Characters: Phily, Meadow, Jane, Victor, Octavia
Summary: Some people are very excited about the presidential election.
Notes: Canon. Takes place during Chapter 21.
Word Count: 647
Victor and Jane were walking down Elm Street, arm in arm. Close behind them were Meadow, Phily, and their daughter Octavia. The party was headed towards Portsimouth City Hall, where they were going to vote in the presidential election.
“I still don’t see why you wanted to come, Tavia,” commented Phily as they climbed the steps. “You’re not old enough to vote yet.”
“Grandma Phily, this is an historic day. This is the first presidential election since the 19th amendment passed.”
“I know that, dear. That’s why your mother, Meadow, and I are going to City Hall with your father. There would be no point otherwise.”
Octavia “tsk tsked” in a mocking, disapproving way, but she had a huge smile on her face. “You see, Grandma Phily, someday I’ll take my granddaughter with me to vote. And when I do, I’ll tell her all about you, Grandma Henri, and Great-Aunt Anne, and how you made it possible for her and me to vote, and how I was with you the first time women got to vote at all.”
Phily blinked back the tears that were welling up in her eyes. “I think that would be a lovely thing, dear. Thank you, dear.” She pulled her granddaughter into a hug.
“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchins,” smiled the city clerk. “Miss Thayer, Miss Bradford. I see you’re here to vote.”
“Yes, we are.”
“Well, here are your ballots,” the clerks said, handing pieces of paper to each of them in turn. “Miss Hutchins, you can wait out here for your parents to finish.”
“If it’s all right with you, I’d like to accompany my grandmother while she votes. She’s a suffragette, you see, and I’d like to be there when she gets to vote.”
The clerk smiled at Octiavia. “Of course, but remember – you’re not old enough to vote yet, so the vote cast must be Miss Bradford’s.”
Phily took her ballot and went into one of the small booths. Octavia held open the red, white, and blue stripped curtain for her grandmother and followed her inside.
Phily picked up the pencil that sat on the small ledge that served as a writing surface. Images of her older sisters in their suffragette sashes with signs in hand suddenly swam before her eyes. She shook her head trying to shake them away. She felt a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
“They’d be proud of what you achieved.”
“So very proud,” Phily agreed. She gripped the pencil more firmly. “Anne, Henri, this is for you.”
And Phily checked off one of the two boxes at the top of the ballot.
A few moments later, Jane, Meadow, Phily and Octavia all emerged from behind the striped curtains, all smiling. They linked arms, and went to the ballot box together.
“Are you three related?” a man asked.
“Yes,” replied Meadow. “Why do you ask?”
“Christopher Thompson, Portsimouth Herald. We’re doing a feature on the first election after the 19th amendment. I’d love a photo with the three of you putting your ballots in the box at once.”
The three women looked at each other, and smiled at the same time. “Only if my daughter can be in it too. She’s not old enough to vote yet, but I felt it would be important to bring her with me today.”
The photographer arranged the group, and snapped their photo. He then handed Jane a business card. “The photograph will be in tomorrow’s paper, but if you stop by the newspaper office later this week I’ll have prints for you as well.”
“Thank you, sir.”
The women then met up with Victor, who insisted on taking them out to lunch to celebrate.
“So, how does it feel to have finally get to vote, Aunt Phily?” he asked.
“It was,” she said, “The most important thing I shall ever do in my life.”