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Scarlett O'Hara
June 27th, 2003, 12:05 AM
SYNOPSIS: The story of two sisters, Abby and Maude, who have, and have had, some rather interesting experiences in their lives.

Maude pushed open the other bedroom’s door and chimed good-naturedly “Wake up, sister. And good morning. Hugs and Kisses! Don‘t forget we have that american tour bus due in late morning.” Then hearing her grumpy older sister Abigail slurring “good morning” in return, Maude proceeded down the tightly turning staircase to their shop below.

Sunlight had barely danced over the horizon, illuminating the shop and casting the shadows caused by the thickly laced curtains. This was Maude’s favorite part of the day. And though she had tried to wake her sister, it would be another hour of shouting between them before Abby stomped downstairs, complaining about bills or lack of business or slow shipment from their suppliers. Abby was always complaining about something or someone as far as Maude was concerned.

Throwing open the windows and double doors, Maude inhaled the fresh cool air which rushed in to fill the space. Then looking up and down the streets that intersected in front of their shop, she smiled in her anticipation of what today might bring. Back inside, she filled the large porcelain water heaters and doubled checked the front settings before going to the back room. Once there, she put on her protective knee pads, garden smock and gloves. Then grabbing her gathering baskets and a tray of supplies and tools, she headed outside.

Maude and Abby Abbott owned The Prima Dona Tea Shoppe Ltd., located in the middle of Puddle Hill, a small quaint village of old shops and houses. To be precise, High Street came up the hill and passed in front of their shop, continuing round the hillside. BlueHorse Road approached from the east and dead-ended into High Street and slightly offset from the Buttermilk Farm Road tie-in. So their shop was in a perfect location. Though antiques were primarily their bread and butter, their reputations had grown over the specialized service they gave on tea blending. The main source of revenue for the 73 and 75 old year sisters was from the investments which Abby had managed successfully for decades and decades. Followed by touring tea and antigue groups, and finally from their local folks. The local clientele was the most interesting to Maude.

Whistling, or trying to, Maude smiled at the morning as she checked the condition of her climbing roses, snipping some perfect ones for the shop’s crystals vases. Trailing rose vines, among other things, climbed trellises which echoed the shape of each shop window. The exterior of the shop was washed with an extremely pale flesh/pink color while the shutters and wooden doors were high-glossed aqua. Running nearly a yard wide out from the shop was gardening plots. And though they did officially extend into the public’s sidewalk, no one ever complained.

Sinking to her knees, she carefully weeded and worked some fertilizer into the soil. Hearing the bird sing to her, Maude realized how long she had doddled in her flowers and yelled up to the window above her “ABBY! ABBY! WAKE UP, DEAR!”

“Ug!” groaned the still sleeping Abby. She hated this time of the day and slowly pulled each body limb from out of the warm covers. After a quick morning routine, she was dressed in her usual soft knit shirt and overalls covered in patches. She cursed the tightly turning staircase as she heard Maude scream “ABBY!” again from outside.

“Damn, she sounds like an old crow calling me every morning.” thought Abby. As usual the first thing she did was check the porcelain water heaters and sure enough Maude had forgotten to plug them in. Abby shook her head in frustration. She then proceeded to the small kitchen to prepare the variety of scones for that damned American tour bus group due in soon.

June 27th, 2003, 03:34 AM
Maude entered through the back door trying to balance as she slipped off her outdoor shoes. She wobbles from side to side, soil dripping from her gardening gloves.

Abby shook her head saying one word “Soil,”

Maude replied “Cherries”

“Pardon?” Abby huffed pushing back her the strand of silver hair, which had fallen down across her nose.

“Scones. Cherries in. Flour on your nose. Yes! “ The yes was shouted as her thick-soled out door shoe clattered across the kitchen.

“Pick that up. Clean that up and go check the shop.” Abby ordered adding “Why cherries?”

“Americans eat too much red meat.” Maude announced as she stripped off her gardening smock. “Cherries remove toxins and cleanse the kidneys. They also make you go and help prevent gout.”

