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Sneezy tales of an English maid (Chapter 1-4)

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The following is the full story up to this point of Emily, a maid working at manner of Miss Everheart, and the unusual sneeze filled occurrences that began taking place after one particular dinner party.  


If I continue writing with these characters I will add them as additional parts to this post.


Enjoy and as always I would love your thoughts.




Chapter 1

The dinner party



Emily straitened her black and white dress then gracefully picked up the tray of champagne glasses, five in all, filled with sparkling expensive wine.


She made her way from the bustling kitchen out to the grand hall where the Lady's guest mingled and laughed. It seemed at least once a month that Lady Everheart held a large party for some reason or another. Not that Emily minded that is, she actually enjoyed the spectacle of the city's upper class and Lady Everheart was very kind to her servants even allowing a small get together for them after the guests had left were that could enjoy the plentiful left overs. Yes Lady Everheart was good to work for Emily thought with a grin. That was of course as long as one remained professional at all times while working. Composed and collected was the way she liked things. Not really a problem for Emily as she prided herself on having worked at the manor for years with out so much as a talking too, let alone a scolding.

She smiled politely as she moved throughout the party, the full drinks on her tray being replaced by empty glasses. 


As Emily rounded the corner she saw a quick flap of white from her right. A noble woman held a handkerchief in her hand and had apparently flicked it in the air. A moment later...




The woman sneezed rather hard into the handkerchief. Emily was about to move on when the woman saw her and waved her over. As Emily started over with the tray she felt a sudden small tickle in her nose. She wiggled it trying to make the itch go away but it only seemed to grow. 'Not good' she thought. She felt like she needed to sneeze and that was a problem. While she was very good at being prim and proper, her sneezes were anything but. While girly, they were very loud and wet and she had never been good at stifling. 


The woman took a glass off the tray and delicately touched her handkerchief to her nose which immediately wrinkled. 




The noble woman sneezed even louder and more dramatically then before. 


"Nothing like a good sneeze." she said to no one specific then she turned to Emily, her face asking why she had not been offered a "bless you" as was polite custom. Seeing Emily’s face however her look was replaced with a smile. 


"Oh my dear girl." she said with a knowing tone to her voice "You look as though you have a sneeze brewing. Well no sense in holding it in, not healthy for you you know, let it out dear. Go on."


"I-I cah-can't m-ma'am" Emily managed "It wouldn't be prob-proper. My madam w-would not ah-approve"


"That really is a shame young lady." the noble woman said "Sneezing can be so enjoyable."


Emily rubbed her nose trying to be discreet as possible. Sneezing enjoyable? Well she supposed so but still she couldn't let herself let one out here.


The noble lady smiled. "Well if your sure then here, use this." 


She handed a new handkerchief to Emily who took it and blew her nose as quietly and ladylike as she could. Only it didn't help, in fact the tickle in Emily's nose only increased. 


"Wha-what was ih-in thah- hah HAH!!" Emily said almost loosing control.


"Oh I'm so sorry dear." the noble woman said "I must have accidentally given you one of my snuff handkerchiefs. Such a wonderful concoction snuff, brings out sneezes in even the most stubborn nose. It's all the rage in London you know. Why I heard that.......oh dear girl, just give in and sneeze already."


Emily's eyes were fluttering and her breath hitching but she would not give in without a fight.


"I-if thah-that i-is all Hah! ma'am." Emily said somehow managing a curtsy. 


"Oh well." the noble said "I suppose I won't torture you. Go on now."


Emily nodded and turned, heading back towards the hall leading to the kitchen. If she could make it to the wine closet she could let herself go and no one would hear. She had almost reached the hall when she realized she still had one glass of champagne left on her tray. No server was to return with a full glass. Emily almost moaned as she turned and looked for a guest with an empty glass. None were in sight.  She began to move through the crowd, her nose on fire with tickles and her eyes barely staying open but still she found no one needing a drink. That was it, she was going to sneeze and she couldn't hold it back any longer. She was about to give in when an idea struck her and her eyes popped back open. Giving her nose another rub she ducked behind a large house plant, scooped the drink off her tray and downed it in one gulp. She almost coughed but managed not to. The wine was quite tasty actually but the bubbles had only made things worse on her nose. 

A timer of sorts had started. She didn't know how she knew but she would sneeze in the next thirty seconds no matter where she was. Moving as fast as she could without losing her grace she move towards the hall, down it then past the kitchen.




The sneeze was coming as she reach the wine closet door and pushed it open. 




Emily sneezed and sneezed loud wet and unstifled, her body pitching forward and the tray dropping to the floor, the wine glass somehow not breaking. 


She turned and noticed that the door was still open and managed to close it just as another fit started. 

In the main hall the noble woman's eyes grew wide. Even with all the noise she had still heard the first set of sneezes. 


"Amazing." she said "Its no wonder she did not want to sneeze in the dining hall."


She grinned "I must see if Lady Everheart would have me for tea sometime. I'm sure that servant would not mind attending us."

With a smile she patted the small box of snuff in her hand bag and went to find the lady of the house and invite herself over for tea.






Chapter 2

A strange day in the gardens.




