The Stolen Name

- A Serialized Novel -

A man learns that his name has been used by someone else and sets out to find the man who stole his name and help those whom the imposter betrayed.

Author’s Note: So, after taking an impromptu break from writing and posting, I didn’t manage to make the stand-in cover art and categories for the newer serials yet. It was not the weekend I had planned, that was for sure. At least now I am writing again.

I had thought there wouldn’t be any way I could use the words from Three Word Wednesday in this story, not when I saw the words, but then my brain started working again, and I found a way, a pretty decent one, I think. At least… it’s kind of cute and possibly funny?

The words this week: crave, putrid, and shudder.

Getting Along

“Oh, take that putrid thing away from me,” Violet said, wishing she could back away from the food that her aunt had tried to feed her. She shuddered, feeling like she might vomit, and an unkind part of her cursed her condition. She knew that she should not do that, but she was so tired of being pregnant and being sick because she was pregnant. She hated this. She was not sure that she would have agreed to marry Winston if she’d known more about what pregnancy would be like.

Sometimes she thought that if more women had more knowledge, they would not agree to any of their expected roles. No one would want to be a mother or a wife. Some things simply did not seem worth it.

“You need to eat.”

“Not now that I’ve smelled that. Can’t you just leave me be until I’m craving something? I can’t stop eating then, but you forcing food on me is not working. What is that that smells so vile anyway? No, no, do not tell me. I do not want to know. I will be ill all over again.”

“Does this happen a lot?”

She had almost forgotten that Robbie was still present. Beatrice’s insistence on interrupting them had distracted her, knowing as she did the reasons for her aunt’s interference. Their refusal to agree to her—well, the only way that Violet could see it was as a demand—that they marry had made her cross with both of them, and if she felt that they were talking with too much intimacy, regardless of the subject they might be discussing or if they happened to touch, she was there to scowl with all the disapproval of a strict chaperone. Violet felt as though they had lost all hope of further progress on locating Winston due to her aunt’s interference, and while she did not want to fight the woman, she did not think that it was worth acting as a chaperone for them. She was already pregnant, and she rather thought she would never allow herself to be in this condition ever again.

“It does, actually,” Violet said, grimacing. He looked at her with something close to pity, and she lowered her head, not wanting to be pitied. She was aware that people reacted one of two ways to her—with pity or with scorn. They either thought her a victim or a fool, perhaps both. She felt herself a fool as well.

“I’m sorry. I know it can be difficult to keep eating when everything makes you feel as though you shouldn’t.”

Beatrice frowned, but Violet nodded, leaning back against the chair. “I suppose the things you saw in the war would take away any kind of appetite you might have had for most of the time you were fighting—and even after as well.”

“Yes.” He smiled at her, though the smile was more sad than anything else. “You have such comprehension of… I know that I never could talk to my father or my mother in the past. My friends… None of them were drafted—or if they were, their families bought them out of it so quietly that I didn’t even know that it had happened—so they have no way to understand what it was like. I still don’t… I am not sure why you are able to see what they do not, but I appreciate it more and more as we talk.”

“Well, now, you might just have a use for your ability to daydream,” Beatrice said, and Violet sighed. She had not been accused of that for a while, but that was what they’d blamed for her decision to marry Winston so quickly—her constant daydreams making her think that she was in love when she wasn’t, her time wasted dreaming away in the garden keeping her from understanding what life was like, but she had always felt that Beatrice made that accusation when she was jealous. She was not as much of a reader, and she could not make anything grow, nor did she seem to do well when faced with quiet contemplation or many of the domestic arts expected of a woman—she could not sew well or play any sort of instrument, had no talent for drawing or painting. Violet could do all those things, though with her name she was most known for her skills in the garden.

She was not a daydreamer, though. Not in her opinion.

“I doubt you could call such a thing a daydream, not when you understand the war. That could only be a nightmare.”

Violet shook her head. “I think I have found myself to be at war within my own mind and body, that’s all. I don’t know how else to describe it.”

“It is a fine way to describe it. A perfect one, truth be told.”

She smiled at him, and her aunt snorted. He cast a dark look in the older woman’s direction, and Violet was tempted to laugh. For all that the woman claimed to want them to marry, she certainly did not like to see them getting along.

Her mother, on the other hand, she would be gloating right now if she had heard Robbie speak. She’d take his words as a sign that he was starting to feel something for Violet. She did not think that anyone should make such assumptions. They had an unpleasant circumstance at best, and they did try to make the best of it, but that did not mean that they would be anything more than they now were—awkward acquaintances.

She did not mind that, since she was not desperate enough to think she had to marry him. She did not want to, as nice as he’d been thus far. She would like to find Winston to have answers, to get some sort of explanation for what he’d done and why, but other than that, she did not know that she cared anymore. She would raise her child regardless of whether or not he was found, and that part of her life would not be changing unless something went very wrong in her pregnancy.

She grimaced, knowing the child would react to that thought. The way that happened, though, managed to surprise her. “I don’t believe this.”

Robbie frowned. “What?”

Violet put a hand over her stomach. “I’m hungry.”

He laughed.

2 thoughts on “Getting Along

  1. Sheilagh Lee says:

    I love the easy way they have between them without realizing the pull that is there.

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