Airs and Graces

Langstone Crescent had once been the elite part of town, where the privileged wealthy had set up home. Now, the once height of fashion homes looked shabby and rundown as the rest of the town. Still Margot Jennings tried to keep lofty standards and still considered herself a cut above the other inhabitants of the town.

She wasn’t the only one, the old doctor and his family along with a few of the neighbours had installed the fences to make the Crescent a gated community. A gated community that refused to acknowledge the level of civil unrest was a direct result of elitist politics generated by the small groups of wealthy people. To them the rest of the population was merely work fodder, low paid, badly treated work fodder.

It was a cold Saturday evening when the power went down. In the darkness the rebels from the town, joined by the servants from the houses set the fire trails and left the Crescent. A few minutes, the power restored. The trails ignited, and seconds later each house was in flames.

The old doctor stood by Margot as the community gathered on the street. Not a single servant stood among them, and not one of them noticed. The old doctor was fuming his calls to the emergency services were being met by a generic message declaring a strike was in progress and no one could take his call.

The dry old buildings burned rapidly, the smoke acrid and foul. Locked within the fence all they could do was watch as the flames left nothing but ashen shells and rubble. Margot wept for her possessions, especially for the new outfit she had just bought for the race weekend. She said as much to the woman stood next to her.

The woman just stared at her, ‘that’s the least of our problems, dear. How do the servants make tea without an electric kettle?’

The old doctor said, ‘ladies, what servants, look around you, where are they?’

©JG Farmer 2019

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