View Full Version : Desdemona : The Lady of Sorrows

November 2nd, 2003, 04:51 AM
Um, this is the first chapter in a story I've only just started writing after months and months of having idea's but never being able to expand on them. Writers Block.

Basically, it's going to be a modern day, gothic fairytale, drawing on work of Sleeping Beauty, not it's not going to be Sleeping Beauty, re-hashed if you know what I mean.

Without anything further, I give you the opening to, Desdemona - The Lady of Sorrows.


Desdemona, dark beauty that she was, sat locked away high up in the mansion’s attic. Of course that wasn’t where she slept. There was door at the back of the wardrobe that lead through to a staircase that took her to the attic. Deep, dark and mysterious; it was full of old clothing in numerous trunks that one could loose count just trying to count them all, and furniture, the wooded pieces were rotting away to nothing, and those made of iron or steel had all but rusted up very badly.
There she sat in a rickety old rocking chair, once strong and solid and made out of cane, it was now threatening to fall to pieces, with every move that the girl made; crocheting and doing needlework.
There were 40 rooms or more in this particularly ostentatious house and many a person, couldn’t understand Desdemona’s reasoning for wanting to stay locked up in the attic day after day, sleeping in what amounted to a hideaway, for what the room directly off the attic actually was, was something far worse, that Desdemona could ever dream up. It was a place of nightmares and monsters; nothing good ever came from this room. Only no one had ever told Desdemona that and though they had tried, she refused to believe in the stories of old, stories that may have been better left untold and undisturbed, if only she had gone about lurking in the attic day after day, night after night.
Some say, that the ghosts of those who died, hang around when they have unresolved business, if that were true, then half the population would be floating around after midnight trying to haunt the living.
Although, much to one’s horror, Desdemona believed in those tales of the dead haunting the living, and she could be seen at different hours of the night openly talking to this person or that.
Crazy. Stark raving mad, you might say. Sadly, you are mistaken. For Desdemona was far from being a lunatic. A little crazed perhaps from being shut away from human contact and only having ghosts – if there were any such thing – for company. For it could hardly be thought, as a sensible and reasonable construct of conversational display.
But that was just Desdemona. Even, I, as I sit here, in the very same room that she lived out her years, have to sit and wonder if it isn’t my eyes that are playing tricks on me, and that she’s not still sitting in that old decrepid, broken down cane rocking chair softly humming away while she worked. Even I have to wonder.

Thoughts!? Comments? Critisism?

November 15th, 2003, 04:06 PM
I like it ... dark and mysterious ... a romantic vision, if you follow; not love romance ... romance as a story can weave through ... darkness and mysteriousness ... hehe ... it shall be nice to read more ...

November 16th, 2003, 05:55 AM
Hi -- I ythink you need to launch into some action to keep things interesting. On a practical note Desdemona is a little to strongly identified with an existing character surely, and hard return between paragraphs would mae it easy to read. Good description -- more plot?

November 16th, 2003, 11:33 PM
Thanks guys, as for the layout ... I'll change it ... sorry I have it 1.5 spaced on my comp ... so yeah.

I've written more, so here you are:

** The story continues ...

Let me explain, before I continue with this harrowing tale, just who I am, and why it is I, who is telling you this story.

My name is, Temple Brooks Callahan and I used to consider myself a close friend of the darling Desdemona, which was until she began to lock herself away in the attic room and never come out. Some even speculated on when the two of us would wed, but once again, it wasn’t to happen.

Desdemona was born in the middle of winter, snow lay on the ground some 3 inches thick, like a white blanket, it glistened like diamonds when the sun reflected off it.

It was the middle of the night, on Yule’s eve when mother and child came together for the first time, in the outside world. The flames licked at the logs on the fire on the eastern side of the room. On the mantle above the fire, stood three white candles in a candelabra; they too, were burning, and as the wax melted, the winds let out a horrifying ghostly howl. To warn of trouble. Both mother and child were oblivious; both were sleeping, now, peacefully.

Malcolm, the child’s father, took the infant girl, from her mother, and placed her gently in the cradle, that stood next to the bed. The baby, kicked and struggled, in the pick blanket that she’d been wrapped in. She had a bemused expression on her face, even for one so young; her father laughed. Desdemona, my sweet dark haired angel. He whispered. For she’d been born with a full head of hair; fine dark hair, that rippled with soft curls.