“Only if you eat a lot of them,” Abby shook her head as she gently kneaded the scone dough. Abby was very skilled, she knew instinctively how much kneading and how much milk to make the right consistency. She also never used a rolling pin. Just the gentle pressure of her palm to tease the dough into a layer just over an inch thick.

Maude smiled washed her hands and filled a plastic bottle with water. She placed the bottle in her basket of roses and picked it up. Then basket in hand and bare-footed Maude left the kitchen mumbling, “ Now where did I leave my glasses?”

Abby’s voice followed her, “Soil, clean up. Oh, never mind I will do it. Glasses are on the tea counter. And take the knee pads off!”

The shop, if you could call it that was split into three or rather it had three sections that blended into each other, just like a good tea.

One was a small maze of small neat tables for four. Each table was covered with an under-cloth of pale pink and aqua, topped with a delicate lace cloth. Maude went round filling the small glass vase on each with water and a rose. As she did, she checked the place settings and the sugar bowls, which had been done last night after closing.

Everything seemed in place, good girls Ann and Sara, Maude would miss them after the summer. But they were off to university in October and this summer job waiting on at the Tea Shoppe will long be forgotten before Christmas.

Maude moved to the left and she stepped over the barrier into the antique Shoppe, here fine furnishing jostled one another. Dolton figures preened themselves and 18th century Georgian silver commanded the eye. Maude picked up an 1850 cavalry sabre and twirled the blade round her head.

Abby’s voice boomed from the kitchen. “Put it down before you do some damage.” Maude sighed and placed the blade back on its stand her fingers lingering on the faded silk tassels.

The third and last part of the Shoppe called her and she made her way into the semi-darkened area of the “Tea Shoppe” proper. Here was a long high oak counter with a solid brass cutting edge on one side. The length was set with a pile of thick cream paper to wrap the tea in. (No plastic bags, the sisters did things the old fashioned and correct way) two sets of brass weighing scales and a Victorian till. Behind the counter the wall was a mass of large metal “Tea Caddies” All dark black and enamelled with pictures of old China and India. Some looked as new others seemed so old that one could believe that they had held tea since it had been discovered 5000 years ago. The air was heavy with the scents of tea and as Maude passed the smallest of the caddies, which contained a rare blend of Darjeeling, the red dragon on the container winked at her.

“Behave yourself, Americans coming.” Maude remarked to thin air. The dragon on the caddie pouted and curled its long length round the tin even tighter. “Don’t,” Maude waved a finger at the beast. “If they want the tea then I must sell it, even if it might be wasted on the palate of some.”

Scarlett O'Hara
June 27th, 2003, 04:47 AM
The enameled red AGA sat ever ready to welcome the scones but Abby set them in the nearby warmth "to rest" before baking. One never rushed good scones! The dough needed to be gently coaxed, then allowed to relax before baking. The resulting delicacy would be so light it would nearly float off the serving plate, and would melt instantly in the mouth.

Maude would always listen for the first 'aahhhh' which everyone always softly issued upon tasting Abby's scones. Invariably, Abby would blush, dismiss the sounds with a wave of her hand and say "I've made better." And, of course, everyone would declare that a better scone was impossible. Abby's scone 'ceremony' was as precise as Maude's afternoon tea 'ceremony'.

"Sweeping walkway!" yelled Abby to Maude who was lost in the tea shoppe proper. Outside she sighed at the clumps of soil littering the sidewalk. Maude's flower beds were the most beautiful in England but she always forgot to sweep away the trail of soil.

Finishing her sweeping, she saw 'her' coming - their first unofficial customer each morning. Abby waved and hurried inside to the kitchen, retrieving the silver dishes. One contained leftover dinner scraps and the other contained water. Back outside, she set them next to the teak bench and sat heavily, tired from her sweeping.

The black-and-white collie hurried to her, licking her profusely and then devoured the scraps and lapped the water. Sitting back on its haunches, it growled and whined. Abby dismissed the comments with a wave of her hand and said "Just Rosemary-Chicken Pot Pie. I've made better." A few more growls and whines, a good scratching behind the collie's ears and it was hurrying away to some morning adventure.

