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LJ Idol Week 10: Open Topic
cap, captain miss america

The Last Letters of Miss Amelia Whitman

Dear Sister,
I am writing to tell you that Miss Delores P—’s Agency has worked its wonders at last! Miss P— herself contacted me yesternight with news of a particularly enticing engagement, and I am so excited that I must confess I am shaking a little in my boots!

To-morrow morning, I am to report to 312 S— Street, to begin my position as a governess to the two young sons of Mr. Arthur H—. Do you know S— Street? It is that row of lovely townhouses that have those fabulous lawns just like country homes! Mr. H—, I hear, is a widower and very wealthy as well. The position is a temporary one but I have been engaged through the Spring and hope that if I position myself well in the household, that I might be kept on.

Oh, Sister Mine, but the children were not excitable as Mr. H— implied, not at all. I must confess that I now understand the love of a governess for her charges, for I have fallen in love instantly with his two boys. I know I should not have favorites among them, but James is the quieter of the two and with such curls he reminds me of those paintings of cherubs we saw when Aunt Maudie took us with her to Italy three summers ago. They are both darling things, and I weep for them that they have no mother!

After meeting them I could not bear to tell Mr. — off for his comment about the Irish and risk losing my position, in spite of the fact that I had promised myself I would do so! To think that he would say something like that to a young lady without first knowing her background; I was quite peeved, to tell you the truth and it was all I could do right there not to tell him that our dear grandfather on Mummy’s side was Irish as well and that not all Irish have hair the color of carrot soup like poor Molly!

Dear Sister,
There are two rather strange things about my new position. I have never been one to question the idiosyncrasies of my betters, but I would have you know that Mr. H— does not have me see the boys until their suppertime, and we have lessons in the twilight of the evening. But I daresay he must spend most of the day with the children, which is very sweet, to see a man dote on his sons that way. I do feel for all of them with the loss of the children’s mother, which I hear was due to that nasty round of Influenza two winters ago. Do you remember; that is when Mr. S— was out of work for all those months and the M— family lost their little Tommy.

Molly does not seem to like me much, and she regards me with the most suspicious glances! I get the feeling from her that she suspects I am Mr. H—‘s mistress, which could not be father from the truth. Still, she treats me with a great deal of caution the likes of which I do not think I deserve. I wonder if the trouble is that she is perhaps in love with Mr. H—. The poor thing! I would be loath to think it for he regards her as below human and only good for opening his door and doing his laundry. She would do better to leave his employ if her hope is to find a rich husband!

I have decided that as a treat for being such good pupils this past fortnight, I will wake the boys up early on Saturday to take them on an excursion! What fun we will have!

Dear Sister,
I have a terrible—

Transcript of Image 1
(Note: All the comics are drawn in dark colors, fully colored, with brown outlines and a sort of chalky texture, on a background the color of aged paper)

Panel 1: A hand reaches for a doorbell
Sound Effect: DONG
Panel 2: A very prim looking young lady in Victorian dress is smiling expectantly.
Panel 3: A woman in a Victorian maid's uniform is at the door. She has frizzy red hair and is smiling.
Maid: May I help you?
Panel 4: The woman in the purple dress, Amelia, answers.
Amelia: My name is Amelia. I came from the Agency. About the governess position.
Panel 5: The maid looks confused.
Maid: Governess? But the children are...
Panel 6: A man interrupts. We only see him from behind.
Man: It's all right, Molly. I called her. Could you please show her in?
Panel 7: The man leads Amelia up the stairs. It is very dark in the house.
Man: I must ask you to pardon Molly. She is a hard worker, but you know these Irish...
Panel 8: Amelia looks slightly taken aback.
Amelia: Of course, Sir.
Panel 9: The man is standing with his back to us again.
Man: The boys tend to be especially excitable this time of evening.
Panel 10: Two cherubic-looking little boys
Voicover: This is Henry.
Henry: Hullo, Miss!
Voiceover: And this is James
James: Hullo!

Transcript of Image 2

Panel 1: Amelia is standing outside a door, knocking.
Amelia: Boys! Boys, it is time to get up!
Panel 2: The boys' room is empty and their beds are made.
Voiceover: ...Boys?
Panel 3: Amelia looks curious.
Amelia: Molly, do you know where the boys are?
Panel 4: Molly looks confused.
Molly: Boys, Miss? What boys?
Panel 5: Now Amelia looks confused, too.
Amelia: The boys? The children? Henry and James?
Panel 6: Molly looks worried.
Molly: But Miss, it's like I was saying...the children died. It's been two years.

This entry was written for therealljidol Week 10: Open Topic

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(Deleted comment)
But naturally! If I am going to rip off The Turn of the Screw, I might as well admit it openly!

And thank you so much! I realized that it was just too ambitious a project to draw the whole thing and make it clear what was going on, so I decided to try doing some "normal" writing as well!

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Wow really nicely done this week especially. I liked seeing your more detailed style. The way you colored it fit so well with the time frame and the overall darker theme of the story. I've never heard of "Turn of the Screw", but that's not really important.


The Turn of the Screw is an awesome ghost story written by Henry James. One of the cool things about it is that it is about how to tell a ghost story and do it well-- it's about a group of people staying together on a holiday and listening to one of the friends tell a story about a governess who takes a job in a spooky house and the creepy things that happen there. In between the scenes of the ghost story, there are discussions about how to make a ghost story believable and extra-scary, and why stories are more scary when things happen to little children than when they happen to adults.

OMG YOU AND YOUR SUSPENSE!!! I heart you and I can't wait for more!

There isn't more! That is the end of her last letter!

I like this a lot! The colors in it are really well done, especially how everything goes dark once she enters the house, and how they are kind of like an old-timey print! Very neat.

Thanks! I had fun with the colors. Originally I wasn't going to color it but I think it made the comic better!

Oooo. Creepy, atmospheric and a bitchin' ambiguous end.


I think the artwork here is one of my favorites from you and this was a very interesting tale! Well done! :)

I think this may be my favorite of yours :) What a story, what an ending! Gorgeous illustrations too, I loved that style :)

Ahahaha, thanks! I am glad you liked it! You wouldn't happen to have been swayed by the setting, were you? ^_~

Ha! Yay! We have very similar themes this week. I love this.

Have you read "The Turn Of The Screw?"

Henry and James are named for the author of that excellent novella!

I really like it-- stylistically it's sort of plodding but I love fiction that is secretly about writing.

Ooooh, this gave me the creepy chills. It's so moody and the colors are so very right. Even the textures and shading are perfect!

It's also sad and intriguing and makes me want to read lots more. Like the last colored comic! XD You have a talent at starting magical things, seriously!

Thank you! I am very good at beginnings! Not so good at endings!

Just got a chance to read your entry now, and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. In addition to being a wonderful illustrator, you have a way with words.

Oh, thank you! I'm glad I did it part in prose this week, it was fun!

Creepy, and I love the style of your illustrations this week!

Hah I like the Victorian style of H--- and S---. I always thought it was so disconcerting that they did that! (but it's a nice touch here, because it harkens back to the writing of the time)

Haha, thanks! I originally had it written with all the names in it and then I was like WAIT and deleted them all. I love mimicking styles of writing that have telltale markers like that.

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