barelybear

United Kingdom

- she/her
- musicals (catch me rapping along to Hamilton ✌️)
- fantasy and dystopian fiction :)
- like playing piano + trying (failing) at songwriting ✌️
- life goal is becoming fluent in le français ☕️
- joined this gem of a site August 2020

Message to Readers

Please please please review - I am really unsure about the ending. Comments are equally useful :)

Ludicrosity in Fashion

September 15, 2020

Lord Charles Edward Walsingham III had always considered himself to be more than your average - scrumptiously rich - aristocrat. True, he kept up with the constant whims of fashion, obeying the ridiculous comings and goings that every other day declared his mahogany table to be ever-so-slightly more uncivilised than its cherry wood cousin. And true, too, that he took great pride in his appearance, and enjoyed his excursions to the opera and theatre. Nevertheless though, Charles couldn’t help but feel that he was somehow born above the flailing mass of lords and ladies that seemed half devoted to the new king, William IV, and half to whatever new trend had been dredged up from an absurd corner of some poor soul’s mind. 

He often wondered how such ludicrous people could exist. And together. 

He also often wondered why wigs, of all things, had become fashionable, or the illogically high collar that everyone seemed to wear just because King George IV used to. But he knew now after his years of training and rearing that these trends simply were, and that there was no person rational enough to question them as he did. What good was anything without followers anyway? 

Today, he had decided that there simply no time for pondering. The trend was now dinner parties. With meat. An amount that reached beyond excessive. He sighed as he poked at his fourth course, dreading the oncoming stomachache. Didn’t anyone have sense?

 “Are you alright there my good fellow? I must say, you look as if you’re not enjoying that bird! Should I send for another?” Next to Charles, a rotund man practically dripping from his seat boomed out the words from beneath his reddened face. 

No no no!

“I couldn’t be better. This is exquisite.” He shoved a forkful into his mouth to punctuate the sentence and forced it down his throat without too much of an ordeal. “You’ve really outdone yourself, Richard.”

It seemed to be the right thing to say, for Richard beamed and out was thrust a chunky palm to slap him on the back. Charles tried not to grimace at the extra force that came as a result of the Duke’s drained tankard. A good relation with Duke Barrowman could allow him to become more influential, and it certainly wouldn’t do to offend the host and highest-ranking person in the room. So he stitched his mouth into its usual beam. At least he hadn’t called him-

“I’m very glad to hear that, Charlie.” He thought he actually winced then. “What do you say about joining us for a gin later on? There’s a smashing tavern round here.”

Gin? Of course that had to be the trend. Charles didn’t know of a single person who could cling onto even a facade of civilisation after drinking gin. He was sure that it was some trick of the devil, and was certainly not that desperate to get into Richard’s good graces. 

“I would love to, but I really must decline, I’m afraid.” The bumbling Duke made a pouting expression, and looked as if he was about to speak when a man a little down the table spoke up, eyes wide with the hopeful sparkle that marred anyone just out of childhood. 

“Not coming?” His voice was shrill, laced with malicious condescension. Great. Barely a child and he still believed himself to be above him. He must have been born a Marquess, or at least an Earl. “Surely you must already know that gin is extremely fashionable right now? Or perhaps you didn’t - I wasn’t aware that we were hosting Gentry today. Do you even have a title?” 

The arrogance was a stabbing pain through Charles; the man may as well have picked up his knife and begun mutilating him. 

“It may please you to discover that I am actually a Baron, of a very distinguished family and upbringing.” 

Through the haze of red, he could just make out the taunting smirk that scampered onto the boy’s face. 

“Remarkable. I do hope you improve in your knowledge of higher-class activities, or I would think it likely that others would make the same unfortunate mistake as myself.” He seemed to enjoy drawling out every word, his gaze piercing straight and melting everything in its sight. 

Charles tried to reinstate his usual cool calculation as he looked the boy up and down, barely hiding his distaste at the needlessly frivolous wig that perched dangerously upon his head. By now everyone was staring at the two men, probably thankful for at least some meagre form of entertainment. 

“I like to think that I can decide these things for myself. I still insist that I shall refrain from joining you tonight. I’ve already listened to your childish whining for as long as I can manage.” He shot a dark look straight into his wide brown eyes. “If I were you, I’d learn to be less of an annoyance. Someone might mistake you for a dressed-up pauper.” 

The boy looked pleased at the outburst, for surely everyone would now turn on Charles, but he was naive. Most of the guests, including the Duke, were too far gone into their drinks to remember this, despite some of their ridiculous reactions. Charles stood, taking one last look at the boy’s triumphant eyes. He scoffed in a very undignified manner, turned on his heel and walked out of the house, all the while marvelling at the young man’s blind strife towards popularity. He was an insect trying to escape through a window, a clock trying to tick past 60. His attempts were futile, but still he tried, and still with that youthful gleam in his eyes. He would probably end up spending the night sprawled in an asinine heap, in the corner of a grimy tavern, with only a splitting headache and the prodding of the sun to wake him. Charles sighed. 

How could such ludicrous people exist? 








 
Words: 992 :p

I thought you might find it helpful to have a list of the English Nobility

Highest title = Duke. Then it’s:
-Marquess (Lord)
-Earl (Lord)
-Viscount (Lord)
-Baron (Lord)
-Baronet (Lord)

-And the lowest is knight, who are called ‘Sir,’ not ‘Lord.’ They also can’t pass their titles onto their children, unlike the titles listed above, which are all hereditary. 
-Even below the knight is the Gentry. They are the class below Nobility. 

Thank you to http://www.avictorian.com/nobility.html for this information :)


 

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4 Comments
  • Landofstories

    re: thank you so much! yours is as well!


    13 days ago
  • Landofstories

    I'll do a review for you :) you don't have to in return but it would be helpful!


    13 days ago
  • Stone of Jade

    a review is coming your way!


    13 days ago
  • madeline3.14159

    Im going to add this to my list of pieces to review:) don't worry it's not that long, I'll try to get it done by tonight. I would love if you would review my piece What Rain Eyes See :)


    14 days ago