I’m at the very end of the month, so I just made it in, but I have some snippets from The Wise- and Light-Hearted that I wrote in July. Thanks again to Katie Sabelko for establishing Snippets of Story!
Sophia lowered herself onto the blanket, spread her skirts neatly, and took her sketchbook in hand; flipping to an empty page and settling it on her lap, she felt her heart flutter as it always did before she was to undertake a particularly challenging sketch. The sensation was one of delight, and, indeed, there was nothing she relished more. She looked up at the grand subject of her drawing -- the Winchester Cathedral, pale, severe, and spearing the cloudy heavens. It loomed even larger from her seated position than a moment before.
“I insist that we gentleman ride together from here to Lynchfield and that the ladies keep their own company in the other carriage. Preferably the second carriage.”
“Was it really that terrible?” Lucy was partly miffed and partly amused at Prescott’s ill temper.
“Nothing but female gossip and talk of clothes and housekeeping! My mind is numb. If I’m put back in the same carriage as them I shall direct it homeward so as to cut short the time I have left with them. I don’t care enough about an old abbey to subject myself to this.”
Sophia caught her breath. For an enchanted moment the voices of the others faded. There was an archway before them, and old, old stone, looking as though part of a smooth and perfect cliff, rose up in a wall on either side, stretching to the right and left and disappearing into the thick foliage of the forest trees. It looked as if it had always been like that, undisturbed for all the ages. Had there been a forest anywhere in England when this abbey had been built?
What a magnificent thing to sketch! And what was beyond the archway?
The owner of the Lynchfield estate, Mr. Gates, was delighted to receive the
travelers and show them the abbey. He related that he was constantly amazed by how much word of his abbey got around; he didn’t have a lot of money, and what he had needed to go to improving his estate, but he was glad that tourists liked his abbey as it was, thus sparing him the necessity of improving that, too. “Utterly convenient, really!” was his refrain.
“Did it never cross your mind to charge for people to see the abbey?” Prescott asked at one point.
“It’d be an awful lot of bother. They’d just go sneaking around and find it themselves, and probably vandalize it, too, out of spite. I won’t mount a guard -- can’t afford it, and besides, I’m a peaceful man -- so it really would do no good at all, you see. No, it’s a blessed way to get visitors, which I like. Utterly convenient, really!”
Beyond the archway, Mr. Gates and his workers had kept the scraggly underbrush away but left the oaks and elms which had sprung up since the abbey’s dissolution. Grand trees grew side-by-side with the graceful stone remains; the structure itself looked whole and almost livable, but the cloister, walkways, and outer walls were in a crumbling state.
“It’s like an enchanted castle, like the old story about the Sleeping Beauty,” Lucy remarked as they came to a stop at the abbey’s front entrance, an arched, yawning hole.
Just three examples, because everything else I considered posting from the story is still confidential! In another month I may be ready to post something from a brand-new story.
How has your writing been going this summer?