The Incident of the Broken Thread
The Queen was bathing – her once a year day, whether she needed it or not. The court stood around gossiping in hushed tones, while maids cautiously soaped Her Majesty’s back. A burst of laughter pierced the quiet, attracting a royal glare. A rare grin flitted across her face before being replaced by the habitual glower.
An open bottle had fallen from the table to roll across the uneven flagstones filling the air with a plume of precious perfume, before finally coming to rest at the feet of Lady Coral Nonesuch.
“Pick it up you clumsy witless girl. Save what you can.” growled the Queen. “I want to wear that scent to the ball.”
She rose, majestic, water cascading all around, putting a term to the panic. “Towels,” she hurled orders at the flustered maids. “Dry me. Gown. Jewels. Move.”
In her haste, the Mistress of the Jewels managed to snag the long necklace on the back of the throne, breaking the thread. Giant pearls shot here, there and everywhere rolling and causing the assembled company to slither, scramble and crash in a colourful heap of arms and legs.
All eyes swivelled to the Queen. Would heads roll? No. A cackle became a guffaw, became a gale of raucous laughter. Saints be praised. Her Majesty was in a Good Mood.