OK, I made up the part about the guy helping me off the train, but that was it.

I could do this all day. Sad, huh?

Stephanie alighted from her car of the underground train with some difficulty, but she smiled gratefully as a helpful gentleman offered her his arm. He guided to her to a bench, where she sank down.

“Are you sure you’re quite all right, madam?”

“Oh, yes–it is only that I was so foolish as to injure myself while walking,” she confessed. She gestured toward the heavy cloth and iron boot encasing her left foot. It reached up almost to her knee, where it was met by her tidily rolled denim trousers. The gentleman expressed his solicitude, and remarked briefly that his grandmama had once experienced a similar malady.

“Take care, miss! Be sure you do precisely as your physician advises!”

Stephanie replied with a blush that she would, although in simple fact the reader should be told that her past compliance with the decrees uttered by that good disciple of Aesculapius was none too exact. As her briefly-employed knight in shining khaki departed, she remained for a bit on the bench, engaged in rummaging through her bag, looking for the keys to her house. She was practical, and well knew that neglecting to search for them until at her very door would be difficult under her present misfortune.

Upon locating what was desired, she arose from her seat with a small and quickly stifled moan. She reflected to herself that it really would be beneficial if she indeed followed the directions of the eccentric and crusty Mr. Neal. As she exited the station, heading toward home, she was all too aware that she had been very tired from her morning.

Stephanie Howells was a short, sturdy, bright-eyed woman of some middle years. Plainly dressed and well spoken, she was that sort of decent matron who, finding herself bereft of her mate by way of life’s vicissitudes, was been long accustomed to finding her own way in the world. She sighed to herself, and determinedly popped in to see the apothecary.

After requesting three prescriptions (three!), she purchased two packets of tea biscuits, although not without a guilty self-adumbration. “After all, it’s not as if you can go to the gymnasium with your foot all encased like a seaman’s locker,” she scolded herself. She surreptitiously gave her reflection in the shop window a quick glance, but was not too displeased with what she saw, although she did adjust a curl escaping its ribbon.

After traversing the several blocks to her home, she was about to turn into the pleasant alley which she shared with a number of other tenants of the surrounding flats, when she espied a cheerfully raucous gathering in the nearby park. Her curiosity overcame her fatigue, and soon she found herself chatting amiably with a number of vendors dispensing information ranging from the sitting governor’s desire to retain his office, to providing her with a handy card enumerating the periodical table of elements. (This last she tucked carefully away, as one really never knew when such might be useful. If she had only paid more attention to benzene rings when in school! Then perhaps she might be farther up in the world!)

After sitting down carefully on a low wrought iron bench, she enjoyed a somewhat blackened Frankfurt sausage; she did not, however, enjoy the entirety of its lackluster bun as thoroughly, and somewhat distastefully placed it in the bin along with her plate. She then decided that she had had enough of this unexpected little frolic, pleasant as it had been, and determined to continue on to her flat.

However, she started a moment as her arm was affectionately clasped by an unexpected hand as she passed its owner by. To her delight, said owner was none other than the genial former mayor of her town, who attended her church. She cheerfully twitted him about his absence at that house of worship that very morning, but his honest confusion reminded her in a twinkling that in fact, today was Saturday, and that she herself had been to the church only because she needed to attend a special rehearsal for the choir. But His Honor, who was very fond of our heroine, laughed at her quite cheerfully, and after some banter, she continued on her way.

She reached her flat with no further event, other than assuring her choleric neighbor that her well-mannered little lad had held the door–and thus should not be chided for his failure to immediately appear upon his large and self-important mother’s heels. She set down her parcel of biscuits, small objects dispensed by the fair’s informational vendors–and as well a container of orange juice, left unconsumed by the choir’s breakfasting–and gratefully released herself from the boot, which was not absolutely necessary whilst in the house.

She then repaired to her closet, whereupon she sank down upon her bed with a sigh and opened the slim white writing desk which had lain by her pillow, awaiting her return. She sorted quickly through her correspondence, and, dispatching a few pithy notes directed at various friends’ communications, settled herself down to the afternoon’s work; for Mrs. Stephanie Howells was a writer.

It was an occasional habit of hers to apply her clever mind to the invitations proffered by a group of similar writers, who called themselves “Plinky,” for some reason or another. As she set herself down to answer yet another challenge, at first she tsk’ed, as its main question merely addressed a question of *style,* but its enlargement then enjoined the hapless writer to describe a scene of some years past.

Stephanie considered herself quite the literary maverick, and opted to follow the first recommendation, eschewing the second. “After all,” she mused to herself, “that blasted boot indeed made the morning seem quite lengthy.” She set about her task with cheer; however, she soon noticed to her chagrin that indeed, her usual daily style, both fictional and mundane, held something of a resemblance to that style which she had been exhorted to attempt.

It was indeed educational, as she realized that the ornately constructed Latinate sentences which were her natural wont had been distinctly inspired by the works of such masters as Henry James and Anthony Trollope; indeed, by her beloved Herman Melville himself; and she wondered sadly at the general failure of the modern world to properly read and understand sentences which were only ten or so words long; vocabulary which was intended for those no more than ten or so years old; but she knew very well that such were now sadly out of fashion–indeed, were now termed “run on”–(she shuddered in embarrassment), and adjudged inappropriate in an age where semicolons, colons, dashes, full stops, and all their fellows could be tossed away with the sneering acronym, “TLDR;” that is to say, the audience found such Too Long, and thus Didn’t Read it.

She concluded her penultimate paragraph–which indeed contained but a single sentence–and posted it, so that her fellow writers might indeed consider it too long, and would thus not read such, which would be a pity and most unfair, as such had been the very prompt assigned for the day.

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