I realized that I did not leave any type of note in the previous chapter. This story is a compound of Hallmark's Frankenstein with Luke Goss (those elements belong to them), Mary Shelly's work (which is public domain), and my own imagination (which belongs to me and my amazing readers- thanks for putting up with me.)

This chapter was updated on 2/18/2016

Chapter 2

Georgia settled uncomfortably on the leather chaise in Sir John Lafoy's expansive parlor. Two minutes in and the verbal berating she was receiving from Sir John and Nettie was already agitating her. She suffered further discomfort when she realized she had forgotten to relieve herself in the forest. Truly, though, she could not help, not when she saw the crushed flowers. Dread had filled her and she'd completely forgotten her original purpose in wandering off. All she wanted was a little bit a privacy but felt none. Someone was certainly watching her in the woods.

"Georgia, pay attention," chided Sir John. He was an older man, just a few years older than her father, whose soft brown hair was beginning to turn white and frayed around his narrow head. He looked relaxed dressed in cotton trousers and shirt. The rigors of his status were momentarily hidden away: he was preparing for a hunt from what Georgia could tell. "Stay close to the estate, never wander off alone. This is not a request, it is an order. You do not know this area enough to survive being lost in it. The woods are not safe."

"The monster the villagers mentioned? Is it there in the woods?" Curiosity made her forget her manners, but Sir John was always kind enough to answer her questions no matter how silly they were. She blushed at the look he gave her, the silent chiding, she knew the look too well.

"Miss Georgia, there are no such things as monsters. Nevertheless, the woods are not a place for a young lady to be wandering about. Clean yourself up and practice your music until supper. I won't be back for a few days. Stay out of trouble." With that, he turned away from her and went to the mud room.

Delighted to be free, Georgia ran to the outhouse. Unwilling to return to the parlor and begin playing Sir John's piano, Georgia decided to take a walk. Sir John's instructions played loudly in her head, she kept close to the tree line, remaining vigilant and ever watchful. Or was it just plain suspicion? On her second lap around the house, she noticed the keen eyes of the servants following her. Would it always be so? Did they fear for her or fear in general? It was certainly stranger here than anywhere else she had been, there was a quiet dreariness here, even the skies seemed mellow and unhappy.

As she walked, Georgia stretched out her long fingers and moved them as if warming them up for the music they would soon play. Notes swirled in her head as she composed the scene around her in her mind. The melody that played was simple and lackluster but sprinkled with bits of magic as she liked to call it. Dull as it was, the young woman found that there was something unearthly about the world around her, something that longed to be composed.

A russet curl escaped her bun and as she twisted in with the rest she could not help but smile; this world was like the forest and the field of snowdrops: bleak but peppered with beauty. She would have to find a way to compose them. Satisfied with her mental work, she raced back into the large house and opened the piano. Her fingers slid over the piano keys like water over stone. The creative spark in her was alive and well, and it demanded much from her. She was desperate to keep pace with the notes, hearing them and writing them out, but they were quick and unrelenting. Before she knew it, the sun had set and supper was served and her music was to be stopped for a moment.

"That was a pleasant piece you were working on, miss," declared Nettie. The two of them sat in a small, but well-lit room where they were enjoying their supper. With Sir John out of the house, Georgia was free to dine as she pleased and with whom she pleased.

Nettie had always been by her side and always would be, so Georgia hoped anyway, and Nettie readily affirmed this idea. She babbled on about the man Georgia would someday marry, he would never be able to separate them. She promised Georgia that she would also serve as the nurse to Georgia's children. They were happy together, more like sisters than servant and mistress.

"It is a bit drab, I think. Something doesn't sound quite right," Georgia replied with a frown.

Nettie shrugged. "It's the countermelody, miss, if you don't mind me saying. Drop the pitch."

Before she could stop herself, Georgia burst out laughing. "Dearest Nettie, I am surprised. When did you learn so much about music?"

Nettie blushed. "Pardon me, miss."

"Nonsense! Nettie, I merely impressed. Stop calling me 'miss', no one is here."

"I didn't want the other servants thinking me rude. I learned the music from you. Never seen a child as devoted as you. Shame there are so many restrictions you must adhere too. I mean, a young woman such as yourself, so full of passion but forced to suppress it."

"There are restrictions on all of us, Nettie. Sir John has gone to the Frankensteins for a few days, I think he means to introduce me to them. I intend to complete my piece for them."

Nettie tutted. "As much sorrow as that family has had to endure lately, I am sure they will welcome your talents. I hear that their Miss Elizabeth is quite an accomplished painter."

The women continued their evening laughing and talking and eating. When they finished their meal, Georgia invited the servants into Sir John's parlor where she entertained them with a series of short, lively tunes. It wasn't until late in the night that Georgia and the servants retired to their rooms. Giddy from their evening, Georgia hummed to herself in the comfort of her bedroom. She stepped out of her frock and stripped down the layers of her undergarments before donning a plain sleeping gown. Before her vanity, she unclipped her hair and gently combed the red strands. Once finished with her nightly ritual, she blew out the candles spaced throughout her room and dared one wistful glance out her bedroom window towards the forest. She was blissfully ignorant of the intense gaze watching her in secret, hidden by the hedges of the estate's gardens.