The Shades of Vengeance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Shades of Vengeance is a second draft of a Gothic story that takes place in 1885 that I am writing. Ivy Rigby isn't your average 18-year-old. When she finally chooses to get away from the stress of living with her sisters, she advertises to become a governess, completely unaware of the things to expect upon arrival to Blackstone Castle.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Shades of Vengeance

Submitted: November 15, 2011

Reads: 177

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Submitted: November 15, 2011

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"I will not let myself be tormented any longer. I love you, Ivy."
 
There was long silence after this. I let out a nervous laugh as I took a turn about the room.
 
"I am sorry. Did I just hear you correctly? You...you...you love me?" I stopped and sat down in an awkward manner.
 
"Wholeheartedly."
 
"You...you don't know what you are talking about." 
 
If only the reader could easily imagine this; I will try my best to describe it. It was storming very hard that night. The fire in the fireplace was roaring and the wind howled through the window panes. The world seemed to be caving in on me. I thought I had felt the room spin for a moment. It was quiet enough to hear a pin drop, yet I could hear my heart pounding in my head. I was a nervous wreck. I was in disbelief of everything that was going on at that moment. Slowly I started to back away, reaching for the doorknob. Finally, upon feeling the door behind me, I opened it and ran as fast as I could back up to my room, past the servants, who I just knew looked at me in a most bewildered manner. I could feel myself blushing. I was not comfortable with staying there any longer. Quickly pacing back and forth in front of my bed, I was on the verge of crying. I just didn't know how to handle the situation at hand.
 
I looked at myself in the mirror. Reader, I was not normally one to be scared easily, but I must admit I did look a fright upon seeing my reflection. My grey eyes were now red from crying and I had dark circles around them. My black hair in a mess. My face gone paler than I had ever seen it before. I slumped into a chair, forgetting all about correct posture and whatnot. I looked around my room. My brain was in a fog. I could not think straight. After a few moments of just sitting spaced out, I slowly walked over to my wardrobe and pulled out my suitcases and began to pack them, occasionally looking at the door to make sure no one was coming to check on me. I put my everyday dresses I owned for a few years into my suitcase. One of them was actually a purple medieval one that was particularly my favorite.
 
I heard someone walking through the hallway towards my room, so I immediately shut up my suitcases, put them back in my wardrobe, straightened out my hair and made sure I didn't look scary. It was one of the housekeepers, Mrs. Seabright. She was coming in to check on me.
 
"Ms. Rigby?"
 
"I am well, I...I am all right. I am just surprised. I will be all right, I assure you."
 
"Are you sure? Do you need anything? I will send for some tea." Without giving me a chance to answer, she stepped out momentarily and asked Mary to bring some in. Within about fifteen minutes, we were both sitting together, on my bed, with a cup.
 
"Mrs. Seabright, truth is...I am not all right."
 
"I suspected as much."
 
"I just...Mrs. Seabright, I did not come here to receive what I have!"
 
I am surprised that by this point she had not thought me to be mad. I just was not thinking straight at the time.
 
"What on earth do you mean, Ivy?"
 
"I mean exactly what I mean. I came here to work. To earn my wages for hard work. To get away from my former stressful situation, to learn responsibility. But..."
 
"I am afraid I still don't understand."
 
"Oh, I am not thinking straight! Let me start from the beginning..."
 
At this point I stop momentarily. I will return, but for now I am going to go back in time some to explain the events leading up to this.
 
I was born December 15th, 1867 in London, England, the youngest of four children. My family consisted of both my parents, Edward and Gertrude Rigby. My sisters were Constance, age twenty one, Eleanor, age twenty and Rose at nineteen. We were all very different, and for the most part did not get along well with each other.
 
Constance had black hair like me, but she had green eyes and a healthy, glowing complexion. She liked to dress in an industrial manner, with pocketwatches and such. She was generally bossy, but calm. Her fault was that she couldn't handle stress well. She was a doctor. Rose was the sickening one of all my sisters. She was fair skinned, had blonde hair, blue eyes and freckles and always dressed in a simple tartan dress and shawl. She was the good, sweet, perfect one and it sickened me. She loved to write and publish poetry. Eleanor was the worst of all, in my honest opinion. Ever since she was six years old, she was a madwoman. When I was three years old, I had dropped a bucket of dry cement on her head in a poor attempt to drop it somewhere else, and ever since then she has never been the same.
 
Reader, as you can tell from the above descriptions of my sisters, I had a rather interesting life. My life at home was hectic with Eleanor in the house. Between her madness and my evil schemes, trouble was constantly with us. Constance was constantly a nervous wreck and Rose was always making efforts to keep peace. But aside from my mad family, I had my beloved cousin, Willow. We shared the same interests and spent a lot of time together.
 
