|[Original Fiction]: YAVNC, Chapter 10
||[Jul. 3rd, 2008|01:04 am]
9,220 words. Terrifying.
"Would you like to come up to see my room while I get my fiddle?" Ashley said. "If it's not too forward of me to say such a thing?"
Griselda snorted. "In order to maintain the decencies, I'll chaperone you. Unless you're worried that I'll spy out your journal book, Ashley."
"I'd never worry about that, Grizzie," Ashley said. "I know you're too frightened of ‘mooney things' to dare read a word of it."
They climbed the stairs. "Our parents are up one," Ashley said, "and we're up two. Grizzie's on the right," she tilted her head towards a collection of moth-eaten taxidermied animals and a door with a sign reading Griselda's Chamber of Horrors in mock-runes. "And I'm on the left."
Ashley's Room was written in simple Carolingian letters on a wooden board. "I've kept the sign Pater made for me when I was little," she said. "Grizzie made her own as soon as she was old enough, of course."
"Well, Pater should have known I'd have a chamber of horrors," Griselda said. "He's the one who wanted to name me for our great aunt."
"A very nice lady," Ashley said, "who only named her writing room "Miss Marchpane's Chamber of Horrors" as a joke after that hateful review that Edmund Wilson wrote."
"Griselda Marchpane is your great aunt?" Dermot said. "The Chronicles of Gothia were my favourite series when I was a kid."
"It was one of mine, as well," Stanislava said. "Right up there with Narnia and The Hobbit. And you said I was part of a famous family?"
Ashley blushed. "Well... if you say so. But I still think Garmlander Motorworks is really impressive." She swung open her door. "Well, this is my room."
"Ashley, it's lovely," Stanislava said. There was a big canopied bed at the far end of the room, made of dark oak and carved in Gothic Revival fashion. A stunningly accurate reproduction of a unicorn tapestry hung on one wall, next to a pair of antique Moroccan sabres and a long-barreled flintlock jezail. A painting of nymphs frolicking in a pond graced the opposite wall, hanging over the oak writing desk. Above the marble fireplace was an oval mirror, its bronze frame shaped like a wreath of woven briars and roses. Every other available bit of wall was covered in bookshelves, their contents ranging from leather-bound antiques to garish-covered contemporary paperbacks.
"Thank you," Ashley said.
"I still think she was silly to pass up the fantastic mirror that was in here," Griselda said. "It has a frame made of deer hooves and boars' tusks. Not that I mind having it for myself, but one does feel guilty at coming out so far ahead in a trade with one's own sister."
"I like roses, Grizzie."
"Especially when the poor girl is clearly altogether mental."
"I know the feeling," Ashley said. "But somehow I still manage to enjoy my lovely rose-surrounded mirror, despite the fact that my poor misguided sister is stuck with that hunting lodge horror." She knelt beside her desk and picked up a sleek black carbon fibre violin case, the most modern-looking object in sight. "So," she said, "shall we go? Or would you like to hear my sister's opinions on interior design for the next three or four hours?"
"Interior design?" Griselda said. "I have no opinions on interior design. I simply understand that the primary purpose of a house is to display arms, armour, and hunting trophies."
"I suspect she's going to make some boy very happy in another ten years," Dermot said.
"Assuming she can find one who's not afraid she'll stuff and mount him," Ashley said. "Come along, Grizzie. We're off to play a few tunes, and you can get back to stalking up to the local deer and draping flowers around their necks."
Griselda rolled her eyes. "I only put pine garlands on them, not flowers. And I only do it because they're out of season at this time of year. A girl has to keep in practice, right?"