Prompt: The Lady Waits

Posted April 27, 2012 by Amber in Writing / 5 Comments


Missing parts of Anna’s story?  Find the rest of it here!

“…But, but, wait!”  the mousy little housekeeper, friend… Anna wasn’t quite sure what he was, but she watched as he bounded off after Alain’s retreating coattails a second time.  Anna did not bother to listen for the bickering.  She did not care to be told that she was a disappointment.  On the contrary, she was magnificent.  It was his fault that he didn’t have two proper eyes to see her with.

Of course, it was Mister Hartford’s coach that brought her to this overgrown manor, and she was in no condition to walk home… so she had nowhere to go.  Mama said a lady never walks by the roadside.  No matter how offended she is, she gathers herself with grace and poise and doesn’t let anybody see her weakness.  Even though fury was settling her, like a molten core to her very being, Anna did not cry out, and she did not run.  She adopted a controlled walk and led herself into the garden.

What went unsaid was the dependance her parents put upon this marriage.  Although the Hartfords kept to themselves, they could not begin to hide their money.  This marriage, despite Anna’s feelings about it, would have to occur.  The survival of her family’s name and livelihood depended on it.  Ultimately, she would adopt any persona that would please her nonchalant gentleman caller – even if it killed her inside.  At her core, she would still be Anna Lee… but if she needed to become another person to ensure her own survival, then so be it.  It was what she was born to do.

Admittedly, she thought that her place in life was unfair and uncivilized, but her opinion didn’t seem to matter much.  In the end, even Papa agreed that this was best, although his enthusiasm was slightly less overwhelming than Mama’s had been.

She found a swing in the garden and sat down on it.  Dried leaves scattered the grass; it was obvious the place had only been slightly cared for as years passed.  She wrapped her fingers around the frayed rope and resisted the urge to remove her shoes and stockings and feel the grass between her toes. Through the hedges, she could see the orange-streaked sky and wondered how long she would wait because Mister Hartford or his minion came to find her.

The prompt:  For this week, I’m giving you the word “Core.” You have 450 words to explore any meaning of the word in a work of creative non-fiction/memoir or fiction. Link up your responses on Friday’s post, and have fun!

Author’s Note: This section was difficult.  I find myself at a crossroads as to what to do with Anna.  Will she make her own way in the world, letting her family fall into ruin?  Or will Mister Hartford be more than meets the eye?  I guess the prompts will tell!  You can read the last installment of Anna’s story here.

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5 responses to “Prompt: The Lady Waits

  1. You’re at a crossroads? No, Anna has the crossroad. If she marries, it sounds like she will be denying herself. If she doesn’t, then it sounds like she won’t survive. I think this could be a central conflict in Anna’s story. (I haven’t read all parts of Anna’s story, so forgive me if I’m off base.) Anyway, this post really pulled me in. Great stuff.

  2. Ooo. I like the dilemma you’ve created for Anna here. There were two spots that didn’t seem to flow well to me. The opening sentence seems to be missing a dialogue tag or something to clarify who’s saying and doing what. The other spot was the very end where you have “because Mr Hartford or his minion came to find her”. It feels to me like it should read “before Mr Hartford or his minion came to find her.” Overall, I love it.

  3. Hi, i haven’t yet read Anna’s story yet but i always like to read about a strong female protagonist. And, Anna sure does seem to fit into those views. I loved to imagine this line happening, “She adopted a controlled walk…” It just was so alluring.

  4. You’re certainly examining where the core of your character lies, and also perhaps where the core of the story is, in your author’s note.

    A quick bit of concrit, watch your verb tenses, they shift a lot, even within sentences.

    I wonder if there won’t be more to Mr. Hartford than Anna is bargaining for…

  5. My concrit was already addressed, so on to the love.

    Fave lines:
    On the contrary, she was magnificent. It was his fault that he didn’t have two proper eyes to see her with.

    She wrapped her fingers around the frayed rope and resisted the urge to remove her shoes and stockings and feel the grass between her toes.

    Anna is wonderfully naive but very determined. Such a delicious character to pair against someone the likes of Mr. Hartford. Love, love, love!