Now, I do love a competition so it was a very easy decision to enter Oleander Plume’s competition, especially when the challenge was to pick from her brilliant list of story prompts.
I am now even happier that I entered as I have very exciting news – Oleander is going to publish all the entries to her competition in an anthology called Prompted. I literally cannot believe that I am being included in such a wonderful list of authors who I admire so much, but I am! It’s so exciting!!
So here is an excerpt from my entry as a tease to encourage you to look out for and then buy the anthology! Keep a look out for news on Oleander’s blog…it’s going to be unbelievable!
Mr Stevenson had been the butler at Kingsley Manor for many years. He had seen owners come and go, and standards slip and change. He belonged to a time that no longer existed and was frankly baffled by what now counted as acceptable behaviour, but he belonged to the house and that loyalty would hold him here until the ground or retirement took him.
Giving an involuntary sigh, he began reminiscing about bygone years. Elegant parties with ladies in fine dresses, genteel guests sipping cocktails, and men in white tie and tails waltzing their partners around the ballroom. His role had been to stand over events, ensuring all needs were met and no one was left wanting.
The current owners were…different. They invited guests, but sent him away for the evenings. They catered for large parties, but didn’t want table service. All the rooms were filled, but guests slept for most of the day, with no need for the hunting and fishing trips he was used to arranging. Although his creaking legs were happy for the break, he was starting to feel impotent, like he no longer had a role.
Shaking off his complaints, Stevenson moved into the pantry to start polishing the silver. He thought most of yesterday’s guests had already gone but there was certainly one gentlemen left, as well as Mr Collingswood and his wife. They may want lunch later so he couldn’t rest for too long but once he started polishing the cutlery and platters, the oppressive darkness of the pantry suddenly overcame him. Blast it, if they can break the rules of decorum, so could he! Gathering up the tarnished tableware, polish and polishing rags, he transferred the whole set up to the sunroom. The light was shining through the big windows and a breeze passed through from the neighbouring room. More comfortable, Stevenson settled down to his work, picking up the gravy boat and rubbing it until it shone!
Such was his focus that Stevenson only became aware that others were up when he was startled by sounds coming from the room next door. A curtain was drawn across the archway that connected the sunroom from the spacious drawing room, but it was not thick enough to keep out the noises that now reached his ears. Was that Mr Collingswood and his guests? The sounds were too…primal, too raw. What in heaven’s name was going on?
And to find out what *is* going on, you’ll have to get your hands on the book!
For more details, check out Oleander’s post about the very exciting anthology, Prompted.