I've been doing a lot of sketching in a watercolor journal lately, fleshing out characters and just revving up my art mojo again. This is one of them - I "painted" it in PSE. I do everything in pencil first and sometimes a drawing not only manifests a character but a story suddenly unfolds like the drawing is telling it to me. I think this one will eventully become an art doll as well.
I am calling the book they are in "My Pencil Lead Me to It" (get it? pencil lead??)
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Her name was Felicity Pentwhistle. Shy and reserved she was as poor as a church mouse with barely two pence to rub together. The local Vicar took pity on her and hired her to clean the Vicarage and occasionally iron his shirts. Her wages were free tenancy in a stone shed on the other side of the cemetary fence in the churchyard. She had a small wood stove that kept her warm enough and where she could put on the kettle for her tea, a feather cot and quilts dontated by some of the women in the parish. The Vicar allowed her to rummage through the chairty boxes for household essentials and clothing donated by the rich women who lived at the far end of the village. Felicity never understood why everything was tattered and old and smelled musty if they came from a rich household. She didn't know these women would never donate their own items but rather would soothe their conscience by collecting from other villages in the name of charity.
Most everything she owned came from those boxes......a tattered wool coat whose moth holes she patched with fabric from clothes too worn to wear. Her scarf was knitted by her by unraveling an old sweater for the yarn.(something her mother taught her) Her socks had holes but they were warm and it didn't seem anyone ever donated those. She carried a pocket book long since missing its handles, clutching it to her like it was woven of gold. The only things inside the bag were an old hankie, the latchkey to her stone shed and a faded old photo of her Mum and Dad and occasionally a few coins. The coins would come by doing a few extra chores for the Vicar and when she was done he'd toss them to her instead of placing them in her hand.
He wasn't a bad sort, the Vicar, just a bit gruff in his demeanor. He was a rather stout fellow with a red face and round head atop which were a few strands of hair that stood up on a windy day. He was an affable sort with a ready laugh for a joke or anecdote and was not one to shy away from an offer for a pint or a wee dram of whiskey. He first met Felicity after finding her huddled against one of the gravestones for warmth. She told him her Mother was away tending a sick friend and had left her in the care of a dowager old aunt. The Aunt soon turned Felicity in to her slave day and night, barely fed her and had her sleep on the floor of her room in case she needed something. Finally Felicity ran away.
The truth was that Felicity's father died when she was twelve leaving them with little money they knew wouldn't last long. She was heartbroken as he had been her hero amd she missed him terribly. She and her mother soon found themselves in dire straights and to pay the rent her mother took in washing and mending and taught Felicity how to do the same. Her mother taught her to cook and knit as well and sometimes they were able to sell their pies and the knitted scarves they made from old wool sweaters donated to them. It barely got them by but it kept a roof over their heads and tea and a meger food supply. Sadly her Mother became bitter and would outwardly curse her husband for dying sometimes taking her frustration out on Felicity.
When Felicity was 16 her Mother met a man, a man of means and both thought they finally had a chance for a real life. Unfortunately for Felicity the man didn't like children of any age and told her Mother it was him or her daughter, she couldn't have both. Her Mother didn't hesitate long before she told Felicity she was of the age to fend for herself and promptly packed a bag and was off.
Felicity was on the street for the next five years. She felt hopeless and brokenhearted all the while thinking her Mother would change her mind come looking for her. She begged, she sometimes stole things from someones garden to eat and once even stole a pair of boots. She would occasionally find work as a washer woman for a few months at a time. For a year she was hired as a companion to an elderly woman who was bed ridden and wanted someone to read to her. She was fed, clothed and had her own room but made no money. After she died she was back out on the streets again. When the Vicar found her huddled against the grave stone she lied about her Mother and the Aunt....and did not reveal the grave she huddled against was that of her beloved Father. She did not tell him she was 21 years old.
One day while she was rummaging in the charity boxes in hopes to find some gloves it hit her she had to find a way to do more with her life. At her age she should be married by now and maybe have a child. Was this her destiny? Was she relegated to a life of charity and pain. How was she ever to meet someone in tattered clothes and living in a stone shed? Perhaps she should speak to the Vicar.
Suddenly a little girl approached her taking her from her thoughts.
"Hello, what are you doing?" Felicity stood up and looked down at the little girl,. She had blue eyes and ringlets, obviously well dressed and very clean and she wore a fitted red coat with gold buttons. The little girl had rosey cheeks and a sweet smile.
"Well hello, who are you?" Felicity asked.
"Well Rose, how old are you?
Felicity felt a pang in her stomach for no reason.
The little girl held up 4 chubby fingers.
"Are you here alone?"
The little girl shook her head and pointed out to the garden where a woman had her back to them talking to the Vicar. Pang again.
"Is that your Mummy?"
The little girl nodded her head.
Felicity felt another pang inside, an indescribable feeling of uneasiness bordering on fear. She had no idea why. She kept staring at the little girl until it dawned on her that she looked rather familiar. There was something about her eyes. she asked the little girl what her last name was.
"What is your last name, Rose what?
The little girl shrugged "Rose, I'm Rose"
With that the little girl skipped away towards the garden.
"Wait Rose", she called after the girl but she was now running towards where the woman and the Vicar stood deep in conversation.
Felicity stopped to watch as the girl danced around, arms outstretched twirling in the garden. She could see she was happy and carefree. The Vicar patted her on the head and then he caught sight of Felicity.
She didn't know if she should pretend she didn't see him but he smiled and waved her over. She couldn't hear what he was saying to the woman whose back was still to her. Felicity began to walk but her feet felt like she was wearing wooden boots. Slowly she made her way to them and heard the Vicar telling the woman he wanted to introduce someone to her. He went on to say she was a hard worker, kept to herself, knew how to cook and sew and even knit. She then heard him say "she'd make a perfect housekeeper for you".
As Felicity approached them the woman finally turned around..... Felicity felt a pounding in her ears and as the sky twirled around her she heard the faint sound of the Vicar's voice saying "Felicity, I'd like you to meet......" The little girl came skipping by her and suddenly all went black.
If you read the entire story I THANK YOU!
P.S. I received another amazing parcel I will share later this week...actually 2 parcels as I received my one win from OWOH too!! Both fill my heart!!!
I will also be sharing the other drawings. It's time some art was shown on an artists blog....what a concept!