May 10, 2007

The arrival

This is the first installment of my farcequin. I have devoted only 30 minutes per session to its writing, and so you may expect the height of absurdity and the lowest of the lows when it comes to quality writing. But, that's the whole point of a Farcequin, right? OK. And, along the tradition of the early harlequins, there may be wild innacuracies as to locale, trade, and cultural perception and political correctness. I intend to make fun of Harlequins in every way possible with these posts. All right, I Will not make any more disclaimers, but from now on, if you're offended by anything or just find the whole matter absurd, you can link to this original post once more by clicking on the icon that I will put in the corner of every one of these series posts.


Elfreda sighed once more and stared at the rugged shoreline. The fragrant breeze, scented with the tangyness of Bird of Paradise, ruffled the russet colored locks that always seemed to escape and fall charmingly around her face, no matter how severely she styled her hair.
“Well, here it is,” the voice beside her said.
Elfreda turned and smiled at the kindly old man who had been her caretaker throughout the long, arduous journey across the ocean. Her face improved considerably with her smile; soft dimples framed her mouth and made dents in her soft cheeks, which were the smooth, warm color of Irish Cream. “Thank you, Mr. Blackthorn,” she said. Her tawny eyes glowed with her sincere appreciation.
He gave her a kindly smile. “Say no more about it. And my invitation stands.”
Elfreda blushed, a soft, delicate shade reminiscent of spring lilacs. “Oh, I'll be fine,” she said. “I told you I've got a job.”
Mr. Blackthorn frowned and shook his head. “Why a nice girl like you would want to work at a mean place like that-- well, there it is. You know what you're about, I suppose.”
“Yes,” Elfreda said firmly. “My mother is dying in a hospital in London, and the only way I can afford to treat her is to marry Bobbert Grimschanks. He has agreed to treat her on condition of my marrying him.”
“Yes, but,” Again Mr. Blackthorn shook his head. “A marriage ought to be more than a match of convenience. It sounds like he's just using you to seal his business deal. And you're using him for your mother--”
“So both of us understand that it is an arrangement of convenience,” Elfreda said gayly, tossing her head. Her neat bun came undone, spilling radiant curls around her face. She was rather glad for the distraction of taming her wild tresses back into the little chignon that she customarily wore at the nape of her neck.
As fortuitious as Bobbert's offer had been-- they had played together as children, and Elfreda had always been fond of him-- Elfreda's heart was heavy. It was full of one face, one memory--

That of Davian Everingham. She had loved him for, oh, she coudln't recall how long. She had realized for many a year how vain her hopes were-- Davian would likely never settle down. He loved freedom, and the hunt; he was as wild as the Stallions that he liked to catch and tame as a hobby. Elfreda rememebered the jarring experience of their first meeting; she had been out riding, and her high-spirited mare had spooked when a little bunny rabbit raced across its path. She had screamed and hung on for dear life, but it had been Davian who had saved her.

There he had come, crashing through the bush on his dappled Arabian. He reached out and masterfully reigned in her frightened mount.

She had been only sixteen, and quite an impressionable girl. The sight of his tall, square frame, seated so proudly on that beautiful rearing animal-- his dark eyes flashing, his golden locks touseled in a glowing nimbus around his beauitifully shaped head--

The thought still sent her heart thumping.

“Here now, you've got all in a mess,” Mr. Blackthorn said, and helped her hair back into its little net.

Elfreda blushed again. “Oh thank you ever so, Mr. Blackthorn. You have been such a friend.”
He looked at her, his face lined and serious. “I do hope you consider my offer, should any trouble arise.
“I shall,” Elfreda promised. Suddenly she heard her name. She looked wildly about until she spied a scruffy-looking man with a couple of days growth of beard in the crowd.
“You Miss Ardmore?” he called when his gaze alighted upon her.

Elfreda nodded with dismay, noting his patched clothing and hard features. “That's me.” She steeled herself, descended gracefully from the boat, and handed the man her bags. “You may stow them in the trunk,” she said, cooly. “Mr. Grimshancks is expecting me.”
He gave her a quizzical look. “Well, it's nice to meet you once again, Miss Ardmore. I suppose you don't recognize me after all these years.”
Elfreda gasped, dropping her little sateen purse in her surprise. “Bobbert?” She whispered.
He smiled grimly at her. Abruptly he turned and picked up her purse and bag and deposited it into the trunk of his auto. He didn't bother to hold the door for her as she got in.
“I'm-- I'm sorry, Bobbert,” she managed finally. “I really did not recognize--”
“It comes from hard living, Miss Ardmore. You'll find that life on a Croc farm isn't as luxurious as it seems. I will expect you to pull your weight, of course. After all, I'm paying for your mother's treatment.”
“Yes, Mr. Grimshanks,” Elfreda whispered. Tears welled up along her lashes; she lowered them so that he would not guess her dismay. She must be cool-- dignified. After all, this was Australia, but she was an American, through and through. And she must show this conceited, unpleasant creature just what that meant.
Yes indeed, Elfreda thought, sniffing and raising her chin stoutly. I shall not show weakness. I shall meet every task that he burdens me with-- no matter how odious, with equanimity and calm. Then maybe I will prove my worth to him-- show him exactly what sort of woman he has decided to marry.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

You are TOTALLY hysterical, and I am COMPLETELY enthralled! Can't wait for the next installment - what will happen?? *gasp*