Tuesday, 7 July 2015

LADY ANN'S FOLLY: Chapter Twelve - Part Four



Hattie had a couple of hours to kill before dinner and decided to do something that normally only her father got to do in the afternoon: read the paper.

As the manor’s alpha male, he generally did whatever he wanted and everybody else had to fit around that. N these circumstances she tended to fall back on her embroidery or a romance novel. Today she relaxed in her father’s armchair, rested one ankle on the other knee (a pose a woman could never take!) and opened the paper up. She rested it on her knee, gently stroking her moustache with the first and second fingers of her right hand.

As she did so it occurred to her that this position, including the stroke of the moustache, was something she had seen her father do a thousand times. She was now following the exact same pattern and she asked herself again whether spending time in his body was influencing her.

She felt mostly the same – she knew she was Lady Harriet in disguise; she had no illusions that she was really her father or anything absurd. It was only a few trivial details; nothing surely to worry about. What did it really matter if she sat in the same position he did? Maybe that was just the natural way this body felt comfortable. The only danger was that she take on mannish traits to the extent that she choose to stay that way. There was no danger of that or any indication of it. She was enjoying being a man rather more than she thought but she was still eager to become herself again.

She missed her soft skin and pretty face. She missed being able to wear beautiful gowns. And silly things, like she missed the sound of her voice when she spoke. It was funny to talk with her father’s booming voice but it was nowhere near as melodic as her voice normally was.

Ordinarily when she read the paper (if she ever got the chance) Hattie read the fashion or society pages but today she decided, for the fun of it, to read the business section, as though she really were her father. She sat there reflecting on what she was doing and said to herself, Now I really am doing exactly what he would do. I really am acting like my father. She gave a single deep chuckle, exactly how he might and felt a sudden overwhelming sense of foreboding.

Hattie’s head swam. She saw herself sitting there, exactly as he would, in his clothes, with his posture, running her hand back across her bald head, and it all felt so suddenly inescapable; as though she really were trapped like this and just didn’t know it yet.

There really was no worse fate than that: being stuck in a trap of her own making. She imagined taking on more and more of her father’s traits until she really did become a carbon copy of him and shuddered. Imagine being so irredeemably pompous and superior; to lose well over thirty years of her life; to lose her beautiful thick hair and gorgeous figure; her delicate facial features. Imagine losing everything that made her who she was and permanently becoming her own father in looks, word and deed.

She wondered if she should go and get the pendant right away.

But she told herself to stop being silly. This wasn’t going to go on that long and there was no danger of her becoming trapped. It was fortunate if anything that she had taken on a little bit of her father’s character. The perspective she’d already gained allowed her to recognise that panicky side of her as being pure female. Only women had such flighty shows of emotion. What masculinity she had absorbed allowed her to stand above that as men were generally able to do and put it aside.

She lowered the paper. “Hmmm.”

She wondered if even there her perceptions were changing too much. Surely she shouldn’t be regarding the fairer sex as less stable emotionally – she was one of them – but she supposed it was a matter of standpoint. From her new outlook, that flightiness seemed far more obvious. It didn’t mean she thought that men were better. Not in every way at least.

Still, she decided to turn back to the society pages after all. Best to avoid exploring her father’s life too much. Best to keep a tight rein on things.

And she’d found the business section confusing and dull. It was much better to read the gossip articles. That was always something she’d loved.

She settled back into the chair comfortably and went on reading for an hour or so until she heard the rest of the family return from the picnic. She hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Reggie, in her mother’s body, since she’d made him write his lines and it occurred to her that she should check up on him.

When she emerged into the hallway, the family were just entering; Patrick and Geraldine first, followed by the two children behind. The maid in her body was nowhere to be seen.

“Ah, Howard!” said Patrick, his mutton chops curling as he grinned.

“What-ho!” replied Hattie cheerfully, realising two things as she said it: the first that she had answered to her father’s name without a second thought and the second that she had automatically used a term she’d never used in her life before in response.

“You missed a dashed tedious picnic there you lucky dog,” said Patrick. “Trust you to fill your belly and then leave me to suffer the company of women and children for the rest of the afternoon.”

Hattie smirked, enjoying the fact that at the moment she wasn’t part of the group that Patrick was running down. It was funny to hear her former – her usual sex cut up like that and she decided to join in. “Yes. I can’t think of anything worse than listening to that kind of superficial twaddle.” She had obviously always seen women from her own perspective and from a defensive stance before, but now that she was playing the game of step outside of that some feminine qualities she would normally have defended could actually be derided quite easily. “Ladies are only able to discuss trivialities because that is all their lives are filled with.”

Patrick laughed deeply as he walked past. “Quite! You do know what you’re talking about Howard and you have the measure of women down to a T.”

Hattie grinned at the complement but she felt as though she were betraying herself somehow.

“Really Howard,” said Aunt Geraldine, coming level. “You have such disparaging views of women. I’d like to see you try being one for a day or two. I’ve never met such a misogynist in all my born days.” She went off giggling to herself and shooing the children along but Hattie watched after her.

