Facts and Perspectives
Here is a sample of creative writing.
Creative Writing Sample
By: Lauren Feenstra
Katy gazed at a stranger staring back at her in the mirror wearing a beautiful wedding gown. Her heart raced and hands trembled as she fumbled around, attempting to put a single string of pearls around her neck. She was alone, scared, and miles away from everything familiar to her. Normally weddings are happy celebrations, but her groom was not someone she knew, let alone loved and desired to marry. She couldn't help but feel bitter toward her father for advertising her as a mail order bride, but Katy understood why her father had to do it. Her family was poor and had no money to pay for a wedding, but she was still devastated when her father came home and told her he had put an ad in Farmers’ Monthly for her and her older sister as mail order brides. A nice gentleman inquired about her sister a week after the ad came out. She was happy to go and excited for her new adventure. She always had been a free spirit, but Katy was more of a homebody. She loved cooking, and helping her mom take care of her younger sister and twin brothers. Nevertheless, she was sixteen and her father said he was having trouble feeding the three youngest, it was time to move on and move out.
About three weeks passed before anyone inquired about Katy. She did not know whether to be grateful or discouraged. Then, Ben Jenkins from Independence, Missouri called and said "Katy sounded mighty fine" and wondered if she was still available. Her dad arranged everything and before Katy knew, she was on a train, headed to Independence, and her future husband. She tried to get excited about the whole situation on the train ride. She could not change it so she might as well embrace it. She was really looking forward to meeting Ben and decided that if he went through all that trouble he must be a proper gentleman, and that’s all a girl could hope for was to marry a gentleman. However, when she got to Independence, her heart sank. Ben was unshaven and disheveled. His hair looked greasy and a faint smell of whiskey was on his breath. He spoke kindly, but not very often to her. He asked no questions and gave no answers.
Ben had no relation in Independence. Katy surmised that when he brought her to Aunt Piddy’s Hotel and Saloon instead of to a family members' house to stay until they were married. Ben was very forward with her when he dropped her off. He told her there was only one thing she need do and that was get fitted for her wedding gown and her unmentionables. He had them all picked out and was awful proud at his selection and hoped she’d find them to her suiting. She was not quite sure what to think about it all. He was thoughtful, and at the same time cold and distant. He had everything well planned but his motives appeared selfish and unconcerned about her.
After they arrived at Piddy’s, he carried her carpet bag to her room, made payment arrangements with the innkeeper, and gave Katy some money and a card with an address and directions to the town seamstress, He instructed her to go there no later than noon. With that, he tipped his tattered hat and bid her a good day. Katy didn't know whether to cry or just be glad he was gone. She plopped down on the chair in the sitting area of her room and sighed. Gazing out the window at the street, she saw people milling about, smiling, and laughing. She felt alone. She didn’t know a single soul besides Ben, who never laughed or smiled.
Sitting back in the chair, she pondered the day’s events. She wondered what kind of man Ben really was. Did he care about her? Could he love her? Could she love him? Then she wondered why he did not ask her more questions about herself. She inquired about him only to receive vague or deflective answers. She hadn't thought to ask him that, but she was aching to know the answer.
Tired from the trip and hungry too, she decided to go down to the saloon and see if she could get an early supper. Katy felt thankful for the money Ben had left her. She bought a few personal items, some stationary, and stamps from the store counter in the lobby. In the saloon, she found an interesting set of company, a couple men, already drunk at three o’clock in the afternoon and a handful of prostitutes looking for a client. She quickly asked that be sent to her room. After eating, she took a long bath and got ready for bed. She was exhausted and knew she had better get some rest and start fresh tomorrow.
The next morning, she made her way through the crowded streets to the seamstress. Thankfully, it was easy to find, and the people were friendly and welcoming. The little old woman seemed very interested in knowing the story of how she and Ben had met. Katy was reserved and not wanting to share too much about herself yet, simply stated she was a mail order bride. The fitting went smoothly and only took a little over an hour. She thanked the woman for her kindness and time.
It dawned on her she had the day to pass so she took her time wandering back to the hotel. She liked Independence. People were kind and everyone seemed happy. Maybe that was a sign she and Ben would be happy too. Ben! She had forgotten all about him for awhile. She wondered if Ben would come to see her or not. Maybe he would have dinner with her. Maybe he would be more laid back and talkative. Maybe he was not himself yesterday and today he would feel more at ease with her. Her hopes were rising each second she thought about it. She stopped in the General Store and picked up items she was unable to buy yesterday and skipped happily back to the hotel. However, her hopes were dashed in a moment. As she arrived, back at her hotel Ben was just leaving. He stopped, tipped his hat, and said good day. She asked if they might share a meal and he stiffly replied he was engaged elsewhere and was sorry. He said there was a note with the innkeeper for her and tipping his hat again, he left, without another word. She walked slowly into the lobby of the hotel and inquired with the innkeeper about the message Ben had left for her. He smiled faintly at her and retrieved the letter. The innkeeper noticed her bewilderment and said "I hope your having a pleasant stay. If there is anything I can do for you while you're here, please let me know."
She looked him in the eyes and asked him quite pointedly “What do you know about Ben Jenkins?”
Surprised and taken off guard, he brushed her comment aside "I hardly know the man. I'm not really the right person to ask. I've only met him a time or two..."
She turned away while he was still babbling on and went to her room. When she got there, she opened the letter from Ben, which read:
Dear Katy, March 31, 1834
I'm sorry we will not be able to spend any time together before the wedding. I didn't realize how fast you'd get here. I already planned to play poker tonight. I have a friend who has a score to settle with me and I must not cancel.
Tomorrow, the wedding will be at 1:00pm at the First Church of Independence, a small church on the east side of town. There will be a room for you to get ready in there. Your dress will be there already. It will be a small affair. Nothing fancy. I can't spend lots of money on something as silly as a fancy wedding.
You will probably want to get to the church by noon so you can get ready in time. I know how you women are. I’ll be waiting for you at the altar. Don't be late or I'll look bad.
Katy was floored. This man was so self-centered she could hardly stand it and she waded up the paper in her hand and hurled it across the room. Her face was red and her pulse throbbing, she sat on the edge of the bed and held her head in her hands. She couldn't marry Ben Jenkins, she was trapped. How could she marry him? She had no idea what to do. Then she saw her dad in her mind. She did not want to disappoint him. She would try. She would muster all she had in her and try to make it through tomorrow and the rest of her life, married to Ben Jenkins.
Katy arrived at the church early so she could be sure to be ready on time. She ran her fingers down the satin dress and admired the handiwork and details on it. It looked expensive, but she figured Ben must have gotten a discount somehow because she knew he was too cheap to pay too much for something you only wear once.
Katy's tall, slim figure gazed back at her in the mirror with worry and an uneasiness she could not shake. She walked over to the dirty window and gazed out of it Even though her eyes stared out toward the vast sprawl of plains, sprinkled with farms and a deep blue , she could see nothing but the and the cage that was slowly building around her.
A knock on the door and a gruff voice that said "ten minutes till,"snapped her out of her trance. When she heard "ten minutes", the walls seem to start closing in on her and she could barely breathe She was just ten minutes away from becoming a married woman, ten minutes away from promising to love a man she did not even know, and ten minutes away from making a vow she was not sure she could keep.