La Petite Mardi Gras
Susan Waterflower Bell
Walnut Hill was the playground for Vicksburg elite and powerful, it held the distention of being one of the oldest country clubs in the state of Mississippi. Its roster of members included former governs, mayors and chief of police, And like most country clubs in the magnolia state, the majority of the voting members where protestant and belonged to the Episcopal Church, where they where Laymen, Wardens and Vestry Members.
Susan took a deep breath as she peered out through the car window. The young teenager was dressed in a simple, but refined white cotton dress that reached down to her ankles. Long sleeves provided modesty and warmth as weather was cool, winters in Mississippi where light and sometimes mild. Right now, it seemed the cold, nail biting freezing weather had been halted as if god on his throne would allow a brief respite for the one week period of Carnival.
"Susan." Her mother said taking a deep breath as she looked up and peered at her daughter with a loving gaze through her rear view mirror. "Promise me, that you'll be good okay, mind your manners and such." She added as she smiled, her daughter was becoming a young women. She could sense it, her little girl was becoming a lady. In a way it made her proud, she could not wait to get back home, ring up her sister in far away Jackson and tell her the good news. This was something worth reporting.
"I promise mommy." Susan responded in a board tone of voice. Despite being almost thirteen years old, Susan still on those rare accessions found herself calling her mother "Mommy" and her father "Daddy" much to there chagrin of course. But for the most part they found it cute and took it as a sign that there daughter, through growing up was still there little princess.
"Good, remember." She said pulling into the parking lot and shutting the car off. "Be mindful of others, mind your manners, speak only when spoken too and listen.. A little too much champagne greases the lips and those lose lips sink ships. " There was a brief pause in the conversation, "Or in your cause, those lose lips can make ones social life a living hell." She added as a after thought as she peered into the inky darkness.
Susan titled her head a little in confusion and then quickly she blinked and nodded her understanding. Social and political forces where at work this night. Carnival balls where no laughing matter to the upper protestant class of small towns. And of course some balls where finer and though better than others, the one she was attending now was one of the best around, anybody who was anybody would be attending.
And keeping with tradition, all of them had names, the one she attending now was called "La Petit Mardi Gras" One could think of it as a scaled down version of the much older "La Mardi Gras" a ball that was ranked among the finest in Vicksburg and was even well thought of in the Jackson, the capital of Mississippi and the closet thing to Paris a southern girl could find.
"Yes ma'am." She said as she pushed open her door and stepped out. Quickly she closed the door behind her and started down the stone paved walkway. The pears of laughter and music filled the cool air. As she drew closer to building she took notice of the gathered crowds, some people had chosen to wear bright, colorful mask make of fake birds feathers, others had chosen to wear simple paper mask. Others wore no mask at all.
Regrouping her wits and courage she pressed on, pushing past the groups of party goes who where sitting upon stone bench's that where scattered around the lawn, some where flirting with other in the mild, novice ways only young teens can do. Some where even exchanging kiss's behind the shield of folding paper fans.
With each step she took, she took mental note of the "Players" Present in the field right now, the elite statues of the ball was quickly confirmed by the presents of only the cream of the middle school social crop.
"Good evening mademoiselle." A voice said from behind her. The voice had the refined tones of a southern gentleman. And spoke with the air of authority behind it, like a voice who was use to giving orders and fully expected them to obeyed at the drop of the hat.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she quickly spun around and peered toward the source of the voice, the voice belonged to a handsome youth, who's face was perfectly round and who's eyes seemed to shine out like a gem stone, his hair, long for a boy framed his face nicely. The boy had chosen to dress himself in a nice frock coat, a white shirt, form fitting blue trousers and study pair of old leather shoes. Pinned to the breast pocket of his coat, she could clearly see a reproduction of three medals belonging to the early French Republic.
"I've been following you, mademoiselle, ever since your recent appointment to office of Perfect, I've been watching you from the shadows. I'm sure in due time you'll be promoted to the office of Head Girl," The young gentleman as he strolled toward Susan, who was quite struck by his manner and the way the words flowed from his lip. "Allow me to introduce myself my name is Richard William Fields, Head Boy of Saint Katherine's Episcopal School." He paused to allow that to sink in a little.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she felt her cheeks flush with color. Her promotion from average, nameless student to Perfect had come as a surprised to her , it even shocked her mother and father more than it did her. She was not a trouble maker per say, but she did have something of a short temper. Her new position also required her to changed herself in ways, since the Perfects worked closely with the Student Council, often being seen as there strong arm if you will, there eyes and ears in the field. Developing a sense of tack had to be one of the first objectives to be reached. The first was for the most part a work in progress.
