dinner. He waited longer than usual. The table settings were in place. Shiny cutlery gleamed on white napkins. A few fresh flowers graced the center of the table.

He considered the flowers. They weren’t typical of his daughter’s effort at housekeeping, but they were not uncommon. As long as they didn’t cost him anything, he didn’t mind such fancies. Females needed a few pretty things…in moderation, of course. He cleared his throat. It wasn’t his habit to shout in his own house unless provoked. He was, after all, a reasonable man and patient father.

“Minerva,” he said as if she sat in the room with him. But her place remained empty. He turned his attention to the kitchen door. He realized how quiet it was. Surely she hadn’t gone to sleep. It was true he was home late, but that was nothing new.

That familiar knot tightened in his chest. He reminded himself how reasonable and patient he was and gripped the nearest fork. The metal warmed in his hand. When his knuckles ached, he let the fork go and it clattered on the table. This was too much, making him wait after a long day earning their keep.

He pushed himself away from the table. Since his daughter’s birthday, he found her more and more often, gazing out windows and sleeping more than was proper. He supposed he need to apply himself to finding Minerva a husband, buy such endeavors bored him and took him away from his work. Nor was he inclined to be lose his daughter’s presence in the apartment. He’d have to hire a girl to cook and tidy up.

He didn’t delude himself either that finding a husband for Minerva would be easy. She wasn’t pretty enough to distract from her pittance of an inheritance. Her fool of a mother hadn’t minded her money near well enough.

His throat scratched and he coughed. She’d pushed his reason and patience beyond common sense. He couldn’t be expected to wait a moment longer. He marched across the room to the kitchen door. The girl had to know better than to make him come into the kitchen after her.

But a dark kitchen greeted him. Nothing simmered on the stove. No plates waited on the counter. And no daughter sat daydreaming at the window. He scanned the floor, but she wasn’t stretched out across it.

Gregory Baines shouted his daughter’s name, but immediately cursed himself for not realizing sooner the quiet of the apartment. He’d been waiting for dinner and she’d been long gone.

He’d have to search for her. Striding form the kitchen and to the front room, his wife’s portrait caught his eye. “You have a lot to answer for,” he muttered. And pulling on his coat, he took care to slow down in the hall. It would never do for the neighbors to know the curse continued its work.


Thanks for reading!


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