Grace – Chapter 1 (or Prologue?)

This story is being told in “drabbles”, which are short stories of exactly 100 words. I’m doing this differently, in which each of my chapters is exactly 100 words. It’s a writing challenge just for fun. Each chapter might sound vague, but this is only an outline. I welcome your input, suggestions, critiques, etc. Someday I might turn it into a novel.

Three girls huddled together in a most unladylike fashion as the other boarding school students rushed past out the door.

“Promise me we will always be friends,” Constance whimpered.

“Of course we will,” Violet snapped.

“We are soul mates, destined to have found one another in our time of need,” Grace said.

“Ever the writer.” Violet murmured.

“What do you expect from the daughter of a publisher.”

“Better that than a gentleman farmer. I’m little more than a brood mare to him.”

“Has he found you a husband?” Grace asked.

“Unfortunately.”

“But The Season is still upon us,” Constance reminded.

That Story Prompt Has Sparked Something

That story prompt sparked an idea in me. I have always loved wallflowers and bluestockings and young women who fight against their forced gender roles. Gabriella has become Grace (my daughter liked the name better) and she and her friends are wallflowers who will do all in their power to help each other attain their heart’s desire.

I recently learned about drabbles, short stories that consist of exactly 100 words. Since I love writing flash fiction it sounded perfect for me! I am going to write the entire story out in drabble size chapters. If I get enough feedback I hope to embellish it and turn it into a series.

Story Prompt: Less Than a Second

I was given a story prompt in a recent RWA thread and decided to go for it.
Story prompt: It was less than a second, but it changed everything. 
I had finally done it. I had gotten my heart’s desire to notice me. I had been swooning over Charles Lancaster for years, spying on him across the room from my regular position at the wall. Other girls would pass by and giggle at those of us who congregated there.
Some were even cruel enough to offer their unsolicited advice when they noticed where my gaze wandered.
“Oh, Gabriella, you are positively deluded if you think to set you sights on Lancaster!”
“Gabby, you haven’t got a prayer!”
“YOU? And Charles Lancaster? Ha!”
So what if I fancied myself as the belle of the ball one day? Charles might notice me. I could dream. I certainly had no wish to become Mrs. Francis Cole or Mrs. Harry Knight. Those were my mother’s choices for me. She had no faith in my abilities to attract a man of importance, such as the heir to the Lancaster fortune. No, she thought I could do no better than a merchant or solicitor.

Continue reading “Story Prompt: Less Than a Second”

The Wrong Ship

Johanna lay still with her eyes closed becoming aware of  a rolling motion. In a dreamlike stupor she wondered briefly if there was an earthquake, but it didn’t stop. She thought maybe she had drunk too much champagne the night before and was just dizzy. She vaguely remembered toasting her best friend at her wedding. Then toasting the groom, the parents of the bride, the parents of the groom and so on. She needed to avoid alcohol altogether in the future. Not only did she usually wake up in a fog the next day, but it stuffed up her nose. Allergies sucked. Wait. How could she be dizzy while lying still? She sat up quickly and blinked a few times, trying to focus. A shaft of light came down through a lone round window.

A window she did not recognize.

Where the hell was she? Continue reading “The Wrong Ship”

Night Ship

Jenny walked along the shore, wiping the tears from her face. They fell aster than she could swipe them away. She wasn’t even sure how she made it down to the beach. She tried to focus on the feel of the sand slipping between her toes. Where were her shoes? She glanced down to see her nightgown fluttering in the sea breeze. Strange that she would wander around in her sleepwear. She looked back toward the way she had come. The lights from Castle Montague glowed brightly in the windows. Did anyone miss her or even notice she had left the grounds? Not that she cared, having no intention of marrying the Duke of Rutherford. She would run away before she would endure than horrible man’s touch. It was the twentieth century for God’s sake! Who arranged marriages anymore?

“Geneva?”

Jenny froze. Continue reading “Night Ship”

Sailing Away

As a writing challenge I have decided to come up with flash fiction stories about this image I found online. I completely fell in love with it and bought the rights to use it commercially. It will most likely end up on the cover of my first historical romance.

Here we go! Flash fiction, story #1…

Sailing Away

The full moon hung low in the sky, illuminating the rippling waves in the wake of the ship. Unable to sleep, Darcy leaned his chin in his hands and stared out at the water. Had it really been less than a day since his elder brother had sold him into service aboard this vessel? How would he survive among such a tough crew? The most physical pursuit he had ever engaged in was climbing apple trees on his family’s estate. He sighed. That was another lifetime, another boy. Now he would have to become someone new, someone harder. Glancing up at the masts, he pondered. “They are not so different from apple trees.” For the first time since stepping aboard, Darcy smiled.

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