Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #71

Seaside Promises
by Meghan Sullivan


“You promised me diamonds.”

“Be quiet.” The earl scooped up the kelp-laced sand, the coarse flecks sliding between his fingers.

“You said I’d be rich.”

“I said be quiet, you fool!”

Culver’s glower was visible even in the thickening fog. He was hunch-backed and stupid, but he understood avarice.

“Ain’t no diamonds, is there? Jus’ these worthless jewels she’s wearin’. That ain’t no proper reward for a bloke like me. Why we ‘ave to kill ‘er, anyway?”

Because some secrets are more precious than diamonds, The earl thought as they covered the broken body with sand. He had promised her diamonds, too. She had been such an innocent beauty, and he had promised her diamonds and sapphires and rubies if she would agree to keep his secrets. She had tried to flee instead.

“We could ‘ave at least used shovels like proper criminals,” the coachman complained as he threw another armful of sand over the body. “I know it ‘appened sorta fast and all, but this ‘ere is ‘ard work.”

“I promise you that when we are through you shall get all that you deserve.”

“You promised me diamonds.”

“Diamonds and sapphires and rubies.”

The coachmen gave a crooked smile. “You always was a good man to serve. Not the most sane or most honest, but certainly the richest.”

The earl returned the smile. Burying Culver by himself would be difficult, but the seaside estate was large, and he already knew the grave would be.

12 comments:

JaneyV said...

I love the voice in this Meaghan. You have Culver's groveling 'Igor"-ness down pat. The Earl really is a piece of work ... and so short sighted. I mean who's going to dig the grave for the next person he promises riches to?

Favourite line:

“You always was a good man to serve. Not the most sane or most honest, but certainly the richest.”

Priceless!

Peter Dudley said...

Agree with Janey. Great voice.

Laurel said...

If Poe did a take on "My Last Duchess" it would probably be pretty close to this.

What villanous machinations!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Huh. Interesting what some are willing to do!

I loved this one-very mysterious almost.

Meghan said...

Ack! I just realized a grammar error got through! Sorry, that drives me crazy when that happens. *sigh*

At any rate, thanks you guys. Please continue to give feedback, even if you take issue with the writing. It's always instructive. :)

C.Sonberg Larson said...

The Earl is one evil dude! I want to read more about him.

AidanF said...

I love the way you use indirect dialogue so that the coachman thinks he will get jewels but that isn't what the earl promised. Nice tale.

Deb Smythe said...

Alas, poor Culver...
Great voice here, Meghan. I felt transported in time and place.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Meghan

Do you really want to antagonize the guy with the shovel who you're helping to bury the body of his lover??? That you just helped murder??? Duh! He deserves his fate!

Also loved the line Janey pointed out. Very nice, love the voice!

Dottie :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like how you quicklysetup the conflict. That's the best way to get at the heart of flash fiction. Nicely done.

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a delightful, evil bloke.