Charlotte Green pt 2

Fiction By Kassady // 3/21/2013

PartⅡ

Mama,
I do not feel like coming to breakfast this morning. My head feels heavy and I’ve got a sore throat. There is no need to call the doctor, it’s not severe.
~Charlotte.

.
Charlotte frowns as she sets aside her quill and inkwell, unsatisfied with her handwriting, but uninspired to change it with the way her head throbs.
She passes the note paper to the maid and then she snuggles deeper into her blankets, closing her eyes against the bright sunshine seeping in around the white curtains of her bedroom.
Usually the birds chirping would send Charlotte into a happy mood, making her sing herself. But today all she wants is peace a quiet.
“Can I get you anything else, miss?”
Charlotte shakes her head, but it throbs in response. “No, thank you.” When she speaks her throat feels sore and scratchy, like something is caught from last night’s supper.
The maid curtsies and leaves the room.
It takes a few minutes to doze off, but eventually Charlotte slips into a restless sleep. A black, dreamless sleep which she drifts in and out of. Her body burns with heat and her throat itches as she tosses and turns, taking off her blankets then pulling them back on.
“Charlotte... Charlotte.”
Charlotte blinks away the darkness and looks at the blurry form of her mother, right up in her face.
“Hmm?” Charlotte touches her burning forehead and then hides her face in her pillow, “Mama, let me sleep.”
“Charlotte, dear,” her mother says softly, “I’ve got the doctor, like you have requested.”
Charlotte lifts her head from her pillow to frown at her mother. She glances over at the other person in the room. A man with a large bag and thick coat. Charlotte moans. “No, Mama, I asked that you did not...” she winces at the pain in her head. “ not to call upon the doctor. Really, I’ve just got a sore throat is all.”
Mrs. Green presses her hand against Charlotte’s temple and then shakes her head.
“Charlotte, you’ve got a fever, darling.”
Charlotte moans and shifts in her bed. Looking over at the other side of the bed she can see a small crowd gathering. Her younger sister Esther, her older sister Bertha, and suitor from last night Mr. Pearson.
Esther is a small little girl of eleven, with bright brown eyes and round rosy cheeks. Still not of age to even consider being courted, Esther has the girlish beauty of a fairy which is never not seen by every boy she comes across.
Bertha is a sharp faced lady of nineteen, pretty in her own way with her silky straight ebony hair and her straight pointed nose. Her manner is both eloquent but sharp like her features, which attracts the several different men she already has as suitors and secret admirers.
And Mr. Pearson is a broad sort of fellow, of the age of eighteen, who only talks about sports and hunting, while stuffing his mouth with pastries and meat. His facial features are probably considered handsome for society, and he is certainly a gentleman in manner.
Although his positive features outnumber his negative, Charlotte cannot help but be disgusted at the very sight of him, despising the very idea of courting a spoiled lords son, whose only delight is in finding meat in his rissoles.
Charlotte moans softly and touches her warm forehead. “I’m perfectly fine,” she tells them all and starts to sit up but has to lay back down for her vision starts to spin.
Mr. Pearson takes off his bowler and fiddles with it in his hands nervously.
“Charlotte, dear, how I hate to see you bedridden. How are you feeling?” he asks in his deep tenor.
Charlotte feels like hiding her face behind her sheets, but with her mother beside her, she knows that it would be a very improper thing to do. “Fine, I’m fine. Really.”
Bertha reaches across her bed and touches Charlotte’s head, “Lottie, your temple’s on fire.”
Charlotte fakes a weak smile, “All I need it some rest, is all.”
The doctor nods and then shoo’s the onlookers out of the room. “Now, now,” he says to them waving his hands, “Go back to your cards.”Each of them leave the room.
Esther hesitates in the doorway, “Get well soon, Lottie. You have to be well enough to dance.”
“I will,” Charlotte says weakly, feeling completely pathetic.
Her mother looks to the doctor, who nods reassuringly, and then leaves the room also with a passing word of, “Alright.”
A few minutes later and Charlotte had fallen asleep again under the caring hands of the Doctor who checked her temperature and said smoothing words of comfort.
Outside her bedroom the doctor walks into the sitting room where Mrs. Green, Ms. Bertha Green, Ms. Esther Green, Ms. Pearson and Mrs. Pearson sat. Mrs. Green, Ms.Bertha Green, Ms. Pearson and Mrs. Pearson sat playing a game of Whist, while Esther sat with her needle work.
“Mr. Field,” announced a footman.
Everyone stands up and Mrs. Green walks over to him.
“What news, Mr. Field?” Mrs. Green asks anxiously.
Mr. Field bows and takes off his hat. “Only a fever, m’lady. She should be fine in the morning.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
Mr. Field shakes his head, “Pray that is passes quickly.”
Mrs. Green frowns, “Oh that silly girl. She should know better than to prance around in the rain like idiot.”
Mr. Field bows again. “Everything is a learning lesson. I shouldn't worry if I were you.”
“Of course I should worry. Illness stole my first child away, I shan't risk thinking that a fever is nothing,” Mrs. Green says snappishly and then curtsies, “Thank you Mr. Field. You may go.”
Mr. Field bows and watches silently as Mrs. Green turns back to her Whist game. He leaves the room without another word.

