A Writing Workshop Writing Sample (Right!?!)
(NOTE: Scary Writing Samples is a series of excerpts created by me and others for use in writing workshops. I needed excerpts that weren’t by “real people” so participants would feel free to say what they really thought. If you wish to use any of these or others as a sample in a judge training workshop or other creative endeavor, please contact me first! This one in particular is for edumacation re: POV glitches.)
“You’re late, sirrah. The appointment was for half past tea.” Lady Candee Bellbottom, spinster, virgin, and third daughter of the Duke of Earl, licked her full, lush lips and stared at the man on her doorstep. His greatcoat draped in dark folds about his tall form, and his face under a black top hat was dark against the gas lights recently installed on the square. The cry of a flower seller and the clip clop of hooves echoed up and down the deserted street as the nightly fog of London concealed everything further away than the sidewalk.
The man was taken aback at her words. In a voice rusted from disuse, he said, “I could not arrive until after dark.”
Candee was annoyed. She had long guinea blonde curls her maid had arranged on her shoulders and tossed them back. Combined with her wide set blue eyes, many said she looked like an angel. She squinted, trying to make out his features, frustrated she could see nothing.
She knew that if he was hideous, it would not do at all.
Glancing up and down the square, a frown on her delicate features, Candee nervously ensured none of her neighbors could see a man enter her maiden household at this time of night. In those times, it would have stained a single woman with scandal if caught alone with a man.
Unbeknownst to Candee, fog obscured the eyes peering at her through curtains next door.
The man frowned at her. His dark brows drew together, displeased she made him wait on the stoop like a pigeon, and he straightened his broad shoulders in impatience. “Are you going to invite me in, Miss Bellbottom?”
“That’s Lady Bellbottom to you,” she sniffed, insulted, and stood back for him to enter.
As he swept past her the candles in the hallway flickered. A cold, premonitory chill raced up her spine. Was this even the man she’d ordered from the special service for ladies with certain…desires? She’d heard whispers of a killer on the loose, someone named John or Jack, but in her preoccupation with her hobby she had little interest in the day to day affairs of London. She had no knowledge of the horrors Jack the Ripper was inflicting on London’s female populace and the fear that struck hearts at the mere mention of his name.
Well, there was nothing for it. She’d sent all her servants away on holiday. He was here, and this was her one chance. Her once chance to change her life.
“We have a lot of work to do.” She pointed to the drawing room where she’d arranged the oil lamps and exotic artifacts. She thought it looked decadent.
The man removed his top hat to reveal shiny dark healthy recently washed curls. And his face — the perfection of his features stunned her with its dramatic angles and dark Italian gaze. He was clean, as she’d requested.
“Go in there and disrobe,” she said, disgusted she had to tell him how to do his job.
Amazed, he said, “Beg pardon? Disrobe? I’m applying for the position of night butler.”
Just then a knock sounded on the door. The neighbors! Candee was terrified. Her hand pressed in fear against her slight bosom. “You must hide under the settee!” she exclaimed, knowing that there was no time to burn her sketches of nude men, her preparations for her art masterpiece that would one day stun the world. Behind her, he took off his greatcoat and revealed an old fashioned suit and lace cuffs. Candee’s attention was fixed on the door. Having the nosy Countess of Quinn discover the charcoals would be bad enough, but if found alone with a man in this day and age, she’d be forced to marry him.
To make matters worse, Candee realized, he aspired to be naught but a night butler! She was in agony and uncertain which way to turn. Again the door rattled under the onslaught…..
© 2005 Jody Wallace