I’m trying to write a novel. This is little snippet of a scene which might go somewhere, but not where it seems.


Vivienne rises early, and walks to the well with the mist that drifts in from the river. It is dawn, but a grey, hazy dawn, still offering scope for the night’s furtive happenings.

She hooks her pail and lowers it, listening to the rope as it creaks its way down into darkness. There is a silver splash, then silence.

She pauses to look behind her, and her skin prickles as she sights a silhouette in the mist. It is too tall to be the baker’s boy – the only acquaintance she expects at this hour.

The figure approaches, and save the sound of his boots dragging through the mud there is little to dispel Vivienne’s suspicion that he is an apparition.

With his pale hair and grey garb the man has the look of a spectre. She runs her eyes over the hook of his nose, and meets a pair of powder-blue eyes.

“Good morning,” he says, with a hint of a smile.

“I thought you’d gone,” she murmurs. She finds herself smiling in return. He shrugs.

“Not yet,” he replies. “But soon.”

“Will you come back?” she asks, hauling the pail out and hooking it over her arm.

“Perhaps,” he tells her. He blinks at the clouds lightening over the horizon. “I’ll be around tonight. May I request your company?”

She dips her head, an odd little nod that has something of a sprite’s impishness, and something of a wingless bird’s sadness.

“You may,” she says.