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Thread: Fiction: The Game [COMPILED]

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Fiction: The Game [COMPILED]

    Thought it might a good idea to put together the posts in the game since it is going so well!
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”

  2. #2
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Page 1

    Once upon a time, there was a gargantuan, stone mansion. It was situated on an enormous estate, with kilometres [or miles] of forest and fields around it. There was a little cottage in a small corner of its large gardens; here lived the gardener and his family. But as for the mansion itself, nobody had lived in it for decades. It was bleak, dreary, and dull, like a body whose soul had deserted it. The locals (not the Gardiners, they were very steady, sensible people with no regard for such nonsense) said it was haunted. But who knows...

    It was a typical day at Roseberry Manor. Mr Gardiner had woken up pretty early (only four o'clock this time) and had just started tending the radish patch. All was perfectly normal: Mrs Gardiner had sent him some lettuce-and-egg sandwiches (the Gardiners were all vegetarian) for lunch, Toby and little Claire were playing on a sunspeckled patch of lawn a few hundred metres away, and the house looked melancholy, as usual.

    But when Mr Gardiner went to fill up his watering can at the creek at the south side of the manor gardens, something peculiar caught his eye. On the road, which was well visible from the creek, a carriage was rolling by. This was extremely peculiar, as nobody ever came to Roseberry Manor. The last time somebody wholly unrelated to him had come by was when a threesome of frightened teenagers came to investigate if the Manor was really haunted (on a dare). But that was ten years ago. He now squinted, making his already small and short-sighted eyes even smaller and his vision even worse. He blinked. He still couldn't make anything out. So he took his watering can and quite forgot about the matter. Perhaps the carriage had the wrong address.

    So everything continued as usual for a few more weeks. Until one day, lo and behold! The curtains stirred, the chimney puffed, the doors creaked. No one knew who moved in;when they moved in;how they moved in. People around wondered and whispered;whispered and wondered. It surely couldn't be the... Could it? The owner of the manor! Indeed it was! No one knew what he was like, or even what he looked like, he was such a mysterious, shadowy was gossiped, though, that he was the grandson of the late M. de Bordeaux, who used to own the manor, and had come from France to settle down and find a wife. Well so they said. All the young women of the town were impatiently waiting to see him in town, even if it had to be somewhere as unromantic as a grocery store. But they were made to wait. Months passed by, and the shadowy figure still made no appearance. What was he living on, air? There certainly were no food storages in the Manor.

    But, luckily for the people of the nearby town, he had servants. Only very few, some three or four; but these servants spread astounding rumours. Chilling ones, even. For example, they said his diet consisted entirely of broccoli and old cheese! Can one imagine such a thing! Why, as preposterous as it may seem, these servants claimed, his lordship would idly munch on a piece of broccoli, or perhaps some smelly old blue cheese, even whilst having his back scrubbed by the lowliest of servants, the cook. And the poor cook, whose job requisites, or so it seemed, were entirely caught up in the wholesale purcase of great rounds of blue cheese, which then had to be wheeled home to the manor, and the constant sorting of slowly wilting heads of broccoli!

    The servants of course, never at a loss for tales where their master was concerned, nevertheless remained mute on matters more likely to titilate the often spurious and deceitful minds of the local gossips. For instance, concerning the masters latenight escapades, they watched as he would climb out of the upstair window and shimmy down the vines in when there was a full moon and everyone was asleep. He would run across to the lake, long black robes flowing behind him and white hair all wild and crazy like the future Mr. Albert Einstein. he would race across to the lake in freezing nights and dive in, breaking the ice and lay submerged for hours until he would appear suddenly as if he were waking and reneter the manor the same way he had left.

