October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
I wrote a short story for Writer’s Craft on a murderous, jealous girl who wasn’t noticed by anyone on her own sixteenth birthday. I laughed a little inside when I found this again this afternoon.
My co blogger is traveling Europe and here I am digging up old written spam of mine. (don’t mind the randomness in it all)
I want you to see if you can find the irony in the story…or figure out exactly what is going on!
Note to reader: If you’re not up to reading an entire novel today…just scroll down to the post before this, Cristina’s is QUITE INTRIGUING! Especially if you like to see pictures of men in bunny slippers…;)
She was jealous, she could not deny. Meredith had been born under the star of the night and was as beautiful and dark as the velvet sky, her eyes twinkling like drops of dew on the early morning grass.
Mary, on the other hand, had been born so common. In the heat of the afternoon when the star of the day shone its hottest. Her skin was pale like billowing clouds and very thin, like frosted glass on a winter’s eve.
Meredith was the one who had always worn the prettiest dresses, had the brightest smile and possessed the most beautiful singing voice.
“Oh that Meredith she is beautiful,” the townsfolk, and even her own family would say.
“Have you heard her sing? She is like an angel and no less.”
As for plain Mary Gray, no one would cast a second glance to her. It wasn’t as if she were ugly. If she were ugly, she would have got attention. No, Mary was average and boring in every aspect of her being. Her mother, she was stunning. Her father was handsome. They were a prize couple with a daughter who seemed to fade into the cream walls of their entrance hall.
It was the day before the night in which was to be Mary’s sixteenth birthday. Many were invited, more out of duty than friendship, for though many had heard the name, they did not quite recall ever seeing Mary, and if they had, she definitely was not something they would have remembered.
Mary brushed her long brown hair in front of her mirror. This would definitely be a night to remember, for Lord Dauchsette was to arrive, though it wasn’t Lord Dauchsette she was interested in—it was Arthur, his son.
She had known Arthur since she was a young child, but had not seen him for some years. They used to play together in the garden, and once her family, along with his and Meredith’s spent a weekend at the beach.
The cold, foggy day on which they arrived was memorable. All three of them were around the age of six, and Arthur was skipping stones off the water of the lake as young boys often do. Mary and Meredith sat on the dock beside him as he stood. He threw with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back.
“This stone, it does not seem possible for it not to skip.” He said, puzzled.
“Maybe it’s how you are throwing it.” Said Mary matter-of-factly.
Then Meredith piped in. “Maybe the stone is magic.”
“Magic? Maybe it is! How about we bury it and see if it grows a tree…or a fairy ring?” Said Arthur, his eyes now bright and shining at the wonderful new idea that had now popped into young mind. Meredith laughed her smooth laugh, and even at six, flashed her beautiful smile. Both Arthur and she ran off together, in hopes of a new adventure, leaving Mary sitting alone on the old wooden dock, watching the waves roar in and out.
Oh yes, tonight she would see Arthur, and Meredith would not win, after all—it was her birthday and she would be wearing the prettiest dress.
In came her maid to help her dress. She slipped on her silken white slip, layers of petticoats, and at last her lily-white dress with gold trim and a golden sash framing the skirts. She pushed her feet into the narrow, gleaming shoes which were set in front of her. They had been picked out in Paris last March, when she had been travelling with father. They were encrusted with rubies, as red as the blood in her veins.
Oh how wonderful she looked! She smiled to herself, taking a few steps to get a feel for her shoes which she had never worn, they were being saved for an important occasion.
Maid began to do her hair. Maid was very stupid, but very sweet, and could do hair very nicely. After curling perfect ringlets and letting them fall, she gathered the hair and secured it on top of her head, adding in a final hairpiece, made of imported hair, it added so much more to the rather thin hair of her own.
Guests began arriving. She stood at the large entryway of her parent’s great manor, holding out her hand for each gentleman—old and young alike, to kiss with respect.
Meredith arrived and curtsied politely.
“How do you do Mary? You look very pretty tonight.” Meredith smiled a sincere and sweet, yet stunning smile, as she often did.
Mary smiled an awkward smile in return. She knew in herself at that moment that her dress was far better than Meredith’s. Meredith’s dress was pretty, yet compared to hers it looked like that of a pauper, and her shoes did not have nearly as many stones on them as hers did.
There was another knock at the door and she turned. As the door opened she saw none other than Lord Dauchsette. Standing beside him was a young man, very handsome and very refined. He smiled when he realized Mary was staring at him.
“Mary! My dear Mary we have not seen each other in so long!” He ran to her as he said this, as if he were a young child skipping stones once again. Yet when he stood in front of her he regained his composure, as if suddenly remembering he were a gentleman and she a lady. He leaned down and kissed her pale hand. When he looked up, she could see it was only out of respect, nothing more. He smiled once more and walked on.
The night wore on and then came the dancing. The orchestra began to play and Mary glanced around for Arthur. She spotted him at once, yet he appeared to have a partner already. A beautiful girl in a pretty dress. Meredith.
