190 comments

Drama Historical Fiction Creative Nonfiction

Annabella

A small Victorian cottage sat on the shores of New Hampshire, the last one in the row, with nearly endless views of the ocean and it’s shores. Two brothers approached the house with an unending discussion about the conversation they needed to have with their father. 

“You know I can’t stand talking to him.” said Andrew. 

“Yes, but he’s Father, and you know how he is,” said Michael.

“Well, you’ve known him longer than I have, why don’t you tell him?” said Andrew. 

The two men stopped at the top of the steps to the porch as Michael looked back at his brother.

“I’m 2 years older than you. It’s not like Dad and I go way back,” he replied. This didn’t stop Andrew from trying to argue his point. 

“He’s always liked you more.” he griped.

“Hardly. You’re the youngest. You were always spoiled.” answered Michael

As Michael turned his back, Andrew grimaced. “Just knock on the door,” said Andrew.

Three firm knocks were all their father would allow. You were to stand patiently and wait. If no one answered in two minutes, you were to knock three more times and repeat the process. In most cases, the door was answered on the first try. Andrew’s desire was to wait the least amount of time possible and leave. 

“Oh dear, he’s not home. Let’s go,” said Andrew

“Wait. It’s not even been the correct amount of time.” protested Michael

Rolling his eyes, Andrew stood by counting the seconds in his mind until the second knock was required. Secretly he was planning his escape if the door did not open after that. To his disappointment, the door opened, and a healthy silver-haired man stood before them in a white dress shirt and charcoal grey slacks. 

“Good evening gentlemen.” said the man

“Good evening, Jeffrey, how are you?” said Michael

“Copasetic, Sir, and yourself?” The man’s voice was deep and smooth, but to Andrew so boring he nearly fell asleep upon introductions.

“Excellent! Thank you!” Michael replied cheerfully.

“What’s up, Jeff!” said Andrew

Jeffrey looked unblinkingly at Andrew and without a smile of greetings said. “Sir.” 

Andrew knew this annoyed Jeffery, but he did it anyway. Andrew believed he lived in the 21st century, not the late 19th as his father did. 

“Michael Senior is in the study,” Jeffrey assured the two men. 

“Magnificent, Jeff, do be so kind as to take my cloak and hat while I sashay to the lavatory,” smirked Andrew.

“Not so fast brother.” retorted Michael, a hand reached out and pulled Andrew closer. 

“Oh, alright. We might as well get it over with.”

The two men, with their dark hair combed to perfection, dressed in their finest suits, walked into the study. As they entered, their father looked up from his desk and took notice of the men’s clothing. Michael wore an Italian cut, navy blue single-breasted one-button lapel with matching slacks, a bright red tie, and a crisp white shirt. Andrew chose a more casual and less approved American cut, smoky grey standard notch jacket, no tie, and grey shirt, with black slacks. Disapproving his younger son’s appearance, he was nevertheless proud of their handsome features. Both had medium skin tone, perfect white teeth, and chiseled features. They had their mother’s brown eyes but their father’s handsome facial attributes. Michael had a square clean-shaven jawline with a dark beard only now giving a shadow in the evening hours, where Andrew’s face was more triangular, with at least half a week’s dark brown beard. His father was clearly annoyed by that as well. Michael’s hair was full and thick around all sides and just above the ears. Andrew kept his hair in a classic quaff, short on the sides and long on the top, and to his father’s disgust, a tattoo streaked up from his shoulder onto his neck. Michael Senior saw his sons at the summer picnic in Miami last year. Where Michael was strong and tan, Andrew was strong, tan, and covered in tattoos. Both sons were successful in their own right. Michael was engaged, and Andrew was still looking for a “Perfect Match” as he called it. 

“Good evening, Father,” said Michael

“Good evening, son” 

“Hey, Dad!” 

“Andrew.” 

Their father’s deep baritone voice seemed to contradict his outward appearance. His figure was lean and fit. His face was a diamond shape with a medium forehead and slightly receding hairline. Dark grey hair, streaked with the occasional silver hair, trimmed over the ears with a slight wave on top. Dark intense eyebrows hung over grey steely eyes and a salt and pepper beard trimmed to a point without a hair out of place. The entire family was genetically born to be male models. Their mother was the heir to a now unheard of Baron of Austria who fell into obscurity after the second world war. It was often said in her younger years she could have been an Audrey Hepburn look alike. She was the reason for Michael and Andrews’ visit. 

“Prey tell what brings you boys here this evening?” Michael Senior asked pretentiously. “I understood you were with your mother.”

“Well Father, that’s what we’re here to talk to you about,” answered Michael. “ Mother….” Michael gave a pause because he wasn’t sure how to say it. 