The kettle let out its long whistle and Emily quickly picked it up using an oven mitt. Carefully she pored the hot water into an elaborate tea pot were her own special blend of tea sat waiting. She arranged a collection of the Lady's favorite cookies on a small plate and then added it along with the tea pot and two cups to the serving tray. After looking over her maid uniform as she always did before leaving the kitchen Emily picked up the tray and headed through the big house and out to the gardens where Miss Everheart and her guest waited. 

She smiled at the warmth of the spring sun as she stepped out into the beautifully manicured gardens. One of the many things she loved about working here, everything had a beautifully proper elegance to it just like Miss Everheart liked it and how she herself had grown to appreciate it. 


Rows of flowers lined the walk way leading deeper into the gardens and Emily inhaled deeply as she walked enjoying the sweet fragrances. She was so glad she did not have allergies as some of the other servants did. She would likely not be able to serve the Lady in the gardens if she did. Miss Everheart loved formality and edict in her employees and expected them to act accordingly while working for her. And there was nothing less formal, less proper  then a-




Emily almost missed a step as a rather loud sneeze came form deeper in the garden. It sounded near the tea tables where she was to find the Lady and her guest. It couldn't have been Miss Everheart, for one thing Emily had never once seen her lose her proper demeanor for even a second, for another the sneeze sounded familiar as odd as that was. She kept walking checking the tray to make sure everything was just right. 


Under the shade of a large tree was located a set of chairs and a table. As Emily approached the two women seated in the chairs turned her way. Miss Everheart gave her small approving nod that she kept for those who had repeatedly done well in her eyes and Emily gave small smile back. 


The other woman at the table finished politely brushing the bottom of her nose with a handkerchief then gave Emily a wide smile. Emily fought to keep her face from showing her surprise. It was the noble woman from the party a few weeks ago. The one who had tried to make her sneeze, in the main hall, in front of everyone. Emily took notice of the woman's handkerchief and made a note to stay far away from it this time. She was sure it was completely dusted with snuff as it had been at the party and she had discovered that night, thanks to this woman, that her nose was especially sensitive to it. Doing her best to act normal while keeping far from the handkerchief, Emily set out two cups and began to pore tea for both women. 


"Are you sure you wish to remain in the gardens Caroline?" Miss Everheart said continuing what must have been the conversion from before Emily arrived "I would be happy to have the servants arrange the sitting room for tea instead if your allergies are roused by the flowers."


"No need," the Lady said whose name was apparently Caroline "The gardens are simply too beautiful this time of year to let a few sneezes stand in the way of our enjoyment of them. Besides a proper sneeze is good for the spirit they say, why I heard that in London.........."


Caroline went on about how sneezing was all the rage in Europe or something like that. Emily didn't take notice, she was to busy trying to finish arranging the small cookies and cupcakes that the Lady had requested, then she planned to get away from this odd woman. 


Finishing she looked at Miss Everheart who gave her a nod of dismissal and Emily turned to go, but she had not even take one step when...


"Oh, excuse me." Caroline said in Emily's direction. Emily turned. 

Caroline when on, "Would you be a dear and- Oh my! Look out! A bee!" 

Caroline flapped her handkerchief just to the right of Emily's head at a supposed bee that Emily guessed was not even there. From this close Emily could see the fine snuff powder poof off the handkerchief and the instant tickle told her Caroline had hit her target. Emily waved a hand in front of her face seeming to shoo away the bee but in reality she was trying to wave the sneeze away that was building. 


What was with this woman?! Why was she so determined to make Emily sneeze at the worst times. First the party and now right in front of Miss Everheart herself.


That was as far as her thoughts got before her whole mind was focused on not sneezing. But as she had discovered at the party her nose was quite weak to snuff. 




Two small hitches slipped out and Emily held her nose forgetting herself for just a moment.


"Are you alright Emily?" Miss Everheart asked "Is something wrong?"


Emily shook her head but she knew she couldn't stop what was coming. Her eyes rolled sneezily and her head lifted back.


"It looks like she needs to sneeze" Caroline said with just the slightest hint of anticipation slipping through.

Through eyes she had to fight to keep open Emily say Miss Everheart make a slightly disgusted face. 


"Well if you must, just do it quickly and get it over with." Everheart finally said with an exasperated sign.




Emily's nose let go the instant she was given permission, sneezing hard and rather loudly despite her efforts to keep them quiet and lady like. 


"Dear girl!" Miss Everheart exclaimed "Must you sneeze so loud and unladylike? It is not at all proper."


Emily was torn between wanting to apologize and a strong desire to take one of the cup cakes and cram it in Caroline's face. Well, those two things and the desire to begin sneezing again. Before she could do anything Caroline spoke up.


"Don't be too hard on her." she said to Miss Everheart "Most people can't help how they sneeze. And besides a good sneeze can be quite refreshing. It's not healthy to hold them in."  


"Nonsense." Miss Everheart said "I can keep my manors just fine when I sneeze, which is rarely ever I might add." 


Emily was not sure she should still apologize or not as Caroline seemed to have distracted her Lady. Still her nose burned and she knew more sneeze were on the way but she could not just leave without being dismissed.


"Really?" Caroline said "You have never had a sneeze so strong you couldn't keep it ladylike?" 




"Poor thing. You don't know what you are missing."


There was a long pause.


"They........is there really that much of a difference?" Miss Everheart asked. 


Emily was stunned. Miss Everheart seemed, curious. The tickle in her nose seemed to vanish as she was filled with her own curiosity of what would happen next.


