Monday, November 2, 2009

A sneak peak at my novel in progress: The Steamer Trunk

A knock on the cabin door startled Heather out of her nap. “Who is it?” she asked sleepily.
“Cabin Steward; we dock in five minutes.”
“Thank you.”

As she threw cold water on her face from the sink in the tiny bathroom she remembered the jokes she had heard about ship’s cramped cabins and lavatory facilities. She wouldn’t miss the lack of stretching room in both.
The large awkward trunk she was struggling to maneuver out the door had only helped to make the space more confining. But the villagers would be surprised by what was inside it.

One hundred years before, her great great grandfather had traveled these same waters to bring it to the newly founded village but he had had dysentery. He, his wife, and infant son had been dropped off at one of the ports along the way to seek treatment for him but he had died at the age of 25.

She smiled as she thought about how astonished the people would be to see her and the contents of the trunk when she presented it at their centennial celebration.
When Heather and her trunk touched terra firma she assessed her immediate surroundings. Directly ahead of her were a restaurant and a gift shop. To the left was a car rental place and to the right was her hotel. She decided to go to the hotel first so she could unpack the trunk and make arrangements to secure the carefully wrapped item.

She unpacked her jeans, polo shirts, a lightweight jacket, and a couple of dresses. Next she carefully removed the costume she had hired a costume designer to make, based on a painting she had of her great great grandmother, Virginia. Everyone in the family said Heather looked just like her, right down to her abundance of strawberry blonde hair, her slender frame, and her classic features.

Heather was looking forward to the Centennial to wear the soft blue gored flared skirt with darker blue embroidered flowers. Its high waist was sashed in matching blue satin. A matching bolero jacket had embroidered flowers on the gigantic leg of mutton sleeves and along the open sides and hem of the bolero. A high necked white tucked blouse with a lacy floppy artist’s bow completed the costume. Smiling, she hung up the ensemble in anticipation of the big day.

She would wear her hair in the same style as her ancestor’s portrait. Caught up in a plaited bun atop her head with soft tendrils framing her face and longer curls at her nape, she bore an even stronger resemblance to Virginia than usual. Like her, she would not wear a hat but would opt for some blue plumes in her hair.
Finally she unpacked the unexpected gift she had brought for the community, her real purpose for the visit. It had waited almost a century to be back in its rightful place.


  1. Thanks, Carrie for reading and commenting.

  2. Wow! This is great!! I'll retweet. Really Great!!

  3. The portrait. I remember. And the unexpected gift. It will certainly keep me reading.