According to my agenda, today is Short Story Saturday. Since the letter is G the genre is Gothic fiction, and I’ve added lots of G words. I’ve never written Gothic before, so it was fun to tackle the melodramatic tone of those romance-horror stories.
Grasping at Love
Gusting winds whipped Gretchen’s billowing nightshirt around her ankles, threatening her balance. She fought to stay upright at the top of the cliff, not wanting to accidentally plummet off the edge. If she was going to plunge to her death in the tempestuous seas below, she wanted it to be of her own choosing. After all, nothing about her life to this point had been due to her decisions.
Her father had chosen to greedily swindle fellow members of the gentry out of their savings. Her mother had chosen to send her away to safeguard her from the guilt and gossip. The governess service had chosen to assign her to Grayson Manor to care for Gabriella. And even Lord Grayson had chosen to pursue a romance with her.
Initially her heart sang with glee, having such a handsome gentleman court her. Now Gretchen felt glum due to what she’d discovered in the cellar. Painful groans had roused her from sleep and led her to the gloomy passages under the Manor. In the flickering candlelight, she stumbled over a grisly gutted carcass. Before she could even scream, ferocious growls sent her fleeing into the night.
Now she glanced up at the gleaming moon, wondering what kind of man kept a viscous beast like that in his home while his innocent niece sweetly slumbered upstairs? And how was she going to save Gabriella and herself from a gruesome fate?
A low grumbling behind her raised goose bumps on her
skin. She turned and gasped at what she saw. A giant, fur-covered creature with a lupine muzzle and teeth stood on two legs like a man. With a graceful gait, it started toward her. She took a step back and slipped off the edge of the cliff.
She screamed and gripped a branch to stop her descent.
The beast galloped to the edge and grabbed at her with deadly claws. She gaped up at him in terror, not sure which fate was worse – torn to shreds by the beast or smashed to bits on the wave-splashed rocks.
Then she noticed the moonlight glinting off the monster’s green eyes. She knew those eyes. She’d spent hours beside the fireplace gazing into them as she and Lord Grayson shared precious moments together. Gretchen didn’t know how or why, but this monster was the man who filled her soul with gladness.
She realized for once in her life the choice was hers: a quick, painless death on the rocks below or taking her chances with the beast who was her beloved. She reached up and clasped his paw in her gentle grasp.
Do you read or write Gothic fiction? What do you think of Gretchen’s decision? Doesn’t Bailey look Gorgeous with her G?
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