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The Encounter

birarial Boston fantasy gypsies identity mystery paternity prejudice romance colonial-era

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#1 SoccerRules

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 06:55 PM

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Reggie lives in the heart of Boston during the 17th Century with her Spanish mother who never speaks of her father's whereabouts. Half of her parentage is a mystery to her. They have survived by her mother's overzealous will to survive. Reggie's life seems pretty monotonous until one spring. She begins to feel watched, and wonders if she her mother's paranoia is catching on to her. There is the sudden arrival of some foreign people in her town who aren't what they seem. More strange things begin to happen. Is her mother under a spell? And who is that man with those dark eyes that continues to appear whenever she leaves her home? Her life is no longer boring when she stumbles over the truth of her species? and lands in the middle of a whole new world she didn't know she is privileged to?

 

I hope you guys give this story a chance. Wishing you all the best!

 

:mgwave: Cerra


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#2 SoccerRules

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 06:32 PM

Chapter 0.01

Regina couldn't remember her father. She only had her mother's name de Real, but no one was the wiser. Her mother simply said he was gone, whether that meant that he had abandoned them or died or worse, never married her mother, that was up to everyone else's interpretation.

 

To Regina's knowledge, he had been gone all the seventeen years of her life, leaving her and her mother to fend for themselves. Whenever she'd pester her mother Rosa with questions as a child, she simply answered, "Some little girls do not have fathers Reggie, and you are one of them." But then there were moments when she slipped. Like when Regina had asked earlier on why she had given her 'Regina' as a name.

"Because your father insisted."

"My father?" Reggie quickly pounced at her mother's first acknowledgment of him. But that was the end of it. "We will not speak of it anymore," and that was that. By now, at 16, Reggie was old enough to know that she of course had a father somewhere; she just didn't know where.

 

They lived in the New England Colonies of Boston where her mother owned a seamstress shop. She had told Reggie that Boston was the place where people could reinvent themselves. You could be anything you imagined yourself to be and people would believe. Reggie was never one for fanciful thoughts though. She was Regina de Real, Reggie to those she loved, a daughter, and seamstress apprentice. Although she didn't particularly enjoyed the job, she knew it was an acceptable of practical way to earn her daily bread.

 

Her mother had survived the scurvy that had taken the lives of many passengers on the ship that her and her family had emigrated from Spain. The rest of her family had not endured the dangerous voyage. The scurvy had taken many passengers on that ship. Her mother had a strong will to survive though. She integrated herself into the Bostonian life rapidly, leaving behind her roots that tie her to her Spanish ancestry.

 

What she could not remove though were very Spanish looks. Rosa had dark hair, large and oval eyes, and lowered cheekbones. Her complexion contrasted greatly with Reggie's pale coloring. While she had inherited her mother's large oval eyes they were olive green instead of her mother's grey ones. Reggie's lips were full like her mother's, but she had prominent cheekbones and a very feminine jaw line. Her hair was a shiny black which turned blue in the sunlight. People were usually mesmerized whenever they saw her.

 

Although her mother never said anything directly, Reggie always felt as if she were trying to hide her. Her young friend Sarah whispered that her mother might be jealous of her beauty and that was why she had her out of sight. Reggie only laughed and told Sarah that she had listened to one too many Snow White fairy tales as a child.

 

Some part of Reggie did agree with Sarah though; she did think it was odd that her mother always chose drab looking cloth when making her clothes. Reggie tried to be optimistic thought and hoped it was for a good reason. Her mother had seemed almost paranoid whenever she went out and it was for this reason that she hadn't shared with her mother all of the constant encounters with strange events each time she left her front door. It had all started in the spring.


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#3 SoccerRules

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 01:15 AM

Chapter 0.02
 

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Reggie wasn't usually one to stare at little people; she thought it rude. But each time she thought she was being stared at, she'd turn around only to find another little person around. Oh! Not staring at her, just going about their work, nevertheless, they were always there. Always there, watching Reggie felt. And sometimes as she went about her business in town. She could almost ascertain that there always was a pair of eyes in the oncoming crowd, facing her.

 

Perhaps she was becoming just as paranoid as her mother...or maybe it was the effects of her mother's paranoia affecting Reggie's intuition and better judgement. She was afraid at times that she was becoming insane. This whole week there had been a caravan of gypsies camped outside their street which caused Reggie's mother to forbid her from leaving the house, not that Reggie minded.

