Every morning at sunrise, the landscape surrounding the estate seemed to burst with life the moment the morning flames came into view. Rolling hills of green, green grass without a flower or weed upon them stretched for miles around before encountering any signs of life. The lone home sat isolated amongst a much larger and well-groomed meadow. The miles of her property was breathtaking but void of life – almost as if no living creature dared take a step within the borders owned by her gaze. Indeed, even the entire island itself seemed to respond to her unspoken requests. She commanded the daily activities of every person who dared set foot on her sand – she owned them and she was staunch that they remember it. The island was beautiful because she required it. The colors of the earth sang because she commanded it. And no living thing entered her world but that she killed it.
This particular morning The Chauffeur was up early to take her to her weekly spa treatment. They began the journey in silence, hearing nothing but the mechanical melody of the engine.
The Chauffeur turned towards her to say something when suddenly she shrieked!
“STOP!!!” she cried.
He whipped around to see a cyclist barreling in front of the car out of control. Pulling with all his strength, he swerved right, hitting the back of the bicycle and sending its engineer wailing into the street. The Chauffeur jumped out of the car racing to the rider’s side and assessing his condition. Unexpectedly, while he was examining a particularly deep wound, Miss Taylor appeared behind him. The cyclist backed up.
“Woah, woah, come back here, we need to look at that,” implored The Chauffeur. Upon recognizing the look of bewilderment on the cyclists face, The Chauffeur turned and peered up at Miss Taylor, now standing over him and nearly combusting with rage. Her words began soft and clear in a meager attempt to feign reason.
“What are you doing here?” she seethed.
The Chauffeur glanced back at the cyclist. They know each other?
The panicked cyclist shook his head, backing up further and attempting to pull himself to his feet.
“Answer me!” she cried. “You are not supposed to be here!” The volume of her voice was quickly increasing, the tension in her muscles following suit.
“I….I” the cyclist muttered, “I was just….riding my bike…” he trailed off, unsure how to continue.
She was in no mood for excuses. She stepped over to the bike, pulled it off the ground – the rear wheel and spokes bent beyond repair – and held it out.
“Just get out of here.” She said with disgust. “If this happens again, I’ll have you thrown off this island.”
The boy’s look of utter confusion was eclipsed by the opportunity for escape. Keeping as much distance between him and Miss Taylor as possible, he snatched the bike and ran off down the road, tripping and stumbling on his way.
The Chauffeur stared as Miss Taylor in disbelief. She snickered at him, shook her head, and returned to the car.
When they arrived at the spa, Miss Taylor was in good humor. She gladly took The Chauffeur’s arm as he escorted her inside and rang for the receptionist.
“Miss Taylor!” the young lady sang as she entered the room. “How lovely to see you again.”
Miss Taylor feigned a smile. “Yes, thank you. The usual please, Rebecca.”
“Of course!” Rebecca chimed and she pulled together the paperwork.
Feeling jovial from Miss Taylor’s light-heartedness, The Chauffeur leaned on the counter and winked at Rebecca, “You have something for me, too?” he teased.’
“Always, my dear,” Rebecca purred back.
Miss Taylor’s explosion of irritation at the scene before her manifested itself with a miniscule pause as she attempted her signature. She swallowed staring at her half-signature and silently berating her company for causing it, then meticulously finished it off without a hitch. She returned the paperwork to a grinning Rebecca and stalked out of the lobby to her waiting room.
That afternoon, after Miss Taylor had washed and rested, The Chauffeur returned to the house from his errands. Immediately he searched the windows for Miss Taylor as he always did after getting out of the car, hoping to see the cheery face he had experienced earlier that day. He found her at the sitting room window – her favorite spot – and flashed a discreet smile. His smile faded quickly as he realized it was not being returned, but was instead replaced by a deepening glare. He stood in confusion for a moment then took a step towards the door to check in on her. She immediately disappeared from the window. With a sigh of exasperation, The Chauffeur opened the garage to pull the car in.
The glare never left her face. During a conversation with the gardener later that day, the same steaming visage riveted towards him from the upstairs window.
He tried to approach her several times but she always disappeared into – well, he didn’t really know where. There were only so many rooms in the house and the expansive acreage didn’t provide much cover or convenience for a woman in heels. And yet she continually evaded him…only to return moments later from yet another far off domestic hovel, boring her reddened, blistery eyes into him like nails. His frustration at her little game began to grow.
The following morning The Chauffeur found himself more or less alone. She seemed to have found other endeavors with which to entertain her corrugated interests. He began to recover some of his swagger and thought to hope that perhaps the drama had passed and things could go back to the way they were before. He whistled a familiar tune on his way up to the house as he threw open the door to turn in the keys.
He immediately froze.
To be continued…