Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Elizabeth Laurier, Chp. 1, Gen.1, 1702

~May, 1702~   
Dear Diary:

     I stood on the cobbled brick path, holding my breath.  I arrived in Detroit with a handful of other women; we are the first non-native women to settle in Detroit.  It was not everyday that I lived on my own.  I was all alone and it scared me, but at the same time I felt a sense of confidence and strength.  I didn't understand that, but I felt the need to continue on through this open door and to my new life...
     With love,
     Elizabeth walked up the path, toward her new home.  She was saddened by her parents' recent death, but gladly accepted the money they had to buy the home that she snatched her heart away.  It was absolutely everything she could ever dream of, with a little dollop of whipped butter and a few nuts on top.  Unfortunately, the house had sucked up every last penny in Elizabeth's purse.  She was lucky.

     As for the house, it was a sugary, faded lemon drop;  sweet with a fresh scent and ready to be lived in.  The year was 1702.  Elizabeth Laurier was 30 years old.  In the 1700s, she was considered "older" although she did not like thinking about it that way.  
     She was fortunate to have the house because Detroit (in America) was newly founded- just that year, by the French.  Elizabeth whispered a silent "thank you" to Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, Detroit's founder.  It was absolutely gorgeous here.  
     "J'adore ma nouvelle maison," Elizabeth sighed, a dreamy look on her face- French for "I love my new home."

     Elizabeth finally made headway toward the door.  Though it was fairly hot outside, she shivered.

     She just couldn't get over it; her very own place!  Even though it was on the smaller side, it beckoned her to live inside and raise her own family.  Speaking of families, it was Elizabeth's dream to have many happy, cheerful children that loved her to the stars and back, along with pitter patters of tiny feet that filled every silence.  It was her one wish before she died.

     Elizabeth opened the door, and was greeted with a breeze air that was only welcoming.

      There were just two things wrong:  Elizabeth was slightly chilly, and the house had no cellar, which was problematic.  The cellar was extremely important for keeping food cold.  Elizabeth decided that once she could afford it, she would have one installed.  Being cold, could be fixed right away, however.

     Usually, fire starting was considered man's work, but Elizabeth did not care.  She was not fond of women being portrayed as weak, as she knew it was not true.  She knew that if it were true, then she would not be able to start this fire- but she did start it... 

     Elizabeth loved the crackle of a homemade fire.  Snap, crackle, pop. It made her feel safe and secure.  Unsure of what to do next, Elizabeth decided to explore her home a bit.

     To her joyed surprise, Elizabeth discovered a nice wooden bench on her back porch!

     Unknown to Elizabeth, a young man walked across the path toward her house.

     When the man arrived at the door, he gave it three swift knocks.  Elizabeth heard them and jumped up from the bench, frightened.  She regained her senses and went to answer the door.

     "Bonjour, Madamoiselle Laurier," said the man.  "My name is Claude Beaumont.  I heard that you moved here.  Welcome to Detroit."
     "Bonjour, Monsieur Beaumont.  Yes, I just arrived.  Thank you for your warm welcome.  I was a little nervous about being on my own, but I can see that I have fine neighbors."  Elizabeth smiled.
     Claude nodded and returned the smile.  "If you ever need me for anything do not hesitate to ask.  My home is just down that way-" Claude pointed- " and it looks farther then it is."

     "Thank you so much," Elizabeth told him.
     "Not at all," Claude replied.
     "How about you stay for supper?  I would love to have company, and I want to thank you for being so kind to me."  
     Claude smiled and nodded, "Thank you, Elizabeth.  I'd love to stay for a nice supper." 
It was settled.
     After inviting Claude inside, Elizabeth studied the fire to decide whether it needed to be poked.