 

Their home was in the center at the end of a cull de sac. The once white boards of their house looked cream and frayed by the sun in the unpardonable summer heat. Aside from its beaten look, a certain charm remained with the way they had managed to maintain it, adding a few improvements on the porch, the shingles, whenever time and money permitted it. She had learned to prefer her humble dwelling with sparse furniture that were chipped on all corners and spruced with lacy white doilies. The worn out wooden floors had dents in some spaces where heavy furniture once stood in place.

 

Reggie's preferred place of reclining was in their only room for entertainment which was the parlor. It lay right underneath the window which looked outside towards their broad street. In the winter, the warmth from the blazing fireplace in front of her kept her warm and sufficient light to continue with her sewing.

 

Beneath her beloved chaise was a rug that she had made herself from twisting pieces of scraps of colorful material. There were times when she had no real need to leave her home. Her mother's business was backed up with orders, enough to keep both of them busy as well as the other two maids who they had in their employ.

 

With a pear in hand, Reggie now nibbled on her snack while staring out at the gypsies from their parlor. Gypsies had were always seen as a sign of bad luck in her town. It was said that wherever the gypsies were, bad luck would soon follow. People were always suspicious of them and the mischief that they were usually believed to bring.

 

They made merry every night on the cobble stone street in front of her home, serenating the surrounding houses with exotic music and danced amongst themselves with the splendors of many colors in their dress. The women's skirts swirled around. Men and women never touching, yet their looks brought them closer than anything. The nights seemed magical to Reggie from where she watched atop the second floor of her home in her bedroom. It was the beginning of summer already and the heat caused Reggie to sleep with her windows open which caused her to observe the people below. The music and their movements seemed to mesmerize her in place as she leaned by her windowsill at night. Blowing out her lamp, she didn't need light as the gypsies little bonfire caused her room to glow in its' light, allowing her to see her wardrobe and its great shadow cast across her ceiling. Each night she would leave her window and seek peace beneath her thin sheets.

 

The music that sounded so fair in the evenings however became eery in her sleep. Many a time throughout that week Reggie found herself waking from nightmares. She would look out towards her window, but no light was seen. The streets were quiet by then during the early hours of dawn. The slight breeze caused her lace curtains to billow slightly. Nothing could seem to cool her fear except the cold water from the basin on her bedside table. Reggie didn't care in the slightest if at the moment she'd drench the front of her thin nightgown. Her body would then sink back into her bed, her old mattress squeaking in protest as she sat alone in the dark, trying to overcome her tormenting dreams. They are only that, dreams, Reggie would tell herself. She was being foolish. But she couldn't seem to shake them off as other nightmares before.

 

So it wasn't surprising when after a week of their constant presence, Reggie began to feel as if she were being watched from within their home. She began to unconsciously check the locks twice at night before going to bed.

 

"Mother, I think I am going insane!" she finally confessed one day.

 

"Nonsense" her mother laughed, "You seem perfectly fine to me."

 

"I feel as if they are watching us!" she said while pointing to what lay outside their parlor window.

 

"The gypsies?" Rosa looked as if she were contemplating her daughter's accusation for a while, "It is possible, but they don't have much to watch," she teased. "Darling, they are poor stragglers looking for help wherever they can find it. Don't think about them too much. In fact, I believe what you need is to get out of this stuffy little house. Tomorrow, you shall run an errand for me. I need you to personally deliver Lady Nicholas her package. I would much rather you deliver it than have one of the girls do it. Her gown is finally completed!" her mother gushed, content to have that order out of her way. "It will bring us a hefty some," and turning her back, she climbed the stairs, halting momentarily, "Be a dear and turn out the lights?" She had not taken Reggie seriously. Perhaps it was good she hadn't also blurted about her strange and continuous encounters on the streets with the little people.