"Interesting news." Maude said from the nearby doorway.

Abby nodded "Yes. Guess we should get her tea blended?"

"Wait. She likes to ensure we mix everything proper." Maude reminded.

Abby huffed "Proper! That woman knows nothing proper, cavorting with a future king that way. Shameless!"

"Hush sister. Not our place." scolded Maude seriously.

"Alright! Pretty day." sighed Abby sitting back on bench and patting the seat next to her.

Taking her seat, Maude smiled "No! Beautiful day."

"It would be if you took off those damned awful knee pads, sister!" rebuked Abby.

And so another day had started for the Abbott sisters, proprietors of The Prima Dona Tea Shoppe, Ltd.

June 27th, 2003, 12:33 PM
Abby went back to check her scones which left Maude sitting in the sun, least for a few minutes. She heard the large range rover pull up out side the shop accompanied by the slam of doors and the crunch of green wellies.

She stood up, stripped off the kneepads and padded back into the Shoppe, Her sister of course had beaten her to it.

Abby was blending the tea as Mrs P~B watched. Abby, was watching Mrs P~B's fingers tapping on the counter. One young man was watching Abby and the other young man was watching the vehicle through the window. Maude of course was watching everyone.

She moved behind the counter and bobbed her head to Mrs P~B, who gave a tight smile and said, “The blend you do for…”

“Yes?” Abby asked a little sharply.

“She asked me to pick up….”

“Did she now?” Abby words made it plain she did not believe it.

Maude looked over at the young man watching Mrs P~B and mouthed at him " did she?"

The young man winked. Maude smiled and took the small stepladder, placing it against the shelf full of tins. “Royal blend 50 and counting.” She mumbled.

“That’s it.” Mrs P~B said and gave Abby a small look of triumph. “She has the PM coming down.”

“Yes,” The young man coughed and looked at his watch.

“Well in that case,” Abby softened slightly. “You will be wanting a couple tins of scones and some jam.

“Any going spare?” the young man’s partner by the window asked.

“You lot will eat all my profits.” Abby huffed and went off to get the scones, leaving Maude to deal with Mrs P~B.

“Doesn’t like me does she?” The lady said as she picked up the wrapped tea.

“Not that keen on anyone really.” Maude answered. “ Nothing personal.”

Scarlett O'Hara
June 27th, 2003, 08:57 PM
Abby returned from the kitchen, and handed the package for Mrs. P~B to Maude to conclude business. She held two extra packages in each arm. Motioning to the young men, she slid them each a double bag of scones and fresh made jam. "One bag for each of you, and one to go home to your Mrs! NO sneaking from your second bag." ordered Abby.

"No M'am." "Many thanks M'am!" answered the young men, smiling at Abby. Quickly they sobered and returned to their duties.

Abby dismissed them with a hand and sighed "I've made better."

Maude and Abby stood in the doorway as the large range rover pulled away, with the young men smiling and waving as they drove off. Both elderly sisters waved in return. "Nice young boys." sighed Abby.

“Our best!” replied Maude proudly.

“MISS MAUDE! MISS ABBY!” shouted voices startled them and they had to look up BlueHorse Road into the morning sun. Shielding their eyes, they saw Ann and Sara approaching at a happy pace “WE’RE LATE!” they yelled.

“YES!” yelled Maude laughing along with Abby. They waited on the girls who were hosting for them in the tea shoppe. Knowing the American Tea Tour group was due shortly, the four got busy inside.

“What tea are you planning on serving these people?” questioned Abby, her mouth tightening up into a tight frown. Already her attitude was returning and she was working herself up into a ball. When Maude told her, Abby whirled around, her hands on her hips and she snapped angrily “Sister! Not that. They won’t appreciate it. Can’t we serve them something like th...” Abby began but Maude frowned and shook her head. Sometimes Abby’s sour attitude could bring her down. Normally Maude was happy and at peace with everyone and everything, but Abby was the opposite. “We’d better sell some of those damned expensive antiques I took on commission.” Abby explained. “If we’re going to serve them the good tea, then we’d better get some sales. All I am saying.” Abby mumbled under her breath as she cleaned her kitchen and began to place doilies in the serving plates.

