Chapter 2 - Life in Durnshire

Chapter 2 - Life in Durnshire

A Chapter by Nataliya Maize
"

An intro to Keira and her life in Durnshire.

"

It was a beautiful, early morning. Keira sat quietly at the edge of her bedside, admiring the scenery of the Durnshire Valley, through the panes of her bedroom window.


Slowly, she rose and stretched her limbs, slipping over her head a light, white, linen dress, and tucking her delicate feet into a thick pair of cozy, brown boots. She pulled her hair up and over her shoulders, running a comb through several wavy, chocolate-colored locks.


With a quick glance out her bedroom window, she rushed downstairs, grabbing a small apple from the kitchen counter, and racing out the back door.

It had become her routine to be the first in her family to awaken; regardless of the circumstances. A time, when Keira found peace; enough so, too reflect back on the images in her dreams.


Yet, on the days when she managed to complete her chores, she found her mother would instead use her as an example to the others. Often, granting her with a day off, rather than burdening her with a bunch of annoying tasks. Simple duties, such as folding laundry, or plucking and sorting baskets of fruits and vegetables, from the family garden to sell in the town market, would always suffice.


Still, such things never truly bothered Keira. She would always manage to find moments to escape, making the most of her time alone. Drifting, in and out of thought, as she pondered the meanings of the dreams relevance to the life she led.

Quietly, Keira proceeded to a small shed behind the cottage. Inside, two baskets sat upon a wooden table. She grabbed each of them, making her way to a bed of ripe strawberries and tomatoes; carefully, plucking each as she placed them at the base her basket. It was so quite out, that the mere task of things seemed mindless, and she soon found herself fading off into random thoughts as she continued.


At heart, Keira was an eccentric, seeing beauty in what others found mundane. And although she lived a simple life, as boring and repetitive as it was, it was her life, and these short moments of solitude where she could find peace in the most simplest of things.


Her father, Wilburn Blakely, had often hounded her for being more of a drifter, than that of an inspiring career woman; making a name for herself in the busy streets of Downtown Durnshire.

But in truth, Keira never knew what she would do in life. It was moments like these that the mere thought of such things would lead her adrift, venturing through small gatherings of tree forest and into the sea of grass fields just beyond the hills of the Blakely residence.


It was a quiet forest with small dirt-paths and rich, emerald-colored leaves. Keira gazed up at the treetops above her; watching as they swayed from the brush of a gentle breeze. Slowly she continued her travels, when found a narrow path through a multitude of bushy grass-fields, a place where she would lie amongst the warmth of the earth.


Gently, she ran her fingers through the soft blades of greenery, landing upon the delicate petals of a single, pink, flower. As she rolled over, her eyes rose to the sky above, and she listened to the sing-song of several birds and the babble of a nearby brook.


She was a young woman, five foot four, with soft, radiant, golden-bronze skin, that drank in the sun's rays. A dreamer and drifter, constantly losing herself to thoughts of far off distant lands, fairy-tales of kings and queens and other worlds more magical and consuming then the one she believed her own.


It was this place, she would run too. This place that felt so magical; different from the usual life that awaited her return home each and every day. Yet as she lay there, angelic-like and statuesque, upon the bed of a thick, grassy, meadow, wrapping locks of hair around the tips of her fingers, she found herself wondering once more... “There must be more to life than this.”


#


That afternoon Keira returned to the cottage with the two baskets, when she found three of her four siblings, crouching over the top of a small dirt hill. There was a thin piece of stripped cardboard beneath them, for what looked like a makeshift sleigh. To her right, the fourth sibling, Anthony; a tall and slender boy with beautiful, hazel, green eyes; second eldest of the three sons. Who stood mocking the others in their ill attempt to slide down from the small hill.


“Anthony, what are you doing?” she asked.


“Waiting for these three scholars to slide down,” he replied.


Why?” she said in exasperation.


“So I can laugh at them when they finally knock themselves unconscious,” he smirked, “I told them it was a bad idea, but do they ever listen?” he rolled his eyes and shook his head.


Keira giggled in response.


“If you fall, I am sooo... going to laugh!" Anthony yelled, cupping his hands against his mouth.


