Time for one of those lovely WriteWorld posts because I have been craving the non-commitment of a short story. But then I feel like nothing I write ever turns out being short, as my minds wanders to so many places of where the plot could go. It is really a problem of mine…or not. Personally, I love my wandering mind, but it does not do well in the real world.
I mean, why do you think I bury my brain in books?
This particular one I have had in my back pocket for a while. I think about this prompt, then it lodges itself among all my other thoughts and chores. It keeps making subtle appearances in my mind again, though, so I must put it out there for all of you.
This is one of the sentence blocks that I liked. Usually, I stick to the image blocks because they help my mind hold onto a more concrete idea, while the sentences can take me in many different directions. For example, this response does not follow my original thoughts.
“It’s been years, and I still think I see him in the streets.”
My steps echo through the empty halls like they always do. It is the same pat, pat, pat of my slippers on the hardwood floors I hear every morning when I go to my library. And every day I find something new. I sit for hours, alone in my little nook of the world, and get lost in the words.
Everything is a little dusty, but that does not surprise me. I never really have time to clean. The hardwood floors of the manor are only worn by me. Only my touch graces the railings of the grand staircase. Most of the time, I do not even fall asleep in my bed, but the old grandfather chair next to the window of the south wall in the library.
“I think I will go into town today,” I tell myself. Only every once in a while do I ever follow through with those plans.
It is a two mile walk into downtown from the manor. Once I am there, not one person tries to hide their stare. All I want is to go to the bakery for warm bread and the bookstore to find new reads. Maybe a stop at the coffee shop, too.
The villagers of Millford give me looks of pity and sympathy. “That poor girl,” they whisper. They all think I am slightly off the walls. Some of them call me Belle because I remind them of the Disney princess. I am sure many of them do not even know my real name anymore.
But they used to see me so often, strolling through the streets with my father. He would tell me stories about the mother I never knew. He taught me how to read at an early age, and that is where my love of books began. The whole village would look at us and smile. The father and daughter from the woods were coming out to play again.
Then came the Millford Mine Catastrophe. I was barely ten years old. The underground explosion took my father’s life and left me orphaned. I was left in the care of our sweet housekeeper, Amelia. The woman was afraid of town, and never let me venture through the woods to get there. Within a few years, she passed away, too.
Four years of only leaving the manor walls to sit underneath the tree in front of it, should have made me mad. After Amelia died, I kept to her rules because they were all I knew, only traveling the two miles when I needed to.
I do not like the village anymore, though. It is not because of the tragic gazes or the whispers. It is not that the long walk is cold or dirty. It is because I only ever walked through Millford with my father, and his presence is everywhere. It’s been years, and I still think I see him in the streets. It reminds me that maybe I am mad.
So I stay ensconced in the manor, reading in the library, singing in the halls, picking flowers from the meadow. It is lonely, but I have always been alone. I do not need the bustling buggies or the din of heeled shoes on the cobblestones.
“But I do need bread…” My voice echoes in the kitchen, bouncing off the tiles.
This errand cannot wait, so I ready myself for the walk. The path is still clear, as if someone walks it every day. It is easy to find my way.
I hear the whispers. I feel the stares. I try to smile at those I recognize. I wonder why not one person can accept me. I hear my father’s voice say, “It is because you are too beautiful and pure for their liking. They are only jealous, my darling.”
So I pick up two warm loaves of French bread, and a hot coffee. There he is, sitting on a bench across the street, handsome as ever. Clean shirt and coat, scuff-free shoes, and lively dark brown eyes. He is smiling at me. A woman pushes her infant in a carriage past him, and he is gone.
Goodbye, father. We will be together again one day.
Hmmmm…thinking about this one makes me happy. I would love to have a manor in the woods with a big library. In my head, I picture a smaller, more rustic version of the mansion in A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I just watched the other night with Steph.
Such a good movie. I only wish that they continued making them, because, besides Nancy Drew, it is my favorite book series. There is something about Lemony Snicket’s writing that I adore. And now they are making a Netflix show on the series, and I cannot wait!! I definitely want to read the books again. I am totally inspired by Snicket.
I hope you guys are having a great weekend, and are totally loving your life. I have one week until my big Disney vacation, and I am so stoked for it! I most likely will not be blogging from Florida, but I will set up some posts to go up while I am away. Work and the vacation are all I can think about right now. Well, besides my book (which I am always thinking about) and buying a new car. Car shopping is hard when you are broke. But positive thinking!
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