"Oh honey you should really try it some time." Caroline said "In fact, I can help you if you would like. Try a pinch of this."


Caroline reached in her hand bag and pulled out a small ornate box.


"This is from France." Caroline said proudly "The very best in snuff. If this won't make you have a good sneeze nothing will."


Miss Everheart looked at the box for a moment weighing her curiosity against her properness. Then she looked at Emily.


"You are not to breath a word of this." she said "Am I clear?"


Emily nodded vigorously.


"How does it work?" Everheart asked.


Caroline smiled. "All you need do is inhale a little through your nose and it will do the rest." she said. 


She took a clean handkerchief from her hand bag and dipped it in to the snuff, then she held it out to Miss Everheart. 


"It's best we start with just a little mind you. Now, hold it under your nose and breath in."


Emily watched stunned as Miss Everheart did just that. She couldn't believe what she was seeing, and for that matter what she was about to see. Miss Everheart had never so much as coughed in her presence always staying as proper and prim as possible.


"Oh! Oh that does feel ah-odd." Miss Everheart said as her face changed from one of composure to on of growing desperation. Her eyebrows arched upward in the middle and she waved her hand next to her face as though fanning herself. 


"Oh may I ah....hah....HAKRCHOOOOOO HAH HAKRCHOOOOO AHCHOOOOOOOO!!!" Miss Everheart sneezed. Oh how she sneezed. Hard and completely unladylike except for her high pitch.  Her body bent forward with each and she bumped the table causing the tea to spill slightly.


Emily immediately went to clean the spill out of habit but Caroline stopped her with light hand. 


"Let her enjoy it." she said.


Looking back at Miss Everheart Emily saw that she did seem to be enjoying it. One hand was pressed between her breasts while the other continued fanning. Her face was filled with desperation and something else......enjoyment!? Yes, she was smilling just the slightest bit as her head came back for another set of sneezes.


"HEKRCHOOOOOOO EKRCHOOOOOOOOO HEH HEH EH ETCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! Oh my heavens!" Miss Everheart said after the hardest set of sneezes yet "That wah was HEKRCHOOOOOOOO!! Oh bless me. That was simply divine." 


Miss Everheart smiled weakly with a slightly dazed expression that only lasted a moment before she remembered where she was and who was around her.


"I-I mean excuse me." she said with what almost seemed to be embarrassment. 


Emily was shocked. She had never seen her Lady so....out of control so.....normal and human. 


"So, what did you think." Caroline asked grinning "I told you a good sneeze or three would do wonders."

Miss Everheart gathered herself. When she answered, her formality was back. "That was quite the.....experience." she said dabbing her nose with a napkin "I can see the attraction." She looked up at Emily and started, like she had forgotten the maid was still there. "Not a word of this to anyone." she said "You are dismissed."

Emily curtsied "Yes my lady." the she turned to hurry off but Miss Everheart called to her before she had gotten two steps.

"And Emily" Miss Everheart said "Let the other maids know that those will allergies are permitted to enter the gardens again, if there are no guests visiting."

Emily nodded and hurried off. The last things she heard sounded like Miss Everheart asking Caroline were she could acquire a bit of snuff of her own. Emily shook her head. Darn that Caroline and her sneeze obsession. Still, it seemed that she had help Miss Everheart to, dare she think it, loosen up a little. Maybe she wasn't so bad after all. Still it had been a very strange day in the gardens.








Chapter 3

Dusting the library.







“She really said that?” Anna asked.


“Yes.” Emily said “We are free to sneeze if we need to. No one is banned from the gardens because of there allergies any longer. I suppose she still wants us to be polite about it but, yes we can sneeze any time we need to.”



Emily and most of the house staff where in the kitchen as Emily explained Miss Everheart’s new rules, or lack there of, concerning sneezing. Many of the maids and servants smiled. Emily knew some had longed to enjoy the gardens but had not dared go near them. Other maids would now be able to share more of the dusting with the rest as up till now only those who could resist sneezing from the dust had accomplished that chore. 


“I can finally make some of the more spice filled meals I have been wanting to try.” the cook said.


“What made the Lady change her mind?” the red haired maid Anna asked. 


“That is not for me to know.” Emily said “It’s not our place to question the Lady but we should enjoy this new found liberty.”


The others nodded and thankfully did not push the subject. Emily was glad of it. She had managed not to let on that she was pretty sure she knew why Miss Everheart had made the change but she did not feel it would be right to tell the others. Ladies had a right to privacy after all. Emily did find it odd and slightly worrying that the Lady had developed such a fascination with sneezing. That was what it was, a fascination. Only one day had passed but she had already noticed changes. Miss Everheart had remained in the gardens with the Lady Caroline long after tea time had ended. When Emily went out to inform them that lunch would be ready momentarily, she found them sniffing flowers together. Not that that was odd but they had seemed to be trying different ones in an effort to make themselves sneeze. Miss Everheart had not commented on it so Emily did not ask but it was odd. That night after serving the Lady her night cap, Emily had heard sneezes coming from behind the bed room door as soon as she left. Quite loud sneezes for that matter and too many to just be a random tickle. Yes, Miss Everheart had found an new fascination. Well, it was none of Emily’s business what the Lady chose to do with her time. Her job was to care for the manner and wait on the Lady as she needed.