    One young house servant spoke of the day when she appeared by his room to find his clothes, the clothes he was wearing just before neatly placed out on the bed as if he were lying there, with the stockings tucked into the tasseled shoes and the belt in the pant loops and the cloak that the owner so often wore laid behind. The startled young lady went to touch the clothes to put them away when the Master appeared. Without a word, the white-robed spectre motioned the maid to give him the clothes.
    With a courteous curtsey she clasped the clothes in her cuff-sleeved hands, and handed them to the Master without so much as breathing.
    But she took him all in, from his fluffy bathrobe to the last silver-white hair. What struck her was his very whiteness. He was all white - his hair, his face, his robes, and the flannel singlet that was underneath them. He was rather daunting in appearance; but there was something about his face that was gentle and unoffending - mild and kind - in short, something that she liked. She took a mental note of the fact that his skin was smooth and unwrinkled, and his features even and good-looking. If it weren't for his white hair, she would have thought him twenty.
    Perhaps it was a wig, she thought, being a quick-witted young lady.
    They stared at each other for another two minutes. Two long minutes. The best minutes of their life. Neither knew why, or how, but those two minutes were sadly blissful. She looked at him with pity, mingled with sadness, and he with an unspeakable melancholy that was whispered in the wind.
    But just then, while they were standing there, staring at each other in sorrowful happiness, there came some ruffling and scratching from behind the curtains. Something or someone was surely there, doing what no human imagination could venture to guess:ruffle, ruffle, ruffle;scratch, scratch, scratch! Before she knew what was happening or ask any questions, the poor girl found herself out of the Master's room, the door shut so quickly to her face that she could not help wondering if she had been dreaming! Baffled and confused, she stood, frozen, outside the door, her heart beating within her. What had happened? Dare she go back in? Her legs trembled beneath her. On a final resolution, she crouched down to peer through the keyhole. Her eyes grew large...she saw Monsieur Bordeaux, still clad in his pale tone, gently wipe away the white from his skin with a towel; the white almost looked like some substance she could not identify, or, perhaps, he wiped on a peach-like color. He brushed at his skin like a mother bathing her child, softly in a manner that entranced the maid until, as she almost had not noticed, Bordeaux swung open the door in one swift movement. He had regained his less-pale, flush color, and his attire seemed fitting for a formal occasion. His facial expression seemed especially mysterious, however, displaying a peculiar look of confusion; his physiognomy, which the maid easily read, showed a terrorized mind. "What is he thinking," the maid thought.
    "I am thinking nothing," Bordeaux pronounced in his light, delicate voice. He spoke as carefully as if he walked on shattered glass. "Did you hear anything in my room, while you were outside?"
    "No," replied the maid, as she blurted out a quick "sir."
    Bordeaux found his look of confidence. He stood much taller than the maid, and gazed upon her; he seemed so bold, dark, yet soft.
    "Are you expecting any more guests, sir," the maid asked, "a wife, perhaps?"
    Bordeaux broke the look from the maid, and stared at the ground for an awkward silence. Finally:
    "I haven't seen my wife since after the war; I came here, wondering if she resided here, this being one of our summer homes, but have had no luck," he murmured.
    "No, sir, I have not seen her," the maid sympathized, but only because she found the silence uncomfortable. "I never knew you served in the war."
    "For only some time, yes," Bordeaux gazed at her again, "until an accident occurred."
    "Oh, I apologize," the maid blushed, "what sort of accident?"
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”

  3. #3
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    PAGE 1 (Contd)

    Bordeaux, as if he failed to hear the question, looked reflective out a window that the hallway led to - melancholic, nostalgic. This presented the only light between the brief conversation between Bordeaux and the maid, while he nearly forgot her presence.
    Mr. Gardiner entered from the opposite end of the hallway.
    "Bordeaux," he called, "there you are. A letter has arrived for you. Come, read it where there is more light downstairs."
    Bordeaux turned to follow Mr. Gardiner, slowly, looking down, giving the maid a quick, bashful "good day." The two men proceeded downstairs, where Bordeaux found his letter. He opened it immediately, finding an enclosed document. With trembling fingers, Bordeaux unfolded the letter and hurriedly scanned its contents. As he read, his eyes grew wide, and his complexion turned ashen. He dropped the letter, took a few faltering steps towards the door, then stopped. He turned to Gardiner as though about to speak--yet he said nothing. “He looks,” thought Gardiner, “as though he has seen a ghost.” Gardiner cleared his throat.

    “What news does the letter bring, sir?”

    Bordeaux acted as though he had not heard. His eyes had a faraway look to them, as though he were unaware of his immediate surroundings. Had the missive awakened some painful memory? What thoughts swirled behind that awful expression on Bordeaux’s face? With a note of urgency, Gardiner repeated his question.