 

Breathe. Reggie was trying to calm own as her left hand twisted the brass knob of her front door. Marching down the streets, she made her way towards Sarah's house. She didn't want to walk all the way to Lady Nicholas' house by herself. She had grown up together with Sarah Hays who was a year younger. Her father was Moses Hays, a local and talented watchmaker. Sarah's parents had emigrated from Europe, fleeing from persecution. As Jews, Sarah had related that her people were unwelcomed everywhere. In Reggie's mind, some people stupidly hated people like her friend, yet no one complained when their crafts or business increased the wealth of their towns. It was because the Hays knew what prejudice was and were always careful with Sarah that Rosa had completely entrusted Reggie whenever she was at their home. Reggie definitely looked exotic to the eyes of the Bostonians, but she also looked enough like her mother. She highly suspected that the whispers of her being a mixed breed was true. Neither Sarah nor Reggie seemed to have problems because of this as children. Together with the other girls: Sally, Dorcas, Phoebe and Grace, they would play house, with their dolls, make tea parties or all three. It was more difficult for the neighborhood boys to pick on them if they were always together. However, as they grew older, one by one, their friends drifted away, the poison of their parent's prejudices having seeped within, killing their friendships. In the end, Reggie and Sarah remained together and that seemed to be enough for them. They still received an occasional nod or even polite greetings were exchanged whenever they passed one another on the streets. Not all Boston was like that though as Sarah's social life at the dances proved.

 

As soon as she closed the door behind her, Reggie began to feel the eyes on her, but kept her gaze forward on the ground. Walking past the gypsies camping on the sides of the cobble stone street, she tried to keep her breathing normal and her wits about her, to become invisible. But no matter how much she tried, she could still feel the gypsy beneath the round and faded red wagon acting as if he were asleep, peering at her through tiny slits. Despite the mysterious observations, no one disturbed her. Maybe it was all in her head.

 

Rushing up the front steps of her friend's home, she knocked fervently. Sarah answered it in mid knock. "This better be good Reggie, my mother said you were knocking as if a banshee were after you. What has gotten into you? And where are we going?" she asked eyeing the substantial parcel underneath her friend's arm.

 

"To Lady Nicholas'" Sarah's eyes brightened, her smile brought out the identical dimples on each side of her cheeks. "Lady Nicholas? Have you ever met her before? Oh! Wait for me, let me get my good shawl! I can't possibly let her see me in this..." already facing the door, she turned back and observed her friend's pathetic wardrobe, "Is that how you are going?"

 

Reggie frowned, looking down at her simple dress. It was a mustard tartan which surprisingly, didn't make her look horrid. "Well, there isn't much I can do about it. All I own is much of the same."

 

"Would you like to borrow something of mine?"

 

"I would really like to, but at the moment I just want to be done with this errand and be back home before it gets dark. Sarah gave her friend a perplexed look.

 

"Why? We haven't gone anywhere or done anything in a whole week!" to young Sarah, time seemed to pass by to slow in their Boston town. "Let's pass by the pastry shop on our way back...and buy ourselves a raisin treat to share!"

 

"We'll see." That was all Sarah needed to scamper back indoors to retrieve her 'good shawl'. In the meantime Reggie stood apprehensively on the front doorsteps looking out of place. She was feeling it again. Sarah's childlike nature had taken away Reggie's nerves if only temporarily.

 

At fifteen, her younger friend thought she was all grown up and although she had been to a few dance at the town hall and at private parties, it seemed the young men also saw her mirth and playfulness as a sign that she still had some growing up to do. They wouldn't take her seriously yet. How many times had Sarah begged Reggie to accompany her? It isn't that she hadn't wanted to, but rather, her mother hardly approved of such conduct for young ladies to spend their evenings, dancing with men they hardly knew. Although Mrs. Hays, Sarah's mother claimed that it was quite an innocent proceeding. Reggie's mother would not change her mind. She didn't like her daughter to be seen so often in public which Reggie accounted as part of her paranoia, for which it seemed most out of character for her to have dismissed her worries the night before and top of that, send her on this errand! Why only the last week she had to beg her to meet up Sarah to go buy some supplies in the market. Reggie shook her head, things were becoming strange indeed. 

 

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#4 SoccerRules

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 01:24 AM

Author Note:

I apologize if any of you feel the story is progressing at a dragging pace. I felt it might help give some background first.

 

What do you guys think? Leave your post below, I'd love to hear what you all think.

¿Que les parece? Dejen sus comentarios abajo, me encantaría saber sus pensamientos acerca de esta . . .fabula

 

Thank you to whoever is reading!  ^_^

Cerra

 

Keep reading, keep writing!

 


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#5 SoccerRules

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 12:32 AM

I beg the administration's pardon for being so late in posting this which is long due.