***

“I feel ever so much better,” Charlotte says, trying to unwrap herself from the shawl her mother has entangled her in.
The two women sit in white garden chairs, drinking tea while watching Esther and John, play with “The Graces” or “The Flying Circle”. Both being experienced players, they play with two hoops. Laughing and grinning the dance about, running after the hoops that arc up into the sky and back down for the two to catch.
John Green is a very energetic eight year old boy, with a sweet round face and bright pink cheeks. Gleaming eyes shine gayfully under his little cap.
Charlotte would give anything to get up and play with them. But apparently playing with hoops is a very childish game for a lady to play, according to her mother and her “dastardly” rules. Charlotte slides the shawl so that it hangs around her hips instead of her shoulders and neck.
Mrs. Green reaches forward, fan in hand, and she fixes the shawl.
“Oh dear, do now behave. The breeze shall surely set you back in bed, if not kept off your neck.”
Charlotte sighs and looks around at the bright morning, closing her eyes and letting the sunshine seep into her bores with a delicious warmth. The sensation makes her warm all over.
“Hello Mama.”
Charlotte opens her eyes to see her eldest sister, Claire, take up a chair beside them. Her bright blue day dress indicates that she was once more with her suitor Issac Medcalf.
Claire smiles, it’s a very beautiful smile, framed by her pretty rose pink lips and her dimpled cheeks. There was not one girl who did not envy Claire for her beauty and elegance. She is jewel of the family. Surprising enough, she is just now considering marriage, even when she could have married years ago. Claire is gentlewoman of one and twenty, the exact age of which she could legally marry without parental consent, though it is unlikely should would do anything without consent.
Mrs. Green smiles and then pours a cup of tea for her. “Oh my dear, Claire. How has your morning been?”
Claire smiles, a quick sly smile reaching her gorgeous hazel eyes. “It was quite enjoyable, Mama. Mr. Medcalf was a gentleman as ever, handsome and charming all at once. I dare say, Mama, I think he is the one.”
Mrs. Green nods as if this is no surprise. “Of course he is.”
Charlotte widens her eyes and sits forward to look at Claire in the face. “Why, Claire. You are set upon the idea?”
Claire nods and stirs in a cube of sugar into her tea. “Yes, I am.” She takes a sip, closing her eyes in delight.
Charlotte blows a curl−one of which that frames her face−out of her eyes as the breeze picks up around them, then settles back down. “But, why Mr. Medcalf?” Charlotte curls her lip.
Claire sighs impatiently. “Please, Lottie, a sneer is so unbecoming on you.”
“On any lady,” Mrs. Green adds.
Claire nods in agreement to her mother and then looks at Charlotte. “There is nothing wrong with Mr. Medcalf. He is a capable, handsome, and wealthy gentleman. Any woman would want him.”
Charlotte shrugs, squinting with uncertainty. “I wouldn’t say that. But if you like him, Claire, then you can have him.”
Claire tries to hide her ill-mannered eye roll. “Do try to speak sensibly, Lottie.”
Mrs. Green holds up her gloved hands. “Now, girls, please. Bickering is completely unlady-like.”
“Sorry, Mama,” Claire says.
Charlotte hesitates but then says softly, “Sorry, Mama, and Claire.”
