by Miss Elliot
I’d like to share some random little snippets of stories waiting to be written. They often come, to tell the truth, but they rarely come with plots attached. So much for that hope, Miss Elliot; you may now go back to the beginning and think out plots. (But I’m terrible at plots!) Fiction is not my forte, I must admit – non-fiction is easier and you don’t have to worry about squashing your personal style vs. rules and tools of writing. (Oh, and speaking of non-fiction, another composer biography is up on Private Lesson Matters!)
Anyway, I didn’t use to write down these snippets that burst into my head through no fault of my own. I would let them spin their undefined story lines in my head, and act them out while doing the laundry or sitting on my bed. And most of those snippets are lost in the sands of time… (Sorry, inside joke there.)
Sooo, without any further ado, I present some snippets, thought up and written down by yours truly. (Well, I didn’t exactly think them up. They just kinda came.) *Disclaimer* Some of them are extremely rough and lacking in many areas (description, names, and a thesaurus) so don’t blame me if all the authors in the world come after me with pitchforks. Just saying. *End of Disclaimer*
“I’d as lief die!” she cried, her eyes blazing.
[I think this is actually from a book I’ve read over and over again, called The Iron Peacock. I’m not sure.]
“We monarchs have no power.”
“Why do you say that?” he asked, frowning.
“We cannot make laws, or start wars, or even have anyone killed. And I think that’s a good thing,” Elizabeth added. “If I had the choice, I should choose to move to America. I have no idea if the values they had at the beginning are continuing to be upheld , but I should like to live in a place where the name monarch holds no power. But…” She sighed. “I am the queen here, and I cannot desert my people.”
[Hush, I know it’s not quite right.]
Katie bent over the overflowing basket of clothes, grasped the handles, and straightened up to see the detective coming down the hall. He was a new one: Katie wasn’t even sure of his name. I guess detectives don’t wear trench coats anymore, she thought, as she stood aside so he could enter the laundry room. He acknowledged her with a nod. Suddenly Katie was rooted to where she stood, her arms taut with the weight of the basket. Theis man – she knew him – knew his face. That day – the day of the subway wreck – this man talked to her father, sitting side by side in the speeding subway car. She remembered his eyes – such strange eyes. As if he’d seen things no one else had seen. But she also remembered his eyes being the last thing she saw for hours after the wreck. His eyes, staring blankly into space, cold and dead. There were no survivors – except for eleven-year-old Katie, saved only because her father’s body shielded her from the crash. This must not be the same man. It was impossible. It could not be. He had been covered in debris, completely and utterly dead. It was a mistake; she was tired; her brain was groggy…
She had no idea how long she’d been staring at him. His voice came abruptly, startling Katie.
“Is something wrong?”
That voice. unmistakably English, clear, almost crisp. There was no mistaking that voice. This was the same man. Katie attempted a coherent reply.
“Oh – well, nothing – Detective. I – excuse me.” She backed away, not able to stop staring. Finally, she turned and slowly walked away with her basket, still looking back over her shoulder.
The detective knit his brows for a moment, then shrugged and began scribbling the day’s findings into his notebook.
[Inspiration for this from doing the laundry (surprise!) and from an ad I saw in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine for a TV show called Forever with Ioan Gruffold in it. Don’t judge me.]
“They say…” He lowered his voice confidentially. “They say he is as rich as a Jew.”
“Jews aren’t rich,” I retorted. I was not in the best of moods.
[Inspiration for this from listening to an audiobook of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Let’s just say it was really really good and leave it at that. The guy reading it (his name is Micheal Page) does the best French accents ever, and the they-say-he-is-as-rich-as-a-Jew part is meant to be read in a French accent.]
“Well, ostensibly they are merely meeting to eat lunch.” Shannon plunked down her purse. “And we all know what that phrase ostensibly means.”
[I am actually veddy veddy pleased with this little snippet.]
*Edit*: I forgot to add Shannon’s picture. Well, here it is. Behold.
Beautiful, no? (Miss Bennet, you have my royal permission to squeal and generally do that sort of thing. Because that’s you-know-who! *squeals* “Erin, Erin! Action!” Ahem. Sorry, inside joke.)
“Yes?” Captain Elliot looked up from his maps with a sigh.
“There’s a girl out here, wanting to see you, sir.”
“Yes, sir.” The man hesitated. “She says her name’s Marie St. Pierre.”
