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Tea Time

Tea Time

By myevanescentself

The day was cool and sunny filled with happy birds, busy squirrels, and pitifully nervous parents. Jane sat in a rumbling carriage labeled “The Queen’s Grace”, and pondered the important task ahead of her. She was on a dangerous mission with her mother and father- or at least that was what she told herself to ease the aching premature boredom that rests with the Queen and her elusive tea party. She very much disliked going to such formal events, for she had always made herself look like a complete and utter idiot; or at least that is what everyone at the events tell her afterward, including her parents.
Jane had found herself bored even before they arrived at the social gathering and decided to pass the time by annoying her mother. She could always count on her mother to ramble on about anything that made her uncomfortable- a sort of “coping mechanism” as the doctor so intelligently described it. Jane, finding her mother’s anxiety relatively entertaining, preferred this over silence. (Once at a party, Jane performed an imitation her mother by babbling incomprehensible words very loudly while making unnecessary body movements that looked strikingly similar to a monkey. Unfortunately, her mother did not enjoy the performance very much.) Managing to find her breath in her tightest dress in which she was harnessed; Jane asked her fidgeting mother, “Do tell me again why I was so forcefully invited to go to the Queens funeral.”
Her mother looked beside her to her husband, gave him a look so vile that he started, and replied, “Jane, for the final time, this is a tea party hosted by the Queen herself. Your father and I were informed that this tea party should include our daughter, even though she is only thirteen years of age and has a history of- JANE! REMOVE your finger from your nostril at ONCE!”
The finger was slowly removed. “Well, nonetheless, it is an honor…” Jane had stopped listening to her mother ramble on and daydreamed about a giant squid devouring the queen- who was inside of a casket, in a giant teacup.
The fantasy in Jane’s mind was interrupted by the abrupt stop of the vassal carrying them. “Looks like we’re here.” said Jane’s father in his regular melancholy fashion. “On you go sweetie, watch for the step now- that’s it.” Jane looked at him, still dazed from the transition of her consciousness, and set off into the fabulous courtyard. Her vision spun from the entrance of the castle to the pebbled walkway- and she was quickly pulled to the ground. “Darn gravity.” She muttered.
She was helped to her feet by a stranger in an odd uniform with a horrifying, tall, black, animal-like hat that was perched nonchalantly on his head. She cut off her prolonged scream as she directed her attention to her mother, who in fact, demanded everyone’s attention- quite purposefully- and quite obviously. Stumbling out of the carriage herself, she loudly exclaimed, “Oh! My poor darling! Why, your shoe was unbuckled- come here and I will fix it for you.” In this, Jane was quite confused, for her shoes were uncomfortably tight on her feet, and they did not have buckles.
Her mother rushed to her, red faced and shaking, and looked around almost as if she was mortified in embarrassment. Then, leaning down, she pretended to buckle the imaginary loose shoe. “Jane!” she whispered, “For goodness sake, be careful! Did you not hear a word I said on the way here? I knew this was a bad idea, bringing children to a formal tea party…” Her mother’s voice tailed off in Jane’s head, for she was much more interested in the bee that landed on her mother’s bonnet.
They were escorted to a large room with numerous couches that looked as if a giant knitting bag erupted, for doilies covered short of everything the room contained. She quickly and negligibly walked past a group of people and made her way to a small table near an over-stuffed sofa chair (which, for the record, had no fewer than three doilies glazed over its pristine, fabric surface). But it was not the irrational number of doilies on the sofa chair that caught her attention, no- it was the item on the little table that left Jane in gaping in awe. She stared at a simplistic painting of a pear, neatly placed in the center of the tiny table. It was in a picture frame that had a layer of glass between her sticky, poking and prodding fingers.
“Why must there be a frame around such a beautiful painting! It’s almost as if they didn’t want it to be felt, only seen. Sight is but one of the five human senses and it is torturous to only be able to use one of them on such a fascinating piece of artwork.” She muttered, picking it up in order to observe the strokes of the painters brush in better detail. Removing her finger from her left nostril, she sneakily removed the painting from its cage-like container. She then tried to taste it, for she was most curious to see if it tasted like itself (after all, it was exceptionally realistic).
In the background, adults and well-mannered children conversed in polite and mildly hushed tones. They’re conversations were rudely interrupted by a loud crash of glass. Looking over to the source of the startling sound, the group saw Jane near a broken picture frame and countless fragments of shining glass scattered about the floor.
Jane thought quickly, and sputtered, “That wicked beast!” The small crowd of about twelve people (of whom Jane had not yet given the pleasure of critically assessing) only stared. One lady with a rather bulbous hat asked, “Pardon?” Jane countered defensively, “Why, did you not see it? A small spotted grey cat jumped onto the table here and knocked off this marvelously interesting picture of a pear. It ran off, as quickly as it came, probably lurking in the shadows to strike again!” Her expression of absolute terror, as believable as it was, conjured only silence.
At once, Jane’s mother threw another subject of discussion into the faces of the other guests. Warily, they turned to her and as before, contributed to the conversation. Jane listened for a moment and discovered that everyone gave the weak impression that their story or comment was more important than the others.
