Photo by Benni Fish (Pexels)

It’s Unseasonably Warm for the Time of Year

Kayleigh Kitt

The Scene: 

Large ballroom, with glittering chandeliers. Ladies dressed in regency dresses, fitted bust flaring out to the floor; gentlemen in knickerbockers, tights, short fitted coats with tails. Music from a small string orchestra and formal dancing. Ladies fanning themselves.

MR FORTESQUE: May I have this dance, milady?

MISS LINDSWORTH: Of course, I’d be delighted, Mr Fortesque.

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: Considering you’re the only eligible dancer left in the ballroom as Sabrina was struggling with her corset, ensuring we’d be late arrivals.

MR FORTESQUE: Is your mother well?

MISS LINDSWORTH: Yes, I thank you. She’s over there, pray with my sister.

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: Hopefully, the odious buffoon is more interested in my mother and she’ll soon put him right. He’s hardly any funds to speak of, and his stature’s short.

MR FORTESQUE: Until next time.


MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: Don’t trouble yourself, Mr Fortesque. Oh good, you’re heading in my mother’s direction. Perhaps at the very least, the insufferable man may twist his ankle in the next dance and not return.

MR WEATHERBY: May I have this dance?

MISS LINDSWORTH: I’d be honoured, Mr Weatherby.

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: Just wish he didn’t squint, even if he’s coming into a fortune of ten thousand a year from his late Uncle, the Earl of Wyndhamford. And his jabot is creased beyond comprehension. And there’s. No. I don’t want to contemplate what the stain is on his collar. Not that I’m too close to it; he’s a giant of a man.

MISS LINDSWORTH: My mother is quite well, I thank you. She’s over by the mantle with my sister.

MR WEATHERBY: Perhaps you may be able to spare me another dance later?


MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: At least you can try, but I’ll do my best to be unavailable.

MR SOUTHWOOD: Miss Lindsworth. Would you honour me with this dance?

MISS LINDSWORTH: Mr Southwood. I’d be delighted. 

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: Look demure. Look demure. Flutter some eyelashes. Curtsy. Curtsy, thirty thousand a year.

MR SOUTHWOOD: The weather is unseasonably warm for the time of year.

MISS LINDSWORTH: Oh, forgive me. Yes, it is and I pray that it will chase away the ailments so many seem to be suffering with of late.

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: Pay attention. PAY ATTENTION. I could love that bulbous nose, for thirty thousand and he has a nice smile, except he doesn’t smile with his teeth. Does he even have teeth, I wonder?

MISS LINDSWORTH: My Mother is well, I thank you.

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: His posture is acceptable and he appears to have a reasonable tailor. And his manservant has shined his boots impeccably.

MR SOUTHWOOD: Thank you, Miss Lindsworth.

MISS LINDSWORTH [Voiceover]: He’s leaning, closer. So intimate, so perfect. Everyone is watching.

MR SOUTHWOOD: Forgive me, but you have something stuck in your teeth. Good evening, Miss Lindsworth.


Kayleigh Kitt lives in Shropshire, UK, with her husband and a disgracefully ageing tabby cat.  She started writing in the pandemic and found that it was delightfully addictive and hasn’t stopped since. Kayleigh’s had work published in Flash Fiction North, Bangor Literary Journal, Meditating Cat Zine, On The High Journal, Active Muse and Across the Margin