Creative Writing Term One – The Fifth Instalment: Lady E

September 7th 2011

Lady E

For this piece of homework, we were given a list of characters and a list of scenarios. We then had to pick a character and then a scenario and write a short story. I selected a Victorian Lady on LSD. The results are below …

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The Grandfather clock chimed heavily in the hallway, announcing not only the time of day, but the arrival of the St. Clements.

Nanny May walked briskly to the door and greeted the St. Clements; Robert, the owner of the Towns Bank and a descendant of a wealthy French Banker, along with his wife Lilly and their son Frances.

“Welcome to the Hemingway household,” Nanny May announced as she gestured the St. Clements in, “May I take your coats and offer you a drink.”

Robert marched boldly forward, removed his hat and coat with such precision and placed them efficiently in Nanny May’s arms, “Brandy for myself,” he ordered.

Lilly and Frances followed suit, their actions timid in comparison to Robert’s.

Watching, tucked away out of sight towards the top of the staircase, was sixteen year old Emmeline Hemingway. She had witnessed this charade so many times before; Daddy’s entertaining of the Snobby St. Clements.  Regimental Robert (she had nicknamed him as he appeared to bark orders at people in place of normal conversation), along with his poor wife Lilly. She constantly looked apologetic and uncomfortable, as if she was already saying sorry in anticipation of her husband’s actions. Yet when she spoke, it was only to ever brag, be it about the latest designer outfit she had had tailored or her trip to Paris. Emmeline ironically couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for Lily, she had been a poor servant girl who had married into wealth and had never known how to handle it.

The only consolation to this misfit family was now Frances; the once snotty young spoiled boy was now starting to grow into a bit of a Prince Charming and was fast becoming Emmeline’s ally at these events.

It was tradition to meet with the St.Clement’s monthly to discuss business, each taking it in turn to host. Emmeline found it unbearable. They had to all sit around the table on their best behaviour; herself, her four little sisters and baby Barney quite outnumbering poor Frances.

She placed her hand in the small pocket on her new dress and fumbled with the pellets that nestled their secretly, their presence reassuring her. She quickly popped one in her mouth in time to hear Barney scream. Sighing, she dragged herself off the floor shouting “I’ll go” to anyone who would listen.

After Emmeline had calmed Barney down, Nanny May re-appeared from her serving duties in time to round the children up ready for dinner. Once washed and lined up, they were lead downstairs to the dining hall. By this point, Emmeline was feeling relaxed and for the first time, was aware of how colourful her home really was. She kept stopping at the stairs to examine some of the paintings that hung there, oohing and ahhing. Her little sister Rose walked straight into the back of her, “Ow!” she wailed.

Emmeline hadn’t noticed, she was transfixed on the painting. Rose shoved her hard “Keep on moving!” she demanded.

Emmeline felt like she floated down those stairs, “All the pretty colours” she breathed. On looking down, she was amazed at how the floor looked, the diamond shapes of the black and white checked flooring seemed raised, as if they were three dimensional, “Wow!” she exclaimed, picking up her pace. Once she reached the hall floor, she dropped to her hands and knees and tried desperately to feel those shapes, wanting to hold one.

“What are you doing?” Rose asked indignantly

Nanny May turned around and quickly pulled Emmeline up, “Behave yourself,” she hissed, “You should know better, set an example Emmeline and get in line!” She marched Emmeline to the front and through to the dining area, where the St.Clement’s were already sat. The children took their respective places.

They all stood on the arrival of Mr Hemingway, Emmeline swaying as she did so and having to grab onto one of her sisters for support. Mr Hemingway shot her a disapproving look as he motioned for them to be seated

“Frances hi!” Emmeline cooed from across the table, “Dragged to yet another hideous get together I see? Boring isn’t it, all this lardy da talk. I mean, for one Mr St. Clements inherited most of this so called business from his grandfather! And Mrs St. Clements, well there’s a story of rags to riches”

Lily St. Clement almost spat her sherry out, Frances blushed heavily and Robert St. Clement scowled furiously at Emmeline, then at her father.

Mr Hemingway stood up abruptly and thumped his hands on the table, “Emmeline Hemingway what on earth has got into you? Apologise immediately to the St. Clements and I order you to leave this table and go without food and supper. Nanny May!”

Nanny May quickly ran around the table and grabbed Emmeline’s arm to usher her out the room. Emmeline swung it back furiously, nearly punching little Rose again. Barney started squealing and Rose was now crying.

“But it’s true daddy, why do you insist on all of this wasted time spent with this family? The only one I would have time for is gorgeous young Frances and that would only be to …”

“OUT!” Mr Hemingway bellowed, making the rest of her sisters jump and start crying in fright. Nanny May was now pulling her out of the room

As she struggled with Nanny May, Emmeline couldn’t help looking over at Frances, who flashed a brief conspiratorial smile. Those pellets he had provided her had sure as hell worked and had managed to finally bring some entertainment to these hideous get togethers.

Homework for 15th June 2011

Image from Unsplash

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