"Good evening.." Susan said offering a little bow.
"My dear, that any way to act toward you benefactor?" Richard said smirking a little as he strolled toward Susan, his dark green eyes flicked in the light cast by a dozen or so low hanging lamps. "I mean, did it not strike you as odd, that a invitation to one of the most sought after balls of the Carnival, should be delivered too you, in person by the captain of the cheerleading squad herself." He said stopping only a hairs breath away from Sue.
Susan blinked and quickly took a few steps back, the girl in question was blonde haired beauty by the name of Sarah Allen Woods, she was the queen of the school, along with her best friend Elizabeth Marie Smith who was Head girl the two command enough influence with the school to make or break any young aspiring women. Both where well connected with the varies clubs and groups that formed the cream of the social crop.
"Please pardon me.." Susan whispered under her breath as she shifted her eyes downward to avoid looking directly into his jade green eyes. "I had no idea that you where indeed my benefactor.. I did not mean to seem rude or anything." She finally said after a good long minute of racking her brain to come up with a proper response.
Richard forced a laugh as he reached down and took Susan's hand into his. "Think nothing of it my dear, your still learning, everybody knows that. But fear not, where here to teach you. I mean we, the ruling class must maintain at all cost the statues qua of school. And when somebody, such as yourself happens to pull themselves up," Richard once more paused as if searching for something. "But there boot straps as you like to say, we must show mercy and bring them up to are level if you will. Thus evaluating to are statues." Another long pause. "Does that make sense my dear?"
Susan felt her cheeks flush with color as she found herself peering once more toward Richard. She felt her blush grow as she felt his strong hands, holding hers, she opened her mouth to speak, but after thirty second she found herself at a lost for words, so she did the most polite thing she could think of, she closed her mouth and nodded her head, the world wide sign of understanding something.
"Good because, I've taken quite a liking to you Susan," He said reaching into his pocket, quickly he pulled out a string of Rosary Beads. "As you are kind of new to the ways of the bourgeoisie, please entrust me in finding somebody to teach you the proper lady like ways, taking this Rosary as sign of my good will."
Susan blinked and blinked again as she peered toward the pray beads, a boy offering his Rosary to a girl was another one of those odd traditions of carnival period. Normally when a boy offered something so personal as his pray beads or the coat button from his school blazer, it meant that the boy was conveying strong feelings of love and maybe a little lust to the girl in question. Quickly she collected her wits as she stepped forward and took the string of tiny glass balls into her hand .
"Merci Monsieur." Susan whispered as she folded her hands around the string of beads. "I look forward to, getting to know you and maybe even dancing with you tonight." She quickly added as she shifted her gaze down toward the brown cobblestones.
"I'm sure you will, I'm sure you will." He said turning upon his heels. "Now, the night is young, and the wine is plentiful. Go enjoy yourself, for I shall be calling upon you before the night is out." And with that he vanished into the shadows. Leaving Susan standing there, blushing like a bride at the alter.
"Goodnight sweet prince." Susan said taking a deep breath as she watched Richard vanish into the dark shadows that surrounded the country club. Quickly she folded the beads to her chest and a slight smile she folded the beads into one of the shallow pockets of her dress. Then rolling the mental dice she pushed into the bright light of the main light room.
Quickly she found herself surrounded by a dozen or women around her age, all of them wore fine ball gowns that would put the girls from Jackson, Memphis and Baton Rouge to shame. Quickly Sue had to compare the simple, white gown to ones wore by her fellow females. All of them seemed to seated upon high, leather back chairs, most where sipping sparkling wine from fine glass's.
"Well, Ladies, it seems we have another somebody, looking to join us." Sarah said taking a deep breath as she peered over the rim of her wine glass. "I believe dear, Elizabeth she is one of yours." She said closing her eyes as she drained her glass of the last bit of her wine.
Elizabeth blinked and blinked again as she peered toward Susan, slowly she lowered her glass as she peered toward the girl with her deep blue eyes. "Indeed, welcome Susan, I'm sure you understand, your place among us. And I'm sure, you'll do nothing to cause us harm, or else, you'll be punished." She said smiling softy as she nodded for one of the waiters to refill her glass with more clear wine.
"Careful.." Sarah said giggling a little as she took another sip of her wine. "That's your third glass, I'm afraid your lips might become a little too lose," She said taking a deep breath as she drained the last few sips from hers, slowly she eased the small glass down upon the table and with a quick of the head she nodded for the waiter to refill her own glass.
