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Oct. 22nd, 2011

100 Things I'm Grateful For

I only intended to use this journal as a place to collect all my writing, but I've been having an up and down time lately (no real good reason, which makes it even more frustrating!) and I was inspired by one of my sister's posts to make a list of things I'm grateful for.  So here to remind just how lucky I am, one hundred things I'm grateful for at this particular moment.

I am grateful because...Collapse )

Oct. 14th, 2011

Yet the World Spins Gently On - Chapter 2

Overview/Navigation
Chapter 1

A/N: Hello again, everyone! Contrary to all appearances, this story has not been abandoned. I'm sorry for the slow update; this chapter was actually drafted months ago, but my muse really disliked it and ran off, so I'm finally just posting it as is. If there is anyone still reading, I can assure you that I am determined to finish.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed, favorited, or voted for this story. You have all been far too kind, but please do know that your faith, support and lovely words have meant so much to me. This really is both a very talented and a very supportive fandom and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

Special thanks go out to clunkhall and frostyblossom for their awesome betaing skills and to silverducks and Lady Grantham for listening to me babble about the plot. And of course to all the lovely friends I've made through the Downton Forums! :)

This story was fully planned back in March, before most of the s2 spoilers, so it is very definitely AU. Some of the new s2 characters will be appearing, but in a different form. Also, some of our main characters (such as Mary) are still their post-s1 selves.

Without further ado…

Chapter 2

Lord Grantham wisely chose to delay his announcement until after dinner, when the family was gathered in the drawing room with the knives out of reach and the servants dismissed to their evening meal. With a drink at hand, he needed only to wait for a lull in the debate over Sybil's proposal that they form a knitting circle to support the war effort.

"We could gather together to knit scarves and socks for the soldiers," Sybil explained.

Edith was unimpressed. "Why would they want something knitted by you? Besides, none of us even know how to knit."

"Certainly not," Violet said, looking horrified at the very thought. "We embroider, we do not knit. No lady knows how to knit."

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Jul. 26th, 2011

Slipping Through My Fingers

Summary: Like every mother, Cora knows she lost her daughters little by little, in quiet moments throughout their lives. One-shot, complete.
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: General/K
Genre: Family/General

A/N: Written for the amazing Lady Grantham as a very belated bday gift. Didn't really turn out as planned, but my muse has a mind of her own. Many thanks to the lovely frostyblossom for the wonderful beta.

To give credit where due: title borrowed from the Mamma Mia song; one line about Mary as well as Sybil's vignette inspired by short stories by Irène Némirovsky; characters are of course from Downton Abbey.


Slipping Through My Fingers


Her fingers crush the delicate stem of the wineglass, ever tighter, until she wonders why it doesn’t shatter beneath the pressure of her hand. For a vague moment Cora wishes it would. She imagines delicate fragments of glass and streams of blood red wine pooling at her feet and wonders if it would ease the odd melancholy in her heart.

Across the room, Mary is smiling brightly and playing perfectly the role of blushing bride. Cora watched her walk down the aisle that morning, radiant upon her father’s arm. She was officially given away today, but like every mother, Cora knows she lost her daughter little by little, in quiet moments throughout their lives.

So she clings tighter again, clings desperately, to the glass within her hand, as if clinging to this delicate creation will allow her to hold on just a little longer to those treasures which have already streamed away.

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Jul. 11th, 2011

Food of Love

Summary: Everyone walks down the aisle with half their story hidden.  (Also known as "Lady Mary always gets what she wants.")
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: General/K
Genre: Humor

A/N: I make no pretense that this idea is original, though I didn't find any specific fic on this topic.  Also, the idea was suggested by my sister who is not even a DA fan, so she deserves lots of credit.  Huge thanks to eolivet  for the title! :)

Unbetaed, but expanded slightly (see part 3) since the original version.

 

Food of Love

December 1918

The clink of cup against saucer grated upon his nerves while the rich fabric of the napkin felt foreign against his skin. The perfect elegance of the tea service just added to his general annoyance.

