Today I’m offering a trip back in time. Well, all right, you won’t actually be going back in time, but you’re going to read about someone who lives in a different time. I’m posting the first part of a story set in Victorian England, which at this point (for alas, it has no title) is simply called by the main character’s first name, Edward. I originally had the idea to write this story after watching BBC’s North and South (highly recommended! It’s sooooo good). I decided that perhaps it was time for me to try my hand at a story set in the Victorian era as well. And thus Edward was born. I don’t have much written so far (only about the first chapter) because he’s been a side project to my other rough drafts. Anyway, grab your top hats and parasols, and join Edward and I for a trip back to Victorian era England!
It was a cold, damp London night, and the drizzling rain dripped off the brim of my top hat, which had until recently been my father’s, and down into my eyes. I pulled at my frock coat trying, without success, to keep out the chill. My companions and I were returning from the local theater, as was our custom to visit every Wednesday night. Despite the dreary weather, we were a merry bunch, having enjoyed that night’s entertainment and anticipated a warm drink and a lively discussion of the play.
Oscar Blackwell was the oldest of my friends and the natural leader of the four of us. He was the tallest and considered quite handsome (or so my sister once confessed), with dark hair and eyes. John Abbott was a slightly younger, slightly shorter version of Oscar, and had a fair complexion and jolly personality. He was a crack shot and enjoyed hunting, something I was never very good at nor did I really enjoy. Simon Morrison was the last member of the group, and had sandy hair and blue eyes and spectacles that were always perched on the end of his nose. Although he appeared the scholarly type, and truly, he was quite intelligent, he was not at all quiet. In fact he was very outspoken, and was channeling all his energy and opinions into the study of law. And I? I was not like any of my other companions, for I lacked Blackwell’s handsome features, Abbott’s lighthearted personality, and Morrison’s passion. With my light blonde curls, green eyes, and small stature I could easily be mistaken for one of my friends’ much younger brother. And although every Wednesday evening was spent with my three friends, I would have almost preferred to spend my evening reading, tucked away in my family’s home.
“How did you enjoy the play tonight, men?” inquired Oscar Blackwell.
“I must say I had hoped this play would have had a bit more adventure in it,” said John Abbott in front of us, starting to walk backwards to see the rest of the company.
“You always prefer a spirited performance, Abbott,” laughed Blackwell, twirling his cane. “Our dear Mr. Dalton, however, is more than happy with a slightly slower, more, shall we say, meditative story line, eh, Dalton?”
I hadn’t been following the conversation, for I was thinking about this very play and wondering what I would have done in the protagonist’s place. Now, hearing my name, I pulled myself out of my reflections. “I’m sorry, my dear fellows, my mind wasn’t on the conversation.”
Blackwell, Abbot, and Morrison laughed together. Although good-natured, their laughter still left me feeling slightly vexed. Suddenly, I started, gazing down the dark alleyway on my left. “Did you hear that?” I questioned.
“Did we hear what?” returned Morrison.
“That sound. It almost sounded like a cry for help, did it not?” I asked.
“I believe Mr. Dalton is imagining himself to be a hero,” Blackwell jested.
The others chuckled their mutual agreement. I turned red under their badinage. We had been friends a long time, and our temperaments were well-known to each other. They had informed me on more than one occasion that I spent too many hours reading and dreaming. I paused for a second, hoping that the accusation was incorrect, still listening for the sound. I finally realized that Blackwell was right, and that the sound was just my imagination, nothing more. “Perhaps you are right. I must have imagined it,” I admitted, stepping away from the mouth of the alley, as our little party continued on its way.
Suddenly, an ear-piercing scream filled the alleyway and the street we were on. I turned to my companions, each of us startled by the ghastly shriek.
Thank you for reading!