It was Wednesday which meant a full dusting of the Everheart manner was the agenda. Normally it took two days but as those whole staff could now participate, it should only take a day at most. Emily started her portion on the third floor library, dusting books, shelves, and tables. The library was quite large with many rows of literature in shelves that went far over Emily’s head and he had to use one of the ladders to reach the highest ones. 


Emily was have way through a shelf when she felt a sudden tickle in her nose. She rubbed it out of habit but it did not go away. She sighed. She could hold it in easily after so much practice but it would be an annoyance for the rest of her work day. Then she remembered, she did not have to hold anything in. She could just let her body naturally respond to the tickle and if she sneezed it was okay. Emily stopped dusting and took a moment to relax. After so long of training herself to not sneeze it took effort to let herself go. Slowly the tickle grew and grew until Emily’s eyes began to flutter and her face took on a desperate pre-sneeze look and then......nothing. The sneeze was stuck. Emily opened her eyes with a worried look. The tickle was driving her mad but her body would not let herself sneeze. She had to do something or she would go crazy. Embarrassed but seeing no alternative she began looking for something that would help her get the sneeze out. Her duster! She looked down at the dust covered feathers and concluded that if it didn’t help her sneeze nothing would. Gingerly Emily began to tickle her nose with the duster and the effects were almost instant.





She sneezed, harder and louder then she anticipated but the tickle wasn’t quite satisfied.




Two more sneezes and she was done and trying to catch her breath. 


“Wow. It must be true if you are sneezing.” a voice said “Your the most proper of us all.”


Emily jumped and held in a shriek. Turning quickly she saw Anna who’s pail skin was turning as red as her hair. Anna was the newest and youngest maid working at the manner. She was pretty in more of a cute way then sexy and she had bright red hair and a shy smile which she know wore from embarrassment.


“Sorry.” she said still blushing“I didn’t...did not mean to sneak up on you.” 


“It’s quite alright Anna” Emily said with a smile. She like Anna and had tried to take her under her wing so to speak teaching her how to be a good maid and how to speak in a more proper manner. She was a little surprised however to find Anna holding a feather duster.


Anna had not been assigned a dusting job since her first day when she had discovered she had a strong allergy to dust. Less then a minute dusting on that day had sent her running for the ladies room holding her nose. Thankfully Miss Everheart had been away that morning as her ten minute long sneezing fit could be heard even through the closed door. 


“Are you here to help tidy up the library?” Emily asked.


Anna nodded then remembered her manners. “Yes ma’am.” she said “Since the new rule about sneezing, I figured......I thought it would be acceptable.”


“Well, if you wish Anna you may help me with the next row.” Emily said “Just take it slow, you will be of little help if you are sneezing continuously.”


“Yes ma’am.” Anna said as the two maids walked around the end of the book shelf and began dusting the next row of books. Emily occasionally glanced at Anna as they worked to see how she was doing and so far things were going well. Anna seemed to be breathing through her mouth as subtly as she could and was keeping her nose as far from the dust as possible. Still Emily noticed Anna wiggle her nose every so often and once even inhale sharply.


“If you need to sneeze just sneeze.” Emily said “The Lady said it was permissible.”


Anna sniffed then replied “I am o-okay.” she said then added “I mean.....I shall be alright.”


Emily was not sure she believed the other woman and a moment later Anna’s nose was back to wiggling, obviously trying to reduce a tickle. Emily was rather surprised Anna had lasted so long. She herself felt like she might sneeze a few more times before they were finished. It was much more comfortable then holding them in as she always had.


After another hitch Emily was about to insist that Anna let herself sneeze when the door to the library opens loudly and Emily hear the voice of Miss Everheart.


“The Lady !” Anna whispered as her face took on a frantic look of desperation. As luck would have it Anna’s nose had at that moment decided it was going to sneeze no matter what the rest of her thought about it. Out of habit Anna was trying to hold back but her eyes kept fluttering shut and she was looking more sneezy by the second.


“Anna dear.” Emily said now only whispering because they were in the library “Let yourself go. The Lady assured me that sneezing is perfectly permissible unless there are.......guests.”


Time seems to slow as and as Anna’s eyes rolled shut and her let herself go Emily realized she had missed something important. Why would the Lady be talking as she entered the library if she did not have a guest with her.


Her eyes growing wide Emily did the only thing she could think of, she placed a finger tightly under Anna’s nose and held it there hoping to stop the sneeze.


Anna’s eyes popped open.


“Wha...wha....what are you eh heh you doing?” Anna asked quietly still on the very edge of a sneeze.


“The Lady is not alone.” Emily replied and Anna’s eyes widened.


They were four shelves deep in the library so Miss Everheart and her guest had not hear or seen them but if Anna sneezed she would shatter the quiet of the library in quite spectacular fashion and Emily hated to think what the Lady might say. But now there was another problem. Holding someone’s nose so they did not sneeze was far from proper and Miss Everheart would likely not be pleased but if she moved then Anna would launch into a fit of sneezes. 


Both women froze hoping that the Lady would leave quickly. Anna was whispering to herself frantically.


“Don’t sneeze. Don’t sneeze. Don’t sn-sneeze. D-don’t hah sn-sneh heh eh!”


