Charlotte Brontë looked at the quill in her hand and felt irritable. Abandoning her writing and walking to the parsonage window, she reflected on her surroundings. Haworth’s cobbled streets and countryside had provided an excellent setting for her childhood adventures; the four surviving Brontë siblings had roamed the moors whenever the weather had permitted, acting out tales from their fantasy worlds of Glass Town and Gondal, and transforming into soldiers, explorers, nobility, and genii. These games spilled over from and into the pages of the tiny storybooks they had created which were too small for adult eyes.
The weathered headstones which were open to the elements in the graveyard greeted Charlotte’s eyes as she gazed outside. The birds perched in trees and on the gate under a sun that mocked her gloom. Her thoughts flickered to those resting in the graves inside the old church beyond. She gritted her teeth at the injustice of her sister, Emily, a child of the Yorkshire moors, and her free-spirited but tormented brother, Branwell, being shut away inside forever more. She also thought of Mama and Aunt Branwell, Cornish belles buried far from the sea air they had known and loved. Charlotte thought of her youngest sister, Anne, buried where the flower had fallen and laid to rest by a church overlooking the sea in Scarborough. She knew it had been the right decision, however much it had pained her to be separated from Anne. Her soul, at least, was free.
Then there was her dear boy, Arthur. Papa had not approved and Charlotte had refused to admit that her heart had a hidden treasure. He had been rejected and was now just as lost to her as her family were. Charlotte rubbed her tired eyes and sighed, the sense of loss and loneliness overwhelming her once more. Papa was upstairs but his mind was far away; his grief greater than hers. Her writing no longer brought joy. Hearing a creak and the fluttering of wings, Charlotte shifted her attention and saw the garden gate open. The figure of Arthur appeared, and with him came hope when she had thought that all was lost.
In Loving Memory of Bob the Bichon (2007-2019)
A lover of life, the Brontës, and Haworth who knows that I’m just going to write because I can’t help it.
By Nicola F. a.k.a. The Brontë Babe.
Thanks for reading. I’d love it if you stopped by The Journal of Juvenilia Studies where you can read my essay, “Autobiography, Wish-Fulfilment, and Juvenilia. The ‘Fractured Self’ in Charlotte Brontë’s Paracosmic Counterworld”.
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