fanfic, Original, Persuasion

Cordially, Anne

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Anne set aside yet another tear stained paper to dry for later use. Unlike her father she was too frugal to throw anything that could be of use away, even in her great heartbreak. She just could not bring herself to begin the awful letter. She knew that it had to be done. She knew that her heart was playing tricks on her, and this would pass like her sisters’ passing fancies. Yet her heart was ripping slowly and painfully into two misused, bloody halves. She could not write the letter.

Anne was shaking in her desk chair, but she hardly knew it. She was in a haze. She knew nothing, but her own pain. Her face was swollen and sallow from crying and her hair was falling down in ringlets around her face as it slipped from her pins in her current frantic disposition. She gripped her pen firmly and began to write.

My Darling Wentworth,

I love you more than I can bare, but I am prevented from marrying you. It is completely impossible and would only tear us both from loved ones for a life of poverty and isolation. Please do not hate me. Surely you can see it can never be? I must do what is best for both of us and for my family.

Your Most Ardently Devoted,

Anne Elliot

This brought on a fresh wave of agonized wailing that would have brought the whole household into her quarters had she not had a pillow at the ready in her lap to muffle her cries. She could not bare to be mocked by her sisters or father in this state, even if they did not intend it. Her family loved her, but they were not overrun with tact.

She mopped her sore, tired face with her handkerchief and allowed herself to drop this one page into the nearby fire so that seeing it again later could not revive the initial pang. She sat down solemnly and again picked up her pin.

My Dearest Wentworth,

Please do not ask me to explain, but only, I cannot marry you. Please do not be very sad. I fervently apologize for the pain this will cause you. Know that I hold you very dearly in my heart and respect you above all others, and know that I do this for both of us.

Yours Affectionately,

Anne Elliot

Even as she wrote her excuses she knew that she was cutting the strings that connected their two hearts one-by-one, and soon he would be lost to her forever. Each word stung more than the last, but she knew in time she would be numb to its affect. She would endure. Anne Elliot will always endure. And so, with a heavy heart, her hand met her pen once more. She knew what was necessary for them both. Make it quick. Do not drag the pain along for either party. It ends now.

My Dear Wentworth,

I must reject your offer of marriage. I apologize for any false encouragement I may have given you. I hope that we may part on good terms.

Cordially,

Anne

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fanfic, Original, Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Bennet Goes to the Ball

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Light flooded in through the nearby window as the clouds moved past and the sun crept into view, rousing Mr. Bennet from a long think. Like an elderly cat in a sunbeam, Mr. Bennet slowly and carefully stretched his achey, disused bones in the warmth and then dragged his hands exasperatedly down his face in an attempt to rouse himself from the quiet, dusty, tucked-away corner of his sleepy mind where he had been residing.

In a few hours he and his rather cumbersome family would be visiting Netherfield Park to attend the ball of the recently arrived Mr. Bingley. The name was burned into his ears, ringing like a shrill bell that sounded a little too much like his wife. It would take him at least as many hours to prepare himself to bear the excursion.

He began reviewing his usual mental blocks, running them over and over to be sure he had them down to a T before entering the social battlefield. Six young daughters and ridiculous wife had given him plenty of practice to develop the ability to seal himself inside the long corridors and bookshelves of his own mind. The trouble, more often, was pulling himself back out again.

He practiced his very best standoffish “I’m musing” face to avoid being drawn into conversation with any of the gossip-drenched tongues of his neighbors. Resting Bennet face would scare off the chattiest of acquaintances. Little did Mr. Bennet know that no one had approached him for a talk in many years. The local population much preferred his loquacious wife.

Then Mr. Bennet started repeating his mental lexicon of responses that he could use despite the context because neither Mrs. Bennet, Kitty, or Lydia would hear a single word no matter how much they badgered him.

“Yes, my dear.”

“Oh, I’m sure.”

“I don’t see why not.”

“What is his name?”

“I leave you to your own trifle amusements.”

“Quite.”

He could always keep the lack of any answer at all in his back pocket if he wanted to completely torment his wife or youngest daughters. He chuckled a bit at the thought. He knew Jane would blossom in her element. Though she may have been somewhat reserved, she was born holding tight to a book on etiquette, he was certain. Mary would, as ever, be the odd one out. She was terribly uncomfortable at these affairs and though she hid it well, her father knew it was her nerves rather than her mother’s that truly suffered. His thoughts made their way to Lizzie and with them came a smile as warm as those rays of sunlight. She held all of the same manners as Jane, but she was bold and bright and tough. She made him prouder than any son ever could and he trusted her above all else to keep the rest of his family in line. And with that comforting thought he allowed himself to drift back into the delectable doze from which he had been roused.