Sara and Ann giggled in the background at the sisters’ never changing argument. They all heard it and stopped in mid action. The tour bus was grinding its gears trying to pull the hill right below the shop as they traveled up High Street. Suddenly the four of them were working quickly.

Abby checked the tables one last time, smoothing the lace covers and bending to smell some of the roses. As she passed the smallest of the caddies, containing the rare blend of Darjeeling, the red dragon on the container winked at her. Abby smiled and stopped, sticking her small finger next to his tail. It pulled slowly away from the surface and wrapped its tail around her finger. As her other hand stroked across his brow, she whispered “You know which one to guard against?” The red dragon roared. Well...he roared loud enough for Abby to hear. “Alright. Back to your caddy.” The dragon took his position, daintily replacing his long tail. Abby winked and smiled at him as she turned to greet the arriving horde of Americans.

Abby's mouth dropped open. Nearly all of them were carrying those impossibly large shoulder bags, the ones that made manuevering through a tight shoppe nearly impossible without breakage. "MY GOD!" Abby moaned.

"SISTER!" Maude shook her head no as she turned and smiled to greet their visitors. "Good Day! Welcome to Puddle Hill and our modest tea shoppe. If we may assist you, please ask any of us." Maude smiled sweetly.

GOD! Loud, bossy, overpaid Americans. Abby smiled. Overpaid Americans! Usually good for business as long as they didn't break anything too expensive! Then she frowned. She saw her. The One. The One that would be trouble. Her shoulder bag twice as large as anyone else's. Overly bleached blond hair, phony tan from a bottle, long painted false nails that she dragged across all surfaces including the Dolton. So American!

"OUCH!" groaned Abby as Maude elbowed her rib-cage.

June 28th, 2003, 08:21 AM
The Americans wandered round the shop, poking peering and prodding. Maude noticed a few couples exchanging words over this piece of china or that cut glass bowl. She nodded. One or two sales it seems were already in the bag, she had a sense for things like this.

The large bag lady was huffing and declaring her knowledge on this and that and pointing her finger, as she swung round. Her bag caught the sword on its stand the blade skidded across the table and charged point first towards the foot of one of the gentlemen. As the blade descended he caught it by the hilt, swept the sword up and held the length of steel and inch from his eyes. He smiled and waved a finger at Maude. “How much, may I ask?”

Maude sniffed and placed a smile on her face, she loved that sword, but it was time it moved on. “ £250.”

“That’s a lot for a reproduction,” the large bag lady announced to the room.

“It is not a reproduction, madam. We have letters attaining to its origin and family history.”

“So you say.” The woman moved closer ignoring the gentleman’s harsh look. Maude smiled least some Americans knew an over blown fool when they saw one.

“Well, if you wish to pop along and see the master of the rolls at Windsor, with the blade I am sure he will oblige you and confirm the letters.” Maude laid her ace on the table. The American gentleman chuckled and saluted her with the blade and laid it gently down.

“ I will take it…”

“Thank you sir,” Maude tilted her head. “Now if you will take a seat Ladies and Gentlemen I will tell you a little about the teas I have selected for you to taste.

First, what is called English breakfast; thy Scottish Tea Master Drysdale first blended this over a hundred years ago. It is a blend of fine black teas, often including Keemun tea. It is suggested by many that when mixed with milk it creates a bouquet that reminds people of Toast hot from the oven. It can be served with milk or lemon, but never both.” A small laugh greeted this and Maude nodded for the two girls to begin placing the first of four teapots on each of the tables.

“You will notice we use China teas pots, which have been warmed with hot water before the loose leaf tea is added.”

“Loose leaf?” The large bag woman said in a startled voice. “Isn’t that messy.”

“Not if you know how to use a tea strainer. “Abby muttered from the kitchen door.

Maude shot her a glance and tried not to get flustered. Coughed and continued. “As I said China pots warmed, China, pottery or glass is best for brewing tea in. Metal pots change the taste somewhat and are not the best. And once the tea is placed in the pot you take the pot to the kettle, not the other way round, as the water should be freshly boiled.

