Word of the Day: Demesne

Word of the Day: Demesne

In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it.  My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations.  It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!

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By Alex Seise

31Shivers_Day1She glowered, looking out the tall windows of her sprawling mansion toward the uneven rows of headstones just beyond the rose garden. In an empty spot that lacked a stone marker, the neat lush lawn had been tussled and moved. This ruffled patch greatly disturbed her.

“This here is my demesne, chère,” she said over her shoulder. “All the land from where we stand to the borders of Beauregard Parish on the north, east and west and sweet Calcasieu to the south belongs to me by virtue of my dearly departed husband’s family holdings.” She turned, her shimmering silvery hair catching in the light. “Your family’s cemetery is but an unfortunate relic to a time before the war was lost.”

Her guest nodded slowly. The older woman continued.

“But, as it is, the law sides with you common folk on this issue. Why, I cannot presume to know. I never will. But there is simply nothing I can do about it. Whenever one of you Blanchard rats pass, we’re back to the same old torn up lawn and parade of ceaseless mourners, morning, noon and night. There sure are a lot of you, aren’t there, chère?” She turned to eye the woman up incredulously.

“Oh, that’s right,” she chuckled. “I always forget. You can’t talk. Just like the rest of them.” The woman sighed. “Well, just because you cannot speak does not mean you cannot work. Here in my demesne, everyone works. Everyone contributes. Even the dead.” She walked past the cold, graying animated corpse that swayed before her. “And next time you set foot in this house, chère, wipe your damned shoes first.”

As she ascended the stairs, the woman muttered under her breath. “Manners,” she said, shaking her head. “Nothing’s sacred anymore.”

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