Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fiction Friday - Installment 1.1

It’s time for Fiction Friday! How does Fiction Friday work? Well, kind of like those old Choose Your Own Adventure stories, but with a lot more room. Read the beginning of the story below. At the end, you’ll find a question. You the reader will get to determine what happens next. Leave a comment. If one suggestion gets overwhelming support, the story will go that direction. If they’re all equally supported, I’ll pick one at random.  You get to determine where the plot goes. So read, enjoy, and tell me what you want to happen next.

FICTION FRIDAY – Installment 1.1

London, 1816
                Olivia wondered how hard she would have to step on Lord Clampton’s foot to do any damage. Her evening slippers were certainly not substantial enough to inflict pain on their own. Truth be told, she doubted she could put enough force behind the effort to do any good even if she were wearing her sturdiest walking boots.
                She supposed it wasn’t really fair of her to wish injury on the man. Just because her mother had forced her to accept his request of a dance didn’t mean she had to condemn the man for asking. She should be contemplating ways to step on her mother’s foot instead.
                The thought made her smile. Her mother’s shoes were just a thin as her own. She wouldn’t have to stomp very hard at all.
                “You’re smiling.”
                Olivia’s eyes darted up to meet with those of Lord Clampton. He led her around the floor so smoothly; it was easy to let her mind wander.
                “I am glad you’re enjoying the dance. I was under the impression you didn’t want to dance with me.”
                The man was more observant than she gave him credit for. Regardless of her true feelings, however, she couldn’t insult the man in the middle of a ballroom.
                “You dance divinely.” Well, that much was true. “Of course I am enjoying the dance.”
That was a nice evasion, Olivia thought.
                Lord Clampton’s smile didn’t reach his eyes.  “You are a most gracious liar, Miss Bedford.”
                Olivia had the grace to blush. They were on the very fringe of the dance floor. Hardly any time at all would be required to reach the doors to the terrace. A little bit more time and she could slip out the side entrance and flee to the ladies’ retiring room. How much of a scene would it create if she slipped away?
                As she spun around once more, Olivia sighed. It would cause a huge scene. She could see her mother. Her open fan was not placed strategically enough to hide her self-satisfied smile.
                “One has to wonder what it is about me that causes you dread. I thought you had decided to turn that potted palm into a dress, you were so intent on hiding in it.”
                Olivia winced. If she ignored him, would he stop talking? It was highly ungentlemanly of him to embarrass her like this. Of course, it was highly unladylike of her to behave the way she had in the first place.  She just didn’t want to dance with him. It wasn’t even Lord Clampton himself that she was avoiding. It was that entire class of highly desirable, eligible men: the top tier bachelors that every mother in London dreamed of her daughter catching.
                The fact was they made Olivia nervous. One would think she’d have gotten past it by now. She had been blessed with clear ivory skin, bright blue eyes, and rich honey colored hair. She drew eligible men like bees to, well, honey.
Her entire life had been spent being admired. Patted on the head and told she was pretty. Olivia was thankful for that, truly she was. Who wanted to go through life ugly? She just wished people didn’t automatically assume that the looks were paired with an obsession over ribbon colors and fashion plates and little else.
                Olivia brought herself sharply back to the dance floor. Lord Clampton had been talking and she had no idea what he was saying.
                “So, you see you have nothing to worry about. I have no intention of flattering you or quoting sonnets to your beauty.”
                Olivia blinked in surprise. What had he said to preclude that statement? Should she be insulted by it?
                “I have no intention of aligning myself with all of your other relentless suitors, Miss Bedford.”
                “You don’t?” Thank you, God!
                “No, I asked you to dance because I have something far from normal to talk to you about.”
                Olivia’s heart began to beat a little faster.  Ideas of what he could possibly mean by that starting running through her head. The world seemed to slow down. The music became a surging roar in her ears. Her partner took a deep breath. Slowly, his mouth opened and he began to speak.

                Your turn! What is Lord Clampton about to say? Is he a romantic, lovesick suitor about to ask for her hand on the dance floor? Is he a bad guy about to blackmail her? Is he about to do the whole “My friend thinks your cute” thing? Is it something else? Leave it in the comments below.  If you see one you like already, comment about it. Comments will close Thursday about noon-ish. The answer and the next installment will be up next Friday. 

Comments are now closed. Be sure to check installment 1.2 to see what Lord Clampton has to say! 


  1. I think he should talk to her about books. A prestigious library owned by her father or a book he believes that she has penned under a pen name.

  2. He should ask her about becoming a governess for his kids or nieces/nephews. Or, he could ask her about being a travel companion for his sister on an upcoming trip.

  3. Oh I love the choices so far! It'll be hard to compete with those!

    I say he is spoofing her on normal and is an investigator and needs her help to find a man who has been violating a long string of prestigious women...of course, no one talks about it bc it would be too embarrassing. A friend who was I'll for a month...a young wife leaving to live in the country for the all starts to make sense.