The sun was dawning, as Desdemona, let out a howling scream, to let parents and servants alike, know that she was hungry. She wanted to be fed. But mostly, her parents would learn, soon enough, she craved attention.

Mother and child sat together, on a cane rocking chair, painted white, as the sun came up; light broke through the ivory curtains, with decorative crimson rose and ivory ribbons that held them in place. Desdemona gurgled, with delight as the suns rays danced on the mobile that hung from the roof. Its supports were a soft shade of pink, while hanging from thread so fine, were puppies and kittens; little black and white kittens that swayed in the soft breeze.

Tentatively, her mother Corrine kissed the child’s forehead. The cane rocking chair gently rocking back and forth, back and forth; in a sort of hypnotic rhythm that was enough to put both mother and child into the land of nod.

Now from Corrine, Desdemona had inherited, her dark curly hair, piecing blue eyes, button nose and sweet sensual lips. From Malcolm, the child inherited his ears and the shape of his face. Later, she would grow tall, much like him; but not so tall that it was unbecoming.

If ever there was a child more cherished, it was none other than Desdemona, she was the centre of her parents’ universe, and the sun rose and fell as if she herself commanded it.

November 17th, 2003, 01:37 AM
Lovely ..

November 18th, 2003, 12:44 AM
Thanks. More coming, as soon as I write it

November 18th, 2003, 12:54 AM
On a practical note Desdemona is a little to strongly identified with an existing character surely

Ah ... I think I'm following ... but I'm not sure ... mind clarifying with you you think the character reminds you of, veinglory ... ta

November 18th, 2003, 03:04 PM
Shakespeare's Othello has the only Desdemona I know

November 18th, 2003, 04:31 PM
I like it. :) It's intreguing. *shrugs* And I didn't even think of Othello. Just because a character shares a name with a character in another work doesn't mean they are drawing on that character for inspiration.

There's a play or opera called "Deirdre - The Lady of the Sorrows" (I think that's the right name, I'd have to check when I got home) Have you heard of it, Ruby?

November 22nd, 2003, 02:09 AM
I like it. :) It's intreguing. *shrugs* And I didn't even think of Othello. Just because a character shares a name with a character in another work doesn't mean they are drawing on that character for inspiration.

There's a play or opera called "Deirdre - The Lady of the Sorrows" (I think that's the right name, I'd have to check when I got home) Have you heard of it, Ruby?

No, I haven't. I actually got The Lady of Sorrows from something that a friend suggested when I was looking for a title. I wanted something that was in keeping with the meaning of the name Desdemona (which can mean sorrows, sorrowful, ill-fated etc)

As for drawing upon ispiration. Yes, I am. I'm drawing from both Anne Rice, and Flowers in the Attic, by VC Andrews. But, at the same time, I'm trying to steer clear of it all. If there's any paralells at all. It will be to these too authors and writing styles.

As for writing more, yes, I'm on it. I've hit a little block (as I always do, when I put down a story for too long) but I'll be getting back to it, over the next few days.

November 22nd, 2003, 03:12 AM
Im liking it so far, please continue. :)

November 22nd, 2003, 03:35 AM
I will ... over the next few days but ...

January 4th, 2004, 05:43 AM
Okay, so this has been a while in coming. Let us continue, with the tale of Desdemona : The Lady of Sorrows


Though as much as the child was cherished, she was also pampered, beyond what most parents would. You see, Desdemona’s parents had more money than they knew what to do with. Most of it was invested in stocks and bonds, and ticked over nicely into a tidy little sum of money.

The stained glass windows sparkled, illuminating the red, gold and blue in the biblical theme. The image of Jesus on the cross, was benevolent, and was directly above the podium. Of to the side, stood a wooden side table, handcrafted out of dark oak. The eight tall ivory candles, all lit, cast a soft glow of warmth in the old stone chapel.
It was eight o’clock at night, on the most Holiest of days, Sunday, and little Desdemona, now a month old was being christened.

