Nameless Story III Chapter 3

His card stayed where he had left it until several days after Julie’s funeral, when I helped Lizzy clean the library. She picked it up and looked curiously at it, reading the name several time through.

“What’s this doing here?” she asked me, offering the card to me. I took it and glanced down at it.

“Andre Bourbon? I don’t think that Papa associates with journalists,” I said, turning it over.

“You could ask your father, perhaps?” Lizzy suggested.

“No,” I said. Papa had shut himself up in his room, rarely emerging. Lizzy and I had taken turns bringing him trays, but even he hardly at what we brought him. It was then that I remembered. “It’s the motorist’s card.”

“Why’d he leave it?” Lizzy asked, turning away to finish her dusting.

“He offered his assistance, should we need it,” I said, sliding the card into my apron pocket. Later I would put it with my father’s other cards.

~~~

Thomas Letter~~~

“Samantha,” Henry said after we had finished our supper one evening. “Father received a letter concerning you earlier this evening.”

“What about me?” I asked, clearing the table. After the expenses of Julie’s funeral, we had to let go of our evening maid, which meant that Lizzy and I were trying to fill her place.

“Thomas Cook wanted to maintain correspondence with you while he’s working abroad,” Henry said. “Because he intends to pay you court when mourning ends.”

“And what does father think of this?” I asked calmly, pausing.

“Papa hasn’t seen the letter yet. Nor will he,” Henry said. “I’ve been handling his personal correspondence.”

“What?” I asked, surprised. “But, Henry-”

“Samantha, he wasn’t responding to them,” Henry said. “Good lord, have you seen the man, Sammy? He sits catatonic on the edge of his bed. His guilt is eating him alive from the inside out.”

“So you’re reading and answering his mail? It’s not as if he’s dead, Henry!”

“But it’s also not as if he’s in his right mind, Sam,” he retorted. “Now, back to Thomas. Should I give him permission to write you?”

“Do what you like, Henry,” I said, gathering my load and heading out to the kitchen with our empty dishes. I had just set them down on the counter when I heard a Lizzy shriek and a crash from upstairs.

“Lizzy, is everything alright?” Henry called, and I heard him thunder up the stairs. Terrified, I raced to follow him upstairs.

“Mr. Hancock!” Lizzy was blubbering uncontrollably. She stood outside the door to father’s room, sobbing hysterically. “I went in to bring him his supper and I found him like that!” Henry burst into the bedroom and I moved to follow him as Lizzy grabbed onto my arm, holding me in place.

“Miss, you can’t go in there!” she exclaimed. “It’s too horrible. No one should ever see that.”

“Oh God,” Henry said. “Papa! Papa! No, no, no!” He reappeared in the doorway, a sickened look on his face. “Lizzy, take Sam downstairs. Now!”

“What happened, Henry?” I asked, a sick feeling forming in my gut. “What’s happened?”

“Come this way, Miss Samantha,” Lizzy said, pulling on my sleeve. “You don’t want to see.”

“See what?” I asked, trying to jerk away from Lizzy, who only held me tighter. “What happened?” I asked again, desperately.

“Don’t struggle now, Miss,” Lizzy said, wrapping me in a hug, holding me back.

“Just go downstairs, Samantha!” Henry shouted at me as he returned to our father’s room. “Go now!”

I struggled with Lizzy for a few moments before I finally broke free, and I vaulted to the doorway, where I froze. A cord hung from the ceiling, and from it my father was dangling.

“No! Daddy!” I screamed, stumbling back. I tripped on the hemline of my skirts and landed at Lizzy’s feet. “Papa! No! Why? Why?”

The tears came unbidden, and I started to cry. My world felt like it was slipping away, one person at a time.

“Oh, Sammy, I’m sorry. You shouldn’t have seen this,” Henry said gently, kneeling beside me. “I didn’t want you to see that.” He wrapped his arms around me, and I cuddled into him.

“Why’d he have to-?” I asked quietly. “Why couldn’t he have stayed?”

“I’m sorry, Sammy,” he replied. “But I don’t know. Now will you go downstairs with Lizzy, and she can make you a nice cup of tea? I’ll clean this up, and then we can discuss father’s wishes.”

“Come along, Miss Samantha,” Lizzy said gently, lifting me to my feet. “Come on downstairs, miss.”

