Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Postcard

He stood in the rain watching the house. He’d been standing there for hours. She knew she should ask him inside. But, she could think of no reason to do so. They had nothing to say to each other.

She pulled the red and gold brocade drapes aside to look again. Still there. She shook her head, causing the golden bells woven into her hair to jingle softly. She absently reached up to still them. The drapery dropped back, and she went back to the postcard she’d been reading.

Dearest Miss MacClarren,
I got your letter last Thursday. As you know, I operate a small eating place, so I can’t see how that could be of any interest to you. You make no mention of needing recipes, so I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “my abilities”. I think you may have confused me with someone else.
When you were here last year you asked about dreams. I know I told you I sometimes have odd dreams, but then I’m just a silly country woman. You shouldn’t think anymore of it.
The weather here is very nice just now. Maybe if you visit come to America again, you can stop by. I’d like that. You were very nice to talk to. I hope you are doing well.
                                                                                                      Bertie Harrison, May 1902
                                                                                                       Renewal, Nebraska, United States

She  called for her aide, “Henri, I need you to make some travel arrangements for me. I wish to go to America again.” 

Henri was used to his employers whims, he simply asked, “and when should we expect your return, madame?”

“I don’t know this time, Henri. I think this will be a longer trip than usual. It may be several years. I will see to it you are all taken care of. And, of course, you will see to it my home is cared for as well, yes?
“Of course, madame. You can place your trust in me,” Henri lifted his chin in pride. “What about the young man outside? Shall I have him removed?”

                                         * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The housekeeper had let the rain soaked man into the foyer. As he stood dripping on the floor, Anne Marie MacClarren greeted him coolly.

“Michael, you are wet. Why do you do this?”

“I am wet because you have been ignoring me, Anne Marie. I have written. You do not answer my letters. I have knocked on your door. You leave me standing on your steps. I thought if I stood in front of your window in the rain, you might finally feel some pity and let me in. And it seems to have worked.” 

“I have no pity for you. If you wish to stand in the rain, that is your choice.” Anne Marie said. “I only let you in because I am leaving. You may dry yourself, and then go home.”

“Leaving? Off on another hunt? What mythical creature are you after now?” he asked. “Anne Marie, when will you stop this foolishness and see that you need to settle down?”

Anne Marie was sorry she’d let him in. She should just have left and waved on her way by. “Michael, I have told you, more than once, I have no interest in ‘settling down’. Not with you, not with anyone. I have my work, and my freedom.” His shoulders slumped, she took a breath and continued. “You are a nice boy, go find a nice girl. I’m not what you're looking for.” She walked away before he could say anything else.

                                        * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It had been many years since she’d had such a determined suitor. She had chosen a good time to leave. He had become a nuisance and would be perpetually underfoot if she stayed much longer. She would miss this house, it was unlikely she would ever return to it. But, it wasn’t the first home she had left behind.

She packed the few things she would need for her trip to Renewal. After she found a place to stay there, she would write to Henri  with instructions for her belongings. Henri had been a faithful servant for a long time. He’d do as she asked. Perhaps she would just give the house to him. Her thoughts wandered in this way for a while before returning to the reason for her trip.

The postcard from America, with it’s hand painted picture of a mountain lake. She chuckled, there was no lake, or mountain near Renewal, Nebraska, United States. Only flat land and woods. And Bertie Harrison.

And Bertie Harrison had dreams. Strange dreams of monsters and magic. Bertie Harrison needed someone to protect her when the creatures of those dreams came to find her. Someone who had years of experience hunting those creatures.

                                  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Written for the Puzzle Piece photo prompt for Story Dam.  I think i'm way over the word limit, the story just wanted to keep going.  This is a back story to one of my nano characters
Puzzle piece promptStory Dam


  1. This is a really strong intro for a couple of reasons: you tease, but you reveal just enough to keep the reader interested, you hint at connection and use it instead to reveal isolation.

    Your style in this piece seems a little different, too. I really like the way you're leading it off.

  2. This is a book I really want to read! Anne Marie is fantastic and I want to know what happens from here. I'm intrigued.

  3. You might have been a little long on count, but I was so wrapped up in the story I didn't notice. Excellent job with the hook. You had me from "Nebraska." :) Definitely no mountains here. We're even hard pressed to find woods. Just lots of corn to scare Stephen King with. My only critique of your story is that Anne Marie's name wasn't introduced until the second section. For the first few lines of the second section I thought Michael was talking to the housekeeper. The dreams are intriguing. Hope you share more of this in future prompts.

  4. I'm intrigued and want to read more! This was really well written. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I love the change in scenes and the ending just makes me want to read more about the monsters and hunting them.

  6. @Cameron
    Thanks you! I didn't try any style change. It's just the way it came out. Silly muse, maybe I got a sub...

  7. @Donna
    Thank you, I may have to mine your brain for Nebraska info. As I'm in Indiana, I'm lost about Nebraska. It was one of those throw a virtual dart things when needed a location.

  8. @lisa from insignificant at best
    Thanks, I'm trying to hold Anne Marie back a bit, her story needs to wait awhile. She's being very pushy though.

  9. @julie moore
    Thank you, Anne Marie is going to be a complicated character. She has too much "history". I'm looking forward to working with her more later. Although she does have a place in my 'namo' project.

  10. @lydia
    Thanks! I hope to actually have a book someday. Anne Marie is supporting cast in my 'nano' project. But she's already trying for her own show.

  11. oooh, I am totally hooked! I want to know more about Anne Marie, I love how you made her even more magical by adding the bells to her hair, a sweet touch. I hope she can help Bertie ;)

    Thank You for linking up with us over at Story Dam.

  12. You always ensnare me with your voice. I love your fantasy imagination, and I really want to know what monsters and creatures Miss Bertie is dreaming of.

    These little teasers are fantastic, and Anne Marie is going to be a really strong character. No wonder she is being so pushy!

    I like that you chose to reward her faithful employee by gifting him with her house. It told me a lot about Anne marie's personality too.

    You did a wonderful job with this, and it flows so well I also didn't notice you went over.

  13. Again, great piece!

    You have really stepped up your game with these last few prompts and link-ups. I'm impressed. The only thing I saw was already mentioned by Donna. But at the same time, if this is a longer piece, I could see why the name wasn't out there to begin with.

    At any rate, awesome work! Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  14. @Brandi

    Thank you! I hope to get into more of Anee Marie's story after I get the 'nano' thing under control

  15. @The Drama Mama

    Thanks, my imagination is a bit on the 'eccentric' side, so I'm glad you like it. Sometimes people look at me like I may be a bit touched. ;-)

  16. @Brandon Duncan

    Thank you! I think the nano-sanity may have actually helped a little. I don't second guess myself quite as much.

  17. Very interesting. I also look forward to reading more about Anne Marie and Bertie.