     "Did you start that fire yourself?" Claude asked curiously.
     "Um..." Elizabeth blushed.  "Yes, I did."  
     Claude gave her a curious look.  "You could have asked someone!  We would have helped you."  Smiling, he added, "You must be pretty strong."
     Elizabeth was not into talking about weakness.  "Just like the average lady.  We can do it ourselves; it's not that difficult or complicated."
     Claude nodded thoughtfully.  "I respect that."   Elizabeth tried to hide her surprise.  Her father never would have 'respected' a woman who created her own fire.
     Elizabeth smiled at him.  She walked toward the stove to start dinner.

     Elizabeth was not the best cook (she was a little clumsy in the kitchen- and on her own two feet), but Claude did not complain.  In fact, he seemed to love the food:
     "Ah, I've not eaten this meal since my mother cooked it for me when I was a boy!"  He exclaimed.
     "Oh, just delicious!" He sighed.
From their casual conversation at the table, Elizabeth learned a few things:  Claude was a printer for the town; and Claude had not been living in Detroit for much longer than she (he was obviously not married yet).  Elizabeth was just going to reveal her favorite meal when the couch caught fire.

     Elizabeth screamed, shrieked, and leaped from her chair.

     "HELP!"  Elizabeth yelped at the top of her lungs, frozen in fear at the sight of the fire and the thought of her beautiful new home going down in flames.  Claude quickly instructed her to wait outside.
     "Go NOW Elizabeth! Now!  I'll put it out!"  Claude yelled.  
     Elizabeth went reluctantly.  "Claude!" She sobbed, sniffling.  Through the window, Elizabeth watched Claude smother the fire with the rug.  Soon, the fire dwindled down to nothing.  Claude hurried to greet Elizabeth outside.

      Overwhelmed with emotion, Elizabeth hugged Claude and held on tight.  Quickly becoming embarrassed, she let go and apologized.  She started crying again and Claude put a comforting arm on her shoulder.
     "You- you... you just saved my life!" Elizabeth whimpered.  "And, my house. How can I ever thank you?"  
     Claude shook his head.  "I do not want any repayment.  I was there at the right time and the right place.  It just happened.  I'm just glad that you are safe."  
     After Claude comforted Elizabeth a little more, he started home, and Elizabeth got ready for bed.

     She was still a little shaken up at the night's events.  She decided that writing in her diary might help her relax.
Dear Diary:

     I almost lost everything I worked for.  This house could have been gone- forever.  I could have lost my sanity (which I hope I still have), and most importantly, I could have lost my life.  I have Claude Beaumont to thank for every single thing I have tonight.  And the best thing about it is that he respects me and he is humble.  Who would have thought my day would have been so eventful?
     With love,

     With that, Elizabeth closed her journal and blew out the candle.

*The Antique Legacy*
Elizabeth Laurier


  1. Wow I LOVED this!!!! I am so excited to read more :)

  2. Great idea for a legacy and i loved the first chapter, great work!

  3. I am already in love. I will be adding this to my blog roll.

  4. Extremely creative! Will be continuing to read all night long ;)

  5. Thanks, CatherineBell! I'm trying to follow your 100 baby challenge but this site isn't letting me :/ will try again later!

  6. Great start, Elizabeth is charming, I love the hat and the house is very nice too. Claude looks like a keeper ;)


  7. This is wonderful! I am already hooked! As soon as I can, I am going to catch up on the chapters.

    I saw your Siggie and decided to check it out. I am so glad I did!

  8. Nicely done. I am off to read some more now.

  9. Well I just love this :) It's the first historical legacy I've seen :)

    I really like Elizabeth's dress, though I'm not so sure about Claude's clothes :P

    'Snap, crackle, pop' made me think of rice crispies, though I'm sure that wasn't the intention ;)

    1. I'm glad you like it! (:

      Yeah, Claude's clothes were/are a bit iffy. It's really tough to find 1700s clothes for men though, and that was the best thing I could find! :O

      Hehe, well.... kinda ;) It's impossible to say snap and crackle without saying pop. Gotta love those rice crispies, right?

  10. Wow! Loved the beginning!! This is truly a great idea and I've now bookmarked your legacy and added you to my story. :)