“Hold it in young lady!” Emily whispered forcefully. They needed to find a solution quickly or they would be caught for sure. Maybe they could sneak out. Emily motioned Anna to move and they slowly crept to the far edge of the row, Emily still keeping her finger pressed firmly against Anna’s nose. Reaching the edge Emily slowly peaking around and did not see the Lady or her guest although she could hear the Lady talking.


“Perhaps you will be able to find something suitable here.” Miss Everheart was saying “There are many times to choose from.”


“Perhaps.” another woman’s voice said “There are quite a few candidates in here.”


In the back of her mind Emily thought she knew the other voice but right now she was focused on sneaking out with Anna. They passed one row, the another. The voices where coming from the opposite side of the book shelves so as long as she kept peaking around each row before they moved they should be able to get out. As they moved Anna began to look more and more dazed as the urge to sneeze grew so strong it began to replace all other thoughts in her mind and Emily noticed this.


“Just a bit further.” she whispered “you can make it.”


It was true they were almost there, just now passing the last row but Emily was walking backwards as she had to keep her finger under Anna’s nose. That was why she wound up brushing against the tall drapes that hung covering the last window before the door. Having not been cleaned yet the showered both women in a fine mist of dust. Anna was safe as Emily was covering her nose but Emily’s nose was quite open. The moment she felt the tickle she knew they were caught. Anna, who had often had to hold her sneezes in was quite good at it, at least at first but Emily who rarely sneezed did not have the practice and already having a minor tickle, with the addition of more dust she never stood a chance.




Emily’s sneezes were beyond her control coming out loud and powerful. Worse yet her finger slipped away from Anna’s nose.





Anna sneezed and sneezed letting out the fit that she had held in longer then she thought possible. Her sneeze were more high pinched and girly then Emily’s but still just as loud. They also grew faster and faster until there seemed no pause at all between them. Both maids sneezed so hard they had to hold on to each other to not lose there balance. 


When the fits finally slowed both women opened there eyes to see Miss Everheart and her guest staring at them. The maids jumped and curtsied. Emily was about to apologize to Miss Everheart for the both of them but her words stopped as she recognized the Lady’s guest. It was the Lady Caroline. Why on earth was Miss Everheart suddenly spending so much time with this odd woman.


With Emily hesitating Anna blurted out “M-ma’am! S-sorry ma’am it was the d....d....dust HEEEESSHEEEEEW!!! Oh! I’m sorry again I just couldn’t h-help i-it.”


Emily grimmest as Anna’s words spilled out, loosing all properness due to her nervousness. She wa about to try to make up for it when Caroline spoke.


“It’s quite alright dear.” Caroline said “You simply could not resist the dust in this room. It is quite thick, I may need to sneeze myself soon. Here my dear, use this.”


Caroline handed Anna a handkerchief and the young maid gratefully accepted. Emily’s eyes grew wide and frantically trying to think of a reason to stop Anna from using it that would be acceptable. If Emily knew Lady Caroline, that handkerchief was covered in snuff. 


She was about to just grab for it when she saw Miss Everheart’s face and froze. Her Lady had the slightest hint of a smile and her face wore a look of anticipation. She......she knew what Caroline was doing and wanted Anna to sneeze?!. Emily did not know what to make of it.


As for poor Anna she used the handkerchief to touch her nose in a very ladylike way but then her regained poise was instantly lost as her face returned to its desperate pre-sneeze look.


“Oh my.” Lady Caroline said “It appears you have some more on the way. Don’t be shy dear, just let them out.”


Fighting to keep her fluttering eyes open Anna looked at Miss Everheart who gave the smallest nod, then Anna exploded in sneezes.






Anna’s fit continued for what seemed like an eternity while Emily stood speechless and the two noble women seemed to just watch. When the sneezes finally finished Anna had a look of such pure release and relief on her face that Emily was sure she had forgotten where she was for just a moment. 


“That must have felt good my dear.” Lady Caroline said.


“Yeah.” Anna said still dazed then she jumped as Emily elbowed her. Wide eyed she remembered herself “I-I mean y-yes ma’am! I means no ma’am....I mean, I tried not hold them but they just overwhelmed my heh my eh neh n-nose HEEEEESHOOOOOW!”


“Bless you dear.” Lady Caroline said smiling warmly. Emily was sure she saw the slight hit of mischief in that smile as well.


“It’s is quite alright Anna.” Miss Everheart said finally speaking “As I ordered, sneezing is no longer frowned upon. However, perhaps next time you should asked the head maid if there are guests in the manner before dusting.”


“Yes ma’am.” both maids said followed by a hitch from Anna.


“Take a moment to gather yourself Anna. Emily, see to it that she rests until her sneezes are more under control, then she may return to work. Perhaps a bit of tea. Tell the cook I sent you.”


Both maids curtsied- HEEEESSHOOOOOOW a sudden sneeze almost made Anna fall over as she finished. The both women moved past and through the door.


“Be a dear and close the door after you.” Lady Caroline said as Emily did so, not showing her frustration at the woman. 


Anna continued to sneeze as they walk down the hall but Emily barely noticed. What on earth was happening? Three days now Miss Everheart had spent her time with this Lady Caroline and each time more odd sneezy occurrence had taken place. Why? Emily had even heard a sneeze from behind them as she closed the door and was pretty sure it had been Miss Everheart. 