“Whom may I ask are the god-parents?” Asked the Father, “If thou shall be so kind as to step forward.”
Friends of Corinna and Malcolm, Jeanne and Carlton Lance, stepped forward.
“If one of you would please take this child into your arms, we shall begin.”
Jeanne Lance stepped forward, with baby Desdemona, in her arms, and then gently placing her in the small porcelain bowl filled with Holy Water.
Music played softly, as the Father, began to sprinkle the water upon the forehead of the girl. Parents and God-Parents alike looked on in awe. Little Desdemona, lay very still, her eyes sparkled.
The only noise that could sufficiently be heard was the rustling of clothing garments, and the now and again coughs of the audience, which consisted of close friends and family of Corinna and Malcolm.
“I hereby pronounce this child, in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, to be purified, in body, mind and spirit and thus bestow upon her the name of, Desdemona Faith Angelique Montgomery.”
Few people in the crowd, gasp. No doubt, all were thinking what a burden for a child so small, such as Little Desdemona, to carry.
Upon her small shoulders, her parents had placed the name Desdemona which came to mean, ill-fated, or lady of sorrows, it all depended upon which source you read, and deemed to be true and correct.
Her middle names of Faith and Angelique had equally high expectations, and links with God, Himself. Faith meaning just that. Faith. With a silent reminder of prayer and the workings of God. While Angelique simply meant Angelic which when linked back to its root name of Angelus or even Angel was said to mean simply Angel or Messenger. And those who were familiar with the Bible and its scripture knew very well that Angels were Messengers of God. So, one has to hope that the darling babe in arms, grows to be a beauty, or else such a name as Angelique would be wasted, when the Angels of God, are portrayed as such beautiful images, in God’s own likeness. And beauty aside, let it be said that if the child grows to be ugly, then let her have a voice so angelic that even the Angels themselves swoon in jealousy. For if she doesn’t. God help those, who are betrothed to such a girl in marriage, so let her have a hefty dowry.
Though, upon Little Desdemona’s Christening, as she was once again clad in her long, flowing white, Christening gown, all faces were full of smiles. Radiantly happy.
Some said even the child was smiling, but those who knew her best, knew that the girl didn’t show her first smile, until weeks later.
Only one such event came about to mar such a happy occasion, and maybe forces, unknown to either Corinna or Malcolm, were in play when they chose the name of Desdemona, with its meaning of ill-fated. For such and ill-fated event did occur on the day of the little girl’s Christening.
An unwelcome guest made her appearance. A young, pale faced woman, with raven black hair, clad in a medieval dress, of green and black, and a long black hooded cloak, with pointed shoes. Some said she was a witch, a sorceress. Others told tails that she was just an upset relative that wasn’t invited to the Christening, and had come away, to pay her dues.
Up she stepped to the pyre, in on which Desdemona laid in a ivory coloured porcelain bowl with a satin and lace pillow and blanket.
Upon her forehead, the witch, dribbled, three drops of rose oil. And said the following words, aloud.
‘Hear the far, and hear the near. If this child shall ever find true love, blessed then be the man to fall upon his own haste, and lust of beauty and fine things. Lest this man die for all his sins foretold, and never shall this babe in arms have thee true love’s touch again’
A soft lull came over the procession then, even Little Desdemona grew still, as did the air.
Startled by such actions, partaken upon his first-born child. Malcolm screamed:
“Get thee out of God’s house Satan, before thou art born alive.”
Without even hearing the warning, the witch disappeared as quickly as she had appeared.

Startled now, by the unexpected presence of the witch, Corinna’s hands appeared like butterflies attached to her wrists, fluttering about, as she wrung and wrung her hands, and in the end, took Little Desdemona in her arms, with a little persuasion from her husband Malcolm so as not to disturb the small congregation of family and friends.

Despite his wife’s sudden alarm, at such an unfortunate event, Malcolm remained rather calm and untroubled by the sudden entrance of such and unwanted guest. Whether or not he had paid heed to such a warning or not, had yet to be told. However, unlike him, his wife, Corinna, had surely taken notice, and the warning would play on in the back of Corinna’s mind, from the time her daughter, the Darling Desdemona, hit adolescence to the time that she married, unless of course, the warning held true, if it did, then Desdemona would never befall to the joy and eternal happiness that was marriage and then motherhood.

