Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.
This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole. I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing. If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.
Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:
The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer). Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.
Senses referring to a woman.
†1. A woman, esp. a noblewoman; a wife, esp. of an important man. Obs. rare.
2. The wife or consort of a king. Freq. with the, as a title.
3. a. A female ruler of an independent state, people, etc., esp. one who inherits the position by right of birth; a female sovereign. Freq. with the, as a title.
b. Queen and Country: a female sovereign and her people, considered together as objects of patriotic allegiance. Cf. King and Country at king n. 1d.
c. Law. Freq. with the. The prosecution acting on behalf of a reigning queen in criminal proceedings. Cf. Regina n.
d. Brit. With the and capital initial: the national anthem as addressed to a female sovereign; ‘God save the Queen’. Now somewhat formal.
4. Used as a title placed immediately before (and in Old English also immediately after) the personal name of a female sovereign or the consort of a king. Also with the (now arch. and rare).
5. a. With specification of the people, country, etc., ruled over by a queen or by the king to whom she is consort, as Queen of Scots, Queen of France, etc.
b. Queen of Spain n. (in full Queen of Spain fritillary) a migratory fritillary butterfly, Issoria lathonia, widely distributed in mainland Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia.
6. Applied to a female whose authority or pre-eminence is comparable to that of a queen.
a. The Virgin Mary. Freq. in Queen of glory, Queen of grace, Queen of heaven, etc.
b. Any of the goddesses of ancient religions or mythologies. Freq. in queen of heaven, queen of love, queen of marriage, etc.
c. A fine and honourable woman; a woman surpassing all others in rank or excellence. Chiefly used as a term of endearment and respect.
d. A woman pre-eminent in a given group, sphere, or activity; (also) a mock sovereign on a festive occasion.
e. slang (orig. U.S.). An attractive woman; a girlfriend, a female partner.
a. Something regarded as supreme, esp. as the finest, most outstanding, or most beautiful, of its kind.
b. That which in a particular sphere or area has pre-eminence or power comparable to that of a queen; spec. (a) the moon (see queen of the night n.): also queen of tides, heaven, etc. (chiefly poet.); (b) the pre-eminent or most admired city in a particular geographic region. See also Phrases 1.
8. a. Chess. The most powerful chess piece belonging to each player, placed next to the king at the start of the game, and able to move in any direction along a rank, file, or diagonal on which it stands. Formerly also: †the position on the board attained by a pawn when it is queened (obs. rare).
b. Cards. The card in each suit bearing the representation of a queen, normally ranking next below the king and above the jack.
9. The reproductive female caste in social bees, wasps, ants, and termites, larger than the ordinary workers; an individual of this caste, one (or more) of which are normally present in each colony. In later use also: the sole fertile female in certain other eusocial animal colonies.
10. †a. A kind of flatfish; spec. the lemon sole, Microstomus kitt. Obs.
b. orig. Brit. regional. The queen scallop, Aequipecten opercularis. Cf. queenfish n. 1, queenie n. 2, quin n.1, squin n.2
11. Technical uses.
12. = queen cat n. at Compounds 2.
13. slang. A homosexual man, typically one regarded as ostentatiously effeminate. Cf. quean n. 3.
14. Any of several Cunard passenger liners named after a British Queen.
a. literary. To rule over or command in the manner of a queen. Now rare.
b. With it. Of a woman: to be a queen; to act or rule as queen; to behave in a queenly manner; (now) esp. to act haughtily or imperiously; to assume airs of grandeur.
c. To make or crown (a woman) a queen; to invest with the status of a queen. Also fig.
a. trans. To promote (a pawn) into a more powerful piece of the same colour, typically a queen, when it reaches the opponent’s end of the board; = promote v. 1b. Also intr.
b. intr. Of a pawn: to reach a position at the opponent’s end of the board where it may be promoted into another more powerful piece, esp. a queen.
3. trans. Bee-keeping. To supply (a hive) with a queen bee; = requeen vb. at re- prefix 1c. Cf. unqueen v. 2. rare.
Today’s Story Segment:
Uriel looked at the large metal car and wondered how one entered such a thing.
“It can be rather daunting as an unknown,” Rosario said from in from of him. “Let me show you how the doors work.”
Uriel paid close attention so he could work them himself in future.
“This is the handle,” Rosario said. “You place your fingers here and pull out and that releases the latch that holds the door closed and allows you to swing it open. If you don’t mind sitting in the back this trip, Savion can demonstrate how to use the seatbelt, which is a safety device, and how to open the door from the inside when we get there.”
Uriel nodded. Savino was already sliding in through the opposite door. Uriel tried to mimic his movements as he bent slightly and pivoted onto the seat.
“Careful,” Rosario said, his hand touching the back of Uriel’s head and stopping its backward movement. “You’ll hit your head if you don’t duck down a bit more. You’re very tall.”
