Sunday, November 25, 2018

Courting (short story) by Leanne Dyck

 I published Courting in my short story collection Novelty Yarn (2006). It was inspired by historical romance such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Recently I polished this short story so I could share it with you.


I-cord worked on two double pointed needles photo by ldyck


Courting

The old man nods at the clock. “Not particularly keen, eh. He’s just not the marrying kind.” His cronies--seated in leather chairs, smoking cigars--chuckle as he baits the hook. 
The fish can't resist. “Oh, Father, how could you?” Clutching her knitting she flees from the parlour. Tripping on her hem in her haste she hurries up the stairs to her bedroom sanctuary. Dark images of her future race through her head: there she is an old maid encircled by a large pride. They purr while she clicks her needles. Overcome by doom, she swoons into darkness.
But wait, a gentle knock upon her door recalls her to sensibility.
Excuse me, Miss.” It is Bridget the dutiful housemaid. “A young gentleman has called to enquire if you are at home, Miss?”
The gull! He makes me wait and then when he appears I should run to him? The gull!” she mutters. To Bridget, “Oh is he?”
Yes, Miss.”
Well, tell him I am out.”
If you wish, Miss.”
I do wish.”
The young gentleman will be most disappointed, Miss.”
I care not.”
The young gentleman said he wishes to discuss an important matter, Miss.”
Fine, show him to the conservatory. I will be down presently.”
She sits in front of the mirror, tidies her mussed strawberry blonde pompadour and squeezes her pale cheeks. Nerves somewhat calmed she gracefully floats down the staircase to attend to her visitor. With all the strength she can muster, she enters the conservatory.
Miss Whiting.” Mr. Beaumont bows reaching for her hand and kisses it gallantly. “Sweets for the sweet, m’lady.” He hands her a box of chocolates.
Emily puts the box on the sideboard. “Mr. Beaumont, please join me by the fire.”
As you wish, m’lady.”
Two would-be lovers sit by the fire. His hands are secure draped by a skein of yarn, she busies herself winding.
I am told you have something of importance to discuss.”
And so I have. Your father has given his consent and now—.”
How nice for you both.”
Emily, your beauty has captivated me. Your grace has enchanted me.” He carefully lays the skein on the arm of his chair. “Each night, images of you wake me.” He reaches for her hand. “I cannot live without you.” He kneels. “Please do me the honour of joining your heart with mine in holy matrimony.”
The ball of yarn dances across the floor as they embrace.


photo by ldyck
***

Alone, Emily knits and reflects on the events of the day. Realizing that her father must have known of Mr. Beaumont's intent all along, she chuckles at the sport he made of her.


forms a button photo by ldyck
More...

'Abby playing in snow' photo by ldyck (2017)

December on this blog...
an essay, reviews, and something special for Christmas

Sunday, December 2
Overachieving (an essay on work ethics)

Sunday, December 9
Book review: The Birth House by Ami McKay
(historical fiction)

Sunday, December 16
Book review:  Motherhood by Sheila Heti
(autofiction) 
(this book was shortlisted for the Giller Prize)

Sunday, December 23
Something special for Yule...

Sunday, December 30
2018 in review

My Top Secret Knitting Project





I had my doubts that I would get this project done--my wrists began to hurt. But I knit a little less and now all that's left is the sewing. Yes!



Thank you for joining me on this adventure. Now back to writing. And on that note, I wrote four picture book manuscripts in November.