“Mom wants to get remarried,” blurted out Andrew.

Michael looked at his brother from the corner of his eyes. “Yes, that is correct.” said Michael

Michael Senior tried not to look shocked, but the momentary pause and fake smile revealed his true emotions. It was well rehearsed, and something his sons had seen him do a hundred times in their lives. Michael Senior stood up from behind his mahogany desk and walked towards the fireplace. Warm flames crackled beneath the mantle as their father stopped in front of a portrait of their mother on the wall above. The lights in the room seemed to dim as Michael Senior focused on Annabella. He felt his heart race as he thought back on the early days of their marriage. Acid began to burn in his stomach. He turned slowly and asked. “When?”

“Next March,” said Michael. 

Michael Senior hadn’t felt the same desperate loss in his heart since the day she left. As time went on, they kept in touch, and they were cordial about their meetings. Yet in his heart and mind he’d hoped somehow they’d come back together. Now, she was going to marry someone else. His sons watched him as he walked around the room as if lost. The rich colors of thick red and white carpet muffled his steps, and he walked from the fireplace to the wall lined with teak bookshelves. He strode slowly past a closet door and marble bust of Abraham Lincoln, past the french doors that lead to the study from the hallway. Ornamental columns holding cut glass framed the french doors as stained glass decorated the partition above. Back to the window and behind his desk. All this time Michael Senior didn’t say a single word. He sat down in his high back leather chair and steepled his fingers. Just as quickly he stood up and walked to the small drink bar in the corner and asked his sons if they’d like a drink. 

“I’m fine Father,” said Michael

“Yeah, dad I’d love some,” said Andrew. His brother Michael turned and gave him a sour look. 

Michael Senior turned and walked with two tumblers of Elija Craig, an inch of the amber liquid in the bottom of each glass, and handed one to Andrew. Andrew took a mouthful and gently swirled the oaky flavor around his mouth, then let it slide down the back of his throat. Michael Senior sipped slowly and returned to his thoughtful daze and walked to the desk. 

“Father, are you alright?” asked Michael.

He looked up quickly and gave a sad smile. “I didn’t expect she’d fall in love again.” He sipped his glass once again. Andrew shot forward to say something, but Michael put his arm across his chest and held him back. 

“It’s been nearly 8 years, Father,” said Michael. walking a few steps closer.

“You know WHY she left, don’t you!” Andrew belted out loudly. Both men looked at him in consternation. 

“Andrew, please! This is not the time,” said Michael.

“Well, big brother, when is the time!” he shouted. “Don’t you know the truth, or do I have to spell it out for you. She’s moved on after what he did!”  

Michael looked down at his hands and went to remove his coat. The room was warm, but the rapid emotions building in his body made him hot. “So you know?” said Michael.

“Well, of course I do. He cheated on Mother and she left him in shame!” 

Michael looked down once again, shame in his eyes. He knew, but he didn’t know Andrew knew the truth. 

“You both have it wrong,” said Michael Senior. “She did.”

September 25, 2020 21:59

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190 comments

Arham Ishraq
14:36 Oct 18, 2020

I loved how well the characters were made! In most stories, the characters are so similar and they always fit some sort of strict stereotype. Andrew and Jeffery actually seemed like real siblings. Your imagery was beautiful and it felt like watching an old play.

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02:58 Oct 20, 2020

Thank you, I think I could have done a little better in the spacing of the descriptions but all in all I like the story. If you get a chance check out “Just Say it Already.” I think you’ll like. Robert

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15:52 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Arham Ishraq
01:04 Oct 24, 2020

Ok I'll read it :)

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Echo Sundar
17:05 Oct 04, 2020

This is a really amazing story! Its a really great short story because all the characters did was deliver a message to their father, but you added great descriptive words and engaging characters. My only critique would have been to say more about how their dad 'lived' in the 19th century because that was the prompt. But other than that this is amazing!

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18:27 Oct 04, 2020

Thank you, I know the comment about the dad living in a different century was vague as a line of the story. I'd hoped the atmosphere I was projecting would have answered more of that question. I know I have work to do in future writings, I'll keep working on it. Robert

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15:53 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Lynn Penny
16:04 Oct 04, 2020

I love a good historical fiction. Great job!

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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16:30 Oct 04, 2020

Thank you! I’ll read everything I can if those who follow me and I appreciate your taking the time to read my story. Robert

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Lucy Splendid
09:13 Oct 04, 2020

The story is interesting in that the brothers relationship with each other and their father is based on assumptions. However the lengthy descriptions slow down the pace of the story and detract from the real drama, of this family. When dialogue is between two people and it is clear there are no others involved, then it is not necessary to put in 'he said' or 'he replied' after each character speaks. One of the things I also struggle with is putting in written disfluencies (and, but, well, also) these are part of how people talk in real...