The sun rose, upon the mansion high upon a hill, surrounded by a forest thick with pine trees. A woody scent which could be easily noticed throughout the entire house, as large as it was.
Despite the events of yesterday’s proceedings at the church, Malcolm made the decision to put it behind him. To forget that the woman clothed in black and green had ever appeared at his daughter’s christening.
Corinna on the other hand, was finding it harder to conceive such a thing. To her, it had happened, and to her, it was the most traitorous event to have ever taken place.
To Corinna, a devout and almost Godly Catholic, believing in witchcraft and superstitions was common. But with believing, came frightening truths, as to whether or not, witches were fact or fiction. Whether or not, witches were just some fantasy that parents of the past had concocted in order to keep their children in line, and to keep them safe. As with the tale of Hansel and Gretel. The two children’s parents hadn’t been able to keep them safe, and as a result, they had been eaten by a witch.
Fortunately though, being eaten wasn’t to be Desdemona’s fate, though, if what the witch had said were true, hers would be a fate worse than death. Hers would be a fate of everlasting torment. Without love, her darling daughter would not flourish. Just like a flower without sunlight, hers would be a dark and dreary existence, if, it were at all true.
Corinna prayed that it were not, not so much for herself as for her daughter.
What was too become of her darling daughter? If the curse was to come true. Would she ever marry? Would she, Corinna ever have grandchildren to fawn over and to love, as much as she loved her daughter at this very moment? Would she ever feel the same love again? Would she?
Heaven above. Surely this was just some cruel joke. Corinna prayed. Corinna hoped. Night after night. Day after day.
Malcolm the effervescent melting pot of hope and a non believer of anything remotely superstitious, tried to reassure his wife. But for Corinna, reassurance wasn’t enough.
For Corinna, nothing would be enough. The only thing that would ever satisfy her saddened heart would be, if she were to awaken and find that this whole nightmare of the curse and the witch had been nothing more than a dream. A nightmare even.
But Malcolm wouldn’t even allow her that candy cotton dream.
No. He’d said. We have to face up to the facts. What’s done is done, and nothing we can do, will change that. If you want to continue is this fantasy world of bubble gum and rainbows, then so be it. But I will not stand by and watch my only child and daughter believe that she will have anything other than happiness. Anything other than the life she dreams of. So don’t you don’t you stand in the way and ruin it for my daughter. If you so much as put those silly notions in her head. If you so much as mention what happened on the day of her Christening. So help me God, I’ll rue the day that I ever married you.
Stunned, Corinna stepped back. In utter silence, she looked at the man that she’d married, and for the first time, she began to wonder what sort of man she’d married. Malcolm Montgomery had never said one cruel word to her, before today. Not one. Could one person, so determined on ruining the lives of a mere child be so heartless, and to ruin the lives of two more? Did anybody ever think of the consequences to their actions, before they set out along their path of destruction? Corinna wondered, but she simply did not have the answer. Even to one of her own questions.

Now you must remember that while her parents were arguing, and contemplating the possible circumstances of the witch’s presence at the Christening and subsequent curse, Darling Desdemona, was still a wee babe. Not even three months old.
So while her parents sparred, voices raised, the little girl slept on, peacefully, unaware that on the day of her Christening, her whole precious world, and the one person that she would love, and fall in love with, would be doomed, from here on into eternity.

January 4th, 2004, 10:58 PM
It's very good hun!

January 5th, 2004, 06:51 AM
Why thank you. :lol:

January 8th, 2004, 12:06 AM
that was a good start to a short story

January 8th, 2004, 12:11 AM
Just lovely!

I especially like the name of the main character ;)

January 8th, 2004, 08:14 AM
Thanks guys.

July 9th, 2004, 06:44 AM
i like :D keep going ruby, when you think of some more

July 10th, 2004, 05:57 AM
Okay and more from Desdemona : The Lady of Sorrows

Now, at sixteen Desdemona was a dark haired Southern Beauty. Every one who saw her admired her, and loved her dearly. It was almost as if the dark cloud that had been hung like spiders silk had been completely erased by the enthralling beauty that was, Desdemona. Only that wasn’t so. Despite the fact that nobody talked about the dreaded and evil event that happened all those years ago, at Desdemona’s christening it was still there in the most dormant part of her mother, Corinna’s brain. Filled with what ifs and if only’s. Unfortunately time, would be the only healer and fortune-teller in this harrowing tale.


