Georgiana and The Monster
Georgiana awoke in the middle of night--for the clock was chiming nine o'clock. She could hear a rattling coming from under the bed. She hugged Mrs. Moppet, her favorite doll, closer to her. She heard the rattling again. "What is that?" she asked Mrs. Moppet, who gave no reply.
"Do you think it is a monster?" Mrs. Moppet's head nodded in agreement.
What to do, she thought, biting her lip. She needed her brother. Yes, her brother was the best monster catcher in England. A chest lay at the foot of the bed and it would block any attempts a monster might make in an effort catch her. She scrambled off the end of the bed, bringing Mrs. Moppet with her.
She quickly made her way from the nursery down to her brother's room and peeked inside. But he was not there, only his valet was on the premises. Mr. James was preparing the room for that evening's rest. Georgiana backed away from the door before Mr. James could see her. Mr. James did not understand about monsters that lived under beds and he would have sent her back to nursery without further ado.
She hurried down stairs, trying to think where her brother might be. The library she thought, he was sure to be there. She made her way to the library but again Georgiana was disappointed. When she opened the door and peered inside she could see no candles burning and the fireplace was bare. The moon cast eery shadows throughout the room making it quite frightening and she quickly closed the door.
"Miss Georgiana, whatever are you doing up and about?" Georgiana jumped. She turned to face Jenkins, one of the footmen.
Georgiana squared her shoulder and in an imitation of her brother told Jenkins, "Mrs. Moppet and I wish to speak with Master Fizzwilliam."
Suppressing a smile, Jenkins said, "Of course, Miss Georgiana. Right this way, please." He led her towards the billiard room. Jenkins, opening the door to the room, announced, "Miss Georgiana....." Georgiana coughed and looked pointedly at her doll. "And Mrs. Moppet, also, sir," Jenkins added.
Georgiana spotted her brother across the room. "William," she cried as she ran towards him.
Darcy bent down to scoop Georgiana up in his arms. "Whatever are you doing downstairs at this time of night and without your slippers. You will catch a cold going about barefoot. Jenkins, fetch Miss Georgiana's slippers and robe."
"Yes, sir." He left the room. Georgiana quickly whispered into Darcy's ear.
"Jenkins," he called out.
"Sir?" questioned the footman, returning to the room.
"Miss Georgiana informs me that there is a monster under her bed. You best be careful." The footman was unable to suppress a quick grin. "Of course, sir. I shall be most alert." He departed from the room.
Darcy set Georgiana down in a chair. He placed his discarded jacket around her shoulders. He took one small foot into the palm of hand. "Georgiana, your feet are as cold as ice. Promise me you will never venture out of the nursery without your slippers."
"Tell me about this monster," he ordered as he rubbed her cold feet.
So Georgiana related the whole of her adventure to him. How she had awaken and heard the rattling under the bed, how Mrs. Moppet had agreed that it was a monster, how they both agreed that he was the best person to get rid of the monster. "I am gratified that you and Mrs. Moppet think so highly of me," Darcy interrupted. Georgiana continued her tale, telling how she could not find him until Jenkins showed her in here.
Jenkins returned with Georgiana's slippers and robe. Darcy put the slippers on first.
"Did you have any trouble from the monster, Jenkins?" Darcy asked as helped Georgiana put on her robe.
"No, sir. Perhaps the monster has left, or gone to sleep," Jenkins suggest before bowed out the room.
"Do you want to go back to your room, Georgiana?" Darcy asked. She shook her head. "Well, perhaps you can stay down here for a little while--to make sure the monster has indeed gone away." Georgiana nodded happily. She held Mrs. Moppet in her lap as she watch him play billiards.
"William, will you teach me to play?" she asked after watching him for a few minutes.
"You want to play billiards?" Darcy asked.
"Yes I want to play billiards, please." Darcy look at Georgiana. "Please," she asked again, hopefully . Darcy thought a moment. It might help tire her out. "All right," he said.
"Mrs. Moppet, too?" She eagerly approached the table, but was only eye level with the top of the table.
"I fear Mrs. Moppet will have to learn through observation," Darcy said as placed the doll on a side table. He then dragged a chair over to the billiard table.
Georgiana hopped onto the seat. "Observation?" she inquired the meaning of this new word.
"She will have to learn by watching us. The object of the game is to take this stick and hit the white ball." Georgiana stood upon the chair. She could see the whole table now. "The white ball hits the colored balls so that they fall into the holes on the side of the table." Darcy handed Georgiana the cue stick but it was about twice the size she was. He then moved the white ball in front of her.