Had Meredith done it again? It was her sweet sixteen, she should be getting the attention. Why had he chosen Meredith instead? Mary raged with anger inside but held it in with a forced smile. She began dancing with a sweet older gentleman who told her that she looked very much a young lady tonight, and my had she grown.
After some more songs had played and Mary was quite exhausted, she spotted Arthur and Meredith in the corner. He was talking and she was laughing. Above the soft music and murmuring of voices she heard his, as loud and clear as if he were shouting.
“Oh, my love you are most wonderful how you manage such things!”
Mary felt tears seeping out of her eyes, now swollen hot. She turned and ran, stumbling out into the back garden, where she and Arthur had so often played as children.
Her head felt dizzy with rage and through a wall of tears she made her way to a stone bench sitting alongside one of the garden’s many beautiful fountains. She looked at the stars, they seemed to always gleam more when she was crying, like a mocking cause. It was almost as if they themselves were taunting her, showing her how plain she really was compared to their extravagant beauty.
She breathed in the still night air, brushing her glowing hand, now reflecting moonlight, along the waxy leaves of the rhododendron which surrounded her. She was a ghost at her own birthday. No one knew she was there, no one noticed her leave. She could sit here, just her and those beautiful, poisonous, hypnotic flowers of death.
She picked some petals off the bush whispering in a hushed voice seething with anger and bitter resentment.
“He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me…he loves me not.”
She began picking leaves when there were no longer any flowers within reach of her fingertips. Meredith would love these. In fact, Meredith would die for something so beautiful.
Still holding the petals and waxy leaves in her frail fingers she turned and walked along the garden path back to the party. Her party.
In the early hours of the morning, when the guests were sound asleep in all the spare rooms of the manor, a cry rang out. It was the most horrid sound, a song of death.
It was how they found her, that beautiful Meredith, lying on the rug beside the large canopy bed in which she had been sleeping. Her eyes were wide with the anguish of the last frightful moments of her life, and her mouth was gaping open, as if screaming for precious life.
It was disturbing for all to see something so bright suddenly so cold and lifeless.
The doctor was called at once and decided that it had been poison. Possibly something she ate or drank earlier that night, but none could be sure. Many began wailing and crying, particularly Mary’s mother. They all decided that it was to be kept a family matter. There was to be no tragedy to stain the family name.
Mary watched from the hall as they wrapped the body of dear beautiful Meredith and took her out of the house for funeral arrangements to be made.
Mary looked at the sky and noticed the sun, the star of the day, was beginning to rise. Inside her hand sat the single leaf of a rhododendron.
Sitting in class that day, the day that had begun in the discovery of dead Meredith’s body was like any other day. Mary, although she thought she felt quite calm, seemed to be dropping anything she got her hands on. When she finally spilled her ink well all over the boy in front of her, the teacher called her to the front.
“Unacceptable…completely unacceptable. Now clench a fist and put your hand on the desk.” The teacher spoke in a stern monotone voice. Mary knew what was to come.
The wooden rod came down across her knuckles. Again and again, relentlessly. The punishment did not seem to fit the crime. The skin on the back of her hand began to crack and split, blood trickling down at first, then gushing from the wounds in her delicate skin.
That is how it was that the pale, porcelain hand that had been kissed by Arthur the night before, was now covered in blood.
p.s. Cristina, last night’s dinner meeting discussion on our pending play just wasn’t the same without your voice echoing off the walls…
We did, on the other hand, finally complete the masterpiece. We still have a LOOONG way to go so come back soon : D.
I also am a leeeeetttle bit skeptical on HOW EXACTLY did you lure in such a man?! I mean, I know you’re gorgeous and all but…WHAT EXACTLY DID YOU DO?! -starofdavid-
October 11, 2010 § 1 Comment
I love Europe, I love the people, I love the snobby looks everyone exchanges, I love the smell of pure fresh air in mountain getaways up here, I love the feeling of family. It was a good Thanksgiving. No turkey, no stuffing, but lots of shopping and tea. I’m in Oradea and I love looking out my window and seeing houses painted crazy colours and cats scrapping.
I had a long talk with my uncle about Basarab Nicolescu, particle acceleration, and logistic of religion. My head’s spinning so forgive me if I ramble, but seriously, at the risk of sounding like the biggest floozy imaginable, I love smart people. FASHION… I’ll be sure to put up pictures of the new additions to my closet once I get my hands on a camera, promise. I’ve become a little tiny bit obsessed with cheetah prints in the past few days. I saw this girl on my flight with the most flattering cheetah print leggings and couldn’t get t he pattern out of my head. So WISHLIST TIME!
MOJOJO, I’m browsing for something fitting and charming to bring back to you as a token of my affection. Miss you all.
PS. Can’t leave you all without an update on my love life. Yes, Lars and I are happily married and settling into our new life. Oh it’s wonderful. You should’ve seen him the other morning…
Oh Lars Burmeister… I mean, hubby…