It was around this time that I, Templeton Brooks Arlington, began to come around and court Desdemona Montgomery. Of course back then I was rather naïve and didn’t put much faith in silly superstitions and evil curses. I should have, because maybe then, all that time ago, I could have saved myself some pain and grieve.
Of course, despite all my suffering, it hasn’t lessened my love for Desdemona. Sometimes it only makes it harder. Knowing that our chance at happiness was stopped because of one woman’s own jealousy and hatred. Pure and evil hatred. I guess I sound bitter don’t I? Well perhaps I am.

It was Yule eve, the very same night of her sweet sixteenth that Desdemona summoned the courage to announce, just who I was to her, and what we were to each other. Of course being so young, both Desdemona’s parents were a little apprehensive at their daughter taking such an interest in the likes of me. Not that I was poor. I and my family were far from it. It was only, that I believe Malcolm Montgomery thought of himself as the person who would chose the man his only child and daughter would wed. And who could blame the man for wanting what was best for his daughter. Certainly not I. After all it wasn’t my place or Desdemona’s really, for that matter.

I remember that particular night well. It was snowing something fierce, outside everything, even in the dark, was layered with a thick blanket of white. Inside it was anything but cold, rather it was warm, well lit and cordial.
Almost the exact minute I stepped through the door, Desdemona, had began to descend the spiral-like mahogany staircase. She wore a gown of green and black, with green glass slippers that sparkled like diamonds.
She looked absolutely radiant, a true beauty to behold, and no doubt she knew it too. She smiled at me, the moment she noticed my presence and raced as fast as her long slender legs would take her down that spiral staircase that could make even the most sure-footed person hesitate for damned it you wouldn’t fall and break your neck.

Once downstairs, she cuddled up in my embrace, her mother smiled warmly at the two of us, and the way that Desdemona was so obviously smitten with me. She whispered something then, into her husband’s ear that seemed to make him uneasy in my presence as if Corinna knew me better than I knew myself or what I was capable of.

“Momma, Pa … Brook and I are getting married,” Desdemona exclaimed, her small hands fluttering about like baby birds.
Shock registered on Malcolm’s face. I remember that. While, beside him, his wife Corinna paled.
“I don’t quite know what to say, this … this news has come as something of a surprise,” Corinna said, at last breaking the silence.
“I realise this must be somewhat shocking for you both,” I said. “But Desdemona felt that she couldn’t leave without telling you of our plans first.”
“Leave?” Corinna asked.
“Why offcourse Momma, did you really think I’d stay living here, when I was married?” Desdemona asked.
“No, of course not, but when exactly do you both intend to be married exactly?”
“The wedding’s been set for two months time,” Desdemona replied.
I could see Malcolm’s expression change then. From shock into something that resembled anger. I resigned myself to the fact that at least I had tried to talk her out of it. To take more time with the preparations, but Desdemona, the darling that she was, wouldn’t here of it.

August 1st, 2004, 11:05 PM
more! more! more!
want! (im like a kid throwing a tantrum :nyah: )

August 2nd, 2004, 10:50 AM
More will be written as time permits. Hang in there girl

May 25th, 2005, 05:53 AM
And here's the final installment of Desdemona : The Lady of Shadows


Over the coming days it seemed that Malcolm had come to accept his daughter’s up-and-coming marriage, and even began to warm to me a little more. But all that still did not make up for his displeasure about the entire affair. I knew if Malcolm Montgomery was not the type to relinquish control over his only daughters life to just anyone. Only I had no clue as to what was coming next.

It seemed Desdemona was holding a deedly secret, she had a plan, she said. A plan that would relinquish her from her father’s deadly grasp. But she couldn’t tell me until the eleventh hour. If only I had known what her plan had involved, maybe I could have talked some sense into her. After all having parents like hers wasn’t so bad, even with a father like Malcolm, there was love in her house. Her parents had worshipped her since the moment she had been born. I only the other had was lucky if I received a sidewards glance from mine.

