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After William

Author's note: I got the idea of a controlling mother from the movie Titanic. I also love the idea of historical...  Show full author's note »
Author's note: I got the idea of a controlling mother from the movie Titanic. I also love the idea of historical fiction. I admire authors who can take historical facts and twist them in a way that makes a totally different story no one could have thought of. There is also a poster of William Shakespeare in my English classroom that got me thinking about William Shakespeare  « Hide author's note
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Collar of Jewels

My mother brushed into the room and disturbed my thoughts the way she always did: chin held high, cold blue eyes looking only at me, never at my beloved maids. She was wearing her favorite dress: a black full gown with a white trim of flowers that revealed none of her skin but her hands and throat. Around her throat she wore a diamond necklace that Father had given her when they had gotten married. She had her blond hair up off her neck and wrapped into a bun that pulled her face back a bit and made her look like a bird. She looked up and down me, as if evaluating me.
“Leave us,” she snapped at Bonnie and Allona. They both stood quickly, like startled rabbits. They curtsied briskly and walked from the room as fast as they could without really running. Lucky them, I thought bitterly. I don’t have the opportunity to get away from my mother so quickly.
I turned quickly to my mother and put a smile on my face as she turned to me. Even with the servants gone, she looked at me like I was something that had to be groomed and controlled. She didn’t look upon me with love anymore.
“Turn around,” she told me. I did as she asked while she went to my desk. She opened a drawer and sifted through it to find the perfect jewelry. I stifled a sigh; I really hated putting on jewelry. It was heavy and unnecessary.
She pulled out a pair of earrings she knew I despised. They were gold, big and heavy and pulled on my earlobes all through the night.
“Don’t you make that face, Anne,” she snapped at me. “I know you say these earrings hurt, but beauty is pain. William never used to complain when I would get him ready for important dinners like this!”
“William was a boy who didn’t have to wear this damned corset nor irritating earrings,” I muttered under my breath. Saying that out loud would have pushed my mother’s patience too far; her eye was already twitching slightly.
“Mother, what are you nervous about?” I asked her in my most innocent voice.
She looked at me in surprise. She never seemed to understand that I could always tell when something was bothering her.
“Nothing, dear!” she said quickly. “Nothing at all.”
“Mother…” I said, making my voice stronger.
“Alright, yes, I am a little nervous,” she admitted. “You have never been one to follow rules very well. You may not like wearing dresses and jewelry, but if you don’t marry Ralph, we will not be able to live anymore. Do you want to sell everything we have until we have nothing, and then still not have enough money to pay our debts? With Ralph in the picture—“
“Yes, yes we will survive and be able to live in luxury for the rest of our lives. But Mother,” I said, my voice slipping to a plea, “I don’t want to get married to this man. I don’t know him, I don’t want to get married so young, I don’t care what most people think! I don’t believe getting married at seventeen is a good idea.”
Mary Shakespeare, who I have never seen leak a drop of water out of her eyes before, looked like she might cry. I was so startled, I lost my side of the argument for a moment. She composed her face back into an emotionless mask again.
“I’m sorry, dear,” she said. “I know this is not the life you want, but we have no choice, and you know that! Now please put these on and get ready to leave.”
I didn’t know if I could go through with it. This situation was too great a weight for me and I felt like my knees were buckling under it. But I knew I had to try.
“Yes, Mother,” I said back to her. “I’ll be on my best behavior.”
“There’s a good girl,” she said briskly. She looked at herself in the mirror to make sure her make-up did not smudge, and then walked to the door. I went to my desk to grab my favorite necklace that William had given me a month before he died. It was a very simple necklace, just a long, gold chain, but I loved it because he gave it to me and because it didn’t wrap around my throat like my other necklaces; those made me feel like I had a collar on.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 Next »

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This book has 28 comments. Post your own now!

MayaS. said...
Nov. 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm
This story was great! I fell in love with Tim at once. I actually did a lot of research on Shakespeare for my book, "The Secretary" (it's set in Elizabethan England and Shakespeare is a character). His family actually lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, not London, and he hardly saw his daughters. Anyway, is there more to this story? Can't wait!!!
BekahBekah said...
Dec. 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm
This IS wonderfully written, but...I think it could be a little more descriptive. Describe the surroundings a little more, make it a little more vivid...and also, when she meets Ralph, could you have her actually meet him? Actually talk to him? Instead of just having him snub her mother, she could share a few words with him and THEN decide that he was an absolute pig. Or something. (: But really, I think your book is really good. (: 
savetheplanet said...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Wow, this is quite an interesting twist!  I really like Shakespeare so I thought this was really cool! :D
writerfreak21231This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 11:19 am
That was amazing!! wow that was sooo kewl! I very nice piece of work! great job! I just posted a new story i wrote called: Alien invasion series book one: the caller. If any of u had time please go check it out and post feedback and comments. It would be much appreciated! Thanks! and keep writing everyone! :)(:
SingleRose said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm
That was amazing! I kept forgetting you were a teenager writing it, great job!
star3x8 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 9:35 am
Great job! I've put part of my novel from the Tudor age up, and it's interesting to see what the era looks like in someone else's views :)
Chans247 said...
Jun. 6, 2011 at 5:07 am
This is such a good story!!!!! I hope that you keep on posting more chapters!!!! :)
alexbff<3 said...
Jun. 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

hey Al!!! luv ya!!! AMAZING STORY!! <3 You should definitely write more stories!!! C ya at school :P



MR.F said...
May 24, 2011 at 3:50 am
Sk8erGirl-It is fun to see this here after some time and read the nice comments you have deservedly received. Do keep writing as auntbeth wrote..Congratulations.
writerthinkerdreamer said...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Hey Alex!!!! This rocks, I totally love it!!!! Great read, great plot, great emotion, great everything!!!!


auntbeth said...
Apr. 27, 2011 at 9:43 am
I can't wait for Book 2.  Their lives together.  Keep writing.
Aunt Cheryl said...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Alex,   You are simply the best!

I love your work.

lavender said...
Apr. 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm
ALEX you are awesome!!! and the story was amazingly amazing!!!  Super impressed <3
elimas said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 8:38 am


What a wonderfully creative story.  Well done!

joeb said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Very smooth read, I enjoyed it!


dibarrett said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm
Alex, great story!! I love it, good luck to you!
claudia said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 11:13 am
what a great story, I am so impressed!
JHubbard said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 9:25 am
Amazing job Alex!  I am so impressed with your writing skills and creativity! Good luck!
Kabeyun said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 8:31 am
What a creative angle for a story!
tina said...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 8:02 am
Wonderful idea and story Alex!

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