Matthew had no idea why he was even there, sipping tea with a cousin with whom he'd barely exchanged a dozen words in the past four years. Originally he had received an invitation from cousin Cora but when he showed up, Carson (appearing strangely uncomfortable, though perhaps it was merely Matthew's imagination) informed him that Lady Grantham was called away and would Mr. Crawley mind if Lady Mary served as hostess instead? Actually, Mr. Crawley did mind, very much, but he found himself unable to say as much to the forbidding mien of the old butler.

"How are you finding the adjustment to civilian life?" Mary asked, trying to engage Matthew in conversation.

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Jun. 28th, 2011

Prelude to a Murder…Oh Wait, That's Next Episode

Summary: The Crawleys and their servants embark on a scavenger hunt in which Sybil waxes poetic about spark plugs, scones are discovered to be deadly weapons, and Daisy has a run-in with the Queen. One-shot, complete.
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: PG-13/T 
Genre: Humor

A/N: My muse is on a silly kick right now and this is the first of several strange ideas I have floating around in my head. Inspired by a conversation with the brilliant and awesome Lady Grantham. Many thanks to my sister who listened patiently to my ideas and should be credited with the Anna/Bates idea.

Please be warned, everyone is at least somewhat OOC and I mock, but it's all out of love. Also, this was written quickly to meet a deadline and remains unedited and unbetaed, so please be forgiving of errors.

Oh, and the game sardines, for anyone unfamiliar, is basically hide and seek in reverse. One person hides, everyone else seeks and joins the hider in the hiding spot till there's just one seeker left. Perfectly random fact, I assure you!




Prelude to a Murder…Oh Wait, That's Next Episode

It was Cora's idea, of course.

"What an uncivilized American tradition," Violet muttered, and then repeated herself when no one responded or broke out clapping at her brilliant observation.

She and the other members of the Crawley family, along with many of their servants, were all gathered on the Abbey's side lawn waiting for the arrival of the afternoon's master of ceremonies. It was a beautiful July day, mild and with a few clouds drifting lazily across the bright blue sky, just the sort of afternoon that boded well for outdoor activities.

The situation was simple enough: Cora had proposed a puzzle-based scavenger hunt, Robert had agreed, and before long all the family and staff were enlisted to participate. Robert had suggested inviting a few of the neighbors, which proposal Cora duly carried out, though a few charming smiles at the post-boy and the invitations were conveniently redirected to arrive a week late.

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Jun. 27th, 2011

Downton Abbey Drabbles - M/M

Again, nothing new. Just trying to be organized so all of my writing is collected in one place. All of these are focused on Matthew and Mary and written for mmmondaymadness. Please be warned that my drabbles have a strange tendency towards angst...



#1

The gladiolus is the August birth flower (at least in the US) and apparently the only thing with a semi-reasonable name that starts blooming that month.

***

Each year she visits his grave when the gladioluses bloom, to lay a stem of his birth flower before the stone. She comes early in the morning, when the grass is still touched with dew and stands a while within the embrace of the cedar tree. If she weeps, there’s no one to see.

There are many measures of when she lost him, but when she traces the threads, it’s not when he was cut down, but when he walked away that sun-dappled afternoon – and she just let him go.

She has a family; she’s discovered happiness again. And still…

She visits his grave each August when the gladiolus blooms.



#2

During the second world war, theirs became a story about boxes.

About eight boxes – one for each son – that Mary fills with news clippings, unsent letters, and the rare photo they mail home. Lined up in the order her children were born, she caresses them each day and thinks, if she tries just a bit harder, she can hear faint echoes in the hall. Proper Robert, happy James, forceful Charles, triplets John, Paul, and George, lonely Reginald, and baby Matthew and the distant laughter of their youth.

About three boxes, shattered pieces of her soul, shipped home from Greece and France and Italy. She visits them as often as she can bear and supposes she should be grateful the others were spared.

About two boxes, buried within two hearts. Two boxes, filled with everything she and Matthew have seen and felt and heard and done and yet leave unsaid. Perhaps the boxes grew from fear or the simple passage of time.