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fanfic, Northanger Abbey, Original

Isabella

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Isabella plopped down onto her back on her bed and let out a heavy sigh that was too exaggerated to carry any tone of real hardship.

Then Isabella got up.

Isabella strolled around the room.

She sat on the poof in front of her only chair. She sighed again.

This time Isabella jumped up with a force that could easily be mistaken for purpose.

She scuffed back and forth irritably.

She ran her fingers across the books on her shelf and then let out a loud groan of agitation before falling on her bed again, this time face-forward.

She even kicked her legs a couple of times, though she would never admit to such a childish maneuver in the presence of company, not even Catherine.

The case was all too clear. Isabella Thorpe was bored out of her mind.

And well she should be. How was a young lady to find any entertainment with her best bosom buddy away having adventures at an awful old castle with skeletons in every closet. No doubt, Catherine was off solving hundreds of murders, all without a thought for poor Isabella. She had faithfully promised to write Catherine while she was away, but had not been able to draw herself to her writing-table without the pang of heartbreak (she refused to harbor the word jealousy) at Catherine’s complete abandonment. How could she be so intolerably selfish? This led to another loud sigh as Isabella comforted herself with the thought of how thoughtlessly she had been cast-off, something she herself could never do to such an important friend as she. After all, Isabella could love no one by halves.

Her thoughts inevitably turned to marriage. That was where her thoughts always found their home when she wasn’t fully distracted, which was hardly really ever. Even a good book or dance would always bring her back in the end. It was her one true calling in life and well she knew it. She could hardly remember a time when she hadn’t known in her deepest heart of hearts that she would marry and marry well. It was her only choice. She had been blessed with breathtaking beauty and cunning and wit, but placed in an economic situation that prevented her from using these to her full advantage. So from a very young age she knew that securing a comfortable home was not only her only option, but also her duty. She had found a lovely, educated man who loved her to bits and would always care for her comfortably enough in Catherine’s dear brother, and was completely and blissfully happy. Well mostly happy. Satisfied, definitely. But maybe…just a little…bored. 

Perhaps she could get into just a little bit of trouble before she was completely tied down. She was young, shouldn’t she take advantage of that? Who could blame a girl in her prime for not wanting her aptitude go to waste.

With that thought she hit the streets. She knew she was no ordinary girl, and right now she was a girl in search of trouble.

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fanfic, Mansfield Park, Original, Susan

Susan

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Susan stared.

Susan stared blankly through the cold, cracked panes in the flaking, whitewashed windowframe, situated at the end of an occasionally quiet corridor, in a small, tucked-away nook, behind a small, worn table that held a small, porcelain vase. So much of Susan’s universe could be identified by its smallness. Ever so often, when the rest of the household was preoccupied and could not possibly miss her absence, Susan could slip away so she might free the caged, racing thoughts that crowded her mind and were muffled by a sea of domestic wailing. She stared with the intense hope to see another world, half believing it possible. She stared to break away.

Susan stared, stared, stared.

Susan dared.

Dared for just a moment to block out the noise that swept through the entire house and reduce it to a humming buzz so that she might experience the closest feeling she could manage to solitude, before it was absolutely necessary for her to rejoin the family. Then, she would dare to be loudest of all. If she could not escape the ruckus, at least she could master it–overtake it and bend it to her will. If her mother had ever given her anything, it was a set of pipes, and oh, could she howl.

Susan dared simply to be. She dared only to know the sensation of her own humanity, to exist for some purpose other than utilitarian. Even the loathsome housemaid, Rebecca, was given a small, pittance of affirmation. She received payment for her labor, and, if she performed poorly, a complaint or sneer was in the very least a form of acknowledgement. But Susan remained unnoticed, answering only to the endless, disgruntled shrieks for assistance.

Susan dared, dared, dared.

Susan cared.

She cared with an energy that radiated throughout her. She cared deeply for the elder brother and sister that obtained the freedom and independence she so desperately craved. Cared with a fullness of heart intensified by the love waiting and wanting to be given, and—oh! So much loneliness was she rewarded in turn. She cared for careless younger brothers and a temperamental younger sister in the flagrant absence of parental guidance. She cared to obtain the polished refinements of admired young ladies who inherited something other than the responsibility of running a disheveled household. Girls with marriage prospects from fine, courtly gentlemen, and whose suppleness of skin had not been scrubbed away into the sudsy waves of countless basins.

Susan cared, cared, cared.

And yet, despite her caring, daring, and staring, she was on the verge of being swallowed by the repetitive monotony that surrounded her. She suddenly became aware of a feeling of suffocation. She closed her eyes and prepared to take a deep breath, when she abruptly heard a loud shrill in the distance, “Susan! Why haven’t you taken care of the fire?”

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