She hadn’t meant to pour quite so much scorn on her usual gender, but she hadn’t meant it. Had she?

She rubbed her chin contemplatively.

Did she really think the lives and interests of women were trivial? It wasn’t something she’d voiced before certainly. Though was it possible that she had held the resentment deep down? She knew her sister had long held such beliefs.

No. Of course not. She was only playing along; pretending to be her father. She wasn’t actually thinking like him.

Hattie got a glimpse of her mother, in Reggie’s little body, disappear round the corner looking back at her sorrowfully, and she grinned.

Yes, it was perplexing becoming a man and her own pater; and it might even be dangerous; but it was well worth it to witness her revenge played out in such delightful ways.

She straightened her suit jacket and tie and then headed into the back of the house, whistling a favourite tune of her father’s.




23 comments:

  1. Hattie better watch herself, the road to desaster has a slippery slope. It lioks like she's getting a bit too comfortable as her father/ & where is Reggie he seeme to tak on his aunt's persona at the end of the lines?

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    1. It won't be long before we find out!

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  2. "howard" could always take Burt fishing and get his take on the Man/woman thing. :)

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  3. OH MY GOD I need my Cleaner fix! No offense but I could never get into lady ann, mostly because I don't like anything but female to female transformantions. Cleaner is right at the best part (so far anyway). It is a masterpiece, easily the most erotic thing I have ever read! I want to hear little piggy's er...Dahila's take on the new and improved Melissa, and also we are about due for the big poker game with Maxine and friends! Also it's soon time for some Dahila and greasy cook action! Please tell me when to expect it! Also, could you email me a pic of what you think Maxine looks like, and also a pic of what you think Dahila might look like now? I'm at kakashi76767@gmail.com Thanks!

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    1. Yeah, sorry about that. You did get several Cleaner episodes in a row though. I know what's happening in the next Cleaner episode now so it should be out in a couple of days. I'm aiming at releases every three to four days at the moment to give me time to deal with increased home life pressure and producing my books as well.

      I don't have pictures for Dahlia and Maxine I'm afraid but hopefully your imagination can paint a picture.

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  4. Emma,

    Wonderful chapter! I love the slow insidious way the magic is going to work on Hattie's mind. The balance between trying to act like her father while still enjoying her own interests was fun to watch. The irony in the conversation between Hattie/Howard and Patrick was rich. I also liked the hints that you dropped of possible things to come; Where oh, where is the maid in Hattie's body? Will Aunt Geraldine's words be prophetic? Only with a twist, perhaps Patrick and Geraldine might benefit from a new perspective.

    I can't wait to see where you take this next!

    Cheers
    Zapper

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    1. Heh heh. I would actually like a Patrick/Geraldine swap but I haven't planned it into the outline. Shame. Maybe I could work it in...

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    2. Well you know that old saying, "An outline never survives first contact with a reader . . ." lol

      I'm just happy that I found another writer who uses an outline!

      Cheers
      Zapper

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    3. Heh heh. The outline for Lady Ann 2 & 3 is actually over 16,000 words long if you can believe it.

      We're only 3,000 words into it.

      (Shudder of fear)

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    4. Emma,

      I can believe it! My outline for "Bodyguard" was 10,000 words long and my outline for the "Consultant" universe, the first trilogy, was just over 20,000 words (For all three stories together, not each one).

      I find that in order to be productive I need an outline. It keeps the story coherent, helps with pacing, and causes me to be more focused during each writing session.

      I will admit, I'm not above changing things around or shifting a thing here or there in my outline as I'm writing. For me its really a "living document".

      You know, of all the people I've talked online about writing, you're the first one (besides me) who really uses an outline. :-)

      Cheers
      Zapper

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  5. Just wait 'til Hattie gets up the gumption to finally explore her new equipment. Fully experiencing the sexual aspect of their new body always seems to inspire great affection for their new form in whomever it is that changes. And given the male anatomy, she won't be able to avoid it forever...

    It IS a pity to lose all those years of life, though.

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    1. Well maybe she deserves it for all the mischief she's caused!

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  6. I wonder how the new Hattie is going and will she want to give up her new life

    Rob

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    1. I'm sure she won't cause any kind of trouble.

      (Grins)

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  7. I think the boys parents should become either servants or from the town

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    1. Hmmm. Nice idea. You'll have to wait and see!

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  8. could put the father in his daughter and the mother in the butler

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    1. Woah. Well all good ideas. I have to say at this stage that the outline I have precludes these kind of shenanigans in the short term but longer term? Who knows!

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  9. where can I see the outline

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    1. Well I'm afraid you can't. Sorry. That's top secret!

      Suffice to say I have planned the next two books extremely thoroughly. There's some room for development as I go but certain other things are too fixed to allow major changes - like Reggie's parents getting in on the action.

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    2. cant wait

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