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11:22 Oct 04, 2020

Not at all, we can only get better as we help each other. I’ll do a rewrite of this someday and make it better. Thank you for the feedback. Robert

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Ian Seruuma
21:31 Oct 03, 2020

Robert, i like the descriptive touch of the story, its too way on point. Thanks for your service as well.Keep writing.

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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20:01 Oct 03, 2020

Well done! I would have expected the character to act as if they were in the past, not the future, but it was interesting that you did it the other way around. It added a nice twist and liked it a lot! I enjoyed how you conveyed the attitudes of the other characters. It really felt like I was thrown back to the 19th century! Great job!

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Cal Carson
19:21 Oct 03, 2020

Great story! Very descriptive, but a bit too much for me personally. But I totally understand the need to practice, that's part of what I use this site for! Anyways, I loved the emotion and drama between the characters and found myself enjoying the read, great job! Would you mind reading any story of mine and dropping some advice? Either way, well done!

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19:30 Oct 03, 2020

No problem, l like to read others as well. This was a good story to practice with and I know it could be a rewrite someday but for now it’s been a nice short story. Thanks! Robert

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Cal Carson
16:33 Oct 23, 2020

Yeah, I'll check it out when I get a chance! Sorry, I'm swamped with schoolwork, but I'll get to you soon.

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19:28 Oct 23, 2020

Cool

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Howard Halsall
18:25 Sep 28, 2020

I enjoyed your story and the wonderful descriptions. A great start for something longer, perhaps? Well done. I look forward to reading your next piece.

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18:32 Sep 28, 2020

Thank you! Some stories are meant for series and others maybe not, but I’ll consider it. If you like a series please check out my Alan Harding stories. I’ve designed a character, using the prompts given, to create a long lasting storyline for fans of the idea. Let me know what you think of these as I go. I appreciate your feedback. Robert

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15:56 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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02:04 Feb 26, 2021

Hello, I can’t thank you enough for following me and commenting on my stories. I’ve started a website. If you’re interested in keeping in contact, please visit me at robertgrandstaffhomepage.com

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Megan Sutherland
01:41 Sep 28, 2020

You're very descriptive, and that's great. I really enjoyed this story! I read in your bio that you were in the Air Force. Thank you for your service. -Megan S.

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01:55 Sep 28, 2020

Thank you Megan! It was one of the first stories where I practiced character descriptions and environment. Thank you! Did you ever serve?

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Megan Sutherland
11:32 Sep 28, 2020

Um, haha, let's just say I'm a little too young for that. My grandfather served in Korea and my uncle worked in the army though.

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13:25 Sep 28, 2020

OK, well I’m thankful for your families service. Robert

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Megan Sutherland
13:33 Sep 28, 2020

:)

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15:51 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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04:39 Oct 24, 2020

YOU ROCK! Thank you! Robert

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Megan Sutherland
05:42 Oct 24, 2020

Thank you! :D

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Onur Yürür
07:17 Oct 07, 2020

Amazing stuff! Pardon my belief in 21th century :)

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20:43 Oct 07, 2020

Cool! Robert

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15:52 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Joanna Ortega
01:59 Oct 06, 2020

Ditto on the description; it is rich and vivid. :) I just want to say, I love Andrew. He is very clearly the younger sibling in ALL ways. I say this as my brother's younger sister.

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02:51 Oct 06, 2020

Thank you, this was a fun story to write. Robert

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15:53 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Vanessa Marczan
22:59 Oct 05, 2020

I love these lush descriptions, you really brought this life, I was feeling it. Thank you for sharing sir!

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15:53 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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05:33 Oct 06, 2020

Anytime! Please follow along for more stories. If you liked the picture this painted check out my story Just Say it Already.” Robert

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A. K. Wilson
14:10 Oct 05, 2020

Very great story the characters were. Very relatable. I thought was funny Andrew wanted run off think we.all been there. What inspired you to write it?

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14:50 Oct 05, 2020

I'm inspired by life. I know there's always a sibling willing to make a stand, and there's those who would rather not say anything. The world forms people as they grow. Some can take it and others can't. I think it added to the underlying conflict and heighten the story's climax, then its ending. Thanks for the like. I'm sure I could have spread it out a little more in some areas, but in all I accomplished what I was looking for in the end. Robert

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A. K. Wilson
15:24 Oct 05, 2020

I believe it was all very well done and look forward to reading more of your work 😁

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15:53 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Corey Melin
19:41 Oct 04, 2020

Another superb read. Flowed so well and excellent descriptions. When there is imagination mixed with history it’s always a plus. Also thanks for your service. I was in the Army for a couple of years then back in for the Persian Gulf.

