Monday, November 09, 2009


Another novel snippet, this time in a new direction.

You seldom know when you are about to meet your destiny. Usually you don't think about it until later, much later, and you realize that your life turned around the random (or not so random) event at that very time. Sometimes you have a sense of magic and electricity that helps you to look for something to happen, but that is unusual in the extreme.

Genevieve Lodge was no exception to this rule. She was merely hoping to not be bored stiff all evening. She spent much of her life bored stiff. It seemed the thing to do for women of her class, with her brains. Unable to use them sufficiently within the constraints of society, they were either bored, troubled, or in trouble. Seeing as Genevieve was young, she was merely bored.

The ballroom was lit by gaslight, which lent an odd shimmery green cast to the room. Genevieve missed candlelight. It was beautiful in the extreme to dance in the light given by hundreds of tapers. Of course, it was much safer and more ala mode to use gaslight. She understood that. But in the back of her mind there was just the niggling that doing things because it was "the thing" to do was idiotic. It was not yet voiced, it had not even peeked its head out from where it was hiding, but the aroma was there. She was poised to begin questioning, which would probably alleviate the boredom.

In the light of day, the ballroom was merely an enormous room, rather plain, with windows set at regular intervals in the wall. Decorated in a dull ivory satin, she thought that it was supposed to be attractive and rich-looking, but mainly it was just ordinary. Genevieve had not really experienced "ordinary" in her life but for her station in life, the Doringer's ballroom was ordinary.

It was scarcely better in the gaslight. All the ladies had greenish skin, all the gleaming shirt fronts of the men were a sickly green. Genevieve scarcely wished to know how she looked in this hideous light. She would find somewhere else to hide out as quickly as she could, if only to relieve herself of the smell and sight of those wretched modern gaslights.

Banks of hothouse flowers were placed between the windows, predictably. There were lilies and roses, and plenty of those cheap frowsy white flowers whose name Genevieve could never recall. They lent a funereal cast to the already depressing ballroom as well as a sweet, almost cloying scent. Many of the young of the society class were already present, chatting along the walls, waiting for the small band to warm up and begin playing. Dowagers were already seated in their plush thrones, keeping a beady eye on the doings. Genevieve sighed and resigned herself to an utterly dull few hours until she could safely absent herself and do something, anything that was more interesting, even if it was merely to go to sleep.

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