The muse has been at it again....bored with response papers, it has created a character sketch instead.
What is a character sketch? It's a really short story or a dialogue. I first heard the term "sketch" in Anne of Avonlea, as Anne is stuck in a duckhouse and she thinks of a cute dialogue story. It can be used for exercises as well. It's a great term for this story.
I was partially inspired by an episode of When Calls the Heart, but it's mainly a product of my rebellious muse. For this story, I wanted to my muse to play with humor, sarcasm and covert dialogue after imagining the main storyline. Please critique in the comments and enjoy!
A Canadian Morning
“Good morning, Mrs. Brackman.” The post office clicked shut behind a stout woman as she stepped up to the mercantile counter.
“Good morning, Mrs. Hersh. It is simply too good of a morning to be an ordinary one.” The middle-aged postmistress moved to the back slot to reach her neighbor's mail.
“I would quite agree, it is an extraordinary morning.” Mrs. Hersh simpered.
“Oh, I don't believe it was an extraordinary one, just an ordinary one. Morning, Mrs. Brackman and Mrs. Hersh.” The door had banged open again to reveal a rather skinny personage with soft black hair and piercing blue eyes.
Mrs. Hersh and Mrs. Brackman exchanged smiles. They had seen the call of those blue eyes as clear as day.
“Just an ordinary one, Miss Sable?” Mrs. Brackman arched an eyebrow.
“Mmm. No ruckuses, no embarassments. Just an ordinary pleasant day.”
“Oh? Tell me, Miss Sable, what is so ordinary about today?” Mrs. Brackman leaned forward as she handed a small parcel to Mrs. Hersh as Miss Sable began her story.
“Well…...there was a handsome Mountie who was on his beat not too long ago. Naturally he was in a civilized part of the town, never the backwoods for him. He never did appreciate the fine qualities of coal dust in the air.” To which sentiment, Mrs. Brackman and Mrs. Hersh nodded in agreement.
“He spurred on his horse, naturally a very majestic black horse with a white star. A brown horse with mismatched socks simply is undignified for a Mountie to ride.”
“Of course, but a man can't exactly look a gift horse in the mouth, Miss Sable. Particularly a Mountie.” Mrs. Brackman said briskly. Now that he had been positively identified, the story was beginning to get interesting for the two ladies.
“As he passed the general store, such as a gentleman should, he tipped his hat to the lady on the porch.”
“Any particular one? I've heard that quite a few have set their cap for that particular Mountie.” Mrs. Brackman gave a knowing look.
“Of course it was a dark haired beautiful young woman. Would you expect him to tip his hat at a simpering blonde, or worse a dumbstruck little chick with hair that was not just one shade?”
“He would not be a true Mountie if he did not.” Mrs. Brackman agreed, almost laughing to herself. It was hard to identify just what color Jessamine Coulter's hair really was. Why she was favored with the Mountie's attention was beyond her personally, but….
“And just as naturally he passed by, with her gazing blue eyes behind him.” Miss Sable gave a toss of her head.
“Is that all?” Mrs. Hersh sounded rather disappointed.
“Well of course that was all! It would simply be disgraceful to mention the wagon rushing by like a gale, cutting of the view of so many....” Miss Sable's rogue eyes betrayed her shamefully.
“Not old Silas's wagon, surely??” Mrs. Hersh broke in.
“Oh, the very same.”
“Oooohhh, that man ought to put slots on his wagon so that a self-respecting busybody can know what is going on in this town as he passes by...” Mrs. Hersh sputtered.
“With how fast he was probably going, it would not have mattered, Mrs. Hersh.” Mrs. Brackman turned back to Miss Sable. “I would suppose that, naturally, his horse behaved in the best manner possible?” She asked with a twinkling eye.
“Not even a toss of the head, never mind the hooves.” A rogue smile crossed Miss Sable's face, thinking that surely the sky must have been torn asunder by those said hooves.
“I'm sure that the Mountie in question maintained perfect poise through all?” Mrs. Brackman's voice held strong despite all.
“I don't think I've heard such an….ahem….eloquent address as the one that the Mountie gave at that time. Or seen such a….um….graceful...dismount from a horse.” Miss Sable could not resist a grin.
“I would suppose that it would have been equally insignificant to mention the state of his uniform?” Mrs. Hersh ventured, finally catching on.
“Equally, Mrs. Hersh. Of course it was a spotless bright cherry red! After all, a Mountie wouldn't dare leave the barracks, much less mount his horse, in a uniform that even showed the slightest hint of a common color such as BROWN.”
“Oh dear! Were the roads ever so bad?”
“Well, Mrs. Hersh, it DID rain last night….” Mrs. Brackman suggested knowingly. “And his hat, Miss Sable?”
“Of course it was the rounded variety! How do you expect any man to wear one that was flat as a pancake?”
Mrs. Hersh caught a laugh before it escaped completely. “I dare say he would look rather silly if he did, Miss Sable.”
“With a man with such poise, such rugged handsomeness, he would be in a class of his own, Mrs. Hersh.” Mrs. Brackman drolled as she handed Miss Sable two letters.
“A fine example of manhood is our young constable. So strong and independent….” Mrs. Hersh sighed.
“Aye, Mrs. Hersh. But even the strongest fall at least once. And they that fall often need help to get back up again.” Mrs. Brackman looked knowingly at Miss Sable.
Miss Sable snorted. “It would be disgraceful to think of him so weak as to need assistance in anything, Mrs. Brackman. Surely those beings helping him onto his charger were ghosts of the old friendly miners from years gone by.” Miss Sable looked a little guilty at this admission. The miner's progeny really was much friendlier and...helpful as well.
“Leaving his boots much blacker, eh?” Mrs. Hersh simpered.
“Aye and much more too!” Mrs. Brackman's laughter joined that of Mrs. Hersh and Miss Sable at the pretty picture now in their minds.
“All in all, a very ordinary morning. Good day, Mrs. Brackman, Mrs. Hersh.” And with her tale told and her mail collected, Miss Sable left the post office.