Monday, 6 May 2013

A Strange Inheritance

This story is written as a response to a prompt from Write on the Edge andTrifecta which are writing communities who set a prompt every week to encourage people to put finger to keyboard and engage in their imagination.  I thought I would have a go, as I need an encouragement to keep writing.  Here is the prompt and the story that followed.  I hope you enjoy it.

Picture from the Write on the Edge Website


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Elaine stood under the cherry blossom trees folding and unfolding the message that had brought her here.  Keith had proposed to her under a tree full of cherry blossom.  It was cherry blossom time again but today it seemed colder.
A BMW pulled up a few yards away.  Elaine watched a slim man get out of the car carrying a large brown envelope.  Cherry blossom petals fell around her. 
The man looked around, saw Elaine and walked over to her.  "Hi, I'm Steve Adderson.  We emailed about meeting, I'm glad you can make it."
"Why did you contact me?" Elaine asked.  She hadn't meant to say it.  She had planned quiet dignity but the words spilled out.
"Your grandfather was Herbert Pettigrew.  He did a favour for someone who..." Steve searched for the words.  "My client takes the matter of debts of honour very seriously.  Your grandfather died before he could repay that debt.  My client felt that the debt carried on in the blood, a strange inheritance.  As you are on the cusp of marriage he thought you should see this."
Elaine barely heard the words as she stared at the envelope Steve was holding out to her.  She had suspected but she didn't want to have proof.  Her fingers felt almost numb as she opened it and pulled out the pictures.
There were a lot of pictures.  One stood out, one burned itself into her eyes.  Keith was having a quiet drink in a bar with the fair haired woman who was in all the pictures with him.  It was the least graphic of them all.  They were not physically close, they were not touching, but the love in their eyes said more than any picture taken through a bedroom window.  Cherry blossom petals fell onto the pictures.
"Wait, who sent you?" Elaine called after Steve but he had walked briskly away and climbed into the car.  Elaine leant against the cherry tree and started to cry. 

48 comments:

  1. What a strange meeting- I'd want to know who sent him, too! Now I'm curious what she'll do with the information...puts a damper on wedding plans, that's for sure.

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    1. I'm really glad you like this. It was an intriguing set of prompts. I may stash this piece and make something more of it later. Thank you for commenting LM x

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    1. Thank you, I hope you enjoyed it LM x

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  3. Intrigue surrounding your story. Sad storyline. Wish I knew more about her to feel more for her.

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    1. Thank you for commenting. It is a sad story line, though I enjoyed writing it. LM x

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  4. The blossoms make for an interesting contrast to the startling news. I'd love to learn more about this story.

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I have a lot of back story in mind, so I may use it further. The cherry blossom prompt reminded me of 'Odour of Chrysanthemums' by DH Lawrence. Thank you for your prompt! LM x

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    1. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for commenting LM x

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  6. Great story - nice to see Steve starting his new job in earnest though I suspect this was one of the harder messages he had to carry. Enjoyed the fact that the story works as a standalone, though knowing the set up obviously adds an extra zing. Brilliant.

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    1. I'm glad you like it. Steve is turning out to be a useful character. Thank you for commenting LM x

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  7. Ah, that was a hard blow, but maybe better now than later. And what a weird way to pay a debt.

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I think it would be a bitter blow, and some people are very weird about debts of honour. I've used Steve Adderson in the past as an agent for the elfen/faerie and they are notoriously peculiar. I hope you liked it LM x

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  8. I loved the cherry blossoms in contrast to the fair haired mistress and I loved the quiet implication that maybe Keith had more sinister things in mind, I mean why marry someone if you are in love with someone else?

    Nice job.

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    1. Thank you for commenting and I am really glad you liked it. LM x

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  9. Ouch. That is one way to repay a debt, and the timing could not have been any better, or worse, depending on how you see it.

    This story pulls no punches and we really like its poignant ending.

