JA quotes and intro

"I should infinitely prefer a book." -- Chapter 39, Pride and Prejudice
"...I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit..." -- Chapter 8, Pride and Prejudice
"I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon as may be." -- Chapter 20, Pride and Prejudice

Thanks for dropping by! Titles are below and to the right, under the following headings:
The Trouble of Practising | Longer fiction
The Result of Previous Study | Challenge entries and stories based on others' prompts (or simply others' prompting)
Impulse of the Moment | Short stories written on a whim
Drabbles | Snapshots, usually 100 words but occasionally more, and usually based on a prompt
The Alcove | Writings other than Jane Austen fanfictionNewest Post: All Six Senses (and All F
Note: Some stories include direct quotes from Austen's works, and there is the occasional nod to one or other of the adaptations.

Most Recent Posts:
A Great Coxcomb, Parts 1 - 5 (May-July 2017)
A Little Alteration: Mrs. Forster's Friend (October 2016)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Persuasion Drabbles

In the First Moment of Appeal (Siren's Song)

It is over! he repeated to himself again and again in angry discomfiture. The awful moment is over!

“She should not put up with it! I certainly would not…”

My, but these girls can talk! he thought. At least their chatter served as a distraction.

“…what do you think of her?”

Several seconds passed before he realised they were waiting for his answer. “Of whom do you speak?”

“Anne, of course; you had met our sister Mary last night. What do you think of Anne?”

“I think…” He silently fumed. He did not wish to think of her at all. She had been so hesitant and solemn. And uncomfortably quiet, when formerly they had had so much to say to each other! Unwilling even to look him in the eye! Could she pretend to resent the past, after what she had done? This was not his darling Anne, his sweet siren. He was immune to her song now. While undeniably pretty, her warmth had been the best part of her countenance, and that was all gone. The woman in Mrs. Musgrove’s drawing room was an imposter. “She is so altered,” he blurted out, “I should not have known her again.”



A Devious Plot: Anne Gives Her Sister a Hint

“Anne, you look awful. Wherever have you been?”

“Visiting Mrs. Smith.”

“Why? Father will demand you give up the acquaintance when he sees what a half hour in her company does to your complexion.”

“I am merely distressed by a discovery.”

“What, is the poor widow caught up in an intrigue? Or it there a devious plot involving her butler? Oh, I forgot—she cannot afford to keep one. Her neighbour’s butler, then.”

“Not exactly. You would be surprised, however, at what goes on right under our noses. Not all widows—or widowers, for that matter—are above devious plotting.”



How Much Information Is Too Much? (Too Much Information)

“I must be boring you, Miss Elliot.”

“Not at all! I can never hear too much about life at sea.”

“But I rattle on so long! My stories can hardly be of great import to you.”

“Quite the contrary.” To prove her point, Anne revealed much of the information she had amassed regarding the admiral’s career and particularly Captain Wentworth’s.

“Amazing,” cried Mrs. Croft. “Frederick, you must come and hear Miss Elliot recount your naval history. Why, she has told me everything you have done for the last eight years! I have rarely seen such interest, even among officers’ wives.”



A Trio of Water Drabbles

~1~

In the Year Eight

Each morning, for one minute and one minute only, he allowed his thoughts liberty. They wasted no time, cared nothing for the journey, traversing calm or turbulent waters with breakneck speed. At five seconds they arrived in Somersetshire, at the copse between Kellynch Hall and Kellynch Lodge. By ten seconds, anticipation supplanted anger as her image appeared before him. At her smile—fifteen seconds—he made his offer. At her acceptance—twenty seconds—he enveloped her in his arms. For half a minute he held her, then watched her fade to grey as he gazed out upon the open sea.

~2~

Anne’s Share of Suffering

He had been walking there, if only in her mind, for over seven years. His image haunted every familiar path, piercing her soul with a thousand tender recollections. In her dreams, he looked through her without acknowledgement, without ever meeting her eye.

Though she had grown accustomed to it, it never ceased to affect her when the glimpse of a lake or the slightest trickle of a stream wending its way over the landscape—or any other form that water took—sent her thoughts hurtling back to sea, to wherever he might be upon that seemingly endless expanse of blue.

~3~

A Word, a Look

“I must go!” The room felt too full, Anne’s heart fuller still. She wanted Frederick’s company or no one’s; she cared for none but him.

Unfortunately, Charles insisted on escorting her.

But in Union Street, a wave of euphoria threatened to overwhelm her at a familiar sound; it crested as she saw his face, heard his voice.

* * *

“Which way are you going?”

“I hardly know.” Wherever Anne was going, he supposed. He was not here for his amusement; she was all he had come to see, and the look in her eyes just now was like water in the desert.



Untitled (No End of Pain)

She tolerated his foppish preoccupation with mirrors, handsome man that he was.

She overlooked his obsession with the Baronetage ever since their only son—his heir—had died.

She excused his spendthrift ways and ensured that economy and moderation prevailed.

She even forgave his many, many affairs and other offences against herself, grateful that at least he had discretion enough to preserve their family’s good name.

But the pure indifference in Sir Walter's eyes when he looked upon their daughter Anne she could not forgive; his complete failure to love their most lovable child caused Lady Elliot no end of pain.



In His Wake (Infinite Patience)

He is gone. The only man whose name I would gladly bear.

“…they might have waited! Well, I should have refused…”

The only man I have ever kissed.

“…glad of any excuse to be out of doors, away from me…”

The only man I will ever love.

“…so much to do! You are the lucky one. You do not know the burden of responsibility…”

Gone. Over. The worst is over. Though in truth she could not attend to half of what she heard, outwardly Anne appeared, as ever, to listen with infinite patience and polite interest to Mary’s interminable chatter.



