Miss Havisham 1/3

A short fan fiction scene of the striking character from Great Expectations

Miss Havisham sat in her chair beside the great wedding feast. Pests crawled over and flew above the large mouldering cake, once white and sweet, now decaying like everything else in that mansion room of Satis House, including Miss Havisham. A scrap of lace from the sleeve of her wedding gown scratched at her arm but she scarcely noticed. 

She’d been trapped in this house for years. First by her grief over being abandoned at her wedding altar, then by shame over her grief.  Now she was trapped thanks to the literary symbolism desired by an English author named Charles. Dust and mice surrounded her, giving her an air decades older than her true middle age. 

In another room she could hear her adopted daughter Estella playing with the blacksmith’s boy, Pip. Pip feared Miss Havisham and ached for Estella. Estella simply ached. A house of rot and broken dreams made a sad nursery for the adopted girl Miss Havisham could never quite connect with. Could never quite decide to treat as daughter or weapon. 

Suddenly she heard a small voice, close by. “That’s quite enough'” the voice sneered at her. Miss Havisham craned her neck about, looking for the source. “I say, it is enough. You have mourned your loss, you have grieved. But now your cake has rotted, your dress is yellowed, and your home is filled with vermin. Cast him out.” Miss Havisham stopped her searching, sat back in her chair and worked her fingers over the head of her walking stick. 

Cast who out? Pip, the common born boy who strives to be a gentleman and imagines he will someday be fit for Estella? No that couldn’t be it. Pip amused her as he took her on walks throughout the lower rooms of Satis House. She knew that would not last. Though she defied time, stopping the clocks and forbidding mentions of her birthday, Pip could not. He would grow into a man, and disappoint her. 

“Cast him out,” the voice again commanded. “The one you cannot remember.”  Compeyson perhaps then. The well dressed scoundrel had wooed her under false pretenses, at the behest of her false half-brother, then revealed his treachery and abandoned her the very morning of their wedding day as she readied herself. 

Even now years later she wore a single shoe, caught by the news as she was before putting on the other. The limp which confined her had a simple enough remedy: take off the shoe. Out of obstinence or perversion, she had limped these many years instead, as if to punish Compeyson. When Miss Havisham tried to recall his face, she only knew he had been handsome. 

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