Or perhaps, she didn’t raise her son to be a soldier…and he did.

So it’s a story about one box – once a home and now just a house – and the no longer happy souls locked inside.

 

Downton Abbey Drabbles - Non-M/M

Nothing new here, just an attempt to organize all my drabbles in one place.  These were all written for the drabble challenge over at the Downton Abbey Forums. I think they are all 100 words...



Prompt: Thomas, "clocks"

Thomas doesn’t believe in hell.

No, that’s not quite right. Rather, Thomas just doesn’t see why he should bother with a religion that condemns him to hell simply for an attraction he cannot resist. But despite his best attempts at bravado, he cannot shake the sense he’s racing towards his doom, picturing a clock counting down to his personal judgment day.

Thomas’s father was a clockmaker and while his only child never wanted to follow in his footsteps, that son finds a certain comfort in tinkering with the clocks he can control as he thinks about the one he cannot.

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Jun. 11th, 2011

Yet the World Spins Gently On - Chapter 1

Overview/Navigation
Prologue

A/N: I'm afraid this may be a slightly dull chapter as I try to set the stage. But I promise there’s fun in the future with inheritance issues, investments, and illicit affairs all to come!

Chapter 1

August 1914

In the days following the announcement, recruitment posters had sprung up everywhere, like colorful mushrooms sprouting after a storm. Wherever one turned, in shops, at pubs, luckily not yet in church, placards trumpeted “Your country needs YOU” and “Isn’t this worth fighting for? Enlist now!” Everywhere, the endless entreaty – enlist, enlist, enlist.

War fever ran high in the streets and it wasn’t just because of the signs. A recruiting office had quickly opened in Ripon and each day the line outside grew longer, first just past the door, but now snaking around the building and down the street, past a bookshop, a haberdasher, a small tea shop, and still further onwards it went.

Matthew was on his way to the station after work, glancing at a poster on a lamppost displaying a train overflowing with soldiers and the seemingly inaccurate statement “There’s room for YOU, Enlist TODAY,” when a voice hailed him from the line.

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Jun. 7th, 2011

We May Not Have Tomorrow

Summary: Tonight they’ll set the world aflame.  One-shot, complete.
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Rating: T
Genre: Romance

A/N: My writing seems to come in two forms: heavily plotted or cliché, meaningless drivel. Unfortunately, this one falls in the latter category. I hope you find some enjoyment anyway. (Also known as “Ariadne writes 1,000 words so she can use the penultimate line.”)

Special thanks to my sister and silverduck for their kind encouragement which gave me the confidence to post.

Disclaimer: My lawyer is hotter than your lawyer. So there! (Hmm, that did not come out quite right…)


We May Not Have Tomorrow


She’ll never forget the first time she saw him – and heard him, really – that half-turn and the look of surprise and alarm on his face. She was furious then, but that was back in a time when she could afford to spend fury on insignificant things.

She’ll always remember the time she first saw him, really saw him. He came to see her, her alone, full of concern after her inamorato had died. He was so warm and solid and compassionate, a beacon of sympathy and kindness. She learned a little about gratitude that day.

Maybe that’s when she first started falling.

Maybe she has never stopped.

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Jun. 2nd, 2011

Yet the World Spins Gently On - Prologue

Overview/Navigation

Prologue

September 1939

She knew the telegram contained ominous news the moment it arrived. She had prayed such a day would never come but now the inevitable was here. She crossed the room to sit next to her husband and took his free hand, waiting for him to confirm the news for her.

He read the two lines of text quickly and felt grateful for her sudden presence at his side. There was no need to prevaricate; she’d read the signs as well as he and they’d shared a joint, if unspoken, dread of this day.

“We are issuing an ultimatum to Germany. If no reply is received by Sunday at 11 in the morning, we- we shall be at war,” he said simply, letting the bald words speak for themselves.

“Perhaps Germany will withdraw from Poland?” she asked, desperate for some hope to cling to, though she knew the answer as well as he.

“We must hope,” he replied, but his tone said what his words would not.

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