Work-In-Progress

This page will change from time to time as my current work in progress changes. Right now I'm working on several things (not the least of which is a novel), but my current obsession is a short gothic horror story. I'll put the opening up here, feel free to comment.

I wish I had an awesome title for it, but it is, as yet, unnamed.

     It was summer, that loathsome time of heat and high tempers. Our boredom seemed to hang about us like a miasma. It was as thick as the humidity in the air. This was no normal boredom. No, it was the boredom that only the children of the idle rich may have. I say that not as an insult to the poor. No, in fact sometimes I envy them. The poor always seem to have something to do. They need not entertain themselves for they are always busy with the business of survival. But the rich, for us, it is different. There is not so much to be done to survive as there is always someone to do our bidding and always money with which to have it done. It leaves too much free time. And that summer we were blessed, or cursed, with much free time. My Grandmother used to say that idle hands were the devil’s plaything. I never understood what she meant. Not until that summer. And now I must admit that truer words were never spoken.

             The Season was over and most of the wealthy families had escaped the heat and stench of London for their country homes. Nan’s Mother and she had stayed to keep her Father company, as he had injured his leg riding and could not be moved. Charles and Clare were sister and brother and had stayed with their Cousin Robert’s family. I remember not why Robert’s family stayed in town, only that I thought Charles had stayed to be near me, and where one went, the other followed. I had stayed to keep Elizabeth company. I don’t believe the twins ever told us why they stayed but it mattered not. It only increased their air of mystery. And so the eight of us found ourselves in Elizabeth’s library one sticky afternoon. I don’t remember the original conversation only that it seemed we had exhausted every polite topic that could be conversed upon and probably a few impolite ones as well.

             “Have you read the tale that Mary Wollstonecraft’s daughter has written?” Nan asked. She addressed the question to no one in particular, merely the room at large, though her eyes were on Jonathon.

            “I must confess that I have not,” Charles said. “Is it like her Mother’s writing?” He grinned lazily at me, as though we shared a secret joke and I shook my head at him. I knew that while he pretended to support a woman’s right to think for herself, he found Mrs. Wollstonecraft’s essays unbearably boring.

            Clare playfully hit her brother with her fan. “I should say not!” she said. “Mary Shelley’s tale is just as scandalous as her life! She has written a horror story of a most gruesome nature. It involves the reanimating of a corpse.”

            “Oh.” Charles said. “Well that’s something different entirely. It sounds very interesting.”

             “You would think that!” Clare laughed her easy laugh and rolled her eyes.

             “I find it very interesting in a scientific sense,” said Nan. “Do you think such a thing is possible?” 

            “I have heard of some rather nefarious experiments. And there are many stories of grave robbers supplying corpses to the doctors so inclined with their research.” Jonathon had spoken at last. His voice, always low, lent a spookiness to his words which caused me to shiver.

            “I am quite sure I could get a copy of the tale if you would all like to hear it?” Jacob chimed in. “Perhaps tomorrow evening?”

             It was quickly agreed upon that we would gather again tomorrow evening in the very same room to hear the horrid tale. I harbored a vague sense of unease, but I had never been the bravest of souls when it came to things that go bump in the night.

2 comments:

Tyr said...

I must have more! Excellent start. Thanks for sharing it with us, Stacey!

Spot said...

Thank you Tyr! I'm glad you like it. There is more but its not quite done yet.

Stacey