Now the other teas are Irish breakfast as is a very strong tea. The saying was it had to be strong enough for a mouse to trot on. It has Assam tea base and because of its full flavour it is usually served with lots of sugar and milk. Both English and Irish breakfast are traditionally drunk with milk, not cream that is for coffee and the milk is always cold, not hot, that too is for coffee.”

Maude’s eyes roamed round the room and she winced as Abby muttered again, "bet you one will ask for warm milk."

“Now the last two teas are normally served black as milk, sugar and lemon do tend to swamp the taste.

Earl Grey, drunk by a certain Captain on a Television programme I believe. It is a smoky tea with a hint of sweetness caused by the blend of black tea and bergamot oil.

Then Darjeeling. Grown in the mountain regions of India it is a full-bodied tea yet light in flavour with a subtly lingering aroma reminiscent of Muscatel. There are various types of Darjeeling, the one today was the one favoured for afternoon tea in Regency times. Pride and Prejudice, one can imagine Mr Darcey drinking it.”

As Maude finished the tables were now groaning under the weight of four teapots, scones, cakes and various jams, not to mention real butter.

Scarlett O'Hara
June 29th, 2003, 01:46 AM
Maude's tea ceremony for the tour group was a resounding success, as usual. Questions for assistance were flowing faster than she could answer them, and each time she missed one question in lieu of someone's else's, the ugly-attitude-bag-lady would "answer" someone. Every time, it was disgustingly wrong. Nearly everyone on the tour recognized her for what she was, except for the other 3 women at her table. And every time she corrected Maude or interjected her opinion, Abby's ire was rekindled. Abby's mind rushed at the possibility of humiliating this woman. Maude's inner voice would catch Abby's and not subtly say "NO!".

After tea was finished, and Ann and Sara cleaned the tea room, the tour group once again browsed through the shoppe admiring the availability of items. Abby stayed very close to the ugly-attitude-bag-lady hoping for a chance. And she got it!

The woman reached to the back of one display announcing to those interested that she wanted to purchase the Meissen candlelsticks. Turning she spotted Abby nearby and loudly asked the price. Abby smiled slowly, knowing the incredibly high value of the item would embarrass the lady and started to answer just as loudly. But something stopped her from embarrassing the woman. "Perhaps she can afford it" thought Abby and again she tried to answer the woman when something stopped her.

"Excuse me but I asked a question!" snapped ugle-attitude-bag-lady.

Abby quickly moved to her side and softly told her the price. The woman seem to take the news well as far as any nearby tourist might have thought but Abby saw the wide-eye response and slight dilation of pupils. The woman made a public display of finely examining the piece for purchase and final purred "The finish has a bad crack and discoloration here." and pushed the piece back at Abby. "I'm not a fool." she announced louder. Head held even higher, she whirled around to move elsewhere when her shoulder bag edge caught a Wedgewood figurine and flipped it.

Abby was not close enough to catch it, neither was anyone else except the swordsman from earlier. Deftly he whisked it up just a moment before it hit, smiled at Abby and handed to her. "Allow me, Madam." he said softly and smiled. He moved back around the shoppe, and asked the ugly-attitude-bag-lady "My Dear, would you care to take a walk with me? I would like some air and to snap some pictures of this beautiful village." The woman smiled her most charming smile, glanced over her shoulder at Abby as if some great victory had been claimed, and took the offered arm of the gentleman. For the rest of the tour group's visit, he kept her entertained and, more importantly, outside and away from Abby.

The sisters concluded each sale, including the large Regency tall case, and for those items too large for the bus, received shipping addresses back in the United States. Each tourist sought out both Maude and Abby, thanking them for a wonderful stop and visit and then strolled slowly outside. Pictures were snapped of their shoppe front and of them standing in the doorway, of Maude's incredible flowerbeds, of the village and soon the bus was reloaded.

