Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Sisters Brontë Have a Smackdown

The untold story of the altercation that brought the Brontë sisters to a brouhaha

Charlotte Brontë
When Charlotte heard Emily sigh for the third time in an hour, she put down her mending and glared.  The glare however, was wasted as Emily was staring fixedly out the rain streaked window.  A sudden gust roared across the heath and through the garden, shaking the panes with a great rattle of icy raindrops.

Charlotte flexed her stiff fingers and rose, crossing the chilly parlor to poke with angry jabs at the coal glowing dimly in the grate.  Emily started, her reverie shattered.   "Goodness Charlotte, you don't have to make quite so much noise."

Charlotte ignored her younger sister and went on poking and prodding at the meager lumps that would never be sufficient to warm the spare parsonage.  "If you've nothing to do, you could help me with the mending.  Anne has torn another nightgown playing the pianoforte."

Emily rose ungraciously, the feet she'd tucked under her grey wool skirt had gone to sleep.  She stamped her tiny boots against the cold floor.  "I've got pins and needles enough in my feet.  I don't need them in my hands."

Charlotte's back stiffened, her head, covered with unremarkable brown hair raised slowly, her back still facing her ungrateful sister.  She stared into the fire, her spine as straight as the poker gripped in her hand.  A chill, unrelated to the cold room ran down Emily's spine.

Charlotte turned smoothly, her eyes narrowed into cruel slits.  When she spoke, her words were deliberate and low.  "What did you say?"

Emily  Brontë

Emily swallowed, her throat suddenly dry as dust.  "I...well I have decided."  Her back straightened as nervous hands fumbled at her waist.  A look of resolve swept across her clear brow and she cleared her throat.  Her voice was high but her tone was clear. "I am resolved not to do any more mending.  I'm sick to death of needlework.  I have decided I want to be a horse wrangler."

Charlotte gave a derisive snort.  "That will be a simple task as we've only one horse."

Emily's shoulders rounded for a moment in discouragement.  Charlotte did have a point.  The Brontë herd consisted of only one tired plow horse named Heathcliffe.

She brightened.  "I'll use Heathcliffe to start my herd!"  She clapped her tiny hands in excitement.  "We'll have a colt every year and soon I'll have a stable full of glorious creatures to wrangle."

Charlotte's laugh was harsh and without jollity.  "You are aware Emily, that Heathcliffe is a gelding?"

Emily raised a bewildered eyebrow.  "What's a gelding?"

to be continued


karen said...

A gelding, dear Emily, is the only kind of horse you should wrangle if you want to escape unscathed. Otherwise, beware the raging hormones (of an animal much larger than you) and PMS (also in an animal much larger than you and with bigger teeth and more kicking strength).

Christine Marie said...

This is fantastic. I'm sure the Brontë house was a horrible place to live, actually. All those authors at once? And ones that probably had weird complexes about not being able to be published under their real names? Good grief.

Holly said...

Oh yeah!! Keep going!

Anna M said...

yes... and... ?!? (pins and needles in the hands--HA! hilarious)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Kind Lady: I beseech you to continue your scintillating tale! Such simmering emotion must soon erupt; gentle women brought to passionate endeavors and speech, all rendered by your talismanic hand. My heart beats as a trembling bird, and I can do naught but await your presentation of ensuing events. Until then I can only cry, "Post, Larainy! For love of your readers, post!"

(Write more, will ya?) :)

just call me jo said...

Those Bronte sisters were plain women, just sayin'. Heathcliff was a gelding? Are you sure? Standing by for updates...

Marti said...

I love this story and can't wait for the next chapter. You really brought them to life.

Cherie said...

This is a crack up! When I saw the title of the post my mind went wandering to these two little ladies dressed in their layers rolling around in the mud - Ha Ha Ha - ruining their ringlets!!

This is good - can't wait for more.

Sarah said...

"I have decided I want to be a horse wrangler."

Bahahahaahah! So awesome!

incognito said...

Tell Damon thank you for the spark that started the idea for this masterpiece.

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