Thursday, May 19, 2011

Introductions - Meet The Eltons

Another rough cut excerpt from "Saving Catherine" by Nancy Sima

   Standing shoulder to shoulder with the other spectators, Blake spies the approaching cavalcade.
   “The Eltons are coming!” someone shouts.
   The crowd jostles with movement. All maneuver to catch a glimpse. History was in the making with the presence of so many Eltons in one place. Blake had heard it said that in some parts of New England, the Eltons were revered like royalty. It all intrigued him to think of Catherine as part of something majestic. What was the fascination? With feverish eyes, Blake was intent on noting the details.
   As if on cue, two footman emerge before a long line of coaches at the front steps of the Science Hall. Theirs is a stoic stride despite the ensuing attention of the crowd. As they stationed themselves at the doors of the first carriage, a long pause follows before the tallest breaks away, climbing up again to the top steps. He then addresses the other footman below with a mahogany staff held to his side. He offers no words, just the swift strike of the staff on the ground below. With every hit, the other footman engages and take to the task of opening coach doors. Theirs is an awkward dance. The rhythm is evasive but charged like the disengagement of blasts from a cannon. With every boom of the staff above, a terse gesture responds below and another door is opened thus introducing the Eltons to the outer world.
   In comparison, the Eltons exit their rides in a more genteel manner. In groups of two and three, they make their way precisely up the walkway. The weight of measured steps give off a soft tone against the smooth cobblestones. The sounds are delicate alongside the ramble of the horses on the street. In unison, they glide along as a single body all under a single thought – to be seen. Even in the choice of dress, there is a particular regal consistency. Sleek styled hats crown heads while gold gilded walking canes tap afoot. Men sport cufflinks of onyx and precious metals while to the ladies, snow white evening gloves flank bejeweled bodies wrapped in blackened shades of the season.

   As they mingle, arms sway to and fro extending greetings to other likened pairs but it's all a sullen affair. Many display bored eyes as they stand in small circles offering polite conversation about the unbecoming weather. Upon the occasional autumn wind, stout men hold tight to their hats as ladies hollow their shoulders in to nestle close to their stoles. The occasional wisp of hair that plays along the breeze is quickly banished behind a diamond ear. Theirs is a leaden quality. Even time drags in their presence. Many can be seen sporting timepieces with eyes glaring down. Are they noting the arrival of time or merely its passing? Blake can't discern and scoffs at the display. What was is it about all present that seemed so contrived? Blake’s eyes are unable to rest upon anything captivating. There is a tension in the languished play of sight and sound. Searching through the many images that continue to flood his mind he wonders,
   “Where does Catherine fit in?”

Other "Saving Catherine" Excerpts...

Introductions - Meet Catherine Pt. 1
Introductions - Meet Stephen Blake
Introductions - Meet Dr. Nigel Eastwick

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