Today, a post went around on Facebook that said the following:
In honor of the Royal Wedding on Friday, use your royal name. Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street on which you grew up. Post yours here. Then cut/paste into your status.
Four of my Facebook friends and I did it, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at the names. They were as follows:
Lord Clarence Henry of Devonshire (Scott)
Lady Helen Lizzie of Old York (Currie)
Lady Catherine Rebecca of Howard (Christin)
Lady Gwendolyn Marshmallow of Carriage Place (Cheryl)
Lady Eleanor Poe of Cove Terrace (me)
These names inspired me to write something. As a big fan of the British Royals as well as British Literature, I decided that today’s post would consist of a short-short story where I use the five of our names in a scene and combine them with a writing exercise from a text called “The 3 A.M. Epiphany” by Brian Kiteley. He asks us to do the following exercise called “Control.” The task is as follows:
“If you are a woman, write a short scene from the point of view of a man using a logical, reasonable set of explanations for the character’s awful or humiliated behavior, no matter how you feel about this character’s behavior.” (Kietely, p. 068).
Here’s the result of all this nonsense.
When Lord Clarence Henry of Devonshire entered the room, his wife, Lady Helen Lizzie, was already on the floor. The cook and the servants were about her, fanning her pasty skin that was moist with perspiration, her full lips gently parted into a devilish smile, her hair tangled and unkempt. Her feet were twisted underneath her, and her hoisted dress exposed her undergarments, much to Lord Clarence Henry’s dismay. He could hardly stand the sight of her.
“Get water for her face,” directed Lady Catherine, Lady Helen’s cousin. She ordered the staff around as if they belonged to her, which of course, they did not. They did, however, belong to Lord Clarence Henry, whose red-faced stare caused them all to pause.
“She does not need water on her face,” he said. “What she needs is to be separated heretofore from the demons that plague her.” He walked over to where the Bourbon was usually kept on a table and turned the empty bottle upside down. “I presume this is all in her system.”
Lady Catherine looked away and made her way from the room and out into the gardens to walk with Lady Eleanor Poe, her sister. Lord Clarence Henry, feeling the eyes of his butler, his cook, and other members of his staff upon him, raised his forefinger to the ceiling and spoke with an angry cadence that was unusually eloquent under the circumstances.
“I beg you—all of you—to keep her away from these tormentors. She is not a strong woman, and unfortunately you must—we all must—be accountable for her behavior,” he said. His lip was quivering, though it was not from being afraid for his wife’s health. On the contrary: it was from the feeling of disgust that came over him every time he looked at her.
The cook was trying to prop her up, and James, the butler, who was not a very sturdy man, was doing everything in his power to try to lift her from the floor. The diamond bracelet Lord Clarence Henry had given her when they celebrated their first anniversary twelve years ago, had slipped off her wrist, and lay on the floor. “We shall take her to her room and help awaken her,” James said. “And I shall make her something to eat,” said Cook, handing the bracelet over to Lord Clarence Henry.
Lady Helen Lizzie briefly opened her eyes, though they rolled back into her head as Cook and James began the thankless task of moving her up the grand staircase and back to her room.
Lord Clarence Henry left the parlor and walked down the gilded corridor to his study, the only place in the manor that gave him any pleasure at all. He slumped into his handcrafted chair made specifically for him by the King’s master craftsman. It had always been his favorite. He thought of his wife, of how when they first met she bounced and smiled. He remembered their days in the sun, having picnics among the hills. He missed that carefree person, Helen, her hair glistening in the sunlight, her eyes dancing with joy. Now she drowned herself in drink and was as miserable as the devil on a good day.
Lord Clarence Henry opened the drawer to his maple desk, and found the letter he had tucked away those many years before the match to Lady Helen Lizzie had been confirmed. He hadn’t looked at in years knowing there wasn’t anything he could ever do about it. It was from Lady Gwendolyn Marshmallow. He lifted it up to the light, knowing the contents of it would only make him feel even less in control of his life than he had felt just moments ago when his wife made a spectacle of herself. But alas, he thought, it was nothing new, and would undoubtedly happen again.
Thanks, friends, for allowing me to humor myself with this particular post. It was fun!