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Drama Historical Fiction

It was midnight. In the glittering candlelight, I took out my beautiful peacock feather quill and started writing on a piece of yellow parchment.

‘My last will and testment. I, Thomas Rowan Reginald Michael Hardy, leave all my property and money to my daughter, Heather Merilda Erline Hardy.’ My hand quivered when I wrote these few words, although I knew it was the right thing. My brother and brother-in-law both died of the plauge. My son, James, was an avid gambler. He wasn’t smart, either, and would often lose, even if he cheated. I definitely did not want all my life’s work to be thrown away by someone I didn’t even love that much. My daughter, however, was the better candidate. Ever since she was small, she was able to help me make important decisions, and she even helps runs my charity for homeless people. It was no secret that I loved her more, as she was nice, smart, hard-working and persistent. Seeing her potential, I had allowed her to enroll in a very prestigious boy‘s school (I was very rich, and therefore able to persuade the principle to let my daughter study there), so she was on a fine path to becoming a doctor. Unlike my friends, who thought a woman should just marry a man and bear his child, I had always believed in gender equality, and so I wouldn’t force my daughter to marry, but instead let her take her own path.

But my hand quivered when I wrote this sentence of my will because I knew no one would agree. My daughter would surely be ridiculed, and my annoying son would definitely try to get the inheritance. Men would beg her to marry them, and I was so worried that my relatives would force her to marry. But I knew that my brave and persistent daughter would be able to take care of the challenges, and would use my money to help those in need, like I did.

———————-———————————————

’Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong!’

The church bells rang. It was a terrible day for the village, as the beloved mayor, Thomas Hardy, had passed away from the town of Merek. He was a fair and just man, and everyone, even the poorest slaves, had loved him so.

Everyone gathered to his funeral. Poor men and rich women alike stood side by side, hoping to pay their final respects. Even Duke Raiffe, who would never venture inside the village for fear of being touched by the peasants inside, had bravely went inside the small village to pay his respects.

The church doors opened. A coffin, with Thomas Hardy’s body inside, was taken to the town square, where his will would be read out.

No one was really excited for this. The money would most certainly be given to his only surviving son, James, who would then gamble the money away. His friends were excited though, as they would definitely get some of Hardy’s inheritance.

The crowds followed the men taking the coffin. The women were weeping, while the men were trying to hold back tears. Among the bereaved were Hardy’s wife, Darenne, a beautiful Raven haired woman who was crying her eyes out, and Heather, Hardy‘s daughter, who had a striking resemblance to her mother, except for her eyes, which were green, like her father. James, however, was dancing around the square, drunk, with a big smile on his face because he won five pounds (and lost twenty-five) at a card game yesterday. A lot of people gave him annoyed glances, but to no avail.

After everyone had gathered in the town square, the priest went onstage, unrolled a short scroll and started reading.

‘The last will and testement. I, Thomas Rowan Reginald Michael Hardy, leave my collection of books to my wife, Darrene Madlen Hardy. ’ That wasn‘t a surprise, as Darrene loved reading. Not very feminine of her. As she went up the platform to collect the books and sign the will, a few men booed her. Someone even threw a rotten tomato at her direction, and it landed on Duke Raiffe, who looked horrified. He quickly rode his horse outside the village, going back to his fancy big mansion, no doubt.

After Darenne had collected the books and signed the will, the priest continued. ‘I leave my pillows and quilts and my mattress to my sister, Anne Nanette Susanne Williams.’ This was more acceptable, so no one booed at Anne when she went up to get her pillows and quilts and sign the will. The priest continued shortly after. ‘I leave my charity to my sister-in-law, Margeret Lana Thorne.’ She got up and signed the will.

After another short while, the preist continued in his monotone voice. ‘At last, I leave all my property and money to...’ the priest’s eyes widened and he stopped talking. He took a deep breath, regained his posture, and continued, ‘I leave all my property and money to my daughter Heather Merilda Erline Hardy!

No one spoke. The tension could have been cut with a knife. Then, after a minute, the boos started. James’ friends all yelled and booed the priest for saying such a scandalous thing, and James himself had to be restrained tightly by his friends as he was going to march up the stage and tear up the will. All the other people also booed, and a man even threw a rotten cabbage (complete with caterpillars) at the Hardy family’s direction. However, Heather and Darrene both sighed in heavy relief, as they were worried that James would inherit than gamble the property and money away, leaving them all homeless.

But when Heather went onstage to sign the will, people started throwing things at her. A rotten tomato, a rotten fish, a rotten cabbage, and even animal waste was thrown at her. Some landed on her expensive black dress, causing ugly stains. She didn’t care though. She had the biggest smile on her face, because she knew she would not disappoint her father.

August 31, 2020 06:16

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4 comments

Marcia H.
18:59 Sep 10, 2020

Loved this story! Good job!

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Evelyn Wong
00:46 Sep 11, 2020

Thank you!😀😀

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22:53 Sep 05, 2020

I LOVED THIS!!! The message is sooo true! Gender equality! Oh, and awesome job!!

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Evelyn Wong
07:29 Sep 07, 2020

Thanks! Love your stories, too!

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