It was the word “madam” that particularly irked her.
“It is with regret, madam, that we are unable to allow you and your companion into our restaurant for lunch today.”
“But we’ve booked and you hardly seem busy.”
She stretched up tall to see over the man’s crisp shoulder and could see plenty of empty tables. The maitre’d looked back at her sternly. Unquestioning, unmoveable.
Actually it he didn’t look at her - madam - his eyes shifted sideways to glance at her companion from the ruffled hair with its kitchen scissors cut to the down at heel scuffed lace up boots poking out from the unruly hem of the long velvet gown.
Otis had a style all of her own, out of time and out of place.
The maitre’d implied it wasn’t a style appreciated in such an establishment as this.
Melanie’s own style was of course impeccable, coiffured hair, cashmere pashmina, skirt fashionably just above the knee and freshly polished court shoes.
Otis nibbled the side of her thumb nail, a nervous habit. She pulled a bit of skin off between her teeth and spat it with precision at the maitre’d.
It landed on the lapel of his jacket. A slice of moonlight on the darkest night.
He flicked it off with a manicured fingernail.
“Please, madam, it would be advisable for you and your companion to leave, without fuss.” He added.
Melanie wanted to stand her ground in her sturdy, sensible shoes, speak up for the little people, the persecuted, the unloved and unlovable.
The pashmina of convention was beginning to strangle her and she felt the heat rise up from her chest and cause her face to flush.
They had a reservation!
Melanie became more indignant and flustered almost missing the swift movement beside her as Otis reached under her skirts to pull out a sharp dagger from her boot.
It was like no dagger ever seen on earth before; it was translucent and shone brightly like the moon.
Otis plunged it into the man’s heart, removed it with the same dispassionate ease, wiped the blade on her skirt and replaced it safe in its hiding place.
The maitre’d stood for a second, and then tilted his head to one side, quizzically.
After what seemed like an age he slumped to the ground, eyes staring up at them. Melanie couldn’t bear to look and so unwound her restrictive scarf and threw it over his prone body.
“We’d better get out of here,” she said looking around furtively. “We can’t go in now.”
It was Otis’s turn to look puzzled, “but there are tables free and we have a reservation.”
There was logic to her statement and she defiantly stepped over the hurdle she had just obliterated.
Melanie took a last look down, it seemed as though a scarlet rose was blooming on the discarded pashmina. Something new had been born.
Lifting her head, all fears and propriety swept aside, she entered the restaurant to eat.
A story inspired by this song