Bad to Worse
By Sally Madison
“Are you comfortable, Mademoiselle?” Paulette asked, as she fluffed the pillows.
“Yes, Paulette. Thank you.” Elizabeth answered. She was suffering considerably, having fallen down on her bottom.
“If you are comfortable, now, I will see you in the morning. Should you need anything, please just pull the bell cord.” Paulette responded.
After Paulette had left her, Elizabeth thought of all the fun everyone was having, dancing, and how Pierre probably would have danced with her. After awhile…that urge. She should have gone while Paulette was still here, but didn’t need to at the time. Usually she would throw the covers back and scoot to the edge of the massive bed. Tonight, there could be no ‘scooting’. She threw the covers and tried to ‘wiggle’ to the edge of the bed. Oh, the pain. Oh, that hurts. She stopped and thought again. She rolled onto her stomach, and wiggled her way to the edge of the bed, with legs straight out to feel for the floor, as her night dress clung to the bedding. Finally, her toes found the floor and she pushed on the bed until she was upright. Now, if she could just reach under the bed. Oh, there was no squatting to reach, tonight. She bent to the right … no, not far enough. She bent to the left and could barely reach her objective. She tugged, and tugged again, until finally, she had it clear of the bed. Facing away from the bed, she took the pot cover off and tried to sit it on the floor, but the floor was too low for her reach. Crash! The cover went to the floor and rolled across the bedroom, toward the door. Holding up her night dress, she gently tried to squat. Oh, that hurts too much. She turned facing the bed, holding her night dress with one hand and the rumpled bed sheets with the other. Ok, that worked. But when she tried to raise herself back up, the bed sheets let loose, and she fell backwards on her already black and blue bottom. The pot tipped over, and the contents spilt on her nightdress. Oh, the pain! She couldn’t get to her feet. So she crawled along her bed, until she could reach the bell cord.
Paulette walked into the room, to find her mistress on the floor in a humbling position. Elizabeth’s red, contorted face reflected something between pain and shame. Tears already welled in her eyes now flowed freely. Paulette exclaimed, “Oh, mon ami, do not cry! We will have you back to bed, quickly.”
After Elizabeth had been cleaned and freshened, Paulette went to the dressing table and retrieved a hair ribbon, which she tied to the bell cord, and pinned to Elizabeth’s pillow. “Now, Mademoiselle Elizabeth, should you need assistance, just pull the ribbon. Is there anything else you need?”
“Yes,” replied Elizabeth. “I need this night to be over!”
Paulette smiled and replied, “Good night,” as she left the room.