Cry of the Peacock

Abbie and Mariana stood before the mirror. The aunt stood behind, appraising the seamstress’ work as she cut the last of the threads and brushed the skirts straight and adjusted the starched and high-collard blouses they now wore beneath tailor-made jackets of stiff, almost immovable material. Coffins in crepe and coal black lace. “It isContinue reading “Cry of the Peacock”

The Gondola Cat (excerpt)

1870. Or thereabouts. Four in the afternoon. Or thereabouts. On a hot summer’s day. (Is it imagination or were summers longer then ?)A man with a mane of greying hair, an excellent moustache for keeping out draughts (but a less than impressive beard), and a straw boater, marching briskly along the dusty banks of aContinue reading “The Gondola Cat (excerpt)”

Of Moths & Butterflies

October 1880 In the parlour of her uncle’s London house, Imogen sat alone.  The fire, burning low, provided the only light in the darkened room.  With each creak in the floorboards above, her heart stopped.  Then started again with violent but predictable irregularity. Again, the footsteps above.  The doctor had been upstairs for hours alreadyContinue reading “Of Moths & Butterflies”

Of Soul Sincere (extract)

“A catalogue of the genteel household furniture, one piano-forte, a capital eight-day clock, plate, silver, ornamental china, a few pictures and drawings and numerous curious articles, the property of the late Geoffrey Bosquith, Esq, deceased; which will be sold by auction by Mess. Cardew  & Penn, on Friday the 10th, and Saturday the 11th ofContinue reading “Of Soul Sincere (extract)”