"Are you ready to play?" he asked. Georgiana nodded. He stood beside and placed his arms around her. "You hold the stick like this," he covered her small hands with his larger ones, "and you shoot like this," he pulled the cue stick back and forth a few times so she could understand the movement. Together they hit the cue ball. Georgiana eyes glowed with excitement as the ball hit the colored ones. Darcy retrieved the white ball and they took another shot.
They continued on this manner for about a half hour or so, until Georgiana began to yawn.
"I think you are ready to return to bed. Shall I come with you to make sure that the monster has gone?" Darcy asked.
"Yes, please." So Darcy helped Georgiana down from the chair. He retrieved Mrs. Moppet for Georgiana and then escorted her to the nursery. While she waited in the hall, he entered the room to inspect it for monsters. After a careful searching Darcy found the monster and banished it from Georgiana's room.
"You can come in now, Georgiana, for I have driven the monster away. I shall always be available to chase away any monsters." Darcy said as helped Georgiana remove her robe and slippers, tucked her into bed and kissed her goodnight.
"Goodnight, William," she mumbled before falling off to sleep.
"Goodnight, Georgiana," Darcy blew out the candle and left the room.
Ten Years Later
Georgiana awoke in the middle of night--for the clock was chiming the midnight hour. She could hear the rattling of the wind as it pushed branches against the glass pains. She hugged the blankets closer to her.
The nightmare had terrified her. Her brother had not arrived in Ramsgate in time and she had been married to Mr. Wickham, only to discover that he was really a monster. As a monster he chased Georgiana, while she slowly turned into gold, which the Wickham monster greedily devoured. Georgiana shuddered at the memory.
Unable to sleep, Georgiana decided to select a book from the library to read. After donning a robe and slippers, and lighting a candle, Georgiana quietly left her room and made her way down to the library. When she opened the door and peered inside she could see no candles burning and the fireplace was bare. The moon cast eery shadows throughout the room making it quite frightening and she quickly closed the door. "Do not be a fool, Georgiana," she remonstrated herself, "it is nothing but an empty room."
Georgiana was about to reopen the library doors, when she heard the sound of billiards being played. As she made her way down towards the billiard room, a memory of a long evening came to mind. She smiled.
She opened the door. Darcy was systematically sinking balls with a great deal of intensity.
"Fitzwilliam," she called softly.
Darcy looked at her with surprise. "Georgiana, what are doing up?"
"I had a nightmare. I was being chased by a monster," Georgiana confessed.
"Well, shall I find this monster, and make him pay for disturbing your dreams?" Darcy asked.
"You already have, William. The monster was Mr. Wickham."
"Georgiana," he turned to sister. "I fear I must apologize. I was not always there when you needed me and because of my failure you were hurt by Mr. Wickham."
"It is my pride that has been hurt. I believed Mr. Wickham when he said he loved me. It is lowering to know that he had no real feelings for me, only my dowry."
"Georgiana, there will be a man who will love you. I promise. Just do not be so eager to find him, for I like have you about the place."
"You do?" Georgiana asked, "Even after all the trouble I caused?"
"Yes, I do." Darcy offered his sister a cue stick. "Shall we play a game, that is if you remember what I taught you?" He racked the balls.
"I remember a little," Georgiana replied, "You hold the stick like this," she said, properly positioning her fingers on the cue stick, "and you shoot like this," she said as pulled the cue stick back and hit the cue ball. Georgiana eyes glowed with as the ball hit the colored ones, scattering them in all direction, and sinking three of the balls.
Darcy looked on in amazement. He was surprised that Georgiana was so good, proud that he had taught her, and chagrined to find that he might lose to his younger sister. They played for about a half hour or so, until Georgiana began to yawn.
"I think you are ready to return to bed." Darcy stated. "And I am ready to retire myself."
Darcy escorted Georgiana to her room. Outside the door to her room, Georgiana stopped and turned to her brother, "Thank you, William. I have a strange feeling there will be no more monsters disturbing my dreams, for you are here to drive them away."
Georgiana reached up on tiptoe and kissed her brother on the cheek. "Goodnight, William," she mumbled before entering her room.
"Goodnight, Georgiana," Darcy said, softly to the closed door, "I shall, however, remain on guard to ensure that no further monsters disturb you."
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