"Maybe, But come Susan, talk to us." She said patting the chair beside her, "The latest news on the street is, that you've been kicked out of your anime club and as a result the Kendo Team has put you on probation. All of this and your picked out for promotion." Sarah said smirking a little as she sipped her wine, she was testing Sue's mental defenses.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she took a deep breath and eased her bottom down upon the chair, she could tell she was being tested. She also knew that Sarah was the captain of the cheerleading team, and as such, she held the two co-captains both of whom where her cousins in the palm of her hand, this was due to family connections and the fact that she was the oldest of the trio. Slowly she put on a small smile as she peered toward Sarah, She had to careful with her words.
"Yes, it was a little misunderstanding between me and the club president that let to my dismissal. Nothing worth brining up." She smiled as one of the butlers offered her a glass of wine. Quickly she took a shallow drop, her pale cheeks flushed with color the minute she was finished. "But to honest with you, I could careless, I earned my Food Service Badge, and my Costume Making Badge out of the deal."
Elizabeth nodded her head.
"You know, we could use your talents. As you know, my mother is head director of the Vicksburg Acting Guild, and we'll soon start production of the seasonal drama 'Gold in the Hills'." She paused and took a deep breath as she turned her full attention toward Susan. "There is a problem though, where short of actors and stage hands, if you wish, I could put in a word for you and get you signed on. Both as a actor and stage hand."
Sarah quickly chimed in.
"And, as you know, all the cheerleaders are taking on rolls too, I mention this because by a chance a piece of paper dropped into my a lap a few weeks ago. It seems you have signed up for a cheerleading summer camp program this coming summer. Everything seemed in order, but as you know only a hand full of girls will be taken into the program." Sarah paused in order to built the tension and to collect her thoughts, "But as you know, my father knows people, who know people. If you where to help out with the play, it would give you a good chance to not only add luster to your name, but to bond with your future teammates, since we'll be drafting girls from that program directly into the squad next year."
Susan blinked and blinked again as she peered toward both girls. It seemed the rumors where true, here at these balls and behind the closed door of the country club, decisions where made that effected everybody and directed the flow and movements of the school. Here was the real seat of power.
"Thank you both for your consideration." She aid taking a deep breath. "But I think the dances are about to start, I wish you both a wonderful Carnival." Susan said quickly draining her glass. Then with all the grace she could muster she stood up and started toward another room where the sound of music and laughter was the strongest.
Both Sarah and Elizabeth just sat there smirking. Both pondering how to employ there newest pawn , both also wondering if this pawn was worth for promotion to Queen if by chance she reached the other side of the chessboard.
"Do you think are little pawn will make it across the chessboard." Sarah said taking a deep breath as she drained the last of her sparkling wine. Quickly she called for another.
"Depends, it seems she won the approval of Richard.. She'll have to trained though, there something a tomboy in there. That would of course need to be worked out of her, I do hear tell that the girls that run 'Rose's Bakery and Tearoom' are searching for hired help, young girls to train and teach. Maybe you could put in a good word for her." Elizabeth said draining her glass as well.
"Why?" Questioned Sarah as she took her offered glass.
"Don't you know dear, she and her little anime friends hosted a maid theme café this year, it was quite a smashing success among boys, but caused tempers to flare among the girls. If she wants to run around wearing a maid costume, then she should at least learn how to properly walk in high heels and get paid for her troubles."
"Indeed, though I still think she'll be chasing ghost. But its all good, I'm sure she'll be a hit at semiweekly slumber parties." Promoted Elizabeth. And with that conversation changed to something more pressing, like who was dating who.
Susan on the other hand felt her head swirling as she walked through the crowds, a good hour or so had passed since she had last seen Richard, and the highly polished wooden floor was slowly becoming thinner and thinner as both male and female found mates and partners for a little fun of there own. With concern written clearly upon her face, Sue scanned the ballroom as she waited with baited breath to see if Richard was still about.
"Welcome," Richard said smiling as stepped out from the shadows. "I've been waiting for you, I hope you enjoyed your little talk with Sarah and Elizabeth, but it seemed you two chatted a little too long, for you kept me waiting far too long." Richard said smiling softy as she walked over and peered directly into Susan's eyes.
"Sorry about that, but you know how girls are." Susan said smiling as she peered toward Richard.