“Keira!” hollered May, the youngest of the four children. “Come up here with us! It'll be fun!”


“No! No thanks, May!” Keira replied, “But you three, be careful up there! I've got to take these baskets to the marketplace for Mother! Oh and Michael…?”


“Yes?” he replied.


You'd better be extra cautious with her up there; if she gets hurt you're in big trouble mister!" Keira continued.


“She'll be fine!” Michael replied, “She’s riding behind me and James! She can use us as meat shields!


Mwuhahaha…,” James laughed in a devious tone, “you said meat shields!”


“Oh... lord,” Keira whispered, grasping her forehead, “Anthony, Hun… Make sure you get mother if someone gets hurt. Will you?”


“Asss usual!” he replied sarcastically, slapping a salute against the side of his forehead.


#


The trip to the marketplace didn't take long. Keira drove by horse carriage across town and over the large, stone-paved bridge that connected Durnshire's rural countryside to its busier counterpart.

 

As she neared her destination she steadied her horse, hopped off the rickety old seat, and carefully stacked the two baskets of produce on top each other.


Quite often, Keira's mother made mention of extending the family business to her; impressed by Keira’s sense of responsibility and pride in their work. But Keira’s heart never lied in the interest of inheriting the business, but rather, in avoiding the disappointment of her mother. Nevertheless, the people of the marketplace had always taken kindly to doing business with her.

 

And although it helped she'd been sent into work from an early age, her customers were always glad to see her familiar face.


Slowly, Keira began her walk through the busy town, maneuvering carefully through bustling crowds, and clustered market stands.


The town of Durnshire was a happy, humble community; a town much larger than the average size. Its people prided themselves on the philosophy to hold open their gates to oncoming travelers, crossing their borders. It was beautiful; a cozy town, with streets paved in sparsely covered, moss cobble-stone and green undergrowth. Streets, lined with several country, cottage, business buildings; each placed closely to the next, embellished with fancy flower-boxes hung outside large bay windows. Rooftops were decorated by overrunning, sweetly scented, plant-life that draped freely over the edge of entryways. Even the walls of the buildings themselves appeared plump, and rounded, as if satisfied and content.


There were businessmen with rounded bellies and rosy-red cheeks; dressed in nothing more than simple, black suits and top-hats placed upon their balding heads. They were gentleman, always going out of their way to greet the familiar faces of townsfolk, as they stepped down into the busy streets.
 

There were merchant stands clustered in groups, running from one side of town to the other. Each, selling items ranging from exotic plant-life and animals, to rare and handmade jewelry. Beautiful, elegant, hand-blown glass, clothing, incense and an abundance of freshly grown produce, all surrounded by the occasional cluster of laughing children intertwined down the crowded streets and throughout the cobble-stone courtyards.

 

Even the courtyards themselves, decorated with scattered brick planters of trees and vibrant flowers, where blacksmiths crafted cast-iron benches to circle their retaining walls. It was a lovely town, that Keira loved, and its people just as beautiful.

 

Finally, Keira neared her destination. It was the market stand of Mister Gerald Garrison, a vegetable vendor, and his neighbor, Ms. Evelyn Ashford, a fruit merchant.

 

As she reached the stand Keira laid the two baskets upon a wooden counter. For her efforts, a hefty satchel of gold coin was returned.


Aww... still not married I see,” said Gerald, grasping Keira's hand gently, as he studied the lack of ring upon her finger, “what a pity indeed,” he continued placing two chubby arms atop his oversized belly, “Ya know… me son would make a fine suitor for such a woman of yor elegance an beauty,” he smiled, “shoot... I'd take ya fer me self if I weren't such an ole' fart! A banker that boys going ta be I tell ya!” he announced, pointing a stubby, sausage-like finger into the air.


Oh... come now Gerald,” Keira interrupted, “you know I have no intentions of settling down any time soon,” she smirked, “besides… how many times have I told you I want to be a writer one day? You know I don't have time to settle down and raise children right now….”

 

“True, love. But it never hurts to ask,” he smiled.