The only consolation I have from those days is the joy that my daughter brings me. Little Alethea Violet. Although I would never get to know her. And she would always assume that her father had died, one week before her parents wed. Eight and a half months before her own birth.

It wasn’t that I was dead, it was more that Desdemona went into hiding. Cloistering herself up in the attic and that small room in the Northern wing that came off from the attic. Going mad living up there alone. Refusing food until she did die up there all alone. Leaving a little daughter to grieve the loss of a mother she really hadn’t known.

The storm had grown worse, in the last few hours. Thunder and lightning thrashed about the Montgomery Mansion. Brook attempted to make a dash to the house from his car, that was part several metres from the front entrance. Only to find that a lightning bolt struck him off-guard, knocking him to the ground.

Desdemona who had been watching from the window, let out a piercing scream and ran out the door and down to where he lay, sprawled awkwardly on the ground.

The ambulance arrived shortly after, rushing about and racing off into the night, sirens blazing. Desdemona would never see Templeton Brooks Arlington again.

In the days that followed Desdemona could not be consoled. It hurt me deeply to know that she was crying over my death – hurting so badly, and that I wasn’t there to comfort her. But feigning my death was something I knew I had to do. I couldn’t marry Desdemona Montgomery. It wasn’t because I didn’t love her enough, or that her parents disapproved that made me rethink the decision to marry. It was more that I felt she’d be trading one cage for another. No matter what happened in Desdemona’s life, I knew there was something preventing her from living a proper life. I could tell that by the way her parents fussed over her. So really, I was doing her a favour, in dying.

It would have been a month after the ‘death’ of Templeton Brooks Arlington, that Desdemona would learn that she was pregnant, with his child. Of course that only proved to be a fate worse than death, because now more than ever Desdemona became a shadow of her former self. Slowly at first, and then quicker and quicker, she began to emerse herself within the dark confines of the long forgotten attic room, of course nobody dared to question her reasoning for going up there, and spending time amongst all the old clothes, furniture and faded photographs. To Desdemona, it was a safe haven. A place where she could relive all the time that she had spent with her true love, but to the rest of the world it was a cage, that was making her madder by the day.

It soon became apparent to Desdemona’s parents, that no matter how they tried to convince their daughter that the attic was no place for a pregnant girl, she wouln’t come down. And it was two months later when they feared that they had lost her forever.

According to the doctor they had brought in to examine Desdemona, he had found nothing physically wrong with the girl. Although mentally, she was in another world altogether. Up in the attic, the doctor said, Desdemona showed signs of madness. She could be found talking to herself as if somebody else was in the room with her. They all knew that nobody was with her. The doctor of course recommended that the girl be locked up where people were trained to deal with this sort of problem, but Corinna and Malcolm both agreed that Desdemona’s place was at home, where they could look after her.

The months passed slowly for Desdemona’s parents, as they watched their only daughter whither away but the child inside of her swell. They wondered what would become of her after the birth, would she dramatically change or would she stay exactly the same. Only time would tell.

And so the day came that Desdemona gave birth to a little girl. A little girl that her grandparents had decided to name, Alethea Violet Arlington.
But much to Desdemona’s parents dismay, little Alethea’s birth didn’t change Desdemona at all. She was content with the life that she had made for herself up in the attic, and the little girl, soon came to know Malcolm and Corinna, as Momma and Pa. Just as Desdemona had when she herself was little.

The years passed swiftly for Malcolm and Corinna, as they watched their little granddaughter grow, only to see their daughter pine away in her attic hideaway. And no matter what pains they took in trying to coax their daughter out of her shell, it didn’t work. Christmastime and Birthday’s came and went for Alethea without one word from her mother, but if she cried for the mother she’d barely knew from birth, nobody knew. For she was as loved by Malcolm and Corinna as if she too had been their child and not a grandchild.

And so it came, some seven years after Desdemona, hid herself away in that attic room, that she took her own life. Her pining for her lost love had finally taken its toll.
The service itself was a small affair, close friends and family were invited along with the minister to say the words. As they lowered the casket into the ground all eyes, were on the little girl who stood between Malcolm and Corinna. Her face was stone cold and her glare was icy, and there were tears falling down her cheeks.