Seasoning – Part 5

Vincent Van Gogh’s Avenue of Poplars

“I will Henry. You know I will.” Helen clucked while lifting her teacup from the saucer to blow the dust off. “Your situation has gotten entirely out of hand Henry. I know that if she were here…”

“Don’t you dare speak her name! You can’t possibly know what she would have wanted. What she wanted, what I wanted, what we both wanted was a long happy life together!”

“I don’t mean to be insensitive Henry…”

“Yes you do Helen! I told you, suit yourself. I’m finished.” Henry stood up to leave the room.

“Well Henry you should know I’ve made arrangements to employ a housekeeper. She’s coming today and starts her duties on Monday. I do expect you to be cordial. She will be staying in the guest wing. I understand that she not only cooks and cleans, but also has an affinity for gardening. By the looks of things out back, she will have her hands full.”

Henry stood motionless.

“A thank you is commonly uttered by the receiving party at this point. Honestly Henry you are a bloody mess. My visit did not come a minute too soon. By the way, I’m staying as well, until Hannah, that’s her name, gets things running smoothly.”


Across town Hannah swept her long brown hair into a twist on the top of her head. Her bags had been sent ahead to her new assignment.

She had spoken briefly with Helen who explained that she would be working for her brother Henry, a widower, providing cleaning and cooking as well as tending to the garden.

Gardening was Hannah’s first love. She grew up on the grounds of the Waverly Estate in a quaint server’s cottage with her parents. Her mother ran all of the household affairs and her father kept the grounds. She learned housekeeping from her mother and dutifully assisted her when she was old enough, but it was in the garden with her father that she discovered her true calling.

This, her first solo charge, was a dream come true! She donned her overcoat, kissed her parents goodbye, and headed through the towering poplar trees along the driveway to the street where a taxi waited.



This is installment number 5 of a continuing series for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge. Read previous parts HERE.


14 responses to “Seasoning – Part 5

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