Now Gerald, don't you go gettin that poor girls head all washed up in that silly, mishy, mushy, nonsense!” Evelyn interrupted, “She’s made it abundantly clear, she has to now intentions of settling down. And there's nothing wrong, with being a single, beautiful, business women.” Evelyn emphasized as she batted her eyes and flung her hair into the air with a smile. Keira giggled to herself, watching as the annoyance rolled over Mr. Garrison’s face, “Or a writer for that matter, besides... you know her mothers got an eye on handin her the family business!” she pointed, as Gerald grunted and groaned, irritated by her interruption.

 

“Thanks Evelyn,” Keira replied sheepishly, “My mother would try keeping me locked up working the family business if she knew she had the chance. Speaking of which…,” she cleared her throat, “I'd better get back before she sends out the cavalry. You know how worrisome she is,” Keira laughed.


Well okay then dear,” Evelyn smiled, “It was good seein you again hun. Don't you forget to tell that mother of yers hello from me!” the woman shouted, as Keira made her way back through the crowd of townspeople.


“Sure a thing Evelyn!” she hollered back.

 

“Oh! And don't you go payin mind to Mister Gary-son an his lovey, dovey, nonsense! There ain't nothing wrong with bein’ a hard workin single woman! Specially those author types!” the woman ranted, “Banker my a*s… men... ain't nuthing good 'bout them,” she muttered under her breath as she arranged her fruits. Gerald grunted, and gave her a c**k-eyed glare, “What?” she asked obviously.


                

         © Copyright 2008 Nataliya Maize.  All rights reserved.

 

 



© 2010 Nataliya Maize


My Review

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Featured Review

I'm not sure if you've allready cut this chapter or not, but I didn't find it boring or at all too long. I found your elegant and professional writing style to be very pleasing and easy to read. I loved the depth you give to all the characters, the details of thier personalities, mostly. You have a way of bringing them and their surrounding to life. It's reafreshing and sucks the reader in because it's just so realistic.

I love that you've based these characters off of your own siblings and yourself. It seems to really help with the realism, the flavor, the colorful attitudes of all of them.

Nicely done indeed. When I'm able I'll most certainly be reading on. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

As a first time reader of this, i think this is really great work. The descriptions of the town are great and the imagery you have used throughout is beautiful, and it kind of reminds me of a number of old country villages I have been to. The character development is great, and I really look forward to reading the ret of this.

I think your only problem with it is your grammar, which of course is easily fixed.

Posted 6 Years Ago


hiya Nataliya, I loved the story line, for Keira, the last three paragraphs, I lost trail. Don't know why. I wanted to read not only her, but how her life would change, or a little conflict, but it was great for introductory in her character. ---mishy

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think the length is fine...the plot and descriptions move easily for the reader. Plus you've captured very well the language of the two characters' at the end...(i did notice you used the past tense for their descriptions..i.e.: was, had, when telling about them, but easy to change grammerically speaking)
Very well done overall!
will read more as time permits.!


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Once again you never ceast to amaze me. I loved this chapter. Of course it was much longer then the others but there was more to say. I loved your character deveoplement and you did a great job expressing her day to day life, dont change a thing about this chapter!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't think you should cut it out at all. I love this.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't think you need to cut anything out of this. I would leave it all in. It builds you main person in the story.
And like you said " its a tribute to your brothers and family.
The story is moving quite well and I can't wait to get to the next chapter.......

Kelley

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'm not sure if you've allready cut this chapter or not, but I didn't find it boring or at all too long. I found your elegant and professional writing style to be very pleasing and easy to read. I loved the depth you give to all the characters, the details of thier personalities, mostly. You have a way of bringing them and their surrounding to life. It's reafreshing and sucks the reader in because it's just so realistic.

I love that you've based these characters off of your own siblings and yourself. It seems to really help with the realism, the flavor, the colorful attitudes of all of them.

Nicely done indeed. When I'm able I'll most certainly be reading on. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 24, 2009
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Nataliya Maize
Nataliya Maize

Moreno Valley, CA



About
- When we were young, and life was different - Check out my websites: My Twitter: http://twitter.com/NMaize A.N.A. Twitter: http://twitter.com/anaw.. more..

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