Claire bows her head in acceptance. She sips at her tea daintily, smiling as she watches her two younger siblings play merrily about. “Where’s Ann?”
Mrs. Green puts down her empty tea cup and folds her hands in her lap. “Enjoying the sunshine with Nurse, I believe.”
Claire smiles fondly. “Oh how I dote on little Annie.”
Charlotte fidgets uncomfortably, wanting more and more to get up and enjoy the day. “I wish I to see her as well.”
“Isn’t she the sweetest toddler,” Claire says smiling rosily. “So quiet. I want my first child to be like Ann.”
Mrs. Green smiles and pats Claire’s hand. “I’m sure you shall have your own little Ann soon my dear.”
“I do hope so,” Claire says. She blushes and looks down at her skirts. She glances over at Charlotte who is interestedly watching a pigeon fly and land upon one of the Wych Elm. Claire reaches forward, taking off a glove and resting her bare hand upon Charlotte’s forehead. “Oh you feel so much better, Lottie.”
Charlotte grins, “I do. I feel as if I could play with John and Esther.”
Mrs. Green looks at her sharply. “But you cannot.”
Charlotte sighs, “Yes.”
Claire smiles pleasantly and takes another sip of her tea. Her eyes catch the movement of a footman. She looks up expectantly as he approaches with a silver tray.
Charlotte looks around at the footman and then grins broadly. “Oh I hope there is a letter for me.”
The footman draws closer and then bows. Charlotte grabs up the letters from the tray and thanks the footman. She looks through the three envelopes and then squeals with excitement.
Mrs. Green frowns. “Charlotte. What an unearthly sound. Ladies do not screech.”
Charlotte giggles, passing on the two other letters to her Mama. “Sorry, Mama. It’s just that, it’s from Nathan.”
Mrs. Green nods distractedly as she opens the letters.
Claire smiles and looks over as Charlotte opens her letter. “Do tell me if there is anything good in it.”
Charlotte smiles and unfolds the letter. The thick, yellowed, course paper crinkles beneath Charlotte’s pale fingers. It reads:

Dearest Charlotte,
Well, it is too bad that it rained before I had time to come. The dry weather would have been perfect for Cricket. Speaking of Cricket, please inform Father that three of my friends have agreed to come down to West Sussex for his game. We are all looking forward to it.
It would be a lie to say that I have not missed you. Truly, I cannot wait to see you.
It’s still quite damp here in London, but I shall be down there soon, I hope. There have been some complications which still have to be resolved. But, of course, I’ll discuss these things with you when I see you.
Give my love to the Family.
Yours,
Nathaniel Green

Comments

:)

Definitely still interested in reading on! :)
Only critique I have, and it may be because I was reading in a bit of a rush and didn't have time to re-read chapter one is that I was a bit confused by all the names, but I think by the end I had it all figured out.

Kyleigh | Sat, 03/23/2013

Thanks!

Thanks Kyleigh.
Yeah, I put a lot of names in this chapter, haha. I wanted to introduce her family, sisters and brothers and such. So... Yeah, it's not one of those stories to read in a rush, haha. Like a lot of historical fiction it's suppose to be complex.
Do you think there is a way to make it less confusing, name-wise?
Thanks again for reading!

Kassady | Sat, 03/23/2013

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

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