As they reached the kitchen Emily came to a resolution. She had bee tasked with taking Miss Everheart her evening night cap and decided she would ask her. The Lady had occasionally spoken with her during these pre bed visits and Emily intended to get to the bottom of what ever was happening. She just had to find out what was going on and what this new fascination was all about. After all, there had to be more to it then just the sneezes themselves. Sneezing was nothing special.......was it?

Edited by Light

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Chiller, a sneezy skeleton


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Chapter 4 - An enlightening evening. 



Emily smoothed her dress and checked herself over in the hall mirror before turning out the lantern for the night. It was about 11pm, the time Miss Everheart turned in, which meant the time the rest of the household did as well. The last task every night was for one of the maids to bring the Lady her nightly refreshment, usually a glass or two of sherry, and ask if there was anything else she needed before she retired for the night. Each night it would be a different maid per Miss Everheart’s request. Emily did not really know why but perhaps it was so the Lady could insure each maid was still maintaining a professional appearance even after the long day. As for Emily herself, Miss Everheart would occasionally talk with her, briefly mind you, about how the day had been and if there were any matters she should be aware of in the manner. Emily was not the head maid but Miss Everheart had seemed to enjoy getting the report from her just the same. 


It was not supposed to be Emily’s turn tonight, it was Anna’s in fact, but Emily had worked up the courage to ask the Lady about her odd behavior, and she wanted to do so before losing her nerve. Anna had not objected. She was still rather embarrassed by her sneezing fit in the library and had been sure she would just die if Miss Everheart brought it up.


Emily arranged the decanter of sherry on the serving tray and off set it with two glasses. Another request by Miss Everheart yet the Lady had never offered a drink to any maid she knew of and only needed one glass for herself of course. Still, if it was what the Lady desired, it was what she would provide.


Taking a deep breath and still wondering just how she would bring her topic up without being too obvious, Emily gave two small knocks on the Lady’s bedroom door.


“Come in.” Emily heard Miss Everheart say and she opened the door into the master bedroom. 


The room was quite large with its own fireplace as well as a writing desk, three dressers, a mirrored desk with an arrangement of brushes combs and makeup, and a large wardrobe. In the center of the room stool a large ornate bed with four large posts and a multitude of quilts and blankets. By the window sat two cushioned chairs with a small table between them holding a few books. Miss Everheart sat in one chair reading a book by the light of the room’s many lanterns. The light was dim but Emily could still see that the Lady’s face was flush, her cheeks a delicate rosy color almost as though she was blushing. 


“Are you well this evening ma’am?” Emily asked as she always did. “I have brought the wester sherry tonight, I thought it might be a good choice after dinner’s selection.”


“Thank you Emily.” Miss Everheart said “Not Anna tonight? It is her turn after all, is she not well?”


Emily did not want to lie but she also did not want to say why she had switched instead, so she decided that being truthful yet leaving a small bit out was best.


“She has been suffering from her allergies rather horribly today ma’am.” Emily said “Sneezing quite often. I believe she is still growing a custom to the recent lifting of the sneezing restriction.”


It was true and she hoped the Lady inferred the rest. Everheart looked at her oddly however, almost with the slight hint of disappointment then the look was gone and she answered “Well, i suppose that it would be for the best if she take an early night then.”


“Yes ma’am.” Emily said placing the tray on the small table and pouring  a glass for the Lady. 


“Thank you Emily.” Miss Everheart said after Emily handed her the glass. There was a moment of silence as the Lady took a sip of the sherry and closed her eyes as she savored the flavor.


“Excellent choice.” she said.


“Thank you ma’am.” Emily replied and waited for more conversation in hopes of finding a natural transition into her question, but none came.


Miss Everheart simply turned and watched the small fire in the fireplace, sipping her sherry occasionally. Normally Emily would have excused herself but she just couldn’t. She wanted to know why the Lady was acting so oddly and if it was from something this Lady Caroline had done. Yes, Emily worked for Miss Everheart, but she had also grown to appreciate and respect her and these new changes were beginning to worry her.


“Emily?” Miss Everheart said making Emily jump slightly as she returned from her thoughts “Is there something on your mind? You have never been the kind to linger.”


“I-it’s nothing ma’am.” Emily said then grimiest at her slight stutter. She never missed a step while speaking to the Lady and doing so now only confirmed that something was wrong.


Miss Everheart noticed of course.


“Come now girl, ask your question.” the Lady said and Emily’s heart sank. She had no choice now and no way to ease into it.


Taking a deep breath she spoke. “Ma’am.......is there anything the matter? Please forgive my saying so but you have been acting very differently as of late and.......” Emily blushed despite herself “I grew concerned.”


“To my eyes I am no different then I have always been.” Miss Everheart said “How do I appear different to you?”


“Your time spent with the Lady Caroline ma’am.” Emily went on nervously “It seems she has caused you to develop a fascination with-”


Miss Everheart’s raised eyebrow stopped Emily cold. She had overstepped her place and she knew it.


Miss Everheart took another sip looking at Emily over the glass as she did. “It is not your place to question your Lady’s tastes or perceived......fascinations as you see them.”


“O-of course not ma’am. I-“ Emily started then was stopped by a slightly upraised hand.


