The Romantic

Midnight.  Kate crept down the hallway, candlestick in one hand and the other raised to shield the flickering flame.  The stone floor was cold under her bare feet, but she was silent as a cat without the betraying shuffle of slippers.  The distant rumble of voices sounded belowstairs.  She slipped into the library.  Safe!

Kate straightened and let her hand fall away from the light of the candle.  The library smelled of old books and a faint hint of her father’s snuff.   Kate rather thought it was the Virgil that was so musty.  Anything that ancient could hardly smell any other way.  It was a man’s space, with solid furniture and long velvet curtains in a color her father called claret and her mother crimson.  Kate liked to think of them as scarlet, which made her mother, already nervous about Kate’s dubious attitude toward propriety, throw her hands up in despair.

Kate started to search.  She had her aunt to thank for bringing it into the house.  Her parents had immediately banished it to the back of the library, but at least they hadn’t consigned it to the fire.  Finally.  It seemed like everyone had read it but her, and Augusta Mainwaring had been a perfect pig about it.

There!  She pulled out the slim volume and looked at the cover.  Printed in thin gold letters was the scandalous name and the title: “THE CORSAIR.”  Kate grinned delightedly, tucked it into her dressing gown, and stole back to her room.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

I am having so much fun with the prompts this week, I decided to go for a second round with a little splash of Regency for Write on Edge‘s Red Writing Hood prompt.  (Also, all the new books on hand available for reviewing are Terry Pratchett and I thought I’d give you guys a break.  I swear, a shipment of all new books from Barnes & Noble is on its way.  And none of them are by Pratchett.  Seriously.)  This week, in honor of the board game Clue, they asked for up to 250 words including the words “candlestick,” “scarlet,” and “library.”  For those not familiar with the period, suffice it to say that Lord Byron’s personal life was known to be scandalous by the standards of the time and rumored to be quite scandalous even by modern standards, and his works were considered not appropriate for Nice Young Ladies’ eyes.  Thanks for reading!

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  1. Jester Queen says:

    AHahaa!! I love it. She’s going to get that era’s Shades of Grey!! THank goodness they didn’t burn it!

  2. Lovely! I love your characterization: “Kate rather thought it was the Virgil that was so musty” shows a wry intelligence and wit, and how her mother, father and herself all the curtain different colors VERY telling.

    I’m sure she will enjoy her book very much!

  3. Wisper says:

    I love the clandestine feel you created throughout the piece. The way you showed her rebellious side while keeping it within the bounds of propriety is wonderfully believeable.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Good for her! I loved the feeling of reading under the covers and am glad that it has been going on for as long as books have been around.

  5. Carrie says:

    You hit all the right notes in setting the stage as a Regency. I could picture it perfectly and I could imagine the horror on poor Mama’s face if she knew what Kate was reading 😉

  6. angela says:

    I, too, love the different views of their curtain color descriptions. What a lovely piece in terms of evoking the period and sense of both the forbidden and the curious.

  7. May says:

    Well done! Apart from the fun of having nailed all the Clue details, the piece is well written. The smell of the library, slipping the book that wouldn’t have gained her parents’ approval into her robe…this is so relatable to those of us who grew up with our noses firmly buried in books.

  8. I love how smoothly you incorporated the Clue details–nothing forced about it at all. It reads smoothly. Nice job!

  9. sonya says:

    I love the whole “clue game” part to it. Nicely done.

  10. Anastasia says:

    I imagine it’s not even close to scandalous nowadays. Great use of the words.

  11. Annabelle says:

    I was definitely a big reader as a kid but thankfully I didn’t have to do it on the sly! I would have been a horrifying mismatch in an era when women who read were branded “bluestockings” and reviled. And yeah, “The Corsair” really is nothing at all inappropriate by modern standards.

    Thanks for reading!

  12. I love the anticipation of sneaking back upstairs and stealing away under the covers with a good book.

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