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Current Campaign Date:  1/26/2008   

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Prelude 5 - Stories

Prelude 5

A look at what happened during and/or after Prelude 5.

Story - The Feminine Tribunal

Game Date: 2/20/2004

Who: William Rouen

American women were very different, thought William. They take the fact that they can have these so-called careers for granted. "So, what do you do for a living?" asked Joey. "You seem to be very well built, but you seem to be very cultured. Are you some kind of professional who works out a lot?"

Cultured, thought William. That should be obvious. Well-built, thought William. That's a nice thought, but I shouldn't give in to the sin of vanity. Professional. That means I have a job. "Well, Joey," said William, "I appreciate your feelings, but I am between jobs right now." The inner William cringed in anticipation of the inevitable what-did-you-used-to-do question. It was Kevin that posed it. Too bad that William was completely unprepared for how she posed it.

"I bet you're an honest guy who had an exciting job, and you're just dying to tell us what it was!"

Joey, Kevin, and Bridie looked at William with those oh-so-charming girlish child/inquisitor/predator eyes. William took only grim satisfaction that Helena would have proven more pale than he was, if only her friends had turned around to see her. Fortunately for William, his older sister had given him advice on what to say. He began to miss Eleanor deeply.

"Please forgive me, but we just met, and I don't feel comfortable talking about that yet as it involved some trauma." It was an honest assessment of his situation. Hopefully, his tribunal wouldn't press the issue. Unfortunately, they did.

Fortunately, this pressed in a direction he could do something with. "How does your family feel about your previous occupation?" asked Bridie.

William couldn't stop the shadow from crossing his face. "My family is no longer alive. They were all killed in an accident in Louisiana near our home."

It was the girls' turn to lose their color. "We're so sorry", they said. "We didn't know," said Joey. "Oh my God," said Kevin. "We are so sorry," said Bridie.

"It's quite all right," said William. "It's painful, but with the help of friends like Helena, life becomes easier to cope with, as all of you have already experienced." Helena was helping him socialize, so why shouldn't she get some credit? Help your hostess help you, he thought. Maybe American women weren't so different after all. Stop being foolish, he told himself. They couldn't be more different. He was being shopped by a woman, for God's sake, albeit a kind and hospitable one.

It was Bridie who caught the shadow across his face. "You look angry," she said. "What's wrong?"

William realized he was thinking about his father. "My last conversation with my father was quite unpleasant, and I shall have to carry that the rest of my days." William tried to calm himself. Socializing wasn't one of his strong points, socializing with women was even worse, and thinking about his father while socializing with women was number one on his list of Things Not To Do. He drank his apple juice. It wasn't Calvados, but it was calming. Fortunately, apple juice was on the menu of this particular Starbucks. Why Americans drank a stimulant to calm down was beyond him, but Helena informed him that coffee was a worldwide drink, so he supposed it was a world problem.

The girls kept a respectful emotional distance from William the rest of the evening, which suited him just fine. But he handled himself well enough to draw a sigh of relief from Helena when everyone parted company. "I think you did well," said Helena. Thank God, thought William.

Record Last Changed Date: 11/28/2009

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