Edgar Allen Poe
As the summer weeks continued Carrie became more and more bored with the traditional high class routine. She wanted to do something fun or even the least bit interesting as it seemed everyone else was enjoying their summer except her. She quickly grabbed her notebook from the safe spot in her closet and grabbed a pen from her desk on her way back to bed.
Carrie opened up to the last page that contained writing in it as she looked down at her penmanship from the day before. She started writing a bucket list before she fell sleep dreaming about what it would be like to live a but more simple lifestyle. It wasn't that she was ungrateful for all her family had, but it was more that she just wanted to know what it was like to have more concrete relationships except for those based on money. She shook the thought from her head as she knew her father would never let her even dare marry outside of the family if it meant tarnishing their family reputation.
She wrote more carefully than the day before as she listed a couple more ideas onto her list smiling to herself as she imagined the scenarios. She cleared her throat as she felt the symptoms of her summer cold scratch at her throat. Like clockwork, she heard two knocks from the door and she replied "come in" knowing it was her tea to help soothe her throat.
Instead of expecting Hayley to bring her tea like she usually does, Niall walked in instead and put the tray down exactly where it needs to be. "I'm sorry ma'am but many of the lady's maids and cooks are hard at work for tonight's dinner and I thought I'd help them out a bit by bringing this up to you. I hope you don't mind." Niall unknowingly took a step back as he felt like he was somehow intruding and felt slightly out of place.
"Of course I don't mind Niall, in fact take a seat right over there." Niall obediently sat down to where Carrie was talking about and stared at the miniature library she had in her room.
"Is that all of Edgar Allen Poe's books?" Niall was slightly fascinated that a seemingly happy girl was reading writing from an author that mainly wrote about death and the darker side of life.
"Yes it is. He's my favorite author currently, actually. Sometimes the sappy love stories and history books can get quite old and boring." Carrie smiled politely to Niall as he laughed at her surprising statement about her choice of literature. He liked that she was more interested in book that didn't always have an uplifting message at the end. It showed that she wasn't like the rest of her family who were all proper and somewhat happy. The fact that she was even sitting on her bed and he was in the same room as her showed her untraditional side to him now more than ever.
"I should get going. I don't want to delay you from getting ready or overstay my welcome." As he got up for the door while trying to hide how red his face was getting, Carrie made sure to at least try and get the last word in.
"Don't worry, you could never overstay your welcome. The pleasure was all mine." Looking up from her teacup, Carrie genuinely smiled at Niall as he returned it and left Lady Carrie's room cautiously.
As Niall turned the corner to go back to the servant's wing, he had accidentally run into Hayley. Luckily she was only holding Lady Carrie's evening dress for that night, instead of being tea that would have stained the carpet. Everybody was in a fuss because Carrie's cousins from Scotland were coming to visit and wanted everything to be perfect from the moment they step foot in Souderton to the moment when they leave. Niall bent down to pick up the dress and handed it back to Hayley as he mumbled "sorry".
"It's ok, no damage was done. Are you ready for the rest of this weekend. It's going to be a long one."
Chuckling out of nervousness, Niall rubbed the back of his neck showing his uncertainty. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I just hope I won't make a fool of myself."
"Don't worry I doubt you ever would on purpose. Well I should get going Carrie is probably waiting for me."
Looking back at Carrie's door embarrassed, Niall's cheeks became red once again. "Of course, I guess I'll see you later this evening?"
"If everything goes as planned, of course." Hayley smiled and waved at Niall as she walked past him into Carrie's room to help her with tonight. She knocked twice on her door when a smiling Carrie opened the door and let her inside.
"I'm guessing you're really excited to see your family tonight by the look of your hair." Hayley chuckled at Carrie because her hair was down in a braid that was obviously done lazily. She knew Carrie was not excited to see her cousin Amanda tonight, because she always seem to be ahead of Carrie in almost everything. Carrie personally didn't care, but it was when Amanda made it known to everyone that she was better than Carrie at something I'd what bothered her.
"Of course I'm excited. When am I not happy to see my favorite cousin especially when she constantly tries to humiliate me."
Carrie took off her day dress leaving her only in a corset and took out her braid as Hayley straightened out her evening dress on her bed. Hayley helped Carrie get into her dark blue dress and went behind her to apply the buttons.
"Don't let her get you down, she's honestly not even worth it. I know for a fact that you are ten times nicer and a better person than she is." Hayley applied the last button and Carrie turned around to smile to her.
"Thank you for that. I don't even know why I let her get under my skin." Carrie walked over to her desk and picked out her favorite black pearl necklace and placed it around her pale neck.
The head butler, Mr. Dates along with Mr. and Mrs. Barlow stood outside as two black cars pulled up to Souderton Abbey twenty minutes later then expected. Mr. Barlow's cousin from Scotland and his family were in both cars, his wife and him in the first, and his son and daughter in the second. Even though they were seemingly distant cousins for their time, Mr. Barlow always enjoyed the company of his cousin, but not so much his wife and children.
John Hemming stepped out of the car in a grey suit and held the hand of his wife Rose as she emerged from the car wearing a turquoise jacket and black dress shoes. The contrast between her red hair and her dress made her seem radiant and slightly intimidating at the same time. Although they are only related because they got married, Rose and her husband do share piercing grey eyes that was then passed down to their children.
Amanda stepped out of the car nagging at the chauffeur to be more careful with her luggage. Her red hair was pinned up as many of the women's were back in the 1900's but her's was a deep red, darker than her mother's. Her yellow dress went along great with the three necklaces of white pearls around her neck in a way to show off that she was somehow better than everyone else because she wore more than one pair at a time.
Amanda heard the footsteps of her older brother stepping out of the car and onto the gravel in his grey suit similar to his father's except his had a little hint of green in it. His grey eyes and black hair made him a target for many women and his shy but gorgeous smile did not help to ease his cause. His name is Charles but likes to be failed Charlie but never around his parents. It's more of a secret nickname that helps him remember he has friends in the world.
Mr. Barlow shook hands eagerly with his cousin as they greeted each other by the front door.
"I'm so happy you came. We have special plans for all of you and we hope you enjoy yourselves." John smiled back at Mr. Barlow and wrapped his arm lightly around his wife's waist before giving his reply.
"No matter what we enjoy ourselves. I just hope you enjoy having us here." Everyone in his family laughed at his reply and headed inside the Abbey into the main hall lined with many historical paintings and family crest's.
"Our head butler Mr. Dates will show you to your rooms and we hope you will all be up to having dinner in about and hour and a half."
John's wife smiled eagerly and decided to reply for her husband. "We wouldn't miss it for the world."
As Amanda was getting settled into her room she couldn't help but think of her last visit. She truly like Carrie but she had a feeling something was going on between her an her brother. They always seemed to be missing at the same time and it didn't help that both their parents were looking for suitors for the both of them.
As she finished putting on her evening dress she made sure to put and extra spray of perfume to leave her mark at the table even if it's not entirely visible. Her brother Charles on the other hand was pacing around his room franticly thinking about that night's dinner. He heard a knock on the door and let the unkown person in without a second thought.
"Hello Mr. Hemming. My name is Niall and I'm here to assist you during your stay here at Souderton." Charles was pleased with his temporary butler. He seemed sharp and nervous which was good because it meant he would follow orders quite easily.
"Thank you Niall. You could start by helping me get ready for dinner tonight. It seems I've been quite distracted about something but that doesn't matter any more."
"Very well sir. I'll unpack you suitcase now and get your suit for tonight's dinner ready."
Hey guys! I'm almost finished the next chapter and it should be up by latest Friday!