Really, Really Bad Poetry (A Novel in the Form of a Poem)

Sir Walter Elliot overspent.
The Crofts stepped in to pay the rent.

“To Bath!” said Elliots and Mrs. Clay.
Anne went to Uppercross to stay.

Then Anne’s old flame—‘twas Sophy’s brother—
Visited them and courted another.

The party rode to Lyme for a spell.
Louisa jumped off the steps of the Cobb like an idiot.*

Louisa lay ill, Wentworth made tracks;
The Kellynch heir came slithering back.

Louisa and Benwick—happy surprise!
“To Bath!” went Wentworth to get his own wife.

Anne and Frederick did reunite.
William and Mrs. Clay took flight.

Lady Russell admitted wrong
Or not—but that’s another song.


* I would have said “and fell,” but I didn’t feel like rhyming for her.



Such Personal Praise (Matchmaking)

Anne had not been in Bath long before she heard something to disturb her. Elizabeth’s whispered slight had not troubled her in the least; it had been the conversation that followed.

Her father’s remarking on Mrs. Clay’s “fine mind” worried her, and what was worse, Elizabeth seemed blind to the danger. With every encouraging word her sister spoke—and she spoke many—entreating her friend to consider herself quite fixed in Camden Place, Sir Walter gazed upon the widow more, and more cheerfully.

Had she realised the matchmaking effect of her entreaties, surely Elizabeth would have kept her mouth shut.



The Beauties of Camden Place (The Sight of Beauty)

William observed each of the ladies in turn. Elizabeth’s conceited manner did nothing to obscure her decided beauty. Nor could Penelope’s calculating eyes dim her loveliness; in truth, certain aspects of the widow’s figure appealed particularly to William. Pretty Anne had not the striking looks of her elder sister, but that alluring softness about her mouth and the compelling warmth in her gaze turned her prettiness into something more.

One thing was certain: he would have an attractive companion, whatever he decided. A fortunate circumstance, for at any time, the power of choice might be taken out of his hands.



A Visitor at Uppercross Cottage

“Frederick.”

Anne had not intended those telling syllables to escape her lips, but now she would not have retracted them for the world.

She disregarded Mary’s gasp, Charles’s raised eyebrow, Henrietta’s and Louisa’s stares. Captain Frederick Wentworth had come; nothing and no one else could claim her attention while he stood before her.

Her speech, heard by all, elicited a single response of interest: his answering “Anne,” mouthed in silence, sang in her ears. Surely, his heart was still hers. She resolved not to allow another seven or eight years—or seven or eight days—to separate them ever again.



Those Who Would Be Happy (Christmas Cheer)

"You are a fine dancer, Captain!"

Anne sighed in concurrence with Louisa's compliment. How shall I bear it? She saw the future in her mind's eye: Frederick, spreading Christmas cheer at Uppercross with the Musgroves; herself, actually longing for Bath, where nothing worse than Mary's newsy letters could touch her.

She examined Frederick closely. I had not realised his tastes had altered so much. She certainly was no Louisa Musgrove. Despite her compassionate and generous nature, she could not quash the hope that the man she had loved—and still loved—likewise would conclude that Louisa was no Anne Elliot.



Seeing Her (Eyes)

Wentworth had expected coldness. Frost. He had braced for it, not being foolish enough to think he would escape unmoved by their meeting.

He had not anticipated heat.

Fire.

Anne's eyes still held traces of the passion she had granted and then denied him. Those eyes used to light up for him in such a way… It was useless to revisit the question of how she could have given him up, given them up before they had even begun.

He bowed as the heat threatened to enflame him, as it had on the terrible day that had witnessed their parting.



Every Expectation of Pleasure (Blushing)

“Good evening, ladies.”

Elizabeth’s pulse quickened at the sound of his voice. He had called again, the second time in as many days, and the look he was giving her now... A man’s scrutiny had never so thoroughly discomposed her before. She glanced aside, catching her reflection in one of the many mirrors; thankfully, she was not blushing.

“Good evening,” she replied, not daring to say more aloud. How kind of you to come, she added silently. How wonderful to see you again after having lost all hope, her heart whispered. You are the only man for me, William Elliot.



Entirely Supplanted (There she stood...)

There she stood, her face illuminated not by a flirtatious grin but by a quiet passion he had never seen on it before. It was not directed at him now.

Someone whispered; Louisa looked up, greeted him as a common and indifferent acquaintance, and turned back to her lover. Wentworth almost smirked until he remembered to be grateful she cared nothing for him now. Anything more than indifference would have been awkward for him and even worse for Benwick.

He was still pondering the change when Anne approached. The inconsequential matter was immediately forgotten in the light of her smile.



Faithful Feelings (Invasion)

His business quickly dispatched, Frederick Wentworth willingly turned his thoughts to the woman who had consistently invaded them ever since their initial meeting: his first and only love, Anne Elliot. She alone inspired in him both deep affection and burning passion. She was the one woman he could imagine wanting completely, wholly, always. He marvelled that she had not been claimed by another, that her heart—if he understood her rightly—was as much his own as he could desire.

Words spilled from his pen onto the fresh sheet of paper before him:

“I can listen no longer in silence…”

2 comments:

  1. How did I not know of this site?

    FUN! I've only read one or two of these.

    They are lovely.

    my favorite is: Seeing Her (Eyes)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Meg. "Seeing Her" was fun to write.

    I wanted a place where I could update some of my older pieces with ease and keep track of the bulk of my JAFF, including drabbles. I've never been very good at advertising, which means for the most part I've left people to happen upon the site, I suppose. Glad you did. :)

    ReplyDelete