It roared to loud life and began to inch forward, scrunching its way into the lane and making a large arched turn onto BlueHorse Road and its next stop - AppleDairy. A small cottage in AppleDairy had been remodeled and served small luncheons to the various tour groups working the countryside. "If they had anything breakable, I would call and warn them!" announced Abby sourly as she and Maude went back inside.

Maude laughed good naturedly "Sister, we had an extremely profitable day. No need for your sour mood." She collapsed heavily into a nearby chair, kicking off her shoes again. "My feet are killing me." she mumbled to no one in particular.

"Next tour group?" asked Abby as she too kicked off her shoes and slowly massaged each foot.

"Thursday next." answered Maude, stretching her back and twisting from side to side. "Thank God not for nearly a week!"

"Then I will iron tea towels tomorrow!" announced the bare foot Abby, as she began paperwork for exports and address labels. "Yes, Iron tomorrow!" she reiterated. She began the extensive paperwork for exporting the Regency tall case and sighed. It had been with them for so long it would feel like loosing a friend.

Everything had quietened. Sara and Ann could be heard chattering and giggling in the next room as they continued to change out linens and restock tea tables.

Maude was straightening her tea shoppe counter and talking to thin air, though the dragon seem to be missing off his tea caddy!

June 29th, 2003, 05:27 AM
Maude watched the small dragon flit out of the open window. “Behave” she called after him and decided to blend a spice tea. Why she wasn’t sure but she knew she would need it very soon. A pinch of ginger root, cinnamon, nutmeg, no allspice; this tea had to be light, like summer love. Yes that was it.
The dragon whizzed back in and circled Maude’s head, chattering.

“Will you stay still and speak properly.” The small dragon landed on her shoulder and whispered in her ear.

“Oh, I see…” As she spoke the door of the shop opened, the small bell announcing the arrival of a tall slender young man of about 20. He had an artist’s paint box tucked under his arm and a large shoulder bag stuffed with sketchpads and canvas over the other shoulder, and was fighting to stop his easel from tripping him up.

“Hello John, “ Sara called, with Ann, shyly echoing her words. Maude looked at both girls and smiled. The girls were good friends, had known each other all of their 18 years, yet when it came down to young men. Sara was “out there” looking, chasing and often or not getting the dates. Ann on the other hand, Maude sighed.

“Well, John,” Abby’s voice sounded out as she entered the shop. “What have you got for us?” The young man grinned and tried to set down his things without dropping them. A small canvas slipped from his bag and he swore, catching it and shoving it back quickly into the bag. Maude’s eyes narrowed. Why didn’t he want anyone to see that?”

The dragon squeaked in her ear.

“Oh I see… Then again I don't” Maude muttered. What the dragon has said made no sense, but then he often didn't make any sense at all, he was a dragon after all.

With the two girls help John displayed an array of fine watercolours and one or two oils. All were of the village. All were very good.

“We will take them all,” Abby announced, usual price?” John’s eyes widened.

“Add lunch to that.” Maude said. Abby turned round and looked hard at her sister. Maude ignored her look and continued. “The girls are just going to have their lunch break and there is plenty for three.”

“Yes John, join us.” Sara said, glancing from her friend to John then to Maude and winked in a very dragon way to the old lady.So Maude thought, Sara is match making.

“Yes, I suppose there is enough” Abby muttered and placed a painting of a fine view of the High street on a stand.

“Yes, there is and I think, Sara, why don’t you get John to try this blend of tea? I would like his opinion.”

“Just John?” Sara asked as she came forward to collect it.

“Do you think Ann would need it?” Maude asked softly to the girl standing close by her elbow.

“Will it give her the courage to actually speak to him?” Sara asked in a voice so low that Maude could hardly here.

“It might.” Maude replied.

“About bloody time.” Sara said and winked again.

“When the three young people had gone out of the room Maude made a bee line for John’s bag, where it lay neatly stacked in the corn by the tea room till. She pulled out the small canvas and her mouth dropped open. It was a painting of Ann, done from memory. Oh Hell, she thought, that tea, I think I over did it, it is going to blow both their minds among other things.

