I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!
I just painted my toenails and am now sitting on the couch willing them to dry before I go up to bed. I always do stupid things like that. But at least it gives me time to revisit my Gossip Girl days on Netflix.
Okay, enough chit chat; down to business! Since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with books and with writing in general. I have stacks of "manuscripts" that I had my parents type up on the computer before I could even spell. It's quite humiliating to look at nowadays but my passion for stories is still very much alive. I have been mulling this one idea over and over in my head for several years now; first just a small thought and eventually a little bit of a plot, etc. I want to write something more mature, which is why I think it's a good thing that I'm taking my time with this one. Everything I've written in the past has been pretty lame, for lack of a more elegant term. Here is a little excerpt from the middle of the story and it's a part of a chapter I'm really excited about.
“Come along then, dear. The carriage is just down the lane here.”
The woman had already gotten up from her position and was heading toward the exit, assuming that Charlotte was right behind her. Charlotte, stunned, remained on the bench.
“Oh what’s the matter? Really, we should get going before the next train arrives, we’ll be slaughtered in the onrush.” She turned around and strode back to where Charlotte stayed, extending a tiny hand with nails like those of a gardener’s hand. “I’m sorry, dear, I thought you knew. I am your Great Aunt Esme and you are Charlotte. Do call me Esme.”
They sat in silence most of the way, Charlotte fidgeting at her clothes to look occupied and Esme not paying any attention, the latter of which held a neutral expression that could not be analyzed by the former. The ride was no more than 20 minutes, but Charlotte’s backside was aching nevertheless. Between ruts in the road she managed to ask, “Does anybody find these conditions to be a safety hazard?”
Esme sat across from her in the carriage, in the opposite corner. Staring out of the window, she looked out a bit to see for herself the poorly maintained road that they were on and her face was rediscovered from under the shadow of her wide brimmed hat. She turned to speak to Charlotte and said, “Well, it is called Breweryman’s Lane after all. What can you expect? Before we lived here you see, a long long time ago it is now, these fields that we’re passing – look here –,” she motioned to the tall crops growing beyond the hedge that was whizzing past, “they used to belong to the single only farm for miles that sold beer hops. And so that’s how our pub survived. The brewery men would come down here to collect their hops and that’s how the town’s pub managed.” She chuckled to herself remembering, “the funny thing was that people joked about how the brewery men must all be drunks anyway, so it didn’t really help them much to have a flat road to walk on.”
Charlotte smiled, acknowledging the farce. “So they’ve never fixed it, now that other homes are nearby?”
“Oh no!” Esme replied. “Not until the road name changes, they say. And so here we are, it’s not fixed, and at this point in my life I’d rather not put up a quarry with the next burly man who smells like pipe tobacco and grime that they send down here to deal with my complaint.” She returned her focus to the country outside; clearly still ruffled by the issue that Charlotte had reminded her of. “Ah, here we are now.”
Charlotte scooted over to Esme’s side of the carriage and peered out of the window at a thick hedge that had sprung up at the side of the lane. It appeared to go on for ages. Deep down Charlotte knew that this hedge was the one to enclose the property where she would soon be staying. Charlotte was therefore unsurprised when the wrought iron gates finally came into view and a fairy-tale like mansion was visible at the end of a long gravel drive. They turned onto the gravel and as they entered the estate, she read a large engraved stone that was surrounded by luscious hydrangeas and blue bells:
Esme eyed her new guest as the footman began lifting things out of the compartment. Charlotte had still not taken her eyes off of the Victorian manor house that she was about to call home for a while. Then she was thrown out of her reverie by a sharp voice that sounded momentarily like a squeaky bark.
“Shut your mouth, child. It’s rude to gape.”