The challenge: to fit the A to Z Theme Reveal for April’s blogging challenge into the #writephoto prompt from KL Caley at New2Writing.com.
If you’re visiting from the A2Z, why not check out the #writephoto weekly challenge? You can do any form of writing–and nobody will worry if you do something else creative, like a macrame castle or something. Seriously, though, most is flash fiction or poetry (of various forms).
If you don’t want to read my 600-word flash fiction today, or you just want to find out my theme for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge, skip here.
When the dustsheet was finally removed, it revealed a chandelier dripping with glass pendants. If they had been crystal, it might have been worth a bob or two. But glass…
“Shall I take the other sheets off, guv?”
I pursed my lips. What else had I inherited along with this crumbling pile? I eased my shoulders.
“Yes, might as well.”
The caretaker went around, with his stepladder, raising a sheet here, pulling another one off there.
“Yes, Just reveal the furniture, don’t take the dust sheets off. Just gives me a better idea.” I paused. How much of this was usable? Hardly on trend. “Have you worked here long?”
The solicitor had said the caretaker came with the house.
“Yes, guv. Five years or more. Took over from old Arthur when he died. He’d been here man and boy. I never knew the old lord, of course. He’d already skipped the country… beg pardon, you’re related, of course.”
It was hardly an apology, and I didn’t really care. It was good to know that he didn’t have a lifelong association with my great-uncle. And didn’t have any loyalty to him. But to the place?
“So, you’ve been looking after this place for all that time, but with nobody living here?”
“Yes, in a manner of speaking. Care for it, without doing much to mess it up. Keep it basically clean and tidy, air it once a month, make sure the security systems work, just in case…”
“Keep travellers out.”
“Have you any other employment?”
“Ah, well, I have a few other jobs, yes. This one has the benefit of the lodge. It’s a condition of occupation. I live there, I care for the house.”
“Well, are you happy to continue for now? I have no idea what we’re going to do with the place.” Two can tell half-truths.
“Aye, I’ll be settled for as long as you need me. I think I should warn you, though. It has a ghost.”
I’d heard, but it’s always good to get the local view.
He took me across to the dark painting. He’d taken the dust sheet off that one, marking it for special treatment.
“This be a bit of a mystery. See how dark it is?”
“And here’s a faint outline of a person, maybe in a ballgown, maybe in more of a house-robe.”
That was a polite way of putting it. I’d say she was in a very light dress. So light it was almost see-through. Mind, some early 19th century costumes were like that – Napoleonic times.
“There’s a rumour she was crossed in love by the owner of the time, maybe her father, maybe her intended. Whatever the truth, she haunts the place. Especially if there’s a party. So if you do entertain, the suggestion is you use the orangery on the other side. Nicer, anyway, for modern tastes.”
“What would happen if I had the painting restored, cleaned up?”
“I couldn’t say, sir.”
He may not be able to say, but I noticed the switch from guv to sir. He did not approve.
“Well, that’s all for today, then, thank you. I’ll be sending the local Sotheby’s agent to do an inventory, and suggest what to sell and how. I’ll decide after that. Thank you for continuing to take care of the place.”
He relaxed, as I thought he might, reassured that his idle lifestyle could continue.
I wandered out, leaving him to cover up and secure the place again.
My very own haunted stately home. With a Jane Austen look-alike revealed in the picture.
Sounded just what the film company needed. I was going to remake our fortune!
© J M Pett 2023
Challenge Theme Reveal (fanfare)
Books, read, reviewed and recommended!
My aim is to give you several titles I’ve read and reviewed (linked to their reviews on this blog).
The Saturday posts will be new reviews (as Saturday is Book Review day here). I cover crime and mysteries as well as my other interests: books for middle grade readers (children 9-12 ish), and for readers of science fiction and time travel (for my spacetime reading challenge).
Then as I like series, I’ll remind you of series of the days’ letter. And books of the days letter that are outstanding, or otherwise notable. And I might mention my own on days when the letter works.
I reckon there’ll be between five and ten titles featured in any one day. And I may have a giveaway running!
So I hope you’ll come and visit often or, if you are on WordPress, add my blog to your ‘follow’ list and get a digest of all the week’s posts direct to your mailbox. 🙂
If you’re doing a Theme Reveal post, please leave the link in the comments and I’ll come to visit you!
26 thoughts on “A2Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2023 | Chandelier #writephoto”
Hi Jemima the A to Z sounds epic and I wish you well with that. I shall be popping in and out.
As to chandelier… excellent story as always . It was interesting that many of us seemed drawn to that portrait in one way or another. A good twist at the end too. Well done 💜
I’m always grateful to you for popping in, Willow. You’re my most regular visitor. 🙂
A great take on the prompt!
That’s great you will be featuring books you’ve read.
I wonder what I’ll be featuring for C? 🙂
What a brilliant idea! That comment is based on your chandelier story and also I will love to see the books you choose!
Thanks, Noelle. I think you should especially watch out for the letter D post 🙂
Enjoyed the story. Your A to Z sounds like hard work!
I started work in it in January, and I’m at the letter V (with two books for Saturdays still to do.) Just as well I started early as typing is a problem at present.
Nice story—I just couldn’t get anything out of the chandelier; you were wise to go with the painting! I like your A to Z theme, too—leverages the many years of blogging! I won’t be participating—I’m spending April wandering in the wilderness.
I saw your prep photos on Facebook – add more chocolate, I’d say 🙂
Looking forward to your A-to-Z posts. I know I’ll be growing my TBR list this April.
Yes, it’s a sort of occupational hazard, isn’t it? I meant to thank Damyanti and Ronel for the idea from last year. Must do that on day 1, too!
This seems interesting and I love to read more of your blogs, here. Dropping in to say hi and all the best for the challenge. Let’s all rock it.
I enjoyed your story from the photo. I want to know what happens next!
The book posts, A to Z, will be fun to read. Looking forward to it!
Very cool! I like it that you’ll do multiple titles 🙂 Welcome back!
The Multicolored Diary
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Sounds great! Can’t wait to see what you’ve read 🙂
I do love a good book recommendation! I am looking forward to seeing what you post all month.
The Other Side | Blogging A to Z Theme Reveal: Doctor Who
Hope yo enjoy some of them, especially the scifi ones. 🙂
Very similar to my theme – hopefully we add a few new ideas to each other’s tbr list
It’s an occupational hazard, isn’t it. Good luck with yours, Deborah!
That’s a lot of books! I look forward to seeing what you share.
I will definitely be reading your A2Z posts. I am an avid reader and books and reading reviews has always been a pleasure.