The Annual Garden Party was called such more out of tradition than anything else; there was no vegetation to be found, only green crystal ferns and porcelain roses. However, appearances and traditions had to be respected and kept up. It was commented on that the way the artificial sunlight glinted off the facets and glaze was, in humble opinions that would never be expressed if the whole effect wasn’t just so breathtaking, better than the original.
Byron hated it. Cecelia could see he hated it, but she brushed it off as concern for his younger sister, Bunny, as she continually tottered dangerously close to the ferns, her immense platform sandals and limited coordination not helping the matter any.
“Bunny,” Byron called, and the girl ambled over to the table he and Cecelia shared. “Look, here. I brought your tiara. Why don’t you go pose in it away from the ferns?”
“Oooooo! Shiny!” Bunny’s jewelry clattered noisily as she half-ran, half-fell away from the tables.
“She’s a beautiful girl, your sister,” Cecelia said. Byron only looked sad.
“She’s a beautiful girl with Holstein-Gottorp’s Disorder. I’m just glad she’s still young enough for the pageant circuit. When that goes, I’m not sure what she’s going to have.”
“It’s wonderful the way you care for her. You’ll make an excellent father.”
“Cecelia, we’ve talked about this.” Byron nervously ran his fingers over the gold tabletop. “You know I love you, but my sister has Holstein-Gottorp’s, and, well, with our combined inheritence, there’s a good chance any children we have could end up a…”
“BRIETARD!!!” Some smaller children were yelling at Bunny, throwing chocolates at her ample cleavage. She ran away from them, crying, and hid under a table. Byron looked pale.
“Byron, baby.” Cecelia took his hands, their multitude of rings clacking as they came together. “Even if we have brietarded children, we’ll make it work.”
“You don’t understand. Yesterday, my sister was asked to introduce herself, and she said ‘What? Like, with words?’ I can’t live with that.”
“So then we’ll give it up,” Cecelia said. “All of it. Maybe we even…I don’t know, get jobs or something.”
Byron looked aghast. “Are you mad?” He turned to watch his sister, once again tottering toward the glimmering fake plants. “Can’t we just do something sensible like adopt one of those strange little alien refugees? Something sane like that.”
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