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The Shem Propriety

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Ellana inspected each spoon, each fork, and each knife. She carefully noted their shape, their size and the position they sat on the table. Pointed, sharp, serrated, blunt. Curved, round, angled.


She lifted her gaze at a smiling dark-skinned woman, wearing the most… shiniest garment Ellana had ever seen on a person. Josephine tilted her head pleasantly at her, her dark brown eyes held no hostility, “So Miss Lavellan which one is the salad fork?”

Ellana dropped her gaze back towards the cutlery. ‘Salad fork, salad fork...’

There was one fork above the plates, three to the left and one to the far right next to the spoons.

Ellana rapped her fingers once along the tables edge, taking a quick glance at Josephine, she slowly dragged her index finger towards the far right fork.

“Seafood fork, Miss Lavellan.”

Quirking a brow, Ellana withdrew her finger and glided slowly towards the left side, pointing at the middle fork.

“Fish fork.” The ambassadors smiled.

Ellana moved her finger right.

“Dinner fork.” The former word spoken firm, deep, Ellana could hear the quiver in her voice.

Withdrawing her hand back to edge of the table she stared blankly at the last two forks. She brought her finger to the farthest left and glanced again at Josephine, who nodded with a tight smile. “Salad fork, well done Miss Lavellan.”

Quickly grasping the salad fork into her right hand, ready to skewer said greens from said plate, Josephine stopped her. “No. No! Salad fork in your left hand! Anything on the left side is for the left hand Miss Lavellan.”

Ellana felt her eye twitch as she swapped hands. She angled utensil, ready, eager! “No, Miss Lavellan! You do not hold dinner utensil like daggers.”

She dropped her hand firmly onto the table causing the other cutlery to bounce, her arm shook as she glared the woman across from her. Although this was not a dagger, she knew exactly where she would stab the pointy ends.   

“Miss Lavellan.” Josephine firmly started. “This is how you hold the forks from the left.”

The was a quiet pause as Ellana copied and settled the fork between her index and thumb.

“Now, lastly, before we can finally begin our lunch, which one is the salad knife.”