“However,” the Lady went on “You have been an excellent worker here for quite a while and have been, I dare say, the best among your peers. Therefore I will overlook your misstep, and even allow you to ask you questions.....yet there will be conditions.”


“Yes ma’am.” Emily said nodding.


“First, you are to share the nature of our conversation tonight with no one.” the Lady said “Second, simply and only for tonight you may address me as an equal. If we are to have this conversation, I’ll not have you hiding your true words or thoughts behind the need to be formal and proper with your Lady. Sit. You may have a drink if you like. It is quite good, I highly recommend you try some.”


Miss Everheart picked up the decanter and went to pour a drink for Emily.


“M-ma’am. Allow me to do that for you.” Emily said out of instinct.


“As I said, not tonight.” Miss Everheart said “And you may call me by my first name, in fact I insist you do.”


For a moment Emily was frozen with indecision between her years of propriety and the Lady’s direction. Finally she slowly sat in the other chair.


“Yes ma’a-.......Sara.” Emily said slowly reaching for the crystal glass.


“I will not order you to drink Emily” Sara Everheart said “It is your choice, but I would recommend it, you did choose a very fine sherry.”


“Thank you.....Sara.” Emily said still adjusting “I very much like sherry actually.” Emily sipped from the glass then was unable to keep from smiling widely. She had never tasted sherry this expensive or this good before. She sipped a second time before she could help herself.


“Now then” Sara said taking another sip of her own “We can get to this.....fascination as you perceive it in a moment but first, what do you think of Lady Caroline?”


Emily paused, not sure what to say and decided take another drink again before answering. “She is....unique. She seems to have a very eccentric passion for something most would see as unusual.”


“And you worry she may have passed that passion on to me.” Sara said pouring a second glass for herself and for Emily.


Emily was startled to notice her glass was empty. She should slow down, sherry could be strong and she did not want it to go to her head while she spoke with Miss Everheart. Still she just had to take another sip once her glass was full, it was just too delicious not to.


“Sara, I have worked for you for a few years now and I have grown to respect you greatly.” Emily said “You are in high standing with the Lords and Ladies of this area of the country and.......fascinations of this sort can start rumors. I would not wish to see you become the topic of some gossip circle.”


“You do realize that I already am?” Sara said “All Lords and Ladies are. There are so many false rumors about me already and I still keep my standing, with little effort I might add. One more will be of no harm.”


“But is it true?” Emily said as Sara filled there cups again “Have you became fascinated with sneezing like Caroline is?”


Emily blinked realizing that she had actually just blurted it out. Sipping her glass she also noticed it was full again. She could feel the warm fuzziness of the alcohol as it had indeed gone to her head as she feared. Looking at Sara she opened her mouth to apologize but saw that the Lady was smiling, her cheeks quite rosy. They were both feeling the effects of the sherry now if Emily guessed right.


“Before I answer you.” Sara said “I want to ask you something. Have you ever stopped and really let yourself feel when you sneeze. The slow or sometimes fast and intense building in your nose. The devilishly teasing tickle that will inevitably take control of your body. Building and building until a final release that while may be reduced can never be completely controlled. Have you ever let yourself feel it, enjoy it?”


“I-I have not ma’am-Sara” Emily said blushing. Somehow hearing Miss Everheart speak of sneezing that way made it sound very alluring indeed.


“I think you should try before you choose to judge me about it.” Sara said still smiling to show she did not hold anything against Emily. “Would you like to try? To really let yourself feel one?”


Emily blushed harder but slowly nodded with a quiet “Yes. But I don’t feel like sneezing.” she said.


“I believe I can help with that.” Sara said standing.


Emily’s mouth opened to tell her that it was not necessary. That she did not need to experience such a sneeze. That she should really be going as it was getting late. She knew she should say all these things.....but she did not want to. Maybe it was the sherry, maybe it had relaxed her enough to realize that the real reason she had wanted to ask Miss Everheart about this, was that she herself was curious. Emily closed her mouth and sat nervously waiting to see what her Lady planned to do to help her sneeze.


Miss Everheart walked over to her writing desk first and picked up one of the quill pens. With a snap she broke off the writing tip and was left with a large feather. Emily watched her wide eyed.


“This one was getting old anyway, and I have plenty more.” Sara said as she crossed the room to her mirrored makeup table. After a moments consideration she lifted the lid to her face powder and twirled the edge of the feather in the fine white dust.


Emily shifted nervously. She had used face powder herself occasionally but she always had been careful to hold her breath as to prevent what Miss Everheart was about to attempt.


Emily gulped the last of her sherry and tried to steady her breathing. It was just a sneeze, there was no reason to get so worked up about it, yet she was. Part of her still could not believe what was happening. Miss Everheart had always been so prim and proper, yet she was about to tease Emily’s nose into sneezing, not a proper thing for a Lady to do by far.


Miss Everheart walked back over to where Emily sat and raised the now white tipped feather. Emily shied away, not that she wanted Sara to stop but that this was Miss Everheart, her Lady.


“Do you want me to stop?” Miss Everheart said only intending to go on if Emily wanted her to.


“I-it’s not proper.” Emily said.


“Do you want me to stop?”


“You are my Lady, we shouldn’t.”


“Do you want me to stop?”


“No.” Emily breathed finally giving in to her curiosity and desire. 


“Lean your head back just a little and relax. Let your nose do whatever it wants to.” Sara said.


