Avery clears her throat, her head tilted back and eyes searching for words.
“Beatrice Moomy,” Avery begins, “the heiress to the Moomy family fortune, the Lady of Manners and Protector of Social Graces.”
She inhales, glancing at her audience. They await her words with baited breath.
“Mistress Moomy is the epitome of refinement. Her beauty is known throughout the seventeen burroughs! Those of us who know our stations can only ever wish – our one and only wish! – to be in the presence of an angel made flesh.”
Avery clasps her hands over her heart, beseaching the crowd.
“She truly lives up to her namesake. She is a blessing to us all.”
Beatrice feigns wiping away tears. With a sing-songy voice, she says, “Oh, you flatter me, dear girl. Please,” as she waves a plastic gesture, “take a seat.”
The air on the patio shifts. Easter chicks swing their heads about, pecking for comprehension. A young lady in a paisley print stands.
“Over here, miss,” she says, offering Avery her chair. “Take my seat. Please, it would be my honor.”
The girl’s earnestness is broken by a quick, sniveling glance at Beatrice.
“Mine,” an older woman calls. “Take mine.”
“Mine, mine! Take my seat. Take my seat!” the rest of the women plea.