All That Glitters
By Linda Bennett Pennell
Sometimes we find our true purpose in the most unexpected places.
Becoming governess to a difficult child in a robber baron’s eerie mansion on the Georgia coast is not the life Sarah Anne had envisioned. The cultural clashes between her rural southern upbringing and that of the wealthy northern family send her reeling, but she is determined to be a success. She needs this job for all other doors have closed. Complicating her position are two young men of the family who vie for her attention, engendering emotions that she fights but cannot quell.
With patience and kindness, Sarah Anne breaks through the emotional wall with which her student has surrounded herself. But as her understanding of the family dynamic grows, Sarah Anne comes to realize there may be very good reasons for the child’s troubling behavior. Something is not right within Ripon House. Is the child mentally unbalanced as the father claims or is the family determined to protect a sinister secret no matter the cost?
Is she dead? The flesh on her face feels cool to the touch. It would really be too bad if the whore is in fact no longer among the living. Killing is not a taste I have developed thus far. Much more satisfying to think of them permanently marked and remembering. Checking her throat is in order.
Ah, good. My method holds true. A strong pulse thumps beneath her surprisingly alluring flesh. If she were a lady instead of a whore, she might even tempt me into an actual relationship. As is, she will live, but with considerable bruising around her windpipe and an ugly scar near her hairline.
See how the moonlight brightens the blood trickling over her temple toward her ear. Perhaps I should deepen the rouge on her tawdry cheeks by smearing some of it on them. Yes. That’s better. She now looks exactly like what she is – a whore who will remember tonight for a very long time.
If she hadn’t resisted, I wouldn’t have hurt her. But then, they always force me to hurt them. All they have to do is submit, but the stupid trollops never catch on until it is too late.
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All That Glitters
Linda Bennett Pennell
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother's porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.
As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, "Let's pretend."
I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable 110-pound German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain he’s a little boy.
History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up. Voltaire
All That Glitters Soul Mate Publishing (releases August 5, 2020)
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Miami Days, Havana Nights Soul Mate Publishing July 18, 2018
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See you on your next coffee break!
Mary Anne xxx