A piece written for school, trying to simulate the style of an author/book. I've chosen "Gone With The Wind" and tried to write with a style as close to Margaret Mitchell's as possible, so I guess this is kinda like fanfiction.

It was a lazy afternoon, when everything moved in slow motion after a boiling start to the day. The day was too warm for July, and the golden sunbeams shone brilliantly through the lace curtains of Blanche’s room, making pretty shadows on the blue walls beyond. Basked in light, the rosewood furniture gleamed deep red like wine and the floor shone as though it was a mirror. The woven rugs added extra elegance to the room, being thick, soft and richly dyed.

Blanche sat on the wide windowsill, a book in her lap and a dreamy look in her eyes as she stared out of the window. Branches caressing the glass pane, the magnolia proudly showed off its pure white blossoms while the row of oaks that lined the path arched their branches, offering shade to the few who dared to venture out in this heat. On most days the blue jays and mockingbirds could be heard bickering and fighting for a particular branch, but today quietness draped over the garden. Jays and mockers stood side by side, each trying to stay stationary to keep what coolness they had left. Blanche only half saw these things though; she was too busy wondering about her first reception as a young woman of fifteen.

Blanche was an avid reader, and on afternoons like this she could usually be found engrossed in her book, but today not even the words of Keats could hold her attention. She was nervous about the coming reception. Suppose she should do something unladylike and disgrace her family? Suppose she should eat a mouthful more that what was deemed decent? Suppose the heat would show on her face and body as sweat? Suppose… Oh, the horrors of coming of age and being able to dance her way to receptions.

Light footsteps came up the stairs and towards Blanche’s room. Blanche flew off the windowsill seat and wrenched the door open with a massive grin on her face before Pansy was anywhere near. Taking some boxes from Pansy’s arms, Blanche rushed Pansy back into the room, bursting to tell her best friend about her anxieties and then to be reassured.

‘Oh Pans, do you expect we would ever find our way through all of these boxes before tonight?’ Blanche beamed, the excitement of the night hitting her for the first time. She flung the boxes in her arms into a jumbled heap on the wide bed and was about to flung herself there, when she remembered the proprieties and sat primly on the edge of the bed, trying vainly to fix up the mess she made.

‘Yas’m,’ Pansy replied with a meek tone in her voice as she set the boxes down carefully and neatly on the bed. Pansy had never called Blanche ma’am before, and she was ever so talkative, not this meek creature standing before Blanche. Before she could questioned Pansy’s sudden formality, Pansy pulled out from one of the millions of boxes a pair of stays and proceeded to help Blanche into them.

‘How tight is it going to be Pans?’ Blanche asked, not sure whether she should mention Pansy’s sudden formality.

‘Seventee’ inches ma’m,’ Pansy answered, and added, almost as an after-thought, ‘Hole onter sumpin’ an’ suck in yo’ breaf.’

As she clung onto the bedpost and inwardly groaned every time Pansy pulled the laces, Blanche puzzled over Pansy’s behaviour. That was the first long sentence Pans had said, and it was none too conversational. By this time they should have been already deep in discussion about anything and everything, not talking about damn stays! Then Blanche realised what she had thought and cringed. She had thought a bad word, and Mother would be so disappointed. Blanche was always such a good girl, never putting a toe out of line, that the thought of thinking a bad word made her guilty. She had been so bad, and the reception hasn’t even started yet! An almost inaudible sniff from Pansy made Blanche snapped out of her thoughts.

‘What’s wrong, Pans?’ Blanche asked, a concerned frown upon her arched silvery brows.

‘Oh Blanche,’ Pansy whispered, struggling to decide whether she should tell Blanche the truth.

‘Is it the reception?’

Pansy nodded, a miserable look in her wide brown eyes. She looked down at the carpet, scrutinizing her shoes; anything to avoid Blanche’s face.

‘Does your dress not fit? What’s the matter Pans?’

‘It ain’ dat Blanche. Ah kain no come wif you. It ain’ right,’ Pansy finally mumbled.

‘How is it not right? You are my best friend! Besides, we promised each other, remember?’

‘Dat Ah do rem’ber. But steel it ain’ right. Ah ain’ got no bizness gwine wif you.’

‘But Pans, why? You have every right to come with me tonight. Ivy Estelle is going with Gemma Crawford, Bonnie McGregor is going with Kitty Sinclair, so why can’t I go with my best friend too?’

‘You doan unde’stan’ Blanche. It ain’ right for no nigger to acc’mpiny wh’t folks.’

Blanche gasped. Pansy said “that” word. Oh, Pansy said “that” word alright, and a few other words that strung together to collapse Blanche’s world. Not right for a darky to accompany white folks? Why, the idea of it is absurd! She must have had misheard Pansy, there was no other explanation. If there was such a thing as Pansy said, Blanche surely must have known, having lived inGeorgiaall her life. But Blanche couldn’t have misheard; the downcast look of Pansy’s face said it all. But what’s wrong with… Blanche dropped down on her downy mattress, trying desperately to come to terms with everything she just heard. The idea of discrimination is so new to her innocent mind that she struggled to believe her beloved Georgia held such views.

The End

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