Philomena doesn’t want kids.

The Iris Chateau is a beautiful three-story Victorian brick home with white and gold accents and gorgeous Irises that bloom every Spring in the front garden.

This particular day, Mr and Mrs Chesterfield, along with their twins, Lucius and Letitia sit down for tea, little cakes, and biscuits. A few moments after they are all seated, Philomena and Nathan rush in, late as usual.

Philomena is dressed in dark brown twill convertible riding skirt that is currently in the pants form with a beige abbington blouse under a caramel moleskin vest, with matching moleskin gloves, and caramel leather boots. Her hair. although done mostly in a long braid, wisps of it are peeking out from under her black wool riding hat that has various black and light brown feathers attached to the eyelet cinching crown band. She takes her hat off, smoothes her hair and converts her pants to a skirt as she gets closer to the table. Nathan is dressed in black herringbone tweed trousers with burnt sienna suspenders, black leather boots, black ballard shirt, and a dark brown vigilante vest. He almost falls over as he is carrying a lot of bags, and as he enters the room, he shoves them at the butler.

Philomena starts rambling about the airship ride to Aetherpoint as soon as she walks into the parlor and walks towards the table, pulling her gloves off.

“Good Afternoon family! This morning was so joyous as Nate took me on a glorious airship called the Majestic Gryphon!”

As Philomena goes to sit down, her mother slams down her butter knife, “Philomena Isobel Chesterfield! You are late!”

Philomena sits down, turning towards her incensed mother, her eyes sparkling with excitement. “But Mother! You should have seen it! The ship was absolutely stunning, the view was breathtaking, and we were able to go from Aetherpoint to Ravenport, then to the quaint village of Seredwell Harbor in HALF the time it takes by carriage!”

While this is going on, her father and her brother Luci just continue to eat cake and drink tea, knowing better than to contribute to this conversation. Leti however barges right in.

“What ARE you wearing? You went out looking like that?” Leti gasps, fans her face and shakes her head. “Such an embarrassment to this family you are baby sister.”

Philomena stops mid-sentence, as she is still describing her and Nathan’s adventure to their mother, looks over and rolls eyes at her father, which makes him snort. Mrs. Chesterfield gives him a dark glare and he just goes back to his cake. Philomena then turns to her sister. “For your information, I did not go out looking this way. My hair is merely mussed due to the wind on the airship. Did you not hear us arrive? They dropped us right off on the front lawn! Oh it was magical and so exhilarating to climb down that rope!”

Nathan speaks up as he sits next to Mr. Chesterfield. “Yes..soooo exhilarating to climb down a rope juggling all your purchases since you decided to not help.” He then looks at Philomena, sticking his tongue out at his younger sister.

“You did have help silly and I DO appreciate you letting us experience that my dearest Nate.” She laughs and gives Nathan her most winning smile.

“What do you mean they dropped you right off on the front lawn!” Mrs. Chesterfield exclaims.

“Exactly what I said Mother,” Philomena responds. “The airship captain, once he found out who we are, asked if we wanted to be dropped off at home and of course I agreed! He dropped the rope ladder and we climbed down and now here we are!”

Mrs. Chesterfield, her face pale at the realization that her neighbors probably saw this whole spectacle, stands up quickly, knocking her chair backwards.

“Do you realize what you have done! I now have to either never show my face to our neighbors again, or I have to go apologize for my rebellious daughter’s shenanigans!”

Philomena looks at her father with pleading eyes. He sighs and stands up, walks over to his wife and wraps his arms around her and pulls her to him.

“Calm my darling. It will be alright. Everyone knows how Mena is. Please just let her be herself and stop thinking about what everyone else thinks.”

Mrs. Chesterfield buries her face in her husband’s shoulder with a very loud, frustrated sigh.

‘Why can’t we have TWO normal daughters?”

“Mother. I refuse to give in to social standards. I’ve told you that over and over. I want to go on adventures and see different places before I settle down and have babies.” Philomena takes a sip of tea. “Goodness, I don’t even think I WANT to have children!”

Everyone in the room turns to stare at Philomena incredulously. They all start yelling and questioning her.

“What? What do you mean you don’t want children! What kind of nonsense is that!”

Philomena continues to sip her tea and takes a small cake off of the platter in front of her and stands up.

“Well if you are all going to shout at me, I am going to just retire to my room and sort out everything I bought today. I MIGHT give you all your presents, but I don’t know now that you are all so angry because I might decide to not have children!”

She then slams her chair backwards hard enough so it falls backwards and storms upstairs to her room, slamming the door hard enough for everyone to hear. They all stare after her for a moment then slowly sink down into the chairs around the table.

“Why is SHE angry? She drops that bomb on us after being gone all morning and embarrassing us, AGAIN, in front of the neighborhood and has the audacity to throw a tantrum?”

Leti says this out loud as she looks at her parents in shock.

“Well for one, Letitia, you have no reason to be angry. This is none of your business and we have told you that many times before. Secondly, I think she has every right to be upset. It IS her choice whether she wants children or not. It’s not like we don’t have three other children to carry on the family name.”

Their father responds, his tone darker than normal, glaring at his oldest daughter. He then turns to his wife, who cuts him off before he can say anything more.

“See, this is exactly why she acts the way she does. You constantly put these new fangled thoughts in her head! This is NOT how a noble woman acts!”

“You need to get with the newer times, my dear. Women are no longer like they once were. I have females in my classes for goodness sakes. We have to just accept it.”

“I do not have to do any such thing, husband!” She sits quietly for a moment then stands. “I am going to go lay down, this is a bit too much for me to take all at once. We will talk more later once I have calmed down.” She turns, and then as ladylike as possible, she stomps up to their bedroom, and also slams the door.

After the two women go to their rooms, the rest of the family finishes their tea quietly and then go about their normal day as they were used to these arguments.

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