Emily complied and gasped as the feather touched and a strong tickle filled her nose. 



“M-Miss Eh Eh Ever HEH HEH Heart” Emily hitched.


“Call me Sara.” Sara said.




Emily turned and sneezed hard into her sleeve out of habit.


Miss Everheart frowned but then smiled sympathetically.


“I know it’s in your nature to be as polite as possible.” she said as she began to brush Emily’s nose again “But this is a special case. Please, let yourself sneeze freely. Just let it go.”


“Th-the sheh-sherry” Emily managed to say as her eyes fluttered and her eyebrows arched.


Understanding that Emily did not want to sneeze on the glasses and decanter, Miss Everheart simply turned Emily’s chair so she was no longer facing the table and went right back to tickling, this time going slower so the maid could feel the build up.


Emily gasped as the tickle renewed. She knew she had seconds before she sneezed again but no longer fearing sneezing on the sherry Emily tried to do a Miss Everheart had asked and really let herself feel. 




Her breaths grew sharper and random as her nose continued to prepare for the coming release. Her eyes fluttered shut and her face took on a very sneezy look. A tension was building inside her as first her nose but soon her entire being began to crave to the release of the sneeze.


Miss Everheart must had read her expression. “It is a wonderful build up when you really let yourself feel it.” she said.


All Emily could do was nod slightly. She had tried to look at Miss Everheart when she spoke but only managed to roll her eyes sneezily. 


“Emily, you may let it out.” Miss Everheart encouraged “Do not hold back, let yourself go.”


With a final gasp Emily did just that.







Emily was left trying to catch her breath. It had been......an amazing experience. The build up. The release. She blushed at the thought of what the feeling had reminded her of, and at that moment she finally understood. That was why Caroline and now Sara enjoyed it so much. It was the second most intense and enjoyable build up and release that the body could experience.


Sneezing was, very enjoyable and most people never took the time to notice.


“That you m...Sara.” Emily said with a weak smile “I understand now I think.”


“I’m glad you do Emily.” Miss Everheart said again taking the other seat “So, now that you understand I will answer your question. Yes, I have become quite fascinated. Very much so. You do understand do you not? As a Lady I have always been as proper and in control as possible, so you may imagine how, alluring it can be to let myself indulge in something such as this. Something that I may let myself go with and just be natural and free.”


Emily nodded. “I...apologize for questioning you Sara.” she said “Thank you for sharing this with me and helping me understand.”



“You are quite welcome Emily.” Sara said then she extended a hand to Emily “It has become quite late. We should retire for the night.”


Emily accepted the help standing and it was a good thing too. She almost stumbled as the sherry was fully in her system but now.


“Will you require assistance back to your room Emily?” Miss Everheart said.


“That would not be proper, for you to help me down the hall that is.” Emily said “I will be okay in a moment.” 


She was and walked, with some concentration, steadily to the door.


“This will not become a nightly event you understand.” Miss Everheart said “But when it is your turn to bring me my nightly refreshment, we may choose to indulge for a while, if you wish.”


“I would like that ma’am.” Emily said and with a slow curtsy, slow to keep it steady, Emily saw herself out.


The rest of the household had already retired for the night, which was a good thing as Emily’s steps were not always the straightest on her way to her room.


Once inside she began to get ready for bed but as she did she was filled with temptation to.....explore what Miss Everhearthad shown her a little more. She looked at her small jar of face powder and grinned. 






The next morning Emily woke feeling a bit thirsty but over all not too bad. She dressed and went about her daily duties lost in thought concerning the previous night. She never realized Miss Everheart had a more, adventurous side to her. For that matter she was shocked at her own actions. True the sherry had made her more comfortable but she had been far from drunk and knew she would have eventually agreed to the same outcome, alcohol or no.


It was the second day of dusting and Emily choose to begin in one of the halls. As she began dusting one of the shelves and a familiar tickle rose in her nose. For the first time ever the thought of sneezing made her blush. She stopped and let the dust settle and was about to return to work when she was tempted to encourage the sneeze and try to enjoy it once more. Looking up and down the hall to make sure no one was there Emily turned the duster over and gently bushed her nose ever so slightly.








The effect was instant and Emily let herself enjoy if completely. With a smile she went back to work realizing that now Miss Everheart was not the only person living at Everheart manner with a fascination for sneezing.

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Wonderful stuff!

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This really is wonderful stuff. Too bad Anna didn't get the opportunity to allow her sneezes to be freed. Or maybe in the next part she will. Perhaps Caroline will have a little 1 on 1 with Anna. The possibilities to continue this story are endless

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Thank you for combining the different parts in one story. The adventures of this household is fun to read! That picture you showed of the maid from that long ago was awesome to see again! I wonder how you imagine Sara/Miss everheart or Lady Caroline or Anna to look like. 

The conversation Sara had with Emily was not only sweet, but it was understandable. It is great reading how they are friends, not just having a servant and master relationship. 

The stories you write are energetic and fun. i loved your fantasy characters and those storylines, and this story is just as fun as those stories are.

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As a massive fan of the sneezy maid scenario, I can honestly say this ticks so many of my boxes, especially the 'sneezing while hiding/sneezing in inappropriate situations' ones :D A stately home full of uncontrollably sneezing maids is my ideal retirement scenario :lol: 

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