The Academy for Wayward Free Spirited Girls


From a young age I was taught to hide my inquisitive and curious mind. To talk less and smile more. To play the demure woman.
From the same age I was scolded daily for failing. Questions fell out of my mouth at the drop of a hat. I gainsaid adults if they were wrong. I read every book that crossed my path.
Even before my debut into polite society my parents despaired of my chances of finding a husband.

They were right. None of the old families could ever accept such an unconventional girl. So I got dubbed a spinster at sixteen. Relegated to keeping house for my family.

I was bored out of my mind. My only solace the poetry I wrote at night in the inglenook. I started to think about suicide. That would fit a hysterical woman. Wouldn’t it?

As I walked the cemetery deep in thoughts of death. I stumbled upon an old Lady.
She looked me over. Then said.
– Dying is easy young one. Living is harder. Come with me and I’ll show you another way!

I hesitated. Then thought. What do I have to lose?
I followed her to an overgrown mansion at the edge of town. 

There she introduced me to her wards. All girls and women. All behaving contrary to the proscribed rules. The old Lady smiled.
– I’m always looking for a mind at work. For girls who won’t be quiet. Who questions the rules. Who think for themselves.

I just stared in amazement. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Of course I wanted to come.
My father was reluctant, but the old Lady’s power of persuasion was the wiliest I’ve ever seen.

So I took my place at the Academy for Wayward Free Spirited Girls.
Given free rein to think and feel, I realized I never wanted a man at all. I wanted only the soft touch of a woman. The old Lady smiled and nodded.
– I knew you were one of us!
– But it’s a sin! I blurted blushing.

She laughs a full-throated unashamed laugh.
– Love doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints.

History however has its eyes on us.
Waiting for us to change the world.

©RedCat


I was a bit surprised when I realized my muse had decided upon another visit to the inglenook. This time we got the backstory.  

The first time she showed up with her forbidden poems was in Inglenook Dreams, then a Gothic Christmas Carol, and Submissive Embrace.

Written for Weekly Scribblings #59: Wait For It over at Poets and Storytellers United.
For this week’s prompt, we have five lines from the musical Hamilton to inspire our writing:

“I’m looking for a mind at work.”

“History has its eyes on you.”

“Talk less. Smile more.”

“Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder.”

“Love doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints.”

We don’t have to use the exact wording, which I haven’t. I have however incorporated ALL of them in my 369 word long story. 

Click here to read other stories by me.

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Submissive Embrace – A Quadrille

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My dreams are filled with your touching
Soft gentle caresses and sharp stinging
Every stroke keeps my body singing

I long for your cuff’s embrace
Keeping me bound in place
Smile of bliss on my lips
As I feel the bite of the whip

©RedCat

Written for Quadrille 121: Let’s Embrace at dVerse. It’s a poem of 44 words, excluding the title. It can be in any form, rhymed or unrhymed, metered, or unmetered. You must use the word “embrace” or some form of the word in your poem (not simply the title).

Since it is LGTB history month (in the UK). I went back to the forbidden poetry of the inglenook.

Read other Quadrilles by me here.


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Gothic Christmas Carol – 16 December


I

The Yule three stood there beaming in candlelight
Next to the altar of family ancestors
To ward off malevolent spirits of Midwinter night
To let no old wounds, sore or fester

This old blue-blooded family need it you’ll see
They suffer the faith of inherited sin
To ward off the ancient scrolls poverty prophecy
Two great-great-great aunts trapped the spirit of a djinn

The bound it within a flawless stone
Thinking nothing how it would affect nearby senses
To forevermore by the family heir to be worn
To grow with whispers of gory death, unthinkable offences

II

The family prospered and notoriety gained
The women wore fine jewels around melancholic, hysterical throats
The wealth, standing always tempered by a crazy stain
The men sowing madness hexed wild oats

The Djinn constant influence made it so
Their minds slowly cracked and shattered
Together with wealth and fame, their insanity grow
The family’s cursed herd, each generation, culled by a third 

Today’s there’s only one daughter of the clan
Tearing her hair, tears on her face, vowing to poverty agree
Talking loudly, all alone, about the touch of a man
Bring me a man, to fan my loins fire, and I will set you free

III

The Djinn told her to put the stone in smithy’s furnace heat
To see the castle gates securely barred
Then go, unlace, lay naked beneath the sheets
The stone exploded in flaming shards, setting fire to the yard

The stable-hand woke at the bang with a start
Eyes gleaming red with revenge fire
Never before eldritch lusts felt in his heart
He would be the new tyrant squire

She’d often dreamt, herself intertwined with the stable-boy in the hay
Sometimes, she’d even imagine him giving her spanks and lashes
Now possessed by the Djinn, he took her in every unimaginable way
Fulfilling every dark twisted fantasy, as everything burnt to ashes

©RedCat

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Written for Poetics – Exploring Gothic as a Literary Genre (Step into the realm with me) over at dVerse. Go and read the prompt. It contains lovely Gothic poems and an overview of the genre.

It took some thinking, and a night of dreaming, until I found my way back to that inglenook and one of those forbidden poems.

“The elements of Gothic Literature include, setting in a castle, an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, high and even over-wrought emotion. An ancient prophecy which is connected with either the former or present inhabitants of the castle. Omens, portents and visions. Women in distress and last and but not the least, supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events which take place in the duration of the novel.”

Marcel Rieder (1862-1942)

Inglenook Dreams – 14 December

Days she’s a translucent idea
Displaying the required galleria
Stuck in this confined woman form
Laced tight in society’s norms
As the fire turns to embers
The quiet girl no one remembers
Cosy up in the inglenook
To write forbidden poems in her book

©RedCat
©RedCat

Written for tonight’s dVerse prompt Quadrille #118: In the Inglenook. A lovely word, I seldom get to use. And a thing I always wish my house would have.

©RedCat

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