Short Fiction: The Younger Miss Bennets (pt 2)

Part two of my short fan fiction piece. You can read part one here.

My sister Mary,

I think you a mean spirited thing for wishing Miss Dashwood gone, for indeed she has gone away, and taken dear Georgiana with her! Darcy felt that a mixed society would do his sister well, and that the Jennings were trustworthy people to leave her in the care of. She is of an age to be thinking of marriage, he says, though she is younger than I and I’m sure he has no intention of marrying me off! As it is, there is no one in Derbyshire who pleases me.

I was forced to dance two dances with the dreadful clergyman of Bingley’s at a party last night, due to a lack of gentlemen, and to sit down to cards with him. He is such a bore, and I have not seen a worse card player since Mr Collins. I must confess that I passed the time by teasing him somewhat wickedly. I begin to think maybe I should come meet this Mr Alcott after all. Without Miss Dashwood, Derbyshire is a dull place.

Oh, and Mary dear, you must tell me your secret, for both Mama and Papa write that your complexion has quite improved since we all came away, but that you will not confess to using a new ointment. Surely you must be doing something, for them both to have remarked on it?

Yours, Kitty

Dear sister Kitty,

Mama has stopped talking of you having Mr Alcott, though I cannot think why, for Maria Lucas has also declared him a lost cause and I cannot think of any eligible young lady who could possibly want him. Aunt Phillips says he is quite taken with someone in Meryton, though if he is he is most inattentive to her. He never dances anymore, but prefers to sit and discuss books with me – we have moved on to Tom Jones now, which I find just as insipid as the Collier. Lord save me from readers of fiction! He seems to deliberately choose volumes which I cannot abide and forces me to then spend many hours telling him why I feel that way about them.

But as for him being inattentive to his sweetheart; he has spent the past three mornings together sitting taking tea with us, and when he is not here he is hard at work at our Uncle Phillips’, so I cannot think who this girl is, or that she knows how he feels for her at all.

As to my complexion, I can assure you I know of no such miracle ointment, nor would I use it if I did. For vanity is the province of an idle mind, and I have much better things to occupy my time with than grooming.

A strange thing happened the other day. Mama was taken with a bout of her nerves when Mr Alcott called, and we were left alone together in the parlour. Usually, Father would have come in from his study to sit with us also, but Mother seemed most keen that he not do that on this occasion. Mr Alcott, usually very verbose, was suddenly lost for words, and would talk of nothing but mutual acquaintances and the weather. He left shortly thereafter, and has not been back since. Mama recovered quickly from her little upset, becoming better almost as soon as Mr Alcott had turned out of our driveway, and she spent the afternoon fretting about the room until I was forced to take my reading elsewhere.

Now we have heard that he has gone away for some days, and without any indication of his return. There are rumours he has gone to London to try and seek permission from his family to marry, though I am still at a loss as to whom he could possibly have in mind for a wife.

Regards, Mary

My sister Mary,

You say my letters are full of nothing but gaiety, but yours are full of nothing but trivial details. What do I care of your Mr Alcott? Let him marry whomever he wishes, and be done with it. I have more pressing matters on my mind.

Last night, I found myself in a crowded assembly, being asked to dance once again by that insipid clergyman of Bingley’s. I was particularly lamenting the loss of Miss Dashwood, for Caroline was wearing such a silly hat that it just begged to be teased, and it is never so much fun teasing someone alone. He interrupted my thoughts with his request to dance.

I was in no spirit to humour him, so I refused, and, despite protestations from Jane and Lizzy of my ill manners, continued to do so throughout the night. Without Miss Dashwood, there was little joy to be found in this assembly, so I became quite determined I would not enjoy myself.

However, when I stepped outside to take a breath of air, he followed me! I told him it was quite rude for him to pursue me this way, and we got into an argument that I am quite sure Lizzy would not approve of. It got quite heated, like the old arguments Lydia and I used to have before she married Wickham and went away. You will recall how sometimes my heart flies away with my tongue, and I say things I ought not to. But this time it was he who was saying things he shouldn’t. He called me a dreadful flirt, and a silly girl and then I got so mad and so desirous of stopping him from saying anything further that I – oh, to think of it, I am so confused!

Mary, you mustn’t tell anyone of my behaviour. I cannot think of it now without reaction. You must take this secret to your grave, Mary, for to stop him saying anything further, what do you suppose I did? I kissed him!

I have lain awake all night thinking about it, and am not sure what to make of any of this. I am quite sure I have done nothing wrong, and yet I cannot stop my thoughts from turning to him every minute. I should not have done it, I know, but he was being quite mean. Do write, Mary dear, and tell me what you think I ought best to do from here.

I hear the bell for breakfast; I must go. Oh Lord, suppose he should visit and tell Darcy and Lizzy what I have been up to? Suppose they send me away? Where should I go, disgraced and tossed out by own family? La – I shall not think of it any more. Write directly Mary, and advise me.

Yours, Kitty

How shall Mary respond? Come back next week for the exciting conclusion!

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