Life in busy London was becoming too much for us, and so when I was two years old we moved to Maine from London in hopes of a simpler life. I became best friends with a girl who was as bad as I was. Her name was Willow.
 
One night when I was fifteen years old, my father fell ill with the influenza. The town had been practically plagued with the stuff. The doctor prescribed him something to take, but a few nights later, he began to head for danger. I couldn't sleep that night due to nervous energy. Evidently Constance had stepped out of her own room, as I heard her door open and saw a candlelight flicker by through where my door was slightly cracked open. Mamma had been up all night with Papa, trying her best to rid him of the bad fever. She went into the kitchen for a cup of tea as he was resting the same time Constance went. I listened through my door at what they had to say.
 
"How is Papa?"
 
"I think he will be needing the doctor again."
 
"Oh, Mamma. What is wrong with him now?"
 
"High fever, chills, bad aching..."
 
"Same as before."
 
"Only it seems to be worsening."
 
"That cannot be! Mamma, we need the doctor now!"
 
"But it is so late, Constance. He is in need of as much as anyone else is."
 
"No matter. I will send for him immediately."
 
"I will not have you going out alone during this hour!"
 
"Then I shall ask Matthew. He can get the doctor."
 
"Very well." Mamma sighed, and after finishing her tea, went back to the bedroom with Papa.
 
In about an hour the doctor was there, along with my cousin, Matthew LaFontaine. Eventually I decided to put my robe on, light a candle and make my way into the drawing room, where my sisters were sitting anxiously. The room was dark, with the pale moonlight shining through the window. Besides the candle I was holding, only Constance's candle sit on a table, dimly lighting the entire room just barely. Rose actually had tears. Eleanor was biting her nails nervously. Constance couldn't seem to sit still. She would shift uncomfortably, sigh, get up and take a turn about the small room, sit back down again and so on.
 
I sat down next to Constance on the settee. "Is Papa going to be all right?"

"No one knows," replied Rose. Constance was crying now, as well as Eleanor. I myself was ready to cry as well, but I felt as though I should be strong for all of them. It seemed as though they thought of me to be that way and I was not going to appear weak now. We all prayed, long and hard that he would be all right. I got up with my candle and walked into the library to look for a novel to occupy myself with until we would finally hear something. I came back in, sat down close enough to the candle so I could see the printed pages and began to read, but in vain. My mind could not stay on what I read, although normally what I was reading would have held my attention. Eventually I just chose to close the book. About a half of an hour later, the doctor came out, a sad expression on his face. We had such high hopes.
 
I looked up at him, full of hope and concern. "Will he be all right?"
 
He just shook his head. "I'm sorry."
 
Eleanor fainted at this point. Rose and Constance burst into tears. I was stunned. It sent a shock through me. A shock most unpleasant. I was, of course, deeply grieved. But all I could seem to show was anger. Anger at the doctor. Anger at the world. It was my nature to only show anger. I stepped closed towards him and Matthew.
 
"How could you let this happen to him?" I asked, venomously, glaring at the both of them. "I hate you both for this. I hate and despise you." I turned and looked at my sisters, then back at the doctor and Matthew. "I will hate and despise all of you until the day I die!"
 
I forced my way through between my cousin and the doctor, and walked in to see Papa. He was conscious when I went in. He let out a violent coughing fit.
 
"Papa," I began, inching closer to him, sitting down in a chair by the bed. Mamma was there as well.
 
"I will let you two alone for now," said she with tears in her eyes.
 
"Ivy, my dearest girl," said he in a quiet, hoarse voice.
 
"Papa, please. Don't wear yourself out so. You will be well soon, I just know it."
 
"Ivy, promise me something."
 
"I don't want to hear this."
 
"Listen to me, Ivy. You must be strong. You have always been strong before. You can be strong now. You will face even more trials in the future as well, I am sure. Can you stop crying for me, please? Ivy, stop crying. Stop crying now. I want you to promise me something."
 
Reality was to hit me sooner or later, but it wasn't about to now. I was in denial the entire time.
 
"But Papa, you will be all right. I promise you!"
 
I couldn't fight my tears. They came out like a waterfall.
 
"Ivy. Promise me you will take care of your mother and sisters. Hold tight to what is still yours. Eleanor may be a hard one to deal with, but she is still your sister and you must understand her health problem."
 
"I understand."
 
After a moment's silence, I took his hand. "Are you comfortable?"
 
"Yes, very much so."
 
I gently embraced him before I decided it was time for me to leave the room and give my sisters a chance to see him one last time. "Good."
 
"I love you, Ivy."
 
My heartstring were being ripped apart at hearing him in so much pain. "I love you too, Papa." I ran back to him and hugged him one last time, past everyone into my room and cried uncontrollably all night long.


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