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Belle Rock: Chapter Two
Belle Rock: Chapter Two

Belle Rock: Chapter Two

Mitzi1776Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik

“Yes?” a broad man in a butler’s uniform flung open the door.

“Hello.” I smiled.

“Hello?” he said, half-mocking. “Who are you?”

“Miss Corbin-Bradbury, my father is expecting me.”

“Oh yes, Miss Bradbury, come on in; Sir Bradbury is in his study.”

“Thank you,” I said with a frown on my face, pushing past the butler a little to enter the house.

“And what do you want, Stanley?” I heard the butler say as I walked out of earshot.

“Just to talk to Sir Bradbury,” Stanley said, a frantic note quivering in his voice.

“No. He’s busy.”

“Please.”

“Have you got lead in your ears?” grouched the butler, slamming the blue door in his face. He turned on his heel and walked towards me. “This way, Miss.” He said, gesturing broadly to me to walk down the wooden walled corridor. I traced my ring finger lightly over the polished wood and felt distinctly as if I were on a ship. That thought made me smile a little. The carpet was thick and the same deep navy blue of the door, and the window ledges and bore swirling patterns like ripples in the sea. “Move on.” The butler said gruffly. He led me to a huge oak door and rapped on it harshly. “Sir Bradbury!” he called in a forced, quivery polite voice.

“What, Carstairs?” my father’s voice - a gruff, husky tenor - bellowed.

“Your daughter, Sir.” The butler shouted back. There was a sudden, quick plodding of steps from within the study, and the door was flung open. My father stood in the gap of the doorframe and filled up the entire space with his enormous form. He wore his silk waistcoat with one of its golden buttons missing.

“My Darling.” He smiled with total joy swimming in his eyes.

“Father.” I smiled lightly.

“Carstairs, you may go.” He said, waving his hand decisively towards the butler. “So wonderful to see you, Lucinda.” He beamed. “I haven’t seen you in –“ he broke off “, in about eight years.” His voice rose as he finished.

“A decade.” I stated bluntly.

“And how I have missed you.” He reached out his arm to hold me; I took his hand and shook it.

“You have?”

“Yes, of course, My Darling.” His voice wobbled a little as he spoke. “I must allow you to unpack.” He clapped his hands together. “And change, yes, I must allow you to get changed –“ his voice trailed off once more “into something a little more suitable.”

“Oh, father, don’t worry, I am more than used to the cold March of London; my coat is serving me well.”

“No, no, but you must change for tea.” He stated.

“Okay, father.” I nodded. He returned my nod and gestured broadly to me.

“Your room is just up the stairs; I’ll have Carstairs bring up your luggage.” I turned and walked away from the threshold of my father’s office, taking a second to notice the fact that I had not even been inside it. I began up the stairs, running my hand over the woodwork which I still believed mimicked that of a fine ship’s interior. Paintings of ships hung on the walls in unpolished gold frames, and I wondered if my father owned them. I found the door to my room and entered quickly, painfully aware of the cold draft pressing up from my father’s study. I forced the door shut as quickly as I entered and stared around the room blankly. It was a room painted in blue, much as the rest of this house seemed to be. There was a huge crystalline window at the opposite end of the room and a fireplace (no fire burning at present) along the longer side, a bed opposite that with blue sheets. My first thought was to start the hearth burning in a vain attempt to chase away the cold air that dwelled within this place, but it was not the March afternoon that made this house cold.

I took a match from a little tin atop the wooden mantlepiece and struck it against the little rough paper with them. I built a fire and soon it was burning strongly. I stood up slowly, careful to avoid toppling onto the floor in my hooped skirt. My eyes were immediately drawn to the painting, which hung by a worn string above the mantelpiece; it was a painting of a raven with wings as black as night, its lurid nocturnal brilliance encapsulated in its beady, knowing eye, staring back at me as if it were alive. My eyes flitted to the corner of the painting, Nevermore, written in black cursive by the artist. I knew this painting; it was an illustration of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, and yet the Bust of Pallas was nowhere to be seen, and the bird was not above my chamber door. And for that, I am grateful. The idea of a bird that could talk to the one that beheld it had always frightened me, although in some way, I’m sure that such unusual quality would be most appealing in this grim town of grey skies and salty air.

“Are you ready, My Darling?” my father called up the stairs. And suddenly, I remembered my purpose; I was to dress for tea.

“Just a moment, father,” I shouted back. “I’m struggling to manage without a maid.”

“You’ll just have to cope.” He shouted back in return.

“Yes, yes I will,” I whispered to myself. “I certainly will.”

Author Notes: Sorry, this is just a duplication.

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About The Author
Mitzi1776
Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
About This Story
Audience
12+
Posted
12 Nov, 2021
Words
921
Read Time
4 mins
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