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21:34 Oct 04, 2020

Thank you again! My dad served during Vietnam up to Gulf One by the time he retired. I was in Gulf Two. If you like a mix of historical fiction check out my Alan Harding series. “Operation Bag and Burn 1944” Looking forward to reading your work. Robert

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15:53 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Princemark Okibe
14:45 Oct 04, 2020

You got description powers man. You sure can describe, I am a baby in description when it comes to you. The description overpowered the narration but what is shocking is that it did not overpower the dialogue. How you managed to do that is beyond me. This is because this level of description is rare in short stories and more in use in lengthy novels where the author has a lot of word count to use. Your work is also well edited as I can see you took your time ironing it out. Being a newbie writer who only started writing this year, I ...

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18:41 Oct 04, 2020

This was an early writing and I'm sure I could have spread out the detail a little better. The father couldn't get out of living in a different century. After that, the atmosphere should tell more. I'll keep working on it. Thanks for the read. Robert

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Princemark Okibe
16:47 Oct 23, 2020

I have checked it out. Your story is pretty neat and engaging to the senses. Nice job.👍🏿

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Princemark Okibe
16:49 Oct 23, 2020

You are also free to give me suggestions on my latest story before the contest ends.

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19:09 Oct 23, 2020

I will read your story tonight. Thanks for the feedback. Robert

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Alexandra Dyess
17:55 Oct 03, 2020

This was really descriptive! It’s so fun to write lol I love descriptive writing. Would you mind checking out mine for this contest? 🤗

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19:28 Oct 03, 2020

Absolutely! I do everything I can to read peoples stories and comment. I’ll leave a message when I’m done. Robert

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Alexandra Dyess
19:31 Oct 03, 2020

Thank you so much!! You’re awesome! Be as critical as possible please 🤗

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Alexandra Dyess
14:45 Oct 24, 2020

I’d love to!

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Ola Hotchpotch
16:36 Oct 03, 2020

Nice story. The emotion came through. I am not a critique but I couldn't understand why you described what the two sons wore so elaborately. It didn't add anything to the actual story apart from the fact that the father was particular about what his sons wore.

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17:17 Oct 03, 2020

It was a great practice in descriptive writing. I think the story could have been much longer but the way it ended I was happy. It’s always a possible rewrite in the future but later. Thanks for reading! Robert

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15:54 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Jill Davies
06:58 Oct 03, 2020

What a great cliffhanger. I’d definitely keep reading if you wrote more on this one. I like the built up anticipation but I want to know more about the characters

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19:32 Oct 03, 2020

Thank you! It is a good start to writing and I appreciate your feedback. Someday I’ll rewrite it and see what I can do. Robert

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15:55 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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Jill Davies
03:55 Oct 24, 2020

I’m behind on my reading, but I’ll get to you! I also posted this week!

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04:03 Oct 24, 2020

No worries, I’m filling my reading schedule faster than I expected. I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. Have a great weekend. Robert

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L.A. Nolan
03:24 Oct 02, 2020

Well written Robert. I enjoyed this, nice twist at the end.

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04:01 Oct 02, 2020

Thank you! If you get a chance check out “Just Say it Already.” It’s short but I think you’ll like it too. Robert

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15:55 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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D. Jaymz
00:42 Oct 01, 2020

An excellent, well-written character-driven story, with an ending that pushes the reader off the ledge towards another story 😊 Great work 👏

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02:35 Oct 01, 2020

I really appreciate your comments. It was an earlier story I’d written but never posted. I like to leave some stories up to the reader where it should go next. Maybe someday I’ll expand on the storyline. Thank again! Robert

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D. Jaymz
04:35 Oct 01, 2020

You're welcome 😊 Yes, I like to let the reader explore the end of a story in their own way, also. It is the nature of a short story. It starts out of the blue and ends that way. For a longer story, like a novella or novel, your story's ending would be a cliff hanger. I found it satisfyingly conclusive. When it is just a short story, then it usually ends as you have, where it has decided to stop, leaving the reader wondering, thinking, and almost satiated, giving a very satisfying feeling, like a good meal.

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15:55 Oct 23, 2020

Hello, thank you for reading this story. I'm excited to say I've posted one for this week and I'm looking for some feedback. Your opinion really matters to me and I appreciate you taking the time. Robert

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D. Jaymz
16:36 Oct 23, 2020

I'll be looking over your story soon 😊

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