Scarlett O'Hara
June 30th, 2003, 01:20 AM
Maude flipped the portrait to show Abby, as she sat at her old desk in the corner. Abby smiled brightly and looked over her shoulder at Ann and John, then flashed another smile at her sister.

Just as she focused back on export paperwork, a loud boom-boom-boom could be heard pounding towards their direction. Abby and Maude looked at each other and in unison said "Lawrence!" The ancient truck braked in front of the store. Sitting at her desk, Abby watched through the window as the young man jumped out of his Dad's truck and headed towards their shoppe.

"G'Day Miss Maude, Miss Abby!" announced Lawrence. He smiled and whistled, he seem to always be in a good mood. His black hair was creamed and spiked, his multiple tattoos showed on his bare arms, and all his visible piercings displayed earrings today. There must have been 7 or 8 in each ear, plus an eyebrow and his chin. His low riding black jeans and short sheered tank top showed that his abdomen sported one large tattoo as well as a belly-button pierce.

Abby pushed her chair away from her desk and she whirled around to face him. "Lawrence, what are your plans today?"

"NO, Miss Abby. Not Lawrence. Remember, I told ya, I am now the ultra cool Dr. L.. Got a gig on a local radio, hosting some music from midnight to 4." He plopped down in the nearest table and held his arms out to each side. Switching into his radio voice he said "You are listening to the voice of metal."

Both Maude and Abby moaned at the sound of his pretend voice. And after all the tutoring they had done with him throughout his school years. "The young man is brilliant but unfocused!" thought Abby. "If we could have made a difference, he might have been a real doctor." she thought further.

"Lawrence!" shouted Sara. "Heard your show last night. You were wonderful."

He sat up in his chair, a look of surprise written on his expression "Really Sara? You really think I was good?" His hands were gripping the edge of the table.

Sara walked up to him, her hand reached out and she rubbed over his hair, flattening it. "Lawrence...."

"Dr. L." corrected Abby seriously. Everyone chuckled.

"Lawrence" Sara reiterated as she glared at Abby "Why do you wear this grease in your hair? You have beautiful curly hair." she breathed softly.

Lawrence swatted her hand away and pulled his comb from the back pocket of his jeans and started to re-spike his hair.

June 30th, 2003, 06:31 AM
The small dragon had crept up into Maude's silver hair and curled round and through the bun on the top of her head. From here the creature could get a good look at the two young couples and relay the information to Maude, by morse code through the tapping of his tail.

This made Maude's left eye twitch. Also she giggled now and then as she blended a section of teas. Abby kept glazing at her as she tried to do her paperwork.

"Dr L." Maude began, "What was the Who's first single."

"I don't know," The young man replied frowning.

"Thought you were a DJ." Maude sighed.

"I am," Lawrence rose from his seat and wandered over to the counter and leant on it. "Nice dragon," he commented. "Make a good tattoo."

"Yes he does. "Maude replied. Lawrence put his finger to his temple and twirled it. Sara glared at him. Maude merely smiled and said. "Thing is anyone can spin records and make usless comments on local radio."

"No... You have to have Talent." Lawrence grinned and spread his arms wide.

"She is right." Sara huffed, "I mean take the top DJ's they know their stuff, not just modern music, but the history of it. Which of the past bands are today's band's heroes. Know the roots of each type of music they play. Only the best like John Peel are still spinning discs for more than one generation." Sara stopped to catch her breath Maude smiled widely and winked at her. Sara nodded and pulled on Lawrence's arm. "You want to be spinning discs for local radio and delivering for your Dad when you are thirty?"

"God, no! " Abby nearly choked as she heard the shock in the youth's voice. To him thirty was way too old.

The dragon began tapping with a fury and Maude moved off towards the other young couple.

"You have paint under your nails." Ann said her fingers hovering over John's..

"Errr.... yes..."

"You just here for the summer...."

"Yes.... back at Uni in October..."

"I am going then..."

"Oh, Where?"



"Why the Ohhhhhhhhhh."

"That's where I am"

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" Ann's Oh was accompanied by her eyes locking onto John's

"Yes!" Maude shouted and punched the air.