She observed the writing and the seal, once again searching for a clue. When her mind remained void of any explanation, she broke open the crisp disk of unmarked wax.
My dear Miss Courtland:
Although you do not know me, I must confess, I’ve come to learn a good deal about you. Do not be alarmed, as my intentions are merely to dig deeper, to find that secret place where you keep your private thoughts—your fantasies. Your mind is not unlike a fertile garden and you, my sweet, are a delicate flower on the verge of revealing yourself to the sun, one layer at a time. Allow me to be the one to witness you blossom, let me inhale your honeysuckle scent, taste your nectar. I wonder… Would you be willing?
I’ve left some blank space at the bottom of the page for you to write your reply. Place it between the pages of the black dictionary sitting on the back table in the room where your reading group meets. Another message will find you tomorrow, no need to look for it.
Your drone bee is most anxious to tread upon his queen’s sticky pollen.
Heat flooded Susanna’s entire body as if it were mid-July. She didn’t know whether to crumple the message into a tight ball or laugh at the bold prank one of her friends must be playing on her.
Again the question rose to the surface of her thoughts, But who?
It was imperative that she figure this mystery out. Which one of her friends would have the audacity to say such naughty things to her? For heaven sakes, anyone with a functioning brain would be aware that half the words in the note were metaphors for…Merciful stars. She couldn’t even think the words in the privacy of her own mind.
No, this couldn’t be one of her reading companions. None of the girls had ever even hinted that beneath their layers of tightly laced-up clothing lay such base boldness.
One thing for certain, she’d get to the bottom of this and keep her dignity.
After replacing the copy of her novel on the back table, she left the room and made her way to the attendant’s desk on the main floor. She requested a quill and ink with which she wrote her reply.
Until next time —