Wayback Wednesday Writing Photo Prompt ~ A Life of Hope ~ #fridayflash #WW #mywana

Wayback Wednesday Photo Writing Prompt

This is my #fridayflash from my visual writing prompt this week. 

via Flickr by trialsanderrors

A Life of Hope 

     Randall watched in awe as Marianne twirled high above the crowd. They awh’d and ooh’d over her spinning and curling. Well actually, she used to be Marianne, now she was Miss Stena and everyone loved her, especially Randall. He’d known since the moment he saw her staring out her parlor window across the park at the bright colored circus tents. The look on her face showed every emotion he’d ever felt. Then, when Miss Josie cried over a missing silk pillowcase, he knew Marianne was up to something and he was right.

     Randall knew Marianne would have an easy rise to stardom. Girls of her breeding just had better luck of it over ordinary folk. His face reddened as he gazed up at her. Her long legs seemed to stretch for miles and her beauty was matched by none. He hoped that some day Marianne would look at him, the same way he looked at her. Being a circus hand Randall didn’t’ have much to offer yet, but he could still dream, couldn’t he?

     After his nightly chores were completed Randall made his way to Miss Stena’s tent. The other girls usually went off with their beaus, but Marianne always left her admirers at the door. The scent of roses filled his nostrils when he entered her room. There were so many Marianne’s room looked like the Persian rugs she used to walk upon. The sight made Randall’s heart sink; with his pay he would never be able to give her such luxuries.

Marianne smiled at him. “Randall, did you see me tonight?”

Randall blushed. “Of course. I never miss your show.”

Marianne kissed him on the cheek. “You’re such a dear.” She slipped her small hand into his. “Come let’s play cards. One of the girls taught me this new game. It’s a riot.”

Randall motioned toward the rows of flowers. “Wouldn’t you rather go out with one of your admirers?”

Marianne waved him away. “I left Papa’s home to be free, not go out with some long faced fellow who thinks flowers will woo me.”

     Her comment made Randall pause for a moment. Did she mean she didn’t like flowers from those men, or all men? They played cards into the wee hours of the night. Just being around her made him feel he could do anything, be anyone, even be hers. His biggest desire was that this moment would go on forever. But, when the dawn light began to peek through the cracks in the tent drowsiness overtook them. Randall willed his legs to leave.

Marianne waved at him. “Stay, you can have Julianne’s bed. She’ll be back late.”

Randall fell into Julianne’s bed with a sigh. Marianne threw a pillow at him. “I knew you were tired. Why didn’t you say?”

“I didn’t want to bother you.”

“Bother me? Silly boy.” Randall’s heart sunk. Was that how she saw him? As a boy?

Marianne climbed under her covers and pulled them up tightly around her chin. “I’m glad I ran away, but some things I miss.”

Randall turned to his side and gazed at her. “Like what?”

“Rupert. He wasn’t always a pain, sometimes he was quiet likeable. I wonder what how he’s grown and if he misses me at all.” Her voice trailed off to a whisper.

     Randall was positive Rupert missed her. Everyone doted on Marianne; the gem of the household. Now that she was gone he imagined everyone moping around the dreary hallways. It was quite a wretched scene.

“I also miss the smell of Papa’s pipe. I know it’s childish, but I do. Something about the fragrance was comforting.”

     Randall made a mental note to himself to buy a pipe once he saved up enough money. Marianne stretched her hand his direction into the empty space between them. Randall touched the tip of his fingertips to hers, electricity jolted through him.

“I’m so glad you came with me that night. Without you I’d have no one who really knows me.”

Randall smiled from ear to ear. “Do you think you’ll ever get married?”

     Marianne retracted her hand faster than she could flip in the air. Her silence made Randall worry he’d ruined the evening.

She shifted, turning her back to him. “Maybe someday, years from now. But, it’d have to be someone special. Someone I can really talk too, like you.”

     Randall’s heart felt like it was going to explode. He hugged the pillow close to him and hid his grin in its folds. Maybe there was hope for him after all.


Wayback Wednesday Writing Photo Prompt ~ A Life of Freedom ~ #fridayflash #WW #mywana

Wayback Wednesday Photo Writing Prompt

Write a story, write a drabble, write a poem, write anything. If this inspires you drop me a link to your post in the comments, or send it to me on Twitter. 


via Flickr by trialsanderrors

A Life of Freedom 

     From the moment Marianne saw the poster at the park she knew exactly what she wanted to be. One of the beautiful girls of the flying trapeze. This was easier said than done for her nanny kept a watchful eye on her and always made sure Marianne conducted herself properly. Girls of her breeding did not resort to such entertainments, but Marianne could still dream, couldn’t’ she?

     From her parlor across the esplanade Marianne kept a watchful eye on the progress of the glass enclosure. Each time another pane was fit into place she felt her dreams becoming reality. At night after her nanny believed she was asleep she would get out of bed and pretend to be one of the beautiful girls in bright-colored clothing. She’d fly from one end of her room to the next. She’d twirl on her bedpost and hang from her canopy with pointed toes and arms ready to catch another beautiful girl.

     Each morning she donned her tight clothing and gloves and made her way to the park. Thankfully, her little brother Rupert, monopolized most of the nanny’s time. While he played with his toy boat in the pond Marianne could sit on the park bench and watch the parade of circus folk. No matter what her nanny said, Marianne still envied them, for they were truly free. That was something she’d never felt before. There was always someone watching her or waiting on her. As a child it didn’t bother her, but now that her parents talked of marriage the more grueling it became. If good pedigree meant lifelong suffering, then she’d rather give it all away.

     The night Marianne’s parents took her to see the show made her dream life seem even more fantastic. There were girls dangling from the ceiling. Their limbs poised like ballerinas. The flying trapeze girls brightly colored clothes left little to the imagination as they hurled themselves in the air. She was in awe of everything and everyone. What a grand life it would be to be so free.

     On the ride home Marianne looked out the window and watched her dreams fall away. Why hadn’t she been born a girl of lesser breeding? What made her better than any of those girls? She was just as pretty, she was just as limber. She looked at her parents, the resentment she’d been holding in for years felt like it would burst inside her. She wouldn’t be forced into marrying anyone; she’d run away and live a life she chose.

     In her bedroom she gathered up all her jewelry, packed her silk pillowcase with her favorite clothes and hid them under the bed. The circus would be in town for one more week which gave her enough time to search the house for anything of value that wouldn’t be missed right away. At tea each day her mother discussed Marianne’s marriage proposals and who her father should choose. Marianne kept quiet and nodded her head absently. None of that mattered now, for soon she would be free.

      The night came for Marianne to leave. She kissed her parents on the check and headed upstairs to Rupert’s room. He was sleeping soundly in his crib. She caressed his tiny head in her palm. “It will be better for you Rupert, you’re a boy. Remember I love you.”

     In her room she checked her bag one more time. Everything was in place. At one o’clock she crept downstairs. The house was dark and silent. She made her way into the kitchen. The aroma of dinner lingered, the hearth still felt warm. Without looking back she headed out the door.


     Marianne turned around, she was sure she had been caught. A young boy, about Marianne’s age stared back at her. His clothes were shabby and his brown hair hung over his eyes. She thought she had seen him in the stables, but couldn’t be sure. They had so many servants it was hard to keep track of the ones you didn’t’ see everyday.

“Take me with you.”

Marianne looked at him quizzically. “Why would I do that?”

He took her hand in his. Against her pale skin the dirt on his skin looked darker than it was. “Because I want to be free too.”


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