Word Count 495
By Sally Madison
Eric entered the Ostrava castle museum first and purchased the two tickets for Lindsey and himself. Lindsey, with her flaxen hair pulled back, was wearing a new black jacket and long skirt set. They would be visiting historical churches and she wanted to be dressed appropriately.
The clerk and the curator stared at Lindsey as she entered the museum door. Lindsey took no notice as she began sweeping the museum with her eyes, stopping occasionally to make quick sketches in her notebook.
Eric moved ahead into the next room, as did the curator, the clerk and other visitors. They were all looking at a magnificent painting, when Lindsay entered the room and stood in the doorway, next to the painting. Everyone’s jaws dropped, looking at her. ‘What? Have I grown a third eye?’ she wondered.
The curator looked as if he had seen a ghost. He studied her every detail, his eyes flashed back and forth expecting her to vaporize at any moment. Eric followed the motion of his eyes to the painting, then to Lindsay and grasped!!
“What? What?” Lindsey was becoming anxious. Two elderly ladies, who had been staring, poked each other. One bowed, one genuflected. “What has gotten into these people?”
Lindsey stood, afraid of whatever everyone else was shocked about. When she turned to see herself in the painting of the Countess of Ostrava, Eric steadied her tenuous form.
Everyone wanted to know what was the connection between them? After catching his breath, the curator rushed up to Lindsey and asked, “Who are you? And how are you related? Are you the scion?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. What is a scion?” she replied.
Hearing as much as necessary, the clerk ran back to her desk and called the editor of the local paper. The wide-eyed editor slammed down the phone, and ran his giant girth through the typing room towards the door, pointing at his best journalist and his best photographer. Their eyes met. ‘This is big, REALLY BIG’ if the boss is going’, they thought. “What’s the scoop, boss?”
“The heir of the Countess has returned to claim her kingdom!” the editor shouted. Before he hit the door he thought, ‘Special Edition… Headline… World Press… Pulitzer Prize… “the award goes to the editor with the best scope of the year”… maybe he should buy a new suit.
The portrait showed a beautiful woman sitting, with a pair of Russian Blue cats in her lap. Her soulful eyes reflected her longing, as she gazed through the castle window. She sat with her flaxen hair pulled back, wearing a black dress accented with black pearls, and the same jewelry that Eric and Lindsey had seen in the museum in Krakow the day before. The black pearl ring was an exact match to Lindsey’s engagement ring that she had picked out last year.
Eric grabbed up his camera and shot a photo of the twins, born 300 years apart.