Percival looked at the clock. The day was right; the calculation was right; the ball was the perfect setting.
It had taken a little doing. Yes, the Club had a ball like this once per year. Yes, they held it in this place, the Grand Promenade, as it was called, right on the water. These things were always true. But to get them to move the date, to hold it not on a day of rest – that had taken all of Percival’s skill to convince his sister Gwendoline to convince the planners. And it had taken no little bit of Gwendoline’s skill and leverage, either!
There she was, the grande belle of this grand ball, dancing with a handsome man in a top hat. A handsome stranger. Percival leaned forward. This was the right time. He checked the huge clock on the wall, the masterpiece of the clockmaker’s craft. Where were they? Where were the Creatures?
“Oh, don’t trust that cake, m’lord.” The waiter passing by pressed a glass of sherry into Percival’s hand. “It’s always gone two minutes slow, and nobody can make it right.”
Percival’s little pocketwatch clicked and tinged midnight.
Were those… tentacles suddenly sliding out of Gwendoline’s dress? And from behind the had of her dance partner?
“Nooo.” Even now, it was only a whisper. He had come so far. He had done so much…
But they weren’t supposed to manifest within his sister!
Written to Kelkyag’s prompt Intrigues at the ball. It feels either like Science! or Things Unspoken, or like Victorian Fairy City.