~~~

Henry’s Journal

Wednesday 18 November, 1893

I’m getting concerned about Sammy. We had Father’s funeral three nights ago, and cremated him out beyond city limits, like we do for all suicides. But Sam- she just sits and stares into space. Rarely does she respond to anyone speaking to her, and Lizzy is doing all she can to make her eat. It’s like a part of Sam died with our father.

On another note, I have finally begun to going through the recent records of the shop. Father didn’t tell us, but his manager has revealed that we are greatly in debt. I believe this is due to poor management of the shop while Father was in mourning- Mr. Williamson is fond of taking risks with the finances entrusted him, which Father would have never approved of.

I don’t know what I can do for Sammy. I need to provide for her, but I’m afraid the monies Papa had set aside for her dowry were lost in the poor investments made. I can only hope that I can earn it back, and it won’t hurt her prospects. Maybe Thomas will take her even with a small dowry because of our friendship. At least I have a year to find a way to fix this.

~~~

Andres Letter 1

 

Facing Fear

I receive writing prompts via email. One of these was to write a poem or short story where you confront a fear. This poem is a discussion between the narrator and her fear, doubt and loneliness.

I want to be loved by all,
I want to always feel loved.

That’s not really possible,
You just can’t please everyone.

I don’t need to please them all,
Just those that are important.

And who’s important to you?
Who are you trying to serve?

My friends and family,
My sweetheart, my beloved.

Who are your friends, and why them?
Why surround yourself with them?

They are those I can laugh with,
Those I have common ground with.

Is that all that makes a friend?
Does that make them trustworthy?

Time reveals one’s character.
Time reveals what can be shared.

You are naive to trust them,
Based on time and common fun.

Maybe, but I want to trust.
I want to believe the best.

You deserve to be alone,
If you think they won’t use you.

I try to be good enough,
To be loyal and caring.

They’ll take advantage of you,
Take everything you offer.

They can have everything left,
If they will stay here, with me.

You’re pathetic, you know that?
You’re so dependent on them.

People shouldn’t be alone.
I don’t want to be alone.

It’s not that simple, you know.
You will have to be alone.

Physically I’ve been alone,
That’s not when I have problems.

You cannot count on others
To fulfill your happiness.

I don’t expect that at all,
I don’t like being lonely.

You can’t depend on others
To fulfill your sense of self.
You need to be strong enough
To be yourself, regardless.

I can’t be anyone else,
I am always just myself.

You are not comfortable
With yourself, not strong enough.

I’m comfortable with me,
I’m strong enough to be me.

Then prove it. Prove it to me.
Prove it to yourself, right now.

I am strong enough, as me.
I will be okay alone.
My worth is not dependent
On anyone but myself.

~3/20/2015~

Review of “Malice”

In recent years, paranormal books have filled the shelves of bookstores and libraries, and the excerpt for Malice by Lisa Jackson led me to question whether it would be another one of those books. Having finished this chilling and gripping book,I am passed to report that it is not just another paranormal book. In fact, it is all the more gripping and chilling due to how utterly earthly it was.

The questions this book raises center largely on the quest for answers Rick Bentz embarks on, and the discretion needed to determine whether or not his mind is fooling him and the reader both. Instead of the paranormal book I thought I was reading, this book classifies fully as a psychological thriller, drawing out the reader’s tension right until the very last pages. Lisa Jackson is a genius in her genre and this novel is decidedly well written.

For those who are easily spooked, our dislike crude language and sexual references, this may not be the book for you. Likewise, if you’re looking for a light read, you might want to reconsider your choice, as this is a murder mystery, and forces the reader to wrestle through the same problems Bentz is dealing with. However, if you enjoy a spooky, sexy, and thrilling novel, I highly recommend this book for you.

Review of “Casual Vacancy”

For those readers who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, switching away from her world of magic and adolescence to the small town world of Pagford is like hearing your favorite band from high school’s new album- the voice is the same, but it’s grown up. The issues Rowling portrayed through her latest novel proved to be a far cry from any Harry and his friends faced, which is why I suspect so many people have negatively commented on this book.

Although initially slow, the plot revolved neatly on the vacancy left by Barry Fairweather, picking up pace as Rowling pushed through the stories of the adults and the adolescents in Pagford. The power struggle is gripping, and the story rapidly pulls the reader in, emotionally and mentally and demands a response.

Layering the plot with class struggle, marital problems, the angst and trouble of teenagers, domestic abuse, and the basest of humanity’s qualities, Rowling somehow manages to tie it all off with a bittersweet ending. This novel was deliciously familiar and a literary piece of genius (as always), but not appropriate for younger teens or children.