Prompt: Janice needs an outfit for a dance. Steve doesn't know the first thing about fashion and Abby is working, so Super Uncle needs to assist them in finding something suitable.
(Okay, I think you and an earlier anon collaborated on your ideas, but I’m doing yours first because the order of them will be more sensical.)
I aged her up a bit for this, hope you don’t mind. ;D
“I need your opinion on this one, Uncle Cee…” Janice trailed off nervously from behind the closed dressing room door.
“I’m sure you look lovely!” Steve piped up supportively.
Cecil elbowed his brother-in-law sharply in the gut, adding, “Come out; show me.”
There was moment of quiet shuffling, then the click of the door opening. Janice wheeled out with a shy smile on her face. She was dressed in a floor length, violet gown with silver jewels across the neckline and her waist.
Cecil gasped, his hands flying up to cover his mouth.
“What?” Janice demanded. “Is it bad?”
“No,” Cecil said. “It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful.” He approached her with the kind of caution normally reserved for approaching a priceless work of art.
“We’ll get it hemmed so it doesn’t get caught in your wheels,” he said, pulling the skirt up off the ground. “But other than that, it’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
“You really think so?” Janice asked.
“Of course I do,” Cecil smiled. “Don’t you, Steve- are you crying?”
“What?” Steve laughed it off, palming tears away from his eyes. “No! The sparkles just- just reflected light into my eyes and they’re watering, that’s all. I’m not crying because my baby girl is all grown up and buying a prom dress or anything like that- that would be crazy. What?”
“Aw, Steve!” Janice giggled, stretching her arms out. “C’mere- you too, Uncle Cee- don’t roll your eyes!”
(I can’t write dancing to save my life, so…keep that in mind…)
“I can’t see them,” Cecil muttered, craning his neck to look over Carlos’ shoulder and out onto the dance floor. “Where’d they go?”
“Cecil,” Carlos sighed, his hand rising up to block Cecil’s view. “You’re here to chaperone all the students, not just Janice and Roger.”
“That’s a technicality,” Cecil said, waving his hand to dismiss Carlos’ concern.
“Cecil.” Carlos warned.
“What?” Cecil asked, batting his eyelashes in faux-innocence.
“You know what.” Carlos replied. “No more searching for your niece.”
Cecil sighed, drumming his fingers on the overly decorated folding table at which they sat. He blew air through his lips, leaning back in his seat so that it balanced shakily on the back two legs. He waited .5 seconds before searching for the youngest Palmer family member once more.
“Okay,” Carlos said, standing up and grabbing Cecil’s hand. He yanked his boyfriend to his feet, dragging him toward the back corner of the room.
“Where are we going?” Cecil asked. “Janice is-”
“Going to be fine.” Carlos finished with good-natured laugh. “And is probably going to dance much better than we’re going to.”
“We’re going to dance?” Cecil asked, raising an eyebrow in amusement.
“Of course we are,” Carlos grinned. “I love this song.”
I think that, during the course of his European jaunt, Cecil got bored, went to turn-of-the-20th-century London, and started a publishing house.
So at work today I found this book, and discovered that its publisher is Cecil Palmer, which existed in the front quarter of the 20th century.
Then I went to Google to try and dig up a couple more things this publisher put out–which I found here, here, here, here, among other places–but I also found that there was a write-up about this Cecil Palmer in an old publishing journal. Apparently there was this talk series about writing and printing in August 1920; I’ve linked the copy, which gets a little wonky towards the bottom of pages, but here’s this tidbit:
But the address in which we are most interested, was that given by one of London’s youngest, and most progressive publishers, Mr. Cecil Palmer. […] Mr. Palmer is almost a great speaker. His thoughts are always lucidly expressed, and he generally has something pungent to say. There is no bending to the god of convention in him. He holds a view, and expresses it without fear or favor. But he is always courteous, and it is sometimes difficult to find an answer to his cogent and clear reasoning. […] One of Mr. Palmer’s strongest points as a public speaker is his capacity for keeping cool while he is delivering his speech. There is no mental panic. […] The crowd of [concentrated] minds [facing] him has no effect upon Mr. Palmer, and when one is listening to him one is reminded of that early Victorian, who did so much for freedom of speech, Charles Bradlaugh.
I mean, it’s not “smooth and sonorous” in as many words, but does that delivery style and demeanor sound familiar to anyone? Time is weird and not real, after all.