Esmerelda Este hated people. And as a reluctant member of the human race, toleration was the best she could feel. And yes, she had reasons. But there are simply too many to list in one blog post.
Until the day humanity could be ignored completely, Esmerelda Este would write novels from her penthouse apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It was Valentines Day, and a blizzard hit with the rage of a gluttonous toddler who just got his cake taken away. Esmerelda woke that morning with a hearty cackle, knowing the white-out conditions would ruin the holiday for everyone.
After eating a breakfast of crepes and caviar, Esmerelda sat down at her laptop to spend the day writing her next Pulitzer. She was about a thousand words in when–
RING! RING! RING!
Esmerelda swore as she reached for the abhorrent necessity that was her phone, and saw the caller was not someone she could ignore.
“What Gunther?” she answered with a snarl.
“Do you believe in miracles?” the drawling voice of Esmerelda’s private tailor chimed like screws in a shredder.
“I don’t believe in idiocy,” Esmerelda said stoutly. “What do you want?”
“Your dress is ready.”
“What? You’re not running late as usual?” Esmerelda said loftily.
“I’m three days earlier than I usually am,” Gunther said delicately. “But that wasn’t soon enough, was it?”
“I’m sure you’ll try harder next time,” Esmerelda murmured. “You’re delivering it, I’m sure?”
“That depends. Have you written my check?”
“Yes, but you’re not getting it until–”
“You’re sure it fits properly,” Gunther finished smoothly. “You’re lucky you pay well, Miss Este, or I wouldn’t bother! Not in this weather.”
“And you’re even luckier I don’t fire you right here and now.”
“Sometimes I wish you would,” Gunther laughed, hanging up.
Reader, do you remember earlier, when I said there were a few people Esmerelda tolerated? Gunther was one of the only ones she did, and she might have been slightly less indifferent if he had died in a car crash on the way to her apartment.
He was not a handsome man. About a year older than Esmerelda, and a foot shorter. Nevertheless, when Esmerelda opened the door to let him in, he waddled with the confidence of the god Apollo.
“Don’t scratch the maple,” she snapped as Gunther gingerly set the dress on the kitchen table.
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Gunther murmured, dabbing at his shiny bald head with a handkerchief. “Are you going to try it on?”
The dress was beautiful, Reader. Blackest of black satin, flattering Esmerelda’s forty-year-old frame, slimming where needed and filling out where appropriate. The torso cut across her shoulders and dipped tastefully just below the neckline, finishing off with the skirt shimmering down to her ankles in a very subtle mermaid style.
Needless to say, she couldn’t find anything wrong with the dress. She walked out of her room, check in hand, to see Gunther twiddling his thumbs on a nearby sofa.
“It’s adequate,” Esmerelda said, handing over payment.
“I’ll say,” Gunther muttered, putting the check in his wallet. “What’s it for? Do you have another award ceremony to go to?”
“Not that it’s any of your business,” Esmerelda said, “but my sister is getting married next month.”
“And you’re wearing black?” Gunther smirked. “You know it’s bad luck for the couple, right?”
“I’m counting on it,” Esmerelda said darkly.
“Are you bringing anyone special?”
“Aren’t we full of inappropriate questions!” Esmerelda said, rolling her eyes. “Time to leave, Gunther.”