“I have never been so tall before,” Uriel said, leaning his head forward as he continued to sit back.
Rosario’s hand stayed on his head until he had cleared the low opening and was seated on the cushioned seat. Uriel swung his feet in as Rosario’s hand slid away from his head. He had the odd sensation of missing the warmth of Rosario’s touch. Uriel had never missed anything but home and his kindred before.
Rosario closed Uriel’s door and walked around the car to get into the seat in front.
“You’ll need your seatbelt on,” Savino said from beside Uriel.
Uriel looked over.
“It pulls out from behind your shoulder and you take this piece and put it into this other piece to fasten it. The red button presses in to disengage it.”
Uriel nodded, turning to reach back for his own and fastening it across his hips as Savino had.
“All set?” Rosario asked from the front as he turned something with his right hand. There was a soft rumbling and the vehicle seemed to be shaking. Uriel quickly looked at Savino to make sure he shouldn’t be worried.
“The engine makes noise and vibrations,” Savino said softly.
Uriel nodded. He wasn’t sure he liked this car. It was very confining, and felt strange.
“We’re all set,” Savino confirmed for Rosario.
The car began to move then, as Rosario turned to look behind them, it eased back and away from the cars on either side.
“Try to relax for the drive,” Rosario said as he turned around again and the car began to move forward. “It may not be what you are used to, but it’s very safe.”
Uriel nodded. One of his hands had wrapped around part of the door, and he found himself unable to let go as the car moved out of the structure that sheltered it and into the flat surfaces that must be modern roads. There were other cars and lots of noise, and Uriel’s eyes never stilled as he tried to take it all in.
“I’m sorry the drive is so distressing,” Savino said as they pulled off the road into a larger, square space of the same material but with different patterns of white lines on it. “It took me time to get used to automobiles as well, but they’re very safe these days. Even if there was an accident, none of us was likely to be harmed.”
Uriel just nodded. Rosario was slowing the car down, and then it came to a complete stop and Uriel felt like he could breathe again.
“You can unfasten your seatbelt now,” Savino said. “And this handle here unlatches the door so you can push it open.”
Uriel glanced over to see what handle he meant before quickly releasing his seatbelt and opening the door. He remembered to duck as he stood so that he wouldn’t hit his head on the low ceiling. He felt much better being out of the vehicle. He ruffled his wings before resettling them on his back. He kept them hidden from sight, but it still felt better to keep them loose and relaxed when he could.
“This way,” Rosario said from near the front of the car. “Javier is expecting us, and said the door would be unlocked even if we were early.”
“He spoils you whenever he can,” Savino said.
“He is a kind and accommodating salesman who gets paid on commission,” Rosario replied. “Of course he does everything he can to spoil me. I bring it a lot of business.”
Uriel followed the other two men to another tall building and in through a door made of glass surrounded by the clearest glass windows Uriel had ever seen. Humans had greatly refined their abilities with glass it seemed.
“Good morning, señor,” a man said as soon as they entered.
“Good morning, Javier,” Rosario replied. “Thank you for seeing us so early today.”
“Oh, it is no trouble at all, especially now that I see who you have brought me. Where did you find such a beautiful man, señor?”
“He is an associate who has come to visit my office and the homes for the next little while, and his luggage was lost by the airlines,” Rosario replied.
Uriel wondered what an airline was. Luggage at least he understood. A small lie such as that could be forgiven he supposed. It wasn’t as if Rosario could tell the man the truth.
“How unfortunate,” Javier replied. “How many outfits do you need?”
Rosario glanced back at Uriel.
“Four or five should suffice,” he replied. He would not have the need to wash them as often as a human would. Their corporeal forms were based on the human form, but they did not produce sweat or odor in the same way.
“This way then,” Javier said, waving them forward. “I have such wonderful colors we could try.”
“Don’t be too much of a queen about it,” Savion said with a laugh. “He’s a business professional and will want to look as such.”
“I do not wish to stand out,” Uriel agreed.
“One bright color?” Javier asked, turning to look at them over his shoulder with pouting lips and sad eyes.
“Uriel will have the final say on anything we select,” Rosario replied. “We’ll be putting it on my tab for now and settle it amongst ourselves later.”
“Very good, señor,” Javier replied. He began to pull items of clothing off the wracks as they passed and had a rather large armful by the time they reached the back of the store. Javier stepped into a small room and hung several pieces on five different hooks placed along the walls.
“You can try each outfit on, and come out to look at yourself in the mirror,” Rosario said, indicating the set of three mirrors set at angles to each other a little past the small room.
Uriel nodded. They were giving him privacy to disrobe. There was a door he could close.
“Thank you,” Uriel said to them all before stepping into the room to change.