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    1. I'm glad you like it. Sometimes you don't really want to hear the truth. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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  10. interesting that a stranger would pay a debt more honestly than most so-called friends (who might otherwise withhold such a secret)

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    1. I am sure that I am not the only one who has watched a wedding approach as if it was a slow motion car crash and thought that there was absolutely no way I could warn them. Sometimes this debt is easier to pay by a stranger - or that's the story I would tell anyway. Thank you for commenting LM x

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  11. A debt paid in full by a benevolent stranger........as shocking as the news might have been, it is better that she finds it out when she did. What her next step turns out to be seems like a logical next chapter in this story. Well done, Lyssa. Very thankful that you shared to words with all of us at Trifecta. :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting and I am really glad you like it. It is only the second challenge I have done and I really enjoyed it. LM x

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  12. Moar please. :) I really like the way you set her up underneath the tree for both the good and bad news.

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    1. I'm really glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun writing it. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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  13. Mysterious messengers are always a great way to go! The way you focused in on the one photo, the least graphic one, said a lot about the character and the way the betrayal was hitting her. Great job

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    1. Thank you for commenting. It is such a lovely challenge to compress character into such a small piece, I'm glad you liked it LM x

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  14. Cherry blossoms-so like beautiful tears here! What a poignant setting for such a devastating message! I hope there will be more to this soon! Well done, Lyssa!

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  15. I'm really glad you like it, thank you for commenting. LM x

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  16. Well, I know who I'd be more interested in now, that's for sure. Steve seems fascinating!

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    1. Thank you for commenting. This is the third writing challenge I have done and Steve has been in all of them. I am looking forward to seeing what he gets up to. lol LM x

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  17. Oh no!!! Why would he propose to her if he was in love with someone else??? That's so hurtful! ... I wonder what's gonna happen now though...

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    1. I think he loved her when he proposed. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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  18. I really love the use of the cherry blossoms to convey emotion. This is a grabber - I need to know more.

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    1. I'm really glad you like it. I think I was influenced by Odour of Chrysanthemums by DH Lawrence, though that is even more depressing. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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  19. Ooh, this is really interesting! Love the cherry blossom imagery. Hope to see more of this story!

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I hadn't planned on carrying on the story, but I may think about it. Thank you for your encouragement LM x

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  20. What intrigue. Would like to know her next step. The cherry blossom motif is great.

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    1. I'd like to think my next step would make the newspapers but in reality I would probably just quietly break up. I've really enjoyed writing this. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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  21. Great touch with the cherry blossoms - could be trying to comfort her - or a metaphor for tears. Either way it's a nice backdrop. It's a very interesting story. I want to know about the debt most of all, and her grandfather. And what will she do with the information? I hope you continue it. Great set-up for whatever follows.

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    1. I've used Steve Adderson before. Here he is an agent for the elfen/faerie who I have modeled heavily on British folklore (odd and not safe) and they take their debts seriously. I'm really glad you like it. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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  22. Yeah, this was definitely not enough. What kind of debt passes through blood? Why would it cause them to be interested in her hopefully no longer upcoming nuptials? I agree, the cherry blossoms were a great background, something sweet surrounding the sinister. I would like some more answers, please!

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    1. Thank you for commenting. Elaine's grandfather did a favour for the elfen (faerie, the bloodthirsty type) and they take debts very seriously. I'm glad you like it, thank you for commenting. LM x

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  23. Intriguing & great that she had a guardian angel watching over her-thus this reprieve!Well done:-)

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I really enjoyed writing this, and I am glad you liked it. LM x

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  24. you did such a good job of subtly conveying Elaine's unease and suspicions that we almost didn't need the confirmation. at least she found out before the wedding!

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    1. Thank you for commenting and thank you for the compliment. Poor Elaine guessed something was up, but love can always guarantee to mess things up! LM x

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    1. I'm really glad you like it. Thank you for commenting. LM x

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