“How odd.” She murmured. “Indubitably.” She answered to herself. She set off into the corner opposite the crowd, avoiding the broken glass, adventuring for another item of interest to hold her attention. “Oh, when would this party be over!” she thought, “What a shame it is that I feel so bored before the main event- which I know will be even less interesting- has even started!”
Her eyes met a great statue of a previous Queen, and she instinctively made her way towards it- then tripped over a large ginger cat that was contently sleeping behind the couch, and managed to make a muffled scream. The odd sound that came from her lips harmonized with the cats yell as she knocked over the bust she was about to intimately observe.
The shatter of the statue was immediately followed by a turn of a door handle. A butler, dressed suspiciously like a penguin (like one of which you would find a picture of in some scientific journal) waltzed into the room and witnessed Jane standing up from behind the couch and a spitting cat prancing away as cats do when they are surprised and dangerously agitated. He ignored her red and confused face along with the expression of shock that everyone else in the room shared and announced that the tea party was about to begin.
Turning on his heel, the guests expectantly followed him into a long hallway that flowed into a private courtyard in which cushioned chairs of wicker were conspicuously placed around a stone table. Jane was the first to slump in her chair with a great, forced sigh, and watched as the others gracefully lowered their bodies in a fashion that was quite the opposite of her.
She then decided that she would mimic the formal actions of her fellow partygoers, not because her mother told her so (which in fact made her want to do the exact opposite), but because she felt that she was singled out from the rest for unknown and certainly prejudice reasons.
The black and white butler and ten of his penguin clones announced the arrival of the Queen. This disturbance from her recollection distracted her from the solemn vow she made mere seconds ago. She saw a stirring that signified that all were readying to stand. She snickered at their feeble attempts to raise themselves with the grace that she lacked, and forced her body upward (in order to show the snobby rich people how to stand) which sent her chair flying backward. She then dove for it, picked it up, and struggled to heave it back to the table. It was not heavy, but very large, making it hard for her to balance above her head.
The Queen, her penguins, and her guests stared as she tripped and clutched the hem of her mother’s dress to steady herself. Her mother stumbled but remained standing, petrified, as Jane used both hands to pry herself up off of the ground by climbing her mother’s gown. After standing for a moment or two, she caught her breath; and a quick but effective murmur stroked the silence. Jane then neatly ‘dragged’ her chair to the table, now aware that there was a simpler solution to fixing her problem.
The Queen sat down and order settled among the party. “Thank you all for coming to my little gathering. I’m so glad you all could make it.” She gave a smile to everyone. “I would like to start a new tradition of bringing the government officials’ and they’re children to a tea party every year, to show appreciation…” The Queen dragged on and Jane was hopelessly lost in her own thoughts about the evening. Did they believe that there really was a monster cat in the waiting area? Will I get a scolding when we return home? Are the butlers really clones? If so, certainly the Queen is the head alien. It is only fitting.
Jane, fighting the urge to scream out of sheer boredom, couldn’t contain her rage, and logically decided to scream-with her mouth closed- for nobody would be able to hear if her lips were shut, for that was where the sound escaped. She sucked in a dangerous amount of air, and her chest expanded to a rather frightening size. She then forced a scream with all her might (while keeping her mouth shut) and a shrill sound- a sound of complete horror, one you would relate to a person being murdered, resonated inside her throat, and a majority of the guests jumped. Some who had known her before had the knowledge that her actions were not unusual, and learned to just not look. With mouths gaping and eyes wide, they all watched Jane, now heaving in frustration. She slowly returned to her normal breathing frequency.
Amazingly, the kind chief alien Queen directed their attention to the large pillars she recently had re-painted. Jane was tired. She was bored. She was hungry. She hated tea. Aliens made her feel uncomfortable.
She planned to kick someone across the table, you know, to spice things up a bit, but she decided against it. Instead, she took her napkin from the table and fidgeted with it, attempting to tear it to shreds to release her womanly tension. Seeing that it was cloth, it was harder than she anticipated, and using her muscles, she strenuously pulled on that napkin. She grunted and strained every part of her body- she really put her back into it- when suddenly, she heard a piercing rip. She felt the eyes of every guest on her, and she replaced her napkin to its original position on the table, despite its untidiness.
Jane was mortified. She saw no tear in the napkin whatsoever. She felt the back of her dress, and sure enough, it was ripped. The seams were split in two along her lower back.
The Queen, who could see Jane’s undergarments from where she sat, took this opportunity to end the party. Jane and her mother rushed outside and waited for her father who had a quick chat with the Queen. He appeared in the doorway, and the family of three made their way to the carriage.
"To be completely honest," Jane's father said, "I was absolutely bored out of my wits. Thank you my dear, for creating a more sophisticated exit than last time."
"Yes, it was a favorable excuse, as opposed to a roaring fire consuming the house, or an unexpected and unexplained death." agreed Jane's mother. Jane nodded excitedly. "I think I'm getting the hang of this."

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14 Oct, 2010
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10 mins
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