 

Banner

1ST IMAGE

Original Image Title: Acorn Street, Camille Belle, Richard Armitage
Original Artist: Pat, hairstylesweekly.com, North and South (2004)
Original Image Upload Date: 9 Feb 2013, n/a, 2004
Banner Adapted by:  SoccerRules

 

You all have my sincerest apologies. 

 

I will soon be posting again and although I have yet to receive any feedback I am greatly honored and encouraged by all the views this has been receiving. Many thanks to all of you who have taken interest in my story.  :mgwave:

 

Cerra


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#6 SoccerRules

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:58 PM

Yay! New Chapter! I hope you guys enjoy the mystery building up.

***

The stare.

She was pulled away from her thoughts, turning around suddenly, hoping to catch whoever was watching conspicuously. Her eyes widened; she didn’t expect to find what stood there a ways behind her, staring intently. He was not a little person. Yet he seemed to form part of the gypsy camp . . . and he wasn’t looking away.

 

His dark eyes seemed to have a shadow beneath them. He had a narrow straight nose and eyes that followed her every move like an eagle. His gaze, freezing her in place, almost against her will showing an unfathomable power; One Reggie, could not understand. On his head stood a black top hat. He was dressed as a gentleman in a forest green coat and waistcoat accentuating his masculine figure. A golden chain peeked out from a side pocket in his waistcoat.

 

The style of his apparel though, it wasn’t Bostonian or from anywhere else that Reggie had ever seen. Granted, she had never left Boston, but living close to the harbor gave her equal opportune to witness diverse fashions. He couldn’t possibly be travelling with the Gypsies, could he? Not with the way he was dressed.

 

He stood beside a great black horse. His left hand clutched the bridle while his right hand went up to caress the steed’s muzzle. There seemed something unnatural about this gentleman, yet Reggie could not figure him out. For being so pale, she wondered if he came from England?

 

Even when Reggie could hear Sarah’s steps approaching the door, she found herself planted firmly, staring back at this stranger. She wanted to cry, to make a sound, any and turn away.

 

“…And mother says I should remember to curtsy when Lady Nicholas’ enters the room . . .Reggie? Reg-E! What are you…oh! Oh my, who is that?” The gentleman finally looked away, breaking this gaze, as if releasing Reggie from that mysterious pose. The terrible feeling that had been spreading up and down her body with terror vanished. She had felt caged in his book. As if there was no getting away, dread. But she saw now that it had all been her own fabrication for once. Sarah’s timing had been impeccable, everything seemed as usual.

 

“Do you know him?”

 

“Who?”

 

“Him! Only the man whom you have been staring at that you’ve ignored me for a complete minute…”

 

“I did not.” As they walked away, the man in the forest green coat mounted his horse and began to follow at a distance, not bothering to be inconspicuous.

 

“Is he gone?” Reggie didn’t want to turn around. She felt perhaps she would be entrapped again by those morbid dark eyes.

Discreetly Sarah glimpsed slowly behind as they turned the corner of their street. “Don’t turn back!”

 

“Why?” Reggie bit her bottom lip, her brows were knotted in front as she kept her gaze firmly on the ground before her, concentrating on each step she took, trying to avoid the muck on the streets. “Is he still watching?”

 

“Worse, I think he may be following us” Sarah whispered, then her eyes sparkled, “How exciting!” lightly sprinkled on her temporal were small brown freckles on her creamy skin. Even though it was not very lady like of Reggie, she couldn’t help to roll her eyes at the naivety of her young friend. To her, it just may as well be the most exciting event of her life yet. “What should we do?” she asked as she pulled the silk ribbon from her straw hat over her white cap. Her copper brown hair which she carefully set in curls each night cascaded behind her back. Reggie’s wore her own hair

 

“I do not know…keep walking I suppose.”

Behind them, the little Gypsy beneath the wagon got up from his feigned sleep and scurried towards the mounted stranger.

 

“Tage, what are you doing?”

 

“What I was sent to do.” His accent was unlike the gypsies, or even that of Boston’s. It was a grainy speech that rolled off his tongue similar to those from northern England.

 

“You know what she said.”

 

“I am doing what she asked.” His horse continued on, forcing the little man into a jog.

 

“Be careful Tage, it isn’t time yet.” The mounted man said nothing, leaving the little man behind as his horse flickered its’ tail as if reflecting his master’s annoyance.

***

Thank you for reading =)


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