“St. Pie-” Captain Elliot gripped the sides of his chair fiercely. “Does she realize the trouble she’s caused us? How did she come here?”
The man shifted uncomfortably. “Shall I – show her in sir?” He paused. “She’s insisting upon seeing you, sir.”
Captain Elliot gritted his teeth. “Show her in.”
“When Sir Alexander returns, show him in immediately.”
“Yes sir.” Jack saluted stiffly and retired. Captain Elliot got up as soon as the door was closed and began pacing back and forth. By the time Marie St. Pierre arrived at his door, he was sitting composedly in his chair. But his resolve left hin as soon as he saw the haughty, beautiful face before him. He stood and bowed. “Mademoiselle St. Pierre.”
She gave him a haughty glance. “Captain Elliot.”
As soon as the door closed, he swallowed hard and asked her, “How did yu find us?”
She smiled disdainfully. “Our footman.”
Oh. Charles. A traitor, then? But Marie was still talking.
“I managed to find out where he mysteriously went every evening. Madame du Tillet did not.”
So, not a traitor. Just not careful enough. Captain Elliot sighed. “What do you want from me?”
Marie cocked an eyebrow. “I came to find out if you would be willing to employ me as a spy.”
“I beg your pardon?” came involuntarily from Captain Elliot.
She raised both eyebrows. “Obviously, since I am in the top circles of French society, I can be of great service to you. Since I am young, I will not be suspected.” She waited impatiently for his reply. After a few moments, she said, “Well, Monsieur?”
He studied Marie coldly, not willing to believe her. “How do we know we can trust you? How do we know this is not a trick?”
She lowered her eyes. “If my guardians discover – my parents would agree with the step I am taking, but they are in heaven – and if my guardians discover that I have been out at night, and have been to see you, they-” She broke off and for the first time showed uncertainty. “They have often threatened to take me to Madame l’Guillotine. They wasnt my money and are waiting only for an excuse to kill me. This would be their excuse. So now you know; it is danger for me here.”
“But- why would you go to this trouble for the aristocrats? After you betrayed the St. Caux family-”
“That’s not true!” she flared. “That was a joke that made the rounds of salons in Paris. One of your men heard it and reported that I was to be feared as a heartless betrayer. Do you think I was unaware?” She took a deep breath. “Do you think,” she continued slowly, “that I can stand by any longer, watching my friends and their families being taken to die? I know a way to help them, and I will take it. You can trust me, monsieur. I will not betray you; I give you my word.” She looked stonily at Captain Elliot. “Please, monsieur.”
Captain Elliot had been staring hard at Marie the entire time. “Well -” he began. Then he sighed. “Listen to me, Marie. Our little – society – here is made up almost solely of men. You are a girl. I will allow you to join only if you keep yourself out of danger in every possible way.” Marie looked at him defiantly, opening her mouth to speak. But Captain Elliot cut her off. “In every possible way. Do you swear?”
She heaved a reluctant sigh. “Very well. I swear. But remember, you said every possible way. Now,” before he could speak, “what is my first assignment?”
“Elliot!” There was a knock on the door, and Sit Alexander opened the door and came in. “Elliot! They have threatened to arrest -” He stopped short. “Marie St. Pierre! What is the meaning of this? Elliot?”
Marie had turned and was regarding Sir Alexander with a cool smile. CAptain Elliot glanced at her, then said in an undertone, “She’s joined our side.”
“Joined our side? Impossible. It’s a trick, I am sure. I’d believe her capable of anything, after she betrayed the St. Cauxes.” Sir Alexander folded his arms.
“Alexander, will you come here for a moment?” Captain Elliot lifted his eyebrows significantly at Sir Alexander. They retired to the curtained window at he far end of the room, leaving Marie alone in front of the desk. She turned away with another haughty smile.
[Inspiration from where else but The Scarlet Pimpernel. I do apologize – this is poorly written, melodramatic, and underdeveloped. And long. But I do like the idea, and I have more in my head that I need to write down. Oh, and this music is what you listen to while reading this snippet.]
So, there you have it! Criticism is veddy veddy welcome – I would like to know where/how to improve/develop these little bits. But I must get off the computer because my sister wanted it. And when I get time, I will be posting about something. “Of what nature?” “Oh! of the best nature in the world – a ——-.” Finish that quote – it’s from Emma, to give you a hint – and you’ll know.