Meeting Madam Fannie Porter


unspecifiedI neared the front door and stopped to read the sign. Madam Fannie Porter’s Boarding House. The term Madam did not escape me. Nor did the sparsely dressed and licentious female boarders I spotted through the slightly-parted curtains.

I sat on the curb, too tired to cry.

A thick raindrop thumped my hat, the second thudded my skirt. A lightening bolt forced me to stand.

I glanced back at the grand house of ill fame, swallowed the bitter taste of doubt, and inched toward the red doors.

 The iron horse head lifted, I calmed my breath then struck the knocker’s plate, plunk, plunk, plunking it loud enough to be heard over bedlam behind the red door.

The portal to the unknown inched open and revealed a handsome woman, her head held high like a proud Thoroughbred. Her eyes looked stitched with a dark brown thread authority and were the same color as the hair perfectly coiffed on her head. Perhaps in her thirties, she wore a Natty brocaded burgundy gown that cinched her waist and revealed her curves. And her shoes! I had read that Mrs. McKinley had worn such shoes at the President’s inauguration—white satin slippers beaded with color.

“Miss? How can I help you?”

“I … I’m Meta Duecker.” I hated my fear, my uncertainty and lack of confidence. “It seems I have been misled to this address. I was hoping for a glass of water and, directions perhaps?”

“Meta, I’m Madam Fannie Porter. Please come in.”

Daily Word prompt: Natty

Published by

Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

Carolyn is the author of two published books – No Hill for a Stepper, 2001, and The Last Bordello, 2016. Her third novel, The Moonshine Thicket, is set in 1928 and is currently enduring a professional edit. When not on her laptop, she serves as a lap top for her grandchildren. She is a retired Early Childhood Specialist, a fitness boxer, artist, and a ball thrower for her ever-persistent mini Aussie. In addition to her blogging website,, you may find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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