"Think nothing of it, but as you know, the clock is about to strike twelve in just two hours, and a few minutes later, The Bells of St. Stevens, St. Katherine and St. Paul will all ring out across the city, proclaiming to the faithful that the feast has ended and the season of Lent is upon us. Fat Tuesday will once more melt in Ash Wednesday." Richard said taking a deep breath.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she slowly nodded her head. Another year of promises and giving up something in return for the blessing almighty, or in her case, another six weeks without chocolate.
"Of course, being the little brother of Comus, allows me to borrow his power a little. Meaning its well within my right to grant you one wish, no matter how silly or how insane it would be. The wealth of the Fields family is at your command." He said smiling.
Susan blinked and blinked again as she peered toward Richard, she felt like the whole evening thus far was nothing more than a dream, a very vivid fever dream, like the ones she had before while she was confined to the hospital. But no matter if this was a dream, then there was no harm in agreeing to his request. After all, she'll be a full to refuse him.
"I would like a gown, one of the finest gowns you can find in all of Vicksburg." She said smiling softy as peered toward Richard.
"Sure, consider it done, it would delivered before long. Now for me." He said smiling as he looked around the room, thankfully he just noticed that they where along right now, thankfully.
"I would like to spank you." He said walking over to a near by fireplace. Smiling he took down a thin, riding crop. Once the thin tool was in his hands he brandished it like a sword and with a little smirk he pointed it folded leather head toward Susan. "In return for granting my request, you shall have your gown, and you shall have the honor mademoiselle of being my date to spring formal. Where you dress the part in your brand new gown, if in case you are crowned queen." He said hinting at something with his oil slick tone of voice.
"You have a deal." Susan said as her cheeks flushed a little with color. How odd, she kind of liked the idea of being bent over the arm of one of the chairs and having her dress hiked up and her panties pulled down, maybe it was the wine rushing to her head, or maybe the bubble drink had loosen the chains placed upon her maiden heart.
"Good, very good." Richard said taking a deep breath as he walked over to Susan and smiling softy he reached down and took his hand into hers smiling as he did so. With that smile still upon his face, he guided her over to one of the old chairs that had been set up by the old fireplace. A cozy fire burned brightly behind the iron guards and cast a warm and welcoming glow over the room.
"Now as you know, you where very naughty, keeping me waiting like that." Richard said in a soft, playful tone of voice. "And you know what happens to naughty little girls don't you." He said gently guiding her toward the arms of the chairs. With a ease hand he positioned her so she leaning over the two arm rest and her bottom was standing up, a perfect target for his riding crop.
"No, no sir." Susan said purring like a kitten as she felt her dress being brought up and the cold leather head being placed upon her warm bottom. Her heart was running like a freight train and her eyes where starting to become moist. A whirlwind of emotions filled her head as she waited for Richard to respond to her.
"They get spanked and sent to bed early." Richard said smiling as he brought the head of the riding crop down upon her bottom, sending a sharp crack, he followed this up with another one and then another one and finally another one. Each time the cropped swung through the air in a perfect arc, and struck her bottom with a loud SMACK, a overpowering wave of sting followed with blinding wave of pure, raw of something strange and unknown to the young women.
Susan felt her body shutter as she felt the crop kiss her bottom over and over again, passing minute brought a spine tingling feeling that caused her blood to boil, he cheeks to flush a dark, blood red and her mind to be cast into the deep, dark and dangers pools of lust. But the only outward display of this building tension was a poor mimic of a cats purring sound.
Richard grinned as he gave her bottom a few more good strokes with the riding crop, his grin grew wider still as his ears soaked in the sound of the crop smacking upon her bottom. He could not help but feel his shaft becoming hard and stiff, taking a deep breath he vented the growing sexual frustration in the only way he knew possible, he struck her bottom again, again and again.
Susan closed her eyes and blushed softy as she felt her bottom starting to sting now, her bottom glowed like a new star being born in the night sky, Shivering a little she dug her fingernails into the arms of the chair, taking a deep breath she blinked away the mist gathering before her eyes.
Finally Richard could take it no more, smirking a little he placed the crop down upon the ground and walked over to Susan. Smiling he closed in and planted a kiss upon her lips, basic human instinct then took over as Susan leaned into the kiss and there two tongues connected, sending sparks and awaking new ideas and thoughts in the minds and hearts of the two young people. And so the kissed till the bells of St. Stevens rang out through the cold night air, soon the voice of St. Paul and finally there own home parish of St. Katherine. All three bells, loudly proclaimed the death of pleasure and opening of Lent.