    “Sir, what news does the letter bring?”

    Bordeaux stirred slightly, and his eyes focused on Gardiner. His lips moved, but the sound that issued forth was inaudible. The dreadful expression remained frozen upon his face. Gardiner stepped closer, and grabbed his friend’s arm.


    Bordeaux croaked, “It says . . . .”

    Gardiner leaned closer, awaiting the grim revelation.

    “It says . . . “

    Gardiner was nearly delirious with anticipation. He shouted, “WHAT?”

    “It says . . . that I have been pre-approved for a Bank of America Platinum Visa card. With a 0% APR on transferred balances until June of next year.”

    Gardiner stepped back, stunned. Given the Monsieur’s previous experience with credit card debt, this was no small development. It was at that very moment mindboggling that the Visa Corporation had not learned its lesson from the last time they issued him a card when he was a starving university student. Surely their files on him at corporate headquaters were still available, were probably posted on the office walls to show associates what NOt to spend their money on:

    Example Visa Billing, Items # 1-5; "Mary had a little lamb" costume rental, $235.00, 26 beer kegs @ $73.00/per, 1 x 1500 gallon portable swimming pool, $327.00, 450 packages of green Jello pudding, $277.00, 1 magic swimming donkey....$837.48.

    Bordeaux recovered quickly, his stunned anxious facade turning flush as these same memories flooded his mind.
    "Ah, yes"......he murmured, "....little donkey.....cute little donkey..."

    Gardner whirled around, took two steps toward the maid and yelled out, "WATCH OUT!"

    The maid wheeled around. Behind her was -
    She fainted straight out. "Marie!" Exclaimed M. de Bordeaux's strong, gentle voice, running to catch her. It was at that moment he realised he knew her name. As she lay limp in his arms, something swayed inside him, and he leant against the wall behind him to support himself, and her.
    The shadow at the door had disappeared. "Gardiner?" he said, as a convulsive trembling came over his body.
    "Yes, sir?"
    "Go to the kitchen, and get some whiskey."
    "There's no whiskey in the kitchen sir. There's only blue cheese, broccoli, water, blue cheese, broccoli..."
    "Well GET ANYTHING, Gardiner, ANYTHING! Just get it!" Roared Bordeaux.
    "At once, sir," said Mr Gardiner meekly, and hurried off before the master had a heart attack.
    As Bordeaux stood there, holding her, shaking, trembling like an autumn leaf about to fall...
    Holding her, like a limp violet, in his arms...
    Holding her, like an angel fallen from the sky...
    Holding her, like a memory that had long since became dim as the stars at daybreak - his heart beat quickly, his head began to swirl.
    "Oh, that I had listened to her," he whispered. "That I had listened to her..."
    He let his head droop. Bitter memories returned. All those years - wasted. All that unhappiness, all that anguish, all that heartbreak. For nothing?
    And now, he was holding an innocent, young, white flower - beautiful, glowing with goodness. Why had it all happened - why? Why had he wasted his life, with a woman he didn't love, with a war that he was against? His masquerade of a life, always changing, always different - always disguise - why? Had he really been fleeing real happiness?
    But he must save her. He had to save the maid at all costs. He recovered his wits. The shadow at the door - Her - he must ward Her off - he must stop her. Or else her revenge would be complete.
    Just then Gardiner returned with the mouldy blue cheese, interrupting his thoughts. Taking the moudly cheese, he was about to feed Marie with it, when all of a sudden, Marie regained conciousness and screamed, "...LOOK OUT!"

    Gardiner and Bordeaux set their eyes on the shadow at the door in the same simulateneous instant. Bordeaux exclaimed, with wide eyes, and pale face...", I mean... it''s her!"
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”

  4. #4
    Just a quick suggestion after a very quick glance:

    looked reflective out a window
    "reflective" is adjectival while "reflectively" is adverbial.

    If the author intends the adverbial sense, then reflectively modifies the manner in which he gazes out of the window,.... if the adjective sense is intended... then he "appears" at the window (in a passive sense) and is observed or seen to be "reflective" in mood or expression...

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